The Wellington Chess Club

Julian Mazur Memorial 2021

Any annotated games submitted to Ajit or Ian will be posted here. So far we have three Xandi Cooke efforts, one by Ed Tanoi, and one by Bill Forster.

Cooke, Xandi - Moreno, Cristian - Julian Mazur Memorial 2021 2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 Tonight coming in, I had no prep due to it being difficult to find with an unrated player. I was expecting this nimzo indian or queens gambit declined   4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Be7 I am suprised that he did not take and instead this transposed to a queens gambit declined.   6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bg5 Nc6 8.e3 a6 9.Bd3 h6 10.Bh4 b5??

Moves are clickable

11.Nxb5 I was quite happy to find this tactic. Suprisingly, the engine believes just taking the knight back is the best move.   11...Bd7 12.Nc3 O-O 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nxd5 Again missing I gain another pawn. An interesting idea that the computer recommends and I loozely gazed over here is Bxd4   14...Bh4 15.Nf3 Be7 16.Be4 Rc8 17.Nxe7+ Nxe7 18.Bb7 Rb8 19.Bxa6 Now I am very happily three pawns up.   19...Rb6 20.Bd3 Qb8 21.b4 Rc6 22.Qd2 Be6 23.Ne5 Rd6 24.O-O Finally I get to castle, I guess opening theory in trying to castle early was overrated in this game.   24...f5 Seems a bit to ambitious as now the a2-g8 file is quite threatening and f5 has no avail at the moment.   25.Bc4 Qc8 26.Qa2 Nd5 27.Qc2 c6 28.Bxd5 Bxd5 29.f3 Looking towards e4 if possible.   29...Be6 30.Rac1 I 100% regret not going Rfc1 instead as the other rook is doing good work defending a3, and the f rook seems to do very little at the moment,   30...Qa8 31.Nxc6 Qxa3 32.Qc3 Qa8 33.Qc5 Rd5?? 34.Ne7+ Kf7 35.Nxd5 Bxd5 36.Ra1 Qd8 37.Rfc1 Kg8 38.Ra5 Be6 39.Ra6 Re8 40.Ra7 Qf6 41.Qe5 Qg6 42.Rcc7 Bf7 43.Re7 Rf8 44.Qc7 h5 45.d5 h4 46.h3 Just being careful as h3, g3 looks a bit scary.   46...Qh5 47.b5 Qg6 48.b6 f4 49.e4 Qg3 50.Ra1 Qg6 51.b7 Qf6 One long final calculation required to check that I do not fall into perpetual here.   52.Ra8 Qd4+ 53.Kh2 Black Resigns.  1-0

Ker, Anthony - Langford, Josh - Julian Mazur Memorial 2021 2021

Going into this game, I had a lot of pressure to live up to my 100% winrate against Anthony, but unfortunately things did not go to plan whatsoever.   1.e4 e5 I was feeling bored with my trusty Caro-Kann, so I decided to go for some hasty prep against Anthony's Scotch Gambit.   2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 Bc5 (7...Bd7 this move is far more common, but the move I played is much trickier and is favoured by Scott Wastney and Nic Croad.  ) 8.Be3 O-O 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Bxc5 Nxc5 11.Bxc6 Rb8

Moves are clickable

12.Qxd5 Dangit. I had only done about 1 minute of prep in this line with the mindset: "Anthony wouldn't go for this, he hasn't played a new opening since we landed on the moon!"  (12.O-O!? I had hoped Anthony would go for this which he had played against Scott Wastney in the Autumn Cup earlier this year.  ) 12...Qe7 13.O-O Rxb2 14.Nc3 Rxc2 15.Qd4 Ne6 16.Qd3 Rb2 17.Nd5 Qc5 18.Rac1 Qd4 19.Qg3 At last my prep has run out and I have to fend for myself.   19...g6 for some reason I thought that  (19...Rxa2 20.Ne7+ Kh8 21.Nf5 won, but my knight defends g7. Clearly I wasn't thinking straight at all... ) 20.h4 Ba6 21.Rfe1 Rd8 22.Nf6+ Kg7 I instantly regretted this as I wanted to play ...Qf4 next (22...Kg7 23.Bf3 Qf4? 24.Nh5+ So I needed my king to be on h8 ) 23.Bf3 c5 24.h5 Qf4 Luckily I can play it now, as h5 is guarded by Anthony's own pawn!   25.Qxf4 Nxf4 26.Rxc5 Rdd2


At this point I thought I had a much better position with all of my pieces nicely coordinated. Boy I was so wrong...   27.Re4 Nd3 28.h6+!! This move spells the end unfortunately   28...Kxh6 29.Rh4+ Kg5 30.Nxh7+ decided to allow a nice mate   30...Kxh4 (30...Kf5 31.Bg4+ Ke4 32.Bc8+ No chance for me in this line  ) 31.g3+ Kh3 32.Ng5# Good game.  (32.Bg2+ I was hoping Anthony's brain would malfunction and he would think this was mate LOL  ) 1-0

Loke, Kayden - Cooke, Xandi - Julian Mazur Memorial 2021 2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Going in, I got told to be wary of c3, so I loosely looked at my 1 OTB game in it at Kapiti Rapid, however, this line was not my main expectation.   3...Nc6 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.Bc2 d5 6.e5 Nd7 7.Ba4 Qc7 8.Qe2 a6 9.c4 This move instantly gives a -2.5 advantage to black. The position must be liked by stockfish.   9...dxc4 10.Bxc6 Qxc6 11.Qxc4

Moves are clickable

The Best move here was b5 continuting to gain a bit of space   11...Nxe5 However, i go for this knight sac which equalised the position again. I was drawn in by the term activity over material, thinking the uncastled king for white could be dangerous.   12.Nxe5 Qxg2 13.Rf1 Qxh2 14.Qa4+ Ke7 15.Qe4 Rb8 Draw Offered. (This was because immediately after my move I spotted the escape square for the queen was actually guarded and I was about to lose   16.Rh1 Qxh1+ 17.Qxh1 Bd7 18.Qh4+ f6 19.Ng6+ Black Resigns.  1-0

Forster, Bill - Ker, Anthony - Julian Mazur Memorial 2021 2021

After three rather lucky wins in a row, I sat down already with an awful sinking feeling that I was now going to be found out. One day I will take my place on a psychiatrist's couch and discuss the dreadful psychological wounds the Wellington CC's O for oarsome foursome of Ker, Dive, Wastney and Croad have inflicted on my fragile psyche over the years.  1.Nf3 I couldn't find time or energy to prepare properly and decided to fallback on the lazy man's option of playing some quiet moves and seeing what happens. It worked well enough in my previous White game against Nathan Hall, but I am sure Nathan will understand if I admit this is a rather different situation. Of course this will change over time as Nathan continues to improve steadily  1...c5 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.O-O d6 6.d3 I decided to take inspiration from a Youtube video I'd just watched of Eric Hansen playing Titled Tuesday. Clearly jaded about his regular 1.e4 repertoire he started each White game trying simply to "develop my pieces so they aren't stepping on each other's toes". Easy enough for him, but difficult for me.  6...e5 7.Nc3 Nge7 I'd forgotten that Anthony invariably uses this setup against very quiet flank openings. It's a Botvinnik English, a potent weapon for White, but with colours reversed. You can make an argument, a good argument actually, that the quiet nature of the play means White's extra tempo is less important than it usually is in reversed openings, and that Black can proceed as if he's playing the Botvinnik English proper.  8.Rb1 O-O 9.a3 a5

Moves are clickable

10.e3? I wanted to play b3 here to improve my structure, but was worried about the loose Knight on c3 in general and an immediate ...f5 threatening ...e4 winning a piece in particular. For some reason I wanted to be able to respond to ...f5 with Bg5 which is not possible then. At a loss for a useful waiting move I played e3 forever surrendering the option of Bg5, a not too useful move anyway, in response to ...f5, a move my opponent probably was not interested in. Yes, this makes no sense at all, all that is clear is my inability to cope with the subtleties of the game! ( Ding Liren (2801) - Vachier Lagrave (2780), London 2019 was a fabulously entertaining game 10.b3 Rb8 11.Bb2 h6 12.Nd2 Be6 13.Nd5 b5 14.e3 Qd7 15.Re1 Bg4 16.Qc2 Rfc8 17.Ne4 Nxd5 18.cxd5 Ne7 19.Nd2 Bh3 20.Bh1 Nf5 21.a4 h5 22.axb5 Rxb5 23.Ra1 h4 24.Bc3 Ra8 25.Ra4 Qd8 26.Bf3 Rab8 27.Rea1 Bh6 28.Re1 Qg5 29.Ne4 Qd8 30.Ra3 Ne7 31.Nd2 Nf5 32.Qd1 Bg7 33.g4 Nh6 34.Kh1 f5 35.gxf5 gxf5 36.Rg1 Qd7 37.Qe2 Kh8 38.Ra4 Rxb3 39.Rxh4 Rxc3 40.Rxh3 a4 41.e4 Rc2 42.Rh5 f4 43.Qd1 Rbb2 44.Nc4 a3 45.Bg4 Qd8 46.Nxb2 Rxb2 47.Be6 a2 48.Rxg7 Kxg7 49.Qg1+ Kf8 50.Rf5+ 1-0 ) 10...Rb8 11.b3 d5 Anthony didn't hesitate about making this thematic but commital move at the earliest opportunity  12.cxd5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Bb2 ( Originally I intended 14.Nd4 Qd6 15.Nxc6 bxc6 but decided although Black's structure is messed up, my pawns on b3 and d3 are securely restrained and on already occupied open files, so in effect my weaknesses are weaker ) 14...Qd6 15.Qc2 Bf5 16.Rfd1 Rbd8 17.Ne1 Rd7 18.Rbc1 b6


I have developed my pieces and they aren't stepping on each other's toes, but that's the end of the good news. Basically I am just Black here, not White. And I am playing a hippo or is it a hedgehog? One of those H animals anyway. It's not very inspiring and I had used a lot of time. In this position I used a lot more time despondently looking around. In the hippo (yes, pretty sure it's more a hippo) the thematic breakout moves are ...b5 and ...d5, so b4 and d4 here. Often these moves are apparently impossible but playable because of tactics. Well even I am not stupid enough to play d4 in this position, but I did have a sudden aneurism or something and I thought, "I know, Black's last move undefends his Nc6 so I can play b4 because the 'c' pawn is pinned. Quick, you've used a lot of time already, man up and just play it!"  19.b4?? Naturally the instant I actually played the move I realised that Black can just take twice without touching his 'c' pawn. OMG.  19...axb4 Cruelly Anthony did not have the decency to think for even a millisecond :-(  20.Qa4 I am just losing a big pawn for nothing. A new phase starts where at least I loosened up and started playing with a "the game is basically over, I've got nothing more to lose" attitude. It's ironic that I play better chess if I don't think about what I am doing too much. (20.Bxc6 avoids losing the pawn, but it's obvious positional suicide and I didn't really consider it ) 20...bxa3 21.Bxa3 Rc8 22.Bb2 Ra7 23.Qb5 Na5 24.Bc3 Bd7 25.Qb2 b5 After the game Anthony said he thought he should have kept the pawns on b6 and c5 where they're stable and fairly easy to defend. Advancing them led to "way too much counterplay for you".  26.f4! The computer hates my position and all my moves, including this one. But it doesn't matter, this is the right move for the situation because it creates threats and makes Black work for the win  26...f6? Black has to play something more complicated and double edged to keep his advantage, I am now right back in the game  27.fxe5 fxe5 28.Nf3 Re8 29.Ng5 b4 ( The computer prefers 29...Bh6 30.Qa2+ Be6 31.Nxe6 Bxe3+ 32.Kh1 I expected this and thought about it, without actually generating any useful thoughts. It's just a big mess where anything could happen ) 30.Qa2+ b3 31.Qd2 Nc6 32.Ne4 Qe7 33.Bb2 Ra5 34.Qc3 Forking the pawns on b3 and c5 and winning my pawn back! In a position like this a pawn deficit is not really the biggest factor you should be considering, but I can't help it, I'm very materialistic and winning the pawn back changed my attitude entirely. I probably should have continued playing without thinking, things might have worked out better.  34...Bf8 35.Qxb3+ Be6 36.Qc3 Bh6 37.Re1


Anthony thought long and hard here. He is now worse and his huge time advantage was ebbing away as well, down to 8 minutes to 2 once he made a move. There were a few sighs (Anthony's only tell) which told me I was likely better here. With only two minutes, I should have used my opponent's time productively. Instead I wasted the time just enjoying the turnaround in general and my two threats (taking on c5 and playing Nf6+ Qxf6 Bxc6 when I am attacking both rooks so I win an exchange) in particular. If I had simply tried to anticipate a move, I might have had Qxe5 ready as my response to any knight move, and the game might have had a happier ending.  37...Nb4 38.Nxc5?? This is the chess equivalent of Carlos Spenser throwing that intercept pass to Sterling Mortlock in Sydney in 2003. A 14 point try. Or in this case +2.3 goes to -2.3. ( I can't really remember whether I seriously considered 38.Qxe5! Anthony pointed out immediately after this game this just forces significant liquidation to a stable position with two healthy extra pawns for White  38...Bg7 39.Qxg7+ Qxg7 40.Bxg7 Kxg7 41.Nxc5 With just 2 minutes I am a long way from confident I'd win, but I shouldn't lose at least. I have a bad feeling I rejected this because I didn't immediately realise I could exchange twice on g7, exactly the same lack of instantaneous tactical feel that hurt me with 19.b4?? I might also have wanted to avoid adding the Queen to the list of pieces being forked by a knight arriving on d3 but even with only 2 minutes left I should have realised that the Queen was not going to stay on e5 for more than half a move. ) 38...Rxc5 Now all the tactics are pretty simple and they all work out for Black, he's basically just winning free material.  39.Qxc5 Qxc5 40.Rxc5 Nxd3 41.Rxe5 Nxe1 42.Be4 Bg7 43.Rb5 Bc4 44.Rc5 Bf7 45.Bxg7 Kxg7 And here I might have lost on time as I tried to resign, if that's possible. My hopes of rounding up the knight on e1 are over, and I'm just a piece down, child's play for Anthony. 0-1

Tanoi, T Edward - Herrera Lopez, Jaime - Julian Mazur Memorial 2021 2021

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Bf4 Nf6 6.e3 a6 7.Rc1 e6 8.f3 Bb4 9.g4 Bg6 10.h4 h5 11.g5 Nh7 12.Bd3 Bf5 13.Bxf5 exf5 14.Qd3 Qd7 15.Rh2 Nc6 16.a3 Bxc3+ 17.Rxc3 O-O 18.Rhc2 Rfe8 19.Kf2 Nf8 20.Ne2 Ng6 21.Kg3 Nxf4 22.Nxf4 g6 23.Rc5 Ne7 24.Rc7 Qd6 25.Rxb7 f6 26.Qb3 fxg5 27.hxg5 h4+ 28.Kxh4 Rab8

Moves are clickable

29.Rcc7?? Having barely used any clock time and mainly moving my pieces forward I suddenly remembered why only three minutes earlier I had ruled out this natural looking move (which I'd wanted to play on move 26). Now I could only sit and wait in my hubris. Contemplating resignation for the third consecutive week.  29...Rxb7?? (29...Qxc7! -+ ) 30.Rxb7 Rd8 31.Rb6 Nc6 32.Rxa6 Qc7 33.Qb6 Qh7+ 34.Kg3 Qe7 35.Qxc6 Qxg5+ 36.Kf2 Qh4+ 37.Ke2 Qh2+ 38.Kd3 Qxb2 39.Qxg6+ Kf8 1-0

Cooke, Xandi - Dixon, Hamish - Julian Mazur Memorial 2021 2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bg5 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.Be2 Re8 9.O-O h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nh5 12.Nd2 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Nf6 14.Rb1 Bf5 15.e4 I did not really want e4 to occur, as I hate playing against Kings Indians with e4, however, I thought it was necessary here.   15...Bg6 16.b4 Nd7 17.Qb3 cxb4 18.Qxb4 Nc5 19.f3 Bd4+ 20.Kh1

Moves are clickable

At this point the advantage is -2 to black.   20...b6 21.Nd1 f5 22.Nb3 Nxb3 23.Rxb3 However, it goes down to about =.   23...fxe4 24.fxe4 Bc5 25.Qe1 Bxe4 Absolute huge blunder. Bd3 is the winning move here due to the threats with Qd6+   26.Bh5 But Stockfish still loves this,   26...Rf8 27.Rff3 Again there was a better move here with Rbf3, which would have been +7! However, here it is about +1.5 and I only have 10 minutes on my clock, so I was scared of playing on under potential time pressure. So I offered a draw and it was accepted.  1/2-1/2