Through the past, many great games were played annually to determine entry into the coveted winners’ circle. Such was the following game between a fairly new arrival from the Soviet Union, IM Issay Golyak, who resides with his wife making their home in Rochester, New York. He is a member, chess instructor, and regular at the Rochester Chess Center. His career? Nuclear physicist.
We had met in several games over the years where I etched out two wins and a draw in tournament play. In skittles he usually whipped me 80 per cent of the time and in club events I had to often bow to his superior technique! I managed to win two club championship games, his first lost in the USA since coming here he told me after that game. I had won a nice game with the black pieces. And this win with the white pieces was the last time I was victorious. We had drawn one game in a Marchand Open event.
White: Donald P. Reithel vs. Black: Issay Golyak Opening: Irregular Reti Opening
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b5
As I recall Spassky had essayed this idea in his world championship match with the boa-constrictor, Petrosian.
3. Bg2 Bb7 4. O-O c5 5. b3 e6 6. c4 b4
My opponent’s plan is to insert a wedge and expand on the Q-side; I endeavor to achieve a central pawn action with a longterm strategy to essay f2-f4 at the right moment.
7. e3 a5 8. a3 Be7 9. Bb2 Qb6 10. d3 O-O 11. Nbd2 ba3: 12. Ra3: Nc6 13. Qa1 Nb4 14. Ne1 Bg2: 15. Kg2: Rfb8
Black’s play is becoming dangerous. I had to decide where my own strength lay because I felt if I sat on the position without initiating my own counterplay visualized as a central thrust to offset his aggressive Q-side action, my position would deteriorate. Again, my square count theory applied here covers both its attacking and defensive resources.
16. Ra4 d6 17. h3 Ne8 18. f4
This thrust into the central complex was the only chance I saw to complicate the play and give my own pieces scope in the coming action.
18. … Bf6 19. Kh2 Bb2: 20. Qb2: d5 21. Qb1 Nd6 22. Nef3 dc4: 23. dc4: Nf5 24. Re1 Rd8 25. Re2 Rab8 26. g4 Ne7 27. Ng5 Nd3
Black is bound and determined to carry out his attack sequence that follows hoping that I will lay down and die a crushing death. In those days, my fighting spirit was still of a youth at heart.
28. Qa1 Qc7 29. Ra5: Nf4 30. Ra7 Qd6 31. Nde4 Qd3: 32. Rf2 Qe3: 33. Re7 h6 34. Rf7: Qd4 35. Qd4: cd4: 36. Rf2f4 hg5: 37. Ng5 e5 38. Re4 d3 39. Re5: d2 40. Ree7!
Shades of Nimsowitsch’s MY SYSTEM influence no doubt!
40. …Rb6 41. Rg7+: Kh8 42. Rh7+ Kg8 43. Reg7+ Kf8 44. Rh8+ Kg7 45. Rd8 Rb3 46. Rd2: Rc3: 47. c5 Kg6 48. Ne4 Re3 49. Nd6 Re3 50. Nb7 Resigns (1-0).
Your assignment is to study this opening system by Black and the Reti Opening. Try to assess the pro and con for both sides. See if you can find games using similar ideas for comparison. And most important–ENJOY! the continuing learning curve to mastering chess elements and strategies.