Bankers’ Athletic League Chess 2013-01-17 Alban vs. Sorge

January 17, 2013  New York, NY

Below is a recent chess game I won in Round 3 of the Bankers’ Athletic League, Chess Division, 2012-2013 season.  My team, Uncastled, faced a strong Bank of NY team, and came away victorious!  The match results are given in the order in which the games finished.  My annotation of my game follows, and finally the moves list of my game conclude the blog.  The moves are in standard .pgn format, and can be copied/pasted into any .pgn or .txt formatted file.



Board 4 was the 1st to win, as Russ Mollot intimidated his opponent so badly that his opponent decided not to bother playing!  Uncastled 1, BoNY 0.

Next, on board 2, Carl Haynes exploited a few mistakes by his opponent, Gregory Klewin, and quickly gained a winning advantage.  Haynes forced Klewin’s resignation, giving Uncastled our 2nd match point.  Uncastled 2, BoNY 0.

While I was fighting for my life on board one, Tom Amato was battling it out against Denis Forster on board 3. Amato secured a draw in his game in a time crunch, giving us our margin of victory.   Uncastled 2.5, BoNY 0.5.

Finally, on board 1, I (Mark Alban) faced “Formidable” Phil Sorge, and after he exchanged his knight for my light-squared bishop in a game where my light-squared bishop is critical to my attack, he slowly tightened his grip on the game.  But he inexplicably blundered away a center pawn, which I gladly took with check, forking his king and unprotected light-squared bishop!  I now had no worries on the light squares, was up a piece and a pawn, methodically positioned my pieces to build an attack and eventually won!  Final tally:  Uncastled 3.5, BoNY 0.5.

Congrats everyone on our 1st victory of the season!



Once again, I messed up the opening, but after my opponent blundered away a center pawn and his light-squared Bishop with 21…Bb5?, I had a lot of options. At some point, I wanted to get my queen to the seventh rank since my rooks were passive and committed to defense. There were plenty of options on move 27, but which was the best, and were there better moves I should’ve made after move 23? I wasn’t sure the best way to activate my pieces, and I couldn’t threaten mate on move 27 (I don’t think) until I removed his dark-squared bishop from the board, or at least away from the b8-h2 diagonal, and he had a menacing attack on the 2nd rank as well as control of the open files. Any wrong move at that point would’ve allowed Sorge to checkmate me.

Because I was up in material, I wanted to maintain an attack AND exchange down to make my extra piece more powerful. I thought 27. Bd6? would lose the piece to Rd8, but 27. Nd6 forces the exchange with the threat of 28. Nf7+ and the possibilities afterwards.  So 27. Nd6 prevents 27…Rd8 with a king/rook fork and discovered attack by the queen on the rook as well when the knight moves away with 28. Nf7+, then a discovered check after 28…Kg8 29 Nxd8+.  At what point might I have been able to move Qf7 or something similar?


[Event “BAL 2012-2013 SIAC Uncastled at BoNY”]
[Site “BoNY”]
[Date “2013.01.17”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Alban, Mark O.”]
[Black “Sorge, Phil”]
[Result “1-0”]
[PlyCount “71”]
[TimeControl “G75”]

1. d4 Nf6
2. e3 d5
3. Bd3 Nc6
4. f4 Nb4
5. Nf3 Nxd3+
6. Qxd3 e6
7. Nbd2 c5
8. b3 cxd4
9. exd4 Bd6
10. Ne5 O-O
11. O-O Nd7
12. Rf3 f6
13. Nxd7 Bxd7
14. c4 b6
15. cxd5 exd5
16. f5 Qc7
17. Rh3 Bf4
18. Ba3 Rfe8
19. Rf1 Bd6
20. Bc1 Rac8
21. Qf3 Bb5
22. Qxd5+ Kh8
23. Qxb5 Qc2
24. Nc4 Bb8
25. Ba3 Re2
26. Qd5 Rce8
27. Nd6 Bxd6
28. Bxd6 h6
29. Rg3 Qd2
30. Bf4 Qb2
31. a4 R8e4
32. Qd7 Re7
33. Qd6 Qc2
34. Bxh6 Qe4
35. Bxg7+ Rxg7
36. Qf8+ *
Black resigns, 1-0.


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