|Jacob Cartlidge v RR after 10 ... c6|
|RR v Bill Armstrong after 13 ... c5|
14 Rd6 Nd4 No surprise there. Should whip the knight off immediately, with Bf4 the continuation after the likely e-pawn recapture. This would give more protection to the rook and build latent pressure against c7, but RR tries to be more sophisticated by delaying action.
15 Qd2 Qe7, 16 Bg5 f6, 17 Bh4 Rf7, 18 Qd3 Bf8
|RR v Bill Armstrong after 18 ... Bf8|
19 h3 Nxb5, 20 Rxd7 Giving up the exchange is the best RR can do, and although he took the game well beyond 50 moves and into relying on increments mode, Bill never allowed him to get fully back into the game.
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We join the chess game after 10 moves.
|RR v John Booth after 10 ... a6|
11 b4 Ne5, 12 f3 Protecting e4 and keeping enemy pieces out of g4. However with a couple of unprotected pieces on the long diagonal RR may need to watch out for Nxf3+ with a discovered attack at some later stage.
12 ... Rc8, 13 Qb3 Qc7, 14 Nd5 Rac1 superior as it gets the rook off the diagonal and black would regret Nxc4 when white replied Nd5
14 ... Nxd5 15 cxd5 Qc3 16 Rac1
|RR v John Booth after 16 Rac1|
Back to the game.
17 Nxb3 Rxc1, 18 Rxc1 Rc8, 19 h3 Should RR have initiated the exchange of the final pair of rooks himself? Quite possibly, but he decided that allowing black to do this would mean RR's dark squared bishop ended up on c1 preventing the black opposite number arriving on b2, whilst by covering g4 h3 would also prepare f4.
19 ... Rxc1+, 20 Bxc1 Bc8= Time to look around, but not surprised to discover that the progress in the other games is insufficient to make clear the direction the match is heading. Play on, but a plan is needed, which with minor piece endings is often far from easy. Na5, or f4 and then Na5? Queenside expansion with a4? RR alighted upon grabbing kingside space and centralising the king with intent to cramp black.
21 f4 Nd7, 22 Kf2 Kf8, 23 g4 h6, 24 Ke3 Ke8
|RR v John Booth after 24 ... Ke8|
26 Nxc5 dxc5, 27 bxa6 bxa6 28 Kd3 Silly. e5 must be better as the g7 bishop is then restricted.
28 ... Bd4, 29 Be3 Bxe3, 30 Kxe3 Kd7
|RR v John Booth after 30 ... Kd7|
31 a4 believing that black won't want to respond a5 and allow Bb5+. Shoddy thinking, but John co-operated by trying to sit on the position.
31 ... Kd6, 32 Bc4 f6, 33 a5 Back on a black square where it belongs. The next few moves are a bit daft as both sides fail to recognise the advantage in playing g5. White's plan is to get his king to c4, push e5 to gain c5 after which Kb6 hopefully wins quicker than blacks now free movement in the centre and on the kingside. Black meanwhile seems to be adopting an I don't believe you can get in approach.
33 ... Bb7, 34 Kd3 Bc8, 35 Kc3 Bb7, 36 h4 RR wakes up. Now it is too late for g5 from black.
36 ... Bc8, 37 g5 hxg5, 38 hxg5 fxg5, 39 e5+ Kc7, 40 fxg5
|RR v John Booth after 40 fxg5|
40 ... Kd7, 41 Bd3 e6, 42 d6 Kc6, 43 Kc4 Kd7, 44 Kxc5 1-0
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|RR v Karl Lockett after 10 NxB|
10 ... Qh4, 11 Qf3 Nc6, 12 O-O-O Sometimes deciding which side to castle is as difficult as choosing the files for ones rooks. I've a suspicion that in this case it doesn't make much difference objectively whether RR castles short or long, even though the resulting positions may well lead to different games. Additionally in this case black gets to choose whether castling is on the same or opposite wings.
12 ... O-O, 13 g3 Qh6+ RR had expected Qe7 here, followed by a launch of queenside and/or central pawns. After all play on a wing is usually best countered by play in the centre or by setting up a race with an attack on the opposite wing. The chosen move encourages Kb1, which white wants to play anyway, and leaves black needing to take care that his queen doesn't get trapped in the next few moves. Stockfish green lights this check, so we are in personal choice rather than weak move territory.
14 Kb1 Ne7, 15 h4 Qg6 Perhaps an attempt to offer an exchange on f5, but black is better to pose the en passant question with f5 immediately.
16 g4 f5
|RR v Karl Lockett after 16 ... f5|
21 f4 Spent time considering Nb5, but RR couldn't convince himself that this led anywhere useful after Nc6.
21 ... Nc6, 22 Ne2 cxd4, 23 Nxd4 Nxd4, 24 Rxd4 Rac8
|RR v Karl Lockett after 24 ... Rac8|
25 ... Rfe8 The plan was for f5 at this point, but couldn't identify the edge after some responses including Rc4, so switched back to forward march against his king. Not a decision of which my silicon commentator approves. With the board opening up we're now at the stage of the game where the computer often thinks there is only one sensible move. Humans find more, some of which they subsequently rue.
26 g5 fxg5, 27 fxg5 Qg7 Rf8 may seem like wasting the previous Re8, but with the f-file now open doubling major pieces on it makes sense with threats of back row mates and ganging up on c2. If nothing else RR would have to give consideration to how serious the threats are. Instead he has to decide on where to place his rook - d1, d2 or g4, all of which have their attractions
28 Rd2 Rf8, 29 Qe2 The loose g-pawn is a two for one offer.
|RR v Karl Lockett after 29 Qe2|
33 Qb5 Rd8 Re7 anticipated, though the white queen still moves in.
34 Qc6 Rxh5 He does want to take the h-pawn!
35 Qxe6 Qc7 more powerful, whilst I'm told that g7+ leads to mate in 18 - won't lose any sleep missing that.
|RR v Karl Lockett after 35 Qxe6|
35 ... Rg5 RR couldn't resist an audible "You'll regret it". Fortunately as one of the good guys Karl didn't object about this breach af etiquette. RR played
36 Qf6+ Karl regretted it, as he's losing both rooks at a minimum.
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