Thursday, March 4, 2010

My best game at the Bob Bula Invitational

The 1st Robert " Bob " Bula Invitational Chess Challenge was held from October 16 to October 31, 2010. Games were played on weekends only at the Guevarra law Office at De Guzman St., Toril, Davao City while the last round was played at Glen Paclar's rest house at Eden, Toril, Davao City. The event was a 14 players round robin among Toril's best chess players plus invited players of Davao region. I had a rather disappointing tournament scoring just 6 points in 13 rounds. My only consolation was that I was able to win a miniature game against John Ray Batucan, one of Davao's new chess sensation.

( John Ray Batucan in action at the 2008 World Youth in Vietnam )

Here are some of John Ray Batucan's chess resume:

Champion - 2008 National Age Group 12 years and under- boys
Champion - 9th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship 2008,
12 years and under- boys held at Danang, Vietnam
Philippine Representative - World Age Group Tourney
12 yrs. and under- boys held atVung Tau, Vietnam where he
rank 24 out of more than 80 participants.

There were even reports that John Ray was awarded the FIDE Master title by virtue of his winning the 2008 ASEAN Youth 12 and under category in Vietnam but the same was not officially confirmed. Together with another 12 year old prodigy, Austin Jacob Literatus, the two had been slowly emerging as the new stars of Davao chess beating some noted National masters/players of Southern Mindanao in the process.

I had a 2-2 lifetime score against John Ray prior to this game. I knew that he always play the French defense against 1. e4 as both of my wins against him were on the white side of a French advance variation. I decided to play another line to surprise him. Incidentally, John Ray landed 5th in this tournament scoring 8.5 points.

[Site "Toril, Davao City, Philippines"]
[Date " October 18,2009"]
[Round "3rd"]
[White "Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr."]
[Black "John Ray Batucan"]
[White NCFP "1900"]
[Black NCFP "1915"

French Defense Tarrash variation

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2!?

No advance variation this time.

3...Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ngf3!?

Normal is 7. Ne2. I was trying to lure John Ray to the dangerous
Korchnoi Gambit which follows after 7...Qb6 8. 0-0. According to
GM Wolfgang Uhlmann in his book "Winning with the French ", Black's
safest course is probably to decline by 8...g6!? 9.Re1 Bg7 10.dxc5 Qc7!
Gipslis- Gleizerov, Alushta 1993).

7...Be7 8.O-O O-O 9. Re1 f6 10. c4 cxd4 11. cxd5 exd5
12. exf6 Bxf6 13. Nb3 Nb6 14. Bf4 Nc4

It seems that my opening experiment backfired as I am now slowly put on the defensive which unfortunately, I am not good at.

15. Qb1 h6 16. Nc5 Be7!?

I completely miss this move when I played 16. Nc5. John Ray was smiling after making his move probably thinking, " Got You "! Now, two of my pieces are simultaneously attacked and there seems no way to save my game. But wait!

17. Bxh6!

The only move in order to complicate the game and create
counter-play. However, it is doubtful if White can save the
game with correct play from black.

17... Bxc5?

This is a blunder which caused black the game. Maybe John Ray
underestimated my attacking prowess. he.he. Best it seems is
17...gh6 18.Bc4! ( with the threat of 19.Qg6+ ) 18... Rf6! and
it seems that black is okay.

18. Bh7+!
It seems that my opponent did not consider this move in his analysis.
The Queen can now reinforce in the kingside with tempo.

18... Kh8 19. Bxg7+ !!
A clearance sacrifice paving the way for white's queen to join the
fray with check.

Kxg7 20. Qg6+ Kh8 21. Qh6!

In a span of 4 moves our fortunes had suddenly changed. I am
now the one smiling while John Ray is now scratching his head.
Black is simply lost.

21... Qc7 22. Be4+! Kg8 23. Bxd5+ Be6 24. Bxe6+ Rf7
25. Ng5 N4e5 26.Bxf7+ Nxf7 27. Qg6+ Kf8 28. Nh7 checkmate.

Ahh!! Playing chess really feels good specially if you win games like this..

You can replay the entire game by using the game replayer below.

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