This is a review of a game I played in 1981 postal with a good friend met through the CCLA, Richard S. Vandenburg who was awarded the White pieces to which I was quite happy. Dick liked the Ruy Lopez and I had been studying a new plan which my square count had dictated as being practical and good. I had tested it against my brother Raymond in both postal and over-the-board so I had a bit of history built from analysis and practice.
In postal chess, time can play both a positive and negative role concerning time. Careers, game loads, and just having a mix of feelings can affect play. I often use Reinfeld’s Winning Chess and tactical book by Tal Winning Combinations & Tactics. Today we have computer programs for such training, making chess even more competitive and producing brilliant ideas on the board.
White: Richard S. Vandenburg Black: Donald P. Reithel Opening: Ruy Lopez (Introducing 9…Qd7)
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. R-K1 P-QN4 / 7.B-N3 O-O / 8. P-B3 P-Q3 /
Showing a willingness to engage in the sharp Marshall variation …P-Q4 which has been deeply analyzed with no clear resolution for either side, I declined it with the hope of enabling me to test my new plan.
9. P-KR3 Q-Q2 !? /
I could find nothing wrong with this idea so I give it the !? as interesting and unclear.
10. P-Q4 R-K1 / 11. N-N5 N-Q1 / 12. P-KB4 B-N2 /
Ideas Behind the Chess Openings, I believe, had Fine’s concurring with Paul Keres conclusion that if White could get in P-KB4 he was almost assured an advantage arising out of the Ruy Lopez Opening.
13. P-Q5 B-KB1 / 14. P-B4 P-QB3 / 15. N-QB3 P-N3 / 16. B-K3 P-R3 /
Remove thy Knight! The beginning of what I term “the coffeehouse maneuver”. It is worth noting here the excellent play on White’s part in this sequence starting with 14. P-B4 and 15. N-QB3 expanding square count in a logical manner.
17. KBP:P QP:P / 18. N-B3 Q-B2 / 19. Q-Q3 BP:P / 20. BP:QP Q-Q3 / 21. QR-B1 N-Q2 /
Letting in some Nimsowitsch light never hurts and next concludes the “coffeehouse maneuver”.
22. Q-Q2 K-R2 / 23. B-QB2 P-B3 / 24. R-B1 N-B2 /
White heavy forces bear down on the Kingside and his Rooks have taken up posts on the open and half-open files. He also has the advantage of a passed d-pawn. Black controls the K4 square which is noted in Ideas Behind the Chess Openings as a black plus to neutralize potential attacks. Also, the White monarch is a bit loose whereas my own King seemed solid behind the wall of pawns and could aid their defense. Square count was on my mind and the following play reveals the extent that it works…at least I believe it does.
25. P-KN4 QR-B1 / 26. R-B2 N-N3 / 27. P-N3 B-N2 / 28. N-KR4 R-K2 / 29. N-K2 P-N5 /
Black widens the Q-side horizon to expand on that side with the hope of blunting any White K-side adventure.
30. K-R2 KR-QB2 / 31. B-N1 R:R / 32. N:R N-Q2 / 33. N-K2 P-QR4 / 34. R-B1 N-B4 / 35. R-B1 B-B1 / 36. N-N3 B-R3 /
Square count is now 13 – 11 but White has not seemingly made much progress in position. Black has in the meanwhile been positioning his own forces effectively. It seems like the game could go either way.
37. N-B3 Q-N1 / 38. N-K1 B-Q3 / 39. Q-KB2 N-Q2 / 40. P-KR4 R:R / 41. B:R Q-B2 / 42. B-Q2 B-B4 /
Suddenly the character of square count has changed. Black dominates the black squares and maintained sufficient guard over the passed d-pawn.
43. Q-B3 B-R2 / 44. P-R5 Q-N3 / 45. P:Pch K:P 46. B-Q3 Q-N8ch / 47. K-R3 B-B7! /
With a deeply analyzed search by both of us, we determined that this shot was decisive. White’s King is in a box.
48. N-N2 B:N / 49. K:B B:B / 50. Q:B N-B4 / 51. Q-K3 .
With this move, Dick suggested sending the game in for adjudication. I responded with 51. …N-N4!! and after a few letter exchanges with analysis, Dick resigned. Neither of us could save the White position. 52. Q:g1 N/B4:K4ch 53. K–R2 N-B6ch/ 54. KR1 N-N6 smothered mate; 54. K-R3 N:Qch wins easily.