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 | Published on 4/22/2012
Hello Gary Fox! I had some time to reflect on my ending with James Mills this past weekend. I hope you publlish my analyses ONLINE!
"I did some research on GAMBIT lines, so I was glad to play the Staunton gambit against Mills choice of the Dutch defense!He handled the opening quite well and managed to trade Queens on move 16. I did not get enough compensation for the pawn sacrificed.Mills managed to force a Rook ending by move 25. Drake managed to create an interesting ending where although he was one pawn down, his King was placed well and  he had an active Rook. I have played in many USCF tournaments with either a 5 or 10 second delay and expected to win here against Mills since he had only 2.25 minutes on his move 37! When I entered the Indiana Memorial I did not realize there was a 30 second delay after each move. Then I saw Mills getting 30 seconds after each move I made.This caused me much STRESS as I was him to accept my draw offer in view of his time pressure. At that point I had about 15 minutes, but I made the mistake of taking too much time and not making simple moves to gain time. I made two mistakes on move 57 and 59. I made the wrong decision to protect the c3 pawn on the row with the Rook, insteaad of defending that pawn from c8 on the FILE! Also, I played 57Kb4 instead of trying 57Rh3. I still think that White has a DRAW in the final position. Maybe I am wrong.Here is the game
Drake vs Mills 1d4 f5 2e4 fe4 3Nc3 Nf6 4g4 h6 5Bg2 d5 6g5 hg5 7Bg5 c6 8Qd2 Bf5 9OOO N8d7 10f3 Qa5 11 Kb1 ef3 12Nf3 OOO 13Nh4 e6 14Rhf1 bb4 15a3 Bxc3 16Qc3 Qc3 17bc3 g6 18Ng6!a shot! Bg6 19Bxf6(bad was 19Rf6? Nf6 20Bf6 Rh2 21Bd8 Rxg2! wins)...Nxf6 20Rxf6 Bf5! now White is in trouble because Black has the idea of ...Rh7 and .Kd7, Ke7 munching on the helpless White Rook. White can prevent that ONLY by playing his other Rook to e1 which stops...Ke7! 21h3 the only chance Rdg8! 22Bf1 Rg1 23Kc1forced Bh3 24Bh3 Rd1ch 25Kd1 Rh3 26d2 Rh1! 27Re6 Ra1 28c4! dc4 29Kc3 Ra3ch 30Kc4 Ra4ch 31Kd3 Kd7 32Rh6 b5 33c3(this may have been a FATAL mistake because it could be EASIER for White to draw if this pawn is left on its original square)...Ra2 34Rh7+ Kd6 35Rh6+ Kc7 36Rh7+ Kb6with 2.25 minutes 37Rh6with 15 minutes
.....Ra1! 38Kc2! Ra2+ 39Kd3offered a draw...Ra1declined 40Kc2 Ra4 41d5! Rc4! 42Kb3!a5!43dc6 Rc6
44Rh4 the pawn ending is lost for White ...Rg6 45Rf4offered a draw ...Rc6 declined 46Rh4 Ka6  47Rg4 Rb6
48Rh4 Re6 49Rg4 Kb6 50Rh4 Re5 51Rh8 a4ch 52Ka3 Rc5 53Kb2 Rc6 54Rh5Ka5 55Rg5 Ka6 56Rh5 Rg6
57Rh4??? the only way for White to draw is head for the 8th row 57Rh8 if then ...Rg3 58Rc8! Black can't drive the rook away with his King because when he plays ...Kb7 White plays Rc5 Kb6 Rc8!DRAW Even if the King does escape to the c file Black plays Rc8 ch and now if Kd5 Rc7!!!(not Rb8???Kc4!Black wins) and now Black cant wins(after Rc7!!!) for example if the Black Rook moves White just plays c4ch! bxc4 Kxa4 and the White King is close enough for a draw and if the Black King moves to e4 then Rb8 and wins the b5 pawn with a draw.
This is VERY INTERESTING..see #364 in Basic Chess Endings Reti vs. Breyer Baden Germany 1914)
coontinuation of the REAL game 57....Rg2ch!finally 58Ka3 Rc2 59Kb4?! but if White plays 59Rh3 The Black King will approach via..Kb6,Kc5,Kc4 etc winning.....Rb2+ 60Kc5 Rb3!61 Kd4(if 61c4? Rc3wins) ....Ka5
62Rh8 a3 63Ra8+ Kb6 64c4 White's flag fell and Mills had LEss than 30 seconds on HIS clock.
Mills claims he can now win with 64...b4 but perhaps WHite can pull out a draw with c5ch etc. In any case, I can AT LEAST say that I beat Mills one year ago in the SAME tournament with a DECISIVE middle game combination. Mills decided to sac the exchange for a pawn, but lost in the ensuing ending. 

 Bradford L. Drake