Some Thoughts on My Game at Gonzaga, by Peter Bishop
I was playing as black on Board 8 in the Armstrong clash against highly-rated Gonzaga. The following is the position at the end of move 13 with White to move:
As can be seen, I am well behind in tempi and development. The bishop on g7 had taken three moves to reach its position. I need to castle queenside, due to white’s menancing open rook file, which will take two moves. I had not even considered White’s 14th move of Qf4 as a possibility. I had expected a stronger move by a pawn or a knight. The game continued as follows: 14. Qf4 Nd5 (the strongest move I could see) 15. Qg5 h6 16. Qxe7+ Nxe7.
I was then able to castle in safety. The game continued with White pressing my King’s side. Rooks, minor pieces and pawns were swapped off. The following is the position for move 27 with Black to move:
The red line shows the route the bishop was to follow with the intention of penetrating White’s King side to gain space. The game continued as follows: 27. … Bg7 28. b4 Bf8 29. a4 Bd6 30. Nxd6 cxd6 31. f4 d5 (vital to halt the advance of White’s pawn on d4).
Soon after I offered a draw that was rejected. I reasoned I could defend against any White attack on my Queen’s side. I noted the weak White pawns on c3, f4 and g5. But I couldn’t see how to effectively attack these pawns with my knight. The game continued with White pressing my Queen’s side. The following is the position at the end of move 36. At this point White blundered.
37. c4? dxc4 38. Bxc4 (White offered a draw which was rejected because I knew he had blundered) 38 …Nd5+ 39. Bxd5 exd5. I should have played Kxd5 which would have been easier but I was wrongly concerned that White might be able break through on my Queen’s side. It would have been a quicker route to winning White’s f4 pawn.
In the end, Black uses e6 to advance on white’s backward f4 pawn. I presume (the report from Peter ended here – Ed) that the game finished something like… 40 Kc3 Ke6 41. Kd3 Kf5 42. Ke3 Kg4! and white must concede the f4 pawn and the game.