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
- 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.