1969: For the want of a Bishop

Game Lee,RA - Owen,R British Championship Qualifier, 1969

For the want of a Bishop

This game is from the Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Gloucester Section which I went on to win. Dr. Denis Gray, the former Exeter Club Champion, was second. As two went on to the next stage, he and I entered the Zone H Final, from which I qualified for the British Championship Final itself. — RAL

Slav/Grunfeld

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 g6 5. cxd5

If Black completes the fianchetto the Bishop will now "bite on granite". 

5...cxd5 6. Qb3 e6 7. Bg5 Bg7 8. e3 a6 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Rfc1

+-----------------+
|r+b1.4k+|
|+p+n+pgp|
|p+.+php+|
|+.+p+.G.|
|.+.).+.+|
|+QHB)N+.|
|P).+.)P)|
|$.$.+.I.|
+-----------------+

11...b5

Black tries to develop the QB, but provides only a target to attack. 

12. a4 bxa4 13. Nxa4 Rb8 14. Qc2 Nb6 15. Bf4

+-----------------+
|.4b1.4k+|
|+.+.+pgp|
|ph.+php+|
|+.+p+.+.|
|N+.).G.+|
|+.+B)N+.|
|.)Q+.)P)|
|$.$.+.I.|
+-----------------+

Black must have wished his dark-squared Bishop was on the other side of the board. 

15...Ra8

[15...Rb7 16. Bc7]

16. Bc7 Qe7 17. Nxb6 Ra7 18. Bb8 Rb7 19. Nxc8 Qd7 20. Ne5 Qd8 21. Bd6 Re8 22. Bxa6 Rd7 23. Nxd7 Nxd7 24. Bb5 Bf6 25. Ra7 1-0

[Notes by Bob Lee]

Chess Quotes

"All chess masters can play one game blindfolded."
— -- KOLTANOWSKI