Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Two Towers

I'm going to recycle an old article I wrote back in July, 2004. I consider it one of my better creative efforts even though J.R.R. Tolkein (and Peter Jackson) did all the work. I guess that would make it one of my better works of plagiarism. I played this game three and a half years ago in the Far West Open 2004. This game features another h-file attack.

Cast of Characters:
White KingTheoden, King of Rohan
White QueenGandalf, The White Wizard
White King KnightAragorn, Son of Arathorn, Rightful Heir to Gondor
White King BishopTheodred, Son of Theoden
White Queen KnightEomer, Nephew of Theoden, leading The Riders of Rohan
White King RookEowyn, Niece of Theoden
White Queen BishopTreebeard, an Ent of Fangorn Forest
White Queen RookThe Army of the Ents
White Pawns (e, f, g, h)The Defenders of Rohan and The Walls of Helm’s Deep
Black KingSauron, Dark Lord of Mordor
Black QueenSaruman, Traitorous Leader of the Council of Wizards
Black King BishopThe Eye of Mordor
Black King RookBarad-dur, the Tower of Mordor
Black Queen RookOrthanc, the Tower of Isengard
Black King Rook PawnGrima Wormtongue, a spy in King Theoden’s court
Black King PawnThe Army of the Orcs, Helm’s Deep Seige Forces
Black King KnightOrc Raiding Party
Black Queen KnightOrc Captain
Black Queen BishopRingwraith General

(1) Fischer,G (1847) - Hong,E (1934) [E61]

Far West Open, Round 3, April 10, 2004

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0
Sauron (Kg8) returns to the Tower of Barad-dur (Rf8), in Mordor where shadows lie. His giant Eye (Bg7) searches the land for those who would do his bidding. 5.e3 d6 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.Qc2 Re8 9.b3 With 5.e3 and 9.b3, White has chosen to take a passive and slow response to Black's coming Kingside attack. Usual in the King's Indian is e4. With the solidity of e3, White usually chooses to accelerate the Queenside flank attack with b4 where Black's best response may be c5, clashing in the center.9...c6 10.Bb2 e4 Seduced by the power of Sauron, Saruman secretly breeds a new race of Orcs who can venture forth in daylight. The Orcs begin to encroach on the lands of men including the Kingdom of Rohan. 11.Nd2 Qe7 Saruman openly admits his alliance with Sauron by supporting the Orcs against the efforts of Gandalf (Qc2), Aragorn (Nd2), and Eomer (Nc6).12.Rfe1 Eowyn (Re1), begins to see the danger to her kingdom despite her uncle Theoden's (Kg1) blindness to it. 12...Nf8 13.Ba3 Treebeard (Ba3) notes increased Orcs, looks toward Isengard and sees that Saruman (Qe7) is behind it.13...h5 Sauron sends Grima Wormtongue (h5) to spy on Rohan. 14.Rab1 At Treebeard's bidding, the Army of the Ents (Rb1) stirs and moves on Orthanc (Ra8). 14...Bf5 The Ringwraith General (Bf5) supports and commands the Orc Army (e4). 15.c5 White makes a crucial strategic error in his Queenside counterplay. Not only does Black's e4 pawn now have all the supply chains backing it up from b7, but also Black's weakness at c6 is much more difficult to attack. Had White chosen to push d5 and black responded c5, it would have cut off the pawn chain support of e4 and created an opportune target at c5 which could be attacked by the pawn push b5 as well as the Bishop on a3, opening a route for the Rook on b1. The Bishop on a3 is now extremely bad and it will have to move again to make way for the a-pawn. 15...d5 With the supply lines running from Isengard, the Orc Raiding Parties (e4) slowly transform into a full-fledged Army and then a Siege Force. 16.b4 a6 The forces of Sauron set fire to Fangorn Forest. Black has created a nearly impenetrable defense at the b6 square which White needs to break through. Because of the danger to White's Kingside, it may be too late to further attack on the Queenside with moves like Bb2, a4, and b5. The efforts of Treebeard (Ba3) and the Army of the Ents (Rb1) have come to nought. 17.Bb2 Treebeard (Bb2) retreats. Only seventeen moves have been played and White has consumed three of them on a Bishop which is now next to worthless. 17...Ng4 An Orc Raiding Party (Ng4) camps dangerously close to Rohan.18.Na4 Eomer and The Riders of Rohan (Na4) patrol the distant borders of Rohan for Orcs. White cannot afford to further waste time. This move and the plan behind it carry no threat to Black. 18...Qh4 Saruman, normally a coward, uncharacteristically decides to travel to the front to see how his new Orc Army is doing. 19.Bxg4 hxg4 The first casualties of the war are inflicted with Theodred (Be2), son of Theoden and Rohan's only direct heir, dying after a battle with an Orc raiding party (Ng4). Grima Wormtongue (King Rook Pawn now on g4), a traitorous agent of Saruman is cemented as the closest advisor to Theoden. He gives information to Saruman's army about the weakest point in the defenses, the f3 square.20.Nb6 Meanwhile, Eomer and the Riders of Rohan (Nb6) aimlessly wander the frontier of Rohan, unaware of the looming danger to the crown. 20...Rad8 The Rook easily sidesteps any threats from this foray. 21.Nf1 Aragorn (Nf1) and Theoden (Kg1) decide to make their stand at Helm's Deep. 21...Ne6 From the back of the lines, a large Orc Captain (Ne6) carries a torch toward the walls of Helm's Deep. 22.Qe2 Gandalf (Qe2) travels to Rohan and tries to free Theoden from Grima Wormtongue's (g4) influence, but Saruman's (Qh4) spell proves unbreakable. 22...Ng5 The Orc Captain gets closer...23.Nd2 Too late, Aragorn (Nd2) sees the threat posed by the torch-bearing Orc Captain (Ng5). Aragorn yells for the archers to shoot down the torch-bearer, but he sees they're not effective. He makes a fateful decision to sacrifice himself. [ If instead of 23.Nd2, had White played 23.Ng3 , then 23...Nf3+ 24.gxf3 gxf3 25.Nxf5 Qg4+ 26.Ng3 fxe2 Black still wins. This may have delayed the fall of Helm's Deep, but The Two Towers Barad-dur (Re8) and Orthanc (Rd8) would have likely won the day.] 23...Nf3+ BOOM!!! 24.Nxf3 gxf3 Both Aragorn (Ne2) and the Orc Captain (Ng5) perish in the blast and the wall of Helm's Deep is breached. The walls don't have a hole yet, but the control of g2 by Black's f3 pawn is deadly. 25.Qf1 Gandalf (Qf1), knocked down by the blast, retreats and struggles to hold the castle defenses together. [ If 25.gxf3 then 25...Qg5+ 26.Kf1 Bh3#; And if 25.gxf3 Qg5+ 26.Kh1 then 26...exf3 . Then 27.Qxf3 ( and 27.Qf1 Re4 followed by Qh4, Rg4, and Rg2 win the White Queen.) 27...Be4] 25...Bf6 26.h3 A plan for the last stand is hatched using the h3 pawn as a barricade. 26...Kg7 Sauron (Kg7) turns his Eye (Bf6) toward Helm's Deep, sees the destruction his forces have wreaked, and... 27.Kh2 Theoden (Kh2) bravely organizes his remaining forces for one last stand, but the Riders of Rohan are too far away to come to the rescue. Notice the knight on b6 neither attacks nor defends anything useful. 27...Rh8 ...Sauron unleashes the full might of Barad-dur (Rh8). 28.g3 Opening a path for the White Queen to aid in the defense, but it's far too late. [ White resigned in view of 28.g3 Qxh3+ 29.Qxh3 (Saruman and Gandalf annihilate each other in a flash) 29...Rxh3+ 30.Kg1 Rdh8 and unavoidable checkmate on the next move. Note how Black's f3 pawn (Grima Wormtongue) is right there to prevent Theoden's escape and Sauron's Two Towers prevail in the end.] 0-1

I hope you enjoyed this combination of fan fiction and chess and that you found it both entertaining and educational. The chess moral is “Don’t allow your opponent to dictate the terms of the battle.” The broader life moral is that the consistent and diligent efforts of Good are necessary to defeat Evil. “I’ve found that evil usually triumphs unless good is very, very careful.” – Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in “The Omega Glory”.

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