Chess is the most interesting game that has ever been devised. It produces infinite strategic and tactical variations and an inexhaustible number of ways for you to overcome your opponent, or for you to be outwitted. After a dozen or so moves you may well be in a position that no two players have ever reached before! On the other hand there is a vast literature available on chess in which games played more than 500 years ago can be played through again or the examples of past World Champions followed. Napoleon was a very strong and imaginative chess player and several of his games have been published.
There is an unusual feature about the game of chess; it can be played by correspondence (CC), the moves being sent to and fro by letter, by email or by web server. The opponents may be great distances apart, a situation quite common in Australia Since its establishment in 1929 the Correspondence Chess League of Australia (CCLA) has always had a healthy membership and has become the largest chess club in the country.
The CCLA administers correspondence chess in Australia. It is affiliated with the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) which in turn is an autonomous organisation within the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), the governing body of world chess. The CCLA organises games, tournaments and championships among its members.
If you are a Master player or have just learned the moves you can get a good game of correspondence chess. Games are arranged between players of approximately equal rating. There is plenty of opportunity to move up or down the League’s Rating List and so meet new players whose strength matches your latest results.
WHY PLAY CORRESPONDENCE CHESS?
There are many reasons, any one of which might apply to you. There are country players who cannot find suitable opponents any other way, there are those whose hours of work or other obligations prevent them meeting other players and there are those who for various reasons would rather play at home. There are many people who simply prefer to play chess this way. Some players find that their over-the-board (OTB) games are marred by blunders, often the result of fatigue, which can be avoided with the additional time available and the opportunity to plan deeply by moving the pieces around the board. Many others, of course, are active OTB players as well and they find that the quickest way to improve their
game is playing by correspondence. In this way you can look for the combinations that only the Masters can find quickly enough for cross-board play and you can learn, in part at least, to find them more quickly yourself.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO START?
Experience has shown that the most satisfactory way to start playing CC is in small tourneys called General Tourneys. The CCLA currently conducts two kinds General
Four-Two Tourney – two games against each of three opponents;
Five-One Tourney – one game against each of four opponents
In these tourneys you would have either six or four games in progress at the same time; if you feel that is too many a lesser number of ‘friendly games’ can be arranged. All games are rated unless the players request otherwise.
HOW LONG DOES A GAME LAST?
Most games take between six months and a year but some games, between players of comparable ability, can last more than two years. A player taking part in one tourney every year is an active player.
HOW DO YOU START PLAYING IN A TOURNEY?
The Games Starter (one of the CCLA’s officers) posts a score sheet to the player with the white pieces for every game in every tourney. This score sheet is then mailed to and fro with each successive move recorded on it. Each player is urged to retain their own copy in case of a missing letter (not uncommon these days). The names and addresses of both players are on the scoresheet as is a cross-table to record the results as games are concluded. There are also columns to record the dates of receipt and despatch and also the number of days used (the normal rate of play is 10 moves in 30 days, not counting time in transit). The manner of recording moves (notation) is given below. It is also possible to transmit moves by E-mail and, in recent times, a webserver has been established to conduct games. Under this system players log into the ICCF Webserver http://www.iccf-webchess.com to make their moves, an email is then sent to the other player upon a move, that player in turn logs into the site to make their move and so forth.
DOES POSTAGE COST A LOT
Work it out! A Four-Two tourney involves you in six games and you could expect a move in each about once a week. Alternatively, E-mail and webserver chess does not involve postage at all but there is a small administration fee for both at the start of each tourney.
HOW MUCH TIME IS REQUIRED?
This is entirely up to you. You may choose to be a rapid player, spending only a few minutes on each move, or you may choose to ponder for hours. The more time spent on each move the stronger that move will be but you decide which style will provide the greatest interest. The great Cecil Purdy, an Australian who became the first World CC Champion, only played about 50 correspondence games
in his career but they were played very slowly and are all brilliant creations.
WHAT ABOUT CHESS BOOKS AND COMPUTERS?
You are permitted to consult any book during the course of a game and strong players do so all the time, notably during the opening stage of each game. Computers of any kind can only be used for reference purposes (e.g. databases), just as for a book or periodical. They are not permitted to be used for
If you would like to ‘have a go’ fill in an application form (see the web site) and send it to the Secretary at GPO Box 2360, Sydney, NSW, 2001.
HOW THE CCLA WORKS
The aim of the CCLA is to foster correspondence chess throughout Australia and to do this it needs an efficient organising body. This body is known as the Council. Council consists of a dozen or so members of the CCLA and includes all those who have specific jobs to do. All are voluntary workers.
An example of the CCLA in operation can be seen from the point of view of a new member. A new player’s application form goes via the Secretary to the Treasurer (with fees) who then passes on requests for games to the Games Starter. This officer then issues score sheets to the various competitors. New members also receive a rule book.
From the start of play in any tourney all games are under the control of a Director of Play (DOP) whose name and address appears on all score sheets. Most tourneys are completed without incident, the score sheet passing back and forth until the games are completed. The winner then sends it on to the DOP, who records the result. The DOP then informs the Ratings Registrar, who makes ratings
adjustments for both players. At the conclusion of a tourney the DOP informs the Treasurer who issues any relevant prizes.
If some hitch crops up in a game the DOP is consulted. The rule book sets out the circumstances under which the player should communicate with the DOP and the action which should follow. Most incidents of this kind are minor, such as a lost score sheet, but occasionally a matter arises upon which the DOP is called upon to make a ruling according to the rules.
With experience some players may wish to compete with overseas players; they would contact the International Secretary. General enquiries are normally addressed to the Secretary. More games can be requested at any time by contacting the Treasurer and enclosing any entry fees. Nobody should be prevented from playing CC for want of financial means. Pensioners and students have a reduced membership rate and may apply for reduced fees for Major Tournaments. There is also a special CCLA fund to support people who are totally unable to pay any fees. Finally there is a Disputes Committee to which any member may appeal if dissatisfied with the actions of any officer of the CCLA.
Each February, May, August and November every member automatically receives a copy of the official magazine of the League, the Australian Correspondence Chess Quarterly. It contains news, games, results of tourneys, notice of up-coming events, articles and an updated Ratings List. It also provides a means
of communication between members as Letters to The Editor may be published. Formerly known as the CCLA Record ,its title was changed in 1987 to more accurately reflect its subject matter. Under its two names the magazine has a continuous publishing history, under quite a few editors, dating back to 1948.
Each member has a numerical score called a rating, which is adjusted up or down according to the results of completed games. This system serves to indicate relative playing strength. Upon joining the CCLA each new member is allotted a temporary rating based on the following table:
Players with one year’s experience 1050
Regular home players 1180
Regular Club players 1270
B Grade players 1400
A Reserve players 1490
A Grade, lower boards 1625
The Ratings List is adjusted four times per year by the Ratings Registrar.
General Tournaments As mentioned above, these Four-Two and Five-One tournaments are started, between players of approximately equal strength, every month, or when there are enough applications. There is no entry fee and the winner receives a souvenir bookplate.
Friendly Games These are arranged on request for members at all levels. Single games (one colour only) or pairs of games (one colour each) are arranged when opponents are available. A member may start up to five ‘friendly games’ in each quarter; those wanting more games will find one of the tourneys more satisfactory. Championships and Major Tournaments The Australian Correspondence Chess Championship is conducted by the CCLA every year, alternating between normal mail transmission one year and webserver transmission the next. Below this level there is a descending series of championships which are filled in rating order. These tournaments are the Australian Reserves, the Sendak Memorial, the Parker Memorial, and the Laughton Memorial. The CCLA also conducts the Australian Women’s Championship and State Championships when enough players are available.
The International Secretary is responsible for this sector of the CCLA’s activities. Being affiliated with the International Correspondence Chess Federation, the CCLA’s members may take part in international competitions. This was once a very slow process, with post cards sent by air mail taking some time in transit. These days the ICCF’s webserver <a href=”http://www.iccf-webchess.com/”>www.iccf-webchess.com</a> makes play very quick and very user friendly which is fast becoming an attractive option to many members. Facilities for international play are available to all members of the League by means of the individual tournaments conducted by the ICCF. Australia also enters teams in the Correspondence Chess Olympiads (the World Teams Championships) and has done well over the years.
Australian players have reached the world championship candidates & finals and
performed creditably in most world championship events thus far.
ICCF PROMOTION AND RELEGATION TOURNAMENTS
Open No entry qualification
Master Norm 2300+
Grandmaster Norm 2450+
Open and Higher class have seven-player sections, with Master Class having eleven-player sections, Master Norm and Grandmaster norm having thirteen-player sections. By winning your respective class a player can go to the next level. However, the winner of a Master class tournament is seeded into a section of the Semi-finals of the world championship, which in turn may lead to the Candidates and ultimately the Finals of the world championship.
In addition to the above, the League also plays friendly matches against various countries around the world. These matches are played at all levels – from beginner to expert with each player having two games (one as white, one as black) against a single opponent.
The General Laws of chess do not give sufficient guidance on notation for the purposes of Correspondence chess. The following notes give interpretations acceptable within the League. The English initials representing the pieces are these: K = King; Q = Queen; R = Rook; N = Knight; B = Bishop; P = Pawn.
This is the most popular form of notation and is adopted in all modern chess books and magazines. The files are named ‘a’ to ‘h’ and the ranks are numbered ‘1’ to ‘8’, both starting from White’s left-hand corner. The board is always described from White’s point of view. Move by a piece: Give the initial of the piece and the square it moves to; a hyphen between is optional, e.g. Bb5 or B-b5. Capture by a piece: Give the initial of the piece and the square upon which it captures; a colon ‘:’ or ‘x’ between is optional, e.g. Bb5, B:b5 or Bxb5. Move by a pawn: Give the square it moves to, e.g. h6. Capture by a pawn: Give the file it moves from and the square upon which it captures; a colon or x between is optional, e.g. cd4, c:d4 or cxd4. Avoidance of ambiguity: If either of the Rooks, Knights or Bishops can make the same capture state the file or rank from which it moves and the square upon which it captures; again a colon or x is optional, e.g. Nbd7 or Nb:d7 and R8b4
Promotion: Give the pawn move together with the promotion piece in brackets, e.g. g8(Q). Castles: King-side = O-O; Queen-side = O-O-O. The hyphens are recommended in handwritten moves. Check: Use + or ch, or omit altogether.
This system is the same as abbreviated Algebraic except that the square from which
the piece or pawn moves is also given, e.g. Bf1-b5, e7-e5 or Nh6-f5.
English descriptive This system describes the position from players’ perspective, not just the White side. Starting from the left-hand corner of the player with the move the files are named QR, QN, QB, Q, KB, KN and KR. The ranks are numbered from the point of view of the player with the move. Unless there is ambiguity the Q and K are omitted from the R,N and B files. Piece and Pawn moves: Give the initial of the piece, or P for pawn, a hyphen and the square to which it moves, e.g. B-N5, P-Q3. Captures: Give the initial of the piece, or P for pawn, an ‘x’, and the initial of the captured piece, e.g. QxB or NxP.
Avoidance of ambiguity: A common problem with this system: Describe fully the square moved to, e.g. B-KN5, P-QR3 State in brackets the square moved from, e.g. R(R1)-Q1, Describe fully the item captured, e.g. QxKRP, RxN(N5). Remember that in this latter case the captured piece is described from the point of view of the player making the move.
For the first move of a piece only, a prefix K or Q can be used to show which side of the board a B, R or N comes from, e.g. KN-K2. After a piece has moved, however, a player is not expected to remember where a piece began the game. A pawn may be described according to the current file upon which it stands, e.g. BPxP.
It does not matter which file it started from. Give the pawn move and the promotion piece in brackets, Castles: King-side = O-O; Queen-side = O-O-O. Hyphens should be used. Check: Use + or ch, or omit altogether.
Both files and ranks are numbered from 1 to 8 starting from White’s left-hand corner. The board is always described from White’s point of view. All piece or pawn moves or captures are written as a four-figure number: the file the piece or pawn moves from, the rank it moves from, the file it moves to and the rank
it moves to; e.g. de4, d5:e4, QPxKP, and 4554 are all the same Black move. Similarly Qh5, Qd1-h5, Q-R5 and 4185 are all the same move for White. Castling is indicated as a King move, e.g. 5171 or 5131 for White and 5878 or 5838 for Black. Promotion is indicated by adding a fifth number to the normal four-digit move, according to the following code: 1 = Q, 2 = R, 3 = B, 4 = N, e.g. 67681
is equivalent to f8(Q) or P-B8(Q).
In the middle of 1929 a small group of enthusiasts founded the Commonwealth Correspondence Chess League as an offshoot of the Melbourne Chess Club. Mr. R Saunders was the first Director and membership reached 39 by the end of the year. Mr.L Spinks was Director from 1932 until 1936; he began many new tournaments, including a correspondence match between NSW and Victoria, and another between Australia and New Zealand. By his introduction of the ‘Perpetual Handicap’ laid the foundations for the system of regular competition among members, the main source of the League’s strength.
In 1937 it was decided that the League, which had by now acquired its present title, should be formally founded as an independent organisation. A committee was formed with G Koshnitsky as President, G F McIntosh as Secretary and F M Hallman as Director of Play. The Australian Chess Review, under the editorship of C J S Purdy, was confirmed as the CCLA’s official organ. A policy of expansion saw a substantial increase in membership and the start of the first Australian Championship.
Cecil Purdy became the most notable force in raising correspondence chess in Australia to its present high standard. By the strength of his play he became the first Australian Correspondence Chess Champion, as well as holding the cross-board title several times. He then went on to win the first World Correspondence Chess Championship. By his editorship of Australian Chess Review (later Chess World) he publicised correspondence chess at home and abroad.
In 1946 the CCLA affiliated with the ICCF (International Correspondence Chess Federation) and since then has regularly entered in international events. Some of these have been on an ambitious scale; for example, matches with 100 boards were held against Great Britain and the USA. Many such friendly overseas matches are still conducted and, in addition, teams and individual players are entered in the ICCF’s regular series of Olympiads and other events, including, of course, the World Championships.
By 1948 membership had grown to over 400 and the League was able to start its own journal and to fund it the subscription was raised to ten shillings. In that year also, seven-player trophy tournaments were introduced in place of the original twelve-player which had proved larger than convenient.
In 1950 came the automatic Rating System. At this time League membership had been arranged into a number of classes and operation of the ‘Perpetual Handicap’ often meant waiting for promotion or demotion from one class to another. The new system thereafter determined the class of each member. Forty years later the ELO system was adopted by the League. The moving spirit behind these early advances was S E Ward, at the time Secretary and Director of play.
W.A.Parker became Director of play in 1951 and was later Secretary and Journal Editor. His death in 1956 was untimely. As well as this contribution he had been an enthusiastic player in the lower grades so a Memorial Trophy is now held in his honour.
In 1952 the Four-Two tourneys were introduced. In 1959 Maiden Tourneys (conducted as 4/2 tourneys) were also introduced, open to members in the lower classes who had not previously won a tourney.
The 750 Membership mark was passed in 1962. At the time R G Gilbert was Secretary, serving a record term from 1957 to1963 and A J Walsh was Director of Play, having filled this post since 1959. At this time the Rules of Play were re-drafted and various steps taken to minimise delays in tourneys. Previously,
each move had to be made in three days but this was altered to the present system (10 moves in 30 days) which provides greater flexibility. In 1960 the position of Games Starter was established and D J Fraser was the inaugural occupant.
The League had over 1000 members in 1968 and a number of DOP’s were appointed to handle the additional work-load. In 1966 a regular cycle of Major Events was introduced and in 1971-72 the Master title was revised and Life-Membership conferred on Masters. At the same time Class Championships were introduced. With the world-wide interest in chess generated by the Fischer-Spassky World Title match in 1972 the League’s numbers swelled to over 2000. In the years since the Council has made numerous adjustments to the rules to reflect
Roy Saunders 1929-1930 Director
Perc Spiden 1930-1932 Director
Les Spinks 1932-1936 Director
Gary Koshnitsky 1937-1953 President
Sam Ward 1953-1955 President
Alan Willison 1955-1957 President
Cecil Purdy 1957-1979 President
David Fraser 1979-1998 President
Maurice Newman 1998-2003 President
Tim Runting 2003- President
For those members interested in the details of the CCLA’s development, Henry Lunney
has published a History of the League called The First Fifty Years in 1980.
THE AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The premier competition conducted by the CCLA is the Australian Championship. Prior
to 1937 there were three Championships held, being won by O Ludlow and F M
Hallman (twice). Since then they have been held regularly except for the war
Here is the Honour Roll:
Year Winner(s) Runner(s) Up
1937 C J S Purdy G Koshnitsky
1948 C J S Purdy G Koshnitsky
1950 R Arlauskas H Klass
1955 M C Salm K Ozols
1959 K Ozols/J V Kellner (equal)
1961 J V Kellner G F McIntosh
1963 L S Fell V Lapin
1966 M C Salm/A L Miller (equal)
1969 Dr C Barnett L L Oliver
1972 P W Thompson M V Woodhams/P L Williams (equal)
1975 M V Woodhams M C Salm
1977 Dr I Venclovas/G N Ware (equal)
1979 R J Weigand/S N Jacobi (equal)
1981 K Harrison D G Hamilton/Dr D J Kewley (equal)
1983 S W Jenkinson D G Hamilton
1985 L S Fell R M Jamieson
1987 G West F P Hutchings
1989 F P Hutchings L J P Kempen
1991 J Silva T E Runting
1993 F P Hutchings W Bundschuh/W O Megier (equal)
1995 W J Jordan/H J Barber
1997 Dr C Barnett/Dr R S Booth (equal)
1999 M.Juradowitch Dr A.Hariman
2000 S.Dibley S.J.Henri
2001 Dr R.S.Booth R.Basden
2002 S.Kerr J-P.Fenwick
2003 G.S.Benson S.Kerr
2004 B.Oates G.McMahon
2005 Dr C. Barnett/J-P.Fenwick (equal)
2006 Dr C.Barnett, T.E.Runting/P.Boronowskis (equal)
The CCLA also conducts a Women’s Championship: here are the winners
(Since 1993 there have been no further women’s championships)
AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1938 Mrs E Steiner
1957 Mrs J Thompson
1961 Mrs M Cook/Mrs J Stagpoole
1963 Mrs N Kellner
1966 Mrs N Kellner/Miss J Tucker
1970 Mrs N Kellner/Miss I Ozolins/Miss J Tucker
1975 Mrs I Hawkesworth
1977 Mrs C V Henr
1979 Mrs D E Thomas
1981 Mrs R Borrell
1984 Mrs S Margan
1987 Mrs E M Berg
1989 Mrs E M Berg
1991 Mrs R H Collings
1993 Miss L E O’Mara
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The following games will give some idea of the standard of play within the League.
In the first three games the same opening, the French Defence, has produced a
series of games that are totally different in character and the games were
chosen for this purpose. First a game from the top level played by two
Australian Champions. Frank Hutchings won the title in 1989 after coming second
two years before, while Lloyd Fell was Champion in 1963 and again in 1985. They
are both also very strong cross-board players so the game is longer than usual
and has a very instructive ending.
Australian Championship 1987
L S Fell – F P Hutchings (notes)
1. e4 e6; 2. d4 d5; 3. Nd2 Nf6; 4. e5 Nfd7; 5. f4 c5; 6.c3 Nc6; 7. Ndf3 Qb6; 8. g3 f5; 9. Ne2 Be7;
10. Bg2 My book references ran out about hereabouts. Black aims to hold the K-side and
expand on the other wing. 10…a5; 11. O-O
Ndb8; 12. Rb1 Bd7; 13. Be3 Na6; 14. Ne1 O-O; 15. h3 a4; 16. g4 cd4; 17. cd4
Qa7; 18. gf5 Rxf5; 19. Ng3 Rf7; 20. Nc2 Nc7; 21. Kh2 To this point I had rather under-estimated
White’s King-side prospects. Immediate counter measures on that wing are now
called for. 21…Bh4; 22. Bg1 Ne7; 23. Ne2 Raf8; 24. Ne1
Bb5; 25. Nd3 Nf5; 26. Rc1 b6; 27. Rc3 Na6; 28. Qc2 Rc7; 29. Rc1 Rfc8; 30. Qd2
Rxc2; 31. Rxc3 Qd7; 32. Bf3 Bc4; 33. b3 ab3; 34. ab3 bb5; 35. Rxc8 Qxc8; 36.
Bg4 g6; 37. Bxf5 gf5; 38. Nc3 Be8; 39. Bf2 Be7; 40. Ne2 h6; 41. Be1 Kh7; 42.
Nc3 Nb4; 43. Nxb4 Bxb4;
44. Qd3 Qa8; 45. Bd2 Be7; 46. Qc2 Qa6; 47. Kg2 Bh4; 48. Be3 Qa1; 49. Qc1
White chooses to defend a slightly inferior ending rather than continue the heavy maneuvering of the middle
game which has rather favoured Black. Without his Queen, however, the potent drawing resources
of perpetual check are no longer available.49…Qxc1; 50. Bxc1 Be1; 51. Nb1 White already has a difficult choice.
Here 51. Na4 Bxa4; would leave his Bishop very inferior, with Black’s able to break
through via …Ka6 and …b5. Black now achieves his immediate object of an active
post for his ‘bad’ Bishop. 51…Bb5; 52. Bd2 Bh4; 53. Nc3 Bd3; 54. Na4
Bd8; 55. Nc3 Kg6; 56. b4 Kf7; Black aims to force a static Queen-side and tie the White minor pieces to passive
defence. 57. Bc1 Ke8; 58. Kg3 Be7; 59. b5 Bb4; 60. Bb2 A point of Black’s play is that after 60. Na4
Bxb5; 61. Nxb6 Kd8; White’s Knight cannot escape. 60…Kf7; Black’s King is now free to head for h4.
Some maneuvering with the Bishops is needed in order to achieve this goal while
still restricting the White pieces. 61. Kg2 Kg6; 62. Kg3 Kh5; 63. Ba1 Bc2; 64.
Bb2 Be7; 65. Ne2 Bh4+; 66. Kh2 Bd3; 67. Nc3 If 67. Ng3 then of course not …Bxg3 conceding opposite coloured Bishops
but rather 67…Kg6; still winning the b-pawn.67…Be1; 68. Na4 Kh4; 69. Nxb6
Bxb5; 70. Ba3 Bg3+; 71. Kg2 Bxf4; 72. Be7+ Kh5; 73. Na8 With an extra pawn and two strong Bishops
Black must win but this move gives him the opportunity to force the f-pawn
through at once. 73…Be3; 74. Nc7 Be2; White resigns. A long game but not due to long distance; the
two players lived 10 kilometres apart.
The second game was part of a Qualifying Tournament, once one of the stepping
stones to a berth in the Australian Championship. This game is a good example
of what can happen if a player allows the opponent to gain time and a
positional advantage in the early part of the game.
S G Pick – H W M Lunney (notes)
1. e4 e6; 2. d4 d5; 3. Nc3 Nf6; 4. Bg5 Be7; 5. e5 Nfd7; 6.Bxe7 Qxe7; 7. f4 O-O; 8. Nf3 c5; 9. Qd2 Nc6;
10. dc5 Nxc5; 11. O-O-O Bd7; So far a line in the now classic French
Defence. The text move is a suggestion of Keres, mentioned but not followed up
in ECO which gives 11…f6 as the main line. 12. Bd3 Nb4; 13. Be2 White’s 12th was a plausible move
found in most lines. Not now liking 13…Nxd3; 14. cd3
with an open file in front of the King, he retreats, and the loss
of tempo invites sharp play. 13…Rfc8;
14. Nd4 a5; 15. a3 Nxc2; Sacrifice
is essential, otherwise Black also merely retreats into equality. 16. Qxc2 Ba4; 17. Qd2 If b3, also…Ne4. 17…Ne4;
18. Qe3 Rxc3; White resigns. The second sacrifice ends matters quickly. If 19. bc3 Qxa3; 20. Kb1 Nxc3.
The third game is an example of descriptive notation. In another French Defence
White converts a series of threats into a nice win with a neat finish. Both
were middle ranking players at the time.
Class 5 Championship 1984
J E Ramsden (notes) – M Davey
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.dxc5 Nf6 8.Nb3 0-0 9.Nf3 Re8 10.Be3 Ne4
In this Tarrasch Variation, Black deviates from ECO which continues 10…a6 leading to an unclear position.
The text seems a little over-anxious about the pawn deficit. 11.0-0
Nxc5 12.Nbd4 Qc7 Black’s KR is now loose. 12…Bd7 is a better way of
supporting the pinned Knight. 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bxc5 cxb5 15.Bxe7 Rxe7 16.Qxb5
Rb8 17.Qxd5 Rxb2 Now White has a pawn plus he can defend and, more
importantly, the initiative. 18.Rad1 The first of a series of threats against the back rank.
18…Re8 </b>18…Rd7 might have been preferable, e.g. 19.Qe4 Qd8
20.Rxd7 Bxd7 19.Rfe1 Be6 20.Nd4 White’s
first Queen offer; if accepted, Rxe8 is mate.
20…Qc8 21.Qd6 Threatening Nc6, with the idea of 23.Ne7+ winning
the exchange. 21…Rb6 But while this parries the threat,
21…Rxa2 is more preferable. 22.Qg3 For the moment White’s threats are exhausted. However, this
retreat nicely anticipates Black’s next turn. 22…Bxa2 23.Nf5 Rxe1+</b> 23…Rg6 24.Rxe8+
Qxe8 25.Ne7+ loses the exchange (25…Qxe7 26.Qb8+) 24.Rxe1 Qf8 The only worthwhile try; if 24…Rg6 25.Qxg6 hxg6
26.Ne7+ 25.Qa3!! This second Queen offer, described by Black at the time as ‘beautiful’, collars the Bishop.
25…h6 25…Qxa3 26.Re8+ Qf8 27.Ne7+ Kh8 28.Rxf8#;
or 25…Be6 26.Ne7+ Kh8 27.Ng6+ wins the Queen; or; 25…Re6 26.Ne7+ Rxe7 27.Qxe7 a6
28.Qe2 a5 29.Ra1 Be6 30.Rxa5 wins for White. 26.Qxa2 Qb4 27.Qa1 Black
The final game, played at the lower end of the ranks, is a good example of the
disasters that await a timid approach to the game in the opening.
Seven-Player Tournament No 882
I C Murray (notes) – D B Morrison
1. e4 e5; 2. Nf3 Nc6; 3. d4 ed4 4. Bc4
Qe7; 5. O-O h6; Over-cautious; White has no intention of
playing Bg5. 6. c3 Na5; 7. Qxd4 Nxc4; 8. Qxc4 Qc5; 9. Qe2 Nf6; 10. e5 Nd5 11. c4
Nb6; 12. b3 Qc6; 13. Nc3 Bc5; 14. Bb2 a6; 15. Ne4 O-O; 16.Nf6+ If 16…gf6;
17. exf followed by Nh4 and Qg4+ with
mate in one. If Black plays …d6 or …d5 to stop Qg4+ White plays Qh5 threatening
Qxh6 mate.16…Kh8; 17. Ng5 gf6 Of
course, if hg5 18. Qh5# 18. exf Rg8; 19. Nxf7+ Kh7; 20. Qd3+ Rg6;
21. G3 White loses a vital tempo,
forced by Black’s mate threat. 21…d5; 22. Nh8 Aiming to win the pinned Rook, but overlooking
Black’s reply 22…Bf5; 23. Qxf5 Rxh8 And
White’s sacrificial attack collapses. 24. cxd Qxd5; 25. Qc2 Bd6; 26. Rad1 Qf3; An
apparently sound move, preparing to stop the advanced pawn 27.
Rxd6 Black resigns If the first
sacrifice doesn’t succeed, try again. 27…cd6; 28. Qxc7+ Kg8; 29. Qd8+ Kh7; 30.
Qe7+ Kg8; 31. Qe8+ Kh7; 32.Qf7+ Rg7; 33. Qxg7.