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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 The Most Interesting Games at the 82nd Mass Open
 FM John Curdo
  April 2014

The 82nd Massachusetts Open, held last Memorial Day weekend, once again featured Walter Champion’s generous and innovative “Most Interesting Game” prize contest for all four sections. 

As usual game submissions totaled about 100. Chief Tournament Director Bob Messenger had the difficult chore of deciphering 94 score sheets which he emailed to me without the players’ names.  The Championship section produced an amazing winner! The game opened English, transposing to a Slav and finally to a Dutch Stonewall. 
White has a lead in development when the g-file opens and Black, not sensing danger, plays 14…Rf5 (14…Ra7!?) and White uncorks the astonishing 15.Rxg7+!! Then Black would like to back into his castle with 16…Kh8 but 17.Qxf5 exf5 18.Nxf7 mates. Another great point of the combination is 17.Ne4+ clearing way for the queen so that if 17…dxe4 18.Qg2 wins. So the Black king’s walk turns into a death march:

The U2100 section was the most difficult to judge, because of so many combative games! The one chosen was interesting in that Black, the loser, was quite pushy from the outset. Aggressive to a fault and falter he did, by passing up some potential drawing lines, notably at move 42 when 42…Rg4 43.Rxb6+ Kg7 would likely draw. 
To play this type of ending correctly is tough at any level. So when White takes over, Black suffers long and hard: 
Stephen Brudno 1928 
Stefan Trandafir 1894 
82nd Mass Open 
Dutch Defense [A90] 
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 d5 5.Bg2 c6 6.0-0 Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.a4 0-0 9.Ba3 Bxa3 10.Nxa3 b6 11.Qc2 Bb7 12.Nb1 Nbd7 13.Nbd2 Ne4 14.e3 Rac8 15.Qb2 Rfd8 16.Rac1 Qf6 17.Rc2 g5 18.Ne1 e5 19.f3 Nxd2 20.Rxd2 c5 21.dxe5 Qxe5 22.Qxe5 Nxe5 23.f4 Ng4 24.Nc2 Re8 25.fxg5 Nxe3 26.Nxe3 Rxe3 27.Rb2 Rd3 28.Rxf5 
28… Rd8 29.Bxd5+ Bxd5 30.Rxd5 R8xd5 31.cxd5 Rxd5 32.h4 Rd3 33.Kg2 Kg7 34.Kh3 Kg6 35.Rb1 a5 36.Rb2 Re3 37.Kg4 Re4+ 38.Kf3 Rb4 39.Ke3 c4 40.Kd2 cxb3 41.Kc3 Rxa4 42.Rxb3 
42… b5 43.Rxb5 Ra3+ 44.Rb3 Ra4 45.Kd3 Rg4 46.Ke2 a4 47.Ra3 Rb4 48.Kf2 Rb2+ 49.Ke3 Rb4 50.Kd2 Rg4 51.Kc2 Kg7 52.Kb2 Kg6 53.Rf3 Kg7 54.Re3 Kf7 55.Kc2 Kg7 56.Kd2 Kg6 57.Ke2 Rb4 58.Re6+ Kg7 59.Ra6 Rb2+ 60.Kf3 Rb3+ 61.Kg4 a3 62.h5 Kf7 63.Ra7+ Kg8 64.Ra4 Kf7 65.Kf4 Rc3 66.g4 Rb3 67.Ra5 Rc3 68.Ra7+ Kg8 69.Ra6 Kf7 70.Ra5 Rb3 71.Kf5 Rf3+ 72.Ke4 Rb3 73.Kf4 Rc3 74.Ra6 Rb3 75.Ra5 Rc3 76.h6 Kg6 77.Ra6+ Kf7 78.Ra7+ Kg8 79.g6 hxg6 80.Kg5 Rg3 81.Ra5 Kh7 82.Ra6 Kh8 83.Rxg6 a2 84.Ra6 Rg2 85.Ra7 Rb2 86.Kh5 Rc2 87.g5 Rb2 88.Ra6 Rc2 89.g6 Rc5+ 90.Kg4 Rc4+ 91.Kf5 Rc5+ 92.Ke4 Rc4+ 93.Kd3 Rc8 94.Rxa2 Re8 95.Ra6 Kg8 96.Kd4 Kh8 97.Kd5 Kg8 98.Re6 Rf8 99.Ke5 Ra8 100.Kf6 Rf8+ 101.Ke5 Ra8 102.Rd6 Re8+ 103.Kf6 Rf8+ 104.Ke7 Rf7+ 105.gxf7+ Kh7 106.Rd8 1-0 
The U1800 section produced three games of interest, all with the classical Vienna Game opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3, etc.) Were they all by the same player? I can’t be sure. However they were all wins for White, reminding me of New England’s Weaver Adams whose most famous book “White to play and Win” (1939) featured the Vienna Game as its centerpiece! I’ve chosen the most interesting of the three. 
Alan Sikarov 1537 
Robert Babcock 1507 
82nd Mass Open 
Vienna Game [C25] 
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 Bc5 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bb5 Nge7 6.Nd5 Bg4 7.c3 a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.Bb3 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Qd7 11.d4 Ba7 12.Be3 Be6 
13.Bxc6 Qxc6 14.d5 Qc4 15.Bxa7 Qxe4+ 16.Qe2 Qxd5 17.Be3 exf4 18.Bxf4 0-0 19.0-0 Rfe8 20.Rfe1 Qf5 21.Qe4 Qc5+ 22.Qd4 Qc6 23.Re3 h6 24.Qd2 Bg4 25.Nd4 Qc5 26.Rae1 Bd7 27.Rg3 g5 28.Bxg5 Rxe1+ 29.Kf2 Re6 30.Bf6+ Kf8 31.Qxh6+ 1-0 
The U1500 game submissions showed that some of the players have a sense of humor. Witness two of the games: one was a seven move version of the old Qxf7 Scholar’s mate and the other was an uneventful six move Giuoco Piano ending with “and Black won (0-1)”! 
All this whimsy aside, there were many serious struggles submitted. The game chosen epitomizes this – kudos to both players, the winner and the loser! 
Raymond Behenna 1214 
Michael Stevens 1221 
82nd Mass Open 
Danish Gambit [C21] 
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.cxd4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Qa5 7.Bd2 Nf6 8.Nf3 0-0 9.Be2 Be6 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Rc1 Rad8 12.Bg5 Bxa2 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Ne4 Kg7 15.Ra1 Qd5 16.Ng3 Bb3 17.Qd3 Rfe8 18.Nf5+ Kh8 19.Ne3 Qe6 20.Bd1 Bd5 21.Bc2 Be4 22.Qxe4 Qxe4 23.Bxe4 Rxe4 24.Rfd1 Nxd4 25.Kf1 Bc5 26.Nf5 Nc6 27.Rxd8+ Nxd8 28.Rd1 Ne6 29.Rd7 Kg8 30.Nh6+ Kg7 31.Nxf7 Kg6 32.g3 Ng5 33.Nh4+ Rxh4 34.gxh4 Nxf7 35.Rxc7 Bb6 36.Rxb7 
36… h6 37.h5+ Kg7 38.Ke2 Kf8 39.f3 Ke8 40.h3 Nd6 41.Rh7 Nf7 42.Kd3 Kf8 43.Ke4 Kg8 44.Rxf7 Kxf7 45.Kf5 Bd4 46.b4 a6 47.Ke4 Bc3 48.Kd3 Bxb4 49.Kc4 a5 50.Kd5 a4 51.Kc4 Be7 52.f4 f5 53.h4 Bd6 54.Kc3 Bxf4 55.Kb4 Bd2+ 56.Kxa4 f4 0-1 
Walter Champion awarded an “extra” special game prize, to both players, for the first round draw between this writer and IM Vigorito. Several spectators said it was the most exciting game they ever witnessed, prompting the award.
Dave deserves great credit for his balancing act, on the precipice of defeat! I on the other hand thought the game was a “train wreck” because I missed so many wins. Two of the most glaring were: 47.Qe7 threatening three mates and Kh6 meets 48.Qg5+ Kg7 49.Ra7+ mating, and 61.Qxf5+ which will win the bishop. 
FM John Curdo 2203 
IM David Vigorito 2547 
82nd Mass. Open 
Sicilian Defense [B51] 
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nc6 4.0–0 Bd7 5.c3 Nf6 6.Qe2 a6 7.Ba4 b5 8.Bc2 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 g6 11.a4 Rb8 12.axb5 axb5 13.Na3 Bg7 14.Qe2 b4 15.Ba4 Qc8 16.cxb4 Rxb4 17.Nc4 0–0 18.Bxc6 Qxc6 19.d3 Rfb8 20.Bd2 Rxc4 21.dxc4 Nxe4 22.Rab1 Rb3 23.Rfe1 Nxd2 24.Qxd2 Bd4 25.Kh2 Qb7 26.Qg5 Bf6 27.Qd5 Qb8 28.Re2 e6 29.Qc6 d5+ 30.g3 dxc4 31.Ra1 Rb7 32.Ra5 Bd4 33.Qa4 Rb4 34.Qc6 Rb7 35.Qa4 Rb4 36.Qc6 Kg7 37.Ra8 Qb7 38.Qe8 Kh6 
39.Qf8+ Kh5 40.f4 f5 41.Rg2 Qxg2+ 42.Kxg2 Rxb2+ 43.Kf1 Rb1+ 44.Ke2 Rb2+ 45.Kd1 c3 46.Ra1 Rg2 
47.Rc1 Rxg3 48.Qe7 h6 49.Qxe6 Rxh3 50.Ke2 Rh2+ 51.Kf3 Kh4 52.Rf1 Rh3+ 53.Ke2 Kh5 54.Qd5 Kg4 55.Qc6 g5 56.Qg6 c4 57.fxg5 Re3+ 58.Kd1 Rd3+ 59.Kc2 Rd2+ 60.Kc1 Be3 
61.gxh6+ Kh4 62.Qf6+ Kg3 63.Qg6+ Kh4 64.Qf6+ Kg3 65.Qe5+ f4 66.h7 Ra2+ 67.Qxe3+ fxe3 68.h8Q Ra1+ 69.Kc2 Rxf1 and eventually ½–½