By Martin Smith -- 08 March 2021

Alan Hayward (this time with white) played Robin Haldane again, by text, in late 2020. Below, Alan takes us through the game - seen from his point of view.

If the above game display doesn’t work well for you, try viewing on lichess here:

1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 (We agreed not to play an opening that we usually play -Alan)

Nf6 3 g3 d5 4 exd5 c6

(After 1 e4 d5 2 exd5 nf6 3 c4 in the Scandinavian, I always play 3 … c6, so I wasn’t going to take the pawn – Alan)

5 d4 exd4 6 Qxd4 cxd5 7 Bg5 Be7 8 O-O-O c6 9 Qd2 d4 10 Bxf6 Bxf6 11 Ne4 Be7 12 f3

(Now my knight has a retreat square - Alan)  

12…f5 (A typical attacking move by Robin followed by a pawn sacrifice – Alan)

13 Nf2Be6 14 Kb1Nb4 15 a3 Nd5 16 Qxd4 Bf6 17 Qa4+ Kf7 18 Ngh3 Qc7 19 Rxd5 (I have a couple of books with chapters on the exchange sacrifice and wanted to look at them, but felt that would be cheating - Alan)

19…Bxd5 20 Nf4 Qb6 21 Nd1 Bc6 (If 21 … Be6, 22 nxe6 kxe6 23 Bc4+  and the Black king is too exposed -Alan)

22 Qc4+ Kf8 23 Bd3 Bd7 24 Nd5 Qd6 25 N1e3 b5 26 Qb3 g6 27 g4 f4 28 Nxf6 Qxf6

29 Qb4+ Qe7 30 Qxf4+ Qf7 31 Qc7 Be8 (In a difficult position, I felt this may not be the best move - Alan)

 32 Qe5 (I now have a knight and 3 pawns for a rook and an exposed king, but did not find winning the game easy - Alan)

32…Qg7 3Qd5 Rc8 34Bxb5 Bxb5 35Qxb5 Qd4 36Qb7 Re8 37Nd5 Rg8 38Qc6 Kf7 39g5 Rg7 40 Nc3 (40 nf6 was tempting, but more important to get the Rook in play - Alan)

Re6 41 Qb7+ Kf8 42 Qc8+ Re8 43 Qc6 Rge7 44 Ne4 (Change of plan, must block the file -Alan)

Re6 45 Qc7 R8e7 46 Qf4+ Kg7 47 Qc1. (My favourite move of the game and probably a good one, castling with the queen, although I did not see it before this point - Alan)

41…Rb7 48 b3 Rc6 49 Ka2 a5 50 Rd1 Qe5 51 a4 Qxh2 52 Qb2+ (The long diagonal must be worth more than the h pawn - Alan)

52…Kf7 53Rd2 Qc7 54 c4 (Now Black cannot do much - Alan) Rb8 55 Nf6 Rd6 56 Nd5 Qb7 57Rh2 Kg8 58 Re2 Rxd5 59 cxd5 (Now if 59 … qxd5 60 re7 wins - Alan)

59…Rd8 60 Re5 Qf7 61 Qe2 Kf8 62 Re6 Qc7 63 Rf6+ Kg7 64 Rc6 Qf7

65 d6 (I thought that it was a slight advantage having nearly 24 hours for every other move and did not see this move until after about 22 hours - Alan)

65…Re8 66 Qc4 Qxf3 67 Rc7+Kf8 68 Qd4 Re2+ (I expected 68 … qe2+ 69 ka3 qe5, but after70 qxe5 rxe5 71 rc8+ followed by 72 d7 wins a rook for a pawn - Alan)

69 Ka3 1 – 0. We had a small wager and I win a £10 free bet, probably on football or horse racing sometime after the lockdown ends - Alan.

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