Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Taking a dive in the penalty box

It is not only soccer where you see players rolling on the ground in agony, trying to milk a penalty from the referee. Sometimes it happens in Chess as well (although not in quite the same way).
With the football World Cup currently on, and a number of players looking for Academy Awards for their acting prowess, I am reminded of a game from the 2006 Olympiad.
New Zealand Board 3 FM Roger Nokes was playing against Costa Rica, and from the outset he had had the upper hand. His attack had rolled along quite smoothly and by move 34 he was up a piece, and had a forced mate starting with 35.Qc3. But at some point while executing a move (I do not know which one exactly) he had bumped another piece, apparently upsetting it. According to the New Zealand Team Captain Hilton Bennett, his opponent took one look at this and then "went down like a striker in the penalty box". There was much gesticulation, the calling of arbiters, and general umbrage from the Costa Rican player concerned. After some argument about what had happened, and what should then happen, the position was restored and the game continued. However this break in concentration did Roger no help at all, and after missing the win (and subsequent ones), his position began to slowly go backwards. A dozen moves later a draw was the best Roger could hope for, and another dozen moves after that he was lost.

Nokes,Roger NZL (2322) - Valdes Romero,Leonardo CRC (2374) [B07]
37th olm final Turin ITA (8), 29.05.2006

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 c6 5.h3 Bg7 6.f4 Qb6 7.Qc1 Na6 8.g4 c5 9.Nf3 0-0 10.Bg2 cxd4 11.Bxd4 Qa5 12.0-0 Be6 13.Re1 Rac8 14.a3 Rfe8 15.Qe3 Qc7 16.Rac1 b6 17.Qf2 Nc5 18.Qh4 h6 19.g5 hxg5 20.Nxg5 Nh5 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.f5 Bd7 23.Nd5 Qd8 24.b4 e6 25.f6+ Nxf6 26.Nxf6 Rh8 27.Qg3 Qxf6 28.e5 Qe7 29.Rf1 Be8 30.exd6 Qd7 31.bxc5 Rxc5 32.Ne4 Ra5 33.Nf6 Qa4 34.Rcd1 Bb5 (D)
35.d7 Bxf1 36.Ne8+ Rxe8 37.dxe8Q Qxe8 38.Rxf1 Qe7 39.Rf3 Qc5+ 40.Qf2 Qe7 41.Rd3 Rxa3 42.Rxa3 Qxa3 43.Qd4+ Kg8 44.Qd8+ Kg7 45.Qd4+ Kg8 46.Qd8+ Qf8 47.Qd7 a5 48.Kf1 Qc5 49.Ke1 Qxc2 50.Qd8+ Kg7 51.Qd4+ f6 52.Qd7+ Kh6 53.Bc6 Qc3+ 54.Kd1 Qxh3 55.Qe8 Qd3+ 56.Kc1 Qe3+ 57.Kd1 Kg5 58.Bd7 e5 59.Qe6 Qd4+ 60.Kc1 a4 61.Be8 a3 0-1


TrueFiendish said...

From soccer to rugby league--the fistfight at the Doeberl Cup is always a good yarn. I've not seen a post about it yet. Maybe I missed it, maybe you're saving it up or maybe you just don't wanna go there.

Shaun Press said...

Maybe one day, in connection with something else. At the moment it is kind of 'old news' which is the main reason I haven't posted about it.