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Daniel Freeman vs Kevin Martin McDonald
"Stick a fork in it, it's done." (game of the day Sep-30-2021)
ICC 30 10 u (2011) (rapid), Internet Chess Club, Aug-17
Dutch Defense: Hopton Attack (A80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-30-19  goodevans: <Olsonist: Maybe the puzzle could have started a move or two ealier, no?>

One move earlier would have been nice.

Two moves earlier doesn't work. Black should have responded to <29.Nf6+> with <29...Kg7>. Then <30.Rxf8?> would not have been check and could be met by <30...Nd3+>.

Sep-30-19  thegoodanarchist: Never heard of the Hopton Attack before.

But I think Dr. Seuss played the Hopton Pop Attack

Sep-30-19  patzer2: <<good evans: ...Two moves earlier doesn't work. Black should have responded to <29.Nf6+> with <29...Kg7>. Then <30.Rxf8?> would not have been check and could be met by <30...Nd3+>>. Good observation! Instead of playing 29...Kf7??, which loses to 30. Rxg8+ +- (+5.57 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10), Black could have equalized with 29...Kg7 = (-0.09 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10).

One move earlier, Black went astray with 28...Rf8? which allows 29. Nf6+! Kg7 =. Instead of 28...Kf8? =, Black could have secured a winning advantage with 28...Kg7 -+ (-2.28 @ 37 ply, Stockfish 10).

Sep-30-19  TheaN: How a chess game can turn with so little material on the board is astounding. After move 27 ∓, after 28. -+, after 28.... =, then after 29.... +-, and after 34.... 1-0 pretty much.

At move 35 I would have chosen 35.Nxh6 Kxh6 36.g4 knowing that the Black king will have to stick to the king side and the Black pawns aren't far enough up the board to keep the White king at bay. Slightly slower perhaps but easily winning.

Sep-30-19  alexrawlings: This is such a fun game to play through.

I hadn't heard of Daniel Freeman until today...

I've been on this site since around the year 2000 when I saw someone looking at the website on one of the computers in the computer area in the library at the University of Edinburgh. I'd never heard of the website before and have looked at the daily puzzles almost every week ever since without fail (and generally not solving anything beyond a Wednesday or Thursday).

Anyway, thank you so much for creating this site Daniel. So sorry to hear of you passing away so young. Hope you're still playing this great game in another life or another plane of existence. RIP.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Clear win of a piece, and the combination gets the rooks off the board for an easy win. Black's further resistance, though stubborn, is futile.

I see, today Daniel would have celebrated his birthday. The puzzle is a nice tribute.

Sep-30-19  JimNorCal: Nice to have a Daniel puzzle!

A cheeky thought is 40. h5 (KxN then h6 and queens). Black played on too long, perhaps hoping to win on time

Sep-30-19  JimNorCal: My understanding is that Daniel's last name was chosen not given via mother or father, thus "free man".

For all you Prisoner fans

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: HBD, Daniel Freeman

Black fought on well past his expiration date, but that's speed chess for you.

Oct-01-19  Kay Sadeeya: <thegoodanarchist> <Hopton Pop> Now that is funny, thank you for the levity.
Oct-10-19  thegoodanarchist: <Kay>

My pleasure!

Jun-04-20  jith1207: <I hadn't heard of Daniel Freeman until today...>

That's because he was <Sneaky>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  stevemcd87: "Stick a fork in it, it's done"
To save a google search:
Sep-30-21  Brenin: Happy Birthday, Daniel. Thanks for everything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knighthawkmiller: 40.h5 simplifies white's win with 41. h6 for any black 40th move. Dynamic game.
Sep-30-21  thegoldenband: Long ago (in 2014!) I submitted a "Stick A Fork In Me, You're Done" pun for S Bernstein vs E McCormick, 1940 but it was immediately deleted from my submitted pun list, as though it were obscene or offensive. I guess someone just had a fit of pique that day?

In any event today's pun is a fine occasion for a tribute to our erstwhile leader. HBD, DF.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: GOTD is a nice tribute.
Sep-30-21  SeanAzarin: The power of the distant passed Pawn.

Black's King had to wander so far away from the main theater of battle that it couldn't get back in time.

Sep-30-21  poulh: Very nice that you featured one of Daniel?s games and kept his memory alive. He was a very nice man and helpful to a lot of amateurs like me. I spoke to him on the phone at least a half dozen times and miss him. Again thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: Happy Birthday Daniel. Thanks for creating this site.

We can see it's a rapid because Black went from -+ to +- in just two moves, kept on playing after being a N down and White missed a few easy wins in the endgame, as noted above. Still a nice tribute.

The pun... er... I hope it's not a politically incorrect allusion to Daniel's passing away but rather Black not giving up after move 33. Cannot be a reference to the player's name because you don't use a fork at McDonald's. Or can you now?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Nice game. Here's to you, Daniel!
Sep-30-21  goodevans: Daniel got a bit lucky there but then these things happen in rapid games.

It got a bit error-strewn around moves 26 to 29 so maybe both players were short on time. As a sort of 'midweeky' puzzle can you see how White could have taken advantage of Black's mistaken 26...Re8?

click for larger view

Sep-30-21  ajile: <thegoodanarchist: Never heard of the Hopton Attack before. But I think Dr. Seuss played the Hopton Pop Attack>

It's pretty dangerous and often used by stronger players to attack weaker opponents. If you are a Dutch player this and the Korchnoi h3-g4 attacks need to be understood in all their variations.

I think I saw a game Nakamura played as Black where he easily neutralized White's opening. Black needs to be willing to adopt sometimes unusual positions and delay castling.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I would play the Hop Pop Attack

But only against the Bluevins from Shluevin

And never with Green Eggs and Ham.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <It got a bit error-strewn around moves 26 to 29 so maybe both players were short on time. As a sort of 'midweeky' puzzle can you see how White could have taken advantage of Black's mistaken 26...Re8?>

I picked 27.d7, which wins but doesn't seem to be as good as 27.Ng3 right away.

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