Nashville-Memphis Match 1999
The Game Scores
[White "JavaChessMan"]
[Black "LordKent"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1930"]
[BlackElo "2016"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Nf3 g6 5. cxb5 a6
6. Nc3 axb5 7. e4 b4 8. e5 bxc3 9. exf6 Qa5 10. bxc3 Qxc3+ 11. Bd2 Qxf6 12. Rc1 Bg7 13. Bc4 O-O 14. Bg5 Qd6 15. O-O Ba6 16. Nd2 Qe5 17. h4 Bf6 18. Re1 Qd4 19. Re4 Qb2 20. Bb3 Bd3 21. Re3 c4 22.Nxc4 Bxc4 23. Rxc4 d6 24. Rxe7 Bxe7 25. Bxe7 Re8 26. Bxd6 Nd7 27. Rc7 Rac8 28. Ba4 Rxc7 29. Bxc7 Qc3 30. Qc2 Re1+ 31. Kh2 Qxc2 32. Bxc2 Rc1
0-1

[White "LordKent"]
[Black "Bark"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2016"]
[BlackElo "1636"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. f4 a6 9. Kh1 Qc7 10. Bf3 Nc6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Na4 d5 13. e5 Nd7 14. c4 a5 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Be3 Ba6 17. Rc1 Qb7 18. Rf2 Rac8 19. Rfc2 Rxc2 20. Qxc2 Rc8 21. Qxc8+ Qxc8 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. Nb6 Nxb6 24. Bxb6 Bb4 25. Be2 f6
26. Bd4 Kf7 27. Bd3 h6 28. g3 Bd7 29. Kg2 Be8 30. Bc3 Bc6 31. Kf1 Ke7 32. Ke2 Kd7 33. Bxb4 axb4 34. Ke3 fxe5 35. fxe5 Kc7 36. Kd4 Kb6 37. Bg6 Bd7 38. h4 1/2-1/2
The Complete Match By Doug Eckert
On May 15, the Memphis Chess Club and Nashville Chess Club conducted their first internet match which consisted of two games using a game in 90 time control.  The Memphis participants were Neil Meita, Jake Kleiman, Gary Pylant, Greg Krog and FM Doug Eckert.  Also participating were the Eckert
family pets, Garth, the Norwegian Elkhound, Tyler, the Cockatiel and Buttercup, the Guinea Pig.  On the Nashville side, there was Peter Lahde, Bill Orgain, Joshua Gao, GM Sam Palatnik, Kent Meadows and Sheff the Poodle.  The Memphis Club had White in the first game.  The play was very sharp and ended in a sudden disappointment for the Memphis side.

White Memphis Chess Club
Black Nashville Chess Club
Result 0-1
1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Nf3 g6 5. cxb5 a6 6. Nc3 axb5 7. e4 b4 8. e5 bxc3 9. exf6 Qa5 10. bxc3 (Frtiz 5.0 gives 10 b3 d6 with a slight edge for
Black.) 10...Qxc3+ 11Bd2 Qxf6 12. Rc1 Bg7 (Fritz 5.0 gives 12...e5 clearly better for Black and calls 12...Bg7=.  It seems to me after 12...e5 13 Bg5 that White has the advantage.) 13. Bc4 (Fritz 5.0 Calls 13 Rxc5 0-0 14.Bc4=) 13...0-0 14. Bg5 Qd6 15. 0-0 Ba6 16. Nd2 (ECO  A calls this unclear
citing Yrjola - Palatnik! Voronez 1987.) 16...Qe5 (Fritz 5.0 gives 16...h6 17 Bxa6 hxg5 with a clear edge for Black.  Ironically, that is how the above cited game continued though it ultimately was a draw.  I have recently been studying 4 Nf3 against the Benko since I had not been happy with my results after either 4. cxb5 a6 5 f3 or 5 b6. After 16...h6 I think 17 Bh4 should be considered.) 17 h4 (Fritz 5.0 gives 17 Nf3 Qb2 18
Bxe7 Re8 19 Bxa6 Nxa6=.  Memphis felt that after 17 Nf3 Black could play 17...Qd6 to offer a repetition.  We felt that our initiative was more than enough for the pawn at this point and declined this variation.)  17...Bf6 (Fritz 5.0 gives 17...e6 18. Re1 Qb2 19 Bb3 with a slight edge for Black. I do not agree with this assessment.  After say 19...Bd4 to guard c5, White
can play 20 Ne4 with a very strong initiative.)  18 Re1 Qd4 19 Re4 Qb2 20.Bb3 Bd3 21 Re3 c4 (We analyzed 21...Bf5 22 Rxc5 Bd4 23 Nc4 Bxe3 24 Nxb2
Bxc5 25 g4 winning.) 22 Nxc4 Bxc4 23. Rxc4 d6 (Fritz 5.0 gives 23...Bxg5 24 hxg5 Re8 and suggests White is winning.  In fact, after 25 Rc2 Qg7 26 Rxe7 or 25...Qa3 26 d6 Black appears to be lost.) 24 Rxe7 (Fritz 5.0 gives 24 Re2 Qa3 25 Bh6 as better and winning for White.  I don't see the win and do not understand this.  We discussed that Black's strategy in this position is to trade the Black bishops at the right moment and play Nd7 when either Nc5 or Ne5 may allow Black to prove that the knight is better than the White bishop.  We discussed that the move 24 Rxe7 must be right because it is not really a sacrifice from a material count perspective since two pawns are obtained for the exchange and it increases the scope and activity of every White piece on the board.   The only danger is the back rank.  We
should have kept repeating that...) 24...Bxe7 25 Bxe7 Re8 26 Bxd6 Nd7 27 Rc7 (Fritz 5.0 gives 27 Bb4 Qe2 28 Qd4 Qe5 as better for White.  and only
calls 27 Rc7 =.  Again, I don't agree with the computers assessment and think that 27 Rc7 is better.) 27...Rac8 28 Ba4? (Fritz 5.0 indicates that 28 Rxc8 Rxc8 29 Bf4 is only slightly better for White.  In fact,immediately after the game we indicated to Nashville that this is better.
I think that Fritz 5.0 underestimates White's advantage here and I doubt Black can save this position.  After the obvious 29...Nc5 to eliminate a bishop, 30 d6 Nxb3 31 d7 Rd8 32 axb3 White threatens either Bg5 or Bc7 and wins.  It is very hard to find a viable line for Black if one exists.)
28...Rxc7 29 Bxc7 Qc3 (Fritz 5.0 gives 29...Qb4 30 Kf1 Qc4+ 31 Kg1 Qxc7 as even better.  We overlooked this line when playing 28 Ba4 and panicked here.  I think that if White now plays 30 Bxd7 instead of 30 Qc2? that after 30...Re1+ 31 Qxe1 Qxe1+ 32 Kh2 Qxf2 33 Bg3 Qxa2 34 d6 White could still put up some resistance.) 30 Qc2 Re1+ 31 Kh2 Qxc2 32 Bxc2 Rc1 0-1

A very interesting game, maybe even of some theoretical value, which is rare for a consultation game.  We were obviously disappointed, but up until 28 Ba4, I think Memphis played a very nice game.  As you can see from my
comments above, while Fritz may be good at tactics, its positional play can leave something to be desired.  I would also be interested in GM Palatnik's comments regarding the game.  In two prior games with Palatnik, I had played the two moves mentioned above, with a loss and a draw. The draw was from a worse position throughout.  In the last year, I decided to go back to 4 Nf3 because it generally, produces a game where White has certain positional plusses and Black's play is more limited than in some other lines.  The line in the game is one of the more tactical lines after 4 Nf3. Two or three weeks ago, I spent about 6 or 7 hours on this line, not really in preparation for this game, but generally, trying to determine a repetoire to play against the Benko.  I disclosed my analysis above, but
acknowledge, it is hard to come to definite conclussions about such a complicated position.  I think even Fritz is having trouble.

White Nashville Chess Club
Black Memphis Chess Club
Result 1/2-1/2

1.e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Be2 Be7 7 0-0 0-0 8 f4 a6 9 Bf3 Qc7 10 Kh1 Nc6 11 Nxc6 bxc6 12 Na4 d5 13 e5 Nd7 14 c4 a5 15 cxd5 cxd5 16 Be3 Ba6 17 Rc1 Qb7 18 Rf2 Rac8 19 Rfc2 Rxc2 20 Qxc2 Rc8 (Nashville only needing a draw to win the match, has chosen a client variation that appears to give White some advantage and not many losing chances.) 21 Qxc8+ Qxc8 22 Rxc8+ Bxc8 (Memphis declines a draw with this move as a result of underestimating White's next move. ) 23 Nb6! Nxb6 24 Bxb6 Bb4 25 Be2 f6 26 Bd4 Kf7 27 Bd3 h6 28 g3 Bd7 29 Kg2 Be8 30 Bc3 (Fritz 5.0 = 30 Kf3 f5 with a small edge for White.  We could only find advantages for White, but no clear wins regardless of the variation.) 30...Bc6 (Fritz 5.0 30...Bxc3 31 bxc3 Bc6 32 Kf2= We were afraid of 32... fxe5 33 fxe5 Ke7 34 Ke3 Kd7 35 Kd4 Kc7 36 Kc5 and White can play c4 to gain more space and has better chances than in the game.) 31 Kf1 (Fritz 5.0 31 Bxb4 axb4 32 a3 bxa3 33 bxa3 g5
with a small edge to White.  We intended 31...d4+ and thought Black was OK.) 31...Ke7 (Fritz 5.0 31...Bxc3 32 bxc3 g5 33 a3=) 32 Ke2 (Fritz 5.0 32
Bxb4 axb4 33 bxc3 g5=) 32...Kd7 (Fritz 5.0 32...Bxc3 33 bxc3 g5=) 33 Bxb4(We were surprised by this and thought 33 Bd4 intending a3 gave more
chances.  In any case, Black's position is not pleasent after the game continuation either.) 33...axb4 34 Ke3 fxe5 35 fxe5 Kc7 36 Kd4 Kb6 (In
contrast to some of the variations given by Fritz, we determined that getting our king to b6 was safer.) 37 Bg6 Bd7 1/2-1/2 (White is still
better, but it is by no means easy for White to win this position.  Black can shuffle his king between b6 and b5 or c6 and wait for White to do
something.)
Congratulations to Nashville for their victory.


The games were well played for the most part and I think the participants at least on the Memphis side enjoyed the experience and the ability for each of us to discuss our thought processes openly while playing.
A Letter from Nashville
Kent Meadows wrote:

 Gary,
         Thanks for your kind congrats and information.

I might add that we had a sure (Sam said easy) win in the 2nd game.

After h4, g4, g5, hxg5, White will decide his timing and either with the
 B on g4 or f7, push a3 or a4. After the P swap, the Black K takes the QRP, but the White K
 goes to d6. White can decide between Kc7 or Bxe6. Check it out. It's the sort of endgame Sam
 wanted when he played Na4 (or a 3 vs 2 Q-side pawn majority if Black plays c5 and breaks
 with d5). These Russian GM's are so deadly! Sam recommended that we accept the draw (I
 actually missed Memphis' draw offer and moved, but offered one the next move). He said,"A
 draw here is like a win. Why play on? It's over if we accept." He also felt that it would be more
 polite since we were dead lost in the 1st game.
         Congrats to you and your team, Gary. You gave a Russian IGM all he could ever want for
 competition! I hope for more interaction between The Memphis and Nashville chess clubs in the
 future!
                                                                 Kent

Thanks to Kent and all the Memphis and Nashville players! I had no idea that Sam likes the Benko,
I do too! It was so tempting to use all old and new opening cheat sheets. Doug has a great chess library and I have always been classified as a book player, you all know that by now!
It was fun like playing in a tournament with all your chess friends and not losing any rating points.
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