Sat.5th Oct. - Tactical cusps
Not a well-taken photo of Akia Chabot, but memorable for me as it came at a key moment in his game with Jeddah. Akia was down quite a bit of material at that point but was just about to recover a piece in fine tactical style. This is an approximate reconstruction of their game - I'm confident only that there is much that's wrong in it! (5 days later: but how did black's QB get out? by the incursion of a white knight? impossible? very close to impossible!)
Anyway. After 2...Kxd7 the exchange is equal, in the obvious sense, as Jeddah's loss of rook and pawn equals Akia's loss of knight & bishop. So Jeddah is still a piece up. But then comes the crunch: Jeddah's bishop is now pinned to her king, and c4 wins it at the cost of a pawn. Which would explain the quiet satisfaction of Akia's profile, even though he obviously doesn't enjoy being photographed, here!
So would Jeddah have been better advised to settle for the loss of a pawn? It seems so to me, and to do this she could have played 1...Kb8 instead.
Now, if Akia had spotted that option before 1.Bxd7+ then perhaps he would have played 1.Nxd7 instead. This move may well be a bit cleverer, again. It threatens two things as next move: 2.Nxe5 winning the rook, and also 2.Nb6+ with discovered check AND the threat on Jeddah's bishop on d5. This makes it quite difficult for Jeddah to avoid playing the move that ends with her king on d7 and her bishop pinned.
Peter rang me up today to say sorry he missed us last Saturday, and that he looks forward to this next one.