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Mark A Craven vs Kevin Casey
"Joy in Mudville" (game of the day Aug-09-2011)
Noosa Open (1994), Noosa, Australia
Scotch Game: Potter Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <ossipossi: Scotch game is a very very weak opening>

Tell that to Kasparov:

Aug-09-11  Dr. J: <<FSR et al> 15. fxe3 Ne5 16. Qf2 Nf3+ wins.> Indeed, but I think 16...h4 followed by ...Ng4 may be even stronger. I do not see how White avoids immense losses.

In the game variation, White's 18 Nc5 is inferior to Qxf6, and White emerges down "only" a whole piece. Black's 18...Bxc5 is also inaccurate: he can mate with 18...hg+ 19 Kg1 Nf2 20 Kf1 Bg4 followed by ...Rh1 mate.

<"Analyst: A friendly guide to the intricacies of the game who first cites the MCO column for the opening moves, then goes silent for the next 30 moves until one player is Rook ahead, then points out how he could have won quicker.">

Aug-09-11  LIFE Master AJ: Nice game ...
Aug-09-11  ossipossi: <FSR> right, but would you play Scotch game against Kasparov? Just for the pleasure to make it last, I'd play a KIA. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's attack is so strong that he could give up his queen.


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <ossipossi: <FSR> right, but would you play Scotch game against Kasparov?>

I'm no authority on this, but I know that IM John Watson said that 4...Bc5 is the line that makes most people give up the Scotch. Kasparov plays 5.Nxc6 in response, and the main line after that is 5...Qf6 6.Qd2 dxc6. I don't know too much beyond that.

Actually, I see that I misread your comment. Since I don't normally play 1.e4 and Kasparov doesn't normally play 1...e5 in response to it, there's not much likelihood of me having the opportunity. But if White knows what he's doing in the Scotch, it doesn't seem like a terrible choice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <PhonyBenoni> I speak - I *must* speak - as a non-fan. Of 'baseball' - or 'al-qaida-ball' as Arabic speakers know it, or 'ars-ball' as it is called in Papua New Guinea ('qaida' and 'ars') being the local terms for 'base').

Anyhow, I know almost slightly less than nothing about baseball, and the fragments I do know were picked up from odd sources ... Stephen Jay Gould musing about 'regression to the mean' and, if I remember correctly, something called the 'decline of the .400 hitter'.

And movies such as Bull Durham and the mushy one with Costner. Redford was good in The Natural, though. I happen to know about Casey and Mudville because a Welshman, John Cale, wrote a song about the legend, 'Casey at the Bat'.

It's called omnisci ... OK, *knowing stuff*, or having a grotesque filing cabinet in place of a mind.

The game? An amusing interlude from two less-than-stellar names. White's problems start with 6.Bd3, which is simply the wrong square for the bishop in such positions: fine in a French or Sicilian, dubious in an open game where an attack on f7 may be vital. Then 11.h4 turns a poor position into a lost one -- counter-attack with 11.e5 was crucial.

I thought 13.Qd2 was the *craven* move until I saw that White was already lost, though 13.Qf3 might have held out for longer.

It's sad, in a way. Games like this used to be remembered by the winners as their finest hours. Enter engines, and moves on both sides turn out to be sub-par, better defences and faster wins are found, and elation is harder to come by.

Still, both 13...Ne3! and 14...Qxg3! are nice, even if the mundane 14...h4 is probably stronger. Even the winning move, 18...Bxc5, can be improved upon with 18...hxg3+, forcing mate.

I wouldn't object to having played Black, though.

Aug-09-11  schaaktrainer: How about 15.Rxe3?
Aug-09-11  lemaire90: WOW ! This game is a beauty !
Aug-09-11  WhiteRook48: 15 Rxe3 may work, but my guess is white was a) far too material-greedy or b) <wanted> to lose with a dramatic finish. Probably (a)
Aug-10-11  Dr. J: <schaaktrainer: How about 15.Rxe3?>

Black can answer 15...Bxe3, and however White recaptures, Black is a comfortable exchange ahead.

Aug-12-11  WhiteRook48: losing an exchange is preferable to getting checkmated in the opening.
Sep-15-11  Sheroff: Thanks for the comments on my game, folks. I certainly agree that White's 6.Bd3 in the opening is not a great move. I should also point out that I did see the obvious forced mate beginning with 18...hxg+ etc, but played ...Bxc5 instead as I felt it would lead to immediate resignation (which it did), thus shortening the game.

Kevin Casey

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Seeing the names of the players was bizarre indeed for me-for years, I worked with someone called Casey Craven-and he was not at all craven.

<FSR: I'm no authority on this, but I know that IM John Watson said that 4...Bc5 is the line that makes most people give up the Scotch. Kasparov plays 5.Nxc6 in response, and the main line after that is 5...Qf6 6.Qd2 dxc6. I don't know too much beyond that.>

This is interesting; I never knew Watson had made such a statement.

Till Kasparov regularly played 5.Nxc6, I suspect only far weaker players tried it, and when I had got to play 4....Bc5, the only move I ever faced was 5.Nb3, the last time being about 1992.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perf> Yes, I think back in the olden days 5.Nb3 and 5.Be3 were the main moves. I also don't recall seeing 5.Nxc6 before Kasparov took it up. In 1974 or so, I played one Jeffrey Baffo. I was rated 1500-something, and I think he was about 200 points lower. He played the Scotch, the only time I ever faced it in a tournament game, and played 5.Nb3. He castled king-side a few moves later. Shortly after that he played f3 and left the board. I didn't see why my clock should be running after his illegal move, so played ...Bxg1 and hit the clock. This caused great hilarity among the onlookers. Baffo was embarrassed upon his return to the board and of course retracted his move. I was unable to take the game seriously after that. Got a lost game, but managed to swindle a win. Ended up winning lone Q vs. his lone R after he blundered.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> Your notes reminded me that I actually faced 5.Be3 as well, and more often than 5.Nb3.

In all my games, even rapid, I never had bare Q vs bare R, and I had most everything else, whether serious or quick play, at one time or another.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Drperfidious> I had the wrong side of Q v. R once in an offhand game against my high school chess coach:

Rhine-Freestrom, 1974. White to move.

click for larger view

I'll bet you can guess my last move. Other theoretical endings: I had the bad side of R+RP+BP v. R once in a tournament, and managed to draw. Soltis pointed out after the game that I had actually blundered into a lost R+P v. R ending, but my opponent missed the win. I had the inferior side of B+N+K v. K in a FICS game once (a "standard" game with a 5-second increment). After about 30 moves, my opponent had made no progress and offered the draw. I saw Alberto A Artidiello win that ending in a tournament game, probably also in 1974. His opponent helpfully headed to the wrong corner with his king. In another game, I saw an expert fail to win that ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> How strong was your opponent in that rook endgame?

In 1983, I made John Curdo play out B+N vs my bare king, for which another master ridiculed me, but I laughed.

Back in 2001, I had that infamous R+BP+RP in a blitz game with Alexei Lugovoi from a Dos Hermanas qualifier, which he drew without difficulty-only time I ever had that pleasure.

Also against Curdo ,in 1979, had the down side of R+N vs R, defended well, but blundered in sight of the draw.

The odd thing was that was the first hundred-move game of his career, and he'd been playing over thirty years by then! The game in the first paragraph was his second-just over 130 moves.

The longest game I ever played was in 1977, where I managed to hold on with R+f,g and h-pawns vs two bishops, f,g, and h-pawns, good for 141 moves in all. If he'd had even one knight, I'd have had the radish.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <FSR: <perf> Yes, I think back in the olden days 5.Nb3 and 5.Be3 were the main moves. I also don't recall seeing 5.Nxc6 before Kasparov took it up.>

Kasparov played 5.Nxc6 twice in his 1993 world championship match against Short. The statistics are quite striking, it turns out:

1842-1992 1993-2011
5.Be3 272 5.Be3 618
5.Nb3 119 5.Nb3 179
5.Nxc6 30 5.Nxc6 567

So 5.Nxc6 went from being an obscure move played just 7% of the time to being the co-main line, played about 40% of the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perf> As I recall, my opponent in the rook ending was 1900-something, while I was 2100-something.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Incidentally, I've always found 4...Qh4!? to be fun in blitz games, but I doubt I'd chance it in a tournament game. As I recall, White scores very well with 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> The line with 4....Qh4 is something I explored a little back in the 1990s; while I could find no direct refutation, either in theoretical works or in my explorations, I didn't like the feeling I got; White gets a lot of play for his pawn.
Oct-03-11  Sheroff: Quoth the Craven, nevermore...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Sheroff> <Quoth the Craven, nevermore...>

Could be a good pun for Halloween later this month.


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Sheroff: Quoth the Craven, nevermore...>

<Paul>: Mayhap.

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