Tuesday, October 18, 1994

Paul's chess results

( Unbeknownst to me, some of my chess games are on the internet:
Who put them there ??? )

1994 October

Last month, I was awarded the title of International Master by ICCF Congress.

I had been a chess nut since high school. Unfortunately, my only major success so far was Under-18 Queensland State Champion eons ago. University, then work and other priorities took their toll. Hence it was very satisfying to get this title under my belt just when I was about to retire from chess completely.

Looking back, this silly game on 64 squares had given me much pleasure.

Of the many games I had played, 4 stick out in my mind:

1. Best played game - Win against L A Summers
CCLA Candidates 1975

2. Best draw - Against P Lehikoinen
CCCA-70 Grandmaster Tournament, 1991

Lehikoinen is a formidable Grandmaster.
He has a website: http://www.dlc.fi/~pele/ura.html

By the way, all the CCCA-70 games can be downloaded from this site:
When you are in the website, look for the event "CCCA-70".

3. My only win against a grandmaster, G C Van Perlo
CCCA-70 Grandmaster Tournament, 1991

Van Perlo is the author of a splendid book:
"A Comprehensive Guide to the Sunny Side of Chess Endgames"

4. An innovation - Win against R S Booth
CCLA 1987 Australian Championship


Here are the 4 games:

1. My best played game:

L A Summers - Paul Ma
CCLA Candidates 1975

Win to Black,  0 - 1

1. d4  Nf6
2. c4  c5
3. d5  e6
4. Nc3  exd5
5. cxd5  d6

6. Nf3  g6
7. e4  Bg7
8. Be2  OO
9. OO  Re8
10. Nd2  Nbd7

11. f4  a6
12. a4  c4

(White to play)

All this is book up to now. Many games have been played from this position.

(A) 13 e5 leads to interesting firework but eventually fizzles out to a dead draw.

(B) 13 Bf3  and  (C) 13 Nxc4 are well analyzed and about equal.

Hence if White wants to get out of well trodden paths, he has to try something new.
Steffen Zeuthen in his monumental book on Modern Benoni suggests:
(D) 13 Bxc4 which, at the time, has not been played.

13. Bxc4
So White tries this new move which wins a Pawn and hangs on to it.

14. ...  Nc5
14. Qc2  Ng4
15. Nf3  f5

16. h3  fxe4
17. hxg4  exf3
18. gxf3  Qf6
19. Qf2  h5
20. g5  Qf5

21. Rd1

(Black to play)

Now if you are Black, what would you do? Black can set a trap for White to fall in. Can you see it?

21. ...  Bd7 !
Ostensibly to attack the Queen-side. And I bet he won't see the trap.

22. a5
Yup, he falls for it. But it is so easy to do, because in this position, the natural instinct is to play 22 a5.

Now, can you see the tactical combination coming up?

(Black to play)

22. ...  Bxc3 !
White must have got a shock after seeing this. It is like a bolt from the blue. I'm quite proud of this move as you need to see it a move earlier on.

23. bxc3  Ne4
24. Qc2
There is no safe square for the Queen. (For example, 24 Qb2 Nxg5, 25 fxg5 Qxf3 winning.) It also explains why 21...Bd7 was necessary. Had Black's Bishop been at c8, then White can play Qe2 here.

24. ...  Nxg5
25. Qxf5  Nxf3

26. Kf2  Bxf5
The point of Black's combination being that now 27 Kxf3 Bg4 picks up White's Rook at d1.

27. Be2  Nh2
28. Ba3  Bg4
29. Rd2  Bxe2
30. Rxe2  Ng4

31. Kf3  Rxe2
32. Kxe2  Re8
33. Kd3
Unfortunate for White, he can't move his King to the King-side.

33. ...  Nf2
34. Kd2  Kf7
35. Rf1  Ne4

36. Kc2
This is the only save squre for the poor King.

36. ...  Kf6
37. c4  Kf5
38. Bb4  h4
39. Kd3  h3
40. Be1  h2

41. Rh1  Rh8
42. Kd4  Rh3
43. c5  dxc5
44. Kc4  Kxf4
45. d6  Nxd6

46. Kxc5  Ne4
47. Kb6  Kf3
48. Kxb7  Kg2
49. Rxh2  Kxh2
50. Kxa6  Rb3

51. Ka7  Rb1
52. Ba4  g5
White resigns.  0 - 1


2. My best draw:

Pertti Ilari Lehikoinen (Grandmaster) - Paul Ma
CCCA-70 Grandmaster Tournament, 1991

Draw,  1/2 - 1/2

French Defence, Tarrasch Variation
1. e4  e6
2. d4  d5
3. Nd2  Nf6
4. e5  Nfd7
5. c3  c5

6. f4  Nc6
7. Ndf3  Qb6
8. g3  f6
9. Bd3  cxd4
10. cxd4 Be7

11. Kf1  OO
12. Kg2  Kh8
13. Bc2  Nb4
14. Bb1

(Black to play)

It is all book so far. At the time this game is played, 14...Rf7 (or even earlier with 13...Rf7) has been suggested, claiming that 15 h4 Nf8 is ok for Black. But they overlook 16 h5 with the threat of Bg6 next.

14. ...  Qd8
This is my idea - to vacate b6 for the Knight at d7. But I overlook that White can win Black's h Pawn. Looks like this line of the French Defence is just not good for Black ... or is it? By playing 14...Qd8, I may have invented a new gambit line ... more on this later.

15. h4  Nb6
Sticking to my plan when I played 14...Qd8.

Not much better is 15...f5, because White has 16 g4, initiating a strong attack on the King-side.

16. exf6 !  gxf6

(White to play)

I feel ok at the time because I overlook white's next move.

17 Ng5 !

(Black to play)

Ouch! I am going to lost the h Pawn as well as having a wrecked King-side!!! (Needless to say, it is suicide to take White's Knight at g5.)

But I should know better. Ng5 is a move that is always on the cards in this line of the French Defence.

I spend a lot on time here on my reply. Not because Black's move is hard to find. In fact 17...Qe8 is more or less forced to prevent Qh5 by White. I am debating with myself whether it is worthwhile to continue with the game or simply to resign and be done with it.

But the more I analyse it, the more I find Black's position is quite good. I can develop the pieces quickly whereas White can't. And if I can break through with ...e5 quickly enough, then White will be in trouble due to his airy King-side position.

So, my 14...Qd8 and 15...Nb6 inadvertently produces a new gambit line ... Ha! Let's called it ... better still, let's patent it as Paul's Gambit.

17. ...  Qe8 !
18. Nxh7  Rg8
19. Ng5  Rg7
Again, it is suicide to take the Knight at g5.

20. N5h3
This and the next two moves by White are designed to keep open the d1-h5 diagonal for White's Queen.

20. ...  Nc4
21 Nf2
Personally I would have opted for a quicker development with 21 Nf3.

21. ...  Bd7
22. Ngh3  Nd6

Hhmmm... better may by 22...e5.

23. g4  e5
24. dxe5  fxe5
25. fxe5  Nf7

26. Bf4  Nc6
27. g5  Nfxe5
28. Re1  Bb4
29. Re3  Bc5
30. Rg3  Bxf2

31. Nxf2  Qf7
32. Be3
On 32 Bxe5 Nxe5, 33 g6 Qf4, 34 Qh5 Kg8, 35 Qg5 Qd4. (A) 36 Re3? Re8. Threat is ...Nxg6 even if White plays 37 h5. (B) 36 Bc2 Rf8, with counter play. (C) 36 Bd3 Rf8, 37 Rf1; again Black has some chances.

32. ...  Rf8
If 32...d4? 33 g6 Qe6 Bh6 wins.

33. Bc5
Another try is 33 g6 Qf6, 34 Bc5 Ne7, 35 h5 d4! followed by ...Bc6 after either 36 Bxd4 or 36 Qxd4. Black has enough counter chances for at least a draw.

33. ...  Ne7
34. Bd4
White has to prevent ...d4 by Black. Otherwise for example, 34 Bc2 d4. (A) 35 Bxd4 Bc6 or ...Qd5. (B) 35 Qxd4 Bc6 or ...Nf3. In either case, Black has a very strong counter play and White may even lose.

Note that 34 g6 is no good here. Black simply plays 34...N5xg6.

34. ...  N7c6
35 Bc5
Black is threatening 35...Nxd4. For example, 35 Bc2 Nxd4, 36 Qxd4 Nf3 and White could be in trouble.

On 35 g6 Qf6, 36 Bc5 Ne7, 37 h5, again 37...d4! comes to the rescue.

35. ...  Ne7
36 Bd4
Draw  1/2 - 1/2

(Black to play)

In one sense I am disappointed in not winning this game as I have the initiative through out the middle game yet couldn't break through White's airy King-side. In another sense, I am glad of the draw after losing a Pawn in the opening ... getting away with a draw against a grandmaster is pretty good.


3. My only ever win against a grandmaster:

Paul Ma - Gerardus C Van Perlo (Grandmaster)
CCCA-70 Grandmaster Tournament, 1991

Win to White,  1 - 0

King's Indian Defence, Samisch Variation
1. d4  Nf6
2. c4  g6
3. Nc3  Bg7
4. e4  d6
5. f3  OO

6. Be3  e5
7. d5  Nh5
8. Qd2  f5
9. OOO  Nd7
10. exf5  gxf5

11. Bd3  Ndf6
12. Nge2  a6
13. Bg5  Qe8

Now, the usual way for White to play in this position is g3, h3 then g4. I decide to try something new, because Pawn pushing is not my style.

14. Ng3

(Black to play)

Compared to 14 g3, my move puts pressure on Black immediately.

14. ...  Nxg3 ?
Oh dear!!! This ought to be counted as a big blunder. Opening up the h-file is suicide. One can almost write off Black now. 14...Qg6 looks yuk, but it holds everything as I can't find any immediate break through for White.

15. hxg3  Nh5 ?
I don't understand this. What is he trying to achieve? Van Perlo may be a Grandmaster, but he is playing like a little kid.

16. Rh3  Qg6
17. Rdh1  Nf6
See what I mean. 15...Nh5 is just a blunder.

18. Bxf6  Bxf6
19. Rxh7
So, White duly wins a pawn. The rest of the game is of not much interest now.

19. ...  e4
20. R7h6  Qg5

21. Rh8  Kf7
22. R8h7  Ke8
23. fxe4  Qxg3
24. Kb1  Bg7
25. exf5  Rxf5

26. Qc2 !  Re5
27. Bg6  Kf8
28. Rf1  Kg8
29. Rhh1  Bh6
30. Rxh6  Re1

31. Rxe1  Qxe1
32. Nd1
Black resigns.  1 - 0


4. Innovation:

R Stewart Booth - Paul Ma
1987 Australian Championship

Win to Black,  0 - 1

Of all the innovations I have played, the one against Booth stands out, because it turns a hitherto bad line for Black into a playable one.

Nimzo-Indian Defence
1. d4  Nf6
2. c4  e6
3. Nc3  Bb4
4. Bg5  h6
5. Bh4  c5

6. d5  Bxc3
7. bxc3  e5
8. d6  Nc6
9. e3  g5
10. Bg3  Ne4

(White to play)

Theory considered this position as bad for Black because White wins a pawn by his next move. But I have an innovation up my sleeve!
11. Bxe5  Nxe5
12. Qd5  Qf6
13. Qxe4

(Black to play)

This line (starting from 10...Ne4) is considered bad for Black because 13...Kd8 has been the only reply, and after which Black's Rook at a8 is hemmed in, unable to get into play. White is probably rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of chalking up a win. But he hasn't counted on my innovation, 13...OO !

13. ...  OO !
The point being Black's King is quite safe on the K-side even though the Pawn structure there is ragged. Now, Black has a better development as compensation for the Pawn.

14. Rd1  Re8 !
15. Be2  Re6

16. Qd5  Rb8
17. Qxc5  b6
18. Qd4  Bb7
19. Nf3  Bxf3
20. Bxf3  Nxf3

21. gxf3  Qxf3
22. Rg1  Rbe8
23. Rg3  Qh1
24. Ke2  Qxh2
25. Qd5  Rf6

26. Qg2
Followed by some scrappy play by Black (me).

Lucky for me, White lost on time later on.  0 - 1

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