The Indianapolis Colts Punt Formation Opening

One of my 10 universal chess truths is that losing stinks, and getting a positive result from a bad position is like having a party.

Here is such a game. (Unfortunately my opponent is the one having the fun.)

Slater (2140) – Banawa (2450)

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In hindsight, I’d have to say white has played this opening like the Colts punt. What the heck am I doing?

Black now has all four minors plus his rook and queen nicely positioned to contest the center AND potentially muck about on the kingside.

In fact, he’s got so many pieces over there, he accidentally loses one.


Changing the Stockfish evaluation from -0.3 in black’s favor to +0.2 in white’s favor. Black’s pieces get tangled up. However, he will have a lot of compensation because white has to further open up his kingside to win material.

19.g4 Be6  20.h4 b5  21.Nc3 Nxe5  22.dxe5 Bxe5  23.hxg5

All very interesting. After black passed up the intermezzo 22…Nxf3+, Stockfish now puts white ahead at +1.3. (With the intermezzo it would be pretty close to equal.)

Unfortunately, black is the better player, and now proceeds to aggressively kick butt culminating with a super pretty 31st move.

23…Bh2+ 24. Kf1 a4  25.Ne2 c5  26.Rc1 axb3  27.Qxb3 d4  28.Qc2? Bc4  29.exd4 Re3  30.Qd2 Rd3  31.Qc2 Qg3!

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Active pieces much? I had to smile when I realized how this works:

32. Nxg3 Rxf3 mates. And 32.Ng1 Rxf3 mates.

So maybe I can kill the bishop first?

32. Qxc4 Rxf3 also mates.

So by now we’re at -6.5. Playing 32.Qxd3 and trudging on for a bunch of moves (it was a team tournament) didn’t help.