John Brown vs Ron Gross Challenge Match

Las Vegas, Nevada, April 8, 1999

Since the beginning of the year, John Brown, one of the most prominent players in Las Vegas had been expressing a desire to play a match with a premiere player and issued a challenge. Ron Gross, one of several masters who live here in Las Vegas (and who was once a good friend of Bobby Fischer!) agreed to meet John Brown’s challenge. Ron had gone 0-2 against John in tournament play and finally managed to win their third encounter last year at the Dave Trujillo Memorial. The parties agreed to two games at G/60 and money was put up for the match. John Currell was the host for the match and the match took place at his residence April 8th, 1999.

Your editor interviewed both players at the IRS Open in April 1999 and I asked them for their comments on the match. In the first game, Ron said that John had a cramped position and sacrificed a pawn to relax his grip in the center. “I had to play very accurate to squeek the passed pawn through.” In game two, Ron said that he played an opening that he knew John had played before. The game was a Petroff’s Defense. Ron also commented that he started off well but he simply blundered. John comments on the the second game was that Ron had played “the World War Two line of the Petroffs” and that they had played this line once before.

Ron Gross won the match 2-0 and added “this now brings our total score to 3-2 in my favor.”

John tentatively has schedule a one game match with Snapper McGauhey and has had a desire to play a match in Fresno, California, with a player to be announced in the future if this match comes off.

Below are the three 1998 tournament games that lead to this match and the two games themselves with contributions to the notes from John Brown, Ron Gross, John Trivett and the Chess Assistant 2.0 Dragon. I’d like to thank John Currell for hosting this important match.

Report by John Trivett

1. Brown, John (A) – Gross, Ron (M)
1998, Rebel Open
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 ed 4.e5 Ne4 5.Qxd4 d5 6.ed Nxd6 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Qf4 g6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Bd2 O-O 11.Bc3 Be6 12.h3 Qd7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Nc3 Rad8 15.Nd4 Rfe8 16.Nxc6 Qxc6 17.Qd4+ f6 18.Qxa7 Bc4 19.Qa4 Qxa4 20.Nxa4 Bxd3 Nb5 22.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Rxd3 24.Re7+ Kh6 25.Nc5 Rd1+ 26.Kh2 Rd2 27.f4 {White constructs a mate net} Nd4 [27…Rxb2 28.Rxc7 Rxa2 29.Rxb7 Nd4] 28.Nd7 Nf3+ [28…g5] 29.Kg3 Ne1 30.h4 Rxg2+ 31.Kh3 g5 32.Rxe1 Rxb2 33.Re6 gf 34.Rxf6+ Kg7 35.Rxf4 Rxa2 36.Rc4 c6 37.Nc5 Rb2 38.Rc3 Rb4 39.Kg3 h5 40.Rb3 Rxb3+ [40…Rg4+ 41.Kh3 b5] 41.Nxb3 b6 42.Nd4 c5 43.Nb5 Kf6 44.Kf4 c4 45.Nc3 Ke6 46.Kg5 Ke5 47.Kxh5 Kd4 48.Na2 Kd3 49.Kg4 Kc2 50.h5 Kb3 51.h6 Kxa2 52.h7 b5 53.h8Q b4 54.Qa8+ Kb2 55.Qa4 Kc3 56.Qa1+ Kc2 57.Qa2+ Kc3 58.Kf3 b3 59.Qb1 Kd2 60.Ke4 1:0

2 Brown, John (A) – Gross, Ron (M)
1998, CCSN LV Open
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.c4 Nf6 8.Nc3 Nbd7 9.Re1 dc 10.Bxc4 Nb6 11.Bb3 c6 12.Qe2 Nbd5 13.Bg5 Be6 14.Nxf7 Bxf7 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Bxe7 Nxe7 17.Qxe7 Bxb3 18.Qxd8 Rfxd8 19.ab Rd7 20.Re4 a6 21.Rae1 Rad8 22.Re8+ Kf7 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Re4 c5 25.Kf1 cd 26.Ke2 Rd6 27.b4 d3+ 28.Kd2 Kf6 29.b5 a5 30.Ra4 b6 31.Rc4 h6 32.Rc3 Rd4 33.Rxd3 Rb4 34.Rd6+ Kf5 35.Rxb6 Rxb2+ 36.Kc3 Rxf2 37.Ra6 Rxg2 38.b6 Rg1 39.Rxa5+ Ke6 40.Rb5 Rc1+ 41.Kd4 Rc8 42.b7 Rb8 43.Kc5 Kf5 44.Kc6+ Kg4 45.Kc7 1:0

3 Gross, Ron (M) – Brown, John (X)
1998, Dave Trujillo Mem.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qa5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd2 Nbd7 7.e4 c5 8.e5 Ng4 9.h3 Nxf2 10.Kxf2 cd 11.Nb5 Qb6 12.Bd3 a6 13.Nbxd4 Nxe5 14.Be3 Qxb2+ 15.Be2 Nc4 16.Qa4+ b5 17.Nxb5 Qxb5 18.Qxc4 Qxc4 19.Bxc4 Bd6 20.Rhd1 Ke7 21.Rab1 Bd7 22.Rb6 Bc7 23.Bc5+ Ke8 24.Rb7 Rc8 25.Bxa6 Bc6 26.Ra7 Bxf3 1:0

4 Gross, Ron (M) – Brown, John (X)
1999, Challenge Match Brown Vs Gross
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qa5 5.Bd2 Nbd7 6.e4 c6 {John said that ..6 c5 is better if 7.Nb5 Qb6 8.Bf4 e5} 7.Nf3 e6 8.Bd3 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe2 Qh5 11.Rac1 e5 [11…Nb6 12.Ne5 Qxe2 13.Nxe2 Bd7] 12.Nxe5 Qxe2 13.Bxe2 Nxe5 Ng4 15.Bf4 [ Ron considered 15.Bxg4] 15…g5 [15…f6 16.Bc4+ Kh8 17.e6 b5 18.Bb3] 16.Bg3 [16.h3 Nxf2 17.Bg3 Nxh3+] 16…Be6 17.h3 Nh6 18.f3 [18.Rfd1 f6 19.ef Bxf6 20.Rd6]
18…Bc5+ 19.Kh2 [19.Bf2 Bxf2+ 20.Kxf2 f6] 19…Bd4 20.Rfd1 Rfd8 21.b3 Rd7 22.Nd5 {a very nice shot.} cd 23.Rxd4 Rad8 24.Rcd1 de 25.Rxd7 Rxd7 26.Rxd7 Bxd7 27.fe Bc6 28.Bd3 Kf8 29.Bf2 b6 30.Be3 f6 [30…Kg7 31.Bxg5] 31.ef Nf7 32.Bd4 Nd6 33.e5 Ne4 34.e6 h6 35.Be3 1:0

5 Brown, John (X) – Gross, Ron (M)
1999, Challenge Match Brown Vs Gross
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bc 7.Bxe4 [7.Qe2 Qe7 8.O-O Nd6 9.Re1 Qxe2 10.Rxe2+ Be6 11.Nd2 Kd7 12.Nb3 Nc4] [7.O-O Bd6 8.Nd2 O-O 9.Bxe4 de 10.Nxe4 Bxh2+ Maljutin-Rosenkrantz St. Petersburg 1909] 7…de 8.O-O g6 9.Nc3 {John thought that 9.Re1 won a pawn and the
game.} [9.Re1 f5 10.f3 Bg7 11.c3 O-O 12.fe fe 13.Rxe4 Ba6 14.Nd2 c5] 9…f5 10.Be3 Bg7 11.Qe2 Be6 12.Qa6 Qd7 13.Na4 O-O 14.Nc5 Qf7 15.Qxc6 Bd5 16.Qa4 f4 17.Bc1 f3 18.Be3 c6 19.g3 g5 20.Bxg5 [20.h3 Bf6 21.Rfe1 a very tragic mistake] 20…Qf5 [20…Qf5 21.Rfe1 Qh3 winning hands down] 0:1

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