The 1950-1990s was a very active time in my chess development encompassing both correspondence and over-the-board activity. I have been inactive as a player and this week I reactivated my interest toward competing by joining the Community Chess Club tournament play on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-10:00pm. The rounds are scheduled for one game with a time limit of G/80+5. Needless to say it was a bit like finding myself once more at age 12 for my initiation into the tournament chess world. At age 78 I was being reborn.
My opponent I drew as my chess partner was well known to me because we had met in three previous tournament games many years ago. Lazlo T. was an international master and I was unable to win one game against his King Gambit trio.
White: Don Reithel vs. Black: Lazlo T. Opening: Rat Opening – English Descriptive
Alekhine once coined this “The Joke Opening”. My labeling it “Rat” was a term I heard at a board when I was a TD; the white player having to play against it said:”Rats”.
l. P-Q4 P-KN3 / 2. P-K4 B-N2 / 3. N-QB3 P-OB4 / 4. P-Q5 P-K3 /
Not that this move is bad but ….P-Q3 would seem more practical, opening up the long diagonal for the Bishop ala Square Count. I follow Lasker who said Knights are best placed on B3.
5. N-B3 P-QR3 / 6. P-QR4!
This stops black from expanding on the Q-side and adds to my own square count as do my next series.
6. … P-Q3 / 7. B-KB4 P-K4 / 8. B-KN5 P-B3 / 9. B-Q2! The right square keeping the Bishop active on two separate diagonals. Black pawns have shorted the ebb and flow of black minor piece tension.
9. … N-K2 / 10. P-R5!
This bites into the enemy position and frees up the QR4 square.
10. … P-B4 / 11. B-Q3 P:P / 12. B:P P-QN4 / 13. P:P ep. Q:P / 14. N-QR4 Q-Q1 / 15. P-B4 B-N5 / 16. P-R3 B:N / 17. Q:B N-Q2 / 18. Q-N3 QN-B3 / 19. P-B3 O-O / 20. O-O R-R2 /
At this point I decided to find a better square for my Queen.
21. Q-R4 N-R4 / 22. P-QN4 P:P / 23. B:QNP R-N2 /
I had envisioned this position when I played PQN4 and thus set a trap inviting what looked like a strong threat on the file.
24. QR-N1 Q-N1? / 25. B:QP!! R:R / 26. B:Q R:R check / 27. K:R B-B3 / 28. Q-N4 R:R /
Finally the mobile pawn strikes. Black is helpless.
29. P-Q6 N-B4 / 30. B:N R-N5 / 31. N-B3 P-K5 / 32. N:P R-N8 check / 33. K-K2 R-N7 check / 34. K-Q1 R-N8 check / 35. K-B2 R-N7 check / 36. K-B1 R-N5 / 37. N:B K-B2 /
Lazlo was hoping the time clock might save him. Shades of the computer tech era.
38. N:N P:N / 39. Q:P check K-B3 / 40. B-Q3 P-R4 / 41. Q-B5 check K-N2 42. P-Q7 P-R5 / 43. P8Q P-R6 / 44. Q(5)-B8 checkmate.
So starts my return to the battle field of 64 squares. We were given one of the old time clocks that we both grew up with. I am not sure what would have happened if I had to use one of those new fangled time pieces.