1976: Well-matched opponents

Game Bellers,CJV - Clapp,BW, Exeter Club Championship, 1976

Well-matched opponents

This game shows the spirit of generosity within the Exeter club; Brian Clapp was an Exeter stalwart for many years. — CJVB

English Opening

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O e5 7. d3 Nc6 8. Rb1 Ne8 9. Ne1 f5 10. f4 Be6 11. Nf3 Bf6 12. e4 Ng7 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. cxd5 Ne7 15. Qb3

+-----------------+
|r+.1.4k+|
|0p0.h.hp|
|.+.0.gp+|
|+.+P0p+.|
|.+.+P).+|
|+Q+P+N).|
|P).+.+B)|
|+RG.+RI.|
+-----------------+

15...Qb8?? 16. fxe5 dxe5 17. d6+

oops

17...Kh8 18. dxe7 Bxe7 19. Ng5 Qe8 20. exf5 gxf5 21. Bd5 c6?

Not content with blundering a piece for a Pawn, Black now gives up the exchange. 

22. Nf7+ Rxf7 23. Bxf7 Qd7

+-----------------+
|r+.+.+.i|
|0p+qgBhp|
|.+p+.+.+|
|+.+.0p+.|
|.+.+.+.+|
|+Q+P+.).|
|P).+.+.)|
|+RG.+RI.|
+-----------------+

The position is, of course, totally won.  Black can, however, rustle up some threats. 

24. Be3 Rf8 25. a4 (not sure what the point of this was) 25...f4 26. Bf2 Qh3 27. d4 e4! 28. gxf4 e3 29. Bxe3

White is happy to give some material back, though it is hard to see Black winning after Bg3. 

29...Rxf7 30. Qxf7 Qxe3+ 31. Rf2 h6 32. Qg6 Qxd4 33. Qxh6+ Kg8

+-----------------+
|.+.+.+k+|
|0p+.g.h.|
|.+p+.+.!|
|+.+.+.+.|
|P+.1.).+|
|+.+.+.+.|
|.).+.$.)|
|+R+.+.I.|
+-----------------+

White is still ahead, and now sees a quick way to win: 34.  Qxg7+?? Forgetting, of course, that Black can recapture, not with the Queen, but with the King!

34...Kxg7 Black was so embarrassed, he offered a draw, and a shattered White was grateful to accept.  1/2-1/2

In my notes to the game I wrote:

"A totally ridiculous game, where White was given an extremely generous draw by an honourable opponent. One occasion where a whole Rook was not enough!"

[Notes by Chris Bellers]

Chess Quotes

"The most important feature of the chess position is the activity of the pieces. This is absolutely fundamental in all phases of the game (opening, middlegame and especially endgame). The primary constraint on a piece's activity is the Pawn structure."
— Michael STEAN, in Simple Chess.