Saturday Special

Hello chess enthusiasts! Come out and join us for a special chess day on Saturday, 2/26/2022, beginning at 2pm at Impact Coffee. Some DCC members will be playing a few games and promoting the club. We’ll even request the fancy chess table they have for tomorrow.

As the club continues to grow, we’re hopeful to have more weekends for chess!

The big chess news lately was how the 16 year old Indian Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa defeated Magnus Carlsen. If you’re interested in the game that they played, I found it on and produced it below using the lichess app.

Magnus Carlsen vs Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa

Their game began with a queen pawn opening, with RP answering with the King’s Indian. The game eventually fell into what is called the Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation. The first five moves indicate why the symmetry:

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 5. e3 Nc6

Nice symmetry!

The game continued…

6. cxd6 exd5  7. Bb5 cxd4  8. exd4 Bd6  9. 0-0 0-0  10. h3 h6  11. Re1 Qb6  12. Ne5 Rc8  13. Bf4 Re8  14. Rc1 Qb6  15. Bxc6 bxc6  16. Na4 Qa6  17. Re3 Ne4  18. f3 Ng5  19. Rec3?

This move brough them to the following position. According to a chess engine, this was MC’s first minor mistake. Better was 19. Bxg5.

The advantage began to swing to black

Only a few moves later, we would see both players make mistakes!

19. … Qb7  20. Bh2 Ne6  21. Nxc6?? Better, was 21. g4.

First significant mistake by MC

The only move to maintain the advantage for RP was 21. … Bxh2. Then, 22. Kxh2 Nf4.  However, RP decided on Nf4 first to bring the game back to even.

Play continued 21. … Nf4??  22. Ne5 Bxe5  23. dxe5 Nd3  24. Rxc8 Rxc8  25. Rxc8+ Qxc8  26. Bg3 d4  27. b3 Qc6  28. Qd2 Kh7  29. Kh2 Bg6  30. Qa5 Qc1  31. Qxa7 Qe3  32. Nc3??

Second significant mistake by MC

The better move to keep things close would have been 32. Qa5. At this point RP took advantage and never faltered.

32. … Nf4  33. Nd1 Qd2  34. Nf2 Ne2  35.  h4??

Third significant mistake my MC

To keep a somewhat better game going, white has some options after 35. Ng4 h5  36. Qe7. Again, RP capitalizes on the mistake, and play continues with

35. … Qe1  36. Qd7 Nxg3  37. Qxd4 Nf1+  38. Kh3 Ne3

Two pawn advantage for white here is an illusion.

Although white (MC) has a two pawn advantage at this point, the chess engine shows a significant disadvantage for white. To prolong the inevitible, any of h5, Nd3, Ne4, Ng4, or even Qxe3 was better than MC’s next move.

39. Qb2??

The chess engine indicated checkmate in 8 moves. Here is a possible line for that: 39. … Qg1  40. Ne4 Nf1  41. Kg4 Qh2  42. g3 Ne3+  44. Kg4 Bf5+  45. Kxf5 Qh3+  46. g4 Qxf3#. Rameshbabu’s final move was actually 39. … Bc2.  Although this maintained the mating opportunity, it wasn’t as efficient as the Qg1 route. Magnus resigned.

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