“Choices are the hinges of destiny”
Our club tournament is into its second half. The results are beginning to matter for the final standings. One of the students was on the verge of running away with it. This is what a 5 out of 5 result gives you. The round 6 encounter with another pretender, who previously dropped a couple of points as a result of silly mistakes, was the game of the round. It featured the Morra gambit which generates exciting games. The leader was playing White. Here it is:
White was ready to attack and Black’s position did not look very promising. It is the kind of position the Morra gambit gives you. It cannot win the game for you, but gives you a very good chance to obtain a solid advantage. In a 15 minutes per player game, it is one I would take 10 out of 10 times. Let’s see what White managed to do with it:
After some more or less acceptable maneuvering for both sides, White is in the position to cash in. You could ask how can you see that in the heat of the battle? Well, the queen, bishop and f3-knight are all nicely lined up to attack Black’s castle. On top of it the castle is completely deserted. I was watching this live and my immediate instinct was 26. Qxh6 … must win it quickly for white. The fact Ne2 is under attack is inconsequential in comparison. White had the game and possibly the championship trophy right there for grabs. It would have been a nice touch to win it this way!
The game dragged on by another 20 moves when Black checkmated White. It is the survival of the fittest. We should be in for 3 more exciting rounds to decide the champion. There are a couple of lessons to learn out of this less than perfect game:
- When the opportunity presents itself, make sure you notice it first and then go for it
- Do not just stand around waiting for the opponent to blunder. Black was lucky not to lose in spectacular fashion