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Paul Motwani vs P Rockwell
"Rockin' in the New Year " (game of the day Dec-31-2012)
Dundee (1974), ?
Sicilian Defense: Morphy Gambit (B21)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I'm rather surprised this Motwani gem has received no commentary until now. The earliest game in the database featuring our Player of the Day is quite a festival of sacrifices and has a strong 19th Century feel, appropriate given the name of the gambit played. 13.White to Play is a suitable puzzle for Tuesday, 11.White to Play suitable for Thursday, and 6.White to Play suitable for a Saturday.
Dec-22-11  Whitehat1963: Wednesday puzzle after 12...h5.
Jul-04-12  DanielBryant: Motwani himself admitted in his book H.O.T. Chess that his opening play was extravagant and objectively poor -but this is a neat combination.
Dec-31-12  mravikiran: The Black king had guts to barge into the enemy fort all alone, when all of his majors are still in their bed room - mobiles switched off!
Dec-31-12  Jamboree: After 6. ...Kxf7?? if looks like a forced mate in all lines, or loss of black's queen at best after 7. Ne5+ dxe5 8. Qxd8 -- otherwise black is mated by force as in the game.

HOWEVER, can black survive and perhaps even make it to a playable middlegame with 6. Bxf7 Kd7! ?

If 7. Ne5+ Kc7 and then what? I see no insta-win for white, and if black can dodge immediate tactics he can squeak into the middlegame with even material.

Moral of the story: When confronted with a shocking move like Bxf7+, don't panic and play the obvious reply. Sometimes an off-kilter comeback can throw a monkey-wrench into the combination.

Dec-31-12  Abdel Irada: What did 12. ...h5 have to do with the position? Had Black just given up, and so felt that it made no difference what he did? Otherwise, it seems a strange choice.
Dec-31-12  Abdel Irada: <Jamboree>: It's true that Black can nominally "survive" (in the sense of not getting mated immediately) with 6. ...Kd7, but after 7. Ne5†, Kc7 8. Ng6 his game looks hard to salvage.
Dec-31-12  mertangili: What's the finish after 10...Kc4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Abdel Irada> Let's check out Black's choices on move 12:

click for larger view

White threatens the mate which actually occurred in the game: 13.Rad1+ cxd1Q 14.Rxd1+ Ke2 15.Qf3#. Black's king cannot get away (12...Ke2 13.Qf3+ goes back to essentially the previous position), so one of his pieces has to stop the mate. Since none of them remembered to set their alarm clocks, this does not seem hopeful. I can see only two possibilities.

12...Bg4 stops the check on d1 temporarily, but actually allows a quicker mate since after 13.Qxg4 White's queen guards the king's escape square. 12...Qa5 allows the queen to interpose on d2, but that doesn't delay the mate either.

In short, it makes no difference what Black plays and 12...Resigns was probably best to provide a chance to beat the lines at the pub. However, 12...h5 is still possibly the worst move. After other moves, there was always a chance in a million that White would choose to mate with 15.Qg4 instead of 15.Qf3 and Black could snaffle the queen with 15...Bxg4. It doesn't help, since White still has 16.Rd2+ Ke1 17.Nc2#. Still, a moral victory is better than nothing, Tartakower notwithstanding.

But after 12...h5, White isn't going to fall for that. So that was clearly the worst move on the board, and maybe that's why Black chose it. Why do anything different from what he's done the rest of the game?

Dec-31-12  Abdel Irada: <Phony Benoni>: As you say, Black's play with 12. ...h5 is at least consistent.

After all, it was 4. ...h6?! that started him on the road to perdition, although it was only after 5. ...dxc3? that he really got well embarked on it.

Dec-31-12  waustad: Well, he developed his king!
Dec-31-12  Travis Bickle: <mravikiran: The Black king had guts to barge into the enemy fort all alone, when all of his majors are still in their bed room - mobiles switched off!> You ever hear of General Custer? ; P
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <mertangili: What's the finish after 10...Kc4?>

10...Kc4 11.Na3+ Kb4 12.e5+ Ka5 13.b4+ Ka4 14.Qc4 Be6 15.Qb5+ Kxa3 16.Bc1#.

Dec-31-12  Abdel Irada: <waustad: Well, he developed his king!>

I think he should have tried queening it and seeing if he could confuse his way out of trouble. ;-)

Dec-31-12  morfishine: There's something sublime about this King walk.

I suspect 'P Rockwell' was a lower-rated player who ventured into the Open section only to find himself paired with a GM, but its hard to tell

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <morfishine> Motwani was only twelve at the time and did not get the GM title till 1992.
Dec-31-12  morfishine: <perfidious> Thanks for clearing that up! Oops, I neglected to check their ages, which I usually do :(

I'm curious about the rating '2503' on the <CG> scoresheet which could lead one to believe he was rated '2503' at the time this was played. Certainly, he wasn't rated '2503' at 12?

Dec-31-12  kevin86: Black promotes and loses soon after!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <morf> I think the CG database shows a player's contemporary ELO for a particular game if known . If the actual ELO at the time the game was played isn't known, the database gives a "best guess" ELO - this could be the player's highest ELO or their latest ELO. But not necessarily the ELO at the time.

I think this game was taken from a book, so the grades wouldn't be known.

Dec-31-12  morfishine: <Once> Thanks for the further clarification! I was wondering about that since <CG> assigned a highest rating of 2511 while 2503 was assigned to this game.
Dec-31-12  12.12.12: I imagine that the black king shouted ATTACK! then ran forward but no one followed him.
Aug-17-14  Ke2: Paul Mo(rphy)twani

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