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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Featured Games - A Puncher’s Chance
 William Collins
  April 2014

Fifty years after Harold Dondis’ victory over Fischer, the tradition of simultaneous exhibitions continues with a local expert’s exciting outing against GM and three-time U.S. Champion Larry Christiansen, a Cambridge resident and regular simultaneous exhibitor.

Hello, chess fans! My first appearance at Larry Christiansen's South Station Simultaneous Chess Exhibition was a success! In my very first win against Larry under any conditions, I ventured to play a French Defense. When asked by Larry verbally: "What opening do you want me to play?" I arrogantly said in a joking manner: "Any one you think you can win with." to which Larry responded: "I guess I'll play you solid then.", and proceeded with d4! I played e6, still hoping for a transposition, and I was actually surprised when Larry wouldn't play the French Defense, opting for 2. c4.

Before the beginning of the game, I was cognizant of four notable things about the conditions of this game: first, Shirley Temple Black had died the day before; second, Mike Tyson lost his heavyweight title to James "Buster" Douglas 24 years prior to the very day; third, Whitney Houston died two years prior to the very day; and finally, that I had the Black pieces. Believe it or not I felt confident with the Black pieces because I dedicated the game to the memory of Shirley Temple BLACK, and it was a day historically favorable to the underdog! Enjoy the game, folks... this is a real donnybrook!!!

GM Larry Christiansen 2658 William “Billy” Collins 2122 Queen’s Gambit Declined [D35] Simultaneous Exhibition 02.11.2014

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3

I didn't want to give up the bishop pair early against a great attacker like Larry, so I declined to play the Nimzo.

3… d5 4. cxd5

The exchange was a surprise. I expected Larry to keep the tension in the center.

4…exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 c6 7.Qc2 Be6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Nge2 h6

A weakening move, but I wanted Larry to make a decision with the bishop. Better was Nf8-g6, but I didn't have the time to fully analyze the situation at this point.

10.Bh4 Nf8 11. O-O-O

Another surprise! I definitely expected Larry to castle 0-0.


11… Qa5 12. Kb1 O-O-O 13. Rc1 Kb8 14. f3 g5 15. Bf2

(15. Bg3+ Bd6)

15... Rg8 16. e4

Larry opens up the game for both players. The fun begins!

16… dxe4 17. fxe4 Ng6 18. Rhd1 Ka8 19. Be1!

Threatening Nd5!, trapping the queen.

19… Qc7? 20. h3 Qh2?

Going astray for ill-gotten gains.

21. d5 cxd5 22. Bg3!

Attacking the queen and cutting off the king's only escape!

22…Qxg2 23. Nb5!

White's attack is now revealed, with a vengeance. It was my tunnel vision, a worry about my queen being trapped rather than my king's plight, which led me to miss this buildup.

23… Nf4 24. Qa4

Threatening mate and absolutely forcing a6.

24… a6 25. Nc7+ Ka7 26. Bxa6??

Throwing away a beatiful game, and missing several knockout punches. Just like that, the tables turned completely.

26… Qxe4+ 27. Qxe4 Nxe4 28. Bxf4 gxf4 29. Nxf4 Bg5

29... bxa6 30. Ncxe6 fxe6 31. Rc7+² and White would regain the initiative.

30. Nfxe6 fxe6 31. Nxe6 Bxc1 32. Nxd8 Rxd8

...and Larry resigned. Notch completed!