Monday, August 13, 2012

Nigel Davies - Lev Zilbermintz

On Sunday, candidate master Lev Zilbermintz sent this e-mail.

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Hello. I send you my draw with grandmaster Nigel Davies in Red Bank today. Please publish this. FYI, there were 20 boards, and I was the only one that drew. Everyone else lost, including the guy who lasted the longest; though by that time, Davies had three extra pieces. Here is the game.

Philidor Counter Gambit

GM Nigel Davies (England) - Lev Zilbermintz (USA)
20 Board Simultaneous
Red Bank, New Jersey
12 August 2012 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5

Davies seemed taken aback by this move. After the game, going over it at the demonstration board, he called it a sharp line.

4.exf5 e4 5.Nfd2 Nf6 6.Nc4 Bxf5 7.Ne3 Bg6 8.c4 c6 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.Be2 Be7

Here, The Dynamic Philidor Counter-Gambit, 2nd ed., p.145, mentions the game Mrdja - Mordiglia, Asti, 1995. Since I have read books on the Latvian Gambit at home, I know my opponent's strategy.

11.g4 h6 12.h4 Nb6 13.Qb3 Qc7 14.Bd2 O-O-O 15.O-O-O Rhe8 16.Rdg1 Ng8?!

The computer suggests 16...Nfd7. Amazingly, the position is equal up to this point, says the computer.

17.g5 hxg5 18.hxg5 Rf8 19.Rg2 Kb8 20.Bg4 d5 21.c5 Nc4!

I am sacrificing a pawn to open up the lines. While the move may be speculative, it paid off in the long run.

22.Nxc4 dxc4 23.Qxc4 Bf7 24.Be6 Bxe6 25.Qxe6 Rxd4 26.Be3 Rdd8 27.Qxe4 Rde8 28.Qc4 Bd8 29.Rh8 Ne7 30.Rxf8 Rxf8 31.Qe6

Davies said that this move may not be the best. Perhaps he should have centralized the knight. The GM admitted to underestimating me.

31...Nf5 32.Ne4 Nxe3! 33.fxe3 Rf1+ 34.Kc2 Qa5 35.Rd2 Qa4+

Here I offered the draw. After contemplating the position for a few seconds, the grandmaster offered his hand in acceptance.