1969-70: Looking ahead

Game Lee,RA - Holmes,D, BCCC 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

King's Indian Defence, Sämisch Variation

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

+-----------------+
|r+b1.4k+|
|+.h.0pgp|
|p+.0.hpG|
|+p0P+.+.|
|.+P+P+P)|
|+.H.+P+.|
|P).!.+.+|
|+.IR+BHR|
+-----------------+

Both sides press their own attacks.  12...bxc4 13. Bxc4 Nb5 14. Nge2 Nxc3 15. Nxc3 Bd7 16. h5 Qe8 17. hxg6

+-----------------+
|r+.+q4k+|
|+.+b0pgp|
|p+.0.hPG|
|+.0P+.+.|
|.+B+P+P+|
|+.H.+P+.|
|P).!.+.+|
|+.IR+.+R|
+-----------------+

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

+-----------------+
|r+.+.4.i|
|+.+b1.+p|
|p+.$.hp!|
|+.0.0.+.|
|.+B+.+P+|
|+.H.+P+.|
|P).+.+.+|
|+.I.+.+R|
+-----------------+

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]

Chess Quotes

"If drink is the curse of the working classes and work is the curse of the drinking classes then chess is the curse of the thinking classes "
— J. Ross