Chess players tend to highlight their wins. Perfectly understandable, but most of us probably have a decent loss or two that we’re proud of. Sometimes my own approach to chess calls to mind former baseball major leaguer Rob Deer: Swing hard every time, and sooner or later maybe you’ll connect by accident and hit the ball 500 feet. Mostly though you’ll strike out:
Curdo,J (2206) – Slater,D (1986) 17.06.2003
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bd3 f5 8.exf6 Nxf6 9.0-0 cxd4 10.Ne2 Bc5 11.a3 a5 12.Kh1 0-0 13.b3 b6 14.Bb2 Ng4 15.Qd2 Ne3 16.Rfe1
16…e5 17.fxe5 Nxg2 18.Kxg2 Rxf3 19.Kxf3 Qh4 20.Ng3 Bh3 21.Kf2 Rf8+ 22.Kg1 Rf3 23.Kh1 Rxg3 24.hxg3 Qxg3 25.Qh2 Qf3+ 26.Kg1 Ne7 27.Rf1 Qg4+ 28.Kh1 g6 29.Qf2 Bxf1 30.Rxf1 Qh5+ 31.Qh2 1-0
What I like is the stairstepped sacrifices: On 17, give up a pawn. On 18, get the pawn back by giving up a knight. On 19, get the knight back by giving up a rook. Perennial USATE teammate Tim Newman later pointed out that 26…Qg4+ is a draw because of 27.Kf2 Be7! Yup, bishops move backwards. Rats. But white probably had better winning tries than 25.Qh2.
My USATE loss to Bob Seltzer served as the inspiration for digging up this game. Future installments in the series are likely because I have a couple more Rob Deer swings like this one.