1922: A modern defence

Game Taylor,T - Dunstan,Dr.R, Plymouth vs. Exeter Bremridge Cup Final, Plymouth, 1922

A modern defence

Dr. R. Dunstan was medical officer of troops in Paignton and during his time in the South-West played for Paignton and Exeter. He made it to the final of the Devon Championship in 1917 and 1918, and won the title in 1921 and 1922 — then aged over 70! He also led Exeter to victory in the Bremridge Cup that year, winning the game below on top board.

On that high note he retired to Brighton, playing chess for the Christ Church Club, on one occasion against Geza Maroczy who had been asked to stand in for a Hastings team.

[We are indebted to Chris Ravilious and Brian Denman of Brighton for all this information.  — DR]

Pirc Defence

1.d4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Bf4 Nf6 5.Nbd2 0-0 6.c3 h6 7.Bd3 c6 8.Qc2 Nh5 9.Bg3 Nd7


Quite a modern-looking opening: it wasn't until after the second War that the defence of Vasja Pirc became widely practised. White now has a choice of where to park his King, but the possibility of ...Nxg3 will make it difficult for White fully to open a file if he castles long.

10.0-0-0 a5 11.h3 Nxg3 12.fxg3 e5 13.Nf1 b5 14.b3 Qb6 15.Be2 c5 16.dxe5 Nxe5

Black keeps open the long diagonal.

17.Qd2 Rd8 18.Nxe5 Bxe5 19.Bf3 a4 20.b4 cxb4 21.cxb4 Be6 22.Kb1 Rdc8 23.Bg4 Kg7 24.Bxe6 fxe6 25.Ne3 Qc6


An ideal position for practitioners of the Pirc Defence: White's King's-side efforts have been crippled while Black's grasp of the centre and Queen's-side is merciless.

26.Ng4 Qxe4+ 27.Qd3 Qxb4+ 0-1

[Notes by DR; score from the Sussex Daily News of 7 June 1922]

Chess Quotes

On advanced ideas:
"After giving a student the basic mating patterns and strategies you must begin giving them advanced concepts. At first these ideas will not make sense, many players will have a vague idea of what you are talking about but nothing more. Even a fragmented understanding of these concepts will prove useful though, and eventually they will improve as these lessons are assimilated by repetition and example."
— Jeremy SILMAN, The Amateur's Mind, 1995


"We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development. ... (The "spiral curriculum") ... Is it not possible ... to introduce them to some of the major ... ideas earlier, in a spirit perhaps less exact and more intuitive?"