As those who have been reading these blogs know, the Liz Health Fund was at zero. Thanks to Matt Hayes and Dave King of the Arcadia Chess Club, there is now $500 in the main account plus another hundred in smoothie money!
That is so great in its own way, but we’re still a very long way from the $55,000 needed for Liz’s operation to give her new implanted teeth.
The way we raised the money was simple: I gave a Liz Health Simultaneous Exhibition at the Arcadia Chess Club on February 24. That accounts for the $500. The other hundred was raised from sales of my books, and that will keep Liz in smoothies for another twenty days! Good deal—but there’s always bad news: Liz saw her Medicare doctor again today, and her weight has dropped again, as we notice at every visit. Without solid food, she is literally wasting away.
Again, back to the simul: something occurred there that I have never experienced before, and I have given many, many simuls over the last forty years or so. That something was “time pressure.” As we absolutely had to leave the club by 10:30 PM, and we didn’t really get started until about 7 PM (after a short lecture I gave about my first win over a GM—Leonid Shamkovich in 1976) that meant there was only a little over three hours to play.
As it turned out, this wasn’t enough.
Matt Hayes wrote a nice article on the Arcadia Club website where he showed our game, which ended after 20 moves—that is, not ended in the sense of a result, but ended in the sense of “stopped due to club closing.” The final position was deceptive—the computer likes Black (Matt) but practical play between humans probably favors White (me).
As Matt points out, in the early part of the game he had much more time, as he could study the position while I made the circuit of 24 boards.
Normally in a simul this time dynamic switches later to favor the master: as players resign, the master comes around faster and faster, putting great pressure on the remaining players!
But because of the relentless clock, I never got to that stage!
Another factor that slowed me down was the way kids are taught to play these days—that is, “never resign.”
When I was growing up, it was considered extremely bad manners to play on in a hopeless position against a master (let alone an IM!). In those days youngsters were chastised openly for their lack of respect if they carried on in ridiculous positions!
If I ever open a chess school, as I have been considering, I will teach in old-school style. Learn from the master, respect the master—and know when to quit. And then resign and shake hands!
Now here at the Arcadia simul, I quickly gained an advantage against several young players. I was a rook up against one, a piece up against two others, an exchange up against a fourth, and was threatening mate in two (which could only be delayed by given up tons of material—see game below) against a fifth.
Did any of them resign? Not a chance! I don’t blame the kids, I blame how they were taught.
In any case, not one of the above mentioned ridiculous positions were resigned; there were no handshakes. Even with a looming mate in two coming, my opponent dodged resignation by … leaving without a word!
All the other material down kids also were spirited away by their parents without a handshake—again, not a resignation in sight!
Had there been some earlier resignations, the play would have speeded up, and several more results would have come in, as I had a few adults right against the ropes!
As actually played, the number never shrank from 24 and so time ran out without a single formally decided game!
I would love to give another simul at Arcadia, with at least two more hours of time!
Here are my two most interesting games. I trust my memory is correct, but I don’t have the scoresheets. If there are any errors (I’m sure they will only be very slight, but still, I’d like the games to be exactly correct) you can send the full game score to our “comments” and I will correct the scores immediately.
Taylor, Timothy – Schwartz, Jeff
King’s Gambit Declined
Arcadia Simul 2014
Many days before the simul occurred, I offered a “King’s Gambit Challenge.” As I have recently completed my book “Attacking Chess: The King’s Gambit” I think I’m up for anything in that opening. I stated that I would open with 1.e4 on all boards, and if anyone answered 1… e5, I would play the King’s Gambit. Furthermore, I said if anyone accepted the gambit with 2… exf4, I would play Fischer’s favorite 3.Bc4! which I advocate in the book. I pointed out that I would very much like to face GM John Shaw’s “refutation” of the Bishop’s Gambit, namely 3… Nc6, which in my book I call a “second tier defense.”
Unfortunately, only Mr. Schwartz of my 24 opponents took up the King’s Gambit Challenge. Even more unfortunately, he followed exactly for nine moves Game 73 in my book—followed it until Black had a lost position! Nonetheless, the win—no, no!—OK, game that ended in favorable position for White with no official result was nonetheless instructive!
1… e5 2.f4 d6
After working on my King’s Gambit book for years, I am absolutely convinced that Black’s best chance of equalizing is to accept the gambit with 2…exf4 when White has chances for advantage with Fischer’s 3.Bc4 but at least Black has a pawn for his pains! My research indicates White is better after the classical declined: 2…Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.c3 as well as in the Falkbeer: 2…d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3!
3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.d3 a6
Black can keep material level with 6… exf4 but after 7.Bxf4 White has all the classic King’s Gambit advantages of the center pawn majority and open f file—without even sacrificing a pawn!
7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Bd7
So far, so book—my book!—but while here Mr. Schwartz improves on the game I give, it’s already too late. In fact I point out in the book that Black’s played move here is better—but the pawn disadvantage is already too much to overcome.
The game I give in the book continued as follows: 9…Qe7 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.0–0 g6 12.Qf3 Bg7 13.e5 Nd5 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Qxd5 0–0 16.d4 c6 17.Qxc6 Rac8 18.Qa4 Qe6 19.c3 f6 20.Qb3 Rce8 21.exf6 Bxf6 22.Bh6 Bg7 23.Rxf8+ Bxf8 24.Bxf8 Kxf8 25.Qxe6 Rxe6 26.Kf2 Kf7 27.Re1 Rxe1 28.Kxe1 g5 29.Ke2 Kf6 30.Kd3 Kf5 31.Kc4 Kf4 32.d5 g4 33.d6 1–0 Westerinen,H – Duran,D/Aaland-Stockholm 1997.
10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.Qf3 Be7 12.Be3 0–0 13.0–0 Qc6 14.Rae1 Rad8 15.h3 Bc5 16.e5 Qxf3 17.Rxf3 Bxe3+ 18.Rfxe3 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Rxd5 20.c3 Re8 21.d4
White has a solid extra pawn in the endgame and should win after, for example, 21…c5 22.dxc5 Rxc5 23.e6 fxe6 24.Rxe6 Rxe6 25.Rxe6 etc. I tested this against my friend Joe Cepiel and there doesn’t seem to be much Black can do: White will obtain a passed pawn with his Queenside pawn majority—then finally switch back and win on the kingside.
Nonetheless, at this point the simul ended, so no result!
Taylor, Timothy – NN
Arcadia Simul 2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be2 Bb4 7.0–0 0–0
The main line (which I advocate for White in my book “Slay the Sicilian”) is a pawn sacrifice where White gets the two bishops and excellent attacking chances for the “insignificant unit.” Liz tried this in the Santa Monica Club, and I’m sure if she had been pain free she would have seen the forced win on move 22, or had time to find the later one on move 39: 7…Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nxe4 9.Qd3 d5 10.Ba3 Nd6 11.Qg3 Nxd4 12.cxd4 Nf5 13.Qe5 f6 14.Qf4 Kf7 15.g4 g5 16.Qd2 Nd6 17.Qb4 Ne4 18.f3 a5 19.Qe1 Nd6 20.f4 Rg8 21.fxg5 Rxg5 22.Qh4 (White has outplayed her opponent and can now win cleanly with 22.Bxd6 Qxd6 23.Qh4 Kg6 24.Rxf6+! Kxf6 25.Qxh7 with a winning attack, e.g. 25…e5 26.Rf1+ Bf5 27.Qh6+ Rg6 28.Rxf5+ Ke7 29.Qh7+ Kd8 30.Qh8+ and the extra rook should be enough!) 22…Ne4 23.Qxh7+ Rg7 24.Qh5+ Kg8 25.Rf3 Ng5 26.Rb3 b6 27.Rab1 Rb8 28.Bc1 Rbb7 29.Qh4 f5 30.Qe1 fxg4 31.Bxg5 Rxg5 32.Ba6 Rh7 33.Bxc8 Qxc8 34.Rxb6 Qxc2 35.Qxe6+ Rf7 36.Rb8+ Kg7 37.R8b7 Qf2+ 38.Kh1 Rgf5 0–1 Taylor,L-Kogan,S/SMCC Ch 2013. Here Liz lost on time, while still having a winning position. After the evident 39.Rxf7+ Rxf7 40.Qxg4+ White’s queen and rook attack will either mate or add even more extra material!
This game shows why Liz’s rating is so (relative to her strength) low. She is fighting not just her opponent, but constant pain of a level others can only imagine. Furthermore, the fatigue that comes from containing the pain (since she never wants to be pitied, and never wants to show the pain) leads to time pressure.
With a substantial decrease in pain—if we can get the dental implants—and a proper diet, not only Liz’s physical strength would increase, but her playing strength as well.
Now back to the game.
8.Nxc6 dxc6 9.e5 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nd5 11.Bd3!
In “Slay the Sicilian,” I give the following Michael Adams win here, but in the simul I felt a pawn sacrifice was in order! Adams played the more conservative but also strong 11.Qd3 Qc7 12.c4 Nb4 13.Qe4 c5 14.Bg5 b6 15.a3 Nc6 16.Bd3 f5 17.exf6 gxf6 18.Bh6 Rf7 19.Rae1 Kh8 20.Qh4 e5 21.f4 Bb7 22.fxe5 Nxe5 23.Bxh7 Kxh7 24.Re3 Ng6 25.Qh5 Rh8 26.Re8 Rxe8 27.Bf4+ Kg7 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Bxc7 Re2 30.Rf2 Re1+ 31.Rf1 Re2 32.Rd1 Rxg2+ 33.Kf1 Rg7 34.Rd8+ Nf8 35.Bd6 Rg1+ 36.Ke2 R7g2+ 37.Kd3 Rd1+ 38.Kc3 1–0 Adams,M-Halkias,S/Caleta 2010
If 11…Nxc3 12.Qg4 and White’s attacking chances plus the two bishops are worth more than the pawn.
12.Qh5 Ne7 13.Ba3 Re8 14.Rfd1 Bd7 15.Rab1 b6 16.Rb4!
The rook lift decides the game–even Mr. Fritz is impressed, and goes to decisive advantage!
16…c5 17.Rg4 Kh8 18.Qxf7 Rg8 19.Rg6!!
Basically mate is forced, though Black can “play on” for a few by giving up various pieces. Here are the key variations:
A.19…Nxg6 20.Qxg6 and mates
B.19… Bc6 20.Rxh6+! gxh6 21.Qh7 Mate
C.19…Nf5 Drags it out for a few 20.Bxf5 exf5 (Not 20…Be8 21.Rxh6+ and mates) 21.Rxd7 and Black must even give up his Q, as if 21…Qf8 22.Rxh6+ with the same basic mate.
So Black, one of those youngsters I mentioned above, has a completely hopeless position. He will either be mated in two moves, or must give up massive material.
But by the time I came around to his board to collect the win—my opponent was gone!
Unfinished! No handshake! No official result! Fritz is at plus 8, but no win on the scoreboard!
I think I will start that chess school!
Now back to the reason for the simul: Liz’s Health. We now have $500. We need $55,000. We’re not going to raise it through simuls or donations from regular chessplayers.
What should we do with the $500? As every day is borrowed time for Liz, we have to do something fast.
I have an idea—new blog will be coming in a week or so.