Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: 1963 NYS Amateur Championship

Romulus, NY was the site of the 1963 NYS Amateur Chess Championship. Some very tough games were played and the field was extremely strong.

 One of my opponents was Mrs. Fuchs and ask readers if they have any information on her background as I would like to do a brief biography. I believe she was from NYC, one of the major women players in the USA, perhaps playing in a US Women’s Championship or other regional or state events.

             Mrs. Fuchs   (White)         Don Reithel  (Black)

                                  Slav Defense

1.d4  d5  2.c4  c6  3.Nf3  Nf6  4.e3  Bf5  5.Qb3  Qb6  6.Qxb6  axb6  7.Nc3  e6  8.Bd2  Bd6.

This bishop is centrally placed to gain as much sqct as possible, thus gaining a spatial edge early on although this is not immediately important in itself.  SqCt: 8/18.

9.Rc1  0-0  10.Nh4  Bg6  11.Nxg6  hxg6  12. f3.

Defends e4 and g4 with a support for an eventual wing pawn roll up starting with g4.

12…Nbd7  13.a3  Rfe8  14.cxd5  exd5  15.Bd3  Rac8  16.Kf2  Nf8  17.g4  Nf8  18.h4  Rcd8  19.h5  g5  20.Bf5!

This lady knows how to play chess!

20…Nf8  21.Na4  Bc7  22.Bb4.

Look at the way she is handling her bishop-pair. I was trying to safeguard inroads into my position and after a long think I came up with what I hoped was a cool plan.

22…g6  23.hxg6  fxg6  24.Bd3  Kg7.

Bringing the King into an active defensive role and making room for the Rooks to maneuver on the rank.

25.Rh3

A costly mistake as I was eying the e-pawn which might have been defended by Bd2 first.  Now, I strike with a tactical shot using a skewer on the K/R.

25…Rxe3!  26.Kxe3  Bf4+ 27.Ke2  Bxc1 28.Kd1  Be3  29.Bc3  N6d7  30.b3  Ne6  31.Rh2  Bxd4  32.Re2  Bxc3  33.Rxe6  Bf6  34.Kc2  b5  35.Nc3  Nc5.

The sqct is 13/12 which has little meaning other than the position is rather even spatial-wise. However, black has a pawn majority on the Q-side and his active pieces begin to  pressure the white position and limit movement. It is about time to bring the King into an active and aggressive role where the white monarch will be vested in a defensive capacity.

36.Re1  Bxc3  37.Kxc3  Rf8  38.Re7+  Rf7  39.Rxf7+  Kxf7  40.Bc2  Kf6  41.Kb4  b6  42.Kc3  Ne6  43.Bd3  Nf4  44.Bc2  Ke5  45.Bd1  c5  46.Bc2  d4+  47.Kd2  c4  48.bxc4  bxc4  49.Be4  Kf6  50.a4  Ng2.

Here the position was adjourned and black was awarded a win. (0-1).

Remember what I said about square count. Originally it was to find a way to map the ups and downs of a chess game. Its features spell out spatial assets in a position. The system can be used both for aggressive and defensive plans. In the above game, Mrs. Fuchs needed to defend her e3 square with best probably being Bd2. However, in advancing her aggressive intentions on the King-wing with Rh3, she overlooked the weak link in her position which subsequently squelched her excellent play to that point.

                                                   ***

 Bruno Schmidt was one of the top stars among amateurs in NYS events and a very gifted attacking player. This game was interesting because I had played this 6.h3 idea against Joe Coe from the same event and won a very tense battle.

The opening books suggest after 6.h3 that best ideas to try for black were Nc6, e6 or g6 but gave e5?! as questionable. I felt my opponent would have made himself familiar with this and decided to try e5 because I could see nothing fundamentally wrong with it and there is enough play to complicate the battle. Perhaps GMs or top masters might have concerns but in the hands of amateurs, I felt it was worth it psychologically to toss my opponent a ‘gift’ so-to-speak.

           Bruno Schmidt  (White)   vs  Don Reithel  (Black)

                                    Sicilian Defense

When I was first learning to play chess and my first adventures into tournament play by post and then after joining the Rochester Chess & Checker Club, I usually adopted 1…e5 opening defense and rarely a French, Caro Kann or Sicilian Game that came as I began to realize my opponents gearing up against 1…e5.

1.e4  c5  2.Nf3  d6  3.d4  cxd4  4.Nxd4  Nf6  5.Nc3  a6  6.h3.

In the Coe game, Joe tried here 6…Qc7 7.Be3  e6  8.N4e2 Nc6 9.g4  Ne5  10.Ng3  g6.

6…e5?! 7.Nde2  b5  8.g4  Bb7  9.Bg2  Be7  10.Ng3  g6  11.Bh6  Nc6!  12.0-0  Nd4  13.Nce2  Ne6.

The Knight takes up an excellent position and covers g7 nicely so I can drive away the Bishop.

14.Qd2  Ng8!

Sometimes you have to go backwards a step inorder to advance two steps.

15.Be3  Qc7  16.Nc3  Rc8  17.Rac1  Nf6  18.Nd5  Bxd5!

This is the right way to capture the Knight. Part of the reason Bruno wanted to exchange here was to free up e4 for his pieces in an anticipation of an eventual attack on the K-side.

19. exd5  Nc5  20.c4  b4   21.b3.

Why did he refuse to take the b-pawn with his Queen? On 21.Qxb4?? black’s Knight forks by Nd3 the Q & R.

 21…0-0  22.f4  Nfd7  23.f5.

All Hell is breaking loose! There was definitely a gleam in his eye and the pawn was screwed into the square as though to tell me that he was going for my King.

23… a5  24.Bh6  Rfe8  25.fxg6  fxg6  26.Qf2  Nf6  27.Rcd1.

Taking time to defend the d3 square and limit my counterplay.

27…Bf8  28.Bg5  Nfd7  29.Ne4  Bg7  30.Qf7+.

Obviously coming down to look around but I could not see any way white can achieve much.

30…Kh8  31.Nxc5  Nxc5  32.Qxc7  Rxc7.

I suspect he sought exchange of the Queens due to having spent considerable time on planning his attack and the fact that he was unable to find a winning blow with the Queen sortie.

33.Be3  Kg8  34.Rf2  a4  35.Bxc5  Rxc5.

Better than …dxc5 which would have given him more play.

36.Be4  axb3  37.axb3  Ra5  38.Rc2  Bh6!  39.Kg2  Be3  40.Rd3  Bd4  41.Rf3  Rf8  42.Rxf8+  Kxf8  43.Rc1  Ra2+  44.Kg3 Bf2+  45.Kf3  Bd4  46.Rb1  Rf2+  47.Kg3  Re2.

Suddenly white finds himself in hot water.

48.Bf3  Re3  49.Kg2  e4  50.Bd1  Re1  51.Kg3  e3  52.Kf3  e2.

From move 40ish on both clocks had flags rising. While the time control was reached, the end of the game was at hand. After one last deliberation, Mr. Schmidt resigned and congratulated me on my handling of the black forces in a very tense fight.

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