28.1.14

CASTLING INTO IT.

Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates recently played speed chess with World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Business Insider offers instant analysis.

Irregular Opening

Gates         Carlsen
1. e4          Nc6

A good speed chess move.  The champion has given time and move odds, with Mr Gates having the white pieces and two minutes to the champion's 30 seconds.

2. Nf6       d5

Here Mr Gates could have transposed into the King's Indian Attack with 2 d3 followed by 3 Nd2.  The problem with such a move in speed chess is that forced tactical variations and combinations are few and far between, and the player choosing such a line risks losing on time.

3. Bd6??  Nf6

I recorded the notes off the video before Craig Newmark kindly linked to the Business Insider analysis.  That's my evaluation of the move.

Here's the chess primer from Business Insider.
You see, while his bishop is in fact protecting his king pawn, his bishop is now hemmed in with virtually nowhere to move.

His bishop is also blocking his own queen pawn, which prevents a forward move of that pawn to attack the center. And because he can't move his queen pawn forward, Gates is blocking the development of his own queen bishop.

So in one move, he puts his bishop on a horrible square, blocks his own pawn, and blocks his other bishop. A complete tactical and strategic disaster.
In speed chess, one can run out the clock with iterated moves that require the opponent to recalculate, but this move doesn't do that, particularly against the world champion.

4. ed      Qxd5!

Why not?  In master play, "come hither and let me snare you" has been a line ever since Alekhine and Nimzovitch.

5. Nc3   Qh5?!

Mr Gates has a chance to run clock with 6 Be2 followed by moving the d-pawn and activating the queen-side Bishop.

6.  O-O? Bg4

Craig Newmark:  "Bill castled, but it still didn't help."

7.  h3   Ne5!

"Either exchange or retreat, but declare your intentions."  I intend to checkmate you!

8.  hxg4 Nf6xg4!
9.  Nxe5 Qe7++

Not that 8 Nxe5 or 8 Re1 offers much relief!

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