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  1. Standard member Gatecrasher
    Whale watching
    02 Mar '07 02:22 / 2 edits
    The Peace on Earth Challenge is now in the final round. 216 entrants have been whittled down to the final 7...

    Tournament 1021

    At this stage, however, the winner of the merit prize cannot be overtaken.

    The merit prize is awarded to the player who is adjudged to have performed the best in the tournament relative to their ability

    Congratulations go to... zebano! User 193748

    Fortunately, he made the choice very easy for me with an excellent 2nd round performance.

    He wins a choice of the latest versions of Fritz, Junior, Hiarcs or Shredder.

    Thanks to everyone who took part, and good luck to the 7 finalists.
  2. 02 Mar '07 14:08
    Thank you very much Gatecrasher.

    The idea of a prize inspired me to do far more research than I ever have before. There are two games of which I am particularly proud.

    Against Smiffy in Game 2504030 I played Rxf4 with confidence; sacrificing the exchange after seeing how it exposed his king to my light squared bishop (the french bishop) and how my pawn mass controlled the center.

    Game 2504043 is my best game on RHP to date. 10 ... Qa5 is a line of the french defense that is widely considered to be busted, and with good reason. However I varied from the standard play in that line with Qxc2+ giving up on recovering my rook.

    In his 2001 boot French Winawer Neil McDonald analysis this ultra sharp line with black ending up down an exchange for a pawn and some compensation based on pawn control of the center. He immediately follows that up by saying that in his early years he thought this was good enough, but as he has aged, he has grown more materialistic. I looked at the resulting position and figured it was playable, but losing.

    Since my database didn't have any games progressing down the "right" path, I decided to see if Taavo could find his way through. He went astray almost immediately, at which point McDonald gave me one more move and expected me to find the rest. The rest of the game was centered around developing my pieces faster than Taavo could defend.

    The key to winning the endgame came when I saw that 24 ... QxQ, RxQ, Bc2, Rc1, and my bishop is immune from capture due to backrank threats allowing me to push the pawn.

    I will post the fully annotated games with more specifics when I get home from work.

    Kudos to Marcoli User 209945 who single handedly kept me from having my ego decimated in the third round. 🙂

    I haven't decided between Hiarcs and Fritz 10 yet. I like the idea of a more human style of play from Hiarcs, but I'm curious if it has all the same features as fritz (sparring mode, access to playchess etc.).
  3. 04 Mar '07 15:24
    [Event "The Peace On Earth Challenge"]
    [Site "http://www.chessatwork.com"]
    [Date "2006.09.16"]
    [Round "2"]
    [White "Taavo"]
    [Black "zebano"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C18"]
    [Annotator "Kmetz,Shawn"]
    [PlyCount "86"]
    [EventDate "2006.??.??"]
    [EventType "corr"]
    [SourceDate "2007.01.21"]

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg4 O-O {
    I still need to try out Kf8} 8. Nf3 {
    8. Bd3 is far more common and much better in practise.} f5 9. exf6 Rxf6 10. Bg5
    Qa5 {whats weaker? c3 or f6?} (10... Rf7 {is mainline and playable, but I
    didn't feel that to be enough against such a good opponent.}) 11. Bxf6 (11. Bd3
    Qxc3+ 12. Ke2 Rg6 13. Bxg6 Nxg6 14. Rac1 Nc6 $17) 11... Qxc3+ 12. Ke2 {
    much better than Kd1 when black wins the rook with check.} Qxc2+ {
    Analysed by Mcdonald and Harley in Frech Winawer by Neil McDonald.} (12... Ng6
    13. Rc1 gxf6 14. h4 $16 {this was the main continuation in my database and
    books and didn't seem to be sufficient.}) 13. Nd2 Ng6 14. Bg5 $2 {
    and I am out of book.} (14. Be5 c4 15. Ke1 Nxe5 16. dxe5 c3 17. Qd1 cxd2+ 18.
    Qxd2 Qe4+ 19. Qe3 Qa4 {
    1/2-1/2 Harley,A (2290)-McDonald,N (2390)/London 1994/EXT 97}) 14... Nc6 {
    it is imperative that black continously create fresh threats against the white
    king to make up for his lost material.} (14... c4 15. Ke1) 15. dxc5 {
    stopping Ne4+} e5 16. Qg3 Nd4+ 17. Ke1 Bf5 {allowing the a8 rook to enter the
    game as well while controlling the light squares around the enemy monarch} 18.
    Be2 (18. Rd1 Re8 19. Nb1 Qe4+ 20. Kd2 Qc2+ 21. Ke1 Qe4+ {
    3 fold repition acording to RYbka}) 18... Nxe2 19. Kxe2 Nf4+ 20. Bxf4 (20. Ke1
    Nd3+ 21. Kf1 Nc1 22. Qf3 e4 23. Qe3 (23. Qxf5 Qd1🙄 23... d4 24. Qe1 Qd3+ 25.
    Kg1 Ne2+ 26. Kf1 Nc1+ 27. Kg1 {another draw by repition}) 20... exf4 {
    and the rook has an open file.} 21. Qb3 Re8+ 22. Kf1 Qxd2 $17 {now black is
    only down an exchange, but is better developed and whites h8 rook cannot join
    in the action for several moves.} 23. Qd1 Bd3+ {this was the critical move for
    me. I saw althe way through 26... d4 as the bishop is immune from capture on
    c2} 24. Kg1 Qxd1+ 25. Rxd1 Bc2 26. Rc1 d4 27. h4 d3 28. Kh2 Rc8 {
    preparing to play Rxc5, then pushing the pawn.} 29. c6 (29. Rhd1 Bxd1 30. Rxd1
    Rd8 {when the relative position of the kings should allow black a win.} (30...
    Rxc5 31. Rxd3 {in rook pawn endgames often times one pawn isn't enough.}))
    29... Rxc6 30. Rce1 Rd6 31. Re8+ Kf7 32. Rc8 Kg6 33. Rc7 Ba4 34. Rc4 b5 {
    now black has tied up all his loose ends. His rook is behind the pawn and the
    bishop controls d1 and won't be loose when the pawn advances.} 35. Rxf4 d2 36.
    Rxa4 bxa4 37. Rd1 Kf5 38. f3 Kf4 39. Kg1 Ke3 40. Kf1 Rc6 41. h5 Rc1 42. Kg1
    Rxd1+ 43. Kh2 Rc1 0-1
  4. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    06 Mar '07 13:28
    Dude, superb performance!! Well deserved prize, congrats! 🙂
  5. 12 Mar '07 00:14
    Game 2504043 is fantastic! A most deserved win.
    Congratulations
  6. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    12 Mar '07 00:21 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zebano
    [Event "The Peace On Earth Challenge"]
    [Site "http://www.chessatwork.com"]
    [Date "2006.09.16"]
    [Round "2"]
    [White "Taavo"]
    [Black "zebano"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C18"]
    [Annotator "Kmetz,Shawn"]
    [PlyCount "86"]
    [EventDate "2006.??.??"]
    [EventType "corr"]
    [SourceDate "2007.01.21"]

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg 39. Kg1 Ke3 40. Kf1 Rc6 41. h5 Rc1 42. Kg1
    Rxd1+ 43. Kh2 Rc1 0-1
    Great game. Well played.

    D
  7. 12 Mar '07 14:05
    Thanks all, I received Hiarcs 10 in the mail late last week. Time to start analyzing games. 🙂
  8. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    17 Mar '07 20:15
    Originally posted by zebano
    (23. Qxf5 Qd1🙄
    One mildly annoying thing with smileys is that sometime you want Qd1 🙄 and sometimes you want Qd1# )

    Congratulations on winning the merit prize, and congratulations to Gatecrasher for having the idea. Even in banded tournaments the difference in playing strength between the strongest and weakest players can be sizeable (sandbagging aside). I think that it's worth considering this type of prize (even if the prize is just a link in the list of tournament victories on homepages) in more tournaments.