Chess Game Menu


Pratt's Home Page
White: John P. Pratt
Black: Jared M. Pratt
Date: 24 Dec 2004
Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah

An example of good and bad play. On the winning side, it exemplifies persevering undaunted to the end, winning a brilliant victory having only a rook and a bishop. On the losing side, it demonstrates too much focus on offense at the expense of defense, and then forgetting to be on guard when mopping up after winning the queen.

I include it also as a tribute to my son Jared who never resigned because he was down a few pieces, including his queen. He did not learn that from me because I was so bad at end games that I often resigned if my sacrifices to break through a castle failed to win. I avoided long tedious end games by quitting, but he fought to the finish every game, and it so often paid off, as in this game.

1. e2-e4, e7-e5. 
2. d2-d4, d7-d5. 
3. Nb1-c3, e5xd4. 
4. Qd1xd4, d5xe4. 
5. Qd4xe4+, Bf8-e7.I often use the Queen's Gambit opening because it so often dominates, as in this game. Compare the development of pieces.
6. Ng1-f3, Ng8-f6. 
7. Qe4-a4+, Nb8-c6.It is common for the white queen to check this way, but it often does little but give Black a chance to catch up in development.
8. Bf1-c4, a7-a6. 
9. Nf3-g5, 0-0.Now compare development again. White's queen is off on a wild goose chase and Black is now equally developed.
10. h2-h4, Bc8-f5!This is not just a developing move for Black. He not only attacks White's bishop pawn, more importantly he protects his king's rook pawn, being familiar with White's propensity to ram his own king rook pawn down through Black's castle wall. White has no intention of castling.
11. Bc4xf7+, Rf8xf7.White knows Black is familiar with White's methods, realizing his "surprise" king rook attack is already doomed, so he impatiently breaks through the castle on the other side. This trades off his well developed knight and bishop for undeveloped pieces. That seems like a bad idea; I'm not sure I've ever won a game by breaking into a castle this way.
12. Ng5xf7, Kg8xf7. 
13. Bc1-g5, b7-b5.Insult to injury for White. His Queen was off on a picnic while his premature attack on the castle was being made, and now a lowly pawn can attack her!
14. Qa4-f4, Bf5xc2.Black's patient bishop finally gets his man while White tries to figure out what's he's doing. Moreover, he has a near checkmate threat which makes White finally consider defense.
15. 0-0, h7-h6. 
16. Bg5xf6, Be7xf6.Now it's Black's turn to tell White to "put up or shut up", meaning counter-attacking the offensive pieces near the remains of his castle. Again note that White is trading off well developed pieces which required several moves to get to the castle, beaten by pawns on their first move. Black is now fully developed and is ahead in material, having two bishops to a rook. White should be on guard.
17. Rf1-e1, Kf7-g8.White continues attacking at the expense of his castle. I have no idea why I didn't use my queen's rook rather than king's for this same attack, which would have maintained a balance with defense. It could have saved me the game. Black, familiar with his Dad's aggressive attacks, retires his king to safety before the fireworks start.
18. Nc3-e4, Bf6xb2.Unimpressed with threats, Black plays for an end game which he knows he can win. He might even be thinking of trading off a bishop and queen for two rooks (19. ... Bb2xa1, 20. Re1xa1 Qd8-d1+; 21. Ra1xd1 Bc2xd1.) With most players it might be bad to trade off a queen, but he is aware of his Dad's inability to play an end game. Don't let that be your weakness too.
19. Ne4-c5, Qd8-d5.Black methodically builds pressure and White appears to be lost and confused. Note that both of Black's bishops are ready to instantly retreat to guard the king if needed.
20. Qf4-e3, Bb2xa1.Black sees White's move as mostly defending his knight, but not posing any real threat, so he finally takes the bishop. Now his queen is attacking both a knight and pawn, while White tries to muster up an attack, mostly ignoring defense.
21. Re1xa1, Bc2-e4.Black's patience and careful play have paid off. He is now ahead by a bishop and a pawn, and can confidently attack White's castle.
22. Ra1-e1, Be4xg2.White sees the need to get his rook back home more than defending the pawn. He is still thinking attack and not really appreciating the danger. He also sees pawns as cannon fodder rather than potential queens in an end game (only rarely had he promoted a pawn to queen).
23. Nc5-e6, Bg2-h1.White is hoping some sort of win will magically appear from his randomly positioning his knight, while Black threatens checkmate with Qd5-g2.
24. Ne6-f4, Ra8-f8?Black sees the white knight preventing checkmate, but apparently overlooks the threat to his queen.
25. Nf4xd5, Bh1xd5.White is delighted to have luckily traded his knight for a queen. He immediately lets his guard down even more, thinking that all that is left now is mopping up. His son proceeds undaunted, showing no emotion at having lost his queen, but methodically continues toward his goal.
26. Qe3-c5, Bd5-f3!White believes Black's bishop is merely running to safety, but the ending shows that Black positioned him perfectly with foresight.
27. Re1-e6, Rf8-f4.White is so focused on clearing the board that he doesn't even ask himself why Black moved his rook there.
28. Re6xc6, Rf4xh4.White was hoping the black bishop would take his rook. But he went after a pawn?? What was that all about??
29. Resign.Cannot prevent checkmate by Rh4-h1 either by moving his king or using the queen to check the white king.