The following games illustrate the tenacious fights on the board during the NOST Championships held over many years. Membership was by invitation and had at its peak between 400 and 500 members. Many famous innovative game designers and players were members. Many of the best left to join a more lucrative gaming organization or were deceased.
I shortened the method shown for exchanges. Instead of using for example e x d5 please note the change to ed5: and the ( : ) mark designates an exchange taking place. As I have said, I prefer the English Descriptive Notation using capital letters as being easier to read. Please let me know.
White: Sherwood Moore vs. Black: Donald P. Reithel
Opening: Benoni Defense
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 ed5: 5. cd5: d6 6. e4 g6 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O a6 10. a4 a6 11. Bf4 Bf3: 12. Bf3: Qe7 13. Re1 Nbd7 14. a5 Ne5 15. Be5: Qe5: 16. Qd2 h5 17. Na4 Nd7 18. Rac1 Rfb8 19. b4 Kh7 20. Rc2 b5 21. ab6: Nb6: 22. Nb6: Rb6: 23. bc5: dc5: 24. Rc5: Rb2 25. Rc2 Rab8 26. Rb2: Rb2: 27. Qd3 Bf8 28. Rc1 a5 29. Qc4 Kg7 30. g3 Bb4 31. Bg2 a4 32. f4 Qf6 33. Kh1 a3 34. e5 Qb6 35. Qc6 Qf2 36. d6 a2 White Resigns (0-1).
I enjoyed the NOST experience. It was unique for a chess organization in that The Knights of the Square Table (NOST) held weeklong annual conventions around the United States. Some of the cities included Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Corning, Palm Springs, and Ft. Myers. These were fondly termed “Nostventions.”
Perhaps it was this period when I fully utilized my concepts of chess play. One of my readers commented that he would like some examples of my square count theory and how I applied it to my own games. Here are some additional games from the championship which I selected to answer his inquiry and hope all readers will benefit. I do not guarantee the play as top rate but are exciting amateur battles worthy of study.
White: Donald P. Reithel vs. Black: Ray Gardner
Opening: Queen’s Gambit Accepted
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dc4: 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e4 Bb4 6. Bg5.
I am not a booked up player and try to solve the opening by both general opening book knowledge and to concentrate on individual planning. I learned this from Sam Reshevsky who said one should play with a definite plan in mind toward the next phase of play–the middlegame. I concentrate forces on the central complex.
6. …. Be7 7. Bc4: h6 8. Bf4 a6 9. a4
Stopping Black’s expansive ideas on the Q-side while it increases my own square count. Why not take the Knight? The answer again is a square count concern: trading my Bishop for it does double the pawns but fractures the potential power on the white squares which that Bishop influences and cedes the Bishop pair to Black which is regarded as a plus. The point is that square count tells of the numeric plus for both sides and what the spatial comparison is which I think gives clues to both players of the positional and tactical needs of the position at hand.
9. …. O-O 10. O-O Bd7 11. e5 Nh5 12. Be3 f5 ?!
Black probably is concerned about the dominant pawn and piece structure so tries to increase his own square count but at the expense of weakening the pawn (e6).
13. ef6: Nf6:
The idea now is to start attacking the home field of the opponent which again is seen in square count gains.
14. Ne5! Bd6 15. f4 Nc6 16. Qe2 Na5 17. Ba2
This retreat is simply repositioning the Bishop so it can support the Queen which I planned to play on the g1-h7 diagonal.
17. ….. Kh8
Black faces a hopeless situation and decides to lure the well posted Knight into trade for the passive Black Rook. A Knight is a Knight and Rook is a Rook!
18. Ng6+ Kh7 19. Nf8:+ Qf8: 20. Rad1 e5 21. fe5: Bg4 22. Qd3+ Resigns. (1-0).
The next game needs a bit of explanation. I had been studying Mikhail Tal’s book on tactics and studying his games. Perhaps I was inspired by his sheer genius for combative play that simply overwhelmed opponents to try to thread their way through the maze of tactical sacrifices. It seemed to delight analysts if they could find flaws which certainly appeared later on but then the game is over and point and brilliant attack justified his brain storms. He won the world championship from Botvinnik for a short one year reign, losing a well prepared Botvinnik as so often happened in all Botvinnik title defenses where he was assured a rematch should he lose the title to the challenger. Botvinnik later on was enraged when this match condition was erased. It was a rare advancement in the long history of chess politics.
It would be interesting to weigh in on others having studied chess books on the games of one or more of the great chess artists to see if they had similar experiences.
A word about Tom. He was one of the original NOST and very talented. Later on, his son joined him traveling and competing in various nostventions. When this game took place, he must have been in his nineties. He was a joyful chap and twinkle in his mischievous eye. He used English Descriptive notation so I adopted the same.
White: Tom LiPuma vs. Black: Donald P. Reithel
Opening: Two-Knights Defense
1. P-K4 P-K4 / 2. N-KB3 N-QB3 / 3. B-B4 N-B3 /
Here I was expecting 4. P-Q3 which gives a different character to the game but Tom liked unusual positions.
4. N-B3 N:P / 5. N:N P-Q4 / 6. B-Q3 P:N / 7. B:P B-Q3 / 8. P-Q3 Q-K2 9. P-QN3 B-Q2 / 10. O-O O-O-O / 11. R-K1 QR-K1 /
The point here is to protect the e5 square as well as the Pawn. If you notice, I often refer to the square a piece defends in comments because I look at it from a territorial view.
12. P-KR3 K=N1 / 13. B-K3 P-KR3 / 14. Q-K2 P-KN4 / 15. P-KN4 QR-KB1 / 16. N-R2 P-KR4 / 17. B-B5 B:B / 18. P:B P-N5 / 19. K-N2 P-K5 /
It was with the choice of this move that I began to visualize my planned operations on the K-wing.
20. RP:P B:N / 21. K:B RP:P++ / 22. K-N2 R-R7+ !? / 23. K:R Q-R5+ / 24. K-N1 R-R1 / 25. B:P+! K:B /
This attack weakens my own King position and took me by surprise as I am sure Tom was equally surprised by my Rook sac. As in Life, “tit for tat”!
26. Q:KP N-K4 /
This is the move I had counted on to carry the attack. I went in part with the old adage that Queen and Knight work well together in tactical play.
27. K-B1 N-B6 / 28. R/K-Q1 /
If White continued with 28. Q-R4+ K-N3 is the only way to avoid a draw by perpetual checking of my King which may become the case anyway. White still has the intention to prove my whole plan faulty from which hope springs eternal.
28. …. R-R4 /
This is the move I saw when playing N-K4 and maybe not considered by my opponent at all. In any case he took a long look before choosing the next sequence which looks almost like a total refutation of my whole idea. It is game play like this that turned my hair to silver-grey.
29. K-K2 R:P 30. P-Q4 Q-B3 / 31. K-Q3 R-B5 / 32. Q-K3 N:QP / 33. K-Q2 R-B6 / 34. Q-K4 R:P+ / 35. K-Q3 R-B6+ / 36. Q:R N:Q / White Resigns. (0-1).
When two brothers meet, the fur flies but in the end it calms down to mutual agreements.
White: Donald P. Reithel vs. Black: Raymond F. Reithel
Opening: Ruy Lopez
1. P-K4 P-K4 / 2. N-KB3 N-QB3 / 3. B-N5 P-QR3 / 4. B-R4 N-B3 / 5. O-O B-K2 / 6. Q-K2!?
This move is an interesting system called The Worrall Attack. I tried to find out how the name came about but no one seems to be sure of its origin; there was a chess player by that name. Sometimes these variations pick up such brands purely by a town or a player where the move idea was introduced. The most common move is the play 6. R-K1. Samuel Reshevsky played it just for variety and to get away from the heavy analyzed setups. He presented a game in his game collection. My brother who is skilled at the Tarrasch variation made me a little suspicious that he had some new literature on this defense he vied for so it seemed appropriate to also throw him my own bone of sorts!
6. … P-QN4 / 7. B-N3 O-O / 8. P-B3 P-Q4 !/
Ray told me after the game that this QP sortie was the sharpest and therefore the best defensive idea to combat the Worrall Attack. So, he was apparently quite familiar with 6. Q-K2.
9. P-Q3 R-K1 / 10. R-K1.
I frankly do not know what is best for White. I have subsequent to this game seen 10. R-Q1 but tended to like to overprotect the KP and square.
10. …. B-N2 / 11. QN-Q2 Q-Q2 / 12. N-B1 QR-Q1 / 13. B-B2 P:P / 14. P:P Q-B1 / 15. P-KR3 P-R3 / 16. N-N3 B-B1 / 17. B-K3 N-QR4 / 18. QR-Q1 N-B5 / 19. B-B1 N-Q3 / 20. N-R2 P-B4 / 21. N-N4 N:N / 22. P:N P–N3 / 23. P-B3 R-K2 24. K-B2 N-K1 / 25. R:R Q:R / 26. R-Q1 Draw agreed.
In these illustrative games I hope I have brought a bit more clarity to the strategy of square count and it’s purpose as well given honor to a few of the NOST friendly membership.