1977: A good opening

Game Bellers,CJV - Hick,DA, East Devon Congress, 1977

A good opening

The start to what turned out to be my best tournament with wins against players graded 174, 166 and 191, and draws with a 205 and, in the last round with Black, a 224 (Welsh IM S J Hutchings) — CJVB

English, Botvinnik system

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. Nc3 Nbd7 7. d3 a5 8. Rb1 e5 9. e4

+-----------------+
|r+b1.4k+|
|+p0n+pgp|
|.+.0.hp+|
|0.+.0.+.|
|.+P+P+.+|
|+.HP+N).|
|P).+.)B)|
|+RGQ+RI.|
+-----------------+

The Bellers speciality at the time. It involves a series of pirouettes with Knights to bore Black into submission.

9... Nc5 10. a3 Nh5!? 11. Ne1 c6 12. Be3 Ne6 13. Nc2

here they go — in a later game, the Knights went f3,e1,f3,d2,c4 and c3,e2,f4

13... Nd4 14. Ne2 Nxc2 15. Qxc2 f5 16. f4 exf4 17. gxf4 fxe4 18. dxe4 Bg4 19. Ng3 Qh4 20. Nxh5 Bxh5 21. Qd2

+-----------------+
|r+.+.4k+|
|+p+.+.gp|
|.+p0.+p+|
|0.+.+.+b|
|.+P+P).1|
|).+.G.+.|
|.).!.+B)|
|+R+.+RI.|
+-----------------+

21... g5!?

going for the throat

22. Qxd6 Rad8 23. Qe7 Rd3 24. Bf2 Qxf4 25. Bc5!

Black obviously missed this

25... Qb8?!

a better chance may have been 25...Rf3 26.Bxf3 Bxf3 27.Qe6+ Rf7 28.Rbd1 Bf6 29.Rxf3 Qxf3 30.Rf1 because 30...Bd4+ turns the tables

26. Qxg5 Rxf1+ 27. Rxf1 Bg6 28. Qe7 b6 29. Bf2 Bxb2 30. Bh3 Kh8 31. Bc5!?

again!

31... Rd8 32. Bd6! 32... Bd4+ 33. Kg2 Bxe4+ 34. Qxe4?

With mutual time trouble, White plays safe.

[34.Kg3 Rg8+ 35.Kf4! and there are no more checks, but 34...Qxd6+! wins]

34... Rg8+??

desperate to give a check, but losing instantly

35. Bg3 Be5 36. Rf3 Qd8 37. Qxe5+ Rg7 1-0

White won on time.

[Notes by Chris Bellers]

Chess Quotes

"Only a good bishop can be sacrificed, a bad bishop can only be lost."
— Yuri RAZUVAYEV. Source: Gennady Nesis, Tactical Chess Exchanges, foreword. [via Ari Makela]