How to Play Chess: Illusionary Delight

One of the rich tournaments history-wise in western NYS was the Genesee Valley Open. In 1962 I found time from studies and working to participate and managed to win this pretty game. It was against club president, Dr. Erich W. Marchand and just one of many wonderful battles and experiences with this fine gentleman.

DR (KindredSpirit) vs Dr. Erich W. Marchand

Sicilian Defense

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 Possibly heading for the Taimanov variation.

5.Be2 A move I attribute to Alexander Alekhine. Marchand was extremely skillful and I hoped to get a bit away from more standard and popular lines.

5…Nf6 6.Bf3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nxc6 bxc6 Now why did I play this exchange? Examine the position carefully.

9.e5 Nd5 10.c4 Gains square count and chases the N away from the center and to the Q-wing where it will take some time to maneuver it to a more useful area on the Kingside.

11.Qc2 Protects the c-pawn and pressures the white squares increasing square count as well.

11…f6 12.Be4 f5 13.Bf3 Ba6 14.b3 Qc7 15.Bb2 Both bishops rake the center.

15…g5 16.g3 g4 17.Bg2 Rf7 18.Nc3 Re8 The e-pawn is taboo. Do you see why?

19.Ne2! Bg5! 20.f4 gxf3 e.p. 21.Rxf3 c5 22.Rd3 Bh6 23.Re1 Nc8 desiring to get his N to a more favorable spot.

24.Nf4 Ne7 I think this was a misjudgment but Marchand likes his bishop pair. Bxf4 looks better to me with about = chances. You should never be afraid to stray from your favorite chess ideas if the position calls for you to break from any of them.

25.Nh5 Kh8 26.Nf6 Rd8 27.Qd1 Again notice how my idea of square count can often find good moves. The Q backs up the R and also attacks the Kingside.

27…Ng6 With this he got up and gave a sigh of relief taking time to look at a few other games in progress while I now spent several minutes studying the position. What would you do here for white?

28.Bd5 A shocking move that took black by surprise and into a long think. I am reminded of Tal and his views about muddying the waters and throwing the whole business into a quagmire. My philosophy  like that of many others is that it is harder to defend than to attack. How did I think of this move? Well, I might suggest it adds to square count! And moves that add to square count should at least be examined.

28…exd5 29.e6 Rxf6 The only other idea I considered was what happens if he plays d4 in order to close off the diagonal but white seems to come out on top. As a teaching tool I put you to the test of figuring out the possible consequences. If I tell you, then how do you improve? No one is helping you when you are involved in a battle.

30.Bxf6+ Bg7 31.Bxd8 Qxd8 32.Rxd5 d6 Black played this as soon as I took the pawn and tried to appear pleased with himself using it as a psychological “take that my friend”!

33.Rxd6 Ouch. Did I overlook Bd4+ cutting the Rook and Queen line in the file? Do you see what comes next?

33…Qe7 But not Bd4+ because of 34.Qxd4+ cxd4 35.Rxd8+.

34.Rd7 Bd4+ 35.Qxd4+ cxd4 36.Rxe7 Nxe7 37.Rd1 Nc6? Not best as Kg7 was necessary but still is inadequate.

38.Rxd4 Nxd4 39.e7 Resigns (1-0).

Lessons to learn from this game:

1.Plan from move 1 what you wish to try to have a reason. Note that Be2 I played had the approval of Alekhine so I felt confident that it was a reasonable alternative to more common book lines. Black spent some time considering his response.

2.Black wisely sets the position of the pawns by expanding on the Kingside and then sets about getting N to the K-side to help in defense and attack.

3.The N appears to be stronger than the B so black may have been better off exchanging it which probably leads to an unclear position of about = chances.

4.Occasionally a strong move presents itself even though it looks silly on the surface and usually involves some form of sacrifice for either a mating attack or one that wins material and/or positional advantage.

5. Psychological factors do play a role in winning chess.

This game was published in the American Chess Quarterly as part of the Woodpusher’s column.

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14 Responses to “How to Play Chess: Illusionary Delight”

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    KS I love your Blog. What a great way to keep your column going. I miss it on the Chess Live Newsletter though :(.

    Keep up the GREAT work 😀

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