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A Latvian Gambit DECLINED Contest with Instructive Endgame

posted Aug 15, 2010, 8:28 AM by


My second round game in the North Richland Hills chess event involved a Latvian Gambit Declined (I tried to play Latvian Gambit twice at this tournament, and my opponents declined the Latvian Gambit both times.
Perhaps the Latvian Gambit is getting some respect!)  After an early exchange of Queens, this turned into long endgame.  I eventually won
with a fork on the White Knight and pawn.  My opponent, David Hopkins, teaches English at a high school in Arlington.  He is certainly better than his published USCF rating (1097).  However, I did not know his rating during out game - I tried to avoid knowing my opponent's rating in a rated chess tournament game.  This game is certainly of some interest.  I present it to you for your consideration! 

For those of you who are worried that you might be subjected to the 3rd and 4th DeVries games of the 08-14 Tarrant County Chess Club tournament, do not worry!  I have tossed aside the other games. 

          Tarrant County Chess Club Tournamentr, 08-14-2010
                           Rated Tournament Chess Game
                       North Richland Hills Tx Public Library 
                 WHITE (Hopkins)             BLACK (DeVries)
   -1-                     e4                                      e5
   -2-                    Nf3                                      f5
         The "feared" Latvian Gambit - David declines it !
   -3-                     d3                                     d6
            We go into a Philidor Defense type game.
  -4-                     Be2                                 Nf6
  -5-                     Bg5                                 Be7
-6-                      B x N                               B x B
          I am happy!   David traded a Knight for a Bishop.
          This will have consequences later when I defeat
           Black with a Bishop vs Black's Knight.
  -7-                      c3                                   Be6?
              I now expect  Qb3 by White   My 7th move was bad.
                 ( 8 P x P    ....B x P     -9-  Qb3 )

QNd2 ?        P x P
               As noted earlier, -8- P x P was much better.

-9-                 P x P              0-0
-10-             0 - 0                Qe7
-11-                Bc4              Nd7
-12-               Qb3              Nc5!
        Nice defense by Black - attacks Queen, defends pawn on b7
-13-               B x B  check    Q x B
-14-              Q x Q check    N x Q
-15-               Nc4                  b6
-16-               b4                    QRd8
-17-             KRd1                 Nf4
-18-              Kf1                     h6
-19-              a4                       d5
-20-           P x P                 N x P
-21-       N on c4 x P on e5     N x P on c3
-22-          R x R                  R x R
-23-          Nc6                    Ra8
          To save a pawn, my Rook gets crammed into the corner. 
-24-           a5                     P x P
-25-        R x P                  Ne4
-26-        R x P                   R x R
  -27-       N x R                   Kf7

            The heavyt pieces have been traded off \, but White has
              a one pawn advantage - White has two Knights and 4
              pawns, Black has Bishop, Knight, and 3 pawns.  However,
              Black King has potential to be stronger piece than White

-28-        Ke2                    Ke6
-29-        Ke3                    Kd5
-30-         b5                       g5
-31-         g3                       g4
           The game starts to turn Black's way here. 
-32-         Nd2?                 N x N
-33-        K x N                  Bd4
-34-         Nc6                    B x P
-35-         Kc3                   Kc5
-36-        Na7                   Bg1
-37-         Kd3                   B x RP
-38-        Ke4                   B x P
-39-        Kf5                     Be1
     Black concedes the loss of his on g4, but is determined to protect
       his other Kingside pawn with his Bishop. 
-40-        K x P                 Kb6
-41-        Nc6                    K x P
-42-        Nd4 check      Kc4
-43-        Ne6                   c6
-44-        Nf4                   Bd2
      It might not have made much difference, but it could have possibly
       increased chances of draw if White had played:  44 Nd8  c5
       45 Ne6  Kd5  46 N x P  K x N     White now has lone King vs
        Black Pawn, Bishop, King, but it will be hard to for Black to
        queen his last pawn, and there will be opportunities for stalemate.
        Of course, David had no way of knowing White's legendary
        bad endgame skills and history of losing won endgames!

-45-        Nh3              Kd4
-46-        Ng1               c5
-47-        Nf3 check    Ke3
-48-        Ne5              Ke2
-49-        Nc4               Bc1
-50-        Ne5               Bb2
-51-        Nf7                 c4 !    
      If White takes kingside pawn, White cannot stop Black
       queenside pawn from reaching a queening square. 
-52-       Nd6                 c3
-53-       Ne4                 c2  
-54-       Ng3 check    Kd1

A Promising Start Fizzles Into Nothingness at N Richland Hills

posted Aug 15, 2010, 8:24 AM by


I understand why I am a 1400 USCF player, rather than a 1800-1900 USCF player.  IMy openings are usually strong, or at least semi strong.
However, I lose my way in the middle game, and do not see good moves that would alllow me to keep or enlarge my advantage.  Instead, I make aimless mediocre moves that make me a sitting duck for any really good player. 

This was the case in my 1st Round game in yesterday's Tarrant County Chess Club chess event.  I played A K Banjale (1912), and got off to a good start with my Blackmar Diemar Gambit Opening against the Caro Kann, which I have played many times against Glenn Gilbert of Waco Chess Club fame!  I had some modest pressure on A K's King in the early middle game, and with even good moves (not best moves) could have won the game.  Instead, I tumbled into some lousy moves and lost semi quickly.  As I examine this game, it was winnable or drawable.  I just did not see the right moves.  I present this game for your consideration.   

              JOHN DEVRIES vs A K Bangale
             Tarrant County Chess Chess Club
         Many Springs Open Chess Tournament
                           August 14, 2010
          North Richland Hills, Tx Public Library
              Rated USCF Tournament Game
          DeVries WHITE (1402)   Bangale BLACK (1912)
        Blackmar Diemar Gambit vs Caro Kann Defense
                          WHITE                       BLACK
     -1-                     e4                               e6
     -2-                     d4                               d5
     -3-                    Nc3                           P x P
     -4-                     f3                              P x P
     -5-                   N x P                          Bg4
            (possible variation =  -6- h3  Bh5   -7- g4 Bg6  -8- Ne5)
               Instead, I decide to keep developing my pieces.
    -6-                    Be3                           Be6
    -7-                    Bd3                           Bd6
   -8-                     0-0                            Qc7
   -9-                      h3                             Bh4
           White's h3 move opens the g3 square for Black.
             This becomes important later in the game.
             White h3 move was forced to avoid loss of another pawn.
  -10-                    a3                            Nf6
  -11-                  Qd2                          QNd7
  -12-                 QRd1                        0 - 0 - 0
             A K surprised my by castling queenside.  I am very pleased.
  -13-                   b4                             Nd5
  -14-                N x N                         KP x N
  -15-                  c4                              P x P
  -16-              B x P at c4                     Nf6
      This is the high point of my game.  I actually have potential
        threats - The Black Queen is awkwardly placed at c7,
        directly in front of Black King at c8, and I have potential
        pawn firestorm with Rook on c file. 
  -17-               b5??                           Ne4
              Rc1 was far superior move for White on Move 17.
  -18-             Qb2                              Ng3
             Black finds square that was vacated by White h3 move.
  -19-              Rf2                              KRe8
  -20-              Rd3??                           c5
              ( -20- Bg5 was much better.  The sequence might have
                  gone like this. Someone with higher chess skills than
                  mine needs to check this variation.  A K may have /
                  would have found stronger moves for Black.  

                         -20- Bg5     f6
                         -21- Bh4    Nf5
                        -22-  Rd1 to b1    N x B
                        -23-  P x P   R x B
                        -24- P x P check   Kb8
                        -25-  Ba6    Is White winning?

     During the game, I saw none of this, and made a ?? move.

     The chance to weaken Black pawn defense in front of Black King
       is basically gone with Black's 20th move.

-21-                Nd2                                  f5
-22-                P x P                           B x P at c5
-23-                R x R                              R x R
-24-                 Be6 check                    Kb8
-25-               B x B                               Q x B

      White Material value is 24  (Q R B N + 4 pawns).
      Black Material value is 25  (Q R B N + 5 pawns)

     The position is almost even, but I dramatically worsen things.

-26-                 Nf3 ??                           Rd1 check
-27-                   Kh2                                  f4

        Black's 27th move closes the coffin.

-28-                  h4                                  Rh1 mate

-26-    a4 would have prevented immediate collapse.

This was an imperfectly played game that had promise.  It certainly
is an imperfectly annotated game!


An Alekhine Defense Game With A Striking Finish!

posted Aug 8, 2010, 7:56 AM by


I have been in a chess slump during the last couple weeks.  I have lost most of my recent games with Ken Henkelman.  Most of these losses involve Ken defeating me in the endgame, bolstered by an advantage of one or two pawns.  Sometimes, I lost the game because of one "spectacular mistake" move.  It seems like the wind is not blowing right for me at the chessboard, although Ken's superior talent is the primary reason. 

Last night brought more frustration .  I played a memorable Alekhine Defense game with Paul Hagelstein, who is "in training" for an upcoming simul chess game with Chess World Champion Anand in India later this month.  Paul teaches Mathematics at Baylor, and has been a wonderful addition to our chess club in recent weeks.   Paul played Alekhine Defense (-1- e4  Nf6) with Black.  The game features two spectacular goofs by me - the last howler move cost me a sure victory.  Our game ended in a draw.  Still, the game is worthy of close review and inclusion in the "Waco Chess Club Archives".  It was very interesting, because my other chess opponents never play Alekhine Defense when I open with e4.  I present this game for your consideration. 

              Casual Chess Game - August 7, 2010
                   Waco, Texas - Barnes & Noble
                             Alekhine Defense 
            WHITE (DeVries)     BLACK (Hagelstein)
  -1-                e4                               Nf6
  -2-                e5                               Nd5
  -3-                c4                                Nb6
  -4-                c5                               Nd5
      I chase Paul's Knight all around the chessboard.
  -5-             Bc4                                 e6
  -6-                d4                                 b6
  -7-             B x N                             P x B
     I have a strong central pawn presence, but it can be challenged.
  -8-                b4                               Be7
  -9-             Nf3                                 Ba6
    Black's 9th move causes problems for me for the next ten moves.
      It keeps me from castling (at least temporarily). 
-10-           Nc3                                c6
  -11-          Be3                                h6
  -12-           a4                                P x P b6 x c5
  -13-         P x P  b4 x c5               Bc4
  -14-           Qc2                               a5
  -15-          Nd2                              Ba6
  -16-          Rb1                              0 - 0
  -17-          Rb6                              Bg5
        I'm not sure White 17th move is that good - it later turns into
         disaster because of a spectacular oversight by White.
  -18-         Nd1                              Re8
  -19-         Nb3                              Bc4
  -20-         Qc3                             B x N
  -21-        Q x B                            B x B
  -22-        N x B                              g6
       The exchange of Black's light squared Bishop is very good for White.
         White can castle.  Black's 22nd move keeps White Knight off f5 and d6.
  -23-       0 -0                               Qc7
  -24-      Ng4                                Kg7
  -25-      Rb7                               Qc8
  -26-        f4                                  Na6
  -27-      Nf6                                 Rd8
  -28-       f5                                   Nb4
       At this point, I go blind - all I need to do is -29- Rb6 to save the rook.
        Instead, I make a ???! move. 
  -29-     P x P ???!                     Q x R
       To my credit, I do not give up.  I keep putting pressure on Paul's Kingside.
-30-      P x P                            K x P?
     I think Black's 30th move was a mistake.  It allows a discovered check.
     Black had two rooks on the eighth rank - enough to stop the queening of the
     White pawn.  I don't think that Black should have captured the White pawn
     on f7 with his King (move 30). 
  -31-     N x P check               Kg7
  -32-     Qg3 check                 Kh8
  -33-     Rf6                               d6
     Move 33 is a really nice move by White that threatens mate in 1 and
      forces Black to trade Queen for Rook, thus destroying Black's
      material advantage that was gained by the tremendous error by
      White on Move 29. 
  -34-   R x P on h6 check     Qh7
  -35-    R x Q check              K x Q
  -36-   Nf6 check                  Kh6
    At this point, White has Queen & Knight + 6 pawns, while Black
     has two Rooks, Knight and three pawns.  White has 18-16
     material advantage, but it is White's extra pawns that should
     win for White, and Black has not yet moved his Queen Rook.
  -37-   P x P  e5 x d6          Nd5
  -38-     h4                         N x N
    White's 38th move was artistic.  I think it marginally increased
      my chances of victory. 
  -39-    Qg5 check           Kh7
  -40-    Q x N                 R g8
  -41-    Qe7 check        Rg7
  -42-     Qe4 check       Kh8
  -43-     Q x P at c6      R on a8 to g8
  -44-         d7                Rd8
  -45-      Qh6 check     Kg8
  -46-         c6                 Rh7
  -47-      Qe6 check     Kf8
  -48-      Qf6 check      Rf7
  -49-   Q x R at d8 check     Kg7
  -50-     Qg5 check     Kh7
     My well deserved victory, even with the unnecessary loss of my
      rook on Move 29, is very close.  I am cruising.  I am asleep. 
   -51-      d8 Queen ??   Rf1 check !!!
       White's 51st move looks perfectly reasonable - who can argue
        with getting another Queen?  However, it was the completely wrong move.
      (-51- Kh2 would have been totally decisive for White)
I did not carefully examine the board - I thought that Paul
         was "giving up".  The possibility of stalemate did not cross
         my mind.  So......I confidently played -52- K x R and.....
   -52-     K x R ?????
               ****STALEMATE -  DRAW****


Two WCC Games With Beautiful Endgame Insights

posted Jul 31, 2010, 9:11 PM by

For a brief moment, I believed that I was almost at chess parity with my good chess friend Ken Henkelman.  I was winning almost 1/3 of our games, and I earned a significant number of draws.  But matters have returned to normal in recent days.  Ken has been playing some really excellent chess - my record in our last eleven games is something like 2-8-1, but I did achieve a draw in our last game!  Many of Ken's victories involved a "grind it out" endgame victory, where Ken had a Bishop and pawns vs my Knight and pawns, or Ken enjoyed a one pawn advantage in some gambit game (either Blackmar Diemar Gambit or Albin Counter Gambit).  We played two games today - the first game illustrates Ken's recent inexorably successful chess style.
The second game features a remarkable defensive tactic that sacrifices a rook pawn in the end game but leads to positional improvement for me and a solid draw.  I present these two games for your consideration. 

                          Casual Game - Barnes & Noble Bookstore
                       Blackmar Diemar Gambit vs French Defense
                                                    July 31, 2010
                           WHITE (DeVries)       BLACK (Henkelman)
             -1-                       e4                                  e6
             -2-                       d4                                  d5
             -3-                     Nc3                               Bb4
                     This variation has not been working well for me
                       in recent games - after the game, I resolved to
                       try -3- P x P at my next opportunity.
           -4-                      Be3                               P x P
           -5-                      a3                                  B x N
           -6-                     P x B                             Bd7
                 I have a Bishop for Knight exchange, but Ken
                  has one pawn advantage and I have doubled
          -7-                       f3                                   Bc6
                 This position is characteristic of many recent
                   games with Ken Henkelman.
         -8-                       Be2                               Qh5 check
         -9-                         g3                                Qf6
       -10-                       P x P                            B x P
       -11-                       Bf3                               B x B
       -12-                       Q x B ?                        Nc6
                  I think N x B was a better move for White on Move 12.
                   I could later castle with Rook on f file, prepared to
                   put pressure on Black Queen. 
      -13-                        Rb1                             Q x Q
      -14-                        N x Q                          0 - 0 - 0
      -15-                        0 - 0                               Nf6
      -16-                        Bg5                               h6
               When I made my 16th move, I thought it was strong.
                It turned out to be of considerably less strength.
     -17-                        B x N                           P x  B
     -18-                        Rf2 ?                           Rd5
              This was likely my losing move -   -18- c4 was necessary.
     -19-                        c4                                Ra5
               My 19th move was one move too late.
     -20-                      Rb3                               Rd8
     -21-                      Rd3                                  e5
            Ken's 21st move forces a pawn exchange because of Black's pawn fork threat.
     -22-                      P x P                            R x R
     -23-                      P x R                            N x P on e5
     -24-                     N x N                             P x N
     -25-                     R x P                             R x P at a3
     -26-                     Rf6                                   h5
     -27-                     Rf5                                R x P at d3
     -28-                    R x P at e5                      h4 !
             Beware of Greek Gift sacrifices.
    -29-                      P x P at h4                   Rd4
    -30-                        c5                             R x P at h4
             I keep putting up a gallant fight, but this game is over.
    -31-                      Re8 check                  Kd7
    -32-                     Ra8                                a6
    -33-                     Rb8                              Kc6
    -34-                     Rc8                                a5
    -35-                     Ra8                                a4
    -36-                      Kg2                             Rc4
    -37-                     Ra5                               b6
    -38-                     P x P                            P x P
    -39-                     Ra6                              Kb5
    -40-                     Ra8                              Kb4
    -41-                     Rb8                                b5
    -42-                     Kg3                               a3
    -43-                     Ra8                              Kb3
    -44-                       h4                                a2
    -45-                     h5                                Ra4
          Black's 45th move is totally decisive
    -46-                     R x R                          K x R
    -47-                      h6                              a1 = Queen

                   GAME 2 - JOHN DEVRIES vs KEN HENKELMAN 
                        Casual Game - Barnes & Noble Bookstore
                     Gucco Piano vs Scicilian Two Knights Defense
                                                  July 31, 2010

                       WHITE (DeVries)      BLACK (Henkelman)
    -1-                          e4                                c5
    -2-                        Nf3                               Nc6
    -3-                        Bc4                              Nf6
    -4-                          d3                                g6
   -5-                         Bg5                             Bg7
    -6-                         c3                                0-0
   -7-                         0 - 0                              d6
   -8-                          h3                                a6
   -9-                        QNd2                           Be6
-10-                         Rc1                             Qd7
-11-                         Kh2                              h6
-12-                        B x N                          B x B
      I think White's 12th move was a wise decision.
-13-                        Re1                               d5
-14-                        P x P                          B x P
-15-                        Ne4 !?                        B x B
     An interesting White move on Move 15
-16-                        N x B check             P x N
-17-                        P x B                       QRd8
-18-                          b3                          Qd3
-19-                        Q x Q                       R x Q
-20-                         Re3                       KRd8
-21-                         R x R                     R x R
-22-                         Rc2 ?                        f5
    ( -22- Ne1 might have been better for White)
-23-                         Ne1                        Rd1
-24-                         Nf3                           f6
-25-                         Rd2                        R x R
-26-                       N x R                        Ne5
-27-                            f4                          Nd3
-28-                            g3                        Kf7
-29-                            d3                        Ke6
-30-                            b4                        Kd6
     Ken is getting his King in much better position (at least temporarily). 
-31-                         Kg2                         b5
-32-                         Kf3                        Nb2
-33-                       P x P c4 x b5        P x P  a6 x b5
-34-                       P x P check          K x P
-35-                        Ke3                      Nc4 check
-36-                        Kd3 !!                    N x RP
     White gives up the rook pawn for positional improvement.  The White Knight
       later becomes a tremendous defensive piece.   Black is one pawn ahead in
       a Knight + pawns vs Knight + pawns endgame, but it does not help him. 
-37-                      Nb3 check             Kb6
-38-                      Kd4                        Nc2 check
-39-                      Kd5                        Ne3 check
-40-                      Ke6                            g5
       White moves his King deeper into Black territory, while the White Knight
         provides great defense. 
-41-                      K x P at f6             P x P
-42-                      P x P                     Nd5 check
-43-                     K x P                       N x P on c3
-44-                     Kg6                         Nd5
-45-                      f5                           Nf4 check
-46-                     K x RP                  N x RP
        We are down to Knight + 1 pawn vs Knight + 1 pawn endgame, but
         Black must accept draw to prevent White from queening his pawn. 
-47-                       f6                           Nf4
-48-                       f7                         Ne6
-49-                     Kg6                         b4
-50-                     Kf6                        Nf8
-51-                     Ke7                       Ng6 check
-52-                     Kf6                        Nf8

Henkelman Grinds DeVries Into Dust - A Long Albin Gambit Game

posted Jul 21, 2010, 10:12 AM by

Ken Henkelman and I continued our long standing chess competition on Monday evening.  We played a remarkable "textbook" Albin Counter Gambit game (Ken had White) where I was stuck with doubled pawns and Ken used this positional advantage to slowly grind me into dust, although the game lasted 82 moves.  I present this game for your consideration. 
                             WHITE (Henkelman)        BLACK (DeVries)
                                   Casual Chess Game,  07-19-2010
                                 Waco, Tx   Barnes & Noble Bookstore
                                               Albin Counter Gambit
                 -1-                      d4                                   d5
                 -2-                      c4                                   e5
                 -3-                   P x P  d4 x e5                 d4
                 -4-                    Nf3                                  Nc6
                 -5-                      e3                                   Bb4 check ?
             Move 5 is an innovation by Ken - I should have moved ....Bg4
                I have played this variation in many other Albin games with
                Glenn Gilbert, another Waco Chess Club member.  
                 -6-                      Bd2                                B x B check
                 -7-                      Q x B                              Bg4
             In previous games, Ken would usually capture with the Knight.
               Capturing with the Queen is better.
                 -8-                      Be2                               P x P
                 -9-                    Q x P                            KNe7
                -10-                       QNd2                             0-0
               -11-                        0-0                                 Re8
               -12-                        Qg5                               B x N
             Ken's 12th move is good - it practically forces me to take the White 
              Knight, which will put the White Bishop in good position on f3.
               -13-                        B x B                             Ng6
               -14-                        Q x Q                            QR x Q
               -15-                        B x N                            P x B
             This sticks me with doubled pawns.
              -16-                         Nf3                                N x P
                The material is even, but I have doubled pawns
              -17-                         N x N                            R x N
              -18-                         KRe1                            QRe8
              -19-                         R x R                            R x R
              -20-                         Kf1                                   f6
              -21-                         Rd1                                Kf7
              -22-                         Rd8                                Ke7
              -23-                         Ra8                                a5
                 (....Ra5 might have been better for Black on Move 23)
              -24-                         Rc8                                Kd6
              -25-                        b3                                    Kd7
              -26-                         Rg8                                  g6
              -27-                          f4                                    Re7
              -28-                         Ra8                                   f5
                 I cannot save my Rook Pawn.
              -29-                          R x P on a5                  Re4
              -30-                          g3                                   Rd4
              -31-                         Ke2                                  Re4 check
              -32-                         Kd3                                  Re1
              -33-                        Re5                                   Rh1
              -34-                         Re2                                    c5
            Ken makes several important Re2 moves during this game
             for defensive purposes.  
              -35-                         Kc3                                   Rc1 check
              -36-                         Kb2                                   Rh1
              -37-                         a4                                       Rd1
             The beginning of the end for Black.  White has an unobstructed Rook Pawn.
              -38-                         Kc2                                    Rd6
              -39-                         Re5                                    Kc6
                (-39- Rd2 forces a trade of rooks, and White has queenside pawn majority,
                           which means endgame win is highly probable - of course, Ken won
                           this game, so I can't really dispute his technique)
              -40-                          Kc3                                    Rd1
              -41-                          Re6 check                       Kd7
              -42-                          Re2                                    Rd6
              -43-                           b4                                      P x P check
              -44-                         K x P at b4                         Kc6
              -45-                          a5                                        Kb7
              -46-                         Re7                                      h5
              -47-                          Re2                                     c6
                    The recurring defensive maneuver by White appears again
                      on Move 47.  
              -48-                          Kc5                                      Rf6
              -49-                          Re5                                     Ka6
              -50-                          Kb4                                     Rd6
              -51-                          Re2                                     Rf6
              -52-                          Ra2                                     Re6
              -53-                          Kc5                                     Rf6
              -54-                          Kd4                                     Re6
              -55-                          c5                                        Re8
              -56-                          Kc4                                     Rd8
              -57-                          Kc3                                     Rd5
              -58-                          Kc4                                     Rd8
              -59-                          Re2                                     K x P
                  Material is even again, but Black's pawn capture is
                    a very temporary victory.
              -60-                          Re6                                     Rd2
              -61-                         R x P at c6                         R x P at h2
              -62-                         R x P at g6                         Rc2 check
                 Ken again has one pawn advantage, which will soon expand.
              -63-                         Kd5                                      Rd2 check
              -64-                         Kc6                                       Rh2
              -65-                         Rg5                                         h4
                    White's 65th move is a decisive move.  Easy to see - but decisive.
              -66-                         P x P                                     R x P
              -67-                         R x P                                      Rh6 check
                     White has a two pawn advantage, and a gentleman might resign,
                      but I still have a rook, and a draw is still remotely possible.  So
                      I play on.  
              -68-                        Kd5                                          Kb5
              -69-                        Rf7                                            Rh5 check
              -70-                         f5                                               Rh1
                     Ken will eventually have two unstoppable pawns on the "C" 
                      and "F" files.
              -71-                        Rb7 check                                Ka6
              -72-                         c6                                              Rd1 check
              -73-                        Ke6                                            Re1 check
              -74-                        Kd7                                            Rd1 check
              -75-                        Kc8                                             Rf1
                               Black just exhaled his last gasps of breath.
               -76-                       Rf7                                              Kb6
               -77-                         c7                                               Ra1
               -78-                        Rf6 check                                  Kc5
               -79-                        Re6                                             Rf1
               -80-                         f6                                                Kd5
               -81-                        Kd7                                             Rc1
               -82-                        Rd6 check                                 Ke5
               -83-                          f7                                            Resigns

Albin's Ghost Rises From The Grave!

posted Jul 18, 2010, 5:20 PM by

                            Casual Chess Game -  July 7, 2010
                                      Albin Counter Gambit

                           WHITE (Henkelman)     BLACK (DeVries)
      -1-                               d4                                 d5
      -2-                               c4                                 e5
      -3-                       P x P  d4 x e5                     d4
      -4-                             Nf3                                Nc6
      -5-                              g3                                Bf5
      -6-                            Bg2                               Bb4 check
      -7-                            Bd2                               B x B check
      -8-                           N x B                               d3
      -9-                            e3                                   f6
               In recent Albin Counter Gambit games with Ken,
                Ken usually places his King Bishop on g2.  I usually
                advance my queen pawn deep into Ken's side of the
                board, and Ken eventually moves his Queen to b3. 
                I'm not sure the placement of the White Bishop on g2
                really helps Ken that much. 
      -10-                         P x P                              Q x P
                        Because Ken's dark squared bishop is gone,
                         I can capture with the Queen.
      -11-                        Qb3                                 Rb8
      -12-                        0 - 0                               KNe7
      -13-                         Nh4                                 0-0
      -14-                         N x B                              Q x N
                   Two heavy pieces on the f file for Black
      -15-                         Be4                                Qf6
      -16-                         Q x P                            QRd8
      -17-                        B x RP check                 Kh8
      -18-                         Qc2                               R x N
      -19-                       Q x R                               K x B
                   Black trades his Rook for two minor pieces
      -20-                        Qc2 check                     Kh8
      -21-                        a3                                   Ne5
      -22-                         f4                                   Ng4
      -23-                        Qe2                                Nh6
      -24-                        e4                                  Qb6 check
      -25-                       Qf2                                 Q x Q check
     - 26-                       K x Q                               Ng4 check
      -27-                        Kg1                                Ne3
      -28-                       KRc1                              Rd8
      -29-                        Rc3                                Nd1
      -30-                        Rb3                                  b6
      -31-                        Rb1                                Rd2
      -32-                          h3                                 Nc6
      -33-                        Rb5                                Nd4
      -34-                        Rd5 ?                             Nf3 check
      -35-                        Kf1                             ***Ne3 checkmate***

An American In Queretero Mexico With His Chess Board

posted Jul 6, 2010, 8:32 AM by

An aged building with ancient stucco walls - could this building have been constructed 200+ years ago? - two or three stories high - but one small room (thirty feet by fifty feet) holds special significance for me.  This is the meeting site of the Queretaro Chess Club, filled with 20+ young, middle aged, and aged weathered men either intently gazing at a chess game in progress, or playing their own chess game.  Sarah brought me to the Queretaro Chess Club last night - I visited the place for one evening in December 2007, when I played five games against a man who resembled a sheepherder from Oaxaca - he spoke no English, but played great chess, as he occasionally sipped from a cup of steaming black coffee.  I lost all five games that night, but it was still a wonderful experience.  Most of the games were relatively close, and he even played my favorite Latvian Gambit opening with the Black pieces (and still beat me! 
Last night produced similar experiences and memories.  I played four games with the same player - an affable, polite gentleman who spoke no English but played chess on near expert or expert level.  He was semi well dressed - to judge from their clothing, persons of all income classifications congregate at the Queretaro Chess Club.  His wife joined him after we had played two games. 
She was the only woman in the room, and seemed quite content and connected to her husband.  She also knew how to play chess..  We played one game with a g/15 time control, using a sturdy wooden chess clock. Gradually, my opponent gained a small advantage that morphed into a substantial advantage, and I was forced to resign.  We played a second game - I had Black pieces the first game - so I had White for the second game.  I played well, but my time management skills are minimal when I face talented opposition, so I lost the game when my clock ran out in a slightly inferior position.  We played a third game - I played Latvian Gambit - it was evident that my friend had not seen this opening very often....he chose a weaker response.  I put some pressure on his King, but he eventually crushed me with a beautiful knight check that would have resulted in the loss of my Queen, and I resigned.  Finally, game 4...with a slower time control...30 minutes for each player.
I played the Blackmar Diemar Gambit with the White Pieces.  His early moves were somewhat mediocre.  I gained a strong edge in development.  As the game progressed, my opponent recovered, and erased most of his disadvantage.  We moved to the endgame (few pieces left on the board) - I had a Bishop and six  pawns...he had a Knight and six pawns   I played the endgame well, and held the draw against someone who was a measurably better player than me.  I celebrated - this was my first non loss at the Queretaro Chess Club - A DRAW!  I felt like a chess player.
                                                                     June 30, 2010
                                WHITE (DEVRIES)             BLACK (MEXICO CITIZEN)
             -1-                                d4                                                d5
             -2-                                e4                                                e6
                        A surprising 2nd move by Black
             -3-                               Nc3                                             P x P
                        I was expected -3- ....Bb4   I can't reply with -4- f3 because of -4- .....Qh4 check
             -4-                               N x P                                            e5
                           I can't take Black's pawn on e5 because of ....Q x Q, which ruins castling.
             -5-                              Nf3                                               P x P
             -6-                             Q x P                                            Q x Q
                            I take with right piece on move 6, if -6- ....Nc6, -7- Q x Q  ...N x Q
             -7-                             N x Q                                              a6
             -8-                             Bd3                                               Bd7
             -9-                              0 - 0                                             Nc6
                           I have a lead in development
           -10-                            N x N at c6                                    B x N
           -11-                             Re1                                              0 - 0 - 0
           -12-                             Be3                                              B x N
           -13-                             B x B                                             Nf6
           -14-                             Bf3                                                 Bd6
                           I have parallel bishops
           -15-                           QRd1                                                h6
           -16-                              c4                                                 KRe8
           -17-                              c5                                                 Be5
           -18-                              b3                                                   g5
           -19-                              h3                                                 Bc3
           -20-                            R x R check                                   R x R
           -21-                             Rc1                                                Bd2
           -22-                             Rd1                                               B x B
           -23-                           R x R check                                     K x R
           -24-                           P x B                                                  c6
           -25-                              e4                                                  Ke7
                         I am trying to keep the Black Knight off d5
           -26-                              g4                                                  Ke6
           -27-                             Kf2                                                  Nd7
           -28-                              b4                                                  Ne5
           -29-                             Ke3                                                  a5
           -30-                          P x P at a5                                        Nc4 check
           -31-                             Kd4                                               N x RP
           -32-                             Bh1                                                  f6
           -33-                             Bg2                                                 b5
                        An interesting move by Black on Move 33
           -34-                        P x P e p                                            Nb7
           -35-                             Kc4                                                Kd6
           -36-                              a4                                                 Ke5
           -37-                             Kb4                                                Kd4
           -38-                              a5                                                  c5 check
           -39-                             Ka3?                                              Nx P
           -40-                             Ka4                                                Nc4
           -41-                              b7                                                 Nb6 check
           -42-                             Kb5                                                Nd7
           -43-                             Kc6                                                Nb8
           -44-                             Kc7                                                Na6 check
           -45-                             Kb6                                                Nb8
           -46-                             Kc7


Duane Herrera from Temple Comments on "Heartbreak Game"

posted Jun 23, 2010, 5:48 PM by

Duane Herrera is a chess friend from Temple who played in at least one Waco USCF tournament during 2009.
He offered some annotations on the opening moves from the "DeVries Heartbreak Game". 
Duane's chess annotation skills surpass mine!
John DeVries
Hope u dont mind me commenting on this game.It definitely got exciting but I think your gambit might have worked even with your crazy BF5?? on the 2nd move... IF you continue ur development. I mean the whole purpose for you giving up 2 pawns is time and development right?? so this is what i got, tell me what u think.
1.d4 d5
2.c4 bf5??
3.ne3 e6
4.qb3? qc8
5.pxp nf6???
nf6 is the wrong knight about this exchange.
5.pxp pxp
6.nxd5 nc6!
hes problem is does he protect nxd4 then nf2
play these lines, tell me what u think.
7.nf3 be4!
7.e3 be6 8.bc4 na5!
7.be3?? be6
he has no good response how to defend his d4 pawn.either one he choses, your ahead in development and he cant castle for at least 4 moves which should give enough advantage to win or at least make a better game.
email me back, tell me what u think.i could be wrong about these lines.u never know.

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 3:56 PM
To: Duane Herrera
Subject: Fwd: DeVries/Henkelman Heartbreak Game for DeVries, 06-18-10

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, Jun 21, 2010 9:02 am
Subject: DeVries/Henkelman Heartbreak Game for DeVries, 06-18-10

Ken Henkelman and I continued our chess competition (mostly one sided, I will concede) last Friday at Barnes & Noble.  We played a most interesting game that should have ended in a draw, but I threw away the draw by making a spectacularly inept move.  I was a bit fatigued, because Ken had refused several draw offers in a seemingly dead drawn position, and waited for me to make a mistake. 
                KEN HENKELMAN vs JOHN DEVRIES   
                      Casual Chess Game, Waco Tx
                                     June 17, 2010
                      WHITE (Henkelman)    BLACK (DeVries)
      -1-                         d4                                 d5
      -2-                         c4                                Bf5 !?
                Ken tries his usual Queen's Gambit, which typically
                  involves into an Albin Counter Gambit when I play -2- ...e5
                  However, in recent games, Ken has handled my Albin
                   Counter Gambit real easily, and has often won a two
                   pawn advantage or crushing positional advantage. 
                   I decided to try something new.
       -3-                        Nc3                                  e6
       -4-                        Qb3                                Qc8
                 I played in a Victoria Chess Club simul on June 7th,
                  and moved ...b6 in a similar early position.  Ten moves
                  later, I lost a minor piece because of that weakness. 
                  In a post mortem, one of the best players at the Victoria
                  Chess Club suggested that I move ...Qc8    I remembered
                  this advice in this game. 
        -5-                        P x P                               Nf6
        -6-                        P x P                               P x P
        -7-                         Nf3                                  Be7
        -8-                        Ne5                                  0 - 0
        -9-                        Bg5                                   Nc6
        -10-                     N x N                                  P x N
                        Ken likes my doubled pawns.  I like the open file for my rook.
                        Ken also traded off his real strong Knight.
         -11-                       g3                                    Rb8
         -12-                      Qh5                                  R x P on b2
         -13-                     Q x P on c6                      Bb4
                         It might have been better for Ken to take the pawn on a7 with his Queen.
         -14-                       B x N                                R x B
         -15-                        Rc1                                    e5
         -16-                        Qc4 check                      Be6 
         -17-                          d5                                  Bf7
         -18-                        Bg2                                  B x N
         -19-                        Q x B                                R x RP on a2
         -20-                        0 - 0                                  R x P 
         -21-                        Q x P at c7                        Qf8
         -22-                         Q x P at a7                      Bg6
         -23-                          Rc6                                  R x R
         -24-                         P x R                                 Bd3
         -25-                          Bd5 check                       Kh8
         -26-                         Rc1                                    Ba6!
         -27-                           c7                                       h6
         -28-                          Bb7??                              B x B
                                  Be6 is best move for White on Move 28
         -29-                          Pc8=Queen ?                  B x Q on c8
         -30-                          Kf1                                     Ba6!
         -31-                          Kg1                                      e4
         -32-                          Rb1                                      e3?
         -33-                            f4                                       Qa3?  
         -34-                         Qa8 check                          Kh7
         -35-                         Qe4 check                           g6
         -36-                          Qe6                                     Rb2 ?
         -37-                         Qf7 check                           Kh8
         -38-                         Qf6 check                           Kh7
         -39-                         Q x R?                                 Qf4
                            (-38- R x R was better for White)
         -40--                         Qb6                                       Qc2!
         -41-                         Qa7 check                          Kg8
         -42-                          Rb8 check                         Bc8
         -43-                          Q x P on e3                        Qd8 check
         -44-                            Kg2                                   Qc2 check
                  It looks like I can get a draw because Black's pinned bishop 
                   coveres the h3 square and White's kingside pawns prevent
                   easy White King escape from check!
         -45-                              Qf2                                   Qc6 check
         -46-                             Kg1                                   Qc1 check
         -47-                             Kg2                                   Qc6 check
         -48-                             Kf1                                   Qc4 check
         -49-                             Qe2                                 Qc1 check
         -50-                              Kf2                                  Qc6 check
                  By this time, I have made at least two draw offers,
                   and am becoming somewhat exasperated.  Ken
                   remembers my endgame skills, and decides to 
                   keep moving, waiting for me to make a mistake.
          -51-                             Qe3                                 Qc2 check
          -52-                             Kf3                                   Qc6 check
           -53-                           Qe4                                  Qc3 check
           -54-                            Kf2                         Qc5 check ???
                  On move 54, I make a terrible error. 
                   -54- ....Qd2 would have kept draw chances alive.
            -55-                           Kg2!                                     Qf8
                   The game is lost for Black, but I play until end.
             -56-                         Qc4 check                           Kg7
             -57-                          R x B                                   Qa3
             -58-                          Qd4 check                         Kf7
             -59-                          Rc7 check                          Ke6
             -60-                   Qe5 ***checkmate***

A Great Drawn Game With Probable Won Ending Position

posted Jun 22, 2010, 7:12 PM by

On Thursday night at the Waco Chess Club meeting, Ken Henkelman and I struggled to a draw after 72 moves.  Any result besides a loss is a great boost for me, since Ken usually wins 3/4 to 4/5 of our games.  Weeks ago, Ken would play the Scicilian Defense as a response to my -1- e4.  (-1- e4 c5)   Recently, Ken has switched to the French Defense, and our French Defense games sometimes involve into a Blackmar Gambit for White. 
The Waco Chess Club is awakening!  The last couple of meetings have drawn 7+ people, and we have hopes for a similar turnout on June 24th.  Rex Burke and Jeff Spyrison are conducting some intensive chess tutoring with a couple of middle school students that were connected to organized chess activity at University Middle School and Brazos Middle School in the spring.  I try to play chess three or four times a week (usually with Ken), although I lost a game to Jeff Spyrison on Saturday (Jeff concluded the game with a beautiful queen sacrifice and a smothered checkmate with his knight - I seem to have misplaced the scoresheet - I hope I can locate it, because I want to put in the Waco Chess Club website.  My level of play was somewhat mediocre, but Jeff's play was stellar. 
In any case, here is the lengthy draw with Ken Henkelman....
                   JOHN DEVRIES vs KEN HENKELMAN
                      Casual Chess Game - Waco Chess Club
                                       June 17, 2010
                      WHITE (DeVries)    BLACK (Henkelman)
    -1-                     e4                              e6
    -2-                     d4                              d5
    -3-                   Nc3                             Bb4
             I have tried -4- a3 which leads to -4- ...B x N, and the game often
               evolves into a Blackmar/Ryder Gambit.  I decide to try something different.
    -4-                     Be2                           B x N
    -5-                    P x B                          P x P
                 Ken gains the extra pawn
    -6-                       f3                              Nf6
    -7-                      Bg5                           P x P
    -8-                    B x P                             h6
                   I delay the development of my knight to give the bishop a possibly strong diagonal.
    -9-                     Bf4                              Nd5
   -10-                    Ne2                             Qf6
   -11-                    Be5                             Qg6
   -12-                     0 - 0                             Nc6
   -13-                    B x N                             N x B
   -14-                     Bb3                              Ng4
   -15-                     Qd3                              Q x Q
   -16-                    P x Q                             0 - 0 
   -17-                     Rf3                                Bd7
   -18-                      d5                                 P x P
   -19-                     B x P                               c6
                 My 18th move temporarily stopped Black from Bc6
   -20-                       Bb3                             QRe8
   -21-                      Ng3                               Re3
   -22-                      R x R                            N x R
   -23-                      Ne4                               Bf5
   -24-                       Nd6                              B x P
   -25-                       N x P at b7                  Bc4
   -26-                        Nd6                             B x B
   -27-                       P x B                            Ra8
   -28-                         c4                                Nc2
   -29-                        Ra6                              Nd4
   -30-                         b4                                Rd8
   -31-                         c5                                Rd7
   -32-                       Ra5                               Rc7
   -33-                         h3                                 Nb3
   -34-                        Ra6                               Nd4
   -35-                       Ra5                               Ne2 check
   -36-                        Kf2                                Nf4
   -37-                       Kg3                                Nd3
   -38-                        Ra4                               f6
   -39-                         h4                                 Ne5
   -40-                        Ra6                               Nd7
   -41-                         h5                                 Nb8
   -42-                       Ra5                                 a6
   -43-                       Kf3                                Re7
            I have an inactive rook - Ken has an inactive defensive knight
               Ken has active rook - my knight is important.
    -44-                        Kf2                                Re5
    -45-                          g4                                Rd5
    -46-                        Ke3                               Rd1
    -47-                        Ra4                               Re1 check
    -48-                        Kf4                                 Re5
    -49-                        Ra5                                Rd5
    -50-                        Ke4                                Rd1
    -51-                         Ra4                               Re1 check
    -52-                         Kf4                                 Rf1 check
    -53-                        Ke4                                Kf8
    -54-                         Nf5                                 Re1 check
    -55-                         Kf4                                 Kg8
    -56-                         Ra2                                Rb1
    -57-                         Ra4                                Kh7
    -58-                         Ne7                                Rf1 check
    -59-                         Kg3                                Re1
    -60-                         Ng6                                 Rd1
    -61-                         Kf3                                  Rd5
    -62-                         Kf4                                  Rg5
    -63-                         Nf8 check                       Kg8
    -64-                         Ng6                                 Kf7
    -65-                         Ra2                                 Rd5
    -66-                         Ra4                                  Rg5
    -67-                         Ra2                                    f5
    -68-                         P x P                              R x RP at h5
    -69-                         Rd2                                   Rh1
    -70-                         Rd8                                  Rf1 check
              White's 70th move threatens mate with Rf8
    -71-                          Ke4                                   Re1 check
    -72-                          Kf4                                    Rf1 check
                     White should have refused the draw...
                   (73    Kg3   R x P
                    74    Rf8 check    K x N
                    75     R x R)
                   (73   Kg3    Rg1                      
                   74   Rh2   wins for White!)   
                 I have my excuses - we were playing with a borrowed chess board.
                  The owner of the board was ready to go home.  I was exhausted.
                   I didn't look for winning opportunities.  I was thankful for a draw. 

A Worthy Draw

posted Jun 22, 2010, 7:10 PM by

Jeff Spyrison and I battled to a draw at Barnes & Noble.  Jeff is a notable local Scrabble player whose interest in chess has been recently rekindled.  Jeff studies "mate in 3" and "mate in 4" puzzles every day, consults opening books, reviews Chessmaster material, and is showing great improvement.  If this chess game was a baseball game, it might have been "called or drawn on account of darkness", since we had played for an hour and Jeff had to be somewhere in ten minutes, but the position was generally even.  Jeff thought I had an advantage, but Jeff places too much confidence in my ability!
                         JOHN DEVRIES vs JEFF SPYRISON
                            Casual Chess Game, 06-21-2010
                                 Waco Tx -  Barnes & Noble
                       WHITE (DeVries)      BLACK (Spyrison)
    -1-                           e4                                c5
    -2-                          Nf3                                g6
                  Black's second move is a novelty to me. 
    -3-                          Bc4                             Bg7
    -4-                            c3                               d6
    -5-                            h3                              Nf6
    -6-                            d3                              0 - 0
    -7-                           0 - 0                           Nc6
    -8-                            Bg5                            a6
    -9-                           QNd2                          b5
   -10-                           Bb3                            a5
   -11-                            a4                             Ne5
   -12-                           N x N                         P x N
                     Black has a mostly open file for its Queen,
                      but the Bishop on g7 is obstructed.
   -13-                            Qc2                           Ba6
   -14-                            Re1                           Qb6
   -15-                            P x P                         B x P
   -16-                             c4                              Bc6
   -17-                           Ba4                            KRc8
   -18-                           B x B                          R x B
   -19-                            Nf3                             Rd8
   -20-                           N x P                        R on c6 to d6
   -21-                            QRd1                          h6
   -22-                           Bf4                              Re6
   -23-                            Nf3                             Nh5
   -24-                            Bc1                            Qc7
   -25-                             b3                              Ra6
   -26-                            Bb2                             Nf4
   -27-                            B x B                          K x B
   -28-                            Qc3 check                 Kh7
   -29-                             Qe5                           Q x Q
   -30-                             N x Q                           f6
                       I am happy that we exchanged queens.  
   -31-                             Nf3                             R x P
   -32-                              R x R                         N x R
   -33-                              Rd1                            Nf4
   -34-                              Rd7                            Re6
   -35-                              Nd2                              g6
   -36-                               f3                                 h5
   -37-                              Nf1                              Ng6
   -38-                              Ne3                             Rb6
   -39-                              Nf5                              R x P 
   -40-                            N x P                             Nf4
   -41-                             Nd5                              Kg6
                        Jeff thought White should have moved Nf5 on Move 41.
   -42-                            N x N                            P x N
   -43-                            Ra7                               Rc3
   -44-                            R x P on a5                  R x P on c4
   -45-                               h4

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