The Marchand Open held over 12-13 April 1997 was a gala event which drew a huge turnout. Among the crowd was a large entry from the Buffalo area. The TD staff of Ron Lohrman carried out duties in expert fashion and a good time was had by all. The time control decided upon was 30 moves in 60 minutes each and game in 60 minutes each for a result.
During my chess tournament adventures the time control usually was 40 moves in 2 hours each; later the popular 50 moves in 2 hours each almost always found games completed in meeting the next round schedule. Still, at fifty-eight years old, I was one of the oldest participants and somewhat out of practice. I entered the event mainly to support it and even though I was a little out of practice, looked forward to enjoying good fellowship with longtime friends.
1997 MARCHAND OPEN, rd. 1
White: Donald P. Reithel vs. Black: Warren Lohr
Opening: Sicilian Defense – Boleslavsky Variation
1. P-K4 P-QB4 / 2. N-KB3 N-QB3 / 3. P-Q4 P x P / 4. N x P N-KB3 / 5. N-QB3 P-K4 / 6. N(4)-N5 P-Q3 / 7. B-N5 P-QR3 / 8. N-R3 P-QN4 / 9. N-Q5 B-K2 / 10. B x N B X B / 11. P-QB3 O-O / 12. N-B2 B-N4 / 13. P-QR4 R-N1 / 14. P x P P x P / 15. N(2)-K3 N-K2 / 16. N x N ch B x N / 17. B-Q3 B-K3 18. O-O K-R1 / 19. Q-K2 Q-N3 / 20. KR-K1 B-N4 / 21. N-Q5 B x N / 22. P x B P-B4 / 23. Q-R5 P-K5 / 24. Q x B P x B / 25. R-K7 R-KN1 / 26. QR-R7 R-K1 / 27. R x R Q x R / 28. R-K1 Q-KB2 / 29. Q-K3 Q x P / 30. R-Q1 R-R1.
We both made the time-control of 30 moves in 1-hour. The next phase was for game in 1-hour. This second time-control is always the hardest. By the first control, the game has taken on some character to the position of equal-plus white-plus black where the fight turns to combat within one of those three dimensions. I felt I achieved a slight pull in edge where the pressure was more on my opponent than myself. The second phase also finds both players using more time on their clocks so as the flag starts to rise, it can become like a pressure cooker. Thus, the endgame battle is where the decisiveness in play or lack thereof really determines the outcome of the chess fight.
31. P-KN3 K-N1 / 32. Q x P Q x Q / 33. R x Q R-R7 / 34. P-QN4 R-B7 / 35. R x P R x P / 36. R-Q5 P-B5 / 37. P x P R-B5 / 38. R x NP R x P / 39. R-N7 P-R3 / 40. K-N2 P-N4 / 41. P-R3 K-R1 42. P-N5 R-N5 / 43. P-N6 K-N1 / 44. R-N8ch K-N2 45. P-N7 K-R2 / 46. K-B3 K-N2 47. K-K3 K-R2.
With this move my opponent offered a draw and with time short for both of us, I agreed and just thankful that I had a favorable King position while his King had to stay at N2/R2 files. We analyzed it out to a draw following the agreement. A very interesting first round battle.
1997 MARCHAND OPEN, rd. 2
White: Eric Berkey vs. Black: Donald P. Reithel
Opening: Queen’s Indian Defense
1. P-Q4 N-KB3 / 2. P-QB4 P-K3 / 3. N-KB3 P-QN3 / 4. P-QR3.
This was a favorite of Petrosian and brought many to their knees in hotly contested battles.
4. … B-N2 / 5. N-B3 P-Q4 / 6. B-N5 B-K2 / 7. P-K3 O-O / 8. B x N B x B / 9. P x P P x P / 10. B-Q3 R-K1 / 11. O-O N-Q2 12, R-K1 N-B1 / 13. N-K2 P-KN3 / 14. P-KR3 Q-Q3 / 15. R-QB1 N-K3 / 16. N-R2 P-B4 / 17. P-QN3 P x P / 18. P-QN4 P x P 19. P x P B-N4 / 20. N-QB3 P-Q5 / 21. B-K4 Q-K2 / 22. N-Q5 B x N / 23. B x B QR-Q1 / 24. B-B6 R-KB1 / 25. R-B2 P x P / 26. Q-N1 N-Q5 / 27. R-B3 N x B / 28. R x N P-K7 / 29. R-B2 B-Q7 / 30. R x B Q-K6ch / 31. K-R1 R x R / 32. N-B3 R/1-Q1 / 33. N x R Q x N / 34. K-N1 Q-Q8 / 35. K-B2 Q x Q 36. R x Q R-Q8 37. Resigns (0-1).
The Saturday night round started a bit late. Finishing the 2nd game let me have some time for a brief walk and bite to eat so I came to round 3 refreshed. My opponent Barry Davis comes from the Buffalo chess club and area. As a former TD I had come to know Barry as a gracious and hard worker for chess and instrumental in building a strong and healthy chess region. I knew the opponent was a tough assignment and the play in this game is a sharp give and take type battle.
White: Donald P. Reithel vs. Black: Barry Davis
English Opening with Sicilian Dragon Defense
1. N-KB3 P-QB4 / 2. P-B4 N-QB3 / 3. N-B3 P-Q3 / 4. P-KN3 N-B3 / 5. B-N2 P-KN3 / 6. O-O B-N2 / 7. P-Q3 O-O / 8. R-N1 N-K8 /.
Now I was faced with a problem of the KB3 Knight. Unfortunately my thoughts were a bit hazy; I think I should have gone N-KR4 but instead thought I could get pretty much the same position I was planning for my pawn structure by copying my opponent’s idea. Had I thought at this point my square count concern I would have chosen differently with a much different middlegame resulting. The position would have been one of imbalance that I think would tend to favor me.
9. N-K1 N-B2 / 10. P-B4 P-K3 / 11. P-K4 R-N1 / 12. B-K3 Q-Q2 / 13. Q-Q2 P-QN4 / 14. N-B3 P-B4 / 15. N-KN5 P-KR3 / 16. N-B3 N-Q5 / 17. N-KR4.
Of course this move should have occurred on move 9 as now I have to suffer and use considerable time trying to get a plan in motion that challenges Black’s aggressive posture.
17. … Q-B2 / 18. QR-K1 P x BP / 19. QP x P B-N2 /.
Black chooses layback positional play aiming at keeping the center and long diagonal neutralized. Another unclear plan might be ….B-R3 which I had given a look at but Barry had played B-N2. I do not know whether he ever considered the other idea.
20. P x P NP x P / 21. P-N3 N-K1 / 22. N-K2 B x B / 23. N x B QN-B3 / 24. R-Q1 R-Q1 / 25. N-QB3 B x N /26. Q x B N-B3 / 27. B-B1 N-K5 / 28. Q-K3 Q-N2 / 29. N-K1 K-R2 / 30. N-Q3 Q-Q5.
We meet the time control.
31. KR-K1 R-B3 / 32. B-N2 Q x Q / 33. R x Q R-N3 / 34. N-B2 P-Q4 / 35. N x N BP x N / 36. B-R3 P-KR4 / 37. B x P P-R5 / 38. P-B5 P x P / 39. R x P R x R / 40. P x R N-K4 / 41. B x P P-R6 / 42. B-N8 N-B6ch / 43. R x N P x R / 44. K-B2 R-N2 / 45. K x P K-N3 / 46. K-B4 R-N2 / 47. B-Q6 R-QR2 / 48. P-R4 R-R1 / 49. B-B7 R-K1 50. P-Q6 R-K5ch / 51. K-B3 R-Q5 / 52. P-R5 R-Q6ch / 53. K-K2 Rx QNP / 54. P-Q7 R-N7ch / 55. K-Q3 R x P / 56. P-Q8(Q) R-R8 / 57. Q-K8ch K-N3/ 58. B-B4ch K-B3 / 59. Q-K8ch K-N4 / 60. Q-K6ch K-N2 / 61. B-K5 K-B1 / 62. Q-Q6ch K-B2 / 63. Q-Q5ch K-N3 / 64. Q x R Black Resigns (1-0).
I drove home 27 miles and back again Sunday morning. Maybe the 13th was a bad omen; I don’t know. Anyway the 4th round was terrible for me. My opponent was L. Davis. It started out fine but then I simply blew a good positional edge and resigned after the 13th move.
1. P-Q4 N-KB3 / 2. N-KB3 P-KN3 / 3. B-B4 B-N2 / 4. P-K3 P-Q3 / 5. QN-Q2 O-O / 6. P-KR3 QN-Q2 / 7. P-B3 Q-K1 / 8. B-K2 P-N3 / 9. O-O B-N2 / 10. R-K1 P-QR3/ 11. B-R2 K-R8 / 12. B-Q3 P-K4 / 13. Q-B2 ??? Dumb, dumb, dumb. I was suffering a mental frost. P-K5 so I resigned.
The 5th round I played Black versus Karroubi who I had beaten in an earlier tournament was another fiasco.
1. P-K4 P-KN3 / 2. P-Q4 B-N2 / 3. N-QB3 P-Q3 / 4. B-QB4 P-K3 / 5. N-B3 P-QR3 / 6. Q-K2 N-K2 / 7. B-K3 P-R3 / 8. O-O-O N-Q2 / 9. P-KR4 N-KB3 / 10. P-K5 N-N5 / 11. P-Q5 N x B / 12. Q x N O-O / 13. KP x P (1-0). A real train wreck.
After returning home with a horrible 2.5-2.5 result, I was depressed. I had an appointment with our primary care doctor who advised me for my health to stop playing chess. What caused me to suffer these horrible last two games was obviously from combat exhaustion and realization that I was just getting old. Some term it, “chess blindness.”!