Saturday, 30 January 2021

068. N-QR1, Resigns

Black: ianl - all-play-all tournament,, 2020

Following on from the previous post, my reversed colours game against the same opponent also had an interesting finish.

This one featured a critical line of the Mason Gambit. After the rarely played 11...g5, I tried an artificial plan of pushing the a-pawn, together with some obscure manoeuvres on the queenside. They didn't come to anything. (I'm not AlphaZero.) Eventually I had to give up a piece for Black's front f-pawn (the result of a reckless sacrifice on move two). And then my a-pawn dropped off as well.

All very nice for Black. The only entertaining part for me came at the close.

Rook, knight and two vs. rook and three. White might only draw by swapping all the pawns off which is never going to happen. So it's merely a matter of choosing how best to lose. That to me often means how nicest to lose:

49 Rd4 Rg3 (creating a mating net) 50 d6 b5+! 51 cxb5 Na8! 0-1 (since mate is inevitable; e.g. 52 d7 Nb6+ 53 Ka5 Ra3 mate, or 52 b6 Nxb6+ 53 Ka5 Ra3+ 54 Kb5 a6+ 55 Kc5 Rc3+ 56 Rc4 Rxc4 mate.

My opponent thought I was being silly, wanting the game to end this way.

But “N-QR1, Resigns”! How many games in chess history have ended like that? :)


  1. I have a soft spot for the Mason Gambit and have played it from time to time in casual games, but it's a while since I've looked at it. I remember that when I last looked, 4...d5 didn't look that critical and 4...Ne7 and 4...Qe7 appeared most critical, but things could have changed.

    1. Interestingly, this line with 11...g5 (and 12 a4) has since been tested five times by Stockfish and Leela in TCEC Season 21, Viewer Submitted Openings. Black scored 4½/5. So things are not looking very good at the moment.