1970: ...to the sublime

Game O'Connell,KJ - Grabinger, Bagneux (Paris), 1970

...To the sublime

This game was widely published in France at the time; I can remember

Le Figaro

and

Europe Echecs

. It is the only time I have ever been surrounded by almost all the other players in a tournament — both during the game and the post-mortem! — KO'C

French Defence, King's Indian Attack

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nc6 5.g3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.e5 Nd7 9.Re1 Qc7 10.Qe2 Nb4 11.Nf1 b6 12.c3 Nc6 13.Bf4 Bb7 14.h4 Rac8 15.N1h2 b5 16.Bh3 b4 17.Ng5 Bxg5 18.hxg5 Ba6 19.Ng4 Qa5 20.Kg2 bxc3 21.Nf6+ Nxf6

[21...gxf6 22.gxf6 Kh8 23.Bf5 exf5 24.Rh1+-]

22.gxf6 g6

+-----------------+
|.+r+.4k+|
|0.+.+p+p|
|b+n+p)p+|
|1.0p).+.|
|.+.+.G.+|
|+.0P+.)B|
|P).+Q)K+|
|$.+.$.+.|
+-----------------+

23.Bd2!

Not, strictly speaking necessary to win but who could resist such a move having seen it. It is interesting that Fritz, for instance does not find the move, even allowed an hour.

23...Kh8 24.Qe3 Rg8 25.Qh6 Qd8 26.Rh1 1-0

[26.Rh1 Qf8 27.Qxh7+ Kxh7 28.Bg4+]

My opponent eventually finished second with 8/11 behind IM Hecht (later GM) on 10/11; I shared sixth place with several players who went on variously to get IM titles and/or win the French Championship.

[Notes by Kevin O'Connell]

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