Poker with Chess Pieces I. Showdown at the US Amateur Team

Apr 6, 2011, 10:05 AM |

This game occurred at the US Amateur Team East, in February. Black took the opportunity to transpose into the Latvian Gambit, and a sharp line in it at that.  The offbeat 3...b5?! has little merit other than to guarantee a messy position.

In the ensuing melee, White wisely opted to go down an Exchange, and got some nice play along the g-file. On move 21, however, Stanics overestimated his chances and played an error that could best be regarded as a bluff.

Two moves later Zilbermintz laid his cards down and traded into a lost ending.

In view of the errors and inaccuracies, I can't say that this game calls the Latvian Gambit to proper account. It is, however, entertaining.

Lest you think this sort of thing happens only at the amateur level, wait a few days, and I'll show you an encounter from 1968 where a GM folds his hand to a suave bluff.