Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Favorite Move

I was browsing the excellent blog of the Streatham & Brixton Chess Club the other day. They have an occasional feature called "My Favourite Moves", and it made me think about my own favorites.

My favorite move that I've played myself was from a game almost twenty years ago (although 32. Bg4 from two years ago is close). I was playing in the Under-2200 section of the New York Open, in the middle of my drive to finally get my rating over 2200. After a tense struggle, we reached this position:

Gaillard - Harvey Ross, NY Open 1987.
Position after 35...Ra1xa2.

White has an obvious advantage, but I was frustrated by Black's seemingly unbreakable blockade on g7. Also, I was worried that Black's new passed a-pawn might just run down the board if I didn't do something quickly. So:

36. Rh8!!

And away we go. The rook can't be taken because of 36...Kxh8 37. Kh6, threatening g7 mate; and if Black moves his Bishop to give the King air, then g7+ followed by Bh7+ is still crushing.


Or 36...Ra4 37. Rxg8+ Kxg8 38.e6 Kf8 39.Kf6 Rg4 40. Bf5 Rg1 41.e7+ Ke8 42. Be4 Rf1+ 43. Ke6 Re1 44. g7 Rxe4+ 45. Kf5 and a pawn goes on to glory.

37. Rxg8+ Kxg8 38.Kf6 Ra4

38...Rg1 39. e6 Kf8 40. e7+ Ke8 41. Be4 is similar to the last note.

39. e6 Rb4 40. e7 Black Resigns (1-0)

and next Bh7+ is crushing

Ecept, of course, that it's impossible. Unless of course you play g7 first, which is mate unless the g8 bishop moves now. If it does move, Bh7+ will then be crushing after the pawn check. Which is, I suspect, what you meant.

What a nice move though.
Thank you for catching that! I have fixed the post to say what I meant.
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