Friday, 11 May 2007
When should you resign?
While following the Oceania Zonal from Fiji, I came across the following game between IM David Smerdon and Gene Nakauchi. Nakauchi has been the real surprise of the tournament so far, but was outclassed by Smerdon in this game. Before I looked at the actual moves it appeared to be a hard fought game, due to it's length. However, when I played through the moves I realised it was something altogether different.
In the first position, reached after 42 moves, Smerdon is clearly winning, as Black cannot stop the a pawn from Queening. Nonetheless Nakauchi decides to play on, allowing Smerdon to to reach the position in the final diagram. By this stage it was move 69.
Now I don't know what transpired at the board during this process (as I am thousands of kilometres away), but I am sure it provoked some interesting looks and comments from the spectators present.
For the record I think players can play on, no matter how ridiculous the position is, but in doing so they run the risk of their opponent making them look even more ridiculous. That's just the risk you take.