1969-70: Looking ahead
In the latter part of the 'sixties I had qualified to play in the British Championship Candidates' section. In correspondence chess this takes some time, as it is first necessary to qualify via a postal chess club — in my case the BCCA. Having reached the British Championship Reserves section, you need a podium finish to qualify for the Candidates section. There are six of these and only the winners go forward into the Final, which is a group of eleven players, the bottom six each year being relegated.
When I played this particular game I was living in Devon, but my opponent was an old foe with whom I had crossed swords in the Yorkshire league. For this reason the crash through the centre was doubly satisfying! — RAL
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 b6 7. Qd2 c5 8. d5 Na6 9. O-O-O Preparing the Sämisch bayonet attack. 9...Nc7 10. Bh6 a6 11. g4 b5 12. h4
Both sides press their own attacks. 12...bxc4 13. Bxc4 Nb5 14. Nge2 Nxc3 15. Nxc3 Bd7 16. h5 Qe8 17. hxg6
The QB has been at h6 for some time already. In the Sämisch Attack this exchange of Pawns and then Bishops is a release of tension which must be played only when the time is right. I now intended the break in the centre, but for this to work it was necessary to "see" moves 23 and 24 from here.
17...fxg6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qh6+ Kh8 20. e5! dxe5 21. d6! exd6 22. Rxd6 Qe7
23. Rxf6! Rxf6
[23...Qxf6 24. Qxh7#]
24. Nd5 Qg7 25. Nxf6 1-0
I played at the Candidates' level three times, finishing 4th, 3rd and 3rd again.
[Notes by Bob Lee]