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Murray Chandler vs Michael Steadman
"Murray with the Fringe on Top" (game of the day Jan-29-2008)
New Zealand Championship (2008), Auckland, rd 1, Jan-15
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C14)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-29-08  dabearsrock1010: tremendous! blacks pieces are trapped out of the kingside action
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Mike Steadman might have resigned a bit early here. The win doesn't look easy to me.
Jan-29-08  areknames: Benzol, black hasn't got any moves. If 49..gxh5 then 50.Nxh5 after which the knight returns to f6 and the h pawn will promote undisturbed. If Steadman doesn't take the bishop, then simply Bxg6! and then h5. Black has nothing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I was looking at something like 49...gxh5 50.Nxh5 f6 51.Nxf6 Nf7 52.g6 Nh6 but White doesn't have to take the f-pawn with the Knight only.
Jan-29-08  areknames: That's right, in your line on 50..f6 there follows simply 51.g6 and wins immediately.
Jan-29-08  grasser: Do you think it was all planned when he played 30.Bh5
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: I think White already had the g-h breakthrough in mind when he played 17.b4 to bury Black's B. He showed just enough Q-side pulse to lure Black west, then traded him down to two pieces trapped in 1/4 of the board. 30.Bh5 was indeed a cute shot to make the f7-pawn backward, which buried Black's N.

That B was so bad that Black offered it up from 26-30, and White just ignored it.

Jan-29-08  think: Anyone know what the pun is referring to?
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: What if black doesn't take the proffered ♗? 49...Kc8 50. Bg4 (50. Bxg6 fxg6) Bd7 51. h5 gxh5 52. Bxh5 Kc7. Now if 53. Ng4, intending to play 54. Nh6, then 53...Be8.

If 53. Bxf7, then 53...Nxf7 54. g6 Nh6 55. g7 Kd8 56. g8=Q+ Nxg8, and I don't see that white is any closer to winning.

Jan-29-08  areknames: al wazir, if 49..Kc8 then 50.Bxg6 hxg6 51.h5 and wins.
Jan-29-08  areknames: sorry, that should be 50...fxg6. It still wins though.
Jan-29-08  linford: <think> 'Surrey with the Fringe on Top' is a song from the musical 'Oklahoma'
Jan-29-08  patzer2: <linford> <think> I think you're right Linford. At you can find the context of the song, while the lyrics can be viewed at

Check out a copy of the movie if you haven't seen it. It's a significant piece of American culture. Should be available free in most libraries with any kind of selection of old movie musicals.

Jan-29-08  patzer2: The most interesting move to me is 40. Be2!

Black seems to have missed a chance to put up maximum resistance, and perhaps hold, with 40... Nd8! 41. Nc5 Nc6 42. Ra6+ Kc7 43. Kc3 d4+ 44. Kb3 Nd8 45. Ka3 Bc6 46. Nb3 Kb7 47. Ra5 Kb6 48. Nxd4 Nb7 49. Nxc6 Rxc6 (+0.38 @ 16 depth, Fritz 8).

After 40...Bd7 40. d4!, Murray appears to have a forced win (even if it took an extra move on a repetition to find it). The passed pawn combination following the Knight fork deflection 46. Nd7+ (also 44. Nd7+) is instructive. In the final position after 49. Bxh5 , if 49...gxh5 then 50. Nxh5 allows a pawn to pass and decisively promote.

Jan-29-08  patzer2: Here at is the original cast recording of the song "Surry With the Fringe on Top" from the original cast recording of the musical "Oklahoma."
Jan-29-08  newzild: Wow, this is a great finale by my countryman. The sac took me totally by surprise as I was clicking rapidly though the game - only then did I notice that black's pieces are totally imprisoned.

A really nice finish.

Jan-29-08  arnaud1959: Great game by Chandler but very badly played by a 2275 player. Black has already a bad bishop but he cooperates well with white to make it even worse. He should at least try to open a file on the kingside for couterplay even if he had to sacrify a pawn.
Jan-29-08  soberknight: At about move 40, I thought, "Why did chessgames give us a boring draw for GOTD?" Now I know... :)
Jan-29-08  UdayanOwen: Yeah this is very pretty the way black's pieces are prisoned on the queenside by both black and white pawns, leaving white with a leisurely sacrificial breakthrough. Really pretty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Nice finish! I have come across many pretty Murray Chandler games over the years.
Jan-29-08  SpiderER: Here at is the original cast recording of the song "Surry With the Fringe on Top" from the original cast recording of the musical "Oklahoma."

For those that don't see many musicals, "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" was also popularized when Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan sang it in "When Harry Met Sally" (it's certainly the first place I heard it).

Jan-29-08  patzer2: Murray's 22. a4! creates some interesting threats. If Black declines, then best play pretty much follows the game continuation with a White advantage.

However, if he accepts it, there's a few hidden fireworks. Play after 22. a4! might go 22...bxa4 23. Bxa4+ Kf8 24. Qc5 h6 25. Bd7 Qxc5 26. bxc5 Ne7 27. c6 Ba8 (27...Bc8 28. Bxc8 ) 28. c7 Nb7 29. c8=Q+ Nxc8 30. Rxc8+ Ke7 31. Rxh8 .

Jan-29-08  xrt999: < arnaud1959: Great game by Chandler but very badly played by a 2275 player.>

funny, I was thinking the exact opposite: Steadman is rated 330 points less and played equal to Chandler. Chandler has a horrible position at move 20.. Black is breathing down white's neck and can castle kingside at will.

Unfortunately, black delays castling, instead opting to centralize the king on move 26, and things start to unravel for black. Poor choice of strategy for black.

In retrospect, 37...h5 seems to be the defining mistake for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Black gave away a certain draw with 43...Ra8 instead of 43...Nb7.

click for larger view

After this move, neither side can make progress.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Depending on how one looks at it,black's position is very comical or very pathetic. He has two pieces and yet,is totally unable to stop one solitary pawn. Here is a situation where the "bad" bishop is partnered with the "bad" knight.

The bishop and knight are as reliable partners are were Joe Namath's knees.

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