Art Byers

by | Dec 16, 2016

(1) Byers,Arthur J (1285) – Brown,Wendel (1203) [A46]

New Mexico Class Championship – D Rio Rancho, New Mexico (1), 16.05.2015

[Art Byers sent this annotated game to me while I was editor of Desert Knight. It didn’t make it into the magazine before I resigned that post. I present it now in his honor, now that he has passed on. So far as I know, it is the last of his games he annotated. The comments and annotations are by Art Byers except where he cites Fritz or [where bracketed, they are by Matt Grinberg].


Matt Grinberg, 12/16/2016

Byers, Arthur – Brown, Wendel, 1–0
New Mexico Class Championship, D Section, Round 1
Rio Rancho, New Mexico, 5/16/2015

Desert Knight Editor, Matt Grinberg, has asked players to annotate with what their thoughts were rather than leaving everything up to a strong chess program. So first: my excuse for some of the horrible moves I made is that I had not played serious rated game in well over a year and my rust really showed. That I won the game anyway probably is due more to luck than skill. For background, over the years Wendel and I had only met twice in serious rated games and our record stood even at 1 – 1.

Torre, London and Colle Systems]


1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e3 [Fritz: last book move.]


3…Bf5 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.cxd3 [Now I have doubled pawns but this was, for better or worse, my plan. With light square Bishops off the board, I intended to control a good part of the center with three white pawns on d3, e4 and d5.]


[[I understand Art’s plan, but I would prefer to keep my pawn structure intact 5.Qxd3 , M.G.]]


5…Nc6 6.0–0 g6 [The coming Bishop fianchetto was expected.]


7.Nc3 a6 [Fritz: “Consolidates b5.” Yes Mr. Fritz, so it does, but I considered this a waste of time by Wendel. It allows me to bring my white square control plan to fruition.]


8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.e4 [Okay, now I control some white squares. The old chess cliché is that a poor plan is better than no plan at all, but Wendel ‘s aggressiveness showed it was not a stroke of genius after all.]


10…Bg7 11.Be3 0–0 12.h3 [To keep the Black knight on f6 from the square g4. Mr. Fritz likes Qb3, but I actually thought about that and considered it a waste of time. Wendel could simply put a rook on b8 opposite my queen and anyway the queen looked displaced there. What do I know? Fritz is GM strength and I’m in Class D.]


12…Re8 13.Qd2 [Keeping the possibility of putting my bishop on h6.]

13…e6 [Mr. Fritz says “Equality.”]


14.dxe6 Rxe6 15.Rac1 [Could this be a wasted move? I was considering moving this rook to c2.]


15…c6 [Mr. Fritz: “Secures b5+d5.”]


16.Rfd1 Rc8 17.Rc2 [[I think 15. Rac1 was good. This, however, seems like a wasted move, M.G.]]


[[Exploiting Black’s dark square weakness on the queenside with 17.Na4 looks better, M.G.]]


17…Nh5 18.Ne2 [Not to cover f4, which was sufficiently protected. I considered that Wendel’s best plan was to put pressure on the White backward pawn on d3 so my intention was to place the knight on c1 to add protection to d3 – if needed. [But making a plan based on simply reacting to your opponent’s threats is exactly what you should not do, M.G.]]


[[Again 18.Na4 makes much more sense, M.G.]]


18…f5 19.f4 [?? Mr. Fritz considers this a blunder, saying “There were better ways to keep up the pressure.” What I saw was a needed escape square for my bishop.]


[19.Qb4 and White can hope to live 19…Qd7 20.Qb3]


19…exf4µ 20.Nxf4 Nxf4 21.Bxf4 Qd4+ [[?! An unfortunate check, M.G.]]


[[Black wins a pawn with 21…fxe4 22.dxe4 Qxd2 23.Rdxd2 Rxe4 , M.G.]]


22.Be3 Qe5 23.Bf4 Qd4+ 24.Be3 [At this point Wendel offered a draw but I refused.]


24…Qe5 [Twofold repetition.]

25.Re1 [[? Objectively White has nothing better than to play 25. Bf4 and offer a draw. But you can’t argue with the end result, M.G.]]


25…f4 [?? The “??” is my comment as I considered it a blunder. It simply loses a pawn. The best move for Wendel that I saw over the board was 25….. fxe4, and instead of my being a pawn ahead, Wendel would win a pawn and maybe, in the long run, win the game.]


26.Bxf4 Qh5 27.Kf1 [? A waste of time.]


27…Rf8 28.Kg1 Rff6 [[? There appears to be no reason to double on the 6th rank. Plus this rook gets in the way of the other rook and the bishop, M.G.]]


[28…Rfe8 !? should be considered]


29.Be3 [[Aside from the extra pawn, White’s main advantage is his pawn center. With that in mind, either 29. e5 or 29. d4 makes more sense]]


29…g5 [Wendel misses the purpose of my move 29. Be3. I am planning to activate my c2 rook via the 5th rank at c5.]


30.Qe2 [Trying to break Wendel’s attack somewhat by offering to exchange queens.]


[[ 30.Rc5 is still good, M.G.]]



Giving me a tempo to attack the Black queen.

[30… Qxe2 !? 31. Rcxe2±]

31. Rc5+-  This move gains the initiative for the White pieces. 31… Qg6

[31… Qf7 32. hxg4 Re8 33. g5+-]

32. Rg5  My Bishop on e3 is a monster controlling 10 squares!!

[32. hxg4  might be the shorter path 32… Qe8+-]

32… Qf7 33. Qxg4  Here, I believed that with a two pawn advantage, I should win this game. 33… h6  Completely missing the possible  combination by White.  33…Rg6 is the  move I expected.

34. Rxg7! This move forces the exchange of major pieces so the two pawn advantage is easier to pursue.  Because I actually could calculate three moves ahead, I mentally called the combination “A Scorpion.” 34… Qxg7 35. Qxg7 Kxg7 36. Bd4 The stinger at the end of the scorpion’s tail! 36… Rd6 37. Bxf6 Kxf6?? An oversight, but Black is lost anyway.

[37… Rxf6 38. e5 Re6 39. g4+-]

38. Rd1?? A no excuse blunder.  How did I miss the simply and painfully obvious fork 38.e5+?  I relaxed and stopped paying attention, thinking the win would be very easy.  This is what I meant in the introduction, by “Rust.” 38… Ke5 39. Kf1 b5 40. Ke2 c5

[[If Black has any chance at all, he must play 40… Kd4 , M.G.]]

41. Rd2

[White in turn must prevent Black from playing Kd4 by playing 41. Ke3 , M.G.]]

41… a5?

[41… Kd4 +-]

42. Ke3 Rd4 43. Rf2

[43. Rc2  keeps an even firmer grip 43… Kd6 44. g4+-]

43… c4 [??, M.G.]

[[ 43… Ra4 is the best, but insufficient, try, M.G.]]

44. Rf5 Kd6 45. dxc4  Sigh, Mr. Fritz is 100% correct, I got very sloppy.  [??, M.G.]

[45. Kxd4  finishes off the opponent 45… cxd3 46. Kxd3+-]

45… Rxc4  At this point both players started to move faster to preserve clock time. 46. Rxb5 a4 47. Rd5 Ke6 48. Rd4 Rc2 49. Rd2 Rc4 50. Kd3 Rc1 51. Kd4 Re1 52. Kd3 Ke5?? 53. Re2+- Ra1 54. a3 Rd1 55. Kc4 Rd4 56. Kb5 h5 57. g4 hxg4 58. hxg4 Kf4 59. e5 Kxg4 60. e6 Rd5 61. Kxa4 The rest was played at Blitz speed with score keeping stopped.  When a White pawn reached the 7th rank and could not be stopped from queening, Wendel Resigned. [1:0]