I met the colorful and brilliant tactician Al Horowitz while making several trips to the Manhattan Chess Club located at the time at the Hudson Hotel quarters while in training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. It was a chess amateur’s dream to find at the club such players as Byrne, Lisa Lane (US Woman Champion), Abe Ruby, Larry Evans (whom I played several games with), Al Horowitz, editor of Chess Review, who played blitz, giving Knight odds with a pawn on a3 and winning from just about all comers; Hans Kmoch introduced me to Al, Evans and others. Maybe they made me welcome because I was in uniform and I had beaten their junior champion. One visit I recall they were playing adjudications. Another time, Larry and I played 3 or 4 blitz games and Lisa Lane invited me to a 4-player round robin but had to decline to avoid going AWOL as I had to catch the only bus going to Fort Dix.
I remember Al Horowitz, a most charismatic chap and the subject on this American segment of the match. The following game was a masterpiece of tactical genius by Salo Flohr, an extremely talented player representing the Soviet team. Mr. Horowitz lost game one and won the second game in like brilliant fashion which follows this game.
White: S. Flohr vs. Black: Al Horowitz Opening: Queen’s Gambit
- d4 d5 2. c4 d:c4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. B:c4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Qe2 Nc6 8. Rd1 b5 9. d:c5 Qc7 10. Bd3 B:c5 11. a4 b4 12. Nbd2 O-O 13. b3 Ne5 14. Ne4! N:d3 15. N:f6+ g:f6 16. Q:d3 e5 17. Bb2 Be6? 18. B:e5!! f:e5
Horowitz gains the bishop-pair at the expense of falling into a nasty King Hunt.
19. Ng5 Kg7 20. Q:h7+ Kf6 21. Ne4+ Ke7 22. Qh4+ f6 23. Rdc1 Rac8 24. R:c5 Qb8 25. f4!
White has no plan to let the enemy forces find salvation.
25. …. R:c5 26. N:c5 Qb6 27. N:e6 Q:e3+ 28. Kh1 K:e6 29. f:e5 f:e5 30. Qg4+ Rf5 31. Qg6+ Rf6 32. Qe8+ Kf5 33. Rf1+ (1-0).
White: Al Horowitz vs. Black: S. Flohr Opening: Caro Kahn Defense
- e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 d:e4 4. N:e4 Nf6 5. N:f6+ g:f6 6. Ne2 Bf5 7. Ng3 Bg6 8. h4 h6 9. h5 Bh7 10. c3 Qb6 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. a4! a5 13. Qf3 e6 14. O-O Bc2 15. Bf4 Bb3 16. Bd3 e5
Flohr was a student of this opening for Black so it puzzles me why he would enter into this type opening of lines for the White pieces. Apparently his aim is to reposition his Queen to e6 where it will sweep both sides of the board. Perhaps it was merely a misjudgment of the resulting positions arising soon.
17. Be3 Bd5 18. Be4 Qb3 19. d:e5 f:e5 20. Rad1 B:e4 21. Q:e4 Qe6 22. Rd2 Nf6 23. Qf3 Rg8 24. Rfd1 Rg4? 25. Nf5!! e4 26. Bb6!!
One lightning bolt after another. I give you my Queen for your King! The Rook dies a dear death.
26. … R:g2+ 27. Q:g2! Q:f5 28. Rd8+ R:d8 29. R:d8+ Ke7 30. Qg3 Nd7 31. Bc7 Qd5 32. c4 32. …Qg5 33. Q:g5+ h:g5 34. Ra8 Ke6 35. B:a5 f5 36. Bc3 f4 37. a5 g4 38. b4 f3 39. Bd2 39…Kf7 40. Ra7 g3 41. R:b7 (1-0).
After the defeat in the first game, this must have been a heart-warming delight in such a turnaround victory.
Despite the lopsided result of the match, the American squad fought well. It is reported that Fine and Reshevsky both missed points by misplaying winning attacks dropping both games.