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The FIDEs versus the Colorbound Clobberers -- First ever

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

Betza - Roytman, 1996, by email

1.  e2-e4         e7-e5
2.  g2-g3         WAg8-e6
3.  Bf1-g2        c7-c6
4.  Ng1-e2        b7-b5
5.  d2-d4         e5:d4
6.  Ne2:d4        g7-g6
7.  f2-f4         NBd8-b6
8.  c2-c3         WAe6-c4
9.  Nd4-c2        FADc8-e6
10. a2-a4         b5:a4
11. Bc1-e3        c6-c5
12. Nb1-d2        f7-f5
13. Nc2-a3?       WAc4:c3+!
14. b2:c3         BDh8:c3
15. Na3-c2        f5:e4
16. Ra1-b1        NBb6-c7
17. O-O           d7-d5
18. Rf1-e1        WAb8-d6
19. Nd2-f1        BDa8-a6
20. Be3-d2        BDa6-d3
21. Bd2:c3        BDd3:d1
22. Re1:d1        d5-d4
23. Nc2:d4        c5:d4
24. Bc3:d4        WAd6-d5
25. Bd4:a7        WAd5-b3
26. Rd1-d2        NBc7-b5
27. Ba7-c5        FADf8-f6
28. Bg2-h3        FADe6-c6
29. Bh3-g4        NBb5-a6
30. Bc5-e3        FADc6-c4
31. Rb1-c1        FADc4-d3
32. Rc1-c6        NBc6-b4
33. Rc6:f6        a4-a3
34. Rf6-e6+       Ke8-f8
35. Re6-b6        NBb4-c3
36. Rb6-a6        NBc3-b4
37. Ra6-a7        WAb3-b2!
38. Ra7-b7(?)     NBb4-a6
39. Rb7-a7        NBa6-b4
40. Ra7-a4        NBb4-d6
41. Bg4-e2        WAb2-c2
42. Ra4-a8+       Kf8-f7
43. Rd2:d3        e4:d3
44. Be2:d3        WAc2-c3
45. Ra8-a7+       Kf7-g8
46. Bd3-e2        NBc6-b4
47. Ra7-a8+       Kg8-f7
48. Be3-d2        NBb4-c5+
49. Kg1-g2        WAc3-c2
50. Ra8-a5!       NBc5-d6
51. Bd2-e1        WAc2-b2
52. Be2-f3        Kf7-e8
53. Bf3-c6+       Ke8-e7
54. Ra5-a7+       Ke7-e6
55. Nf1-e3!       NBd6-c5
56. Bc6-d5+       Ke6-d6
57. R:a3          WAb2-d4
58. Ra3-c3        NBc5-a7
59. Bd5-f3        NBa7-b5
60. Ne3-c2        WAd4-b6
62. Rc3-b3        NBb5-c4
63. Rb3-b4        NBc4-a5
64. Rb4-d4+       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.

W: I've not addressed the question of promotion. Because I want the Pawns to be of equal value, and because a fair proportion of their value is their ability to promote, I'd say that either player can promote to any piece in the initial setup;

so you can make a Queen if you can get there....

B: That's fair, but I don't know if it makes sense. I assumed I could only promote to one of my pieces. A NB is a pretty strong piece; I don't know if promoting to it instead of Queen diminishes a pawn's value substantially...

I think most of the pawn's value comes from control of squares, pawn structures, etc. As far as the promotion component, just putting a strong piece on the board is most of it; how strong is not that crucial. So, if the promotion fraction of a pawn's value is, say, 20%, and the NB is 20% weaker than Q, my pawn is then .2 x .2 = .04 weaker than yours; no big deal.

I guess the exception would be if we each promoted, and you'd wind up with the stronger piece. Hmm...

Note to 3. Bf1-g2

B: Interesting; you made a typical clobberers opening move. Trying to compete with me on diagonals?

W: Yes; my B is stronger than your BD because it's weaker than your BD.

Note to 5. d2-d4 Although this turns out not to be a bad move, it is not consistent with my original game plan. I should have played O-O and perhaps d2-d3 and f2-f4 to be consistent.

5. d2-d4 was played because I forgot about 3...c7-c6, and that forgetting led to 7. N:b5?? being sent and then j'adoubed!

Note to 10. a2-a4 If 10. Bc1-e3, NBb6-a4 is uncomfortable.

Note to 13. Nc2-a3 White misses an excellent opportunity.

13. e4:f5!! BDa8:g2 14. f5:e6
    14...BDg2:h1 15. Nd2:c4 NBb6:c4?? 16. Qd1:d7 mate
         15... NBb6-d5?! 16. e6:d7+ Ke8-d8 17. Nc4-e5! ++=
         15... NBb6-c8   +=
    14...WAc4:c3+ 15. b2:c3 BDg2:h1
            16. Ra1-b1 NBb6-c7
            17. e6:d7+ and 18. Be3:c5 +=
    14... d7:e6 15. Ke1-f2!
         15... BDg2:h1 16. Qd1:h1 += (Qh1-e4)
         15... BDg2-c6 +=
    14... WAc4-e2+! 15. Qd1:e2 BDg2:e2 16. e6:d7+ +==
            White seems to have better long-term chances,
            but not by much.
W: I was playing over the whole game; worrying that the Clobberers might be too strong a team. Then I found this move, and now I wonder if the FIDEs are too strong. Who knows, maybe I succeeded pretty well and they're equal.

B: I wouldn't make judgements based on one move; who's to say that I didn't have a stronger move along the way, too?

B: Based on these games, I conclude the following:

The Clobberers are stronger in the opening, because their jumping ability and the easy fianchetto of the BDs allows quick development. Also, jumping pieces navigate better when there's lots of pieces on the board.

The FIDEs are stronger if they come out OK after the opening, open the lines and develop the Rooks, owing to their superior line control (R + Q).

Thus, the pressure is on the Clobberers to get a big advantage out of the opening and convert it to a winning material advantage before the FIDEs have a chance to develop Rooks and open up the lines.

[The editor sez:] That's just one opinion, of course.

Note to 13...WAc4:c3+!

B: Talk about embarrassment of riches! I had to decide between (WA)c4:c3, (WA)c4-d4 !?, and fe

W: I know the feeling. Nc2, Bf2, and Kf2 are all interesting for me. I could "win" material with 15. Kf2 (BD)c3:e3+ but that seems dangerous. Very dangerous, in fact.

And on 15. Bf2, you can take e4 with the Pawn first, with a threat that's hard to meet.

I guess I just have one "riches". That should be enough.

B: 15. Kf2 (BD)c3:e3+ 16. K:e3 c4+ 17. Ke2 (FAD)e6-g4+ 18. Kf1 (NB)b6-e3+ 19. Ke1 (NB)e3-g2+ 20. Kf2 e3x Definitely dangerous!

I feared 15. Rb1; then thought I had (BD)c3:e3+ Ke2 (NB)b6-d4+, then remembered the NB can't jump like that.

16. Rb1 is not as strong, as you don't have Q:a4+ now that the N is on c2.

Note to 19...BDa8-a6

B: Those Waffles can be amazingly effective, as we have seen in both games. Notice how I've avoided the temptation to exchange BD for R; I've made that mistake before!

Note to 21...BDd3:d1

B: Amusing how your Queen was trapped on its starting square; what does that say about your position?

On the other hand, after 20. Na1 d4 21. Bd2 (BD)c3:e1 22. Q:e1 e3 23. Ba5 it's my NB which is trapped! Bizarre...

W: I believe it says I must have done something wrong.

Note to 24. Bc3:d4

W: Interesting material balance.

B: I believe I have a bit of an edge; but, I have to be very careful now, with your Rooks on the open files. For example, you were just now threatening 25. Rb7; hard to see when the FIDE equivalents would have defended it twice! I wonder if 22..d4 was premature.

Note to 25. Bd4:a7

W: Not an important Pawn, but I have to move the Bishop somewhere.

I'm glad those nasty (BD)s have finally gone away; too bad I had to give the Queen, but (and it's hard to tell) I might have a fighting chance here now; or am I being too optimistic?

B: I think you have a chance, as the position has opened up, and your long-range pieces are there, whereas mine are gone; perhaps I should haven't allowed this. I still think I should win if I'm careful, but the margin for error is much thinner. I just have to keep finding good Waffle moves!

W: You mean if I grab your WA, you won't know (WA)t to do?

Note to 31...FADc4-d3? This is the losing move, and what happened was confusing.

Black originally played 31...a4-a3 and White sent "32. Bg4-d7+ if Ke8-f7 33. Bd7-c8" (which you will see is a grave error). Then,

B: Hmm; seems I have to give up my FAD for your B to avoid repetition of moves. Let me ponder this over.

B [the next morning]: Much as I hate j'adoubing, it's the only way for me to have winning chances :-(

W: 31...a4-a3 32. Bg4-d7+?! Ke8-f7 33. Bd7-c8?? NBa6:c8 34. Rc1:c4 NBc8-h3+ 35. Kh1 NBh3:f1 0-1

Makes you wonder how much else we miss.

B: Once again, I j'adoube to a worse move :-(
That's what I get for looking at the position after midnight.

I totally overlooked (NB)c8-h3, focusing only on how to get my NB out of trouble and supporting the a pawn; so I only looked at the Queenside!

[After the game] This is the critical mistake that turns a win to a loss. Neither player saw 34...NBc8-h3+ in time, which is interesting considering how strong both are.

After this, White gets a FAD "for free", but has to worry about Black's a-Pawn, the weakness of the Nf1, and the NB's ability to fork things. This file would be much too large if it explained every move of the following, so just one sample quote:

W:I didn't expect such a strong move; this is awfully complicated and I can only hope I found a good answer. The forking power of a piece that moves in 12 directions can be quite amazing.

Note to 38. Ra7-b7 A minor mistake. Black's reply forces White to repeat the position because of the fork on f1 and b7; meanwhile the threat is (WA)b2-c2, which traps the Rd2.

Note to 50. Ra8-a5

50. Be3 NBc5-b7+! 51. Bf3 WAc2-e4+!!
     52. B:e4 NBb7:e4+ wins R
50. Bf3 WAc2:d2 51. N:d2 NBc5-e3+ 52. Kh3 NBe3:d2
     53. Ra8:a3 and despite W's apparent material advantage
     the endgame is probably a draw.
50. Ra8-a5 WAc2-e4+
     51. Kh1 NBc5-f2 mate
     51. Kf3 NBc5-g1+ 52. K:e4 NBg1:e2
          53. Ne3 and NB is trapped!
B: Interesting how great my pieces look in the first line, which I think is very beautiful, and how clumsy and helpless the NB is in the last one.

Too bad you found the best move;

W: It's also interesting how my R keeps moving from square to square with tempo to avoid different forks from the ever-dangerous NB.

B: Yes, the R almost looks better than the NB the way it pushes it around; but the NB-WA combination is quite dangerous (witness my first note).

Note to 55. Nf1-e3

W: At last my Knight is in the game again. Since move 19, he has had to sit on the bench (f1) and watch. After such a long rest, he should be full of energy.

Note to 65... Resigns Things ended quickly once the FIDE team got untangled.

The Players:

Ralph Betza holds the title of FIDE master.

Vladimir Roytman is a USCF National Master.

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