The Master game.
 9780563179160, 0563179163

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The Master Game - Book Two

In the same series

The Master Game

The Master Game BOOK TWO Jeremy James and William Hartston

British Broadcasting Corporation

Published by the British Broadcasting Corporation 35 Marylebone High Street London W1M 4AA ISBN 0563 17916 3 First published 1981

© Jeremy James 1981 © William Hartston 1981 Printed in England by Jolly & Barber Ltd, Rugby, Warwickshire

Contents

Foreword Preface

page 7

9

Reading the moves

11

The Master Game 1979 - Series Four

13

The Players Round 1 Semi-Finals Final

The Master Game 1_- Series Five The Players Order of Play - Group A Order of Play - Group B Final

The Master Game 1981- Series Six The Players Order of Play - Group A Order of Play - Group B Final

14

23 39 56 63 64

69 84 101 107 108 114

130 147

Appendix The Master Game Series One-Three 151

Index of openings

157

Index of players

159

Foreword

Chess tournaments should be different. But chess organisers are not very different, and most tournaments look like each other. The Master Game is certainly different. A little less now, when draws are allowed to happen. Before, when a decision had to be reached the same day, the 'blitz' games were somewhere between serious chess and five-minute games. When I played against Hort in the finals of the fourth series, we drew the first four games. In three of these I had the initiative, but could not break Vlastimil's resistance. In the fifth game I also had the initiative, but got only one advantage out of it: four minutes against two! Not for a certain number of moves like in normal tournament games, but for the rest of the game. Then I gambled and won. These time scrambles cannot possibly produce perfect chess, but it is exciting chess every time. A journalist asked Donner: 'Do you play as well in these games as in a real master tournament?' The Dutch grandmaster answered: 'Qh no, far from it, it is not a very nice feeling for a chess master to be part of a machine!' Very philosophical, but maybe not true. During play we are not at all part of the machine, unless we are already thinking about what to say when we have to 'think aloud' afterwards. I think some very good games have been played in these

tournaments - and also some very bad ones. But remember, in a big international tournament only the good games get published. In the Master Game the viewers get the game no matter how terrible the blunders are. This is similar to the World Championship matches as also all those games get published, and as a result the chess world is disappointed by the 'poor' quality of the games, as compared to the few brilliant games that are selected for publishing from other events. In the three Master Game tournaments that I have played in, I would like to mention the very good fi rst game of Karpov-Miles from the finals in the third tournament. Miles defended very well, and the game was of a much higher quality than the two next ones, which had to be played more quickly. Also my first game against Donner was much more interesting than the game I won afterwards, though Bob Toner, the produce~, said that we gave that rather dull game life with our commentaries. Also the year after I had a very interesting draw against the Dutch grandmaster, a Nimzo-Indian Defence with lots of ideas on both sides. But drawn, and then we had to play again, and Donner blundered terribly. Hort beat Nunn in very good style, I believe. I shall study that a little more closely, when I get the book. The third time I participated I did not play any good games. But Gligoric played

7

one, and the youngest participant played two. In thirteen games there were three very good ones, plus some messy but exciting ones. Not a bad average. I think the way the games are presented on TV is rather good. Not that I should judge, for the programmes are not for grandmasters. But I have met people who liked them, people who did not know much more about chess than the rules. Half an hour is probably about maximum duration for a programme where you want the viewers to be really awake all the time (teachers say that their pupils can only concentrate for twenty minutes) and it is difficult to show a chess game much quicker. In other countries I have encountered the problem that the producer who was going to do chess on TV was always a new one! So he had to gain experience, starting from zero. Often he did not quite realise how difficult it was to make the demonstration board good enough, or some other beginner's problem like that. Now the BBC chess crew has made six of these series, and not only the producers, but also many of the studio technicians know exactly what it is all about. So the only danger I see is their becoming too self-satisfied, too conservative, too unwilling to get new ideas. Chess tournaments should be different, and I even think that a new series of the Master Game should be different from its predecessors. Maybe one year a match instead of a tournament. Or maybe in some way a larger selection of games from which only the most interesting would be chosen for broadcasting. Or maybe an obligatory opening? (The gambit tournaments disappeared with the beginning of World War One.) Or at least

some of the most popular openings could be forbidden. Or how about this one: 15-minute games where the players are not in the same room, and they have to comment during play! There are a few technical problems, that's all. You would get more honest comments. Or a junior tournament. Or a ladies' tournament. Or a clock simul! There are ideas enough. Let ten experts choose one game each from all the wonderful masterpieces of this century and explain what they like about this special game. Every time I have played The Master Game it has been very nice, with masters and TV people working together and afterwards talking a lot about everything between heaven and earth over a couple of couples of drinks. A good thing about the new formula is that the players know when the tournament ends. I shall always remember the day Donner beat Browne and looked completely bewildered. He had played badly recently and expected to be knocked out in the first round. Please, could he use a phone? Yes, just behind that door. He dialled Amsterdam, and it went something like: '- I'm sorry dear, but I won. - Yes, that means I have to stay till Wednesday.Yes, I know I promised, but I shall pay the babysitter. - Yes, I make more money this way. - Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, see you Wednesday. Bye: Mrs Donner is a judge, and he had promised to look after their little daughter while she concentrated on her work. It is not often you get to hear a chess master say: 'I'm sorry, I won: But then again, the Master Game is not like other tou rnaments. Bent Larsen

Preface

In this book there are two of the most astonishing stories not just of the Master Game series but of recent world chess. In the fifth series, on the one hand the almost legendary figure of Viktor Korchnoi, just back from his battle with Karpov for the World Championship; on the other, Vlastimil Hort, one of the strongest and most consistent players in the world today. Neither of them even reached the final. Instead, the West German grandmaster lothar Schmid diffidently offered first Korchnoi and then Stean draws which were contemptuously rebuffed, beat them both and went on to become the longest odds outsider ever to win the tournament. A year later Tony Miles, with victory over Karpov and seven firsts in a row behind him, was not even seeded first, so strong was the field. And there, in the other group, for no real reason other than we thought it was time the television public saw how he was progressing, was the fifteen-year-old schoolboy Nigel Short. What happened is a fairy story; a bruising tournament with a climax no novelist would have dared to write. During its six years, the Master Game has become firmly established not just as a television programme, but as a tournament in its own right the results of which are published all over the world. Since it went international for the third series, the list of

grandmasters who have accepted invitations is impressive: Anatoly Karpov, the world champion; Victor Korchnoi, runner-up in the last world championship; Bent larsen, Vlastimil Hort, Tony Miles, Svetozar Gligoric, Walter Browne, Robert Byrne, Michael Stean, John Nunn, all among the most formidable figures in the world of chess. What makes the series unique is the fact that the players' thoughts are heard as the games are shown. We are not going to tell you how we do this. All we will say is that the games do not all last exactly twenty-nine minutes, although the programmes do, and they are not played under the glare of the television lights. Even Hein Donner's equanimity might be tested by that while the more irascible players would undoubtedly inflict severe damage on the set. The men who solved the apparently intractable problem of how to present chess on television were the series' producer, Robert Toner, and the set designer, John Bone. What Toner wanted to avoid was magnetic pieces (that slip, fall, turn themselves upside down and generally, apart from looking awful, make a presenter's job a misery). What John Bone came up with was a glass-topped table on which all the moves are made by a cloaked and gloved figure. What you see

9

are the symbols on the bottom of those pieces - reflected, to get them back round the right way. The technicians in Bristol then solved another problem - how to point to squares and show what someone is talking about without moving the pieces - by producing an electronic pointer; a very simple box with a cat's-cradle of wiring that allows the commentators infinite scope to demonstrate the players' thoughts; all done with lights! As to the rest, it is done in secret sound studios late at night, and is all part of the black craft of tape recording and editing. None of this pressure affects the players. They play the games under strict rules. Forty moves in two hours, then all the rest of the moves in one hour, the time measured on the chess clock. Time, or lack of it, is an important element in chess, and it is referred to again and again by suffering players trying, effectively, to do simultaneous equations in their heads against the clock. A chess clock is really two clocks. When Black presses a switch on the top of his clock it starts White's. When White has played his move, he presses his switch to start Black's clock and so on. With five minutes to go, the minute hand begins to lift a flag. With a minute to go, it begins to drop and when time is reached the flag drops completely. If a player has not completed the stipulated number of moves by this 'time control' then he loses - on time. So much for the technicalities; now to the players and the games.

10

Reading the moves

1 P-K4 P-K4 2 N-KB3 N-QB3 3 B-B4 B-B4 is the descriptive notation familiar to many players, but the conversion to 1 e4 eS 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 BcS is the algebraic notation, used in the BBe Master Game series and in this book. Unlike descriptive notation, algebraic notation sees all squares and moves from White's viewpoint. As shown in the diagram below, the ranks (horizontal rows of squares) are numbered 1 to 8, starting with the rank where White's pieces begin the game. The files (vertical rows of squares) are lettered a to h, from left to right. The pieces are given their normal letters: K= King, Q= Queen, R= Rook, B= Bishop, N= Knight. Moves by a pawn simply show the square to which the pawn moves, thus 'e4' means pawn to e4. When a capture is made, algebraic notation shows the square where the capture takes place, rather than which piece is taken. Thus NxeS = knight captures on eS. Pawn captures show the file from which the capturing pawn comes, thus dxeS = pawn on d4 captures on eS. If either of two rooks, bishops or knights can legally make a capture, they are differentiated according to file or rank: thus if Black has rooks on b2 and b7 which can capture a white knight on bS, the capture by the rook b7 is written R7xbS. If the rooks are on as and cS, the capture by

the rook as is written RaxbS. The symbol + indicates check, and castling is written 0-0 (king's rook) or 0-0-0 (queen's rook). Diagrams in this book all have a notation key to help you follow the games. If you have not used algebraic before, or have seen it only in a Master Game broadcast, then you will find it helpful to go through one of the games purely to become completely familiar with the notation.

8 7

6 5 4

3 2

abc

d

e

9

h

11

The Master Game 1979 - Series Four

The Players

'Chess,' said the Dutch grandmaster, Jan Hein Donner, 'is as much a game of chance as blackjack; or tossing cards into a top hat.' There was a pained silence, then a polite babel of disagreement: it was a game of the utmost skill; a conflict between disciplined minds in which victory would inexorably go to the more perceptive, the more analytical player; a duel of the intellect in which luck played no part. Donner shrugged, lit another cigarette and said: 'Believe that if you like.' Bent Larsen smiled the smile of a man who had heard his old friend air such iconoclastic arguments in the past but was quite happy to contest them again when the score of the fifth game in the World Championship match between Karpov and Korchnoi was brought in. Both men pulled out of their inside pockets the wallet chess sets all grandmasters seem to carry at all times and began to skim through the moves. It happened that the teleprinter tape had been torn off after Karpov's 54th move as Black when the position was as opposite. They studied the position for a few moments, mated Karpov in four moves and were surprised when another whole sheet of moves was brought from the teleprinter. When they saw Korchnoi's 55th moveBe4+ - Larsen's eyebrows went up. 'There you are,' Donner said, quietly and

14

8 7 6 5 4 3 2

a

bed

e

9

h

without triumph as though some self-evident truth had been revealed, 'pure luck.' It was difficult to argue with him. The four moves that would have given Korchnoi that fifth game and perhaps changed the whole course of what became the Battle of Baguio City were: 55 Bf7+ Kc6 56 Qe6+ Kb5 (if 56 ... Kb7, then 57 Qxe7+ etc.) 57 Qc4+ Ka4 58 Qa6 mate. Korchnoi missed it, the game was drawn and the whole history of chess was, perhaps, for ever altered. One could argue that this terrible wound was self-inflicted, that luck had nothing at all to do with it; but then one is into the realm of semantics if not metaphysics in

defining what chance is. What it does demonstrate is that chess is not the dry, mathematically calculable game that some of the more tedious theoreticians would have us believe. If it were, computers would be better at it than they are. Like cricket, chess is more than just a game. Harry Golombek, perhaps the most lucid of current chess writers, has argued with elegance and passion that chess can be an art. If art is the distillation and expression of original ideas in an aesthetically pleasing manner, then chess can claim to be an art; maybe abstract, maybe minor, but an art none the less. And the extraordinary truth is that one can gain pleasure from playing through some games without fully understanding all the subtleties of the ideas unfolding behind the moves in much the same way as one can enjoy music without being able to play an instrument. For instance, no one who understands the basic moves of chess can fail to be enthralled by the brilliance of the combination with which Anderssen beat Kieseritzky in what came to be known as the Immortal Game. But once you have experienced the joy of those last seven moves, then play through the first sixteen moves again to enjoy the subtler delight of how Anderssen arrived at the position where he could execute such a deeply thought out brilliance. Anderssen v. Kieseritzky (King's Bishop Gambit) 1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Bc4 Qh4+ 4 Kf1 b5 5 Bxb5 Nf6 6 Nf3 Qh6 7 d3 Nh5 B Nh4 Qg5 9 Nf5 c6 10 Rg1 cxb5 11 g4 Nf6 12 h4 Qg6 13 h5 Qg5 14 Qf3 NgB 15 Bxf4 Qf6

Notice how as early as move 4 White

sacrificed the chance of castling in exchange for making Black's queen's life a misery on the king's side of the board. And then see how Black finishes after 14 ... Ng8 by being completely undeveloped again thanks to that premature queen foray. 16 Nc3 BeS This is the position after Black's 16th move. Before White's next move, study it and see if you can find a move that will inexorably mate Black in seven moves. Anderssen did it with a quite brilliant 17th move that was the inception of what has become known as the Immortal combination. And behind the idea, a series of breathtaking sacrifices aimed at putting Black's pieces on the wrong squares. 8 7 6

5 4

3 2

abc

d

e

9

h

17 Nd5!! Qxb2 18 Bd6 Qxa1 + (if 18 ... Bxd6 19 Nxd6+ Kd8 20 Nxf7+ Ke8 21 Nd6+ Kd8 22 Qf8 mate.) 19 Ke2 Bxg1 (if 19 ... Qxg1 20 Nxg7+ Kd8 21 Bc7 mate.) 20 e5 Na6 21 Nxg7 + Kd8 22 Qf6+ NxfG 23 Be7 mate. White has lost his queen, both rooks and a bishop as well as two pawns. Black has lost 15

nothing save three pawns - and, perchance, his king . There is an aesthetic appeal about that game; a clever idea beautifully expressed and executed that shows not only mastery of technique but vision . Anderssen could not have foreseen such elegance in the opening, but he had the awareness to compose the position from which he could launch that lethal combination. An interesting question is: when did Kieseritzky realise what was going to happen? If he did see the inexorable conclusion several moves before the end, then it was chivalrous of him to allow Anderssen to consummate his idea with the finality of mate rather than to resign, a chivalry Donner showed in his charming game with Larsen in the semi-finals of the fourth series . As few weekend painters would presume even to aspire to a Turner sunset , so few chess players can do more than dream of emulating Anderssen. Yet an awareness of the aesthetic as well as the technical aspect of chess does make the game easier. Beginners are often told that if they cannot think of anything else to do, then put a piece on a bette r square . Experts often have no clear long-term plan, sometimes difficulty even in finding something sensible to do next, hence Vlastimil Hort's mournful 'what shall I do? ' that runs through his comments like a Schumann refrain . But what is a 'better square'? After all, there are Sixty-four squares and they all look much alike. Donner' s view is simple. Before the start of a game , a laid-out chess board is in a state of equilibrium and harmony . White's first move produces discord. Thereafter each player is trying to impose his sense of order on the chaos caused by his

16

opponent, without either knowing what the other is trying to do . So, very often a 'better square' is simply one where a piece looks aesthetically more pleasing than it did before. Those who despise this view and think that at best chess is a conflict of logic and intellect, and at worse no more than a game, a gentle pastime for whiling away a winter's night, will delight in Donner' s record; an affair of sparkling and inventive victories on the one hand, and on the other, defeats little short of debacle . Donner was one of four grandmasters who had appeared previously in the Master Game to be invited to take part in the fourth series. The other three were Bent Larsen from Denmark and Tony Miles and John Nunn from England. They were joined by Hort from Czechoslovakia , Forintos from Hungary, O'Kelly from Belgium and Walter Browne from the USA.

Wa lter Browne

If Browne were ever to win the World Championship, and there are many who think that if a non-Russian is ever to win that title again, Browne could well be one of the leading contenders , then it will be a moot point whether he is the second American since the war or the first

Australian to win the title. He is always considered one of the strongest players in the USA, yet he was born in Sydney, Australia and has dual citizenship. He was only eight when he learned to play chess, thirteen when he joined the prestigious Manhattan Chess Club in New York, and seventeen when he won the US junior Championship. In 1968, Browne went back to Australia and won the national championship. A year later he tied for first place in the Asian Zonal to acquire his international master norm and only months later became a grandmaster after finishing equal second behind Boris Spassky in the San juan tournament. Before he went back to the USA in 1973, he had some outstanding successes in European tournaments: equal third at Malaga in 1970; equal second at Amsterdam a year later; the following year, first at Venice; and in 1972, fourth at Wijk-aan-Zee. In 1970 and 1972 he played top board for Australia in the Olympiads at Siegen and Skopje scoring 73.7% and 79.5% respectively. Along with his blossoming reputation as a chess player, Browne was also acquiring some notoriety for his conduct. He gives the impression of being for ever on the brink of exploding; the sort of man who might hurl a piece through a closed window or kick the board over if beaten, but much of his anger, and the alleged unsporting behaviour that had upset players and organisers alike, seems aimed much more at himself than anyone else. He is not a man who suffers fools gladly, and if the fool is himself, he punishes himself. Since 1974, he has certainly had fewer occasions for self recrimination. In 1974 he

won his first major international tournament at Wijk-aan-Zee, then in july of the same year won the US Championship at Chicago and a couple of months later, the first Pan American championship at Winnipeg. The following year at Mannheim he won the third International German championship, at Oberlin in june retained the US championship and, that also doubling as the US Zonal for the World Championship, qualified for the Interzonal. He is not exclusively a chess player. He also has some considerable reputation for being a successful gambler; during the fourth and fifth series of the Master Game, he passed most of his time away from the board looking for a good poker or backgammon school and after losing the final of the fifth series to Lothar Schmid, instantly challenged him to a five-minute game for the first prize money. Schmid, the longest odds outsider ever to win the tournament, obviously felt he had ridden his luck far enough and declined. Browne, who is one of the top dozen players in the world, was seeded fourth in the fourth series of the Master Game, behind Larsen, Hort and Miles. Before the tournament started he was confident, and with some reason, of reaching the final; but first, he had to play the Dutch grandmaster Hein Donner. Donner is one of the great characters of the chess world. He is a huge, almost Hemingwayesque figure, six feet six inches tall, with a beard. He chain smokes Camels and likes to talk as much as he likes to smoke, not just about chess but about politics, history, morality. He writes a column not just about chess but about whatever happens to be concerning him at the time, and he established himself as 17

Hein Donner

one of the true personalities of television chess the previous year with a charming game against his old friend and antagonist, Bent Larsen. They had drawn one game, had to play all the moves of the replay in just half an hour, and as the game unfolded the breadth and depth of their knowledge of the game was revealed. For instance, on move nine, Larsen recalled a game he had played against Ivkov in the Piatigorsky cup no less than eleven years previously when he had played pawn takes pawn. Since it was Larsen who had made the move, it became part of chess theory; in fact he was feeling unwell, and wanted no more than to simplify the game. Then a move later, Larsen thought that perhaps Donner wanted to follow a game from Las Palmas in which Adorjan almost achieved a winning position with Black against Karpov. Today Donner writes about rather than plays chess but he still has streaks of perverse originality that can produce spectacular wins and, when he is off form, equally spectacular disasters. But whatever the unorthodoxies he produces, his game is based on nearly forty years' experience 18

and success. He learnt to play chess on 22 August 1941; a date he remembers precisely. He returned home from school to find his mother in tears and his father, a prominent member of the Dutch judiciary, arrested and taken to Germany as a hostage. By the middle of the 1950s Donner was becoming a formidable player. In 1954 he won the Dutch championship, the first time for thirty-three years that Dr Max Euwe had not won the title, and then in 1956 and again in 1958 he finished ahead of Euwe to win the title. In 1957 he shared third place with Larsen in the zonal tournament at Wageningen, but lost the play-off by 2Y2-1 Y2 and three years later again failed narrowly to qualify for a place in the Interzonal after finishing equal first with Gligoric, Pomar and Portisch in the Madrid Zonal Tournament but losing the play-off. As well as his individual successes - his spectacular win over Lajos Portisch in 1968 is still remembered with pleasure - he has been a consistently successful member of the Dutch team, playing in no less than ten Olympiads and at Varna in 1962 beating the rising Bobby Fischer. In the fourth Master Game, he defeated the emerging Walter Browne too, after the American had blundered in an almost impregnable position . While Browne played Donner in the first round of the Fourth Series, Tony Miles played Alberik O'Kelly, John Nunn played Vlastimil Hort and Bent Larsen played Gyozo Forintos. After his spectacular final against Karpov in the Third Series, which he only lost in the most thrilling time scramble, Miles was strongly fancied to win the Fourth Series . Certainly it did not seem that his first-round opponent should pose too

many problems . Although he had been one of Europe's leading players just after the Second World War, O'Kelly had always lacked that little something that makes the difference between a grandmaster and a truly world-class player. During his best years, for instance in 1947 when he came first in the European Zonal at Hilversum and in the years after when he had a series of excellent tournament results, he was known for his clarity of vision and what Harry Golombek has described as a sort of super competence. Yet against the very

best, the Botvinniks and Tals, he seemed to lack any real resistance. Without totally giving up over the board play, during the sixties he played in fewer and fewer tournaments , concentrating instead on postal chess, writing about the game, and acting as arbiter. In the period 1961-6 he was the World Champion Correspondence Chess player and in 1966 and again in 1969 was arbiter in the two World Championship matches between Petrosian and Spassky. In 1974 he was arbiter in the Korchnoi-Karpov match in Moscow . His ancestry is interesting. The first

O'Kelly to go to Belgium was a British army officer who was an expert in mining. In 1720 he was sent for to supervise the pit props that were put in the mines at liege, for which task he was rewarded by being made a Count. The title passed on to Alberik O'Kelly, who was consistently Belgium's strongest player, winning the national title no less than seven times . Miles duly won after a bizarre position had been reached on the 17th move when all but one of O'Kelly's pieces - he was playing White - finished on black squares. At the time of the fourth Master Game series, many commentators were forecasting that Tony Miles would be a

Tony Miles

serious challenger for the World Championship match in 1981. He had become a grandmaster at the age of only twenty by winning a strong tournament in London to obtain his first norm and then going on to his second norm at Dubna. It was the natural continuation of a remarkable career in chess that began in 19

1968 when he won the British under-14 championship. In 1971 he won the British under-21 championship, scored 5112 out of 11 the following year in the British championship, was runner-up in the European Junior Championship to the Russian Romanishin and then in 1973 hit a purple patch by finishing fourth at Lone Pine behind Szabo, Browne and Bisguier, second in the World Junior Championship behind the Russian Alexander Belyavsky whom he beat, fourth in the British championship at Eastbourne and in the Hastings Premier beating Kuzmin and drawing with Tal. In 1974 he won the World Junior Championship at Manila, beating Alexander Kochiev in the penultimate round to achieve an unbeatable score and his international master title. At that time, he was a thorn in the side of the Russians; in twelve games against them, he won five and drew seven. His view of the Russians is ambivalent; at the same time as he scorns the computer-like production of top players - the Russians have more grandmasters than there are cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church - he is wistful about the fact that chess is not part of the school curriculum in England as it is in Russia. Brilliant though he is, Miles has always fiercely resisted being called a chess freak . Indeed, he played rugby well, still does play squash well, and once said he would happily give up chess for a good job in industry. Fortunately for English chess, that job has not materialised, and instead he makes a living out of chess and chess journalism . The second English player in the fourth series of the Master Game was John Nunn. At the age of twenty-three, he had just

20

John Nunn

become Britain's youngest and newest grandmaster, ranked fifth in this country. He learnt to play chess when he was only four, and is one of those rare people who have managed to combine a career - at university - with considerable success in the fierce competition of international chess . In 1975 he won the European Junior Championship and was equal first in the IBM Masters . He was at the beginning of a long, successful run . He is an original and resourceful player - there are not many who would deliberately fori: their own knights on a pawn as he did in his game against Miles in the second series - and the feeling was he would need to be to make any impact on his first-round opponent, Vlastimil Hort. In the first game, playing with the black pieces, Hort paid Nunn the compliment of playing for a draw almost from the beginning. Hort won the replay with the white pieces, reached the final, only to lose the fourth replay, in which all moves

had to be played in fifteen minutes each, not by a blunder or as the victim of a spectacular attack, but on time. Hort was unofficially ranked seventh in the world at the time the tournament was played, a rating he regarded as being meaningless. ' You are either world champion, or nothing,' he said, although few would agree with him that he amounts to nothi ng. The nearest he came to challenging for the World Championship itself was in 1976 when he came second in the Manila Interzonal to qualify for the Candidates match. He had played in the interzonals of 1967, 1970 and 1973 but until 1976 the nearest he had come to qualifying was in 1967 when he was just twenty-three and lost a play-off with Stein and Reshevsky after the exceptionally strong Sousse Interzonal. Hort was born in Kladno in Czechoslovakia and became a grandmaster when he was only twenty-one. He won the Czech Junior Championship in 1960 and

major wins every year between 1965 and 1976, except for 1970 when he played on board four for The Rest of the World against the USSR and scored 2%-1% against Polugayevsky. During that time he won the USA Open Championship in 1974 and the Hastings Premier twice in successive years, 1974/5 and 1975/6. He plays much of his chess nowadays in Cologne where he is a club professional, and helped the West German grandmaster, Robert Hubner, to prepare for his World Championship matches. In the last game of the first round, the Danish grandmaster Bent Larsen played the Hungarian Gyozo Forintos , beat him and eventually went on to win the tournament, but not before two delightful games against Hein Donner in the second of which Donner, instead of resigning, had the chivalry to allow Larsen to administer the coup de grace of checkmate . Donner and Larsen are old rivals and old friends and between them probably know more about the history of chess , its personalities and its theories than any other two people alive . Without doubt, Larsen is the strongest player never to have

Vlas timil Ha rt

1962 and the National Championship in 1970, 1972 and 1975. His list of international tournament successes is formidable with

Bent Larsen

21

won the World Championship . He did reach the semi-finals of the candidates stage three times : in 1965 he beat Ivkov but lost 2-3 with five draws against Tal; three years later he beat Portisch but lost to Spassky and then in 1971 he beat Uhlmann but lost to Fischer who, of course, went on to beat Spassky and win the championship himself. Larsen gives the impression of being a peaceful, almost rather slow man with a deep and gentle voice, but the manner is misleading. On the board he is rarely peaceful, unless feeling unwell, and his record shows that he has had considerably less draws than most grandmasters. Indeed he has been criticised for taking unnecessary risks to avoid draws. He makes a point of trying to avoid the well-trodden paths of theory and of trying to lead his opponents off into uncharted and unanalysed waters as quickly as possible. Hence Polugayevsky's comment that Larsen seemed eager to push rook pawns and Gligoric's observation that there were more flank attacks in Larsen's games than in those of most grandmasters. Larsen himself would agree; indeed, promises that one day he is going to write a book on the whole subject of rook pawns. What he likes about them is that they complicate the game and, if one attack is beaten off, then there is often scope for manoeuvres on the other side of the board . Larsen is such a fine player that hundreds of thousands of words have been written about him and his style, and he admits that not everything that has been written about him is nonsense . He would agree, for instance, that he is not a combinative player in the way Tal is or that he would accept bad positions in the way

22

Tal would because there were tactical possibilities . In many ways, he is a purist who will not play variations he suspects are bad, just for their surprise value, but he will often employ variations that theoreticians have rejected, and to produce an improved line of a variation that has been commonly dismissed can be quite devastating . If asked which is his best game or tournament, Larsen simply smiles and says it has not been played yet; perhaps it never will be played unless he wins the World Championship for which, in spite of the swelling ranks of the young tigers, he is going to be a serious contender for some years yet. This, then, is the man Gyozo Forintos had to play in the first round. Forintos is one of those players who seemed almost unobtrusively to become a grandmaster which he did in 1974, no less

Gyozo Forintos

than eleven years after he gained his international master's title and six years after he became Hungarian champion . He appeared only briefly in this tournament, a quiet, neat, rather small man who played Larsen and then courteously and quietly returned to Hungary.

Round One Alberik Q'Kelly 0-1 Tony Miles John Nunn Yl,O- Yl, 1 Vlastimil Hort Walter Browne 0-1 Jan Hein Donner Gyozo Forintos 0-1 Bent Larsen

So, curiously, all players who drew the black pieces for their first games succeeded in passing through to the semi-finals. Game 1: Alberik O'Kelly - Tony Miles ../ Queen's Indian Defence

A game which was made to look really one-sided by Miles's powerful attacking play, but the Belgian grandmaster played far too passively throughout. 1 c4 b6 2 d4 e6. Q'KELL Y: So he's trying to playa Nimzo-Indian without the move Nf6. What shall I do? Well, the normal move is e4 but I expect that he must have found an improvement on the game that he lost a few days ago against Browne in Tilburg, so let's play simply, Nf3.

to play simply. Let's go to the Queen's Indian with g3.

4 g3. MILES: Now there are many possibilities. Bb7 is normal - let me see - he writes a lot about the game and probably knows most about what's currently fashionable. That's Bb7 and Be7 so I'll play something different. I'll attack c4.

4 ••• Ba6. Q'KELL Y: So you're attacking my pawn; I have to protect it. There are several possibilities. I can protect with Qa4 or Qc2, but I'll play simply: b3.

5 b3. MILES: Yes, now White wants to develop his bishop to b2, so I'll give him an annoying little check on b4 and try to deflect him.

3 Nf3.

5 ..• Bb4+.

MILES: Qh, we're going to transpose into a boring Queen's Indian. Still, nothing can be done about it. I must move Nf6.

Q'KELL Y: I just remember a game won by Smyslov with Black against Uhlmann when 6 Nbd2 was played. It's probably safer to interpose the bishop.

3 ••• Nf6. Q'KELL Y: Perhaps I should consider playing Bf4, that's my opponent's speciality. He won a good game against Spassky in the wine tournament in Montilla, but I prefer

6 Bd2. MILES: That's good. Now I don't want to exchange on d2 because that would only develop another white piece, so I play my 23

bishop back to el and hope that his bishop is misplaced. 6 ••• Be7. O'KELLY: My bishop is not so nice on d2, but I won't move it again at this stage. Let's develop simply. 7 Bg2. MILES: Now Bbl is possible, dS is possible, c6 is an interesting move; play dS later and if necessary recapture with the c-pawn. I quite like it.

7 ... e6. O'KELLY: Interesting idea. My Q-side is a little bit weak so it's not so easy to develop the Q-Knight because he might jump in on the weak squares with a bishop. Let's castle.

8 0-0. MILES: Now my idea's to play dS, but I also need to castle. Which move do I play first? I don't think it makes any difference. I'll play dS.

the c-pawn. It's not pleasant to take in the centre but I've probably no option. I remember a game that I won with Black against the late Ossip Bernstein about twenty-five years ago. He also took in the centre, but here I've no option.

10 exdS. MILES: That's nice. I expected NeS but I would have played Nfdl with a fairly easy position. Now White releases the tension I'm sure Black has a very easy position probably a little better already. Now I like cxdS, that's my style. I think the American Grandmaster Lombardy claimed that exdS was good for Black but I don't believe that.

10 •.. exdS. With both Black bishops more aggressively placed than White's, the central pawn exchange has left him with the easier game. The next few moves saw O'Kelly adopting defensive measures against Ne4 and Ba3.

11 Qb1 Nc6 12 a3 Re8 13 Re1.

8 ... dS. O'KELLY: He's threatening my pawn again. Well, let's ignore the threat for one move.

8 7

9 Ne3.

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MILES: Now if I take on c4, he recaptures and after Bxc4 he has NeS. That attacks my bishop and my pawn on c6 and I can't play BdS because of e4, so I'd have to move the bishop back and then Nxc6 and I lose material. So I can't take on c4 for the moment, but if I castle first then I think I'm really threatening him.

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9 ... 0-0. O'KELLY: Now I must do something about

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MILES: Now a plan, my kingdom for a

plan. Maybe Nd7 and Bf6, but I don't know. On Nd7 maybe he can play e4. I can't give him so much time yet. That's annoying, but he hasn't got any sensible moves either. Possibly another idea for me is Bd6 and Qe7, then I have some pressure against the Q-side. I don't know; against Bd6 he might still be able to play e4, then maybe he'll have Ng5 attacking h7. I need a good waiting move, maybe ReB. The rook will be useful there later on; it may allow me to regroup. 13 . .. Re8.

O'KELLY: What are you up to? Seems to be waiting for a mistake. /t's not easy, my bishop is out of play, the d-pawn needs protection from the knight. I have two possibilities here: either Bf1 or e3. If I play e3 it locks in the bishop on d2. What shall I do? Let's play e3 and have a look at what will happen later.

14 e3. MILES: Now that I like. Both his bishops are now fairly bad. Can I play Bd6? I don't know, maybe he can still play e4 and if I take twice he'll recapture with the queen; my knight on c6 is loose and he may still have Ng5. I think I need another waiting move. Maybe just h6 so that I won't have the worry of Ng5 at the end. He's still not doing anything. He's having terrible trouble finding moves and he's taking a long time over it. Another waiting move is good.

14 . .. h6. O'KELLY: He just waits. What shall I do? Probably the safest way is Bf1, proposing an exchange, but it's very passive because he might enter on the white squares later. It's not easy to find a move. I might even play Ne5 - it's no good, he would take it

off and his knight would attack my pawn. Let's wait and see.

15 Qb2. MILES: That's nice, there's no longer control over e4. I can even think of putting my knight there, but I like myoId plan, Bd6 and Qe7 looks nice. I don't have to worry about e4 any more and I get nice pressure against the Q-side.

15 . .. Bd6. O'KELLY: That's unpleasant, he's threatening e5. I should have thought about that before. My two bishops are bad. Maybe I could playa counter-attack on the Q-side. That's the general strategy against a central thrust. Let's try it.

16 b4. Strange logic by O'Kelly; the normal recommendation is for action in the centre to counter a wing attack. This move puts his last pawn on a black square. The threat of b5 is easily countered and White is left with disastrous weaknesses on the light squares.

16 ... Bd3 17 Nel Bc4 18 Bfl Bxfl 19 Kxfl e5! 8 7 6

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Exchange of bishops has left the white squares defenceless. Miles opens the ~ame for the decisive attack. O'Kelly's men, In their draughts board posture, are in no position to offer much resistance. O'KELLY: Very strong move. He might enter on the e-fiJe. If I take, the knight takes back and enters on the white squares. It's very bad, probably already lost. Well, let's try Nb5.

20 Nb5. MILES: Now I could probably play e4 and then build up on the K-side. That's probably strong but I'd like to open the position a bit because his pieces are all stuck on the Q-side.

20 .•. exd4. A' KELL Y: If I play Nxd6, Qxd6 then b5, he takes on e3. The king's too exposed. I must take back.

21 Nxd4. MILES: Right, I take on d4 and he can't take with the queen because of Be5.

O'KELLY: There's probably no defence. He threatens Qh3+ with a winning attack. Well, let's play Kg2.

24 Kg2. MILES: That stops Qh3 +, but Re2 looks very strong. Then I pin his bishop and pawn. My knight's going to e4 and the queen's coming to f5. That must be winning.

24 ... Re2. O'KELLY: Very unpleasant. Many threats here, the main one being Ne4. The position is lost. 25 Nf3.

MILES: Now Ne4100ks very strong, but wait, Ng4 is much better. Then the only way to protect the f2 pawn is Rf1, when I have Ne3+. His pawn's pinned against his king, and the bishop against the queen. So he can't take it and I win the exchange. No, more! He must play Kg1 and then I have Qh3 and that's mate next move on g2 or f1. Check once more: Ng4 and if he tries Rc1, I have Qf5. That doesn't help.

21 • • • Nxd4 22 exd4.

25 •.. Ng4.

MILES: Now in such positions my queen belongs on a white square and there's only one for it. That's d7, it's very strong.

O'KELLY: I overlooked that. I cannot play Rf1 to protect the f-pawn because of Ne3+. There's nothing to be done.

22 ••• Qd7.

O'KELLY: Let's exchange one of the rooks.

23 Rxc8. MILES: Now RxcB is normal but I want the rook on the e-fi/e. If the queen takes on cB I threaten Qh3 and Re2. This is very strong, he must let one of my pieces in.

23 ••• Qxc8.

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26 Resigns.

Game 2:

13 Rae1.

John Nunn - Vlastimil Hort / Petroff's Defence

HORT: I expected this move and I have to be very careful because White threatens to win the game immediately with Rxe7 and Qh4. I can't play Bd7 and I'm afraid to play Be6 because the f-pawn starts to march, f4 and f5 and that is very bad for me. I don't like it much but I have to change the bishops.

Hort made it clear at the start that he was not willing to take any chances playing for a win with the black pieces. Adopting the solid Petroff, he played for equality but found himself very much on the defensive after the opening. 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 Nxe4 4 Bd3 d5 5 Nxe5 Bd6 6 0-0 0-0 7 Nd2 Nxd2 8 Bxd2 Nc6 9 Nxc6 bxc6 10 Qh5. White makes good use of his extra tempo to threaten mate and induce a weakness in the black king's defences. 10 ••• g6 11 Qh6 Re8. NUNN: If I could get rid of Black's only active piece, I would have a distinct advantage, so I think I'll go Bg5 here. Then if he interposes his bishop on e7, I can swap them off. 12 Bg5. HaRT: I was afraid of this. Now I cannot play f6 because White sacrifices his bishop on g6 and wins immediately, I will be mated. I have to exchange the black-colour bishops.

12 ••• Be7. NUNN: I can exchange immediately here, but he recaptures with the queen and I can't occupy the e-file with my rook. I think a little trick is in order; I'll play the rook to the e-file straight away. Then if he takes on g5, I'll exchange rooks on e8 and recapture with the queen on g5. That way I exchange off his active rook on e8 as well as his active bishop.

13 ••• Bxg5 14 Rxe8+ Qxe8 15 Qxg5. HaRT: What shall I do? I succeeded to change some pieces but still I am afraid my pawn structure is very unsatisfactory. My Q-side is a little weak and so I have to defend. I am afraid to play Bd7 because then White has Qf4 attacking the pawn on c7. Better to play to e6.

15 ••• Be6. NUNN: I must decide how to make progress. It's very tempting to advance my f-pawn; if I manage to get it as far as f5 then Black will have serious problems. That looks the most effective idea.

16 f4. HaRT: Now I have to change queens.

16 ••• Qd8. NUNN: Well, he's offering the exchange of queens. I have to think what combination of pieces I want left on the board. I think that in view of Black's slightly weakened K-side, it will be better for me to have queens on the board to preserve some attacking possibilities. I'd like also to preserve the pin on the g-pawn to make the threat of f5 stronger, so I'll retreat my queen down the g-file.

17 Qg3.

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HORT: That move is very clever because I cannot now attack the pawn on d4. If I attack this pawn by Qf6 then f5 comes and I'm under very strong attack. I can take on d4 with check, but after Kh1 my pawn on c7 is still hanging and I'm almost losing. I have only one move.

17 . .. Qd6. NUNN: He prevents me from playing f5 because of the possible exchange of queens. I have to keep running away with the queen. Where can it find a good square? f2 looks promising because that supports the thrust f5 and also prevents Black from playing c5. First of all I think I'll force him to put his queen on a more passive square by going to h4 with my queen. I think he'll oppose queens by going back to dB and that will make it more difficult for him to play his rook on aB over to the e-fi/e.

18 Qh4 Qd8 19 Qf2. HORT: That's now very dangerous. f5 is a threat and I have to do something about it. Well, I am not afraid to come to the rook endgame with my bad pawn structure. Lasker once said that all rook endgames are drawish so I will try to make a little attack against d4 as well.

19 . .. Qf6. NUNN: Well, if I play f5 here, that just leads to everything being exchanged off. I do have a definite advantage here, but it's difficult to make progress.

20 Re1. Hort was clearly very worried by his position at this stage. With Q-side pawn weaknesses and White threatening an

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attack on the other wing by means of ReS and fS he is forced to defend precisely. Usually attacking chances on both wings together with the superior bishop will give excellent winning chances to White in such positions.

20 ... Rb8 21 b3 Re8 22 ReS Kf8. NUNN: I didn't expect to get such a good position against a strong player like Vlastimil Hort, but again White has trouble making progress. It would be rather nice to play c4 in some positions. If he exchanges, his Q-side pawns are more exposed. Of course, my own d4 pawn would be rather weak, but perhaps that's not so important. First of all, I think I must consolidate. I'll put my queen on the e-file behind the rook.

23 Qe3. Well, White had to make his choice now. I think I was a little bit lucky because I was afraid very much of the move Qd2 and then the queen would come to the e1-a5 diagonal and my pawns would be very exposed. I don't know what I would do after 23 Qd2. I am a little bit happy now

because I see that my opponent might not find the right plan. Of course, I move my bishop right away.

23 •.• 8d7. Having missed the right plan of preparing an attack on the Q-side pawns with Qd2 and a later QaS, Nunn was given no further chance to increase his advantage. By move 26 Hort thought his position good enough to offer a draw. Nunn declined, but seven moves later realised that there was no point in continuing.

24 c4 dxc4 25 8xc4 Qd6 26 RxeS+ 8xeS 27 Qe5 f6 2S Qc5 8f7! Exchanging queens would have left Black with a very difficult bishop endgame to defend. Hort realises that he can ignore the attack on a7.

Sicilian; I prefer to play something unusual for my opponent because now the game lasts only one hour and so I will try a move that I always used here in England with success .

2 c3. NUNN: This is rather unusual. I won't have the chance to play my favourite Najdorf variation. In fact I've never had to face this move before so I face the problem of finding the correct moves in something I don't know very well. I'll try to choose something which has a fairly strategiC theme and not get embroiled too much in opening theory.

2 ••• dS.

29 Qxa7 8xc4 30 bxc4 Qxf4 31 Qa3+ KeS 32 Qc3 KdS 33 h3 draw agreed.

HORT: This move I also know quite well; it is defended by many Soviet players. This move opens the centre and what I like is that the game loses its Sicilian character and gets some character of a game where my opponent's knowledge might be a little weaker. I have to take.

Game 3:

3 exdS QxdS 4 d4 e6 5 Nf3 Nf6 6 8e2.

Vlastimil Hort - John Nunn Sicilian Defence

NUNN: I've got to make the decision at some point when to exchange those pawns on d4. I prefer not to do it immediately because if I take on d4 with my pawn, then White recaptures with his pawn on c3 and can later gain a tempo attacking my queen with Nc3. So I think I'll delay this exchange and just continue development.

Under the rules of the competition, each player had one hour on his clock for this replay. Hort wisely chose an opening variation with which he was more familiar than his opponent. Nunn ran short of time trying to solve the problems of his position, finally succumbing to Hort's systematic endgame pressure. An instructive lesson in the art of capitalising on small positional advantages. 1 e4 c5.

HORT: I don't like normal lines in the

6 ... 8e7. HORT: That's an interesting move. My opponent still hesitates to take on d4. I think I might try to change the strategy and to play for majority on the Q-side. I will get three pawns to two on the Q-side and later support it by play of pieces.

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7 c4 Qd8 8 0-0 cxd4 9 Nxd4. NUNN: I would like to castle in this position but I'm a little worried that White might play Nb5. Then if the queens are exchanged there will be the danger of his knight coming to c7 and trapping my rook on a8. I think that if I castle and White plays Nb5, I can defend by just playing my knight from b8 to d7. Castles seems safe enough.

9 •.• 0-0. HORT: Actually I received what I wanted in this game. I have some small advantage as my opponent had in our first game and I can play on the Q-side. I have to watch for e5 and I have to place my pieces very properly. 10 Nc3. Black's problem now is the development of his Q-side pieces. Nunn refrained from playing Nc6 fearing the weakness of the isolated pawns resulting from a knight exchange. The plan he chose avoided creating weaknesses, but did nothing to lessen the White pressure against the Q-side. 10 ••• a6 11 Bf4 Nd7 12 Bg3 (avoiding the threat of 12 ... e5) Nc5 13 Bf3 Qb6. HORT: That is an active move. I have to watch the d-file because now Black threatens the pawn at b2 and he threatens to come with his rook to d8. That would be very uncomfortable, so Qc2 or Qe2. I don't know - I'll play Qc2 but I am not sure this move is right. 14 Qc2. NUNN: The knight on d4 is undefended but there doesn't seem to be any way to

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exploit it. I think I must continue with my plan of development. 14 ••. Bd7. HORT: There is no other way how Black can get his pieces into the game, but now I have to concentrate on the position of the knight on c5. So Rb1 preparing b4. 15 Rab1. NUNN: This is a very awkward move to meet. The knight on c5 has no retreat square, and White just threatens to trap it by advancing his pawn to b4. Perhaps I could blockade by Qb4, but that would only delay the evil moment. White would just defend the attacked pawn on c4 with b3, and then he will have all sorts of nasty threats, attacking the queen with moves like a3 and after Qxa3, b4 hitting the knight, knight moves, Rb3 and I've lost my queen. No, I can't allow that. It's a very difficult decision to make but I think that unfortunately I must play my pawn to a5. It's very unpleasant to allow these white knights to come into b5 attacking the sensitive black squares. The white bishops look very active on these diagonals. I think the position is turning against me but still a5 must be played. 15 •.• a5 16 Rfd1 Rac8 17 Qe2 Rfe8 18 Ndb5.

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HORT: / could have expected that, but / can do the same, so / will come with my king into the game.

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23 Kfl.

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NUNN: / have the opportunity here to exchange one pair of rooks, so /'11 play rook to dB.

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Since Nunn refrained from exchanging pawns at move six with cxd4, he had never felt comfortable. Now the black position has become critical with the white pieces all bearing down uncomfortably on the weakened Q-side. NUNN: My only hope is to exchange as many pieces as possible, seeking my salvation in the endgame just as my opponent did in our first game. /'11 try to get rid of bishops first.

18 ... Be6 19 b3 Bxf3 20 Qxf3 Qe6 21 Qxe6 Rxe6. HORT: Now my endgame is surely better because of the square b5 and pawn majority on the Q-side. Still, / have to cover e4 because Black has an opportunity to jump there.

22 f3. NUNN: The rot has certainly set in. / just

don't seem to have any active possibilities at all. Well, if / can't think of anything better to do / might as well move my king nearer to the centre. 22 . .. Kf8.

HORT: Black defends still very well. He is trying to exchange all the pieces. / think that / will still have an advantage but / don't like it - maybe / already spoiled it a little bit. / just have to continue and see what will happen. So / will attack his rook and a7 pawn. 24 Be7.

NUNN: The only way to avoid losing a pawn is to exchange. 24 . .. Rxdl+ 25 Rxdl.

NUNN: At last / have the opportunity for one active move, even if it's only a little tiny bit active. / can play my pawn to a4 attacking the pawn on b3. White can't take this pawn because after bxa4 just Na6 attacks both the bishop on c7 and pawn on c4.

25 •.• a4. HORT: Yes that's unpleasant. Black gets rid of one weak pawn. / think this game may also be drawn. / can't take on a4 because my c-pawn is very weak, so / just have to defend the pawn.

26 Rbl. The exchange of Black's a-pawn certainly eased his defensive problems, but now John Nunn had less than ten minutes remaining on his clock. As Hort now

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demonstrates, the white Q-side pawn majority, aided by his well-placed pieces, still make the black position very uncomfortable. 26 • • • axb3 27 axb3 Ne8 28 8e5. NUNN: The position is still worse for me but perhaps not completely hopeless now. I must still try to exchange some pieces and of course that horrible knight on b5 which has been annoying me for so long must be a prime candidate for being swapped off. So I'll bring this knight on e8 back into the game and also offer the exchange.

28 ••• Nd6. HORT: My opponent continues in his plan, but now I must calculate very properly because the position starts to be critical. I cannot, of course, play b4 because then my c-pawn would be hanging and Black would play Nxc4 and he would be better. I have to set my pawns in motion. I will play for a forced variation; maybe it brings success, but I cannot risk much. The game can be drawn, but I don't think that I am in danger of losing. 298xd6. NUNN: Vlastimil thought a long time over that move. I'm sure it's a good one. Still, I've relatively little time left, so there's no point in hesitating over obvious moves.

29 .•• 8xd6.

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In fact Hort's exchange of bishop for knight was the start of a delicately calculated sequence designed to advance the pawns to bS and cS. The threat to create a passed pawn then makes life very difficult for Black. 30 b4 Na6 31 Nxd6 Rxd6 32 Ne4! Rd4 33 b5 (the knight on e4 takes away the cS square from Black's knight) Nb8. HORT: Now I want to see whether my opponent might fall into the trap I prepare for him. 34 c5. NUNN: Not much time to think about my move here. That knight on e4 is very strong; I must try to get rid of it at any costs so that I can counter these dangerous pawns rushing forward on the Q-side.

34 .•. f5. HORT: Oh, I am lucky, because I think my opponent is falling into the trap. Let us play quickly and hope that my calculation was right. Ng5 trying to hit e6 and hl simultaneously. 35 Ng5.

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win will not escape me. I pin the knight.

NUNN: Threatening Nxe6+ forking my king and rook. I must defend that e-pawn even if it means the h7 one going. At least the white knight will be out of play if it captures on that square. I'll bring my king nearer the Q-side pawns.

NUNN : Yes, that's the point. He wins the knight without losing his pawn. I'll playa couple more moves.

35 • • • Ke7.

42 ••• Rc4.

HORT: Everything goes according to plan .

HORT : That was forced move because otherwise I would play c7 and win the rook for my pawn. But now I can still make profit of my advanced pawn .

36 Re1. NUNN: I can 't defend this pawn on e6. That's very annoying, but perhaps I have one little piece of tactics left. I'll advance my e-pawn and then if White takes it with his rook, I can play Kf6 hitting both rook and knight. It's my only chance.

36 .•• e5. HORT: Oh I am very happy because it seems to me that my opponent is really falling into the trap. Of course he has not so much time left so I have just to continue to play quickly.

37 Rxe5+ The next few moves confirmed that Hort had indeed calculated more deeply and accurately than his opponent.

42 Rd8!

43 cxd7.

NUNN : He threatens now just to move his rook away and promote the pawn . /t 's necessary for me to attack this pawn with my rook.

43 • •• Rd4. But the rest was very easy for Hort. He simply exchanged d-pawn for f-pawn , leaving himself with an easily won endgame with two extra pawns. Nunn did not prolong the game longer than necessary.

44 Rf8 Rxd7 45 Rxi5 resigns .

37 • •• Kf6 38 Re8 Nd7 39 Nxh7 + Kg6 40 c6! bxc6 41 bxc6. NUNN: It looks very bad now. This pawn is going to go straight forward and make a queen . Still, I'll just take the knight and see what happens .

41 ••• Kxh7. HORT: Now if I take on d7, Black recaptures with his rook and even though I have one pawn more the game should be a draw. But I have now very strong move which I saw many moves ago. I think the

Game 4: Walter Browne· Jan Hein Donner Pirc Defence Browne's time trouble was the culprit in this game. The opening was undeniably favourable to White, though the advantage was small. Trying to maintain his pressure cost the American grandmaster too much time on the clock . A miscalculation at move 21, followed by an outright blunder

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just before the time control, gave Donner the chance to cause the only real upset of the first round.

go to e6, NgS will be good enough I suppose. I must give the two bishops, that is unpleasant.

1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 S Be20-0 60-0 Bg4 7 Be3 Ne6 8 Qd2 eS.

14 ..• Bxf3.

This quiet system for White against the Pirc Defence has been popularised by Karpov. White is content just to keep his opponent a little cramped, hoping for a permanent advantage in space. The choice now lies between central exchanges or advancing with 9 dS. Browne chooses the simpler plan.

9 dxeS dxeS 10 Rad1 Qe8 11 Qe1 Rd8 12 Rxd8+ Qxd8 13 Rd1 Qf8.

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BROWNE: Of course this is the only move. I don't want to take back with the pawn, there's no point in ruining my K-side structure. I'll simply take with the bishop and then maybe later I'll retreat back to e2 and then to c4.

lS Bxf3. DONNER: Now I have lost control of the square dS. He has a threat here. If I play Rd8, can he play NbS? Let me see; Rd8, NbS, Rxdl+, Qxdl, then Qb4 attacking the pawn on b2 and knight on bS. That looks not bad. The knight is protecting this square d8 to avoid a check. But no, no, I see it, in that variation he takes with the knight at a7 and when I take back with the knight he has a very unpleasant check at d8. This line is impossible. Have I other possibilities? Well, after NbS I can always defend with the queen. Not nice, but I don't see anything else.

lS ... Rd8.

Despite the symmetry of the pawns, White's more effectively placed bishops give him the advantage. Many grandmaster games have shown how easily Black can drift into difficulties from this position.

BROWNE: Well, this is a very welcome surprise. I expected a6, as Adorjan played against me last year in Lanzarote. I guess the twenty-three minutes I've spent on the clock have helped me, since he is trying to equalise with this move and didn't really suspect the very strong move I'm going to play.

14 h3.

16 NbS.

DONNER: That is what I was a little afraid of. I have to give up the two bishops now. To retreat with the bishop is bad: it can't

DONNER: That is not pleasant; it's the variation I considered. I must protect the pawn at c7. The pawn on a7 is not directly

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attacked because I can cut off his bishop with b6. Do I have to exchange rooks immediately? I'll play the queen to e7 first.

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16 ... Qe7.

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BROWNE: That's a surprise. I expected Rxdl +. Can't I take his rook and then his a-pawn? Maybe he could play RxdB+, QxdB, Nxa7, Nxa7, Bxa7, b6 threatening QaB. That's too dangerous. I've got to guard d4; maybe I should play c3, but should I trade rooks first? Maybe trade rooks, then play Qdl, and if he takes, I'll take back, then if Nxe4, Bf3, then Nd6 I could play Bxc6, bxc6, Nxa7 and then I'll win his c-pawn winning a pawn. I'll take the rook.

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17 Rxd8+. DONNER: I like changing pieces in this position. Without rooks his two bishops are not so dangerous as with rooks on the board.

17 ... Qxd8 18 Qd1 Qb8. Carefully avoiding the line which Browne had prepared: 18 ... Qxd1 + 19 Bxd1 Nxe4 20 Bf3 Nd6 21 Bxc6 bxc6 22 Nxa7, Donner keeps queens on the board. Now Browne must still work to make anything of his more active position.

19 c3 a6 20 Na3 Qe8.

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BROWNE: What does he want with this move? Does he want to play Qd7, Nd7 or just Qe6? Or maybe later he wants to move his knight then play Qc6. I don't know. Maybe I should attack his b-pawn and then after NdB I can play Nc4. Let's try it.

21 Qb3. DONNER: That's a remarkable move. My knight at c6 is not very well placed and now I can bring it to better squares via a5, and I attack his queen. When I play Na5, he plays the queen to b4, I play b6, then he must take Bxb6. Is that possible? If he gets three pawns perhaps, but he doesn't! After Na5, Qb4, b6, Bxb6, I play knight back to c6 and he gets only two pawns for the bishop. So this is probably a good move.

21 ••• NaS. BROWNE: Of course, he could play this. It was silly of me not to use more time. I was thinking too much of the clock instead of the position. Now if I play Qb4, he plays b6, and then Bxb6, Nc6. If I play c4 then he might even play Nc6 and come later into d4 which is ridiculous. This isn't what I

35

wanted. Why did I play this last move so quickly? Well, I have to retreat. Qc2 or Qd1, but if I go to c2 I can't move my knight there; I want to play Nc2 so I can go to e1 and d3 later.

22 Qd1. DONNER: His previous move was not a success, because after Nc6 I have the same position. But let me use the opportunity to get my knight on better squares. It is the square dB which all the time needs protection. I'm going to try to bring the knight via bl.

22 ... b5. Having been presented with two free moves, Donner has taken the chance to improve his position. With the game now approximately level, Browne continued to try for some Q-side initiative by advancing his b- and c-pawns.

23 b4 Nb7 24 c4 h5. A very useful move, preventing any later Bg4 while also preparing Kh7 and Bh6 to exchange Black's inactive bishop.

25 Qd3 c6 26 Nc2 Qe6 27 cxb5 axb5 28 Qc3 Kh7 29 Ne1 Bh6 30 Bxh6 Kxh6. Now Black's position is perfectly satisfactory. His pawns at eS and c6 are easily defended and White has little chance to use his bishop effectively. Browne decided on a last try for the initiative by forcing his a-pawn forward to a4.

31 Nd3 Nd7 32 Bd1 f6. BROWNE: This isn't what I expected. What can he play on a4? He takes, I take back and threaten c6. Then he has to retreat; it must be better for me. Let's try, maybe he'll allow me to play a5.

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33 a4 bxa4 34 Bxa4. DONNER: I've only one move, I must protect the c-pawn.

34 ••• Nd8. BROWNE: Of course, he protected the pawn the right way. Now maybe Nc5 is good. He must take, I take back threatening QfB+; he can play Kgl, and if Qal + he can play Qfl and how do I continue? I could play Qb6 instead of checking on al, but then maybe just Qd6. How do we make progress? Bb3, Qd6 nothing. Must be something else. If b5, takes, bishop takes, NfB, Qcl and suddenly I attack his knight. Where can he go? He plays Nf7, I play Bc4. That looks very strong.

35 b5 Nb6. BROWNE: I thought he couldn't play this. I take on c6, he takes on a4, I have a check, then cl. What will he do then? He has to play QcB, I take on dB, he takes back, I play Bb3, he plays Qd6, then what do I do? Nothing special. Maybe I could check him first and then Nc5. Doesn't look too clear. I'm running short of time, I have to make a move. Let's take.

36 bxc61 DONNER: He takes the pawn. That's bad, that's very bad. He has overlooked something. He must have overlooked something.

36 . .. Nxa4. BROWNE: Could play cl right away, but then he has Nxc3, I take the knight and that's probably a draw. Maybe I have something more. Let's play the check.

37 Qc1+ Kg7.

Game 5:

BROWNE: Well, I must play c7; or maybe I can play Qa3. What does he do? If Nb6, Qa7+; if Qxc6 then Qe7+ wins the knight.

Gyozo Forintos - Bent Larsen Old Indian Defence

38 Qa3. What Browne has been consistently overlooking is that c7 could always be met by Nc6 shielding the c8 square and preventing the pawn from queening. But this move is another miscalculation played under extreme time pressure. DONNER: That is a ridiculous move. He's crazy. He just blunders the piece away. 38 ••• Qxc6. BROWNE: Oh, if I play Qe7+ he has Nfl. My goodness . .. unbelievable mistake. What else can I do? I'll attack his queen; that's the only chance. 39 Nb4. DONNER: What is this? Am I overlooking things? I'm a piece up. Why doesn't he resign? He has absolutely nothihg. 39 ••• Qd7. Of course, Donner was overlooking nothing. He did not have long to wait for the resignation. Browne reached the time control then counted the pieces. 40 Nd5 Ne6 41 Qf3 Qf7 42 Resigns.

A slow positional game which stayed more or less level until the last move of the time control. With little time for his 40th move, Forintos made a careless error which allowed Larsen's queen to penetrate. After that White's whole game collapsed rapidly. 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 e4 e5 5 Nge2 Be7 6 g3 a6 7 Bg2 h5 (Larsen likes to attack with rooks' pawns. Here the relatively closed central position justifies such wing manoeuvres) 8 h4 c6 9 d5 cxd5 10 Nxd5 Nxd5 11 cxd5 Nf6 12 a40-0 13 Nc3 Bd7 14 Bg5 Ng4 15 Bxe7 Qxe7 16 Qd2 Rac8 17 0-0 QdB 1B a5 b5 19 Na2 (White's exchange of two pairs of minor pieces has eased the cramp in Black's game. The position is level: White now tries to create pressure against the a-pawn by bringing his knight to b4) 19 ••• Rc4 20 Nb4 Rd4 21 Qe1 QaB 22 b3 RcB 23 f3 Nf6 24 Rf2 Rc5 25 Rd1 Rxd1 26 Qxd1 Rc3 27 Na2 Rc7 28 Rc2 Qa7 + 29 Kh2 Rxc2 30 Qxc2 g6 31 Nb4 Kg7 32 Qc3 NgB 33 Bf1 f5 34 exf5 Bxf5 35 Kg2 Ne7 36 Be2 Qb7 (attacking the d-pawn to force the white queen from her post on the c-file) 37 Qd2 Kh7 38 Bd3 Bxd3 39 Qxd3 QcB.

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Now after 40 Qd2 neither side has many prospects of winning. But Forintos had little time left. 40 Qe21 Qc3 41 Nxa6 Qxa5 42 Nb8 Nxd5 43 Nd7 Qc3 44 Qa2 Qel 45 Kh2 Ne3 46 Nf6+ Kh6 47 b4 Nfl + 48 Kg2 Nd2 49 g4 Qfl+ 50 Kh2 Qf2+ 51 Kh3 Qxf3+ 52 Kh2 Qf4+ 53 Khl hxg4 54 Nxg4+ Kh5 55 Nh2 Nf3 56 Resigns.

38

Semi-Finals Vlastimil Hort 1-0 Tony Miles Jan Hein Donner %,0-%,1 Bent Larsen

Game 6: Vlastimil Hort - Tony Miles Sicilian Defence

A game of great interest, but spoiled by an uncharacteristic blunder by Miles. The Englishman played the opening with great atcuracy and achieved some advantage. Hort had to play well to avoid a seriously weakened position. In a complex middlegame position, Miles made the blunder which was to give Hort his free ri de into the fi nal.

1 e4 c5 2 c3 Nf6 (Varying from the 2 ... d5 which John Nunn had played against Hort) 3 e5 Nd5 4 d4 cxd4 5 Qxd4. MILES: It's a long time since I played against this line, I can hardly remember anythirig about it. I suppose I have to play e6 and see what happens.

the queen and gets a piece out with gain of time. It can't be bad.

6 .•• Nc6. HORT: I have to move my queen, but to what square? My pawn on e5 is a little exposed. I have to cover him.

7 Qe4. MILES: I can play normally with d6 but then White probably has an edge. I like something more active. What is there? Be7 . .. No, then the knight on d5 has nowhere to go. b6 isn't really good. Maybe f5, and if he takes it I recapture with the knight kicking his queen again and then I have a useful pawn centre. If he moves his queen away, there's lost time again. The queen hasn't got any good squares.

7 . . . f5 8 exfG Nxf6.

HORT: Now I have to think. I can play Bc4 but I prefer to develop first my knight and then I will see where to go with bishop.

HORT: My queen has no easy life actually, because she has to move again. I analysed here, at home, Qc2 but I want to play it very sharp now. I think that Tony might not know it well, so I will choose another move.

6 Nf3.

9 Qh4.

MILES: I remember, I think, Hort won a game against Polugayevsky with this about twenty years ago - maybe it was only ten I don't know what happens. Nc6 attacks

MILES: Let's see, what next? Be7 looks natural but maybe he has Bg5. He can then ignore h6 and he's going to play his bishop to d3. That will be annoying; maybe he's

5 .•. e6.

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got Bg6+. How can / avoid this? This position can't be bad surely. I'd like to advance my pawn centre but d5, Bd3 doesn't look nice. e5, that's very interesting: then if he plays Bd3, e4; Bxe4, Qe7; seems to win a piece. That's nice. After e5 maybe he can play Bg5; then / just play d5, he can take on f6, / take with the queen. That must be very good for Black. Looks very interesting, / think /'11 try it.

9 ... eS. HORT: What is this? My plan was just to play Bd3 and then to check on g6, destroying the position of the black king. The normal move is 9 ... Be7 or 9 ... d5 but / think Tony has improved the theory. After Bd3 he looks really pleased by this simple move e4; Bxe4, Qe7; followed by d5 and / am pinned on the e-file. / think that / really have to consider my next move very carefully. Black wants to build up a very strong centre. / start not to feel easy in this position. There are many moves like Bb5, Bg5. It's a very difficult decision. / decide on Bg5, it still makes some threats later for black K-side, but / don't like it now much.

10 BgS. MILES: / have to play d5; otherwise the bishop will come to d3.

10 . .. dS. HORT: That's the best move, because now / again cannot come out with my bishop. Bd3, e4; and / will lose my bishop. / have to attack these black central pawns in some way, maybe just playing c4. Well, / started this strange strategy, / think that / have to continue. / remember that Czechoslovakia played a tennis match with England lately and we lost. / would like to take some revenge from Tony but / don't know

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whether / can do it now, because / don't like my position much. But Bb5 still looks to me quite good.

11 BbS Bd6. Black's fine pawn centre shows that he has completely solved the problems of the opening. Hort now felt obliged to strike quickly against the d-pawn, before Black could castle and consolidate. A very sharp position quickly emerged.

12 c4 0-0 13 0-0 e4.

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HORT: / was afraid of this move. / can play Bxc6, bxc6; Nd4, but then / don't like Qb6 attacking my knight and b2 pawn. Or if I move my knight away, this loses time and Black has almost winning move Nd4. So there is only one move left for me.

14 adS exf3 1S dxc6 fxg2 16 Kxg2 bxc6 17 Bc4+ Kh8. This forced sequence of moves has left White's king exposed. Hort must rely on his active pieces to fight off the Black attack.

1B Nc3 Qc7 19 Rad1 Bb7 (The bishop has little future on this diagonal. Instead 19 ... BfS would have preserved Black's advantage) 20 Bd3.

MILES: That's slightly irritating. There's a possibility of his taking on f6 now, but' recapture with the pawn so it's not too bad. What do , want to play? Be5 is nice to aim at the Q-side a bit. Just a minute, though, then he takes on f6, , take back with the pawn, then he takes on h7 with the bishop, , take twice and he has Rd7+ picking up the bishop on b7. We'll have to stop that. 20 . .. RadB.

HORT: Yes, Tony saw the trap, but still' am now quite happy. , think' can play for

traps. , will make a move' prepared earlier. 21 BfS.

MILES: That's a bit uncomfortable. c5+; f3,

still doesn't do anything. Maybe' haven't got anything any more. Perhaps' should offer a draw and try to get him with the white pieces. , don't know, maybe' might still get his king later. Don't know what to play. Be5 again, back with the Q-side. Yes, , still have some play. 21 ... BeS.

MILES: Oh, just a minute, have 'left h7 en prise? Oh dear.

22 Bxh7.

MILES: That was stupid, what can' do?

Nxh7, Rxd8 and that loses an exchange and a pawn. If' take on d1 he has Bf5+ and

Be6+. Okay let's try and rush him. 22 ... cS+ 23 f3.

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MILES: Some way to complicate . .. Rd4

looks interesting. If he takes, , take with the pawn. Might get some counterplay. Seems' have to lose the exchange; let's hope he gets short of time. 23 . .. Rd4.

HORT: Now' really have to play for mating attack or to win the exchange, because I'm also short of time. 24 Rxd4 cxd4 2S BfS+ KgB 26 Be6+ Rf7 27 Ne4.

Miles's blunder on move 21 has left his position in dire straits. The white pieces are now closing in for the final attack, and Black can only hope for some error from his opponent.

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HORT: This move, , think, opens the

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combination for me, because the rook on d8 might be hanging. So, what about Bxh7? If Rxd1 then' have check with the bishop {5, and of course' can check again on e6. If Black takes the bishop in h7 with his knight, , am winning an exchange. Now' am for the first time satisfied with my position in this game.

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MILES: That looks strong, what can' do

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now? Qc2+, Rf2; no that's nothing; d3 is nothing. I've got to make him take my rook to free my game.

Game 7: Jan Hein Donner - Bent Larsen Nimzo-Indian Defence

27 ••• Qc6. HORT: I can understand that Tony wants to get rid of my bishop even for the rook, but I think I can play stronger now. I must calculate whose attack goes first. My king is now a little safer than Black's and, yes, I see it, I see the deciding combination. 28 Nxf6+ gxf6 29 Bxf6. MilES: That's a problem. I can't take on e6 because QhB is mate. Why did I play that ridiculous move? It's hopeless. What is there? Qc2+ is something and if Rf2, Qg6+. Well, there's a couple of chances for him to go wrong. 29 ••• Qc2+. HORT: I must play exactly. His queen wants to come back to g6 and I must be very careful not to lose my bishop. I still have one good square for my king and I think this will win. Black has no sufficient counter-attack. 30 Kh1. MilES: I'm falling apart everywhere. If I take on f6 he just recaptures. I can't move any of my pieces. Well, Bxf3+, no other moves. 30 ••• Bxf3+. But this was, of course, just desperation. With careful moves, Hort escaped the checks and finished the game with no further problems. 31 Rxf3 Qd1+ 32 Kg2 Qc2+ 33 Qf2 Qg6+ 34 Rg3! Bxg3 35 Qxg3 resigns.

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This was an exciting and well-played draw, with both sides producing interesting ideas. larsen sacrificed two pawns in a bold bid for the initiative, but Donner chose the correct moment to return the material. The tense endgame which resulted finally settled down to a peaceful conclusion. 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 Nc6 6 Nf3 Bxc3+. This variation was very popular at the time of the present game. In pure Nimzowitsch style, Black doubles the white c-pawns. The question remains whether White's bishops and powerful pawn centre will counterbalance the pawn weakness. 7 bxc3 d6 8 e4 e5 9 d5 Ne7.

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DONNER: Well, there's probably no player in the world who has lost so many games with this variation as I did, but I must play

it. I can play the knight to d2, but I must play Nh4. It's fairly complicated but it must be good for White.

10 Nh4. LARSEN: This position became famous after one of the match games Spassky-Fischer, but I remember I knew the position before that. I think there was a Hungarian game: Black played h6 and later I looked at it. h6 is okay, but I want to play something else, something I looked at years ago.

10 . .. Qa5. DONNER: That's a mad move; usually they play h6 or Ng6. Now it is probably best to sacrifice the pawn and just castle, Qxc3; Rb1, threatening RbS. But why should I play difficult moves when there is a simple answer? I must play the queen to c2, she is well placed there.

11 Qc2. LARSEN: I remember analysing a pawn

sacrifice here: Ng6; NfS, BxfS; exfS, and then e4. It's quite interesting I remember, but apart from that I don't remember very much. I can also play h6 as they do in the other position now the white queen has gone from d1. Because the black queen is out, I'm one move closer to castling Q-side. 11 ••• h6. DONNER: If I castle now, he plays gS and his pawns at h6 and gS are in a strong position. That's the reason I must not castle, so that after a later gS I have the possibility to operate with pawn to h4. I must make a neutral move, that's the best.

LARSEN: Now I haven't got these tricks with gS followed by taking his knight on fS and playing e4. Ng6 is probably not so good now, but I can prepare 0-0-0 with Bd7. I can also play gS; NfS, BxfS; then 0-0-0, but I don't like it much. Then I have to keep the position very closed because he has the two bishops against two knights. I think I'll play Bd7 and see what he does; if he castles I'll play gS.

12 . .. Bd7. DONNER: He does not play gS; that is interesting. Shall I play a4 to prevent bS in some variations? It's a good possibility, but the best is probably to prevent gS for good by playing NfS immediately. This must be a little better, though after he takes on fS he has possibilities with bS. I'm a little behind in development but he must give up at least two pawns. No, I don't believe that.

13 Nf5 Nxf5 14 exf5. LARSEN: I have several possibilities now. e4 is probably not a correct pawn sacrifice: he takes it and when I try to get my knight to eS via g4, he plays Bf4 and then he's a good pawn up. Then there is Ba4 or Qa4. On Qa4 he plays Qe2 then later drives my queen away with Bc2. There's Ba4, his queen goes somewhere and I prepare a6 and bS and get counterplay on that side. But the most interesting is bS; he takes, I recapture; or I can also make it a pawn sacrifice, a double pawn sacrifice with c4, he takes, then RcB. That looks very interesting indeed. Well, in a game like this one must play actively.

14 ... b5 15 cxb5 c4 16 Bxc4 Rc8.

12 f3.

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DONNER: That is the move, I see it. On Be3 he plays Qa5 against c3 again. I'm in trouble; I must exchange queens.

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LARSEN: Now I can exchange queens or I can play Qa6. Qa6, that's not so bad, but also if I exchange queens I win back the second pawn. Difficult; Qa6 or Qxe3. Yes, I think I'll win back the pawn.

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Larsen's bold sacrifice of two pawns has given him a strong initiative. White has weaknesses at bS, c3, dS and fS and his king is exposed. Nevertheless, as Donner shows, White can still hope to consolidate his position, return the material and keep his pair of active bishops.

17 Qb3 0-0 18 Bd2 a6 19 a4. White could not stand 19 bxa6 Ba4. Now, however, there follows a general liquidation leaving Larsen still appearing to have a fine attack.

19 ... axb5 20 Bxb5 Bxb5 21 Qxb5 Qa7. DONNER: Now he's threatening e4. My king is kept in the centre. It's an extremely dangerous position. I must exchange queens at all costs, even if it costs me two pawns.

22 Qd3.

LARSEN: Now I can take on d5 or on c3. The more important pawn is the one on d5 because the other one blocks his bishop.

24 ... Nxd5. DONNER: I lose the two pawns back, but nevertheless this happening gives me hope for the future. I have a strong passed pawn there on the a-file.

25 Bd2. LARSEN: Now I have to choose between Nxc3, Rc6 and Rc4. Rc4 is a nice move, but he plays his king up to d3; I probably cannot keep the blockade there; then he advances his a-pawn. Rc6 defends d6; that's very nice. I can take on c3, but then his a-pawn is very dangerous. I think I'll play Rc6 and try to win his a-pawn. His a-pawn is the only dangerous one.

25 ••• Rc6. With Larsen enjoying his active rooks and knight, and Donner happy about his bishop and passed a-pawn, we were clearly in for an interesting endgame. Both sides in the ensuing moves made the most of their advantages.

LARSEN: Perhaps e4 immediately, I think he can take it; he can also play Qd4, I don't know what that is. I think it's better to prepare it.

26 Kf2 Ra8 27 as ReS 28 Rhd1.

22 ••• Rfe8.

A clever defence to the a-pawn;

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28 ... Rxa5 29 Rxa5 Rxa5 30 c4! would lose Black a piece. 28 ••• Ra6 29 Ra3 Ne7 30 f6 gxf6 31 c4 (Finally jettisoning this pawn which obstructs his bishop) Rxc4 32 Bxh6 d5 33 Bd2 f5 34 Rc1 Rxc1 35 Bxc1 d4 36 Ke2 e4.

cannot take on d4 because of Nc2+. It's difficult; I would like to have more time. I would like to play Rh6 attacking his king from that side, but he controls that with a bishop. That's an idea for later. Nd5 must be right; he takes on f5, I play e3, then his bishop is very badly placed and later I come on f4 with the knight. I wish I had more time, but that must be right.

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DONNER: What else can I do now other than take on f5? I must break these two combined pawns.

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The position has suddenly become very tense, Black's powerful centre pawns trying to prove their superiority over White's passed pawn at the edge. DONNER: He has two connected passed pawns and I must do something to break that. Nobody likes to play against two such pawns in the centre. The only possibility I see is g4.

37 g4. LARSEN: That's a funny move. I can let him take on f5. I can also begin with d3 + but then all the pawns are hanging and he gets his bishop to d2 to stop the pawns and protect his own pawn. No, I think Nd5 is very strong: then if he takes on f5, I play e3, then on Kd3, I play Nb4+ and he

DONNER: Now Kd3, he checks me on b4 and I can't take on d4 because he checks on c2. That is a highly unpleasant position. I must get a square; Nf4+ is threatening, I must get a square there.

39 f4. LARSEN: I would like to have more time now. Probably there is something strong in this position. Probably the right move is Rc6; that's complicated because then his pawn is ready to run. Rc6, Ra1, I don't know. It's very complicated. I think I'll take on f4 then I can go back and I've made 40 moves and passed the time control.

39 ••• Nxf4+. In fact that was where Larsen missed his real chance to win this game. 39 ... Rc6! was after all correct. White's defence with 40 Ra1 is countered by 40 ... Rc2+ 41 Kd3 45

(or 41 Kd1 d3 winning easily) Nb4+ 42 Kxd4 e2 and either 43 Ba3 or 43 Be3 can be met by 43 ... Ra2! with Nc2+ to come to decide the issue. An easy line to overlook when short of time. Now Donner takes his chance to save the game. DONNER: That is quite fortunate, now my king has some squares. I was most afraid of Rc6.

40 Kf3. LARSEN: What can I do? e2 is bad because of Bd2 which protects his own passed pawn. My knight must go back. I have to move quickly, I wouldn't like to lose on time.

40 ..• NdS. DONNER: It looks drawish now, but I must be careful. Ra4 is probably the easiest. 41 Ra4. LARSEN: Strange, why didn't he play Bb2? Well, everything is rather drawish; the pawns are disappearing. What can I do? e2 is a nice trick, if he takes it then I win his rook, but he plays Bd2 then he keeps his a-pawn and I have nothing. Must be careful. Ne7 is nice, because when I take on f5 I protect d4. So he probably takes on d4 at once and then his a-pawn is not protected. 41 ••• Ne7 42 Rxd4 RxaS Draw agreed. All the dangerous pawns are exchanged and there is nothing left for either player.

Game 8: Bent Larsen - Jan Hein Donner Queen's Gambit Declined This was a truly terrible game by Donner. He has often admitted a tendency to panic when short of time and here the fast replay rules - all the moves in one hour - seemed to throw him off-balance from the start. Perhaps he felt that he had done his duty by reaching the semi-final and drawing the fi rst game against Larsen. 1 c4 e6 2 Nc3 dS 3 d4 Nf6 4 BgS Be7 5 Nf3 h6 6 Bh4 0-0. LARSEN: Now e3 is normal; then he probably plays b6, that's the Tartakower variation, he likes that. I can also play Rc1 first. That's what Korchnoi did in one of his games. I like that idea because if he plays b6 then later I take on f6 and I take on d5, then I play g3 as Korchnoi did. I've not played that idea before but it's a type of position I think I understand very well. 7 Rc1. DONNER: That is what Korchnoi played and it is an important improvement because the Tartakower variation is difficult to play against for White, but with fianchetto of the bishop it works. I'll play the old Lasker, I wanted that and I'm going to do it. 7 ••• Ne4. LARSEN: Oh, that's surprising, the Lasker variation. Does he play that too? Well, the first move is easy. 8 Bxe7 Qxe7 9 e3 c6. LARSEN: This is all like a game in the last round of the Lone Pine tournament.

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Polugayevsky played White against Lein. Well, I know what I want to do; I was wondering during the game why Polugayevsky didn't take on c4 with the rook - we'll probably get to that position. I'm very satisfied with that.

10 Bd3 Nxc3 11 Rxc3. DONNER: Well, it's an obvious move, now I change at c4 and then when he takes with the bishop I play b6 and since years we know that White has nothing.

11 ••• dxc4. LARSEN: This is where Polugayevsky took with the bishop and Black played Nd7. Then White castled and Black played eS, and they had a normal position except Black has the pawn on h6 instead of h7. Here they agreed a draw which made me very happy because then I won first prize without sharing it with Polugayevsky. That was very nice, $12,000, very nice last round. Well, this is where Stahlberg always wrote that you should take with the rook and I like that.

12 Rxc4. DONNER: That's an odd move; I've never seen that before. Yes, I've read something about it in old tournament books, somebody said that this was the best. Now if I play Nd7 and eS, the rook is well placed and the bishop too. Can I play b6? He cannot attack immediately with Be4 because there is Ba6 in the position all the time, especially after he has castled. I don't know, b6 looks dangerous, but I'm convinced that after Nd7 and eS White definitely is a little better. If there is a way to make a quick draw it must be b6.

12 ... b6.

After this move, however, Donner always looked in trouble. The weakness of the pawn on c6, together with White's possibilities of attacking on the b1-h7 diagonal, gave him severe problems. After the game both players decided that 12 ... Nd7 followed by RdB, NfB and Bd7 was the right way to develop without creating points of attack.

13 0-0 Bb7 14 Ne5 Qd6 15 Qf3 f6. Tired of the pressure against c6, Donner tries to drive away the strong knight, but this move already prepares his fatal blunder.

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LARSEN: That weakens his position, I can play Ng6, then he plays Rfl protecting his bishop and he's ready to play cS. Still, it's a very good position for White, the knight is strong on g6. But what is Qe4? Of course he cannot take the knight; Qe4, he plays fS, then my knight is safe on eS; I can play then Qf4 or Qf3. Qe4 looks very strong, it's good to get those pawns on white squares because he has the white-squared bishop.

47

People resign the move before mate, that's

Qe4, he takes on e5, I take with the d-pawn. Yes, that's terrible.

a funny thing.

16 Qe4.

20 Qxg7+.

DONNER: That is a funny move; can I take the knight? If I take at e5, he checks me at h7, Kf7; Bg6, Kf6; takes at e5, Qxe5. What is this? Is that correct, the sacrifice of the piece? To play f5 - I absolutely don't like, so I've hardly anything else than to take that knight. Well, perhaps I am mated but I don't see it immediately.

DONNER: Mate or resigning? No I prefer mate.

16 •.• fxe5. LARSEN: I wonder what he's overlooking. Am I overlooking something? I think it's so simple; I take on e5 first, he has no good move for his queen, then I have check, then check with the bishop or with the rook. I don't see it, I take on e5, he gives his queen for my bishop and he wins my rook with a bishop pin; I still have queen and pawn against rook and knight. That's an easy win.

17 dxe5. DONNER: Oh, that is horrible, of course he takes it immediately. Oh this is really horrible, I completely overlooked that, and so simple. This is absolutely hopeless. I can as well resign, it's mate in all variations. The queen has no square; wherever I go I get a check at h7, a rook at f4 and the bishop at g6. I lose a rook at least. There's no difference whatever move I do here. Qe7 is mate in two; Qd8 is mate in four or something. Okay I let him give me mate.

17 ..• Qd8 18 Qh7+ Kf7 19 8g6+ Ke7. LARSEN: I wonder if he's going to resign now. Naidorf once told me I was a gentleman because I let him mate me.

48

20 •.. Rf7 21 Qxf7 mate.

Play-off for third place Tony Miles

%,1-%,0 Jan Hein Donner

Game 9: Tony Miles - Jan Hein Donner Slav Defence

Bg6; h4. It's very unpleasant for me. I must go back with the bishop, but I have the worse position already, I'm afraid.

7 ••. Bd7. Miles appeared to have a strong attack from the opening in this third place play-off game, but Donner defended with great imagination and resourcefulness. With 22 ... Rb8 Black escaped from his difficulties and almost turned the tables completely. A good game to show that draws need not always be dull.

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 dS 3 c4 c6 4 e3 BfS S cxdS cxdS 6 Nc3 Nc6 7 BbS. Miles has played the early moves quietly, with 4 e3 and 5 cxd5 in place of the more usual 4 Nc3 dxc4 5 a4. Pinning the knight with 7 Bb5 and hoping for a quick attack with Ne5 and Qa4 is now White's only attempt to gain some advantage. Miles was not very happy with his position, but it soon became clear that Donner was also far from content. DONNER: That is a very unpleasant move. What did I do wrong? I must retreat with the bishop now, but what should I have done? Now I remember: the theory says that you must play e6 first, before Nc6. Then when he checks you at bS, you play Nfdl. Now I don't have that possibility because after e6 he plays NeS, RcB; g4,

MILES: Well, maybe his BfS was wrong. If I play NeS I'll get out of this with an extra tempo. Nothing else is any good.

a NeS. DONNER: Is that possible? I take it off; he takes, BxbS; NxbS, QaS+; Nc3, Ne4: then he takes with the queen at dS. No, that is not possible, so I must defend it.

a ..•

e6.

MILES: Now he is threatening to take on eS and take on bS. That wouldn't be very good for me so I have to move this bishop back. Pity, it's a waste of a tempo. 9 Bd3. DONNER: Shall I put my bishop at d6? After f4 I cannot then take at eS with the knight. Besides I need that square. After f4 or g4 attacking against the K-side I must have the possibility to reach with the knight to eB and perhaps to d6, so I play the bishop to el.

9 .•• Be7. MILES: Now I have a slightly better position. My bishop's more aggressive than

49

his and I have a little more space in the centre. The normal move would be to play for f4 and a quick K-side attack. I don't really believe that. I ought to let him castle. First castle myself, or maybe I'll play Bd2 and pretend I might play g4 if he castles. Well, play it and see what happens.

10 Bd2. But Donner was unimpressed and castled with little hesitation. Miles had to admit that a wild K-side attack was not the correct way to play, so the game proceeded quietly.

10 ••. 0-0 11 0-0 Ne8 12 Rel Nd6 13 Bel.

16 .•. Be6 17 Qg4 Bxe4 18 Qxe4 b5 19 Qb7. DONNER: That's an unpleasant move. I can play QeB, but he can play the pawn to a4. No, it's probably better to protect it with the pawn. The ending may be good for me because I have a strong majority on the Q-side. His majority is worse because of the doubled pawn.

19 ••. a6.

5

MILES: Now how do I make progress? a4 looks natural to break up the Q-side. Maybe he'll take, I take with the rook; maybe all the Q-side vanishes and I get left with an extra pawn on the K-side. Don't know what else. Bc3 can't be right, it doesn't do anything. I've got to break up the Q-side before it becomes dangerous.

4

20 a4.

3

DONNER: That is probably the best move. I must be careful not to lose all my pawns on the Q-side. I'm in a terrible bind after QeB. I must take the pawn.

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Both sides having satisfactorily completed their development, the position now looks balanced. Donner now initiates a pair of exchanges which completely alter the character of the game.

13 .•• Nxe5 14 dxe5 Ne4 15 Bxe4 dxe4 16 Ne4. Donner hasalways had great faith in the power of the bishop pair, but the white knight on e4 ,makes life difficult for Black.

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The pawn on c4 is in need of defence and within a few moves White seems to have a clear advantage.

20 ••. bxa4 21 Rxe4 a3.

MILES: Now how do I try to win this? I take on a3, he recaptures, I play Ra4, then he has Qe7. No, it doesn't look right. Try something more aggressive. How about Rd4? He plays QeB, and maybe b4. Then I try and round up his a-pawn later. That's interesting, I'll try it. 22 Rd4.

23 Qe4.

8

DONNER: That's the move that saves the game for him. It's a funny way of trading queens but I have no other way of playing it. I must take at b2.

7

6 5

23 . .. axb2 24 Rxd8 bl(Q) 25 Qxbl Rxbl 26 Rd7.

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DONNER: Well, is that possible? If I play RbB it's an amazing move. If he takes my queen, I take his queen and the ending technically is better for me. If he plays Qxa6, I have axb2, he takes my queen, I take with f-rook; Bb4, Rxb4. No that is impossible, I win that. Well, I don't see what he can do.

DONNER: That is unfortunate. If he had exchanged, I would have taken with the king and I have a brilliant position because in the bishop ending I'm really a pawn up. Now I don't see how I can play. Bc5 he just plays Rc7, the bishop finds no square. I must find a way to draw this quickly. Bb4, he has hardly anything else but to take it, I take with rook, Ra7, I play Re4 winning back the pawn. It's a complete draw.

26 . .. Bb4

Draw agreed.

22 . .. Rb8.

MILES: What's going on? Qxa6, oh then he's got axb2. That's clever. Then what happens: RxdB, RfxdB; I must play Bb4, he takes it with the rook and then I have to play Qa2. That's not very pleasant. He has rook, bishop and passed pawn on the seventh for the queen. I certainly can't be winning and probably have good losing chances. What else? If I take the queen the ending's horrible for me. The only other move seems to be Qe4. At least then if he takes on b2, I take his queen, he takes with the rook and I have Qb1, or I can just play Bc3, that's not a problem. So Qe4, axb2; I take his queen, he queens his pawn, then I exchange queens and Rd7. That should be drawn: maybe a little worse, but nothing much. 51

Third place play-off replay

Game 10: Jan Hein Donner· Tony Miles English Opening Just as in his replay against Larsen, Donner found the fast time limit too much. Having to make all his moves in one hour, he played the opening too casually and too quickly. Miles quickly seized a powerful initiative, won a pawn and reached a winning endgame. The main point of. interest in this game was the extraordinary opening play with White moving mainly pawns and Black also breakin~ all. th~ rules by playing five queen moves In his first eleven.

1 c4 b6 2 e4 Bb7 3 Nc3 e6 4 d4 Bb4 S f3. At the time of the present game the 'English Defence' 1 ... b6 was still in .the experimental stage. Games such as th~s contributed to the realisation that White ought not to adopt such a broad pawn centre.

S ... Qh4+ 6 g3 Bxc3+ 7 bxc3 QhS. DONNER: That's the second move he made with his queen. You always tell the beginners not to move with their ~ueen around, so let's attack it another time.

8 Nh3. 52

MILES: I think I saw that move given an exclamation mark in some ridiculous game. Black continued with Qa5. I don't understand that at all: the whole idea of the system is to play f5. It doesn't matter how many tempi it loses.

8 ... fS 9 Nf4 Qf7. DONNER: That's the third move of the queen. Well, if I take on f5 I ~an't be/~e,ve he will take with the queen. III take: It s a good position for me.

10 exfS. MILES: If I take with the pawn, that's Keene's variation six tempi down. I've got to take with the queen.

10 ... QxfS. DONNER: He really takes with the queen. Well, if I chase him away we can say that of the first ten or eleven moves he has made five with his queen. What impression must that make to the beginner whom we always warn not to play with his queen?

11 Bd3. MILES: Looks like back to f7 and five queen moves. But still I have two pieces developed and he has only two and he has a lot of pawn weaknesses. I don't mind this position too much.

12 . .. Nc6.

11 ... Qf7.

DONNER: I have started playing this aggressive play, I must go on.

8

13 d5.

7

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MILES: If I play NaS he takes on e6. That's not pleasant: then I get weak pawns too. I must take. .

4

13 . .. exd5.

3

DONNER: How shall I take back? With the knight, then he castles Q-side: it isn't such a bad position for him after all. But on BxdS he has Qf6. A lot of weak pawns. Well, let's see what happens: I take with the knight.

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DONNER: If I castle, he plays Nf6 and he really has a kind of a position. I must play this more aggressively. It's possible to play Be4. The only good playing piece he has is the bishop on b7 and it would change that immediately. Yes, that looks rather a good move: after Nc6 I play dS and get an overwhelming position.

12 Be4. MILES: That looks critical. What do I play? I take on e4, he recaptures with the pawn: I play Ne7, he castles, I castle and he's got a big pawn centre and the bishop's better than the knight and I'll have trouble developing. I don't like that much. The only other move is Nc6, then dS. That's a bit murky. I can play NaS. That doesn't look nice. Or take on dS, he takes with either piece, I probably have to castle Q-side. Interesting: he takes with the pawn, I go to as. Messy. Still he's always got these pawn weaknesses. I still have some chances.

14 Nxd5. MILES: I don't think I can afford another tempo to play d6. I play that if he plays Bf4. No, castles must be right.

14 . . . 0-0-0. The next few moves saw Donner unable to sustain his attack. Quickly Miles obtained both a lead in development and a strong initiative against the White weaknesses.

15 Be3 Nf6 16 Nxf6 Qxf6. DONNER: Now what can I do? Qd2, NeS and the game is practically over. Let me play Bd4, Nxd4 and Qxd4; then if he takes at d4 I have check at b7. That is important. Perhaps I escape from this position but it's not what I hoped when I started this opening.

17 Bd4. MILES: That seemed to be the only move. Now what do I take? Nxd4, he takes with the pawn, I take on e4 and he gets smashed. So he must take with the queen.

53

Then if I take, Qxd4, Bxb7+. So I think Bxe4, then he can't take with the queen because of ReB. So he must exchange queens and take with the pawn. Then I play ReB and win a pawn: all his pawns drop off in the rook ending. 17 ••• Nxd4. DONNER: I have overlooked something. There was hardly anything else but now when I take at d4, he takes at e4 first. I'm losing a pawn in this position. It's a hopeless position because his rooks are very active afterwards. 18 Qxd4 Bxe4 19 Qxf6 gxf6 20 fxe4 Rde8 21 0-0 Rxe4 22 Rxf6 Rxc4. With an extra pawn in the double rook ending the win for Black should not be difficult, but Donner continued fighting hard in the hope of making some use of his K-side pawn majority. 23 Rf3 h5 24 h4 Re8 25 Raf1 Kb7· 26 R1f2 ReS 27 Kg2 Rec5 28 Rd2 d6

defence with 29 Rdd3 Ra5 followed by Ra3, Donner plays a desperate try for activity. Now Miles could have won comfortably with 29 ... Rxc3 30 Rxc3 Rxc3 31 Rd5 Rc5 32 Rxc5 dxc5 33 g4 hxg4 34 h5 c4. Both sides queen their pawns, but Black retains three extra pawns. Miscalculating this line, Miles gave himself a good deal more work. 29 ••• Rxd4 30 cxd4 Rd5 31 Rf4 c5 32 dxc5 bxc5 33 g4. At last Donner has managed to play this move and create some counterplay. Now the ending demands some precise play by Miles. 33 ••• hxg4 34 Kg3 Rd1 35 h5 Rh1 36 Kxg4 d5 37 Rf5 Kc6 38 Kg3. MILES: That's the idea. He wants to go to

g2 and back and forth, g2, g3 and keep me away. Strange. Well, I must push on the pawns. c4, Kg2, rook somewhere, h6, c3 maybe, and if h7, I can come back with the rook. 38 ••• c4 39 Kg2 Re1.

5

DONNER: Now I get my rook behind the passed pawn. That is very pleasant of course, but my king is too far away from his c-pawn so it will probably end with change of my h-pawn for his c-pawn. Well, it's my only chance.

4

40 h6 Re8 41 h7 c3 42 Rh5.

3

MILES: Now what's this? I play c2, he queens, I take, he takes, I queen, he has RcB+. That's not a good idea. In that case I have to play RhB.

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29 Rd4. Seeing the hopelessness of passive 54

42 ••• Rh8 43 Rh1 c2 44 Rc1 Rxh7 45 Rxc2+ Kb5. Black has only one extra pawn, but the absence of the white king from the Q-side

makes the position an easy win. DONNER: Now my king is cut off: if I play Kf3 he even checks me at h3. I must try something to get the pawn to a3.

46 Rc3. MILES: What's this? I can cut the king off further away. Must be winning easily. My d-pawn will get him.

46 .•• Rf7. DONNER: That is horrible. I've hardly a move here. This is hopeless, I make one move. 47 Kg3.

MILES: d4, RcB, d3 and if he plays RdB, Kc4; otherwise I play Rd7 and queen the d-pawn. Yes , d4 wins easily. 47 ... d4 48 Resigns.

The Final Bent Larsen

Y2,Y2,Y2,Y2,1-Y2,Y2,Y2,Y2,O

Vlastimil Hort

Game 11: Bent Larsen - Vlastimil Hort Grunfeld Defence

8 7

6 This was a good example of true grandmaster chess. Playing an unusual opening variation, Larsen secured a minimal endgame advantage. He pushed hard and Hort found himself under considerable pressure. Despite time pressure, the Czechoslovakian grandmaster defended well and managed to save himself.

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1 c4 g6 2 Nf3 Bg7 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 dS.

From an English opening we have reached a Grunfeld Defence. White is challenged to form a big pawn centre which Black hopes to undermine. S cxdS NxdS 6 e4 Nxc3 7 bxc3 c5 8 BbS+ Nc6

Larsen has adopted a very old variation considered innocuous by theory. Now 9 d5 brings nothing after 9 .. ."a6, but the Dane has another idea which he had played in an earlier game in a Spanish team match against Oscar Castro. 90-0 QaS.

56

LARSEN: Now I have to use my own head. Castro took on d4 and then castled and I got a very nice position. What now? Qa4 or Qb3, or a4 or Rb1. Rb1 I don't even know what I do if he takes my a-pawn. Qa4 he takes, then maybe just Bdl, because later he can play NaS and he gets his knight to c4. Qb3 looks much better, then if he castles I can take the knight and play Qa3. That looks like a very good ending. 10 Qb3. HORT: This move is probably best. I have to watch out now for dS. Well, but if I castle and White plays dS I have still nice move like NeS. Yes I have some counterplay on the diagonal: the· bishop on

b5 is not so famous. After d5 I can even take on c3 with my queen. Yes, d5 is not possible so I castle.

10 ... 0-0.

HORT: I think that Larsen is really playing for microscopical advantage, but he is quite strong in this position. He plays these opposite-coloured bishops positions very well. I have nothing better than Ba6.

LARSEN: Now I have to make a decision. If I protect my centre pawn with Be3 he probably exchanges pawns on d4 then plays Bg4. It's an unclear position; he gets some counterplay. I like the other variation better. I can take on c6, then Qa3 and the bishop will be very strong on a3 and his c6 pawn will be weak. That must be the right idea.

LARSEN: He's playing it as actively as he can. Now Bc5, he plays Be2. Oh that's bad because if I play Rd2 he has Bh6. Well that's terrible. I probably have nothing better than Ne5. I think it's still a slight advantage in spite of the bishops of opposite colours.

11 Bxc6 bxc6 12 Qa3.

17 Ne5 Bxe5 18 dxe5 Rad8 19 Rxd7 Rxd7.

HORT: White is playing for another strategic scheme now I see. The game will be quite hard for me because I have a disturbed pawn chain. I can't get away with my queen because if I play Qb6, after Be3 his rooks are coming very cheaply on the b-line. I have to be satisfied with slightly worse endgame. I think that I can defend.

12 ... Qxa3 13 Bxa3 cxd4 14 cxd4 Rd8 15 Rac1. After 15 Bxe7 ReB Black would have regained the pawn. Now 15 ... Bxd4 is met by 16 Bxe7. White maintains strong pressure against c6 and e7, but Hort continues to find active defensive ideas.

15 ... Rd7. Now 16 Rxc6 is answered by 16 ... Bb7. LARSEN: I begin to regret my last move. I could have played Bc5 and maybe the rook should not go to c1. But it's quite good anyway. Rfd1 looks logical, he's coming to a6 with the bishop so why not move the rook away?

16 Rfd1.

16 ... Ba6.

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Despite the simplification, White still has chances to make progress. Both his pieces are active, and the pawns at e7 and c6 demand constant attention. Although opposite-coloured bishops have strong drawish tendencies in the absence of other pieces, in the presence of rooks their attacking potential can be considerably enhanced. White's first concern is to improve the position of his king and try to create an initiative on the K-side. 57

20 h4 BbS 21 BeS as 22 Kh2 Bd3 23 f3 a4 24 Kg3 hS 25 Kf4 BbS 26 a3 Kf8 27 g4 Rd3. At last some signs of activity for Black. He must counter-attack against f3 to tie down some of the White force.

28 gxhS gxhS 29 Bb4 Rb3. Now threatening 30 ... Be2.

30 Re2 Rb1 31 Rd2 Ke8. LARSEN: I'm beginning to like it. Now I can threaten mate with BaS. If he goes back with the king I'll check him and then Bb4 again and I get a strong attack with my rook and bishop. In some cases I probably come with my king also. BaS, e6: that is the move he has been trying to avoid the whole game. Then I get the squares d6 and f6. It looks very good.

32 BaS. HORT: There is a mating threat now. I don't think I can play KfB because then I will be checked RdB+, Kg7; Bb4, e6: Be7 and then there is a famous mate threat Bf6 et cetera. Well, I have to weaken my king.

32 . .. e6. LARSEN: Now I can check and afterwards I can play Rd6 threatening BdB+ and Bf6. But he has a defence. He plays Rb3 and when I give check and Bf6 he plays Rd3, then he can hold the ending after exchange of rooks. How is RdB+, Ke7: RhB? It's not too clear; maybe he plays Rb3, then he has a threat of Be2. It's very unclear. I think /'11 go back with my bishop and keep the blockade so he still cannot play cS.

33 Bb4. The further course of the game showed

58

that Larsen had made as much progress as was possible. Hart's steadfast defence continued to be sufficient to keep the white pieces at bay.

33 . . . Re1 34 Bd6 Re3 3S Rg2 eS. Finally this pawn manages to advance and Black's troubles are nearly over.

36 Rg8+ Kd7 37 Rf8 Be2. The final point of Black's defence. The f3 pawn will need defending and White has no longer any chances to win.

38 Rxf7 + Ke6 39 Kg3 Rxa3 40 Re7 + Kb6 41 BxeS+ Kxe7 42 Bxa3. Finally the disappearance of rooks guarantees a draw.

42 ... Kd7 43 Kf2 Bd1 44 Ke3 Ke8 4S f4 Kf7 46 fS Bg4 47 Kf4 Bd1 48 KgS Bf3 49 Bb2 Bd1 Draw agreed.

The Final - first replay Game 12: Vlastimil Hort - Bent Larsen Ruy Lopez After the hard draw in the previous game, both players treated this replay with great caution. The result never looked like being other than another draw.

1 e4 eS 2 Nf3 Ne6 3 BbS Nge7 4 d4 exd4 S Nxd4 Nxd4 6 Qxd4 Ne6 7 Qe3 Bb4+ 8 Ne3 0-0 9 0-0 d6 10 NdS BeS 11 Qg3 Kh8 12 Bd2 Nd4 13 Bd3 e6 14 Nf4 Ne6 lS Be3 QgS 16 QxgS NxgS 17 Rae1 Ne6 18 Bd2 Nxf4 19 Bxf4 Be6 20 eS dxeS 21 BxeS Rad8 22 a3 Rfe8 23 h3 Kg8 24 Re2 BdS Draw agreed.

The Final - second replay Game 13: Bent Larsen - Vlastimil Hort Slav Defence Now reduced to half an hour each for all their moves, neither player was yet ready to take unnecessary risks. As in both earlier games, Larsen played more quickly, but Hort was never in any difficulties. Another quiet draw, but the tension was increasing. 1 e4 Nf6 2 Ne3 e6 3 d4 d5 4 e3 Bf5 5 Qb3 Qb6 6 Qxb6 axb6 7 exd5 Nxd5 8 Nxd5 exd5 9 Bd2 Bd7 10 Ne2 e6 11 Ne3 Bb4 12 Bd3 Ne6 13 Ke2 Ke7 14 Rhel Rhe8 15 h3 Kf8 16 Nb5 Be7 17 f4 Na5 18 b3 Ne6 19 a4 Nb4 20 Bxb4 Bxb4 21 Ne7 Rab8 22 Bb5 Be6 23 Bxe6 Rxe7 24 Bb5 Rbe8 25 Rxe7 Rxe7 26 Bd3 f5 27 g4 g6 28 Ra2 Rel 29 Re2 Rxc2+ 30 Bxe2 Ke7 31 Kf3 Bel 32 Bd3 Kd8 33 Bb5 Ke7 34 Ke2 Bb4 35 Kdl Be3 36 Be2 Bb4 37 h4 fxg4 38 Bxg4 h5 39 Be2 Kf7 40 Bb5 Be7 41 Bd7 Bxh4 42 Be8 Draw agreed.

The Final - third replay

Hort was in great difficulties in the middlegame, but managed to extricate himself, though falling well behind on the clock. Larsen gambled on his time advantage, suddenly introducing violent complications. In the scramble which followed each player in turn appeared to be winning. Larsen was finally relieved to take a draw, though a further look revealed that he could have won. 1 e4 Nf6 2 Ne3 e6 3 Nf3 Bb4 4 Qb3 e5 5 a3 Ba5 6 g3 Ne6 7 Bg2 0-0 8 0-0 d6 9 d3 h6 10 e3 e5 11 Nd2 Bxe3 12 bxe3 Qe7 13 Rbl Bd7! (A good pawn sacrifice which gives Black a lasting initiative) 14 Qxb7 Rab8 15 Qa6 Rxbl 16 Nxbl Rb8 17 Nd2 Qe8 18 Ne4 Nxe4 19 Bxe4 Rb6 20 Qa4 Nd4 21 Qdl Nb3 22 f4 Bh3 23 Rf2 Nxel 24 Qxel Qb8 25 d4 f5 26 Be2 e4 27 Rd2 Qe7 28 Bdl Qb7 29 Qe2 Qa6 30 Qa4 Qxa4 31 Bxa4 Ra6 32 dxe5 (At last White has crawled out. Now the game should end in a draw, but Larsen is still intent on complicating.) 32 ••• dxcS 33 Bd7 Rxa3 34 Rd5 g6 35 Rxe5 Rxe3 36 Kf2 Re2+ 37 Kel Bg4 38 Re7 a5 39 e5 Re2+ 40 Kfl Rxe3 41 c6 Rf3+ 42 Kg2 Re3 43 Ra7 (43 Be6+! was correct, but neither side had more than a few seconds left) 43 ••• Re2+ 44 Kfl e3 45 e7 Rel + 46 Kg2 Re2+ 47 Kfl Rel + 48 Kg2 (see diagram overleaf)

Game 14: Vlastimil Hort - Bent Larsen English Opening At last some excitement again. Fifteen minutes for each player was just not enough for, a game as complex as this.

59

is uncomfortable to play under the fast time limit of this game.

8 7

4

HORT: White has very nice development. Can I play Nc6? If I do he takes on cS. Nd7 is another possibility, but what happens if he pushes dS? I don't have much time. I will play shy and cover my pawn.

3

10 ••• N8d7.

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LARSEN: a4 is probably stupid. I think I'll just castle and see what he does. I have a nice development already.

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48 ••• Rc2+ drawnl! But 48 ... e2 wins for Black; after 49 Ra8+ Kf7 50 Re8 Black simply captures the c-pawn.

11 0-0. HORT: Now I'm really not sure what to do. Maybe I have to play Bd6 but then I am really afraid of f4 and my bishop can be very bad. Well, I will try not to allow White to play f4, so I will first of all take. 11 ••• cxd4.

The Final - fourth replay Game 15: Bent Larsen - Vlastimil Hort Slav Defence At last a decision. And it came about in a similar manner to the previous game. Again Hort ran short of time defending a difficult position: and again Larsel1 took great risks to complicate in the endgame. This time, however, it paid off, though for one move Hort was actually winning. 1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 c6 3 d4 d5 4 e3 Bf5 5 cxd5 Nxd5 6 Bc4 e6 7 Nge2 Nb6 8 Bb3 c5 9 e4 Bg6 10 Be3. White has clearly the freer position from the opening, but Hort's game has no clear weaknesses. Nevertheless, Black's position

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LARSEN: Oh, he probably wants to continue with NcS, but that's all right. I take with the knight, of course. 12 Nxd4. HORT: Now shall I play NcS or shall I put the bishop there? I should like to run with my king: my development is a little bit shaky, so I think I have to play the bishop. 12 ••• Bc5. LARSEN: I started wondering about that while he was thinking. He has only nine minutes left, I have thirteen. Let's give him a problem. Na4 is very strong. 13 Na4. HORT: That's surprising. Now if I take the knight, Nxa4, Bxa4, 0-0, then Nxe6 and I'm probably losing a pawn and White is better. Of course otherwise I lose my bishop.

Maybe I should cover the bishop because White has a threat, Nxe6, that is very strong. I don't see another move.

13 .•• Qe7 14 Nxe5 Nxe5 15 f3 0-0. As a result of the opening, Larsen has acquired a useful bishop pair, and Black's remaining bishop is shut out of the game.

16 Qe2 RaeS 17 Be2 e5 lS Nb5 a6 19 Ne3. HORT: Of course he wants to get the d5 square, but I think I can still defend. My position is worse due to White's two bishops. Well, as Alekhine once said, 'Was haben Sie gegen zwei Laufer?' It means 'what do you have against two bishops'. Well I have only the hope that I can defend. I will play f6 trying to get my bishop into the game.

19 ••• 16.

make use of that, I must complicate the game.

20 Rfd1. HORT: What shall I do? Let's change some pieces.

20 ••• RfdS. LARSEN: I think he made a mistake there because now c5 will be less protected.

21 RxdS+ RxdS. LARSEN: Now Qf2 with some clever things on that diagonal. If he protects with Nbd7, I come to d5 with the knight.

22 Qf2. HORT: Oh, what shall I do now? My knights are a little bit hanging and I don't know what to do. I cannot play Nbd7 because of b4 and I am losing a piece, so I have to move my rook again.

22 ••• ReS.

8

With Hort defending well but rapidly running out of time, Larsen now decided that his principal advantage was the clock. He had six minutes left to Hort's three. Consequently, White decided from now on just to play quickly. Abandoning his previous strategy, he now settles for simplification and a long endgame.

7 6

5 4

3 2

23 Rd1 Bf7 24 Bxe5 Rxe5 25 Bb3 Bxb3 26 axb3 Re6 27 h3 Rd6. abc

d

e

9

h

LARSEN: That spoils one of my ideas because his bishop is not completely out of the game. Can I make use of the two knights hanging there on c5 and b6? Rd1 is a terrible move. I have more time, I must

LARSEN: I'm stupid. I should have played Qd2 last move. Well, to make it a little complicated now I must play Nd5. He probably takes it, then I get a passed pawn. That's at least something and he's short of time.

28 Nd5. 61

H ORT: I think that the position is rather drawish, but still White gets pawn to dS and I have good blockade. Now I think that worst time is behind me.

Larsen embarks on a wild and incalculable continuation confident only that he has perhaps half a minute more to think about it.

28 ••• NxdS.

42 gxfS gxfS 43 RxeS RxcS 44 RxfS RbS 4S KhS Rxb2 46 Kxh6 as 47 h4 a4 48 Rf8.

LARSEN: Take with the rook? I'll never win that.

29 exdS.

8

HORT: Now I must try to be active, so let's occupy some file for the first time in this game.

7

29 ..• Qc7.

5

LARSEN: Let me see. I want to make a queen move. Qe3, then he can't exchange queens on b6 because my pawn runs.

6

4

3 2

i_*_ -- --i_--~-

HORT: What shall I do? Shall I play Qc2? I am not so sure about this move: maybe it is good move. I am really short of time now. I can't play Qc2 because he can sacrifice pawn maybe. I really don't know what to do. Well, I will improve my king.

30 ••. Kf7. Apart from his clock, Hort would be in no danger of losing this game now. But Larsen manages to continue to create problems, until both sides were again having to make their moves almost instantaneously.

31 Qe4 QcS+ 32 Kh2 g6 33 Qc4 Qxc4 34 bxc4 Rb6 35 Rd2 Ke7 36 cS. The white pawns look imposing, but only one of them is passed and the black rook is now active.

36 ••• RbS 37 Rc2 fS 38 Kg3 Kd7 39 Kh4 h6 40 g4 Rb3 41 Re2 RbS. Now 42 Rc2 would repeat moves. Instead

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-- -

-~-

30 Qe3.

abc

d

e

9

h

48 ••. bS? The losing move. Instead 48 ... a3 49 RaB a2 would save a move and even win for Black.

49 Ra8 Rb3 SO f4 a3 Sl fS b4 S2 f6 Rf3 S3 KgS Kd6 54 hS KxdS 55 h6 Rg3+ S6 Kf4 Rg1 and Black lost on time. A sad end, but at least after 57 h7 his position is now hopeless anyway.

The Master Game 1980- Series Five

The Players

The fifth series of the Master Game coincided with the Interzonal stage of the World Championship, so no Larsen or Miles, who were both playing and no Donner, who was covering those tournaments for his newspaper. The format of the tournament was changed. Instead of being a simple knock-out, the eight players were divided into two groups of four within which all played all, the winners of the two groups meeting in the final. With Vlastimil Hort, Walter Browne, John Nunn and Helmut Pfleger in one group and Viktor Korchnoi, Michael Stean, Robert Byrne and Lothar Schmid in the other it was a brave man who would have bet against the final being between Hort and Korchnoi. The brave man would have won; in the most spectacular about-face by far the lowest-rated player in the first group qualified for the final, and then won the whole tournament when his opponent disbelievingly blundered away a piece and the first prize . Lothar Schmid, the West German who perpetrated this, no longer regards himself as a serious tournament player, simply because he does not have enough time to concentrate on serious chess. Which is not to say he is not a very fine player; during his long career he has won major international tournaments at Zurich in 1954; Malaga in 1963; Mar del Plata in 1970

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Lothar Schmid

among others as well as a host of second and third places including a joint second with Petrosian at Bamberg in 1968. His urbanity - he must be the best dressed and most tactful of all grandmasters - and calm led to him being invited to be arbiter in the Fischer-Petrosian and then the FischerSpassky matches in the 1971-2 World Championship, and again for the notorious Battle of Baguio City between Karpov and Korchnoi. It was somehow ironic he should have been drawn in the same group as Korchnoi and the man who had been one of Korchnoi's seconds in the match against Karpov, Michael Stean. When he sat down to play against Korchnoi, the only question in most observers' minds was how would

Korchnoi win? When Korchnoi brusquely rejected Schmid's offer of a draw, we waited to see how Korchnoi was going to exploit the advantage he apparently felt he had. Only it did not work out that way and after getting into time trouble, Korchnoi saw the game slide away from him . Never mind, the observers comforted themselves, Michael Stean will help Korchnoi to qualify by beating Schmid, only that did not happen either. Again Schmid offered a draw, again it was rejected, and again he went on to win, and he was a good enough player to make no mistake in achieving the draw he needed against Byrne to win his group . If Walter Browne has the reputation for being the enfant terrible of chess , Robert Byrne is the quiet American. He is grey-haired, bespectacled, and unusually among grandmasters, wears suits and ties. He writes a chess column for the New York Times and contributes regularly to that most influential of chess periodicals, the Yugoslav Informant, and is one of the panel of judges of theoretical innovations for that publication. He arrived for the Master Game from a disappointing performance in the 1979 US

Robert Byrne

Championship which was also the American Zonal tournament in the World Championship series. It was played in Bobby Fischer's home town, South Pasadena, where although the hall used for the tournament was air conditioned, the hotel was not and that in the desert where the midday temperatures are enough to make a man dizzy. In spite of suffering from the heat, Byrne came into the last round needing to beat Anatoly Lein to qualify for a play-off to decide who would go to the Interzonals with Kavalek . When the game was adjourned, he was in a winning position, but then instead of rationally and patiently exploiting his advantage, he tried to rush the win, overlooked a cunning defence and only drew. He smiles as he tells the story and puts his misjudgement down to losing patience as he grows older. In spite of many good results when he was a young man, notably winning the US Open in 1960 when he was thirty-two, Byrne really began to achieve eminence when he was in his middle forties . In 1972 he won the US Championship after a three-way tie with Kavalek and Reshevsky which qualified him for the Leningrad Interzonal. There he finished third and was seeded into the Candidates' matches, only to lose his quarter-final match against Spassky, -3 =3 . The English player in the first group was Michael Stean, now one of this country' s five grandmasters and one of Korchnoi's seconds in his World Championship matches. He learned to play chess when he was only four and a half, and it rapidly became clear that of all that generation of young English players, he was Tony Miles's chief rival in the race to become first ever British grandmaster. He gained his first

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Michael Stean

Viktor Korc hno i

international master norm in 1974 at the Nice Olympiad where he also won the prize for the most brilliant game - a victory over the American grandmaster, Walter Browne - gained his second norm at the Alexander Memorial tournament at Middlesbrough and did well in the formidable Alekhine Memorial in Moscow. He subsequently became a grandmaster and also became renowned for the spirit with which he entered into the off-the-board events of the Karpov- Korchnoi match in Baguio (for details of the yoghurt, the reflecting sun glasses, the bugged chair, influences of parapsychology and the episode of the bar of soap and the cigar, see Bill Hartston's Battle of Baguio City). The number one seed and favourite to win the fifth Master Game title was Viktor Korchnoi, the expatriate Russian who now lives in Switzerland and sometimes seems to be a one-man crusade against the might of the Soviet chess establishment. His list of fi rst prizes exceeds that of almost any other grandmaster playing including outright wins at: Bucharest, 1954; Cracow, 1959; USSR Championship, 1960; Cordoba ,

1960; Budapest, 1961; USSR Championship, 1962 ; Havana, 1963; USSR Championship, 1964; Gyula, 1965; Erevan, 1965; Bucharest, 1966; Sochi, 1966; Leningrad, 1967; Beverwijk, 1968; Palma, 1968; Sarajevo, 1969; Luhacovice, 1969; USSR Championship, 1970; Wijk-aan-Zee, 1971 . He has played in two World Championship finals , losing both to Karpov by the narrowest margins and has reached the Candidates stage four other times. It is not only the results that make Korchnoi so formidable but his method of achieving them. He fights to win every game, dislikes draws as much as Larsen , and frequently gets into fearful time trouble through his purist search for the best move and combination. His great hero was Emanuel Lasker, and like Lasker he is often to be seen at his best in desperate defensive pOSitions where the tension that would destroy lesser players seems to inspire him to ever-new ingenuities. Certainly Korchnoi 's battle for survival in the Master Game after his demoralising defeat by Schmid made for a nerve-tingling sub-plot. He beat Robert Byrne, but while he was doing so, his second, Michael

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Stean, was losing a game he ought at least to have drawn against Schmid, and in the final game not even a convincing win over Stean was enough with Schmid cruising to the safest of draws against Byrne. Certainly his presence and his failure at that last fence electrified that fifth series. Walter Browne arrived for his fi rst game in the first group with one leg in plaster. Whether he had broken it kicking an opponent who had swindled him, or a table which had happened to annoy him, or had dislocated an ankle by leaping up too quickly before unplaiting his feet from round a chair leg, history does not relate. After his failure the previous year against Donner, determination was manifest in every grimace and grunt and when he fought off Hort to qualify for the final, he smiled for the first time in the whole tournament on hearing that Schmid had qualified out of group B. In the final, Schmid played with his usual tranquillity while Browne quietly derided his lack of ambition and erected complicated methods of retribution until disaster befell him, o'erleaping ambition fell on its nose with a terrible blunder, and a bemused Browne, still not apparently believing it could have happened to him, went through the motions of congratulating his vanquisher. Sportif to the last, he instantly challenged Schmid to a five-minute blitz game for the first-prize money which Schmid gravely declined, preferring instead to go and find some other first edition to add to his collection . Vlastimil Hort from Czechoslovakia was able to play because he had had to withdraw from the Riga Interzonal owing to ill health. He was not pleased with his results that year; he was doing as well as might reasonably be expected but not

as well as he had hoped, scoring as consistently as he should have done in the major tournaments without quite being able to match the very best. The change in the rules of the Master Game, from sudden-death knock-out to qualifying groups, surprisingly did not make life any easier for anyone . Theoretically, Hort should have beaten John Nunn in the first pairings, but that Nunn managed to hang on for yet another draw against Hort demonstrated both the closeness of standards at the top levels of chess, and also the great depth of strength there is in English chess today. Nunn, who was about to show sparkling form in tournaments, had desperate struggles against Hort, Browne and even the West German grandmaster, Helmut Pfleger.

Helmut Pfl eger

Pfleger has gradually withdrawn from serious chess to concentrate on his practice as a psychiatrist and develop a parallel career as a chess television commentator. Before he acquired the reputation for being a 'coffee house' player, he managed to win the West German title jointly with Unzicker in 1965,

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and then won tournaments at Polanica Zdroj, Louren