May 13, 2004

Interview with GoodKnight

Hello PlayChess pals,

It is my intention to interview PlayChess members and talk about chess and not only about chess. There are a lot of strong players around here. There are players with professional or club involvement in chess. Finally, there are hobby players from all around the world, composing a multinational and multicultural community, and I am willing to write small articles about them.

In this first article I present to you GoodKnight, one of the strongest players in this site. Right now, he is no.3 of the HCL rating list with 2263 points. He is also a very active player since he has completed 424 games so far. As you can see he prefers to keep his personal details private, but has accepted to answer some questions.

Michalis: What is your chess education? When and where did you learn to play chess?
GoodKnight: I learned to play chess from friends at age 10. Played first tournament at 16. Studied with local masters for many years.
Michalis: Do you play chess for fun? Are you a club member or a tournament player?
GoodKnight: I play chess mostly for fun. I play some small tournaments, but mostly I play to have a good time and enjoy meeting other players and discussing chess As I don’t have a lot of time for chess, PlayChess suits me well. It allows me to make a few moves whenever I can without committing my entire weekend to chess.
Michalis: What is the optimum time control that allows you to perform your best and enjoy a game of chess?
GoodKnight: For tournament play, I prefer slower time controls of of 2-3 minutes per move average. Anything faster and I make careless moves.

As you can see in the player info page of GoodKnight, he is involved in organizing children chess tournaments.

Michalis: How did you get involved into organizing children events?
GoodKnight: My interest in chess started when my own son started showing an interest in playing. To get more children’s tournaments in the area, I had to become involved in the organization of the tournaments. Over the years, it grew from a small to a very large commitment.
Michalis: How often these chess tournaments take place?
GoodKnight: I like to see a tournament for children in my area at least once a month. Now, I am not personally involved in all of them as I was in the beginning. There are many groups and clubs in the area hosting tournaments now.
Michalis: Can you, please, recite a couple of funny incidents with children? Your “favorite sentence” tells me that you have many stories to say.
GoodKnight: At the beginning of a tournament of about 200 children aged 5-8 years, a young man raised his hand to ask a question. When I approached him, he asked, ”What do I do if something really weird happens?” I asked him to be more specific and tell me what would be “really weird.” He said, “Something really weird – like my tooth falls out!”
Michalis: Please, another one or two.
GoodKnight: In a tournament of about 30 4 & 5 year olds, there was a young man who asked for a tournament director many times each game. He repeatedly pointed to the board and said, “It’s the eagle.” I tried very hard every game to understand to what he was referring. There was never anything wrong with the position or the moves preceeding the position. Over the course of several games, I noticed that every time he was pointing out “the eagle”, there was a similarity in piece placement. He became quite upset at times and once I had to take him out of the playing area as his crying was disturbing the other players. Finally, in the last round of the tournament, I was able to determine that he was saying “That’s illegal.”
In the same tournament as above, I became distracted resolving a problem on a board for about 5 minutes. When I finished, the players at one board raised their hand and I walked over to discover an empty board. No pawns, no pieces, no Kings – just 64 empty squares staring up at me. They were both claiming that they had won the game.

GoodKnight doesn’t have the time to review one of his games for this article. I am not the right person to analyze them either. I am very glad that I have played two games against him, unfortunately I lost both of them!

Michalis: I’d like your comments about the level of correspondence chess in this site, and your opinion about the opponents you face.
GoodKnight: The players in M-class here at PlayChess are the strongest I have encountered on any Internet site. I have played at about ten different sites, but I always come to PlayChess to face my most challenging games.
Michalis: Thank you very much for your time.
GoodKnight: I hope that you will continue the series and interview many other players. It will be interesting to get to know additional information about some of my friends and opponents. Thank you again for taking on this project. I enjoyed participating.

I said that I cannot analyze them, but aided by my computer I was able to spot an interesting combination from a very recent game.

HCL-M434-16   (1-0)
GoodKnight - stangew
completed on January 6th, 2004

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 b5 6.O‑O Bb7 7.Nc3 Qc7 8.a3 Nf6 9.Qf3 Nc6 10.Nxc6 Bxc6 11.Bf4 Qb7 12.Be5 Be7 13.Bd4 Notice that White prefers to place his Bishops ready for a Kingside attack. 13... O‑O 14.Qg3 d6 15.f4 White prepares e5 15... Rfc8 16.e5 The Kingside attack begins. Black’s pieces are on the other side of the board. There is only a single Knight defending the Black King and soon it is forced to abandon the f6 square. 16... dxe5 17.fxe5 Ne4 18.Qg4 Nxc3

black Rook on a8 b8 black Rook on c8 d8 e8 f8 black King on g8 h88
a7 black Queen on b7 c7 d7 black Bishop on e7 black Pawn on f7 black Pawn on g7 black Pawn on h77
black Pawn on a6 b6 black Bishop on c6 d6 black Pawn on e6 f6 g6 h66
a5 black Pawn on b5 c5 d5 white Pawn on e5 f5 g5 h55
a4 b4 c4 white Bishop on d4 black Knight moving from e4 f4 white Queen on g4 h44
white Pawn on a3 b3 black Knight on c3 white Bishop on d3 e3 f3 g3 h33
a2 white Pawn on b2 white Pawn on c2 d2 e2 f2 white Pawn on g2 white Pawn on h22
white Rook on a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 white Rook on f1 white King on g1 h11
a b c d e f g h  

Black decided to take the c3 Knight, a piece not involved in the attack. Can you see the continuation? It is not very difficult to guess what goes on.

19.Bxh7+ Demolishes the pawn shield 19... Kf8?? This move only causes further problems. It would be better to play 19...Kxh7 exposing the King to any attack after which 20.Rxf7 is the only move that maintains the advantage for White. Notice that after 20.Qh5+ Kg8 White can only draw with perpetual check. Any other move allows Black to use the material advantage and win. 20.Rxf7+ Another meaningful sacrifice. 20... Kxf7 Black could delay the end if he had played 20...Ke8. The game lasted for 5 more moves. 21.Bg6+ Kg8 22.Qxe6+ Kh8 23.Qh3+ Kg8 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Qh8+# 1–0

Posted by Michalis Kaloumenos at 08:30 PM | Comments (9)

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