Saturday, January 15, 2011

martineau vs. the computer (chess)

martineau (white) vs. the computer (black)
 black's level of strength was set at "casual".

summary: black (played the computer) blunders early in the match, and white swarms-in for a devastating double-check-mate after only 12 deliberate moves.

1. d2-d4                    1. f7-f5 
   * white (martineau) opens with his signature queen-pawn opening. 
   * does black have something up his sleeve by opening with his king-bishop pawn?

2. Bc1-f4                   2. d7-d5 
3. e2-e3                    3. e7-e6
   * white creates a long avenue for his king-bishop.
   * black protects his exposed pawns, but he constricts his own position.

4. Bf1-b5 (check)     4. Ke8-f7??
* white simply develops his king-bishop, expecting to be brushed back by c2-c3 .instead, black's Ke8-f7? miscue gives white the initiative.
* black would have been better served to protect his king -- by countering with the queen-bishop pawn, the queen-bishop or the queen-knight to c6. ..moving the king leaves him exposed and vulnerable.

5. Ng1-f3                  5. Bf8-b4 (check)
   * white develops his king-knight (controlling the center), and threatens 6. Nf3-e5 (check)
   * black responds with a (weak) bishop-check.

6. c2-c3                     6. Bb4-f8
   * white easily rejects the check with a pawn attack on black’s king-bishop, and
   * black retreats to safety.  maybe too far??

7. Nf3-e5!  (check)    7. Kf7-e7
   * white attacks swiftly, opting for position instead of material.

8. Bf4-g5! (check)       8. Ng8-f6
   * white begins to swarm, as black is constricted. 
   * black develops his king-knight into a pin, which leaves him vulnerable to…

9. Qd1-h5!!!!               9. b7-b6?? 
   * white wastes no time in developing his queen, and +9. f2-f3 will be followed by 10. Bg5xNf3 (check), setting up a powerful 11. Qh5-Q-h4 (check)
   * ...but instead of protecting his weak f2 square, black’s position deteriorates further with his attempt to develop his constricted queen-bishop with .+9. b7-b6

10. Qh5-f7! (check)      10. Ke7-d6
11. Bg5-f4!!                  11. Bc8-b7
   * white prepares a crusher, which...
   * black (at this stage) is powerless to stop. ..he should have opted with 10. (resigns), and gone home early for a warm cup of chicken soup.

12. Ne5-c4!!! (double-check, and mate)
   * checked (and mated) by both the king-knight and queen-bishop, black cannot retreat onto squares that are controlled by white’s queen, and 
   * black cannot move his king forward to c5, which is controlled by white’s queen-pawn.

notes: the truly interesting note about this game was that no pawns or pieces were exchanged, white’s king never castled, and white’s queen-knight never needed to be developed.  ..white was quick, efficient and opportunistic -- which rendered black helpless after his initial blunder.'s queen was never in the game.

learning notes:
  • develop pieces conservatively, in an effort to control the center of the battlefield.
  • create openings for freedom of movement.
  • refrain from moving the king (the most vulnerable piece on the board).
  • develop your queen (the most powerful piece on the board) wisely.
  • often, it is beneficial to favor position over material.
  • know when to resign.

* the chess set pictured in this post is a hand-carved, home-made Christmas gift -- made by my brother (larry) long before josephine ever dreamed of The Gift Exchange.

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