The FIDEs versus the Colorbound Clobberers -- Second ever

The Colorbound Clobberers have the Black uniforms in this game, and the Fabulous FIDEs have the White. This is the third game between these two teams, the second with these colors, but this time the teams have traded coaches.

Roytman - Betza, 1996, by email

1.  d2-d4         d7-d5
2.  Ng1-f3        (WA)b8-d6
3.  e2-e3         (FAD)c8-c6
4.  Nb1-c3        a7-a6
5.  Nf3-e5        (FAD)c6-e6
6.  Bf1-e2        f7-f6
7.  Ne5-d3        g7-g6
8.  0-0           (NB)d8-f7
9.  f2-f4         f6-f5
10. Nd3-e5        (NB)f7-h6
11. Nc3-a4        (WA)d6-c6
12. Ne5:c6        (FAD)e6:c6
13. Na4-c5        (WA)g8-e6
14. b2-b3         O-O-O
15. a2-a4         (FAD)f8-g7
16. Bc1-a3        g7-g5
17. Ra1-c1        (WA)e6-g4
18. Be2:g4        (NB)h6:g4
19. Qd1-d2        (BD)h8-h6
20. Ba3-b2        b7-b6
21. Nc5-d3        (BD)h6-h4
22. g2-g3         (BD)c8-e6!
23. Resigns!

About the Notes:

Many of the notes are quotes from email.

W: White's comments look like this

B: and Black's look like this; you see we have a W: or a B: at the start of an indented paragraph.

Also, in the notes, the Clobberer piece abbbreviations are parenthesized because it looks ugly to write "WAg1-e3" and I hope the parentheses make it easier to read, if not less ugly.

Note to 11...(WA)d6-c6

B: j'adoube (FAD)e6-e4 12. Nc5 (WA)g8-e6 13. N:e4

The other line was inconsistent with what I was trying to do; and since I let myself get pushed around so much for the sake of it, I need to stick with it.

Note to 14...O-O-O Remember, this puts the K on b8 and BD on c8.

Note to 15...(FAD)f8-g7 (FAD)f8-f6 was slightly better.

Note to 18. Be2:g4

W: All of a sudden, I don't like this position!
I think I've been too slow on the Queenside, and underestimated your play on the Kingside.

B: Unfortunately for me, I can't avoid offering the trade of Queenish pieces. Fortunately for me, there's a chance you'll decline, and try to keep your Q. (I think I get to your King in that case.)

Yes, I think 15. a4 and 16. Ba3 improved my chances, but I also think that things weren't so bad for me after O-O-O (Nc5:e6 before O-O-O was worth looking at); so maybe 11. Na4 was too time-consuming and the usual 11. g2-g4 would have been the right thing.

Note to 23. Resigns In response to "21...(BD)h6-h4 if 22. g3 (BD)c8-e6(!)", White resigns and says:

    22. g3 (BD)c8-e6 23. gh (NB)g4-h3+ 24. Kh1 (BD)e6-e4+
           25. Qg2 (BD)e4:g2 mate
    22. g3 (BD)c8-e6 23. Ne1 (BD)e6-e4 24. Kg2 (NB)g4:h2+
           25. Kh1 (NB)h2:g3+ 26. Kg1 (BD)h4-h2 mate
    22. g3 (BD)c8-e6 23. Nf2 (NB)g4-f3 mate
    22. h3 (NB)g4-h2+ 23. Kh1 (NB)h2-g3+ 24. Kg1 (BD)h4-h2 mate
    22. Rf3 (NB)g4:h2+ 23. Kh1 g4 24. Rf2 (NB)h2-g3+
           25. Kg1 (BD)h4-h2 mate

W: Wow! Now we know what a winning Clobberers position looks like - lots of weak squares along the diagonals, and the Rooks too awkwardly positioned to defend.

I thought I stood better after each opening, though. Looking at this one in retrospect, 9. f4 might have been weak; I underestimated the ability of the Clobberers to take advantage of weak squares, thinking you wouldn't have a piece to put on e4 that you'd be willing to trade against one of my weaker pieces. Also, I should have paid more attention to your Kingside attack, so I wouldn't have to surrender my white squared Bishop (eg play g3 earlier). Also, I should have developed my Queenside attack quicker (eg b4, a4, etc). I still think I had the right idea for opening strategy - close things up earlier until FIDEs (esp Rooks) finish development, then open up carefully for the Rooks (but not diagonals for your BDs).

B: Perhaps 3...(FAD)c8-e6 was better, and perhaps 4. Nc3 was not correct after all because it blocked your C pawn.

As a long-time Nimzovich fan, I'm not ashamed to play ...f6 and follow it with ...f5; if I play f5 first, I allow f2-f3 and e3-e4.

9. f4 can't really be bad when it leads to 10. Ne5; but trading that N off with 12. Ne5:c6 is bad, and therefore 11. Na4 must have been wrong.

The Players:

Ralph Betza holds the title of FIDE master.

Vladimir Roytman is a USCF National Master.

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