Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Frank Milord

Word reached us in early January  that a veteran of the Winnipeg chess scene, Frank Milord, passed away in October. This undoubtedly came as a shock to many of us who saw him as recently as the September TNT,  where he played all four rounds.

Les Mundwiler provides a brief snapshot and a game:

Information about Frank Milord's chess career is rather sketchy, so far as my files are concerned, before 2000.  In the April 1999 Exclam! you'll find that Frank's performance rating in the Kent Oliver--January 8-10, 1999)--was 1787 (his CFC rating then was 1709). His big achievement in that event, at normal tournament time controls, was to defeat Expert Jim Lauritson. Unfortunately we don't have the game. Maybe Jim would share that one with us. Also in January that year he was equal first in the TNT with A-Class player Jeff Cummer. Jack Woodbury annotated the draw between them in the same issue of Exclam! 

CFC's online record for Frank's events goes back to the Winnipeg Canada Day event of July 1996, when his rating was 1604. A quick perusal of his tournament record confirms the impression so many of us had that this was a "sneaky strong" B Class (sometimes C Class!) player, who often turned in A Class performances. Even that understates the case because, in many games versus higher-rated players, Frank was content to take a draw; sometimes he had to drive his cab later the same evening!(more about this later ! AJB)  In 2010 he had performance ratings of 1859 and 1895 in the August and March TNTs, respectively. Over the years 1998-2000 he had performance ratings over 1900 four times. His chess ideal was Rubinstein, a solid, classical player, and the game I've chosen to annotate--I'm sure Frank played many better games--doesn't much reflect that ideal but it is an interesting contest.

(Note: This will be in a viewer soon - AJB)

[Event "July Tuesday Night Tournament"]
[Site "University of Winnipeg"]
[Date "2003.07.22"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Khedkar, Jay"]
[Black "Milord, Frank"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "1947"]
[BlackElo "1567"]
[PlyCount "90"]
[EventDate "2003.07.22"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 {
Avoiding the usual Sveshnikov trouble, presumably in order to play Nc3, but
also relieving Black's game by covering d5 with a pawn.} 7... Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8
9. c4 a6 10. Nc3 Be7 11. Be2 O-O 12. O-O 12... f5 {Now Black has,
strategically, a clear way ahead, and that's the kind of thing Frank's
opponents usually avoided giving him, if they wanted to win the opening phase.}
13. f4 {Jay's aggressive style is always aimed at the centre but in this case
he's giving a bit of aid and comfort to Black's game.} 13... Qb6+ (13... e4) ({
and} 13... Bf6 {
were also playable, but the Q check certainly expands Black's scope.}) 14. Kh1
14... Qd4 $5 {An interesting--even shocking--try. White must examine the Q
exchange possibility, and then look at useful ways to avoid the Q exchange,
and then consider a move such as 15.fxe5, which would force Black to exchange
Qs--with what sort of middlegame? White decides to duck.} 15. Qb3 (15. Qxd4
exd4 16. Na4 16... Bd8 {is probably okay for Black, and would not be to Jay's
liking in any case. Much too fussy and unpredictable.}) 15... Nd7 {
Now the BN threatens to rejoin the game with a tempo gain.} 16. Na4 {
White resists that idea but in the process sidelines his QN.} 16... e4 $1 {
Frank consolidates in the centre and equalizes.} 17. Be3 Qf6 18. c5 $5 {
White is "not one to sit idly by" and let the initiative slip away.} 18... b5
$5 {An amazing idea. Black diverts a pawn from the centre and by targeting it,
ties up a good portion of White's forces on the Q-side.} 19. cxb6 Rb8 20. Rac1
{Targeting c7 cannot be bad.} 20... Bd8 21. Rxc8 $5 {
At 9 ply this looks best to Fritz, too.} 21... Rxc8 22. b7 Rb8 23. Ba7 23...
Ba5 {Now if White recovers the Exchange, the BN protects the a-pawn and Black
still has something to work with on the K-side. So, White goes for the BPa6
first...} 24. Bxa6 Bd2 25. Qc2 25... e3 {Black's B+P cover a lot of frontage
and pose some real difficulties for White to solve even if White takes back
the Exchange here. So, White looks for a finesse...} 26. Qc7 {
Probably not as good as just taking the R.} 26... Qd8 $5 {Black keeps the game
spinning by offering another pawn, when in fact White can boil things down
with BxR followed by a Q exchange.} 27. Qxd6 {Why not?} 27... Rf6 $1 {
If you have to mix, this is the only way to go. Please note, White's reply is
the best, too.} 28. Bxb8 Rxd6 29. Bxd6 Nb8 30. Bxb8 Qxb8 31. Nc5 31... e2 $1 {
Best defence. By taking White's f4 pawn, Black gains another piece to cover
the promotion square.} 32. Bxe2 Bxf4 33. Ba6 33... Qd6 {With the sort of
simple threat that is often difficult to see if you're on the brink of winning.
As White finds, "it's not too late to lose."} 34. b4 34... Bxh2 {
Black has set up a threat and White misses it.} 35. Re1 35... Qh6 $1 36. Re6 g6
37. Nd7 $2 {Probably the losing move. After Black's last White should have
nailed down everything (37.a3 perhaps) and prepared for an across-the-board
run with the WK, before collecting the full point. Trying to abbreviate that
allows Black to regain material and to hold a decisive edge.} 37... Bg3+ 38.
Kg1 Qh2+ 39. Kf1 Qh1+ 40. Ke2 Qxg2+ 41. Kd3 (41. Ke3 {was better defence, but
at current time controls it's understandable that White misses that.}) 41...
Qxd5+ 42. Kc3 42... Qxd7 $1 ({It was not too late for Black to lose either:}
42... Qxe6 43. Bc4) 43. Bc4 Kg7 44. Rb6 44... Bb8 {Good enough. In Frank's
straightahead style, the K-side passed pawns will decide.} 45. Kb3 45... f4 {
This game was played July 22, 2003 in the July TNT.} 0-1

1 comment:

Gustavo said...

I am very sad for this news . I apreciate a lot this gentleman

Gustavo Melamedoff