Thursday, June 09, 2005

Jason's Tales from New York City

I am slowly climbing towards my goal of 2000 by the end of the summer, and currently sit at 1924. I have a ways to go, about 25 rating points a month, but this marks an official high for my rating, not counting a time in college, when I reached 1900, went 4-0 in a tournament to gain about 50 rating points, only to discover months later that the event was never rated.... but that is a different story.

My past couple of games haven't been too interesting, unless you like to see weak players hang pieces on move 10 and then think deeply for the rest of the night. Thus, I thought I would share an interesting position I had "accomplished" against IM Jay Bonin. Actually, I was up a clear pawn, but I blundered a piece moments before this!

Here is the position:

Bonin-Rihel position

FEN: "8/7p/1N5k/p7/4K3/7P/8/8 b -- 0 1"

Black to move and *draw*

I think you will find this position interesting. Fritz gives white a +2.5 score, but it can never seem to find a real win.

I would love someone to prove me wrong here. Black's defensive idea is to keep the pawn on h7 forever and box the white king out of that corner. If the Knight leaves his post, the a pawn gets pushed. If white pushes the h pawn to h6, black actually sacs the a-pawn(!) and reaches a fortress in the corner the knight and king can't break.

Any takers on finding Bonin a win in this position?

OH, what happened during the game? Well, I was bummed about my dropped piece, and I missed this defensive idea completely and lost. Not sure I would have found it over the board, especially the pawn sac, which is key in many lines.


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