Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teacher Schools Student: Hart v. Moskwa 1-0

Question:  White just played 25.bxc6, overlooking the response 25...a5.  Is he going to lose the pawn on c6?

Robert Moskwa and I have played dozens of casual games, but we have never played a serious game at a long time control.  We finally got our chance Saturday when we were paired against each other in the last round of a G90 tournament at the North Shore Chess Center in Skokie.   The tournament director asked if I minded being paired against my student, but I figured that with the way Robert is improving, this might be the best shot I would ever get against him.

Knowing how well he calculates in complex positions, I hadn't planned on being particularly aggressive even though I had the white pieces.   Robert wasn't in an aggressive mood either after winning a very long game in the previous round. Since I had won prettily easily in the previous round, I had plenty of energy, but if he had played his usual defense to 1.c4, I think it might have been a fairly short draw. However, for some reason Robert chose to play the Symmetrical Variation with ...c5.  Although this tends to be the most drawish response to the English, I knew that Robert wouldn't be as familiar with the positions as I was particularly since I had been looking over it recently after a strong player played the line against me in a CICL match last month.

Even with the loss, Robert kept his rating in expert range at 2002.  I tacked on eighteen points to 2022.  Robert's next chance to get his rating ahead of mine will come at the Denker qualifier at the end of the month.


  1. It is nice to see Robert lose once in a while, just to remind us that it's possible.

    1. I agree Mike, especially when he's playing me.