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Team White vs Team Black
"Teaming with Life" (game of the day Feb-15-2007)
Chessgames Challenge (2006) (exhibition),, rd 1
St. George Defense: Polish Variation (B00)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 236 OF 236 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I was curious about that, <DO> so I took a look at Tim Krabbe's website. Here's what he had to say about immobile Pawns:

<Vidarsson - Hjartarson, Iceland 1994, began with 1.e4 e5 and those pawns were still there when a draw was agreed after move 180.

Valkesalmi - Agopov, Finland 1998, began with 1.c4 c5 2.b3 d5 and that pawn stayed on d5 until it was captured with 184.Nxd5 >

Amazing. If we'd only played another 140 moves, we might have set the record! Maybe it's a record in a consultation game.

Neither of those games cited are in this site's database.

Feb-17-08  dickduval: I think it's best to analyze a game by making a check mark next to any !!! or ??? move while it's going on, and then see if your opinion stands up when the game is over and you've replayed it at least twice. Sounds dull but it works.
Oct-03-08  Super Chess Man: I think this is a very poorly played game by all ! You should be ashamed of yourself !
Oct-03-08  just a kid: <Super Chess Man>How dare you say that!
Dec-07-08  hidude: wait, black got a draw out of the St. George? wow...
Jan-24-09  WhiteRook48: ok, 1...a6? is just weird
Feb-01-09  WhiteRook48: wait a minute, that was the St George Defense. 1...b5?! is just weird
Feb-05-09  WhiteRook48: Black might have won, like the Karpov-Miles game with the same thing Correction from my earlier post: I meant 2...b5
Aug-13-09  mack: Ah, good times.
Oct-11-09  The Chess Express: I have a healthy respect for this opening. I've actually dropped a game or two against. For what it's worth I've come to favor the following setup for white.

1. e4 a6
2. d4 b5
3. f4 Bb7
4. Bd3 Nf6
5. Qe2 e6
6. Nf3 c5
7. c3 Be7
8. O-O O-O

click for larger view

Black has slightly better development. White has more space. Usually white can build up a slow, methodical attack from here while keeping black in check on the queenside.

I feel that this game was played at a very high level. Obviously <Super Chess Man>'s comment was a cry for attention. Congratulations are in order to both teams.

Oct-25-09  Qb6: I prefer 1. e4 a6 2. d4 b5 3. c4 ♗b7. Then the alternatives:

4. ♗d3? bxc4 5. ♗xc4 ♗xe4
4. ♘c3! b4 5. ♕b3 ♘c6
4. ♘d2!?

Oct-27-09  The Chess Express: One possible line might be

1. e4 b5
2. d4 a6
3. c4 Bb7
4. Nc3 b4
5. Qb3 Nc6
6. Ne2 e6
7. Nf3 Nf6
8. Ng3

click for larger view

Feb-28-12  karnak64: Today's opening of the day, and I remember this game fondly -- the inaugural team challenge on IIRC.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Fond memories indeed. With the hidden voting, I think Team Black might have been more shocked than Team White at 1...a6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Ohio> -- < With the hidden voting, I think Team Black might have been more shocked than Team White at 1...a6.> Very true. As I've said before, I changed my vote (from 1...e6 to 1...a6) at literally the last minute, so I feel some responsibility for the course of this game. It seems obvious that if those voting for 1...c5 and 1...e5 had known the real situation then one of those moves would have won.

However, I'm still bemused by those people who seem to think that 1...a6 is 'bizarre' or 'bound to lose'. If nothing else, we struck a blow for unusual openings. With a little more confidence, we might even have won.

Incidentally, am I right in thinking that hidden voting has not been used since?

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Every so often this opening comes up as opening of the day and for old time's sake I take a look at this game. It sure beats the thought of looking at a game where we started 1...c5.

<Dom> no question that 1...c5 and 1...e5 voters wouldn't have allowed 1...a6 to win with open voting. Phooie on them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Annie: Perhaps this wasn't due to any organization - maybe it's just that, what with the vote numbers hidden, a few too many jokers over there thought voting for 1...a6 was funny. I wonder which team is more surprised now? ;p >

Ahh, the woman's intuition thing strikes again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <Ohio> Oddly enough, I call it common sense. ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: There's no hope for anyone who doesn't love this game.
Aug-07-15  offramp: What were the team names in the second game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I still love this game. Almost as much as I enjoyed being part of the Black team, nearly ten years ago. As I recall it, we were coming off the recent win against Arno Nickel, which was the first of Team CG's 'World' wins. There was a sense that RV's computing power was more powerful than anything else available - but that quirky play, perversity, and a willingness to bend a few classical precepts might just confuse the engine and its acolytes.

It should be noted that the St George, 1...b6, isn't really that weird. It is certainly less radical than its reputation, which seems to consist of the Miles win vs Karpov and little else. But 1...a6 transposes into the Polish Defence, 1.d4 b5 2.e4 a6, which I saw played between a couple of 2100+ players last week. The St George is actually more playable than such dubious lines as Owen's 1...b6.

On closer examination, it's quite playable: Black will play ...a6, ...b5, ...e6, ...c5, and later ...d6 or ...d5, with a regular pawn formation and solid development. It's just the first move, 1...a6, that scares people.

Having said that, I'm not sure that anyone would risk playing it against an engine-backed team today. Ten years ago, there was still a sense that comps, strong as they were, had a few blind spots which could be systematically exploited. I don't think anyone has that idea now - engines are just too strong, and any less than optimal opening will be crushed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Hmm. Was 1...a6 just the Donald Trump of its day?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Maybe, but unlike Trump supporters, the a6 supporters were in on the joke.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Precious memories, how they linger. I sure love when this is the Opening of the Day and I'm reminded to pop back to this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: And again, a mere 5 years later. I still remember the shock of checking in and seeing 1...a6 had been voted in.
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