I spoke earlier of Bernard Freeman and his assistance in aiding the Anderson family. He deserves of course a more comprehensive personal achievement in organization work as the catalyst that enriched Canadian chess. I would like to restructure somewhat this national honor to suggest that he was a banner institution to the advancement of North American chess as he had on numerous occasions achieved a communion and respect of the United States chess organizers with whom he was associated through the junior chess programs of both countries.
Abe Yanofsky’s mentor was Bernard Freeman. He found the young lad of eight while stopping off to see if any problems needed attention concerning the 1933 Dominion Chess Tournament held in Winnipeg. He gave Abie a chess book. Three years later he again visited Winnipeg and was impressed with the level of skill achieved by Abie and made arrangements for the youngster to come to Toronto to play in what was later termed Canadian Amateur Championship. The twelve-year old won both the junior and the major tournaments. At the age sixteen Abe Yanofsky won what was to be a string of Canadian Championships.
The 1939 Olympiad was being held in Buenos Aires and Freeman gave his place to 15-year old Abe Yanofsky so he could sharpen his talent. Abe did not disappoint scoring 84.4 % winning the 2nd board prize.
The CFC provided funds so Abe could play in the famous 1946 Groningen tournament. In the 15th round he met and defeated Mikhail Botvinnik and the Dutch spectators were so taken with Yanofsky that they carried him shoulder high through the hall.
Major Championship of Canada
White: S. Gray vs. Black: Abe Yanofsky (age 12)
Opening: French Defense
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 B:c3 5. B:c3 d:e4 6. Qe2 Nf6 7. O-O-O
I have mentioned in earlier articles about the pro and con of castling Q-side as it relates to the exposure of the King still in the central complex (c1-f1) and exposed to Queenside operations spearheaded by pawns. See now how master Yanofsky thinks tempi. By move 12 he has cemented his positional chances and formulated an attack plan on the enemy King. Think square count!
7. … b6 8. f3 Ba6 9. Qe3 B:f1 10. R:f1 e:f3 11. N:f3 O-O 12. Rd1 a5! 13. h4 Nc6 14. a3 b5 15. h5 b4 16. Bd2 b:a3 17. Q:a3 Ne4 18. Qe3 N:d2 19. Q:d2 a4 20. Qe3 Qd6 21. h6 g6 22. Ne5 a3 23. b:a3 R:a3 24. Qe4 Qb4 25. c3 Q:c3 check (0-1).
1946 Groningen Tournament
White: Abe Yanofsky vs. Black: Mikhail Botvinnik
Opening: Ruy Lopez – Morphy Defense (a6)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 c:d4 13. c:d4 Nc6 14. d5
This was the stock answer and later on efforts were made to find alternative ideas by keeping the center fluid for the time being. For example, 14. Nb3 a5 15. Be3 a4 16. Nbd2 Nb4 17. Bb1 Bd7 18. a3 Na6 19. Bd3 was one alternative plan.
14. … Nb4 15. Bb1 a5 16. Nf1 Bd7 17. Bd2?!
A suggestion of jump moves 17. a3 > b3 > Ra2 might be an interesting idea. Botvinnik now hits upon a good plan that gives him good winning chances when the young Canadian missteps.
17. … Rfc8! 18. B:b4? a:b4 19. Bd3 Bd8! 20. Qd2 Qa5 21. Ne3 b3 22. a3 Qa4 23. Nd1! b4 24. Ne3 b:a3 25. R:a3 N:e4 ! 26. Qd1
Avoiding another blunder by 26. R:a4 N:d2 27. R:a8 N:f3 check 28. g:f3 R:a8 with a clear winning position.
26. … Qb4 27. R:b3 Qa4 28. Bc2 Nc5 29. Rc3 Qb4 30. Qb1 g6 31. Rc4 Qb7 32. b4 Na6?!
Yanofsky suggests 32. …Na4 with the idea of strengthening the position of his pieces, enabling the two Bishops to work together. Such differences do squares make in piece placement.
33. R:c8 R:c8 34. Bd3
Increasing square count and planning Re2 if he swipes the b-pawn. Botvinnik makes a rare miscalculation. He has the Bishop-pair
34. … N:b4? 35. Re2
White’s target is Rb2, winning the Knight. Perhaps now is the time to return the pawn by 35. …e4!!
35. … Ba5?
This potent looking move idea is wrong.
36. Rb2 Rb8 37. Nd2 Qa7 38. Ndc4 Qc5 39. N:a5
The loss of this Bishop will have an impact on future play. White now gains the Exchange.
39. … Q:a5 40. Nc2 N:d3 41. R:b8 check Kg7 42. Ne3 Qd2 43. Qf1 Nc5 44. Qd1 Qc3 45. Rb6 Ba4 46. Qf3 Qe1 check 47. Kh2 48. R:d6
Also good for White is 48. N:f5 check g:f5 49. Qg3 check Kf7 50. Qh4!
48. … f4 49. Nf5 check Kf7 50. Qg4 Ne4 51. Qh4 g:f5 52. Q:h7 check Ke8 53. Qg8 check Resigns. It is mate in four.
There are chess organizers, devotees to the game in like or differing ways that make the game of chess the pastime it is. It is the love of sharing, of giving to others, the joy and more–the chance to raise the bar and give of themselves so that chess finds many years to come as it has found this golden age in North America.
The elite chess professional and amateur devotees and/or being in the art of problem composition, writers, organizers from clubs or national representatives in those fields help to give life to the art of chess. There is a need to review the past as we observe the present and look to the future and due honor to those who make possible it’s discovery by old and young alike.