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Subject: Violent Game rss

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Eliot Hemingway
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This was a game I played online, via PBEM (so yeah, the “violence” was quite limited to the game board ). I was white. It took a few months to play to completion, with a 10-day time limit on moves. I've found that I enjoy the chance to think on a game to my maximum capability. People can still miss moves, even with this much time to think.

I’ve added my comments to the game score, but it should be noted that I have no training in Chess theory. I’ve read a little about Shogi, but most of my experience comes from playing Chess & Shogi (which are quite different, yet similar in some ways).

The game:

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Qd8-f6
3. d2-d4

My standard opening for white at the time. I tend now to play d2-d4 before Ng1-f3.

3.. d7-d6
4. Bc1-g5 Qf6-g6
5. d4xe5 Qg6xe4+

The game has turned sharp, fast. As I recall, I'd actually missed this black reply.

6. Bf1-e2

This is the first time that this Bishop interposes, but not the last. In fact this Bishop will not move during the entire game except to interpose, yet still play a vital role.

6.. h7-h6
7. Nb1-c3 Qe4-h7

At this point, I was feeling really, really good about the position. Perhaps even thinking that I already had a winning advantage. I have much more piece development and the black Queen is in a very restricted spot.

8. Bg5-f4 Bc8-e6?

Not sure if this is a mistake on black's part. It certainly invites the white attack.

9. e5xd6 c7xd6
10. Bf4xd6 Bf8xd6
11. Qd1xd6 Nb8-d7

I thought that I could win relatively quickly from here, but this is only the beginning of a lengthy struggle. Still, white does seem to have a significant advantage.

12. Nc3-b5 Ke8-d8

Avoiding the obvious fork.

13. Nf3-e5 Ng8-f6
14. Qd6-c7+ Kd8-e8
15. Qc7xb7?

A mistake? This loses the knight on e5 and gives the black rook a chance to develop, but the material is regained and the white attack is not stopped.

15.. Ra8-b8
16. Nb5-c7+ Ke8-f8
17. Qb7-a6 Nd7xe5
18. Qa6-d6+ Kf8-g8
19. Nc7xe6

Threatens to take the Rook on b8 with check if black recaptures.

19.. Ne5-d7

So black decides to protect the Rook and accept the loss of the Bishop.

20. Ne6-c5 Qh7-f5

Black's position is fragile, but now the long-sleeping black Queen comes out of hiding to hold it together.

21. Nc5xd7

There's no time to hold off and gather more pieces to attack at this point. Being the attacker I am, I'm not interested in exchanging the Queens here (especially considering the amount of moves I've spent on getting my Queen to this point!). What follows seems rather straightforward now, but I remember getting quite the headache from looking at all the possible (crazy?) lines.

21.. Nf6xd7
22. Ra1-d1 Rb8-b7
23. Qd6-c6 Nd7-c5

Very, very annoying to me. I'm still thinking in terms of checkmate or winning the black Queen, so I really want to get my Bishop on d3 to pin the Queen/close the King's escape route. Nd7-c5 makes that impossible.

24. Rd1-d5

Luckily for me, there is this move. It appears that black cannot survive on defense alone now.

24.. Qf5xc2?

I don't see any better for black, but this exchanges couple sleeping Pawns for a Knight and requires that the black Queen keep dancing. In the end, this series of checks only benefits white's development.

25. Rd5xc5 Qc2-b1+
26. Be2-d1

There's that Bishop again...

26.. Rb7-e7+
27. Ke1d2 Qb1xb2+
28. Bd1-c2

Yet again, the Bishop moves like a shield beside the King. Moreover, this threatens mate by closing the black King's escape route to h7 and opens the path for the white rook on h1 to start moving.

28.. g7-g6

Required to avoid being checkmated, but this gives the initiative back to white.

29. Rh1-b1 Qb2-d4+
30. Bc2-d3 Qd4xf2+
31. Kd2-c3 g8g7!?

This move looks good at first, as it opens the line of movement for the sleeping black Rook, but is actually the losing move. It will become clear why in a moment.

32. Rb1-f1 Qf2-e3

And I was stumped as to how to continue. Again, I'm lucky that there is a good continuation.

33. Rf1xf7!

The light bulb turns on. This sequence either wins the black Queen or checkmates the black King.

33.. Re7xf7
34. Qc6xg6+ Kg7-f8
35. Rc5-c8+ Kf8-e7

This allows mate. I don't know if it was intentional resignation or if black missed Qe3-e8, which leads to an endgame of white's Queen and three Pawns against black's Rook and single Pawn. Either way, I think that the game was effectively over after 33. Rf1xf7.

36. Rc8-c7+ Ke7-d8
37. Qg6-d6+ Kd8-e8
38. Rc7-c8# 1-0

This is the sharpest game I have ever played, and was quite a ride from high to low and back to high again. I thought I would win for most of the game, but there were quite a few points in the middle where I felt that the game was about to reverse. A lot of it was luck that the moves I missed were not fatal. One of the most interesting and enjoyable games that I've been a part of!

It can be noted that of the 12 pieces on the board in the final position, 5 of those pieces never moved from their starting positions (and quite a few Pawns died without taking a step).
 
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