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Featured Games

This section of the website features games played in the past few weeks or months. Access the Chess Club Game Archive for games played generally in the past few months; older games can be found there, too.

All games can be replayed using the PGN viewer by lichess.org (unless otherwise noted).


Online Lichess Games: May 2022. When you click the Open button on a diagram, you can replay the game and benefit from the analysis by lichess.

  • Gouramooba vs moviebuffc48f - 05/26/2022 - A00 - Ware Opening
    Click to Review Game
    All of us in the club have faced this unorthodox opening; and most of the time we have trouble finding an effective response (as in this game). But it was Black's major blunder on move 23 that sealed his fate. We'll never know if this game's decent beginning could have triumphed for once. One thing is certain, there will soon be another opportunity to match wits with this player's favorite opening.

  • moviebuffc48f vs Gouramooba - 05/26/2022 - A40 - Queen's Pawn Game
    Click to Review Game
    Right out of the gate, Black left the opening book behind! White stuck to his script, playing the London System. Black's superior development eventually paid dividends; the White Queen was overextended and trapped in this fairly short game.

  • phacelia vs moviebuffc48f - 05/19/2022 - A00 - Hungarian Opening: Slav Formation
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    One week after winning decisively with this opening, Black was caught flat footed this time (against the same opponent)! Check out the article about chess blindness for insight into how such an obvious move was missed.

  • phacelia vs moviebuffc48f - 05/12/2022 - A00 - Hungarian Opening
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    Black plays aggressively (and skillfully in the endgame) with slightly less material. The pawn structure and Rook vs. minor pieces were the determining factor in the outcome.

  • Note: We will include a few more games from May when time permits (including an instructive game from the 3rd Maine State Correspondence Chess Championship).

April 24th, 2022. Bob Lutz competed in the 2022 Maine State Open Championship tournament; here is one of his games that ended in a draw. Should he have played on? You be the judge.

Sara Rene Walsh vs. Bob Leach - C00 French Defence: Knight Variation

Black to Play Chess Diagram

Black to play; what is the best move?

04/24/2022. White maintained a slight advantage until the major pieces were exchanged. In the endgame, Black was in the driver's seat (despite making a few significant missteps, a.k.a. blunders). My theory is that White realized she was in trouble and offered a draw.


Online Lichess Games: April 14th, 2022. When you click the Open button on the diagram, you can replay the game and benefit from the analysis by lichess.

  • Bob_Lutz vs. moviebuffc48f - B01 Scandinavian Defense
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    Don plays his chosen opening for Black again; clearly he still hasn't quite got the hang of it [the 7 blunders are proof]!

  • moviebuffc48f vs. Bob_Lutz - C02 French Defense: Advance Variation
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    Bob worked on his French Defense opening; he played a real solid game. Don needs to learn how to attack better to give Bob a better workout.


Online Lichess Games: April 7th, 2022. When you click the Open button on the diagram, you can replay the game and benefit from the analysis by lichess.

  • moviebuffc48f vs. Bob_Lutz - C02 French Defense: Advance Variation, Paulsen Attack
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    Bob needed some practice with the French Defense; we'll have to review the game to see how he allowed White to mate!

  • Bob_Lutz vs. moviebuffc48f - B01 Scandinavian Defense
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    Don's turn to practice his chosen opening for Black; he didn't do his homework and was out of book on the fourth move. He failed to focus and lost a whole Bishop without compensation! What was he thinking???

  • Bob_Lutz vs. phacelia - A45 Indian Defense
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    The A45 ECO is also known as the Queen's pawn game. Ellie moved out of book on Black's third move; Bob had a distinct advantage right up until the position in the diagram below. From that point on, Black dominated and won the game.

    White to move chess diagram
    White to move.

  • phacelia vs. moviebuffc48f - A00 Hungarian Opening: Slav Formation
    Click to Review Game
    By the fourth move, Ellie abandoned the Benko's Opening to fianchetto the other Bishop. In the end, Black had the better passed pawn and got a Queen to seal the victory.


Online Lichess Games: March 31st, 2022. When you click the Open button on the diagram, you can replay the game and benefit from the analysis by lichess.


What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than playing a few exciting games of chess? Three of us played online on Thursday night (one victory apiece, plus this drawn game).

Ellie vs. Bob Lutz - A00 Hungarian Opening

Double Fianchetto for White Chess Diagram

Double Fianchetto for White

03/17/2022. White starts off with a double fianchetto and early King-side castling. "The King's Fianchetto Opening or Benko's Opening (also known as the Hungarian Opening, Barcza Opening, or Bilek Opening) is a chess opening characterized by the move: 1. g3." - Wikipedia Black held his own until the very end; this exciting game ended in stalemate. Check it out!


Most of us have good days and bad days (except for Arnold, of course). Every once in a while you play so badly that you contemplate giving up chess and taking up something else (or just hiding in a corner).

Arnold vs. Don - A00 Ware Opening

Not my best game Chess Diagram

Not my best game

03/03/2022. This game started off bad and just got worse; I was not having a good day. Stranding my dark square Bishop early [a variation of the Noah's Ark Trap] wasn't bad enough. I didn't even see the mating threat at move 17! As I learned from the Stockfish analysis of the game afterwards, I had made 3 blunders, 2 mistakes and 6 inaccuracies. Not good.

While I was licking my wounds, I came up with the idea of a virtual emotional support animal (for those times when you feel like beating yourself up after making a really bad mistake or a blunder). I was inspired by the cat picture in my Zoom background image to provide Bob Lutz with a virtual emotional support animal [VESA] after he lost his games against Arnold. We don't have a name for it yet [suggestions so far: Passed Paws, Hairball]. I found a number of other images that might also serve the purpose. Feel free to suggest a name or provide an image for us to consider. Most games end in defeat for one of the players, so the more emotional support animals, the better.

Unnamed Virtual Emotional Support Animal
Our Nameless Virtual Emotional Support Animal

Apropos of discouragement, I ran across a video the other day which made me feel better about losing so many games in my quest to improve my chess playing.


Games: February 14th to 24th, 2022. It has been an interesting and busy time for the club recently. We had a good crowd on Valentine's Day; here are games between Don and Bob Leach (who has resurfaced after being out of the chess world for several years), Don and Arnold (a regular adversary) and Don and Ed Hatch (rejoining us in our new era).

Bob Leach vs. Don Smallidge - B27 Sicilian Defence

Black to Play and Stalemate Chess Diagram

Black to play and stalemate!

02/14/2022. No matter how many times I tell myself to slow down and look before moving, when the blood is up it is so easy to just move quickly. And that's exactly what happened at the end of this game: stalemate!

moviebuffc48f vs. Gouramooba - A40 Horwitz Defense

Click to Review Game
White to Play and Win Material Chess Diagram

White to play and win material

02/17/2022. White started out with the London System; Black responded with a line of pawns on his third rank before moving his Queen's Rook up to his second rank. Unfortunately White missed a golden opportunity to win material at the beginning of the middle game. Later White blundered a piece and lost his focus!

barre53 vs. moviebuffc48f - B20 Sicilian Defense

Black Loses Steam in the Endgame Chess Diagram

Black Loses Steam in the Endgame

02/24/2022. Black did rather well with the Sicilian Defense right into the endgame, but failed to capitalize on his superior position (by exchanging his remaining Knight). White stayed focused on his passed pawn and won the Rook vs. Rook endgame (with split pawns and doubled pawns); Black failed to catch White's passed pawn, which cost him the game.


Online Lichess Games: February 10th, 2022. Bob Lutz and Don played Arnold online Thursday! Bob and Don also played one game; Arnold wound up playing the same opening against both of us: the Valencia Opening. We all managed to blunder [but I had the most blunders: 5]. You can learn a lot by looking over the games; afterwards I ran the computer analysis for all three games. Arnold sometimes disagrees with the computer analysis, but I find it very helpful to identify where and how I went off the rails. When you click the Open button on the diagram, you can replay the game and benefit from the analysis by lichess. We did not agree on which of the three games was the most interesting. You decide.

  • Gouramooba vs moviebuffc48f - A00 Valencia Opening
    Click to Review Game
    According to the computer analysis, Don stumbled early and never recovered (even though Arnold blundered twice).

  • Gouramooba vs Bob_Lutz - A00 Valencia Opening
    Click to Review Game
    According to the computer analysis, Bob ran into trouble transitioning from opening to middle game (but Arnold dominated from then on).

  • moviebuffc48f vs Bob_Lutz - A40 Horwitz Defense
    Click to Review Game
    According to the computer analysis, Don ran into trouble right in the opening and did not exploit Bob's only blunder. The bad Bishop just made things worse!

Online Lichess Games: January 13th, 2022. I'll spare you my commentary for this set of games. Every time I play Arnold my chess rating goes down a few more points! They say you learn more when you lose a game; so I must be learning a lot. You can learn a lot by looking over the games, too. When you click the Open button on the diagram, you can replay the game and benefit from the analysis by lichess. In theory, if I go back over the games, noticing all my blunders and questionable moves, my future games should avoid these weaknesses.

  • Gouramooba vs moviebuffc48f - A00 Ware Opening
    Click to Review Game

  • moviebuffc48f vs Gouramooba - A40 Queen's Pawn Game
    Click to Review Game

  • Gouramooba vs moviebuffc48f - B00 Nimzowitsch Defense
    Click to Review Game

  • moviebuffc48f vs Gouramooba - A40 Queen's Pawn Game
    Click to Review Game

  • Gouramooba vs moviebuffc48f - A45 Indian Defense
    Click to Review Game
    Note: The lichess.org website might have confused the link to the ID for this Waterville Chess Club game [C9W64gta] with a Magnus Carlsen study [NYFocWzM]! Enjoy both games by clicking on the C9W64gta link also.

FIDE World Championship

Chess position - Ian blunders a Knight

In Game 11, Ian [playing White] advanced a pawn to threaten Black's Rook but left his own Knight on e3 vulnerable to capture without compensation.


Here are relevant links to ChessNetwork videos analyzing all the games:

  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 1
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 2
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 3
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 4
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 5
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 6
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 7
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 8
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 9
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 10
  • ChessNetwork video analysis of Game 11


Featured Endgame

White cannot win this Rook vs. Knight endgame

We have not been recording the moves from our casual games lately (so we play a lot more games, but it is not possible to do any analysis afterwards). One of the great things about playing over-the-board chess is that we get to discuss the games afterwards. Arnold explained to us why he knew our game was a draw (even though I thought White might have been able to win with the Rook). In the endgame tablebase diagram above, White offered a draw before making his move.

Here are some relevant links to videos and an article about the rook vs knight endgame:
Rook vs Knight Endgame Video

How to Defend Knight vs. Rook | Chess Endgame Basics #3 - GM Huschenbeth - 04/05/2015 [11:20]
Rook vs Knight Endgame - Hanging Pawns - 04/30/2020 [16:25]
Can a Rook Win Against a Knight in the Endgame? - Chess Stack Exchange

This endgame is just one of a series of pawnless chess endgames. You can learn more about endgames (and get some practice) on Chess.com in the Puzzles section.
If you want to review endgame positions from your own games, consider visiting the Knowledge4IT web site.

Knowledge4IT web site user interface


Featured Study

We have not been recording the moves from our casual games lately (so we play a lot more games). This time, I have decided to share a Lichess Study of a game between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand that highlights a missed opportunity. For the video explaining Anand's tactical blunder, go to the "Info" tab, open the Chessfactor button and click on the link for "Useful Tips to avoid Blunders".


Here is the move Anand should have played after Carlsen moved his King to d2.

Black to Move Chess Diagram