Saturday, May 05, 2012

I Am Number Three

Two Have Resigned. I Am Number Three.
Patheticus Score

By popular demand (okay, Frank Frazier suggested I post this game), I present the following travesty of chess.

This would perhaps most appropriately have been posted right after I lost the following game. However, I decided I would delay posting it until after Greg had played all his games as White in this tournament in order to give him maximum "freedom of expression".

Greg Bodwin - Ken Ho
Four Knights, Halloween Gambit
2 April 2012

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nxe5

Had I known before the game that Greg had already used this surprising move to beat both Jon Lee and Larry Eldridge earlier in the tournament, I would have at least tried to prepare for it.

However, since I had rescheduled my game from the tournament's opening night, I wasn't present to see Jon's loss down this same path. I did see Greg play this same move against Larry in the tournament's second week, but after 4 Nxe5, giving up a knight for a pawn, I had blithely and quite mistakenly concluded that Larry was headed for a win. I subsequently didn't look seriously, if at all, at their game for the rest of the night.

I figured that if Greg later also played 4 Nxe5 against me, I would just take him to the cleaners "like Larry did".

5 d4 Nc6 6 d5

In Harvard Square around the mid-to-late 1980's, a fellow named Vlad used to play, as Black, 1 d4 Nc6 2 d5 Nb8 3 e4 Nf6 4 e5 Ng8 and vehemently insist that it was a good opening. I thought it might actually be a good opening if you were up a knight for a pawn, which led me to play:


Better is 6...Ne5 7 f4 Ng6, but at the time I didn't see any meaningful advantage over my chosen move. At least my having chosen the road less traveled caused Greg to spend some time on the clock. Somewhere around the first 10 moves of the game, word had apparently made it back to the skittles room that we had each already chewed up around an hour of time.

7 e5 Qe7

A common enough defensive move in open games.

8 Qe2 Ng8

Vlad would be proud.

9 d6 cxd6 10 Bf4 Qe6

It was only as I struggled in vain to activate my pieces ("A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!") that I checked the wall chart and learned, to my rapidly decreasing surprise, that Larry had lost his aforementioned game with Greg. During the post-mortem with Greg is when I learned that he had also beaten Jon with this Halloween Gambit.

11 Qb5 d5 To prevent 12 Bc4, which I feared would be bad for my health.

12 Nxd5 Qc6 13 Qb3

I spent an embarrassingly long time evaluating 13...d6?? before finally realizing that 14 Bb5 would be the end of me. So I figured I'd prevent that pin as preparation for ...d6, and instead played:


...forgetting to do another blunder check.

Greg suggested 13...Ne7! to chase off White's knight, since if 14 Bc4 b5!

14 Nb6 Qe4+ 15 Be3 Nc6 16 Nxa8

They're taking you down
They're breaking you down....
- J. Geils Band

16...Nd4 17 Nc7+ Kd8 18 Qb6 Nxc2+ 19 Kd1 Nxe3+ 20 fxe3 Be7

The d8 square needs protecting to prevent checkmate there.

21 Rc1 Qg4+ 22 Be2 Qg6 23 Ne6+

Unfortunately for Black, the c8 square needed protection as well. 1-0

Thanks for bringing this wild and crazy gambit to the club, Greg, and congratulations on your hat trick!

Watch out, Number Four!

1 comment:

Rihel said...

I invite any player to play this gambit against me at any time.