Kindred’s Special: Club Team Play

Going through my files, I came across several issues of Chess Life & Review from the 1960s-70s when it was a truly great magazine for the American audience as well as attractive to the international scene. It was a period of great chess expansion in the United States in part because of rise of our young champion Robert “Bobby” Fischer. During the 70s a team league started featuring a number of cities across America with players rated from high expert to Grandmaster and many splendid battles waged across the wires. The experiment, if you can call it that, was hotly contested with a lot riding on bragging rights but with a spirit of togetherness in such a menu.

One of the club members from the Rochester Chess Club played for the Washington team and gave a good account of himself. Together we played many games in practice, tournament and a match that I  lost.  Many of our club stars were experts in Rochester and eventually moved away and ratings leaped to match their true strength. There was a strong group of teenagers, Rogoff, Eberlein, Joynt, Jr., Rosenbloom, Rosenthal, Rosenstein, Maynard Nedvid; the Plutzik brothers, the Lanze brothers, and several others joined them in the classes A-C.

Today I present two games from one such star that gained from venturing out into the world and new horizons.

                                      The National Chess League

          White: Gonzalez                      Black: Robert Eberlein

                                    English Opening

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 c5 5.Nf3 O-O 6.O-O cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Nc3 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 d6.

An interesting position has arisen  The English is noted for its longterm edge where Black has to play under those conditions waiting for a slight miscue or he can achieve some imbalance in the position that keeps the fight and result unclear. According to NCO now 10.Qd3 is most common and maintains a small plus (see pg 59). White chooses what might have been the popular idea at the time this game was played. Black I feel improved the sequence somewhat.

10.Qh4 Be6! 11.Bg5 Qa5 12.Rac1 Rfc8 13.b3 Rab8 14.Bd2 a6!

I like this move. Black seeks to sharpen the play and hopes to wrest the initative and little space edge from White.

15.Rfd1 Qd8

This strong move, returning the Queen to its home base is not a wasted move. Black has his sights on Queenside play and hopes to challenge the white forces in that sector. Here is an interesting observation: both players seem well prepared in this opening system but Black has, with some finese movement, created the type of position that stirs the juices of the strategist and tactician. White chooses a course now to bring about exchanges that he hopes maybe will challenge such Black strategy.

16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 b5 18.Bd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Bb2 20.Rc6 Rxc6 21.dxc6 Rc8 22.Bg5 f6!

White might have been provoking this and Bob obliges him.

23.Bc1 Be5 24.Qe4 Qb6 25.Qd5+ Kg7 26.Qe6

Perhaps thinking jump moves to achieve a type of position that offers good attacking chances. The rest of the game is given without comment but worth a close study for its skilled play and should provide excellent training for those who want to hone their endgame skill.

26…Rc7 27.Be3 Qxc6 28.f4  Bb2 29.f5 Ba3 30.fxg6 hxg6 31.Kf2 Bc5 32.Rd3 Qh1 33.h4 Bxe3+ 34.Rxe3 Qh2+ 35.Kf3 Qg1 36.Kg4 Qa1 37.h5 Qd4+ 38.Kf3 gxh5 39.Qf5 Qg4+ 40.Qxg4+ hxg4 41.Kxg4 Kf7 42.Kf4 b4 43.Ke4 Rc2 44.Kd5 Rxa2 45.Kc6 Ke8 46.g4 a5 47.Kb5 Kd7 48.Re4 d5 49.Rd4 Kd6 50.e4 e6 51.exd5 exd5 52.Rf4 Ke5 53.Rf5+ Ke6 54.Rf1 Ra3 55.Rb1 Kd6 56.Rb2 Ke5 57.Kc5 Kf4 58.Kxd5 Kxg4 59.Ke6 f5 60.Ke5 f4 61.Ke4 f3 White Resigns (0-1).

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