LCA Web Extra
by Adam S. Caveney
In the Spring/Summer 2013 LCA Bulletin, there was an article in which LCA members posted the best games they ever played. In that article, I noted that I had once beat IM Tim Taylor and had played a good game to beat then FM, now IM Stephen Muhammad to win a share of the 2001 Georgia State Championship and obtain the National Master title. I thought that both of those game scores had not survived Hurricane Katrina. I was wrong. The game against IM Tim Taylor is still missing, but the game against Muhammad was just lost in a closet and has now been found. Here’s that game:
White: Adam Caveney
Black: FM Stephen Muhammad
2001 Georgia State Championship, Rd. 5
1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. b3 Bg4 4. e3 Nbd7 5. Bb2 e6 6. Be2 Bxf3 7. Bxf3 Bd6 8. d4 O-O 9. O-O Qe7 10. c4 c6 11. Nc3 Rfd8 12. Qe2 Rab8
The opening was a bit uninspired on my part, and he has easily equalized. A long maneuvering game is in store.
13. g4 Ba3 14. Bxa3 Qxa3 15. Rac1 Nf8 16. Rc2 Qe7 17. Nd1 Ne8 18. Nf2 Nc7 19. Nd3 Nd7 20. Qg2 Rbc8 21. Qg3 Na6 22. c5 Nc7 23. h4 Ne8 24. g5 b6 25. Bg4 bxc5
I have no interest in recapturing on c5. Now it’s time for the fireworks!
26. f5 cxd4 27. fxe6 fxe6 28. Qh3 Nc7 29. exd4 Qd6 30. Rfc1 Nb8 31. Ne5 Re8 32. Nxc6 Nxc6 33. Rxc6 Qf4 34. Rd1 Kh8 35. Rc2 Nb5 36. Rxc8 Rxc8 37. Qf3 Qd6 38. Qf2 Re8 39. Qe3 Qb6 40. Be2 Nd6 41. Qe5 Nf5 42. Bh5 Nxh4 43. Rf1
The tactics have not produced a definite advantage for either side, and both of us are now in serious time trouble. He has netted a pawn on h4, but his rook and knight are in precarious positions, so the position could still go either way. With a share of the state title on the line, neither of us is interested in a draw.
Unfortunately, at this point, the score was no longer kept due to extreme time pressure for both players. Many moves were made without any particular resolution of the position. Eventually, with both of us under 15 seconds on the clock (but with five second delay), we reached something like the following position. I am not 100% certain that this is exactly correct, but the important pieces are right in the following diagram.
In this position, it was his move, and he played Rc8, threatening Rc1+ with mate to follow. In the time scramble, I picked up my bishop with the intention of taking his rook on c8, but fortunately realized that this allowed mate on g2 before I touched his rook. With the clock running, I had to put the bishop somewhere, and since Bf1 was the only bishop move that avoided mate in one, I put the bishop there. In the insane time pressure, he then finally cracked, playing Nxf1, missing that the knight was pinned, allowing me to win his queen with Qxe2. With the five second delay, I was able to convert the advantage. 1-0. Whew! So, now you know how to make master: have a titled player drop his queen against you!