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EE-Sports: Chess Final

Hey all! I was lucky enough to be able to document these epic chess games as a member of EE-sports. I should preface this however by saying I know bar none about chess. I only know how to write moves, not what they actually mean. However, lichess.org has this amazing analysis board function, so I will just take some numbers from there and act like I actually know something. With that out of the way, let us start reviewing these games!

First match

First game between Thijs van Essen (black) and Reinier Stribos (white) was done pretty quickly, with only 15 moves. This was due to Reinier developing his board state much more efficiently than Thijs could, with Reinier playing according the book all throughout the first 8 moves. At this point, he had acquired a sizeable lead. During move 9 Lars Holm came barging in to the boardroom to shred some paper, this being detrimental to the concentration of course. To set things right, Holm brought two green beauties to the stage, to which a very sportsmanlike cheers came from both parties. Unfortunately, it seems like Thijs could never fully recover his concentration in this game, leading to a concede pretty early on.

[Event "EE-Sports chess finals"] [Site "Scintilla room"] [Date "2020.03.05"] [Round "1"] [White "Reinier Stribos"] [Black "Thijs van Essen"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 h6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 Qe7 8. O-O b6 9. Bf4 d6 10. d5 Na5 11. Qa4+ Bd7 12. Qxb4 Nxc4 13. Qxc4 O-O-O 14. Nd4 Nf6 15. Nc6 Kb7 1-0

Black (Thijs) concedes, white (Reinier) wins.

Second match

On to the second game then. Normally the parties would switch sides, but this was never intended to be a professional game of chess anyway. In this party, Thijs started playing a lot better, even if the first 4 moves of white were identical. I mean if something worked the first game, why change it right? It took black until the fourth move to figure that if he lost the first game he maybe should consider doing something different. And something different he did! The entirety of the first 12 moves were pretty much dead even. In move 13 Thijs even managed to get a pretty sizable lead by moving his horse to b2! Then gaining even more of a lead when Reinier put his tower on d4. Unfortunately, he lost his lead almost immediately by not taking out the tower and instead taking out the bishop. This almost reset the game back to dead even again. The even state continued on until move 27! However this time it was Thijs making a mistake, giving Reinier a lead. By moving his pawn up to g5 he only opened up his king without gaining much for it. In only two moves Reinier was able to put Thijs’ king in check. Thijs managed to get out relatively unscathed, however, the lead Reinier had only became larger as time went on. Thijs never managed to recover, leading to him losing his king after 56 moves.

[Event "EE-Sports chess finals"] [Site "Scintilla room"] [Date "2020.03.05"] [Round "2"] [White "Reinier Stribos"] [Black "Thijs van Essen"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 Bxe3 9. fxe3 e4 10. dxe4 Qxd1 11. Rxd1 Nxe4 12. Nbd2 Nc5 13. b4 Na4 14. Nb1 Nb2 15. Rd4 Nxc4 16. Rxc4 O-O 17. Nbd2 Be6 18. Rf4 Rad8 19. Nd4 Nxd4 20. exd4 b5 21. a4 a6 22. axb5 axb5 23. Ra7 c6 24. Rc7 Bd5 25. Nf3 h6 26. Ne5 Rd6 27. Nd7 g5 28. Rf6 Rxf6 29. Nxf6+ Kg7 30. Nxd5 cxd5 31. Rc5 f5 32. Rxd5 f4 33. Rxb5 f3 34. Kf2 g4 35. Re5 Rc8 36. Re3 fxg2 37. Kxg2 h5 38. b5 Ra8 39. b6 Kg6 40. c4 Kg5 41. Kf2 Kf4 42. b7 Rb8 43. Rb3 h4 44. c5 g3+ 45. hxg3+ hxg3+ 46. Kg2 Ke4 47. c6 Kxd4 48. c7 Re8 49. c8=Q Rxc8 50. bxc8=Q Ke4 51. Qc4+ Ke5 52. Rb5+ Kd6 53. Kxg3 Kd7 54. Rb6 Kd8 55. Rb7 Ke8 56. Qg8# 1-0

White (Reinier) wins.

Third match

This time, the parties do switch sides. So now Thijs will be playing white, and Reinier will be playing black. They start off pretty close to one another, trading some blows left and right with no crazy advantages gained. That all changes in move 15 however. White takes out a pawn with a bishop, losing a bishop in the fray. This trade is definitely not the best, but white does regain some board positioning afterwards. However, the aftershock of this mistake was felt until the very end, with black not giving away the lead gained. Near move 30 is when the death sentence was complete, and black ends up winning in 43 moves.

[Event "EE-Sports chess finals"] [Site "Scintilla room"] [Date "2020.03.05"] [Round "3"] [White "Thijs van Essen"] [Black "Reinier Stribos"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Nd5 Nxe4 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nxf6+ exf6 8. Qe2+ Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Bf4 a6 11. a4 Bd7 12. Rfe1 Re8 13. c3 Ne5 14. Nxe5 fxe5 15. Bxe5 dxe5 16. Qxe5 Bf6 17. Qd5 Bc6 18. Qxf7+ Kh8 19. Rxe8+ Qxe8 20. Qxe8+ Bxe8 21. Re1 Bxa4 22. g4 Rd8 23. f4 h6 24. Kg2 b5 25. Ba2 Bc2 26. Bb1 Bxb1 27. Rxb1 Rxd3 28. f5 b4 29. cxb4 cxb4 30. Ra1 Bxb2 31. Rxa6 Bc3 32. h4 b3 33. g5 hxg5 34. hxg5 b2 35. g6 Rd8 36. Rb6 Be5 37. Kf3 Rb8 38. Re6 b1=Q 39. Rxe5 Rb3+ 40. Kf4 Qc1+ 41. Kg4 Qc4+ 42. Kh5 Rh3+ 43. Kg5 Qh4# 0-1

Black (Reinier) wins.

In the end, even though it was a 3-0 for Reinier, I don’t think it was that one-sided. Especially game two, Thijs came pretty close to taking a game from Reinier. That being said however, I do think Reinier has an edge over Thijs when it comes down to playing chess. What matters most however, is not the result, but the sportsmanship. And in that regard, both these guys were winners.