Thursday, 29 December 2016

First two games on the board I made for Grandad's pieces

I made a wooden board to fit Grandad's pieces. Henry and I christened it today with a couple of games. I beat him quite quickly in the first game, but in the second he had the cunning plan of copying my first eleven moves, and potentially had the better game at one point...


1. h4 e5 2. h5 c5 3. d3 d5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 c4 6. dxc4 dxc4 7. e4 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1 Bd7 9. Rh4 O-O-O 10. g4 Bxg4+ 11. Ke1 Rd1# 0-1






1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d4 d5 6. c4 c5 7. e3 e6 8. b3 b6 9. Ba3 Ba6 10. dxc5 dxc4 11. cxb6 cxb3 12. Bxf8 Kxf8 13. Qxd8+ Ne8 14. Ng5 Nc6 15. Qxa8 Bxf1 16. Qxc6 Bxg2 17. Nc3 $2 Bxc6 18. bxa7 e5 19. axb3 f6 20. Ne6+ Kg8 21. Nd8 Bd7 22. a8=Q g5 23. Qd5+ Kh8 24. Nf7+ Kg8 25. Nh6+ Kf8 26. Qf7# 1-0

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Third game on the board I made

I've had quite a few games with Rod this year. This game is quite typical - he'll often put together a nice combo or gain an advantage somehow, but I can normally get him due to a miscalculation somewhere further along the track or just more experience with the end game.

1. e4 d6 2. Bc4 e5 3. Qf3 Nf6 4. d3 Bg4 5. Qg3 Nbd7 6. h3 Be6 7. Bxe6 fxe6 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Nxf6 10. Qf3 d5 11. Nd2 Bb4 12. c3 Ba5 13. exd5 Qxd5 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Qh5+ Kf8 16. dxe4 Qxe4+ 17. Ne2 g6 18. Qf3+ Qxf3 19. gxf3 Rd8 20. Rg1 g5 21. Rd1 Ke7 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. h4 Kf6 24. hxg5+ hxg5 25. Ng3 Rg8 26. Ne4+ Kf5 27. b4 Bb6 28. a4 a6 29. a5 Ba7 30. c4 Kf4 31. Rg3 g4 32. Rxg4+? Rxg4! 33. fxg4 Kxe4 34. g5 Kf5 35. g6 Kxg6 36. f3 Bd4 37. Ke2 Kf5 38. Kd3 Kf4 39. c5 Kxf3 40. c6 bxc6 41. Kc4 Ba7 42. b5 cxb5+ 43. Kd3 e4+ 44. Kd2 e3+ 45. Ke1 e2 46. Kd2 Kf2 47. Kc3 e1=Q+ 48. Kb3 Qxa5 49. Kc2 Ke2 50. Kb2 Kd2 White Resigns

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Grandad's Chess Pieces

An old boarded-up shed on my parents' farm contained what was left of my Grandad's bakery.

I used to love exploring old sheds when I was young. I had previously considered this shed inaccessible, but about thirty years ago managed to find a way in and slithered through the small gaps between the tightly-packed furniture, eventually discovering some wooden chess pieces in a drawer. I've had them with me ever since.

I lost a pawn from the set under the house that Davina and I were living in about twenty years ago. Our cat Malamba (or Malamber, as Davina insists it should be spelt) had a litter of kittens, and one of them knocked the pawn down a hole in the floor of the old house.

So, for a while, the set was one pawn down.

The set remained incomplete until maybe a couple of years later - I forget how long now - when I was sitting down to a game of chess with my mate Evan at Chez Eelco, the cafe that used to be at the top of Trafalgar Street in Nelson.

The cafe had a mismatched set of chess pieces. As soon as I picked up a pawn with a sudden intake of breath, I looked at Evan and he said, "Say no more, mate, say no more," understanding me completely - it matched my lost one, and I quietly slipped the pawn into the pocket of my jeans. The mismatched set still had enough pawns to make a full set and then some, so I didn't feel too bad about taking the piece.

A storm destroyed the old shed at some point through the years, so I'm glad I found and rescued the chess pieces when I had the chance.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Dane vs Nigel, Game 9 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

Let's start this off with a puzzle... what's Black's best move?



Maybe you got that easily enough. I didn't. It would have changed the game completely. Ah well.

Dane takes the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament after being half a point to my 3.5 and winning every game since...

First to 5 points: 
  • Dane: 5.5 
  • Nigel: 3.5

1. e4 d6 2. f4 e5 3. Nf3 Nd7 4. Bc4 h6 5. d4 exd4 6. K-O Ngf6 7. Qxd4 Be7 8. e5 K-O 9. exf6 Bxf6 10. Qd1 Nb6 11. Bb3 Bf5 12. Nc3 c6 13. Be3 Qc7 14. Nd4 Bd7 15. a4 Rae8 16. Qf3 c5 17. Ndb5 Qb8 18. Rad1 Bc6 19. Qg3 c4 20. Nxd6 Re6 21. Nxc4 Rfe8 22. Bxb6 axb6 23. Ne5 R6e7 24. Nd5 Bxd5 25. Bxd5 Bxe5 26. fxe5 Qc7 27. e6 fxe6 28. Bxe6+ Kh8 29. Qxc7 Rxc7 30. Bf5 Rf8 31. Bg6 Rf6 32. Rd8+ Black resigns 1-0




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Monday, 14 November 2016

Nigel vs Dane, Game 8 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

Dane offered me a draw at one point. I don't want to talk about it.

Current standing (first to 5 points): 
  • Dane: 4.5 
  • Nigel: 3.5

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 e5 5. d3 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 a6 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. a3 Ne7 11. e4 d6 12. b4 b6 13. Qc2 Be6 14. Rfb1 Qc7 15. bxc5 bxc5 16. a4 Rab8 17. Rxb8 Rxb8 18. Rb1 Rxb1+ 19. Qxb1 g6 20. Qc1 Bg7 21. Nd2 f5 22. exf5 Bxf5 23. Nd5 Nxd5 24. Bxd5+ Kf8 25. Ne4 Bh3 26. Qe3 Qd7 27. Qf3+ Qf5 28. Qxf5+ Bxf5 29. Kg2 Ke7 30. h3 a5 31. g4 Bd7 32. Nc3 e4 33. Nxe4 Bxa4 34. Kf1 Bc2 35. Ke2 a4 36. Kd2 a3 37. Nc3 Bb3 38. h4 Be5 39. Be4 g5 40. Nd5+ Kd7 41. Nc3 gxh4 42. Bf5+ Kc6 43. Be4+ Kb6 44. Nd5+ Ka5 45. f4 Bxf4+ 46. Nxf4 a2 47. Kc3 a1=Q+ 48. Kxb3 Qd1+ 49. Kc3 Qc1+ 50. Kb3 Qxf4 White resigns 0-1




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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Dane vs Nigel, Game 7 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

An onslaught from Dane after my (Black) unsound 12th move.

Current standing (first to 5 points): 
  • Dane: 3.5 
  • Nigel: 3.5

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. e5 Ne4 5. Qxd4 d5 6. exd6 Nxd6 7. Be2 Nc6 8. Qe3+ Qe7 9. O-O Qxe3 10. Bxe3 Bf5 11. c4 g6 12. Nc3 Ne7?? 13. Bd4! Rg8 14. Rfe1 O-O-O 15. Bxa7 b6 16. c5 Kb7 17. cxd6 Rxd6 18. Nb5 Rd8 19. Ne5 f6 20. Nc4 Nc6 21. Bf3 Bd3 22. Rac1 Bd6 23. Ncxd6+ cxd6 24. Bxc6+ Ka6 25. a4 Bxb5 26. Bxb5+ Kxa7 27. Rc7+ Kb8 28. Ree7 Rge8 29. Bxe8 1-0




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Monday, 7 November 2016

Second game on the board I made

A guy turned up on my doorstep yesterday holding a car battery and charger.  His name was Carlos and he was originally from Chile. He'd left his lights on in the Monkey Bay carpark across the road and flattened his battery.

I set up up the charger inside and started chatting with him, and before long asked whether he played chess. He did, so I offered him a small goblet of vino tinto and we had a game while waiting for the battery to charge.


1. Nf3 b6 2. b3 e6 3. Bb2 f6 4. e4 Nc6 5. Nh4 Ne5 6. Bxe5 fxe5 7. Qh5+ Ke7 8. Qxe5 d6 9. Qh5 g6 10. Nxg6+ hxg6 11. Qxh8 Kd7 12. Bc4 c6 13. Nc3 a5 14. e5 Ba6 15. exd6 b5 16. Bd3 Rb8 17. Ne4 Qb6 18. Qh7+ Ne7 19. Nf6+ Kxd6 20. O-O Qd4 21. Ne4+ Kd5 22. Nc3+ Kc5 23. Rfe1 Nd5 24. Qxg6 Ra8 25. Rxe6 b4 26. Rxc6# 1-0

Friday, 4 November 2016

First game on the board I made


I caught up with Dane to christen my new board yesterday at the Grovetown Hotel.

Lovely spot. Not sure why I've never been in there before - I pass it almost every time I go in to Blenheim.

I didn't start off that great, and my blunder on move 8 prevented my white-square Bishop from having an escape route if the pawn on f4 advanced, which Dane didn't miss...

I tried not to make the win easy for him, but he won nonetheless.

It appears I might be better at making chessboards than playing chess.


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bc4 d5 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Nxe5 Be6 6. O-O Bc5 7. d4 Bd6 8. f4 Nd7?? 9. f5! Nxe5 10. dxe5 Bxe5 11. fxe6 Bxh2+ 12. Kxh2 Qh4+ 13. Kg1 Qxc4 14. exf7+ Kf8 15. b3 Qc5+ 16. Rf2 b5 17. c4 bxc4 18. Ba3 Nb4 19. Bxb4 Qxb4 20. Qd5 c6 21. Qxc4 Qe1+ 22. Qf1 Qe3 23. Nd2 Rd8 24. Re1 Qg5 25. Qe2 g6 26. Nc4 Kg7 27. Qb2+ Kh6 28. Rf3 Qc5+ 29. Kh1 Rd5 30. Rh3+ Rh5 31. Qxh8 Rxh3+ 32. gxh3 Qd5+ 33. Kh2 Qxf7 34. Kg1 Qf3 35. Qe5 Qxh3 36. Qh2 Qxh2+ 37. Kxh2 {Black Resigns} 1-0

Friday, 21 October 2016

Nigel vs Dane, Game 6 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

Good play from Dane, not so good play from me - especially move 28. I should have resigned when it was clear I wasn't going to win, but sometimes it's nice to at least watch the opponent uncomfortable with the stress of making sure a stalemate doesn't eventuate. Bad sportsmanship... what can I say? Nice work, Dane.

Current standing (first to 5 points): 
  • Dane: 2.5 
  • Nigel: 3.5

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 c5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nc6 5. Bg2 d5 6. d3 Be7 7. O-O b5 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Re1 Qc7 10. e4 d4 11. c3 e5 12. cxd4 cxd4 13. a4 Qb8 14. axb5 Qxb5 15. Ba3 Bxa3 16. Rxa3 Qxd3 17. Nc4 Qxd1 18. Rxd1 Re8 19. Ng5 h6 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Nd6+ Ke6 22. Nxe8 Nxe8 23. Bh3+ Kf6 24. Bxc8 Rxc8 25. Ra6 Ke7 26. Rc1 Kd7 27. b4 Nd6 28. Rc5 Nxe4 29. Rc1 Nc3 30. Re1 Rc7 31. Raa1 Rb7 32. Rac1 Nxb4 33. Rxe5 Nd3 34. Rxc3 Nxe5 35. Rc1 g5 36. Rd1 Ke6 37. Kg2 Kd5 38. f4 gxf4 39. gxf4 Ng4 40. Kg3 Ne3 41. Re1 Ke4 42. Re2 Rg7+ 43. Kh3 Kxf4 44. Rf2+ Ke4 45. Rf8 d3 46. Re8+ Kf3 47. Rf8+ Ke2 48. Rb8 d2 49. Rb2 Ke1 50. Rxd2 Kxd2 51. Kh4 Rg5 52. Kh3 Nf1 53. Kh4 Nxh2 54. Kh3 Ke2 55. Kxh2 Kf3 56. Kh1 Kf2 57. Kh2 Rh5# 0-1




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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Dane vs Nigel, Game 5 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

Move 23
This game was reasonably even until my (Black) 23rd move. I should have defended my pawn in the centre with my Bishop instead of threatening the Black Bishop with my pawn.

My 24th move was even worse - I should have shifted my Rook to avoid it getting taken on the next move. I was so focused on the middle of the board I didn't even see it coming. I played on for a few more moves hoping for a hasty blunder from Dane, but it was no use.

Current standing (first to 5 points): 
  • Dane: 1.5 
  • Nigel: 3.5

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O Bh4 8. Qe2 Qe7 9. c4 c6 10. Nc3 Nxc3 11. Qxe7+ Bxe7 12. bxc3 O-O 13. Re1 Be6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Ng5 Bxg5 16. Bxg5 Nc6 17. Rab1 b6 18. f4 Na5 19. f5 Bd7 20. g4 Rfe8 21. Re2 Rxe2 22. Bxe2 Nc4 23. Bf3 h6? 24. Bxd5 hxg5?? 25. Bxa8 Ne3 26. h3 Nxf5 27. gxf5 Bxf5 28. Re1 Bxh3 29. d5 g4 30. Kh2 f5 31. d6 f4 32. d7 g3+ 33. Kxh3 Black Resigns

Not a good christening for my new chess pieces. I don't want to sound superstitious, but we've been using Dane's pieces lately and I've been doing well... better leave my pieces at home next time.



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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Nigel vs Dane, Game 4 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament


Perfect weather for a game of chess on one of the tables on the grass outside the cafe on Sunday.

I had the White pieces and played the same first few moves as my last game with White against Dane, but in a different order, not setting up the defence on the King side straight away.

I think I could have done better on move 15. I took the Black Knight with my Bishop (which was then taken by Black's Bishop), as I was apprehensive about the Knight coming back near where my Rook was about to attack. It should have been better to keep the Bishop in play - it had a strong line of attack by moving to e5 after the pawn had been taken by the Rook (if the Black Knight took my pawn on d3, then covering e5 before my Bishop got there, my Rook could get Black in check and a Queen sacrifice would be the only way out of it, or, if the Black Knight moved to a6 after the Rook took the pawn, it would be able to block the Rook's check by going to b8, but then the White Bishop move to e5 would cause some trouble for Black...).


Can't complain, though - I got a win out of the game.

Current standing (first to 5 points):
  • Dane: 0.5
  • Nigel: 3.5

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 c5 3. Bb2 e6 4. g3 Nc6 5. Bg2 d5 6. d3 Be7 7. Nbd2 Qc7 8. O-O Bd7 9. e3 O-O-O 10. c4 h6 11. a3 Rdg8 12. Bc3 g5 13. b4 cxb4 14. axb4 Nxb4 15. Bxb4 Bxb4 16. Rxa7 Bc6 17. d4 Bxd2 18. Ra8+ Kd7 19. Ne5+ Ke7 20. Rxg8 Rxg8 21. Qxd2 Ne4 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. Qb4+ Ke8 24. Ra1 Bd7 25. Nxd7 Kxd7 26. Ra7 Rb8 27. c5 Qc6 28. Qa5 f5 29. Ra8 Rxa8 30. Qxa8 Qb5 31. Qf8 Qb1+ 32. Kg2 Qd1 33. Qd6+ Kc8 34. Qxe6+ Kc7 35. Qxf5 Qd3 36. Qh7+ Kb8 37. Qxh6 g4 38. Qf4+ Black resigns 1-0

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Monday, 5 September 2016

Dane vs Nigel, Game 3 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

We played the third game of our DeVour Cafe Tournament on Saturday.

Dane and I played our opening moves quite quickly. We were obviously both prepared to get into the Petroff Defence, which normally happens when I've got the black pieces against Dane.

After taking a pawn to get me in check on move 14, Dane was a pawn up, and I had to move my uncastled King, but this didn't seem too bad. Castling on move 11 should have been better for me, though - resulting in an isolated pawn instead of being a pawn down.

Play continued fairly evenly with Dane being slightly better off as far I could tell, until Dane made a blunder on move 24, letting my Rook take his Bishop for free, resulting in his resignation.

Soon after getting home I noticed a txt on my phone from Dane: "Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!"

Current standing (first to 5 points)
  • Dane: 0.5
  • Nigel: 2.5
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. e5 Ne4 5. Qxd4 d5 6. exd6 Nxd6 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Qf4 g6 9. O-O Bg7 10. Re1+ Be6 11. Ng5 Qf6? 12. Nxe6 fxe6 13. Qxf6 Bxf6 14. Rxe6+ Kf7 15. Re1 Rhe8 16. Rxe8 Rxe8 17. Kf1 Nb4 18. Nc3 c6 19. Be3 Nxd3 20. cxd3 Bxc3 21. bxc3 a6 22. Rb1 b5 23. a3 Re5 24. f4?? Rxe3 White resigns 


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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Nigel vs Dane, Game 2 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

After a 10-minute ride on the motorbike in the fresh August morning air, I arrived at the cafe and ordered some hot tea to warm me after the ride.

I had a plan. I pretty much always lead as White with my King's Knight - which I still planned on doing - but this time, set up a King's Indian style defence instead of focusing on attack from the start.

My defensive start ended up letting Dane gain a big presence in the centre (to be expected), but I managed to obtain the better game. I think the key moves were: first, move 10 - we both made attacking moves with pawns, which I managed to come out a pawn up from once the dust settled; then, move 15, where I took his Knight with my Bishop, creating a doubled pawn for him.

I wouldn't be surprised if Dane wins every game from here, but I'm happy I've at least got one win under my belt.

Current standing (first to 5 points)
  • Dane: 0.5
  • Nigel: 1.5
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. b3 e5 5. d3 d5 6. O-O Bd6 7. Re1 Bg4 8. Nbd2 Qd7 9. Bb2 O-O-O 10. c4 e4 11. cxd5 exf3 12. dxc6 Qxc6 13. Bxf3 Bxf3 14. Nxf3 Rhe8 15. Bxf6 gxf6 16. Rc1 Kb8 17. d4 b6 18. Qd3 Qe4 19. Qxe4 Rxe4 20. dxc5 Bxc5 21. e3 h5 22. Rcd1 Rg8 23. h3 f5 24. Kh1 Kc7 25. h4 f6 26. Rd5 Black resigns 



<< View Game 1

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Dane vs Nigel, Game 1 of the First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament

I sent a txt to Dane earlier in the week:
A proposal: one morning of every weekend [...], we meet up for a morning game of chess at Annies [Devour Cafe]. We play only one game, and alternate who's white/black each weekend.

Dane was in. I had a semi-neutral party (Davina) flip a coin and the coin said Dane was going to be White.

We played our first game today.

My 4th move, bringing out my Bishop seemed pretty good at the time, but was always going to end with me a piece down for a couple of pawns - not the best start...

... and then I forgot my Knight was guarding my Rook when I moved it on move 18 - I'd seen earlier the potential for a White Bishop sacrifice (which ended up happening on White's 19th move), essentially a trade of a Bishop for a Pawn and Rook. All good for White.

I was almost ready to resign, but the shift in the game came when I advanced my b Pawn one more square - move 20 for Black. Dane didn't see that my Bishop was now attacking his Rook. He took my Pawn and then I took his Rook, essentially evening the game up.

The game continued for another 13 moves before Dane offered a draw, which I accepted.

Not a bad start to our competition, but definitely not filling me with confidence...

The First DeVour Cafe Match-up Tournament will go to the first player to get 5 points:
  • 1 for a win
  • 0.5 for a draw
Current standing:
  • Dane: 0.5
  • Nigel: 0.5


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. e5 Bb4+ 5. c3 dxc3 6. bxc3 Ba5 7. exf6 Qxf6 8. Qe2+ Qe6 9. Qxe6+ dxe6 10. Bd3 O-O 11. O-O Rd8 12. Rd1 c5 13. c4 Nc6 14. a3 b6 15. Bb2 f6 16. Nc3 a6 17. Ne2 e5 18. Nc3 Ne7?? 19. Bxh7+! Kxh7 20. Rxd8 b5 21. cxb5?? Bxd8 22. bxa6 Bxa6 23. Ne4 Rb8 24. Nxc5 Rxb2 25. Nxa6 Bb6 26. Rf1 Ra2 27. Nb4 Rxa3 28. Nc2 Ra2 29. Ne3 g5 30. Rb1 Bxe3 31. fxe3 Kg6 32. g4 Re2 33. Re1 White offers draw, Black accepts.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

prufrock vs nhollyman on chess.com, game start: 26 August, 2016

Nice 7th move for White to bring my King out. Didn't see that coming...

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qd1 Nf6 6. Nf3 Nxe4 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qd5+ Be6 9. Qxe4 Qa5+ 10. Nc3 Qf5 11. Qe2 h6 12. b3 g5 13. Bb2 Bg7 14. O-O-O Qf6 15. h3 a6 16. Na4 Qg6 17. Rhe1 Bxb2+ 18. Nxb2 Qf6 19. Kb1 b5 20. h4 g4 21. Ng1 h5 22. f4 Bf5 23. g3 Rhc8 24. Qd2 Nb4 25. Rc1 Nxc2 26. Rxc2 Rxc2 27. Qd5+ e6 28. Qb7+ Rc7+ 29. Qe4 Bxe4+ 30. Rxe4 Qf5 White resigns

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

J Gunsberg vs M Tschigorin, Havana, circa late 1800s

I recently picked up a 1903 copy of The Complete Chess Guide by F. J. Lee and G. H. D. Gossip.

It contained the following game between J. Gunsberg and M. Tschigorin in Havana, Cuba. There was no date given, but I estimate it was the late 1800s.

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 Bd6 5. b3 Nbd7 6. Bb2 O-O 7. Nbd2 Re8 8. Ne5 Nf8 9. f4 c5 10. O-O a6 11. Rf3 b5 12. dxc5 Bxc5 13. Rg3 Ng6 14. h4 Qb6 15. Nf1 Nxh4 16. Nxf7 Kxf7 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Qh5+ Ke7 19. Qxh4 Bd7 20. Rg7+ Kd6 21. Qxf6 Bxe3+ 22. Nxe3 Qxe3+ 23. Kf1 Rad8 24. Re1 Qd2 25. Re2 Qc1+ 26. Kf2 Kc6 27. Rxh7 Rf8 28. Rxe6+ Kc7 29. Rc6+ Kb7 30. Rb6+ Black Resigns