My opponent was a girl rated 1274, surprisingly she played Evans Gambit.  This was a 4th time I got this gambit OTB, score before was 1.5:1.5. I played again Cordel variation. Her 10. Bb5+ was out of the book. Computer doesn’t like her queens exchange.

After 13. Nf3 I found Nxe4, in a few moves computer gives me ~-2.5. Then instead of my 23… Nxa3 I had to play stronger Bd3. I looked at it, but found my bishop kind of hanging after 23… Bd3 24. Rd1. But there was a line using the weakness of the first horizontal – 23… Bd3 24. Rd1 Bg6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Nxe4 Nxc4, eventually winning the “a” pawn.

Anyway I had an advantage and managed to increase it. On move 30 I saw h3, but thought that after 30… h3 31. g3 Bh5 she has g4. So I played 30… Bf7 attacking “a” pawn and only then saw that there was a much more interesting idea to get my bishop on e4 after h3. But she found it and played h3 herself. Actually 30… h3 31. g3 Bf7 32. c4 Bxc4 33. Rd1 Bd5 34. Rxd5 cxd5 was winning for Black.

Soon my bishops became a very powerful force and I started to advance my “a” pawn. When I queened she resigned.

Yesterday Nigel Short came to our club. He was number 3, played with Kasparov for the world championship and even now is in top 50 with a decent rating of 2698. First it was a lecture, I was a few minutes late because of the bad traffic and didn’t hear with whom was the game GM Short was commenting on. There were a few interesting moments in the middlegame, but it was the endgame –  B vs. N that was simply fascinating. His deep positional play plus sudden tactical decisions on the board and in the calculated lines were not on another level, they were from another world, I even shook my head a few times. He looked good,  English gentleman, very funny and entertaining.

Then the simul finally starts. He plays 1.e4, as on at least all the boards around me. I play 1… e5, as always and I am a bit surprised to get 3. Bc4, here is the game. OK, so I play 3… Bc5, Italian and look with a bit of jealousy on the board like 3 boards on the right where I see Ruy Lopez. This feeling gets stronger when he plays 4. b4 – Evans gambit. I studied it a lot when I was young and I know how dangerous it can be in a good hands. I know one “quiet” variation – 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Be7  – I played it once against 200+ higher rated about 3 years ago and managed to draw:

I think now, that 6… Nf6 that I played in that game would give me better chances, than first choice 6… Na5 that I played here. After 6… Na5 my opening knowledge ends and I start to play myself.  It is OK until I, being afraid of Qa4+ with following d5, play 10… Bd7. I think this move loses the game. Of course I had to play Nf6 instead, I wanted it, thought I couldn’t do it. I didn’t see that the knight and the queen together protect d5 square, so d4-d5 is not possible. After Re1 I realize that I can’t play Nf6 because of Ba3 and decide that I have to castle queenside, though I see that the lines there are open and I will definitely get under attack.

I didn’t mention that soon after simul started they began to set aside the tables  for casual chess (because all the regular ones were in the circle for the simul). It created some noise, that I didn’t like. Then some people started to play blitz. It really got me mad, hearing clocks noise when GM Short plays Evans gambit against me and I try to survive. I get up and say to one of the organizers my opinion about that, no reaction. Then, maybe in 6-7 minutes, I get up again and talk to the president of the club and his assistant, saying that it is not possible. I look angry at this time. No action follows anyway. Then Short makes a pause and looks in the direction of those tables. He continues, then makes another pause and looks again, he is not happy. The organizers finally come to the players and ask them to move to another room. The space clears soon, I calm down (I think), it is around move 9 or 10. I regret it now, that I got angry and showed it, and it didn’t do any good to me. Still I think it was very disrespectful to play blitz, I would throw these people on the street, not move to another room and I don’t understand why the organizers thought that a bunch of morons that paid 5 bucks is more important than members of the club (mostly) that paid 30 bucks and came especially to play super-elite GM Short, even from this point of view.

I don’t know how much what I described above affects my move 12… O-O-O instead of Nc6, which I considered too. He plays Re5, it’s a trivial fork. My first reaction is embarrassment, I think that  I will be the first to lose the game, though there are quite a few patzers here. Then I see Bb4 and think that I have some chances and will continue to play. The first person resigns, then the guy rated 2000+, so I feel better. Soon I see that he can get another piece for his rook after 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. Bxb5 Kxa7 18. Qa4+, but he plays even stronger and after thinking about 5 seconds just sacrifices the rook on b2. I have to take, then another rook sacrifice on a5 follows, I can’t take because of the mate. I resist a few more moves, just to get more than 20 and see another few people resigning. When I am about to lose my queen, I resign. I ask for the autograph and he signs the scoresheet.

I walk around, practically everybody remaining stands worse, amazing. Today I learned about the final result – +29, -1, =2, impressive. By the way that guy with Ruy Lopez was the one who won.

I just confirmed with the engines, that Bd7 was the game-losing move. 2 draws after Nf6 and 2 losses after Bd7, both times Black forced to castle queenside and that’s it.

I played this Sunday my regular OTB game.  I got to play Black with a guy rated 300 more than me,  never played with him before. The opening took unexpected turn after  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Bc5  4. b4

I played a few times Evans Gambit with computer and online (as Black),  never OTB.  Saw quite a few old games with it, of course, but it was long time ago. After 4. Bxb4 5. c3  I chose less popular line  – Be7.  Funny, that not knowing it, I played a few book moves – 6. d4 Nf6 7. dxe5 Ng4 8.  Bf4


then went on my own – 8….O-O 9. h3 Nh6 10. Nd4 Nxd4 11. cxd4 d6 12. O-O dxe5 13. dxe5


Here I played 13. … Be6, computer thinks queens exchange is better. 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. Bxh6 gxh6 16. Nc3 Qe8 17. Qg4+ Qg6


and here computer thinks that White shouldn’t exchange queens – 18. Qxg6+ hxg6 19. Nb5 Bd8 20. Rad1 a6  21. Nd4 Re8 22. Rb1

Computer definitely does not like Rb1, giving estimate -0.90 ( for white) after that


22. … c5 23. Ne2 b5 24. Rfd1 Bc7 25. f4 Rad8 26. Kf2 Rxd1 27. Rxd1 Rd8 28. Rxd8+ Bxd8


I went into B vs. N endgame, rightfully thinking that I should be better there, computer estimate  -1.39.

29. Ke3 Kf7 30. g4 Bb6 31. Nc3 c4+ 32. Kd2


Here I thought about 32… g5,  but that @#$%ing dogma, that you shouldn’t put pawns on the squares of the same color as your bishop  affected my vision.  Computer for crying out loud wants me to do this move – 32… g5 33. Ne2 gxf4 34. Nxf4 Bd4 35. Ne2 Bxe5 with estimation – 2.52!

32. …Bc5  33. Kc2 Bb6 34. Ne2 Bc5 35. Kc3 Ke7 36. Nd4 Bxd4+ 37. Kxd4 Kf7 38. f5 gxf5 39. exf5 exf5 40. gxf5 Ke7 41. h4 h5 42. a3 Kd7 43. Kc3 Ke7   1/2 : 1/2


It’s a first time I had the opportunity  to win the game against “A” class player.

As Jeremy Silman says:  “I recognize that ALL rules are meant to be broken. … It’s this ability to step beyond dogma that makes chess endlessly interesting.”