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John Stopa vs Chris W Baker
"Baker's Dozen" (game of the day Mar-05-2013)
corr (1987) (correspondence)
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. Advance Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-22-03  stinkymagoo: White looks like they have a decent attack going- is there a zinger by black that I'm just not seeing?
Dec-22-03  solstys: 13...fxe3 14. Nxd8 exf2+ 15. Kh1 fxe1=Q+
16. Qxf1 Nf2+ wins for Black. If the white knight doesn't take the queen, white will be down a bishop.
Jan-17-13  hscer: A guy named Baker wins in 13 moves? The pun almost writes itself. Is the game any good?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 13 moves, really?

"Stopa Baker's Dozen"

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Ouch-cannot imagine what happened here beyond simple miscalculation, as White was quite a strong player, who was always well prepared theoretically and generally favoured slightly offbeat lines.
Mar-05-13  morfishine: Baker's not loafing around here. While 13.Nxc6 is a blunder, he didn't have much better; In that line White ends up down two pieces; If he had played something else, like 13.Bxf4, White will "only" be down a piece.

Baker's home cook'n Stopa's White in his tracks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It took me a while to work this one out, and then used my friend Fritz to confirm.

Rewind to this position after 11...f5 and white is doing well...

click for larger view

White has 12. Nxc6 Bxe3 13. Rxe3

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Black has to do something about his attacked queen and needs to avoid 13...Qd7 14. Qxd5+ Qxd5 15. Ne7+. Fritz reckons that white has an advantage of about a pawn.

Instead, white overcomplicated things with 12. Nd2

click for larger view

He figured that his Nxc6 trick was still available so he didn't have to worry about black playing f4 and trapping the landlocked white bishop on e3. So he might as well develop another piece.

But black doesn't have to fear Nxc6 and losing his queen, because his f4 pawn causes havoc at the other end of the board. <solstys> has nailed it. After 12. Nd2 f4 13. Nxc6 fxe3!

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If white grabs the proffered black queen, then exf2+ and fxe1(Q)+ give black a clear material plus. If white captures the black e3 pawn, he lost at least a piece and the attack rages against f2.

Surprised that white resigned without seeing his opponent play 13...fxe3. Maybe black put his hand on the f pawn and white resigned before he had a chance to complete the move?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Once> It was a correspondence game, so it's possible Black's reply was sent as part of a conditional ("if-move") sequence. But even then the first move would normally be recorded.

Maybe Baker couldn't wait for the mail, and called Stopa on the telephone. That sort of thing does happen.

Back in 1975, I took a couple of weeks off from a correspondence tournament to play in the US Open. One of my opponents came in for the USCF Delegates meetings, and stayed with me while he was in town. He showed me what move he was planning to send, we analyzed it, and quickly came to the conclusion that I would be wasting postage by continuing the game.

So I ended up resigning while on vacation. If this sounds like a made-up story, my opponent was J D Brattin. Anybody who knew Brattin will nod their heads and agree that this was precisely the sort of thing he would do.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny,after the queen sac-black could be up as much as a rook and a piece!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Phony Benoni> Well spotted! I didn't see the "cr" at the top of the page.

Reminds me of a story. Many years ago I was playing a club speed game and we reached a tense position. My opponent played a move, then clapped his hand to his forehead.

"I'm such an idiot!" he cried out and offered his hand.

I shook it, almost on autopilot, and he stormed out, muttering darkly. It is quite possible that the muted thump thump we could hear was him bashing his head against the wall in the hallway outside the clubroom.

Meanwhile a group of us stared at the position to try to work out why he had resigned.

We couldn't see any reason for him to resign. His position was a bit cramped but not lost. Then it dawned on us. There was an illusion of a tactic which didn't quite work because one of the pieces was pinned. He had seen that, not looked deeply at it, and that was that.

We then debated whether it would be a kindness not to tell him ...

Luckily he saw the funny side when I later fessed up.

Mar-05-13  Rama: Hey Phoni, I was in the 1975 Golden Knights USCF postal tourny. Is that the one? I was eliminated in round three in about 1978.

I heartily recommend playing postal, it is how I developed my opening style.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Rama> No, this was a Michigan Postal Championship.

I was never very good at Postal. It's how I developed my blitz chess style.

Mar-05-13  Travis Bickle: I think this game is wrong. I think Morphy is playing white! ; P
Mar-05-13  RandomVisitor: After 11...f5

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.93] d=25 12.Nxc6 Bxe3 13.Rxe3 Qh4 14.Rf3 Kh8 15.Nc3 Ng5 16.Rg3 f4 17.Rg4 Qh6 18.Nxd5 Qxc6 19.Rxg5 Rad8 20.e6 Qxe6 21.Qe1 Qh6 22.Qe5 Rfe8 23.Ne7 Qf6 24.Qxf6 gxf6 25.Ra5 Bc4 26.Rc5 Rxe7 27.Rxc4

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