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Alexander Yevgenyevich Baburin vs Gerry McCarthy
Cork masters open (2008), Cork IRL, rd 1, Mar-28
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This is embarrassing. I can explain. In a sense.

This is the first and only time that I've played the Nimzo-Indian. But my usual Dutch and my backup Benoni have serious flaws against much stronger players: they are positionally dubious. The GM just exploits this, and then you lose.

I'd been 'preparing' a particular line in the Nimzo, for use against somebody who always played 4.Qc2. I thought this also applied to Baburin. I was wrong: he sometimes plays 4.e3, of which I had only a broad general knowledge.

I'd never even seen that particular gambit/offer of the g-pawn before. He told me afterwards that it's fairly OK to take it, or refuse it. But, having refused it, I should have played ...d5 quickly, to contest e4.

The actual manner in which I then dropped a piece was both a tactical blind spot, and a failure to know the kind of things that can happen in such positions.

I've done some more 'work' on the Nimzo, but I still don't feel ready to play it again in a tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Played on 28th March 2008. I've submitted a correction.

Wish I could correct some of Black's moves so easily.

Checking through some databases, I found that the first 9 or 10 moves have been played a couple of times before, so I'm not the first to reject ...Bxg2, play ...Be7 and ...d6. It's still a very bad 'plan' to try to implement a Hedgehow formation, as I was doing, when White has so much central pawn power.

Black can try 6...Bxg2 7.Rg1 Bf3, which is unclear and relatively unexplored. If not, then 7...Bxc3 is better than the retreat to e7. And if not that, then ...d5 is vital.

Nov-01-11  mworld: 'cork open'? I'd say that would explain it all.

Well done ending the work and getting straight to the point. I think my phone has pulled this very same maneuver on me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <mworld> That's what's embarrassing -- I don't think I'd ever even seen this particular tactic before. I had no antennae on alert for the idea, as I would for, say, Bxh7+ in a French, or the Noah's Ark pawn trap on the Queenside. In my usual defences, a Bishop on e7 always has somewhere to go.

It's much too simple a trap to occur in GM games. You have to find it yourself, by playing blitz or engine games.

But no. I didn't do the grunt work. I uncorked, as it were, my first ever attempt at playing the Nimzo-Indian, in a tournament game against a GM.

And this is what happened.

I've only ever lost one game more quickly. That was when, before the 2007 Irish championships, I told myself that I had to play more aggressively. But I set the dial too high, and I sacrificed a Knight on move 5 of a Reti, against a solid IM. I sheepishly resigned on move 15.

It helped to reset the aggression dial, though, because I then won two successive games with sacs or pseudo-sacs: G McCarthy vs H Khonji, 2007 and C Egan vs G McCarthy, 2007.

I had so many short games, wins and losses, in that event that I didn't find out what the time controls were until round 5. And it then cost me a point, as I went into blitz mode 30 minutes earlier than I needed to.

There are many ways to be an idiot. But chessplayers know this.

Nov-02-11  mworld: <But no. I didn't do the grunt work. I uncorked, as it were, my first ever attempt at playing the Nimzo-Indian, in a tournament game against a GM.

And this is what happened. >

I'd say that'd be the best way to learn all about it...have them prove it to you =]

And to the other ways of being a chess idiot...besides the time involved they are why I don't even try to enter the chess world much further than playing the daily match against the computer, or the rare time someone shows up at my house with the know how to play a decent game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < or the rare time someone shows up at my house with the know how to play a decent game.>

That's what I did between roughly 1990 and 2005. Then I started to play in poker tournaments, led on by the fact that one of my chess opponents was regularly winning them. It turned out he was better at poker than chess.

So I entered a chess tournament for the first time since 1989. And several more in the next year. But the addiction is under control now.

Speaking of stupidity ... I stopped playing poker because I was wearing a very old pair of glasses with tinted lenses and the wrong prescription, and I literally couldn't see the cards. I eventually got new glasses. Maybe it's time to return ...

Nov-04-11  cohare: I don't remember you playing either chess or poker well at Broc House - tinted glasses or no! How are you!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Morning, Doc. Didn't you play Baburin yourself in the World Open a few years back? I heard you became rather good at cc, too.

Still alive, unlikely as it may seem.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <cohare> Good to hear from you, incidentally. Better not let on that you've known me in - what was it called? - 'real life', though. You might find yourself being stalked by maniacs or besieged by fans, with the balance of probability tilted more towards the former.

You may notice that my selection of games in the CG database includes a few gruesome losses to GMs, but does not include my draw with Tony Miles. This is because I lost the score. But, since you were sitting beside me getting beaten at the same time, I'm sure you'll agree that it actually happened. In fact, I think I only took the draw at your insistence: part of me wanted to play on, just in case I might somehow be winning.

I've also misplaced the score of the tournament game you and I played a few days later - when I achieved the strange feat of scoring 6.5/7 in a swiss and not winning the event.

Times change.

Nov-08-11  cohare: Do you have an e-mail?

Here is my latest chess exploit

As a treat for you...Event "Dundrum International Jun Rd.5 Apr"] [Date "1976.??.??"]
[White "McCarthy, Gerry V O'Hare"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A13"]
[EventDate "1976.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2004.06.06"]

1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Nxc3 8.dxc3 Qc7 9. Qc2 Be7 10. Rd1 h5 11. Be3 h4 12. Nxh4 Bxh4 13. gxh4 Rxh4 14. Bg5 Rg4 15. Be3 Ne7 16. Qh7 Nf5 17. Bxc5 Nd4 18. Qg8+ Kd7 1-0

............ and as a favor to your legion of followers I will not give my 6 victories!!


Nov-08-11  Shams: Position from the game <cohare> posted:

click for larger view

Here Black played <8...Qc7>. With Queens off and symmetrical pawns, how much better would White really be after 8...Qxd1 9.Rxd1<?> Granted that the position is no fun to play for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <coh> Great, thanks ... most of my surviving games from that era are horrible, or flukes, or both. It's good to fill in one of the gaps, and against such an estimable opponent too.

If memory serves, you'd earlier ripped apart one of my first attampts at a Winawer, in a schools match. And a few months after the Dundrum game you got revenge by thrashing me with the *Black* side of a Fried Liver. I haven't played 1.e4 since.

A complex thing, memory. I can remember the ambience of the rooms those games were played in, 35 years ago. I can recall the openings, the approximate ebb and flow of pieces. But I can't reconstruct entire games.

I'm a very occasional user of email these days - long story - but I'll send you a ping. Might take a few days.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Shams> White normally retakes with the b-pawn -- I've done it many times since -- rather than allow the Queen swap. I suspect I knew that even then. But my opponent <cohare> and I were on the same college team, were still unrated at this point, and had played thousands of blitz games. I knew he was sharper than me, and unlikely to accept a 'boring' Queenless position. So I might have used some kind of psychology. A draw was no use to either of us - I think we'd each dropped a half-point already, and there were so many playing that 6/7 wasn't going to be much use.

The next time we played in a tournament, I overdid the psychology gambit by playing 1.e4. His turf, his game.

Still, this kind of stuff was enough to slam us both into the rating list in the 16-1700 zone. Not far below where I am now, in fact.

Nov-08-11  cohare: I always admired your skill with words - glad to see you still have it!

Saying you brought it up!!......

[Event "Oireachtais,Dublin Rd.1 Nov.5"]
[White "McCarthy, Gerry V O'Hare"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C57"]
[WhiteElo "1650"]
[BlackElo "1645"]
[EventDate "1976.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke6 8. Nc3 Nce7 9. O-O c6 10. d4 Kd6 11. dxe5+ Kc7 12. Rd1 Be6 13. Ne4 Ng6 14. Bb3 Qe8 15. Ng5 Bc5 16. c4 Rf8 17. cxd5 Rxf3 18. Nxe6+ Kb6 19. gxf3 Nxe5 20. Kh1 Qh5 21. a4 Qxf3+ 22. Kg1 Qxf2+ 23. Kh1 Qf3# 0-1..

Hard to think that was 35 yrs ago. I too remember the emotions surrounding those games. (Including the sinking feeling after you played 6.Nxf7 ) Why I enjoy playing over them. (Don't Engines make us look bad!.. though no glaring errors in this game) The bad R swap away to Cavan, playing soccer with Tony Miles. Brian driving to Galway.... stoned and with one headlight!

.... and 24hrs straight of Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.

I'm getting all maudlin - awaiting the e-mail!

Nov-08-11  cohare: Apart from these two and the Gormanstown game I don't think we played OTB - I think you stopped for a while.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <cohare> Yeah, I stopped sometime in '78. Started a few times again in the 80s - at one point Paul Wallace and I played for a Sandymount team. Another time I played board 1 (!!) in the Armstrong Cup, for the Rathmines 'B' team. Somebody there noticed that I was not very ruthless against lower-rated opponents - I'd get, um, dreamy, and drop points. On the other hand, I could sometimes win against much stronger players. Always erratic.

I eventually stopped playing completely around 1990, until something brought me back in 2006.

I think I read about your corr exploits in an ICU website report. I suppose GM is the next step?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Just for the record, 8.dxc3 Qc7 *has* been played in that line of the English.

Teske, Henrik (2533) - Priyadharshan, K. (2411)
ESP, 2009
A34 5th Open

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 e6 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Nxc3 8. dxc3 Qc7 9. Qa4 Bd7 10. Qe4 Bd6 11. Rd1 Rd8 12. Qg4 g6 13. Bh6 Ne5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. Qh4 Bc8 16. f4 Rxd1+ 17. Rxd1 Bd6 18. Bg7 Be7 19. Qh3 e5 20. Bxe5 Bxh3 21. Bxc7 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 f6 23. Bd6 Bxd6 24. Rxd6 Ke7 25. Rd5 b6 26. Kf3 h5 27. e4 Ke6 28. c4 f5 29. e5 Re8 30. Rd6+ Kf7 31. Rd7+ Re7 32. Rxe7+ Kxe7 33. Kg2 1-0

Nov-09-11  cohare: The ICCF server has made it enjoyable. It was a "bucket list" item to become an IM - then I found myself within spitting distance of becoming an SIM - and worked hard to get there... with a bit of luck I made it (see the link I sent earlier - lot of effort!)I have played some games to be proud of - but also some drivel. Server chess is relentlessly unforgiving. I am getting creamed in a K-Bishop's Gambit without never really doing anything wrong! I have exceeded my ability.... I might yet commit to trying for just one GM norm - but Engines are making a lot of very good players great! I follow some Irish websites (which are best?) I see B Palmer's name - even McElligot and Liam Porter. How is Brian Redmond? Is there a better thread to post on?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <ciaran> There's my forum - aka Frogspawn - but it gets a bit cluttered with several conversations at once.

I've played both McElligot and Porter (a loss and a win) in recent years. Not B Palmer, though I talked to him at the 2007 Irish championships. He'd been playing Go in Japan.

As for Brian, I last saw him at a Korchnoi simul in the early 80s. I guess our paths diverged.

But quite a few people seem to return to chess after absences of up to 20 years. The reasons are obvious enough -- you get distracted in your mid-20s, then find yourself with time to spare again in your 40s.

I call it Fischer-Dylan syndrome. Fischer, as its most famous exponent (sufferer?) and Dylan because of a line from some song (not Sad Eyed Lady) that goes "You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way".

I've been writing for a living, mostly, in some sense or another. The last twelve years as a small cog in Rupert Murdoch's evil empire, which I recently escaped from. So I'm broke, but saner. And relieved.

More data when I get around to that email. I have a couple of articles to write first, but I should manage it by the weekend. Or shortly after.

It's a psychological thing. I can rattle out posts here, or send the kind of email that goes "got the message, thanks". Routine stuff. But anything longer or more complex feels like *writing* and my brain goes into a different mode. Which includes avoidance and displacement strategies to escape the terror of actually writing.

And this word-avoiding scoundrel is Chessgames's 8th most prolific kibitzer? Funny old world.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Oh -- if you've been looking at 'a few' Irish chess websites, then you know at least as much as I do. I'm a bit out of touch, living in Cork and playing occasional tournaments. I check out the ICU site -- but I'm not even a member at the moment.

Cheers, G.

Nov-11-11  cohare: If you had an interest - the ICCF is also a free server where we could play a "match" - the messages are not open and so our personal reminiscences wouldn't bore others.

Is there still a Christmas Mulcahy?
Were you originally from skibbereen?
Suprised BP isn't locked up!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Ah, two and a half questions ...

(a) Not exactly. It faded out for a few years and was then revived in late Jan -- I've played the last few years. In one of them I dropped almost 100 rating points. So it's my local tournament, but not exactly my favorite.

(b) Er, yes. But there's no longer a family connection, or anything. Haven't been there for a while.

(c) And you presumably haven't heard the stories I have. Actually, last I heard he was quite ill: no great surprises there either. Did you know we're exactly the same age, to the day?

I don't play any kind of online chess, as a rule. I think I need a live opponent to take a game seriously. Old-fashioned, innit?

Nov-12-11  cohare: i never knew that about you and BP. Sorry he is ill - maybe an excess of excess. I guess most of us would have stories on him - Is he Ireland's Norman Whittaker! Losing OTB rating points is part of the aging process - like knowledge we are meant to pass them on to upcoming youth! Last Wed we had a 5.0 Quake, a tornado (25 miles from me), and a thunderstorm that led to massive flooding - that's Oklahoma for you. I hope you have stopped those Galloise and aren't contributing to global warming that must be causing all that crap. Spending a few hours on my postal moves

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