Kindred’s Special: The Radio Team Match continued

H. Steiner hailed from California and was a darling of the Hollywood crowd, often giving exhibitions and game play with a host of friends.  The following game provides a nice setting for the type of dynamic skill he possessed. As I mentioned in the lst part, he was the only one to win his individual match 1 1/2 –  0 1/2 against the powerful I. Bondarevsky.

White:  I. Bondarevsky   vs.  Black:  H. Steiner   Opening:  Reti-English variant

  1. Nf3  Nf6  2. c4  e6  3. d4  Bb4+  4. Bd2  Qe7

This system was popular during the 30s and 40s seen in some of Reshevsky’s games as White. Normal was often the trade 4…B:d2+  5. Q:d2 as Sammy often played.  The text is attributed I believe to Paul Keres.

5. g3  O-O  6. Bg2  d5  7. a3  B:d2+  8. Nb:d2

White’s capture is probably okay but the square count idea would be to take with the Q and then develop the Knight to the c3 square.

Nbd7  9. O-O  Ne4  10. Qc2  N:d2  11. N:d2  c6  12. Qc3  Re8  13. b4  d:c4  14. f4!

White has gained space and square count by deployment of his pawns.  Once pawns are advanced, they cannot retreat.  A lesson I learned from my brother and good quality chess books.  Another feature of pawn play is that one attacks the center to meet wing demonstrations.  Such principles may seem too simple, yet they hold a wealth of truth.

14. … Nb6  15. e4  Rd8  16. a4  Bd7  17. a5  Nc8  18. Q:c4  Be8  19. e5

One gets the impression that Black is tempting White to overextend his forces.

19. … Qd7  20. Nb3  Ne7 21. Rfd1  Nd5  22. Nc5  Qe7  23. Kf2  b6

It seems to me that Steiner has nerves of steel and I wonder how onlookers size up the situation?

24. Nd3  Rab8  25. a:b6  R:b6  26. Qc5  Qb7

My God!  Both seem to sense my square count theory with almost every move.

27. B:d5 c:d5  28. Qa5  Ra8  29. Nc5  Qc8  30. Rdc1  Bb5  31. Ke3?!

White realizes that he has to worry a little bit about his monarch sitting out there with little pawn coverage. Steiner was a tactician as well as a cunning fox!

31. … Bc4  32. Rc3  Qe8  33. Qa3  f6!

Black has envisioned this and probably a whole series of moves that follow, relying upon his intuitive instincts for the counter attack coming.

34. h4  Qh5  35. Rc2  f:e5  36. d:e5  Qg6  37. Kd2

Hoping to find some relief for his highness on the Q-side.  That takes time!

37. … h5  38. Qc3  Qg4  39. Kc1  Rb5  40. Ra5  Rb8  41. Rb2  R:a5  42. b:a5  Rc8  43. Qe3  Qh3  44. Kd2  Qg2+  45. Kc3  Qf1  46. f5  Qa1  47. Kc2  Bd3+!  48. Q:d3  R:c5+  49. Kb3  R:a5  50. Kc2  Rc5+ 51. Kb3  a6!  (0-1).


I. Bondarevsky eventually emigrated to Canada.  He was in a rare position in chess in that he won a game from Mikhail Botvinnik before he emigrated, probably one of the few losses ever experienced by the World Champion.


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