Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Smith-Morra Gambit: A Positional Pawn Sacrifice

The Sicilian is the most common way to meet 1 e4. The problem for White is that there are so many variations of the open Sicilian that it is not possible to learn them all. Consequently, I played the Closed Sicilian for awhile, but this is rather dull and unenterprising, and I have given it up for the Smith-Morra Gambit, in which White sacrifices a Pawn in the center for open lines.

This game was played on ICC against wtneveitt on 10/30/99, at two minutes plus a ten-second increment.

1 e4 c5 2 d4 cd 3 c3 dc 4 Nxc3

Many Black players will decline the Pawn, and there are many accepted ways to do so. Here, Black elects to accept the gambit Pawn.

4...e6 5 Nf3 Bb4 6 Bc4 Qc7 7 Qe2?

This is the usual move for White in the Smith-Morra, but here it is a blunder. White needs to protect his Knight on c3, and either Qb3 or Qd3 will do that.


7...b5 was played in Alcobas-Valverde (Mesa, 1993), and this wins a piece because of Black's pressure on the c-file.

8 bc d6?

It was not too late for ...b5, but now White will retain a slight advantage.

9 0-0 Ne7 10 Bb2 0-0 11 Rad1

Usually in the Smith-Morra White plays his Queen's Rook to the c-file, and his King's Rook to the d-file. However, I have a pet line I like to play against the ...b5 system, and that is to keep my King Rook on f1 to support a Pawn push with my f-Pawn, similar to the Queen's Gambit game annotated earlier.

11...a6 12 Bb3 Nbc6 13 Nd4

The computer favors 13 Ba3, pressuring the weak d-Pawn, but my move is in line with my planned push of the f-Pawn. It should be noted that White need not be preoccupied with regaining his gambited Pawn. When playing a gambit, many players make the mistake of playing as if they'd lost a Pawn rather than sacrificed it. Here, White knows he is a Pawn down, but he realizes the need to be patient and keep probing the Black position until something good happens.

13...Na5 14 f4 b5 15 Kh1 Nec6 16 f5 Nxd4 17 cd ef 18 ef Nxb3 19 ab f6

My Pawn push to f6 would be very strong, if not outright winning, so Black plays there himself to prevent me from doing so.

20 Rd3 Bb7 21 Rh3

The point of White's play becomes clear. I will get good pressure on his King-side. Being a Pawn down is irrelevant if I can mate him!


Black prevents my Queen from going to h5, but I still get her to the h-file, it just will take two moves instead of one.

22 Qg4 Rae8 23 Qh4 h6 24 Rg3 Kh7 25 h3

Creates luft for my King in the event of a back rank check.


The computer likes 25...Re2, with Black retaining almost a two-point advantage. However, his move is good also.

26 Rf4 Rfe8 27 Ba3

I finally play the move which the computer has been favoring since move 10 or so.

27...Qd5 28 Qg4 Re1ch 29 Kh2 R8e7

It is hard to give this move a question mark, but the computer likes ...R1e7, and says that after his move his advantage has almost disappeared.

30 Qg6ch Kh8 31 Rh4 Qf7?

Seems reasonable on the surface, but the computer pinpoints this as the losing move. The computer's suggestion is 31...Rf7, but even then I have a one-point advantage

32 Rxh6ch Kg8 33 Qg4

The computer gives 33 Qh7ch Kf8 34 Qh8ch Qg8 35 Rxf6ch Rf7 36 Bxd6ch Re7 37 Bxe7ch Kxe7 38 Qxg8 Kxf6 39 Rg6ch Ke7 40 Re6ch Kd7 41 Qxf7ch +-, but this was a little much to work out within the time constraints of a blitz game!


33...R1e4 gives Black rough equality.

34 Qh4 +- Kf8 35 Rh8ch Ke7 36 Rxg7!! Qxg7 37 Qxe1ch Kf7 38 Qe6 mate 1-0

A most elegant finish!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Online Quizzes

Here are links to my recently completed online quizzes.

The Elegant Beauty of the Endgame Quiz - Chess

Memorable Trials in U.S. History Quiz - U.S. Law

Guess the Old-Time Radio Show Quiz - US Old Time Radio

The Ten Most Anthologized Poems Quiz - Poetry

Famous Taverns in U.S. History Quiz - U.S. History

Groundbreaking Books of the 20th Century Quiz - Mixed Literature

The Thirst for Freedom Quiz - Global Trivia

The Decade of the 1800's in America Quiz - USA in the 19th.Century

A Variety of Myths Quiz - Mythology Mixture

ESPN Catch Phrases and Nicknames Quiz - MLB Tough

The Queen's Gambit Declined: The Quixotic Jouney of the f-Pawn

It is said there comes a moment of delight in every chess player's life when he or she discovers the Queen's Gambit. This saying is based on the idea that it is the King's Pawn opening which new chess players almost always play, and one is not introduced to the Queen's Gambit until somewhat later.

I learned the Queen's Gambit fairly early on, and since then have fluctuated between using it an the King's Pawn opening. I use both now, depending on the strength of my opponent.

The Queen's Gambit leads to play at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Dragons I annotated earlier. It is a positional game, often leading to a major piece endgame as the minor pieces tend to get traded off early in the game.

This game was played on 11/18/06 against zoroastro. We are both rated in the middle 1500's, and it is played at an initial two minutes plus a ten-second increment.

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6

Black can also accept the "gambit" with 2...dxc4, which leads to a somewhat more open game. Note that White will recover the Pawn, so it is a gambit in name only, not a true gambit. 2...e6 is the classical, time-honored way to play this opening. The height of popularity of this opening was the titanic 1927 world championship match between those two giants, Alekhine and Capablanca. Going into the match, Alekhine had never beaten Capablanca in a tournament game, but he studied hard and was ready for their match, held in Buenos Aires. This match lasted a record 34 games, because the rule was one had to win six games to win the match. Alekhine won the match, 6-3, with 25 draws, and became the new world champion. The amazing thing is, the opening in 32 of the 34 games was the Queen's Gambit Declined!!

3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e3 0-0 6 Rc1 c6 7 Nf3 Nbdf7 8 Bd3 dc 9 Bxc4 Nd5 10 Bxe7 Qxe7 11 0-0 Nxc3 12 Rxc3 e5

The usual freeing move which allows Black to equalize by opening a line for his Queen Bishop to develop.

13 dxe5 Nxe5 14 Nxe5 Qxe5 15 f4 Qe4 16 Qe2

This is essentially the starting point for this opening. Black usually plays 16...Bf5 next, but there is no one way to proceed. The only real theme in this opening is that White will try to push his f-Pawn to f6, creating threats in conjunction with his major pieces.

16...Be6 17 Bd3 Qd5

The four database games with this position had Black playing 17...Qb4.

18 e4

Perhaps not objectively best, but my plan is to push the f-Pawn, and toward then end the support of his next-door neighbor is needed. In chess, as in life, it is important to have a plan and act on it. In that regard this opening is a lot more like life than the Dragon is; i.e., in the QGD the right course is not clear, so we must formulate a plan based on limited information, just as in life, whereas in the Dragon one can win or lose based on a single faulty move because it is so tactical. Life is more strategic than tactical, as is the QGD.

18...Qd4ch 19 Kh1 Rfe8 20 e5

Again, not objectively best, but in accordance with my master plan.

20...Bd5 21 Qh5 g6 22 Qh6 Be4 23 BxB QxB 24 f5?

24 Rh3 gains a nice advantage.

24...Qxe5 25 Rcf3

Only now do I realize to my horror that my planned 25 f6 is not possible due to 25..Qxf6! 26 Rxf6 27 Re1ch and I am mated on the back rank!


Black seeks to trade Queens, after which his Pawn advantage will stand him in good stead, plus my f6 move would no longer be a threat (without Queens on the board the Pawn on f6 would be more of a weakness than a threat).

26 Qh4

I avoid the trade of Queens for the same reason Black seeks it. However, the computer favors trading Queens on g7, then Pawns on g6, after which my Rook checks on f7 and then takes the Pawn on b7, giving me a small advantage due to my control of the 7th rank, always a goal in Rook endgames. I am still fixated on my plan of getting a Pawn to f6.

26...Re5 27 f6


27...Qf8 28 Qd4 Rd5 29 Qc4 Rad8

At this point Black has pretty well consolidated his Pawn advantage.

30 Rb3 R8d7 31 h3

Takes away the back rank mate.

31...Qd6 32 Re3 h6 33 Qh4 Kh7 34 Re8 Rh5 35 Qe4 Qd5 36 QxQ

I finally acquiesce in the trade of Queens.

36...RhxQ 37 Re7 Rd1?

He finally blunders. 37...g5 with the idea of ...Kg6 next retains his advantage. I actually get a small advantage now.

38 Rxd1 Rxd1ch 39 Kh2 Rd2?

Another blunder. 39...Kg8, guarding the Pawn on f7, was necessary.

40 Rxf7ch Kg8 41 Rxb7 a5 42 Kg3 g5 43 Kg4!

Tempting Black to take on g2 with check, which he does. But then I sneak my King into the g3 square, setting up a mating net.


43...Rf2 would at least leave him in the game, but he is lost now.

44 Kh5 Re2 45 Kg6 Kf8 46 Rb8ch Re8 47 RxRch KxR 48 Kg7 Black resigns 1-0

The King will now escort the f-pawn to the Queening square, completing its quixotic journey to the promised land!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Politics of Fear

News today that Tom Ridge has a new book out in which he describes how the Bush inner circle was pressuring him to issue a terror alert on the eve of the 2004 election, so as to help Bush's re-election chances. This brings to mind a sorry 40-year history of Republican dirty tricks and pandering to the politics of fear.

In 1968 we saw Richard Nixon run on a "law and order" platform, a thinly-disguised appeal to our racist impulses and a part of his infamous "Southern strategy". Hubert Humphrey ran a fairly energetic campaign, but he refused to split ranks with LBJ, when he should have met the war issue head-on and said that "yes, I was part of the Johnson administration. I remained loyal, as any person in a subordinate role has to be. But now, I seek to be President in my own right, and my policies will be consistent with my whole life, which has been as an advocate of liberal policies. I will end the Vietnam War and concentrate on our problems here at home." The result of Humphrey's failed campaign is that Nixon won the election, despite third-party candidate George Wallace winning five states that Nixon otherwise would have won.

Nothing McGovern could have done in 1972 would have helped him, which makes the Watergate dirty tricks effort so inexplicable. In 1976 Ford was more of a "politics of hope" candidate than a "politics of fear" one, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise sordid Republican world. '80 and '84 are similarly irrelevant to this discussion.

Now fast forward to 1988, one of the most despicable examples of Republican politics of fear. This was the year George H.W. Bush ran a campaign based on the picture of a Black man, Willie Horton, who had committed a crime while on a furlough program, on the lie that Dukakis didn't like the Pledge of Allegiance, and an allegation that he was a "card-carrying member of the ACLU". One of the shallowest campaigns in memory. At the heart of all this was Bush's allegation that Dukakis was a "liberal", as if that was a dirty word. Dukakis should have replied strongly that "yes, of course I am a liberal. It is liberalism that has given us social security, Medicare, minimum wage laws, worker safety laws, and every other step forward toward a more humane society in the history of this great county. I am proud to say I am a liberal, and I ask for your vote on that basis." Instead, Dukakis said nothing, until days before the election when the headline roared "Dukakis admits he is a liberal after all".

Clinton learned the lesson and in 1992 he met the Republican lies head-on within hours or even minutes that every Republican lie hit the airwaves.

Gore of course turned his back on Clinton in 2000, showed his lack of character with his horrible statement about the Elian Gonzalez situation in Florida, and ended up losing. Gore said later if he had to do it over again he would have "let it all hang out", meaning simply he would have spoken his mind and not let his handlers muzzle him. In 2004 Kerry got "swiftboated" in another depressing example of Republican dirty tricks, and he was unable to counteract this.

Now we have not an election, but a Democratic administration which again seems overcome with timidity instead of counterattacking the Republican lies over health care (death panels, killing grandma, etc.). Have we learned nothing from history?? True to their DNA. the Republicans are engaged in a despicable campaign of lies and misinformation designed to deceive the American people and kill health care. They must not be allowed to succeed.

Rewind now to 1920, when Woodrow Wilson was touring the country trying to sell his League of Nations concept. The Republicans followed him around the country with a so-called "Truth Squad", to counteract what they thought was Wilson's misinformation. The point here isn't who was right or wrong, but that the Republicans in 1920 recognized that misinformation has to be countered strongly and immediately. Wilson ended up dead from exhaustsion, and the U.S. Senate kept us out of the League of Nations.

It is said that lie told often enough will be believed. The lesson here is that the more accurate saying is that an *unrefuted* lie told often enough will be believed. The Democrats, unfortunately, have yet to learn this lesson.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Sicilian Dragon without Bc4: A Tricky Pawn Sacrifice

This game illustrates the other main branch of the Dragon, where White castles on his 9th move, omitting Bc4. For years I traded Knights on d4 and then played ...Be6, but I ran into problems playing this line, and I became aware that ...d5 is a better way for Black to proceed. I had resisted playing this line because it involved a Pawn sacrifice, and I was too lazy to learn the ins and outs of it, which one must do if playing a sacrifice. Finally I studied it enough to be able to start playing it, and it has led to some interesting games.

This game is against "NimbleLabs", played on 4/23/08. We are both rated about 1500 in this 5-minute game.

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6 6 f3 Bg7 7 Be3 0-0 8 Qd2 Nc6 9 0-0-0

The other main line is 9 Bc4, illustrated by the last game.


This initiates the Pawn sacrifice.

10 ed Nxd5 11 Nxc6 bc 12 Nxd5 cd 13 Qxd5

This completes the "winning" of the Pawn by White.


This is the idea behind Black's Pawn sacrifice. Black doesn't care if White takes the Rook which is hanging on a8, because he plans ...Bf5 next, threatening mate on c2. He also has open lines to the Pawn on b2. All in all, plenty of compensation for the Pawn.

14 Qxa8

In order to blunt Black's attack, the more usual move is 14 Qc5, after which I play 14...Qb7.


The idea here is that White's Queen cannot move to guard against the threatened mate on c2, so he must give up his Queen for the second Rook.

15 Qxf8ch Kxf8 16 Bd3?

Correct is 16 Rd2, but even then Black scores over 50% in the database collection.


This is why 16 Bd3 is bad. My move hits the Bishop on e3 and the Pawn on b2. It is made possible by the fact that his Bishop move blocks his Rook on d1, so that my Queen is relieved of her guard duty against the mate on d8.

17 Rhe1

Usual is the awkward-looking 17 Kd2. Here White decides to guard his Bishop on e3 by bringing his other Rook into play, surely not a bad idea.

17...Qxb2ch 18 Kd2 Bxd3 19 Kxd3 Qc3ch 20 Ke2 Qxc2ch

Now material is even again. I have Queen and Pawn for two Rooks.

21 Rd2 Qc4ch 22 Kf2 Bc3

I have to constantly be mindful of the mate threat on d8. 22...Bc3 not only forks the Rooks, but by vacating g7 it gives my King an escape square. Now if the Rook checks on d8 my King can slide into g7, while if he plays Bh6ch my King goes over to e8 and Rd8 is no longer mate.

23 Rd8ch Kg7 24 Red1

24 Re2 prevents my next, with my advantage then being about a third of a point.

24...Qxa2ch 25 Kg3 Be5ch 26 f4 Bf6 27 Bd4 h5 28 BxBch KxB 29 R1d2

The Queen on an open board like this is awfully strong. Computer analysis says I'm up 1.5 points, more than the one Pawn I'm material up.

29...Qa1 30 Rd1 Qc3ch 31 R8d3 Qc7 32 Rd7 Qc3ch 33 R7d3 Qc4 34 Rd4 Qe2

Finally arriving at the square I've had my eye on.

35 R4d2 Qg4ch 36 Kf2 Qxf4ch 37 Kg1 Qe3ch 38 Kh1 h4 39 Rd3 Qb6 40 Rf1ch Kg7 41 Rfd1 f6 42 Rd7 Kf7 43 R7d3 g5 44 Rd7 g4 45 R7d3 Qc6 46 Kg1

White has only 12 seconds left.

46...f5 47 Kf1 f4 48 Rd4 Qb5ch 49 Kg1 Qc5 50 Kf1 e5 51 Rd7ch Ke6 52 R7d6ch Qxd6 53 Rxd6 Kxd6 54 Ke2 Kc5 White time forfeits 0-1

With the trade of pieces, the King and Pawn ending was hopeless for White.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Sicilian Dragon with Bc4: All-Out War

This starts a series in which I will analyze a chess game from my own play. The games themselves will not always be very memorable, but each will illustrate a particular opening which I find interesting and worth of study.

The first is a Sicilian Dragon played 8/15/09. White is che07, rated 1537, I am black, rated 1550. It is a five-minute game played on ICC.

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cd 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6

Initiates the Dragon Defense, so called because the Pawn formation Black will have supposedly resembles a Dragon.

6 Bc4

Many White players these days seem to like to develop their King Bishop early in this manner. I really don't see the point, but in this game we end up with the same position as with the normal move order, which is to delay Bc4 till move 10 or so.

6...Bg7 7 f3 0-0 8 Be3 Nc6 9 Qd2 Bd7 10 Bb3 Qa5 11 0-0-0 Rfc8

Now we arrive at the usual starting position for the middle game in the Dragon with Bc4. White will push his h-Pawn, usually sacrificing it, while Black will try for pressure on the Queen-side. Time is critical, as whoever strikes first usually wins. White will sometimes play 12 Kb1 next, but the move order is not significant as the h-Pawn push will follow anyway.

12 h4 Ne5 13 h5 Nxh5

Black accepts White's challenge, as Black hopes to neutralize the King-side attack and strike himself on the Queenside. Regardless of who is successful, an interesting game is in store.

14 g4

After the move 14 Bh6, Black has the interesting possibility of 14...Nd3ch! The idea here is that if White takes the Knight with the c-Pawn, his Knight on d4 hangs, while if he takes with the Queen, his Bishop on h6 hangs! Consequently, White usually plays 15 Kb1, and there follows 15...Nxb2 16 Kxb2 Bxh6 17 Qxh6, and now Black will capture the Knight on c3 with either his Queen or his Rook. The four games in the database to this point split equally with two wins for White and two for Black. The upshot of this is that 14...Nxd3ch is perhaps not an objectively better move than more normal moves, but in a blitz game against sub-Master competition, it will surely have the benefit of surprise and unsettle your opponent, so I play it.

14...Nf6 15 Bh6 Rxc3!

Black must eliminate the Knight on c3 right now. In another game I made the mistake of playing 15...Nc4, and after 16 BxN RxB 17 BxB KxB 18 Qh6ch Kg1 19 g5! Nh5 20 Nd5, I have lost my chance to eliminate his Knight on c3, and for all practical purposes I am already lost.

16 bc Rc8 17 BxB

17 Kb2 is simply never played here. For White to try to hang onto his weak Pawn on c3 would be completely out of the spirit of this position.

17...KxB 18 Qh6ch Kg8 19 g5 Nh5

I doubt if I considered any other move here, but 19...Qxc3 might be playable. The game could continue 20. Nf5 gxf5 21. gxf6 Qa1+ 22. Kd2 Qc3ch 23 Ke2? Bb5ch and Black is in charge, so apparently White must repeat moves with 23 Kc1 Qa1ch drawn. Another line is 20. gxf6 Qa1+ 21. Kd2 Qxd4+ 22. Kc1 Qa1+ 23. Kd2 Qc3+ 24. Kc1 and Black can either take the draw or try the risky-looking 24...exf6 25. Qxh7+ Kf8 26. Rxd6 with unclear consequences.

20 Rxh5

Of the four games in the database, this was played in three of them. In the fourth White tried 20 Nf5, but he had to settle for a draw after 20...BxN 21 PxB Qxc3 22 RxN Qa1ch 23 Kd2 Qc3ch 24 Kc1, as 24 Ke2 leads to disaster after 25...Qxf3ch. 21 Qxh5 Qxc3 22 Rh1

Perhaps here is where White starts to go wrong. The only database game to this point is Cronin-Narayan (Chicago, 2002), which continued 22 Kb1.

22...Qa1ch 23 Kd2 Qxd4ch 24 Ke2 Nc4

The point behind his move is two-fold: blunt the effect of his Bishop on b3, and allow my Queen to guard the mating square h8. However, the computer finds the problem-like move 24...Rxc2ch!!, after which 25 Bxc2 Bb5ch!! and White is lost! Also winning is the more prosaic 24...Bb5ch 25 c4 Bxc4ch 26 Bxc4ch Qxc4ch, though Black still has work to do to convert his huge material advantage to the win.

25 Qxh7ch Kf8 26 g6?

The computer likes 26 Qh8ch, with an even endgame after the trades of Queens and Rooks.


Up a piece, I opt for defense and a (hopefully) easy win. However, mate was to be had with 26...Qd2ch 27 Kf1 Ne3ch 28 Kg1 Qg2 mate.

27 Qh5

White is still trying to avoid the trade of Queens. This is in keeping with the normal White mindset for the Dragon, which is to attack, attack, and attack. As Fischer said, "sac, sac, mate". However, the computer says 27 Qh8ch leads to an ending with White down (only) a point.

27...Qxg6 28 Qh8ch Qg8 29 Qh6ch Qg7 30 Qf4??

White is still trying desperately to avoid trading Queens, but the coming fork settles the result.

30...Qg2ch White resigns 0-1

Friday, August 14, 2009

Camping out to Get Health Care

In California a free health fair attracted so many people that many had to be turned away. Many others camped out overnight in order to be able to get seen the next day.

What kind of country is it that allows this sort of nonsense. People should not have to camp out overnight to get what should be considered a basic right, the right to decent health care. When is Obama going to take the offensive and push for reform? He has been taking a conciliatory course in hopes of gaining Republican support, but it is apparent the Republicans have no intention of supporting his bill, and he needs to start twisting arms among his Democratic colleagues in order to make any progress. (Where is LBJ when we need him?)

Joining FunTrivia

Play Trivia and Quizzes at

This is the link at which you can join FunTrivia and I will get credit for the referral. It is free and there will be no bothersome emails coming your way.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gutless Obama

Yesterday Senator Grassley told his audience that they had "a right to fear" that the proposed health care plan would result in euthanasia for old people. Rather than coming out strongly to debunk this myth, Obama takes a pass. If we have learned anything from history, it is that lies such as this need to be met strongly. This is the only way the Brits got a health care system in place in the 1940's. Unless Obama is willing to go to bat for his plan, it will fail and that tragedy will be on his shoulders.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bringing a Gun to a Town Meeting

Incredible item in today's news about the New Hampshire man who brought a loaded gun to a town hall meeting Obama was holding on health care. Chris Mathews had the guy on Hardball and it was informative to hear him rattle on about our loss of freedoms, the right to bear arms, etc. He apparently was making a point about our supposed "loss of freedoms", but it is hard to make any sense of his blatherings.

Also on the news are items about the disruptive behavior of right-wing nuts at various other town hall meetings which Senators are trying to have. The anger is palpable, but anger at what? That is not clear.

The most enlightening fact to come out about contemporary American politics is the "birther movement", in which people question whether Obama has the right to be President because they disagree that he was born in this country. The striking stat here is that when you break it down by region, you find that most people in the South doubt Obama's birth info, while the vast majority in all other sections of the country believe he does have the birth credentials to be President. This is more enlightening than any other piece of info to come out in recent years. What it tells us is how wrong Lincoln was in not allowing the South to secede. Had Lincoln allowed secession, we would be able to have a country which has a chance at going forward into the 21st century with some progressive, humane policies, instead of being controlled by the right wing.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Lower than Vermin"

When British health minister Rye Bevan opened the British national health service in 1948, he famously called the Tories "lower than vermin" for their virulent opposition. The same term could be used today to describe those who have been opposing a health care system for the US. Their despicable tactics have included the following"

1. Coming en masse to town meetings and shouting down the speakers, thereby preventing any true dialogue on the issues.

2. Scaring people with ads claiming the real agenda is to push abortions on the American peeople.

3. Scaring people with ads claiming the agenda is to push euthanasia and mandate living wills for everybody.

4. Death threats to at least one Congressman.

Anyone with half a brain can see that we need a national, single-payer health system. Other countries that have this have better medical care for half the cost.

In a later post I will describe how savings can occur under such a system.