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Déjà Vu All Over Again?

by on October 1, 2017

Within a two week period I played two remarkably similar games. See if you agree.

The first was in Round 5 of the recently completed New York State Championship. I play up occasionally to avoid playing my regular opponents at Nassau, Queens and the Marshall, but even so, four of my six opponents in this event I had played previously. One of the exceptions was WFM Martha Samadashvili (2180), who is either 12 or 13. Yikes! Gotta beat them before they totally blow by you. One of my best tournaments ever saw me beat Fabiano Caruana and Hana Itkis and draw Robert Hess in a Marshall U2200 just as the Manhattan Chess Club had closed (December 2001), so the event was larger than expected and even used quarter pairings. I beat a 1900 Caruana in round 1, an 1800 something Itkis in Round 4 (Gulko hadn’t yet taught her how to handle the Dutch) and drew an 1800 something Hess in the last round when that was all I needed to finish first.

(910) Samadashvili – Frumkin [B07]

New York State Championship, 04.09.2017

[Frumkin, Ed]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 his was my sixth time facing this line. All my other opponents were rated 2300 or higher (Dmytro Kedyk, Bonin twice, Alec Getz and Ilye Figler six weeks ago and I only managed one draw (with Bonin)). 4…Bg7 5.Bg2 0–0 6.Nge2 e5 The other Black plan is to arrange …c5, which requires …Na6 or Nbd7 to be played first. 7.h3 c6 8.a4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Na6 My nom de plume when I wrote for American Chess Postal Tournaments’ bulletin was “Knight on the Rim” and I have a sometimes unfortunate penchant for developing my knights to the rook files (possibly my most exciting such game was a King’s Gambit where the KN went to h4 after …g4 and the other went via a3 to c4 and then sacrificed itself for a pawn on d6). 10.0–0 Nb4 11.g4 d5 12.e5 Ne4 13.f4 f6 14.Nxe4 I would have answered 14 e6 with …f5, when …Bxd4, Qxd4 Nxc2 could become painful for White. 14…fxe5 Diagram


A picturesque position, with both centralized knights under attack by pawns. 15.fxe5 Rxf1+ 16.Qxf1 dxe4 17.Qc4+ Nd5 18.Bxe4 Bxe5 The position seems level, with equal development and each of us with an unmoved QB and QR. But it’s her move. 19.Bh6 Qd6 Making room for Bd7 to cover the back rank, but with an ulterior motive… 20.Rd1 Bg7 21.Bxg7 Qg3+ 22.Bg2 Kxg7 Diagram


23.Ne2 My opponent didn’t notice that my knight is no longer pinned and she forces the winning combination. 23…Qxg2+ 24.Kxg2 Ne3+ 25.Kf3 Nxc4 26.b3 Ne5+ 27.Ke4 The king leading the troops? 27…Nxg4 28.Rd2 After 28 hxg4 Bxg4 everything big will come off but Black’s two extra Kingside pawns after Bxe2 and Re8+. 28…Nf2+ 29.Ke5 Bf5 30.Nd4 Re8+ 31.Kf4 Nxh3+ 32.Kg3 Bc8

Dave and I have known each other 40 years or so, starting with our jobs at JFK Airport, followed by recruiting him to APCT (I won our lone correspondence game), squads at the US Amateur Team in New Jersey (we got our pictures in Chess Life in 1984 as the “Chained Pawn Gang” with Bonin and the late Eric Langjahr), several US Opens and occasional baseball games (including the 7/28/91 Dennis Martinez perfect game (Expos at Dodgers)) and finally the Queens Chess Club. He retired three years ago and it will be two years for me come October.

(911) Spigel – Frumkin [B07]

Queens September G/45, 15.09.2017

[Frumkin, Ed]

1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 c6 5.h3 b5 6.Bd3 e5 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.0–0 Bg7 9.Qd2 0–0 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.a4 b4 12.Ne2 a5 13.c3 Rd8 14.Ng3 Ba6 15.Ne1 c5 16.Qe2 c4 17.Bc2 b3 18.Bd1 Bb7 19.f3 Nbd7 20.Qf2 Bf8 21.Be2 Ra6 22.Nh1 Nb6 23.g4 Nfd7 24.Qh4 Bc5 25.Ng2 Nf8 26.Ng3 Ne6 27.Kf2 Nf4 Diagram


The Ng2 is overworked and White’s pieces evoke Emma Lazarus phrase “huddled masses yearning to be free”. 28 Rg1 Nxg2 29 Rxg2 Bxe3+ 30 Kxe3 Qc5# would provide a comical finish. 28.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 29.Ne3 Qxe3+ 30.Kxe3 Ng2+ 31.Kf2 Nxh4 and White resigned after my 45th move after I had maneuvered the extra knight to the center. Ironically I had shown Dave the Samadashvili game the week before. Hopefully the combo didn’t surprise anybody.

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