A Latvian Gambit DECLINED Contest with Instructive Endgame

Post date: Aug 15, 2010 3:28:40 PM


My second round game in the North Richland Hills chess event involved a Latvian Gambit Declined (I tried to play Latvian Gambit twice at this tournament, and my opponents declined the Latvian Gambit both times.

Perhaps the Latvian Gambit is getting some respect!) After an early exchange of Queens, this turned into long endgame. I eventually won

with a fork on the White Knight and pawn. My opponent, David Hopkins, teaches English at a high school in Arlington. He is certainly better than his published USCF rating (1097). However, I did not know his rating during out game - I tried to avoid knowing my opponent's rating in a rated chess tournament game. This game is certainly of some interest. I present it to you for your consideration!

For those of you who are worried that you might be subjected to the 3rd and 4th DeVries games of the 08-14 Tarrant County Chess Club tournament, do not worry! I have tossed aside the other games.


Tarrant County Chess Club Tournamentr, 08-14-2010

Rated Tournament Chess Game

North Richland Hills Tx Public Library

WHITE (Hopkins) BLACK (DeVries)

-1- e4 e5

-2- Nf3 f5

The "feared" Latvian Gambit - David declines it !

-3- d3 d6

We go into a Philidor Defense type game.

-4- Be2 Nf6

-5- Bg5 Be7

-6- B x N B x B

I am happy! David traded a Knight for a Bishop.

This will have consequences later when I defeat

Black with a Bishop vs Black's Knight.

-7- c3 Be6?

I now expect Qb3 by White My 7th move was bad.

( 8 P x P ....B x P -9- Qb3 )

-8- QNd2 ? P x P

As noted earlier, -8- P x P was much better.

-9- P x P 0-0

-10- 0 - 0 Qe7

-11- Bc4 Nd7

-12- Qb3 Nc5!

Nice defense by Black - attacks Queen, defends pawn on b7

-13- B x B check Q x B

-14- Q x Q check N x Q

-15- Nc4 b6

-16- b4 QRd8

-17- KRd1 Nf4

-18- Kf1 h6

-19- a4 d5

-20- P x P N x P

-21- N on c4 x P on e5 N x P on c3

-22- R x R R x R

-23- Nc6 Ra8

To save a pawn, my Rook gets crammed into the corner.

-24- a5 P x P

-25- R x P Ne4

-26- R x P R x R

-27- N x R Kf7

The heavyt pieces have been traded off \, but White has

a one pawn advantage - White has two Knights and 4

pawns, Black has Bishop, Knight, and 3 pawns. However,

Black King has potential to be stronger piece than White


-28- Ke2 Ke6

-29- Ke3 Kd5

-30- b5 g5

-31- g3 g4

The game starts to turn Black's way here.

-32- Nd2? N x N

-33- K x N Bd4

-34- Nc6 B x P

-35- Kc3 Kc5

-36- Na7 Bg1

-37- Kd3 B x RP

-38- Ke4 B x P

-39- Kf5 Be1

Black concedes the loss of his on g4, but is determined to protect

his other Kingside pawn with his Bishop.

-40- K x P Kb6

-41- Nc6 K x P

-42- Nd4 check Kc4

-43- Ne6 c6

-44- Nf4 Bd2

It might not have made much difference, but it could have possibly

increased chances of draw if White had played: 44 Nd8 c5

45 Ne6 Kd5 46 N x P K x N White now has lone King vs

Black Pawn, Bishop, King, but it will be hard to for Black to

queen his last pawn, and there will be opportunities for stalemate.

Of course, David had no way of knowing White's legendary

bad endgame skills and history of losing won endgames!

-45- Nh3 Kd4

-46- Ng1 c5

-47- Nf3 check Ke3

-48- Ne5 Ke2

-49- Nc4 Bc1

-50- Ne5 Bb2

-51- Nf7 c4 !

If White takes kingside pawn, White cannot stop Black

queenside pawn from reaching a queening square.

-52- Nd6 c3

-53- Ne4 c2

-54- Ng3 check Kd1