Friday, September 19, 2008

Arizona Scorpian Joel Johnson Guest Blogs

Joel Johnson - ARZ (2211) - FM John Bick - TEN (2249) [C30]
ICC 75 30 u United States Chess League, 09/17/2008

1.f4 e5 2.e4 Bc5

At this point, I just sat and twiddled my thumbs for five or six minutes. Much like playing poker online, you need to create the illusion that you were somewhat taken aback by his bet (move), 2. … Bc5 and needed time to come up with a response.


The surprise move! From this point forward, Black’s clock starts seriously ticking and ticking. It is obvious that I have blindsided him and now, everything related to this game is in my favor.

3. … Nc6 4.fxe5 g6 5.Qe2

As in my key game, P Buecker - M Maier, I like placing the Queen here instead of Qf3, which happens in many of the sample games.

5. .. Nd4

Here, John plays the move that I had just finished looking at, prior to the start of play. Not that it mattered because my preparation has resulted in a huge time advantage already and a great idea of how to proceed.

6.Qd3 Qe7 7.c3 Nc6 8.Qg3

I have reached the position that I wanted, when I decided to play this line.

8. … d6

In several of the sample games, Black frequently employed the move, Bxg1 to avoid losing the tempo after White plays 9. d4 attacking the Black Bishop. The extra tempo is important to Black’s defensive chances.

9.d4 Bb6 10.Bb5

At this point in the game, I really want to play Bg5, but I can see that Black will respond with f6, and the eventual capture of my e-Pawn on e4. So, by playing 10. Bb5 first, I am threatening to win his Knight on c6 with the move d5 and on the eventual Qxe4+, I will be able to get all my pieces developed without blocking in this Bishop, say after the move Ne2.

10. … Bd7 11.Bg5 f6 12.exf6 Qxe4+ 13.Ne2

13... Ne5?

This is a desperate attempt by Black to complicate the position. However, I routinely play complicated games and have no problems sifting through everything.


This is the key move to refuting Black’s 13. … Ne5?. The point is Black has no place good to relocate his Queen. On 14. … Qf5, White wins after 15. Rf1, 16. f7+, and 17. fxg8(Q)+. On 14. … Qc2, White wins by playing 15. Rc1 Qxb2 16. Rb1 Qxa2 17. dxe5. And, On 14. … Qd5:

14. … Qd5 15.c4!

Black wanted to capture my Bishop on b5 in response to me grabbing his Knight on e5 and should I decide to snatch the Bishop on d7, he would simply recapture with his Knight on e5. The move c4 foils Black’s plan by protecting the White Bishop on b5 and leaving Black’s Knight on e5 hanging.

15. … Nd3+

Black is still trying to hold onto his piece.

16.Qxd3 Qxg5


This move wins the piece for good.

17. … Kxf7 18.Bxd7 Nf6 19.0–0 Rad8 20.Ne4
Black resigns 1–0
As you can see, this game was a team effort and along with Robby Adamson’s victory, propelled the team to victory in the match. What makes this victory special, besides the team effort, was that virtually all the bloggers did not give us much of a chance to win. But, I can tell you that everyone on our team thought that we would win the match and we did (2 ½ - 1 ½)!


Anonymous said...

Nice game, although it's a bit silly to say that no one gave arizona much of a chance to win. I think most predictors had it at 2.5-1.5 for tennessee, which is really just saying that arizona's chances were maybe slightly worse.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joel,

Great game. It appears you had the game well in hand going intot he middle game.

Keep rolling Joel

Vic Ouellette
Now of Sarasota, FL

RT Solo said...

LMAO I love the poker psychology! Never thought about that aspect of chess! I'd switch the facial hair to maybe a goatee and some sideburns though.

Take it easy!

Anonymous said...
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Rich in Phoenix said...

Nice first game in the USCL, Joel! A big Congratulations.

And wait a minute, I said that Arizona was about to "Pick up the Tempo and toss them back to Tennessee".

See my Blog at :

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qweqqweq said...

interesting psychological approach.

in the opening i prefer to play fast if i can though and let them fear me. :)