Some of Bill Price's Recent Games

Part 1


May 3, 1998
October 3, 1999
October 17, 1999
November 7, 1999
November 26, 1999
December 12, 1999

On this webpage you will find some of my recent games.  I no longer play tournament chess, but enjoy casual games with friends. 

Unfortunately, most of my very best games in recent years were never recorded, since they were all speed games played with Willie Speaks.  Prior to 1990 I was a timid, conservative player who relied mostly on book knowledge.  I played very slowly and despised speed chess.  Willie Speaks was an extremely gifted attacking player who sneered at all the basic maxims of sound chess strategy.  He couldn't sit still long enough to play a "slow" game, and consequently all our games were 5-minute speed games.  In order to survive Willie's wild unorthodox play, I had to learn to think fast and improvise.  We did this almost weekly for five years.  My last USCF rating back in 1984 was around 1630, but I estimate that today I am probably at least 1730 or perhaps even much higher, thanks to my experiences with Willie.

My current opponent is a Russian immigrant whom I met a couple years ago.   He is a stronger player, and usually wins about three out of four games.   Occasionally I can get him into a tight spot with some wild attack, but he defends very well and I often lose my way.


The following is a game we played at my home.  On move 20 he gave up his Queen to stave off a mating attack.  After his 32nd move I thought I was going to get mated myself, but found a clever escape.  His blunder on move 49 was very surprising; normally he sees far deeper into the position than I do.

Bill Price - Izyaslav Spektor

May 3, 1998

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.d4 Nxd4 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.Qxd4 a6 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Qe3 g6 9.Bd2 Bg7 10.Nc3 0-0 11.0-0-0 Re8 12.Qg3 Be5 13.f4 Bd4 14.f5 ...

Position after 14. f5

Position after 14. f5

14... Be5 15.Bf4 d6 16.fxg6 Bxc3 17.bxc3 fxg6 18.Bg5 Qd7 19.Bc4+ Kg7 20.Rhf1...

Position after 20. Rhf1

Position after 20. Rhf1

20... h5 21.Rf7+ Qxf7 22.Bxf7 Kxf7 23.Rf1+ Kg8 24.Qf4 Ne5 25.Qf6 Kh7 26.h3 Bd7 27.g4 Rf8 28.Qe7+ Kg8 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Bh6 Rf7 31.Qd8+ Kh7 32.Be3 Nc4!

Position after 32...Nc4!

Position after 32...Nc4!

33.Bf2! Bc6 34.Qh4 Rf4 35.Qe7+ Kg8 36.Qe6+ Kf8 37.Qxc4 Rxf2 38.gxh5 gxh5 39.Qd4 Rf1+ 40.Kb2 Kg8 41.Qc4+ Rf7 42.Qe2 Rh7 43.e5 Re7 44.Qxh5 dxe5 45.Qg5+ Kf8 46.h4 e4 47.Qe3 Rh7 48.Qd4 Kf7 49.Qe5 ...

Position after 49. Qe5

Position after 49. Qe5

49... Rxh4?? 50.Qf5+ Ke8 51.Qe6+ Kd8 52.Qf6+ Kc8 53.Qxh4 b6 54.Qf6 Kb7 55.c4 Bd7 56.Kc3 Ba4 57.Qe5 Bc6 58.Qe6 b5 59.c5 a5 60.a3 e3 61.Kd3 e2 62.Kxe2 Bh1 63.Kd3 Bg2 64.c3 Bf1+ 65.Kd4 a4 66.Ke5 Bc4 67.Qg6 Bb3 68.Qe4+ Kb8 69.Qc6 Bc4 70.Kf6 Kc8 71.Ke7 Bf1 72.Qa8++


"CHESS BLINDNESS"

Izyaslav Spektor - Bill Price

October 3, 1999

Endgame position from a 30-minute game

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This position was reached in a 30-minute game.  White has just played c3-c4 after Black moved his Rook from h1 to b1.  Black can simplify into an easily won King-and-Pawn endgame in this position, by playing 1...Rxb2+; 2 Kf1 Rxf2+; 3 Kxf2, and then the Black King marches into the White Queenside and clears the way for his a-Pawn to queen.  White is defenseless, since he dare not stray too far from the passed g-Pawn.  White's own Pawns cannot break through to queen.  If, for instance, after the exchange of Rooks, White attempts a desperate break with an immediate a4-a5-a6, Black merely replies with ...b6.

In the actual game I was, for whatever reason, blind to the simple fact that White cannot advance his King beyond h4 after the Rook trade.  Therefore I foolishly avoided the Rook exchange and went on a vain Pawn-hunt.   The game continued 1...Rxb2+; 2 Kf1 Rb1+?; 3 Kg2, Rd1; 4 Rb2!,... and White went on to draw.


I'm not sure where I went wrong in the following game.  I think it has something to do with "simplifying into a lost endgame," - which, incidentally, is the story of my life.  If any of you chess wizards out there have a suggestion, give me a write.

Izyaslav Spektor - Bill Price

October 17, 1999

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 a6 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.Nd5 0-0 10.Bd3 Nc6 11.c3 Be6 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.0-0 Qg5 14.Qd2 ...

Position after 14. Qd2

Position after 14. Qd2

Here I wanted to build up an attack, but felt that by avoiding a Queen trade here, my Queen would be left in an awkward position.  So I decided to go ahead with the trade and try for an advantage in the center.

14 ... Qxd2 15.Nxd2 d5 16.f4 exf4 17.Rxf4 d4 18.cxd4 Nxd4 19.Kf2 b5 20.Ke3 Nc6 21.a3 Ne5 22.Be2 Rac8

Position after 22... Rac8

Position after 22... Rac8

I felt pretty good about the position here.  My Knight and Bishop are well-placed, and my Rook commands the c-file.  Here he sat and thought for a long while before playing...

23.a4! Nc4+ 24.Nxc4 Bxc4 25.Bxc4 Rxc4 26.axb5 axb5 27.Ra5 ...

Position after 27. Ra5

Position after 27. Ra5

The good feeling about the game was gone, and we had reached a Rook-and-Pawn endgame, which I wasn't quite sure how to conduct.

27 ... Rc2 28.Rf2 Rxf2 29.Kxf2 Rb8 30.b4 g6 31.Ke3 Kg7 32.e5! h5 33.Kd4 Rd8+ 34.Kc5 Rd2 35.Rxb5 Rxg2 36.Rb7 Re2 37.Kd4 Rd2+ 38.Kc5 Re2 39.Kd4 Kf8 40.h4 ...

Position after 40. h4

Position after 40. h4

I sure wanted to get my Kingside Pawns moving at this point, but was worried about the White b-Pawn.  Not knowing which way to go, I decided to make the best of the Kingside.

40 ... Rh2 41.b5 Rxh4+ 42.Kc5 Rh1 43.b6 Rc1+ 44.Kd6 Rd1+ 45.Kc7 Ke7 46.Kc8+ Ke8

Position after 46... Ke8

Position after 46... Ke8

I still had hopes of slowing down the b-Pawn advance, and of pushing my Kingside Pawns.  Here he stopped to think.  After a few minutes thought he came to life and started making moves with a confidence that seemed to convey to me that he had found the win.

47.Ra7 Rb1 48.Kc7 Rc1+ 49.Kd6 Rd1+ 50.Kc5 Rc1+ 51.Kd4 Rd1+ 52.Kc3 Rb1 53.b7 ...

Final position

Position after 53.b7

 

With this last move he declared, "Well, sir, what are you going to do now?"  I was going to say "...Kd7", but then realized that he had the simple reply 54.b8Q+!  I was lost all that time and didn't realize it.

I guess it's time to go back and blow the dust off of my endgame books.


The following game started out looking pretty bad for White, but then took a sudden turn on move 13, after which White had the initiative for most of the game.  Black had a hard time of it after a blunder on move 26.  This was my first win against him in a long while.

Bill Price - Izyaslav Spektor

November 7, 1999

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bd7 4.Bd3 e6 5.0-0 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nbd2 Qc7 8.Nb3 Bd6 9.h3 e5 10.Be2 Bf5

Position after 10... Bf5

Position after 10... Bf5

What an ugly position! Only ten moves into the game, and I felt that I was on my way to another defeat. The Queen Pawn opening I was experimenting with turned out very poorly, and my pieces are all cramped.

11.c3 Qc8 12.h4 Bg4 13.e4! ...

Position after 13.e4!

Position after 13.e4!

Suddenly things started turning around. My QB gets some air and Black's center is challenged.  If 13...Nxe4, then 14.Qxd5.

13...dxe4 14.Qxd6 exf3 15.Bb5+ Nc6 16.Nc5 ...

Position after 16.Nc5

Position after 16.Nc5

Compare this position with the one on move 10. Black's King is caught in an awkward position, unable to castle, and White's pieces have sprung to life. The Nc5 keeps Black's Queen away from d7 and e6, as well as threatening Nxb7, Qxb7; Bxc6+.

16...Bd7! 17.Bxc6 Qxc6! 18.Qxe5+ Kf8 19.Nxd7+ Nxd7 20.Qg5 h6 21.Qf5 fxg2 22.Re1 g6 23.Qg4 Kg7 24.Be3 Kh7 25.Bd4 Rhe8 26.h5! ...

Position after 26.h5!

Position after 26.h5!

26...Re6? 27.Rxe6 Qxe6 28.hxg6+! Kg8 29.gxf7+ Kxf7 30.Qg7+ Ke8 31.Qh8+ Kf7 32.Qg7+ (The Black Rook is safe. If 32.Qxa8, then Black wins with ...Qh3!). 32... Ke8 33.Qxg2 Rb8 34.Kf1 Qc4+ 35.Ke1 Nc5 36.Qg6+ Kd7 37.Qf5+ Kc6 38.Qf3+ Kb5 39.b3 ...

Position after 39.b3

Position after 39.b3

39... Re8+ 40.Kd2 Qe6 41.a4+! Ka6 42.Bxc5 Qxb3 43.Qd3+ Ka5 44.Bb4+ Black Resigns.

Final position

Final position

After 44... Kb6 Black gets mated with 45.Qd6.  The alternative 44...Qxb4 leads to mate after 45.cxb4+ Kxb4 46.Qb5++.


I had the edge during most of the following four-hour battle, but failed to push it through for the full point.  We drew after 67 moves in an interesting minor-piece ending.

Bill Price - Izyaslav Spektor

November 26, 1999

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 Bd7 5.0-0 Nxd4 6.Bxd7+ Qxd7 7.Nxd4 exc4 8.Qxd4 f6 9.c4 Nd7 10.Nc3 Nc6 11.Qe3 h5 12.f4 0-0-0 13.b4 b6 (If 13...Nxb4, then 14.Qxa7) 14.b5 Na5 15.Qe2 Qe6 16.Nd5 Re8 17.Re1 f5 18.Bb2 (It's better to give up the e-Pawn than to open up c5 and d4 for Black's KB) 18...fxe4

Position after 18...fxe4

Position after 18...fxe4

19.Bc3 Nb7 20.a4 Nc5 21.a5 Nd3 22.Red1 Qg4 23.Qe3 Nc5 24.Rf1 (Not 24.Rd2 Nb3) ...h4 25.axb6 axb6 26.Ra8+ Kd7 27.Rxe8 Kxe8 28.Nxc7+ Kf7 29.Nd5 h3 30.g3 Be7 31.Nxb6 Rb8 32.Nd5 Ra8 33.Qf2 Ra4 34.Ne3 Qc8 35.Qe2 ...

Position after 35.Qe2

Position after 35.Qe2

White's last move protects the Pawn on c4 as well as threatening Qh5+.

35... Qh8 36.Ra1 Rxa1+ 37.Bxa1 Qh7 38.Qg4 Ne6 39.Qf5+ Qxf5 40.Nxf5 g6 (I was expecting an immediate ...g5) 41.Ne3 g5 42.f5 Nc5 43.Kf2 Nd3+ 44.Ke2 Nc1+ 45.Kd1 (Not 45.Kd2 Nb3+ 46.Kc2 Nxa1+ 47.Kb2 Bf6+ losing a piece) ...Nb3 46.Bc3 Nc5 47.Ng4 ...

Position after 47.Ng4

Position after 47.Ng4

Here I decided to go after the annoying h-Pawn.

47... Nd7 (threatening ...Nb6 followed by ...Nxc4) 48.Nf2 Nb6 49.Nxe4 (Here I decided to take the e-Pawn instead) ...Nxc4 50.Bd4 d4 51.Nc3 Bf6! (I overlooked this move, which forces the exchange of Bishops.) 52.Bxf6 Kxf6 53.Nxd5+ Kxf5 54.b6 Nd6 55.Ke2 Ke4 56.Nc7 Nb7 57.Ne6 Kf5 58.Nd4+ Ke4 59.Nb3 g4 60.Nc1 Nd6 61.Kf2 Nb7 62.Ne2 Nd6 63.Nc3+ Kd3 (63...Kd4 loses to Nb5+!) 64.Ne2 Ne4+ 65.Kc1 Nc5 66.Nf4+ Ke4 (66...Kd4 loses to Ne6+!) 67.Ke2 Nb7

Final position

Final position

Black is defending correctly, and won't fall for any cheap traps.   The Black Knight keeps the b-Pawn in check, and White can make no headway on the Kingside.  Black can always use his Knight to lose (or gain) any necessary tempos, and so at 1:00 a.m. I finally conceded the draw.


It's not often that one can exploit both long diagonals for a win.  This was a clock "speed" game with thirty minutes for each player, which explains some of the errors.

Izyaslav Spektor - Bill Price

December 12, 1999

MY LAST CHESS GAME OF THE CENTURY!

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d5 d6 6.e4 0-0 7.Be2 b5 (Here I decided to try out a Benko Gambit - not really knowing how to play it!) 8.cxb5 a6 9.bxa6 Bxa6 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.a4 Qb6 12.Nd2 Rfb8 13.Nc4 Qc7 14.Qc2 Rb4 (A very awkward place for the Rook, with all the White minor pieces in the vicinity. White quickly takes advantage of the situation.)

Position after 14...Rb4

Position after 14...Rb4

15.Na3 Qb7 I knew my Rook was in trouble, but like a paralyzed rabbit I took no action to save it. 16.Bxa6 Rxa6 17.Nab5 It's going to be hard to wrest b5 away from White. 17...Ne8 18.Bd2 Nc7 19.Ra2??

Position after 19.Ra2??

Position after 19.Ra2??

Sensing another easy win against a weaker opponent, White gets careless. The text move loses a piece. 19...Nxb5! 20.Nxb5 20.axb5 is answered by 20...Rxa2, 21.Nxa2 Rxb2. 20...Rxb5 21.Rb1 Rb3 22.f4? Realizing that he's playing a losing game, he started losing the will to fight. 22...Bd4+ 23.Kh1 Nf6 24.h3 e6 25.e5 dxe5 26.dxe6? Rxh3++

Final position

Final position

A nice way to finish the last game of the century

For much of the game the a1-h8 black diagonal was the pivotal feature of the game. During the last few moves the h1-a8 white diagonal suddenly came into play, allowing a clever surprise checkmate.


Copyright 1998, 1999 by Bill Price
URL = billpriceweb.com/recentgam.html
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