Saturday, September 01, 2007

Philadelphia Beats Miami in Week One

Well, the Philadelphia Inventors won their first game of the season this week with a win over the Miami Sharks. Three of the four games were draws, so all the attention turned to the Costigan/Roman match.

Costigan,R (2287) - MorenoRoman,A (2387) [B20]USCL Philadelphia vs Miami (1)

Black to Move

Well . . . as any chess player knows, chess is an evil, evil game. One simple move, can result in utter disaster. Unfortunately for black, he is about to be the latest victim. Costigan has just given check with his rook on d7 and (of course) now black must move his black king. The key question is where?

Black opts for 1… Ke8? and virtually throws away the game. Now, as a patzer myself… throwing away a game usually consists of hanging your queen or missing the obvious mate in two. Unfortunately, at this level of chess, “throwing away games” consists nothing more than one lost pawn. This is exactly what happens here.

Black’s line of thinking is far from egregious. After 1… Ke8. 2. Rxg7, he can still play 2… Rxf3+ (see diagram to left). This represents a “pawn for a pawn” exchange and initially doesn’t look all that bad. However, the damage is done. Costigan’s rook and king are in excellent position to snatch up the remaining black pawn. The only trick is that Costigan must be sure to guard his own g3 pawn – luckily the rook on the g-file is in excellent position to do just this.

3. Ke4 Ra3. 4. Kf4 Kf8. 5. Rg5
seals the poor black pawn’s fate. (See diagram below)

Black can delay the inevitable with a couple checks, but in the end the black pawn is lost and white has a winning two pawn advantage.

Returning to the original position, black’s better move was 1… Kf8 and forgoing the doomed pawn exchange.

After Note: Incidentally, I have been told that black's move 1... e8 was actually a mouse-slip. . . . ah, another joy of online chess!!!.


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He will be on channel 21 news Friday July 18th 2008 at 10pm eastern time...


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