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Arrogant Bishop

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White: Tom Lee
Black: John P. Pratt
Date: 3 Feb 1986
Location: Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Tom is a good defensive player and often beats me by letting me wear myself out trying to break through his castle. He often lets me have the center at the beginning as he builds a solid defense and then beats me in the end game. In this game, toward the end he has one bishop who leaves his defensive post to try to be a hero, and it ends up losing the game.

1. e2-e4, e7-e5. 
2. Ng1-f3, Nb8-c6. 
3. Bf1-c4, Bf8-c5. 
4. d2-d3, Ng8-f6.White is content not to fight for control of the center, but to relinquish the diagonal into his potential castle.
5. Bc1-g5, h7-h6.Black is ready to trade his knight for the powerful bishop and post his queen at f6. He likes giving breathing room to his king in a future castle. The diagonal opened up into that castle is filled with with pawns so it looks safe.
6. Bg5-h4, 0-0. 
7. Bh4-g3, d7-d6.White's bishop takes a defensive post and Black continues development.
8. c2-c3, a7-a6.Black prepares a place for his bishop if attacked. He wants to maintain control of that diagonal.
9. b2-b4, Bc5-a7.One of Black's favorite places for that bishop. He is so hidden, sometimes his long range cannon is not even noticed.
10. Nb1-d2, b7-b5.White's preplanned place for that knight, to replace the one at f3 in case attacked. Black attacks the bishop, expecting him to retreat.
11. Bc4-d5, Bc8-b7.This is White's most aggressive move and must be defended. Black wants that bishop fianchettoed there anyway, even though the diagonal is cluttered, because there's no fun now in taking the f3 knight because another one will just appear to replace it!
12. a2-a4, b5xa4. 
13. Ra1xa4, Qd8-d7.White is really focused on the queen side and Black cannot ignore him.
14. h2-h3, Ra8-b8.White still has not castled, while Black frees up his knight at c6.
15. d3-d4, Nc6xd4.Black takes the pawn with his newly-freed knight. He often comes out behind in trading pieces, but he's hoping to come out with that one pawn advantage.
16. Bd5xb7, Nd4xf3+.White wants to trade bishop's first, but Black has other plans.
17. Nd2xf3, Rb8xb7.White must take with the knight, which is what he wants, so that he queen guards her rook. Suddenly the board is freed up, and Black indeed came out a pawn ahead. Both sides are totally developed with pieces where they wanted them. Black loves to attack, but must be patient playing White who has such good defense.
18. Ra4xa6, Nf6xe4.White may now start a new phase of the game. Black feels he goes after a stray pawn, so he grabs the powerful king pawn he's been waiting to capture. Moreover, that knight attacks two pawns and a bishop.
19. Nf3xe5, Qd7-b5.Surprise! White had a retaliation plan. Black saves his queen who attacks both rook and knight.
20. Ra6-a5, Qb5-b6.Rook and queen both adjust positions, which allows Black to threaten checkmate.
21. 0-0, d6xe5.Finally White feels the need to castle, giving Black a chance to capture that pesky knight. Now Black is ahead in material for the first time.
22. Bg3xe5, Ne4xf2.The white bishop leaves his important post looking for a more glorious life. His choice ends up costing the game because it allows Black to break into the castle.
23. Rf1xf2, Qb6xf2+.White may have felt forced to take the knight because of his attack on the queen, with the threat of discovered check on the next move. But Qd1-d4 would have saved his queen and somewhat defused the attack. Black's side-lines bishop now feels his patience has paid off!
24. Kg1-h2, c7-c5.White feels momentarily safe in a tiny new castle, and Black must get more pieces into action.
25. Be5-d6, Rf8-e8.White's aggressive bishop tries some offense, but it only helps Black develop his rook as he wanted to anyway.
26. Bd6xc5, Ba7-b8+.Aha! White's bishop is not just grabbing a pawn, but also forking both queen and bishop. He's seeking to prove he is a hero after all! But he has ignored defense and Black gets to grab what is now a more important diagonal. Note that Black's rook at b7, who was forced there by White, has been in a perfect place to protect his bishop buddy.
27. Bc5-d6, Re8-e2.White's bishop returns to his post somewhat humbled, and now Black threatens checkmate.
28. Qd1-d5, Bb8xd6+.White seeks to prevent the checkmate and also protect the bishop, but it is too little too late. The arrogant bishop falls.
29. Resigns. White cannot prevent mate either by taking the bishop or moving the king.