ROUND 1, GAME 1
SMIRF 1.69e vs. Gothic Vortex 2.2.1, 0-1
The 2007 Gothic Chess Computer Championship starts off with a series of snafus; no power in the first outlet everything was connected to, the monitor is "out of synch" and we are missing a USB cable to connect the external drive housing most of the programs. Since the SMIRF program was installed on Ed Trice's C-drive, a last minute decision was to have the Round 14 pairings moved to Round 1, and the Round 13 pairings substituted for Round 2.
The game was quick to reach an exciting position. After an unusual "Queenside Gothic Petroff" opening, we reach the first diagram with black to move:
The new version of Vortex elects to part with the Queen, 7...Qxc7!? 8. Bxc7 which begins a long sequence leading to a positional gain (the white king must capture to the second rank with no sheltering pawns) in exchange for a material loss (black loses the Queen but gains white's Archbishop for it.)
An interesting theoretical position results after 10...Cxc7 which is shown in the second position:
The question is, was the sacrifice worth it, or was it too early for such a sortie? There are still two supermajors on the board for each player (Queen + Chancellor vs. Chancellor + Archbishop) so there are plently of chances for each side to strike.
Black castles to safety, then migrates all of the forces to bear down on white's position. Then came the fireworks shown in the third position:
Black to move uncorks 24...Cxg3+!! 25. hxg3 Ai3+ 26. Ch2 Nxh2 27. Qxh2 and now has the time for the luxury of 27...Axj1, picking up the Rook before returning for the white Queen after 28. Rxd7 Rf1+!! 29. Kg2 Rf2+! 30. Kxf2 Axh2. An incredible sequence leading to a strategically won endgame that black plays to completion flawlessly.
A game well worth replaying!