Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Multi-Tasking vs ADHD

After posting Bill Wall's latest game to this blog (see "Winning With the Jerome Gambit: A Game Full of Lessons"), I ran across the following game with the same opening line. I chuckled as play went from one area of the board to another to another; and I couldn't decide if the players were expert multi-taskers or suffering from inattention...

Johnstone, Michael - Egan, Michael
IECC, 1999

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

5...Kxf7 6.O-O d6 7.Nbd2 h5 8.Nb3 h4 9.c3 

White plans to counter Black's wing aggression with play in the center.


More consistent would have been 9... h3!?

10.d4 Bb6 11.Bg5 Qd7 12.Bxh4 Nf4 13.dxe5 Qg4 14.Bg3 


Black has a piece to burn, but he would have done better to move another attacker closer to the enemy King with 14...Nxe5. White's Bishop on g3 helps hold the defense together.

15.Kxg2 Qh3+

This was Black's idea, but it doesn't produce the attack he had hoped for.

16.Kg1 Rh5 17.exd6 Bg4 18.dxc7 

The hungry White pawn wanders while Black piles up on the Kingside.

18...Kg8 19.Nbd4 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Rf8 21.Qb3+ Kh7

If Black's attack does not succeed, White's extra pawns will win the day. On the other hand, White must defend well, if he wants those pawns to win for him.


The Knight vacates the hot square f3, but this gives Black a chance to grab the advantage. Safer for White would be 22.Nd2, with a possible continuation being 22...Bxd4 23.Qd3 Bb6 24.Rac1 Rc8 25.e5+ Bf5 26.Qf3 Bxc7 27.Qxb7 Bb6 when Black has captured the dangerous passer at c7, and grabbed one of White's center pawns, but he remains three pawns down, and White has a protected passer at e5.


Taking the dangerous pawn is understandable, but Black's chance was to knock out the key to White's defense with 22...Rxe5 23.dxe5 Bf3 which wins the Queen after 24.Qxf3 Rxf3. White would have a Rook and four pawns for his Queen, which is probably not enough.

23.Nxg4 Qxg4 

White maintains his three pawn advantage.


White's attention wanders from the Kingside, as he is convinced that he has put an end to Black's attack. Therefore, why not grab a pawn?


Overlooking the drawing combination 24...Bxg3 25.fxg3 Qe2, when White will be unable to avoid repeated checks and a draw (unless he falls into checkmate). Black, too, has overlooked the Kingside.

From here on, White's pawns advance, he uses his pieces to defend his King, and the full point is obtained.

25.Rad1 Rf6 26.Rd3 Rfh6 27.f3 Qg5

A bit stronger is 27...Qg6 28.Qc8 Rxh2 29.Qf5 Qxf5 30.exf5 Rxb2 31.Rf2 Rb1+ 32.Kg2 Rh5 33.f4 Rxf5 when White's lead would be one (passed) pawn, but it would be sufficient.

28.e5 Rxh2 29.Qe4+ Kh8 30.Qg4 Rh1+

Similar to the note above is the alternative, 30...Qxg4 31.fxg4 Rxb2 32.Rf2 Rb1+ 33.Kg2 Kg8 34.Re2 Kf8 35.d5, which leaves White with two passed center pawns. 

31.Kg2 R1h5 32.Qxg5 Rxg5 33.f4 Rg4 34.d5 Kg8 35.Re1 g5 36.e6 Kf8 37.e7+ Ke8 38.Rc3 Bd8 39.Rc8 gxf4 40.exd8=Q+ Kf7 41.Qd7+ Kg6 42.Rg8+ Kh5 43.Qxg4 checkmate

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