More Prison Chess

In the January issue, we showed a game by Ken Davenport, probably the strongest
member of the inmate chess club at the State Correctional Institute at
Pittsburgh (SCIP), on the North Side.  Another inmate, Greg DeMichele, has
sent me several games, including the following upset of Don Meigs.  Meigs,
who has held or shared the Club championship many times, needs no introduction
to En Passant readers.  This game is not a smooth victory by any means.
But it shows the rewards that are possible for a player who fights hard even
in hopeless-looking positions.

White: Greg DeMichele
Black: Don Meigs
August 22, 1993
Dutch Defense,
Double Stonewall variation

 1 Nf3      e6
 2 d4       f5
 3 e3       Nf6
 4 Nbd2     d5
 5 Bd3      Bd6
 6 Ne5!?    Nbd7
 7 f4
        With his last two moves, White has set up the Double Stonewall,
        a locked pawn structure in which neither side can easily pry the
        other loose from the center.
 7 ...      O-O
 8 O-O      c5
 9 c3       a5
10 Ndf3
        White can consider 10 h3, planning 11 g4.
10 ...      Ne4
11 Bxe4?
        It isn't easy to find a plan, but this move is worse than useless.
        11 Bd2 would not be bad.  Black could capture the bishop, but that
        looks all right for White.  Otherwise, White would relocate the
        bishop via e1 to h4.
11 ...      fxe4
12 Ng5      Nxe5
13 dxe5     Be7
14 Qh5
        Retreating the knight would have been more prudent, but the resulting
        middlegame is very pleasant for Black.  Even now, Black could force
        retreat by 14 ... h6.
14 ...      Bxg5!?
15 fxg5
        White's pawn on e5 is now fatally weak.
15 ...      Rxf1+
16 Kxf1     Bd7
17 Bd2      Bb5+!
        A fine move, which not only blockades White's c-pawn, but also keeps
        the White rook out of the game, by watching over e2 and f1.
18 Kg1      d4??
        A tragedy!  Black's play up to this point has been masterly.  But now
        he loses the thread of the game.  18 ... Qc7 would pluck the ripe
        e-pawn.  If 19 g6 hxg6 20 Qg5 Rf8 (threatening 21 ... Rf5) 21 g4 Qf7
        22 Qh4 Qf3, with 23 ... Qe2 coming.
19 exd4?
        Much safer was 19 cxd4, or just 19 Rd1.  Releasing the blockade on
        Black's e-pawn could have been fatal.  In the next few moves, both
        players underestimate the importance of that pawn.
19 ...      cxd4
20 Rd1      g6??
        Two question marks:  one for not playing 20 ... Qb6, preparing ... e3,
        which gives Black good winning chances; and one for chasing White's
        queen from a bad square to a good one, and weakening Black's king
        in the bargain.
21 Qg4      Qd5
22 cxd4?
        22 Be3!
22 ...      Qxd4+
        22 ... e3!? 23 Bxe3 Bc6 is interesting.
23 Kh1      Qxe5?
        23 ... Re8! followed by ... Bc6 keeps an attack going.
24 Bc3      Qf5
25 Qg3      Rf8
        Black should force the exchange of queens.  After 25 ... Qf3+
        26 Qxf3 exf3, Black's two extra pawns may not be enough to win, because
	it's hard or impossible to activate his rook and king.  But keeping the
        queens on doesn't help.  It gives White more chances for swindling
	tactics, and sure enough Black soon walks into mate.
26 Bf6!     Qc5?!
27 Qh3      Bc4??
28 Rd7!     h5
29 Rg7+     Kh8
30 Rxg6+    Rxf6
31 Qxh5 mate