The dramatic adjournment!
December 21st 1998

Author: T.C.Gavriel


Adjournments are a feature of the North Circular League. The time limit is generally 36 in 1 hours and a quarter, then 6 moves in 15 minutes.

Certain players in Barnet Chess Club believe adjournments should be disallowed with the advent of computers. They argue it is unfair that the opponent can consult a computer in adjournments and come back and play the "best" moves. This is in contrast to standard tournament chess where the stronger player might be able to fight back from a possibly inferior position, more comfortable in the thought that their opponent is lower rated and is not going to find brilliant tactical computer generated combinations and may even make horrid mistakes.

This report kind of disproves the theory that computers can help tremendously to wipe out the opponent at resumption of play. I was perhaps too lazy and didn't investigate all the moves which the computer was automatically rejecting, as I presumed the opponent would be using a lot of computing power also. However, I was quite mistaken!

Robert Eames had been using his brain, and the Hackney "Borg" - his fellow club member's brains to analyse the position, which I was advised was a way to improve rather than relying on computer resources. But I thought this was the kind of position Fritz would excel in - because the White King is exposed. I was only half right in retrospect, because it didn't seem to appreciate the dynamic potential of the White pawns.. Anyhow, here's the story:-

The dramatic adjournment position was reached after the following moves (I was black) :-

B.Eames (205 BCF) vs T.Gavriel (191 BCF)
North Circular League, 21/12/98
Imperial Knights (hackney) vs Barnet
Sicillian Sveshnikov variation

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 Nf6 6.N1c3 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 Bg7 11.Bd3 Ne7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.c4 f5 14.0-0 Bb7 15.Qf3 fxe4 16.Bxe4 Bxe4 17.Qxe4 0-0 18.cxb5 Kh8 19.bxa6 Rxa6 20.Nc4 f5 21.Qd5 e4 22.Rfd1 Rf6 23.b4 f4 24.b5 Ra7 25.b6 Rb7 26.Rab1 e3 27.a4 exf2+ 28.Kxf2 f3 29.gxf3 Rg6 30.Ne3 Qh4+ 31.Ke2 Rb8 32.a5 Re8 33.b7 Rg2+ 34.Kd3 Qf2 35.Kc4 Qxe3 36.Rd3 Rc2+ 37.Kb3 (move sealed by me now)

Game side note: Eames has crushed me last year in the North Circular league, and I wanted to improve on last year's game. Objectively, I had been lucky to generate any counterplay, and it was quite embarrassing earlier when two whole tempos were gained on my rook, simulataneously advancing White's strong passed b pawn.

The position after move 37:

It was my turn to "seal a move", at around 10.30pm.

I had to put the game's past in the back of my mind, and try and find the best move to "seal".

"Sealing a move" involves writing the chosen move on a scoresheet which would then be placed in an envelope sealed by my opponents signature. Both players have to make a note of the position, the number of pieces, the position on the clocks, etc. The opponent traditionally keeps the sealed envelope. With the advent of technology or cunning use of a kettle, it could be argued that if the opponent really wanted to, he could find out what the move was, without detection. :-)

I briefly considered Rc3+ but could not see how this would help my position. E.g. Rxc3 Qxc3+ Ka4! when White has very dangerous winning passed pawns. I felt the best way to maintain any tension would be Qe2, so I sealed this move, and we made arrangements to play the game 2 weeks later.

We briefly went over two main moves Rc3+ and Qe2. Going over Rc3+ made me feel good that I had not sealed it. When White's King gets to a4, black is in serious trouble. Lets briefly look at the following position with the help of Fritz :-

Fritz does not understand the potential of the passed pawns if given a short time to think about the above position. It thinks Black has a clear advantage. However Black is lost. For example:-

Qc2+ Rb3
Qa2+ Kb5! marching bravely!
Qe2+ Kb6!

and White's passed pawns become unstoppable!

To my relief, getting hope later that Monday night, I discovered that Fritz thought that Qe2 was a move apparently giving Black a big advantage. However Fritz was not to be trusted in analysing this position by itself. As already shown above, it didn't seem to appreciate the potential of White's passed pawns.

1st computer analysis session (weekend before the game)

Using ChessBase 7 I did analysis on the position, with both the Fritz 5 and Crafty engines. I made them run in parallel in some cases, and watched them disagree in many variations.

My analysis produced the following:-

Key: red reflects the lines I "promoted" to main lines. Note there is quite a lot of optimistic analysis, where I was experimenting with moves which I didn't appreciate why the computer rejected.

1...Qe2 2.Ka4

[2.Kb4 Rc5

A) 3.Qxd6 Bf8 4.Qd4+ Rce5+ 5.Kc3 Bg7 6.Rb2 (6.b8Q Rc5+ 7.Kb3 Qc2+ 8.Ka3 Rxa5+ 9.Kb4 Ra4+ 10.Kb5 Rxb8+ 11.Qb6 Qc4#) 6...Rc5+

7.Kb4 Qe1+ 8.Kxc5 Bxd4+ 9.Rxd4 Qc3+ 10.Rc4 Qxa5+ 11.Kd4 (11.Rb5 Re5+ 12.Kd6 Qxb5 13.Rc8+ Kg7 14.b8Q Rd5+ 15.Kc7 Rd7#; 11.Kc6 Re6+ 12.Kd7 Qd5+ 13.Kc8 Qxc4+) 11...Qe5+ 12.Kd3 Qxb2;

B) 3.a6 3...Rxd5 4.Rxd5 Qxa6 5.Rb5 Rb8 6.Rc1 Bb2 7.Rc7 Qa3+ 8.Kc4 Qc3+;

2.a6 Rc5

A) 3.Qxc5 Qxd3+ 4.Ka4 dxc5 5.Rb5 (5.b8Q Qxa6+) 5...Qc4+ 6.Ka5 Qa2+ 7.Kb6 Re6+ 8.Kxc5 Qc2+ 9.Kb4 Qc3+ 10.Ka4 Rxa6+ 11.Ra5 Rxa5#;

B) 3.Qxd6

3...Qc2+ 4.Kb4 (4.Ka3 Ra5+ 5.Kb4 Qa4#) 4...Qc4+ 5.Ka3 Ra5#

; 2.Ka3 Rb8 A) 3.Rb5 Rc1 4.Qxd6 (4.a6 Ra1+ 5.Kb4 Qb2+ 6.Qb3 Qc1 7.Qd5 Qb1+ 8.Qb3 Qe1+ 9.Kc4 Rc1+ 10.Rc3) 4...Bf8 5.Qxf8+ Rxf8 6.b8Q; B) 3.a6 3...Rd2 4.Rxd2 (4.Rbb3 Ra2+ 5.Kb4 Rxa6 6.Ra3 Rb6+ 7.Kc4) 4...Qxa6+ 5.Kb3 Rxb7+]


[2...Rc5 3.Rd2


A) 4.Ka3 Qe3+ 5.Rd3 Qc5+ 6.Qxc5 Rxc5;

B) 4.Kb5 Rc5+ 5.Kb6 Qe3 6.Rd3

    B1) 6...Qf2 7.Rd2 Qe3 8.Rd3 Qf2 9.Qxd6 (9.Rd2 Rxd5+ 10.Rxf2 Bd4+ 11.Kc6 Rc5+ 12.Kxd6 Bxf2 13.b8Q Bg3+ 14.Kxc5 Rxb8 15.Rd1) ;

    B2) 6...Qd2 ;

C) 4.Kb3 4...Re3+



[3.Rb5 Ra2+ 4.Ra3 (4.Kb4 Qe1+ 5.Kc4 Ra4+ 6.Kb3 Qa1) 4...Rd2 5.Qc6 Rc2 6.Qxd6 Rc4+ 7.Rb4 Qe8+ 8.Kb3 Rc3+ 9.Ka2 Qg8+ 10.Rab3 Rc1 11.Rd4 Rxb7 12.Qd8 Ra1+;

(I had not analysed 3. a6 instead of Qe4 - see later)


3...Ra2+ 4.Ra3 [4.Kb5]

4...Qd2 5.a6 [5.Rbb3 Rxa3+ 6.Rxa3 d5 7.Qe3 Qc2+

A) 8.Rb3 Qa2+ 9.Kb5 (9.Kb4 Rxb7+ 10.Kc5 Qxa5+ 11.Kc6 Qc7+ 12.Kxd5 Qf7+) 9...d4 10.Qe6 Qxb3+ 11.Qxb3 Rxb7+ 12.Kc4 Rxb3 13.Kxb3 d3;

B) 8.Qb3 8...Qc6+ 9.Qb5 Qc2+ (9...Qxb7 10.Qxb7 Rxb7 11.a6 Rc7 12.Rd3 d4 13.Kb5 Kg8 14.Ra3 Ra7 15.Kb6) 10.Rb3 (10.Qb3 Qc6+ 11.Qb5 Qc2+) 10...Qa2+ 11.Kb4 Qd2+ 12.Ka4 Bf8 13.Qd3 Qa2+ 14.Ra3]

5...Rxa3+ 6.Kxa3 d5 7.Qa4 [7.Qe6 A) 7...Rf8 A1) 8.Rb4 Qd1 A1a) 9.f4 Qa1+ 10.Kb3 Bc3 (10...Qd1+ 11.Ka3 Qa1+ 12.Kb3 Qd1+) 11.Qd6 Qb2+ 12.Ka4 Bxb4 13.Qxb4 Qxb4+ 14.Kxb4; A1b) 9.b8Q ; A2) 8.b8Q ;

B) 7...Bf8+ 8.Kb3 (8.Ka4 Qa2+ 9.Kb5 Qxb1+ 10.Kc6 Qc2+ 11.Kd7 Qa4+ 12.Kc7 Re8 13.b8Q Qf4+ 14.Kd7 Rxb8) 8...Qd3+ 9.Kb2 (9.Ka4 Qc4+ 10.Ka5 Qc3+ 11.Ka4 Qc4+) 9...Bg7+ 10.Kc1 Qc3+ 11.Kd1 Qxf3+ 12.Kc2 Qc3+ 13.Kd1 Qd3+ 14.Kc1 Qc3+ 15.Kd1 Qd3+ (15...Qf3+ 16.Qe2 Qc3) 16.Ke1 Rf8 17.Qc8 Bc3+; 7.a7 Bf8+ 8.Ka4 Qa2+ 9.Kb5 Rxb7+ 10.Kc6 dxe4 11.Rxb7 Qa6+ 12.Kc7 Bd6+]

7...Qd3+ 8.Rb3 Bf8+ 9.Kb2 [9.Ka2 Qc2+]

9...Qd2+ 10.Kb1 Qd1+ 11.Kb2 Qd2+ [11...Bg7+ 12.Ka3 Qc1+ 13.Kb4 Bf8+ 14.Ka5 Qc7+ 15.Rb6 Qc3+ 16.Rb4 d4 17.Qb3 (17.a7 Bxb4+ 18.Qxb4) 17...Qc5+ (17...Bxb4+ 18.Qxb4 Qc7+ 19.Qb6 Qc3+ 20.Kb5 Qb3+ 21.Ka5 Qc3+ 22.Kb5 Rf8 23.b8Q Qb3+ 24.Kc6 Rxb8 25.Qxd4+ Kg8 26.Qg4+ Kf8 27.Qf5+ Kg8 28.Qg5+ Kf7) 18.Rb5 Rxb7 19.Rxc5 Rxb3 20.Rc8 Ra3+

A) 21.Kb5 Kg7 22.Rc7+ Kg6 23.a7 d3 24.Kb6 d2 (24...h5 25.Rd7 h4 26.Rxd3 Rxd3 27.a8Q h3) 25.Rd7 Bb4 26.Kb7 h5 27.a8Q Rxa8 28.Kxa8 h4 29.Rd8 h3 30.Rg8+ Kf5 31.Rg1 Kf4 32.Rh1 h2 33.Rf1 Kg3; B) 21.Kb6 21...Rb3+ 22.Ka5 Rxf3 23.a7 Ra3+ 24.Kb6 Kg7 25.a8Q Rxa8 26.Rxa8 Bb4 27.Ra1 h5 28.Rf1 Kg6 29.Kb5 Bc3 30.Kc4 h4 31.Kd3 Kg5 32.Rh1 Kg4 33.Rg1+ Kf4 34.Rf1+ Kg3 35.Rg1+ Kh2 36.Rg8 h3 37.Rg7 Kh1 38.Rg8 h2 39.Rg7 Bb2 40.Rg8 Bc3 41.Ke2 Bb4]

12.Kb1 Qd1+ 13.Kb2 Qd2+

with a draw by perpetual (If Ka1 then Bg7+ mating)

The general points I noted about the position through doing the exploratory analysis (and guiding the analysis) were the following:-

In view of this, I was satisfied to find a drawing line, within what I thought were White's best moves.

The night of the resumption of play

Monday 6.00pm - 7.30pm (night of the resumption) pre-analysis session

I got back home from work and started doing some more analysis using Chessbase 7. I realised that I should have really flipped  the board so that I could see it from Black's point of view! I also realised that I was in serious danger of forgetting much of the analysis carried out previously, and so I wanted to revise the main lines. It was like going into an exam!

I arrived at Barnet chess club, and found Eames, waiting at the board with the position set up.

eamespic.jpg (55189 bytes)

Eames concentrating at the board at the resumption of play in the New Year 1999

The game continued (bold blue reflects moves played) :-

37 ..Qe2

38 Ka4

The move that I had expected

38 ..Rb8!

This seemed to surprise my opponent! He had not considered it in any depth- considering instead the line starting with Rc5 Qxc5!?

39 a6?!

I was not too pleased! Two passed pawns coming at me, and I didn't have a clue what to do! So much for all the computer analysis, I thought to myself!..... I was now on my own resources!

During play I thought that if White plays Qb3 then what do I have?! I didn't see anything! White is threatening now the logical and easy to play a7, with queening!  I was now looking for what the refutation of this was, and I could not find it !!

Back in the lab at home, I guided Fritz producing the following two main lines:-

A) 3...Ra2+ 4.Kb5 Qc2 5.Rbb3 Qc7 6.Ra3 Rc2 7.Ka4 (7.Qxd6 Rb2+ 8.Rab3) 7...Rc4+ (7...Rc5 8.Qxc5 Qxc5 9.Rdb3 Qc4+ 10.Ka5 Bf6 11.Rb4 Bd8+ 12.Ka4 Qxa6+ 13.Kb3 Qd3+) 8.Kb3 Rc5 9.Qe4 Rb5+ 10.Qb4 Rxb4+ 11.Kxb4 Qc5+ 12.Kb3 d5 13.Ka4 Qb6;

B) 3...Rc5 4.Qb3 (4.Qxd6 Qc2+ 5.Rbb3 Qa2+ 6.Ra3 Qc4#; 4.Qxc5 dxc5 5.a7 Qc2+ 6.Rdb3 Qc4+ 7.Ka5 Bc3+ 8.Rxc3 Qxc3+ 9.Kb6 Qf6+ 10.Ka5 Qd8+ 11.Ka4 Qe8+ 12.Ka5 c4 13.axb8Q Qxb8 14.Ka6 Kg7 15.Rb5 Kf6 16.Rc5 Qf4 17.Rc8 Qd6+ 18.Kb5 Qe5+)

4...Bc3 (The refutation of Qb3 in my analysis over the board!)

Black has Bc3!!

Okay, this was my first shock when looking at this position with Fritz back in the "lab" at home. After Bc3!! White is busted! And if Rc5 Qxd6 then Black has a mate in 3! with the following Qc2+ Rbb3 Qa2+ Ra2 Qc4 mate!

Anyhow, I didn't see either of these two critical variations.

Play continued

39.. Ra2+

40 Kb5

Now I was gutted. White's king was really going for it, perhaps heading for the b6 square:-

I had to do something quick! I thought for a while and realised my best hope was probably Qc2 here gaining a tempo on the rook on b1, with the idea of Qc7 stopping the black king from invading further and carrying the threat of Ra5+

40 Rbb3 Qc7

41 Rba3

It was here that I spotted that Rb2 check was quite useful, because if the d rook moves then I could play Rc2 with the threat of Rc5+ without having to worry about Qxd6.

To our amusement and the visiting Hackney crowd, however in the post mortem, White is not threatening to take the pawn on d6 because Rb2 then becomes lethal, e.g.:-

41..Rc2 42 Qxd6

Rb2+ ! 43 Ra-b3 RxR+  44 RxR QxQ winning the White queen or 43 Ka4 Qc4+ mating

Given this is the case, 41..Rc2 is quite playable with the threat of Rc5+

Now the best and only move for White becomes Ka4 which Fritz thinks is winning for black!

Anyhow, we were both quite happy to agree a draw after the actual flawed game continuation of:-

41..Rb2+ 42 Rab2 Ra2 43 Rba3 Rb2+ Draw offer by me

Final Position

Draw offer accepted, and went to the Moon Under The Water pub across the road. Such is chess.......

I hope you enjoyed this report on what is a common occurence in the North Circular League, the "adjournment".
Over and out, Tryfon


The end

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