Speelman's Agony #71

by Jonathan Speelman
3/4/2018 – This week's games are from David Lovejoy who lives in Mullumbimby, in northern New South Wales, Australia. Fancy Jon taking a look at your games? Send them in! If you appear in the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play! Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


A finger slip and a pleasing finish 

David Lovejoy writes:

David LovejoyI have been playing chess all my life, but several long absences from club and tournament play have left me a fairly weak player, though a dedicated one (current Elo 1775). I managed to win the Queensland championship in 1981, but these days I only do well in events restricted by age or rating. Now retired from running Byron Bay’s local newspaper, I can indulge my passion for serious long games, although Australia does not have enough tournaments for my taste. Retirement has also allowed me the time to write a fictional account of Savielly Tartakower’s life: Moral Victories (Echo Publishing). As a widower I live alone, but I keep a few cats around the house to maintain healthy blood pressure and a positive outlook.

In the ‘agony’ game I felt I was doing quite well against an IM until a blunder ruined my position. The curious thing is I had decided to move 21.g4 but I reached out and played 21.f4 instead. I actually wrote 21.g4 on my scoresheet and only realised what I had done when I looked at the board again! This is the first, and I hope only, time I have made a ‘fingerfehler’. It was probably horror at my hand’s treachery that prevented me from pulling myself together and making a fight of it.

Before the advent of computers I enjoyed playing correspondence chess, and my ‘ecstasy’ game is from the Australian Correspondence Championship of 1983. The game stuck in my memory because of White’s final pair of bishop moves on opposite sides of the board.

We start with that agony and the horror of a finger fehler. David sent blank game scores which is absolutely fine so all notes are by me.


Click or tap on the second game in the game list below the board to switch

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Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.
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Queenslander Queenslander 3/5/2018 09:05
Great to see David's games featured here. Over the last few years I have had the pleasure of playing against him a number of times. While my rating is much higher than his, I always find him a difficult opponent. One of my last serious goals in chess is to be as strong as he is when I get to his age.