(Andy Rea was nice enough to submit and edit his final game below and comment on the key Argyles and Coral Reef final match in the Open this summer. If you want to see an original, creative chess playing approach check out Andy’s game below where he plays on the sides of the board and leaves the king in the center. Also Andy comments on the state of the Argyles Vs Reef match in his notes while he was playing this game. All edits and comments below are by Andy Rea.)
The last round featured a clean situation to determine the champion- one team alone in first place, Coral Reef at 3-0, and one team alone in second, 2.5, the Arlington Argyles. As expected, Coral Reef had their top players ready- 1. Eugene Meyer, 2. Sal Rosario, 3. John Meyer, and 4. Stan Fink. Despite the title being on the line, our team advice was simple- we have to win, but 2.5 is as good as 4, so keep it normal, stay alert, no need for artificial measures at the outset. I would get to play Black on Board Three- John Meyer/2225 – Andy Rea/2137 *1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.a3 h5*
Asymmetrical, not artificial! Some White players use the English to try to get a quiet comfortable game, thus an early measure to disturb the peace can be warranted! John is used to handling chaotic positions, so he will not be too stressed about Black’s ploy… but he does have to choose some sort of direction here, whether, among other options, to go with an early h2-h3 or h2-h4, or will he continue to hit my c5 support, given the typical Black strategy of hitting if not occupying d4 in several KID/KIDesque positions.
*6.Nf3 Nd4 7.d3 d6 8.Bg5 Bf6* I really want …h5-h4, but White realizes this is not fatal- and there is no need to develop Ng8 for Black. *9.Bd2 h4 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.Bg5 hg*
A fair case can be made for 11..h3; this had seemed overextending but it is not so simple to prove. At this stage Argyles top board, Andy Samuelson, is getting into a slugfest , playing to both players strength (He has Black against Eugene Meyer); on Board Two Geoff McKenna is getting a decent attack as White, same on Board 4 for Abraham White…ergo it seemed alright to not get too committal. Which doesn’t mean the trade was correct! *12.hg Rxh1+ 13.Bxh1 Bf6 14.Qd2 Rb8 15.000 a6* Right, if matters are too quiet, the White attack will be stronger, the Black King needs help on the central front and that back door on h8.
*16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.d4 cd 18.Qxd4 Qa5* White has a head start on his attack, Black needs to be able to hit back while being careful about Bh1-c6+. There is good news, at least for Argyles fans, as Andy S. is a piece ahead, for two pawns, though Eugene still has a dangerous attack; Geoff has gotten a strong attack in his game and looks to be able to win material, while Abraham has very dangerous play on Bd4. So there is pressure against Coral Reef, they need a win somewhere, doesn’t look they will get 4 draws. *19.Nd5 Nd7* And now on a bad day, White plays something like 20.Bg2 and the Black defenses are maximally stressed as there is pressure in the center and on the h-file. As played, not a picnic for Black, but not quite as challenging as it could have been- *20.Qh8+ Nf8 21.Qh4 f6* Before the sac on e7 was not working due to a timely …Qa5-g5+, but perhaps now White had thought there would be a breakthrough on f6. Close, but it seems both players agree this is not decisive. Annoying for certain, but also with losing chances for White, and there seems to still be plenty of chances to win by ‘regular’ means. White is not helped by the matter that White has broken through to win Board Four while Geoff has won an Exchange on Board Two, the price paid to stop his attack. *22.Qh8 Be6 23.Qg7 Bf7* Black still has to prove he can handle the defense. *24.Ne3?!* But this is now gotten easier- White just hasn’t realized the strength of 24.Bf3, it is not too late to shift the Rook to the Kingside. As played, White retains pressure, but it will be manageable. *24…Qh5 25.Bf3 Qh7 26.Qxh7 Nxh7 27.Rh1 Nf8 28.Kd2* Not so many convenient targets for White to hammer, but he does have better King position, if it gets to b6 or c7 White will win. *28…Be6 29.Kc3 Kf7 30.b4* White decides to be somewhat subtle on the last move of the first time control. 30.Kb4 rather compels 30…b6 but it is not easy to exploit this concession. *30…Kg7* Time pressure over- with some ten minutes to spare- …Nf8 has some freedom now, White can hit d5 but this is only irritating, not decisive. And White will not be allowed to play Kb6 or Kc7 for free!
*31.Bd5 Bd7 32.Be4 Ne6 33.Nd5 Bc6*
Black has the lesser side of equality, but …Ng5 is not helpful. Bad news for Coral Reef, Geoff has a win on Bd2, and, much worse, Eugene Meyer has lost trying to turn a draw into a win. So giving White as little to work with now is quite correct… *34.Bf3 Bxd5 35.Bxd5 Nc7 36.Bf3 b6* The Bishop is probably better than the Knight here, but there is a dearth of targets for White. White can panic with c4-c5, but this would be costly! *37.Bc6 Ne6 38.a4 a5 39.Rb1 Nd8* White is also not keen to let Bc6 get captured, and b4-b5 here has no apparent advantage. *40.Bf3 Rc8 41.ba ba 42.Rb5 Rc5* And it’s a final, Geoff has won, Argyles win the match and the title! Glad to have such stellar support from my teammates! *43.Bd5 e6 44.Bf3 Kf7 45.Kd4 e5+* Anti-visual and necessary- White’s King position is also not quite enough to win *46.Kc3 Ke7* 47.Rb1 still causes some problems for Black, but at this stage White is ready to finish the match and not play for another hour trying to turn a better position to a win… *47.Bd5 Ne6 48.Bxe6*
And there is no reason to decline the draw offer here, ergo ½. As noted, its not a complete done deal, but our post-mortem, albeit brief, indicated Black has enough, with accurate play, to maintain status quo! All went well this match for Argyles!