1981: A timely manoeuvre
The two top boards were Plymouth college sixth-formers, both already tipped as future top county players. The match was played in a social club, and so confident were these two youngsters of winning, that as the match started, they were reluctant to finish a game of pool they were playing in the next room. As I sat alone at my table, pondering my first move, I thought that if the pool game went on for a while, an unusual opening might run my opponent into time trouble. — SMO
1. g4 d5 2. Bg2 e5
[2...Bxg4 3. c4 c6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Qb3 is tricky for Black]
[2...c6 is best, forcing White to waste a tempo on h2-h3. Black should then manoeuvre his Knight to g6 to exploit White's weaknesses on f4 and h4. ]
3. c4 c6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Qb3 Nf6 6. g5 Ne4 7. d3 Nxg5 8. Nc3 Bd6 9. Bxd5 Ne6 10. Nf3
...with a lead in development and opportunities down the c- and g-files. Black was already running into time-trouble, so my intent was to make the game as complicated as possible to keep him thinking.
10...Nc6 11. Rg1 Nb4 12. Be3 Qe7 13. Ng5 Nxg5 14. Bxg5 f6 15. Be3 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 Qf7 17. Rc1 Be6 18. Qb5+ Kf8
[18...Bd7 19. Qa5 and White will eventually penetrate to c7. ]
19. Bc5 Rd8 20. Bxd6+ Rxd6 21. Qb4 Qd7
22. Rc7 Qd8 23. Rgxg7 Rg8 24. Rge7
[24. Rgd7 is even fancier!]
24...a5 25. Qh4 Rg6 26. Qxh7 Bxd5 27. Rf7+
Black had only seconds left on his clock with 15 moves left to play, so...
Black resigns (1-0)
[Notes by Steve Owen]