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2012 Simultaneous Exhibition - Grandmaster Nigel Davies

As expected, Grandmaster Davies crushed the field (16 wins, with 1 draw vs. Lev Zilbermintz below) but we didn't expect it to take less than 90 minutes! That's just five minutes per board, including Nigel's generous offer of five (!) passes per player. The loser of the following game (yours truly) took all five passes, but to no avail.


[Event "GM Nigel Davies Simultaneous Exhibition"]
[Site "Monmouth Chess School & Club"]
[Date "2012.08.12"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nigel Davies"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[WhiteElo "2517"]
[Black "Dr. Michael Koblentz"]
[BlackElo "1944"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 Nc6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Qe2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e5 Nd7 {If I understood Nigel's comment here,} (8...Ne8) {followed by ...Nc7, covering e6, may have better prepared ...f6} 9. c4 {Now Black is already in an unfamiliar position, as his normal Queen-side play with ...b7-b5 has been prevented or at least greatly slowed.} f6 {Creating a permanent structural weakness at e6. Possibly better is} (9...d4) {but with the center blocked and the strong pawn on e5, White could then build an attack on the wing, e.g. by h4, Bf4, Nbd2, Ne4, etc.} 10. exf6 Nxf6 11. Bf4 Nh5 12. Be3 Bd7? {This routine developing move doesn't address Black's immediate problem in the center. As Nigel pointed out, Black should just return the knight to f6} (12...Nf6) 13. d4! {Opening the center exposes Black's weaknesses there, and the loose knight on h5 isn't helping matters.} cxd4 (13...Qb6!?) 14. Nxd4 Nf6 15. Nc3 {Somewhere around here, Nigel says that he was able to go on "auto-pilot," meaning that he could maintain a solid advantage with straightforward, uncomplicated moves. Simul participants should try to avoid getting into this predicament, as their slim practical chance of an upset is an unexpected tactical shot in a complex position.} Qa5 16. Rad1 dxc4 {Already in a state of desperation, Black sacs a pawn - and, as it turns out, then loses an additional one - for the sake of some activity.} 17. Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Bxc6 bxc6 19. Qxc4 Qf5 20. Qxc6 Ng4 {Slightly better would be first a development move, e.g.} (20...Rc8 21.Qb7 Bc5) 21. Bd4 e5 22. Nd5! Bf6 (22...exd4?? 23.Nxe7+) 23. Ne3! {Efficiently ending Black's "activity."} Qh5 24. Nxg4 Qxg4 25. Bxe5! {Ouch!} Rac8 26. Qd5+ Kh8 27. Bxf6 Rxf6 28. Kg2 h5 29. Rd4 Qg6 30. Rfd1 Rc2 31. R1d2 Rxd2 32. Rxd2 h4 33. Rd4 hxg3 34. Rh4+ 1-0

[Event "GM Nigel Davies Simultaneous Exhibition"]
[Site "Monmouth Chess School & Club"]
[Date "2012.08.12"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nigel Davies"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[WhiteElo "2494"]
[Black "Sam Kuciej"]
[BlackElo "1547"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 {This move order was favored by Nimzovitch to avoid some of Black's favorite setups, e.g. the NimzoIndian and Queen's Gambit Declined.} Nc6 {The odd-looking main line (3...c5 4.e5 Ng8) was played in the Korchnoi-Karpov world championship match of 1978, and by others before them.} 4. d4 Bb4 5. e5 Ne4 6. Qc2 Nxc3 {Probably better than 6...d5} 7. bxc3 Be7 8. Bd3 b6! {Sam sacs a pawn rather than slow his development} 9. Bxh7 Ba6 {Not (9...g6? 10.Bxg6 fxg6 11.Qxg6+ Kf8 12.h4!) {and Black will not survive, e.g. 12...Qe8 13.Bh6+, or on other 12th moves White plays Rh3 with irresistible threats.} 10. Bd3 Na5 11. Qe2 d6 {If 11...c5 then 12.d5, but 11...d5 is interesting} 12. Nf3 Bb7?! {Here 12...Qd7 looks better, intending 13...Qa4} 13. Bf4 Qd7 14. O-O O-O-O 15. Bg3 f6 16. exd6 Bxd6 17. c5 Bxg3 18. fxg3! {As Nigel explained, capturing towards the center in this case would leave white vulnerable on the h-file, e/g after ...g5 and ...Qh7} g5 19. Be4 g4 20. Nh4 f5 21. Bxb7+ Kxb7 22. Rae1 Rde8 23. cxb6 axb6 24. Ng6 Rh6 25. Nf4 c6 26. h4 gxh3 27. gxh3 Kc7 28. Kh2 Nb7 29. Qe5+ Kc8 30. d5 Nd8 31. c4 Nf7 32. Qe3 e5!? 33. dxc6! (33.Ne6 f4) Qxc6 34. Nd5 f4 35. gxf4 Reh8?? (35...Qe6) 36. Ne7+ Kc7 37. Nxc6 Kxc6 1-0

[Event "GM Nigel Davies Simultaneous Exhibition"]
[Site "Monmouth Chess School & Club"]
[Date "2012.08.12"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nigel Davies"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[WhiteElo "2517"]
[Black "Lev Zilbermintz"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 f5 4. exf5 (4.Nc3) (4.d3) 4...e4 5. Nfd2 Nf6 6. Nc4 Bxf5 7. Ne3 Bg6 {The game is roughly level.} 8. c4 c6 9. Nc3 Nbd7 10. Be2 Be7 11. g4 h6 12. h4 Nb6 13. Qb3 Qc7 14. Bd2 O-O-O 15. O-O-O Rhe8 16. Rdg1 Ng8 17. g5 hxg5 18. hxg5 Rf8 19. Rg2 Kb8 20. Bg4 d5 (20...Bxg5 21. Be6) {followed by d4-d5, Davies} 21. c5 Nc4 22. Nxc4 dxc4 23. Qxc4 Bf7 24. Be6 Bxe6 25. Qxe6 Rxd4 26. Be3 Rdd8 27. Qxe4 Rde8 28. Qc4 Bd8 {Here Rybka really likes White's position} 29. Rh8 (29.Ne4) 29...Ne7 30. Rxf8 Rxf8 31. Qe6 (31.Qe4 Nf5? 32.Bf4) 31...Nf5 32. Ne4 Nxe3 33. fxe3 Rf1+ 34. Kc2 Qa5 35. Rd2 Qa4+ {1/2-1/2 Nigel points out in post-game analysis that, although it looks dangerous for the White King, in fact White would be better after 36. Kd3 Qb5+ 37.Kd4! with the idea Nd6.}
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