Ryan Wins Pandolfini's Class Chess Tournament

Ryan Wins Pandolfini's Class Chess Tournament

| 44 | Scholastics

Professor: Well class, it's all over.

Zephyr: You mean life itself?

Professor: No, just the class tournament.

Zephyr: Oh that.

Hale: I thought it was a pretty good event.

Professor: In fact, let's give a big hand to our new class champion, Ryan!

Some clapped, some didn't. One or two said yay. Most smiled, especially Ryan.


Hale: I think Ryan played very resourcefully.

Idris: She was cool when she had to be.

Thomas: And she did have to beat Wei in the last round.

Rachel: I know liked it.

Zephyr: That Ryan beat Wei in the last round?

Rachel: No, I mean the tournament. I liked it very much.

Wei: It was okay, I guess.

Idris: There was some luck. Though Ryan did deserve to win.

Wei: Sure, but I would have preferred a double round robin.

Thomas: Now that would have been fairer.

Professor: So let's review some key moments from the last three rounds.

Lucian: Sounds good, Professor. Which game first?

Professor: How about Lucian vs. Wei from round five?

Lucian: Actually, I thought I was winning that game.

Professor: Here, with White, Lucian played 1. f7. Does that win?

Question 1: What should Black do after 1. f7?

Lucian: I missed his shot.

Wei: I think I'm busted after 1. Qxg5. Sorry about that. 

Lucian: That's okay. That's chess.

Zephyr: Maybe I should try to hide my smile.

Hale: That's not a bad idea.

Professor: Let's move to another game from Round five, Zephyr vs. Idris.

Zephyr: Oh, not that game.

Question 2: What does Black do after 1. Qb5?

Zephyr: What can I say?

Thomas: Material was even.

Zephyr: But I was under heavy fire.

Idris: And you were short of time.

Zephyr: I saw the double attack and played it without much thought.

Lucian: Aha.

Idris: I had the sac in mind for a few moves.

Rachel: It was a really nice idea.

Professor: Now the next round had an interesting finish to Lucian vs. Ryan.

Lucian: Me again?

Hale: I thought you played some good chess.

Zephyr: Please. Don't get carried away.

Question 3: How should Black respond to 1. Bc2?

Lucian: I should have taken on h6. 

Ryan: I guess you missed the threat.

Zephyr: That's a good guess.

Professor: Let's move to the last round.

Thomas: Which games in particular, Professor?

Professor: Two games are noteworthy. 

Zephyr: That's comforting to hear.

Professor: Let's start with what was essentially the championship game, Ryan vs. Wei.


Question 4: How should White continue after 1...Nd7?

Ryan: I was down three pawns.

Wei: You know, I was going to play 1...Og5. 

Ryan: Yeah, I thought you were going to do that. 

Hale: Several moves seem to be winning.

Rachel: You were in time trouble, though, weren't you?

Wei: That's no excuse. I just blundered.

Professor: This brings us to our last position.

Thomas: Which game, Professor?

Professor: None other than Zephyr vs. Lucian.

Zephyr: Now that was a good game.

Lucian: Are you kidding?

Zephyr: No. Not at all.

Question 5: How should White play after 1...exd3?

Lucian: I could have played 1...Nxd3.

Zephyr: But you didn't, and you missed my winning idea.

Lucian: So did you!

Zephyr: I should have won.

Lucian: So, after I played 1...exd3, why did you take my draw offer?

Zephyr: I was short of time. And I felt sorry for you.

Lucian: That's ludicrous.

Zephyr: You're ludicrous.

Lucian: Oh yeah? Who finished ahead of you in the tournament?

Thomas: Almost everybody.

Zephyr: Not Lucian.

Thomas: But you had the same score as Lucian.

Zephyr: Hey, drawing master, you didn't even win a single game. 

Lucian: That's right, you didn't even win a single game. 

Thomas: I have news for you. Neither did either of you.

Answers below -- Try to solve NM Pandolfini's puzzles first!

Answer 1: After 1. f7?, Black has a forced mate beginning with 1...Qh4+!.


Answer 2: After 1. Qb5?, Black forces mate by 1...Qxh3+!.

Answer 3: After 1. Bc2?, Black has a forced mate beginning with 1...Qxb2+!.

Answer 4: After 1...Nd7?, White forced Black's resignation by 2. Rxf8+ Nxf8  3. Bc4.

Answer 5: After 1...exd3?, White wins with 2. Nh5+!. But that didn't happen. Black (Lucian) offered a draw and White (Zephyr) accepted, in a winning position.

The final tournament crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 Idris * 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 0
2 Thomas 1/2 * 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2
3 Lucian 0 1/2 * 0 1/2 1/2 0 0
4 Ryan 1/2 1/2 1 * 1/2 1 1 1
5 Zephyr 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 * 0 0 0
6 Rachel 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1 * 0 0
7 Hale 0 1/2 1 0 1 1 * 1/2
8 Wei 1 1/2 1 0 1 1 1/2 *

Take Note:

The final results:

1st was Ryan with 5.5;

2nd was Wei with 5;

3rd was Idris with 4.5;

4th was Hale with 4.0;

5th was Thomas with 3.5;

6th was Rachel with 2.5;

and 7th-8th were Lucian and Zephyr with 1.5.


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