1982: The eleventh hour

Game Basman,MJ - Bellers,CJV, East Devon Open, 1982

The eleventh hour

This last-round game provided excellent entertainment for the many onlookers!

Sicilian Defence, Hyper-accelerated Fianchetto Variation

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. c3 Bg7 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 d5 6. e5 Bg4 7. Be2 Bxf3 8. Bxf3 e6 9. h4

[Some sort of aggression is necessary, otherwise Black will set up a very solid defence.  — PHC]

9...h5 10. Bg5 Qb6 11. Nc3

+-----------------+
|rh.+k+n4|
|0p+.+pg.|
|.1.+p+p+|
|+.+p).Gp|
|.+.).+.)|
|+.H.+B+.|
|P).+.)P+|
|$.+QI.+R|
+-----------------+

11...Nc6

[11...Qxb2 12. O-O Qxc3 13. Rc1 would give White too many possibilities. — PHC]

12. O-O Nge7

[Probably Black could have risked taking the QP. — PHC]

13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Na4 Qd8 15. Nc5 O-O 16. Nxb7 Qb6 17. Nc5 Qxb2 18. Rb1 Qxa2 19. Qd3 Bh6 20. Nd7 Rfc8 21. Nf6+ Kg7 22. Rb7 Nf5 23. Rfb1

+-----------------+
|r+r+.+.+|
|0R+.+pi.|
|.+.+pHpg|
|+.+p)n+p|
|.+.).+.)|
|+.+Q+B+.|
|q+.+.)P+|
|+R+.+.I.|
+-----------------+

23...Qc4

[Better was 23...Rc1+ reducing White's attacking force. — PHC]

24. Rxf7+!? Kxf7 25. Rb7+ Ne7 26. Rxe7+!?

[26. Qxg6+ Kxg6 27. Bxh5+ Kf5 28. Bg4+ led to a pretty draw, but Basman had higher hopes. — PHC]

26...Kxe7

I was in time trouble from move 27; the time control was at move 42. 

27. Qxg6 Qc1+ 28. Kh2 Rf8 29. Nxd5+! exd5 30. Qd6+ Kf7 31. Qf6+ Kg8 32. Bxd5+ Kh7 33. Be4+ Kg8 34. Bd5+

[The game continuation was incorrectly recorded as 34. Qg6+ Bg7 35. Qh7+ Kf7 36. Bd5+ Ke8 37. Qg6+ Kd8 38. Qd6+ Ke8? [38...Kc8!] 39. Bc6+ Kf7 [39...Qxc6 40. Qxc6+ Kf7 41. f4+- ] 40. Qc7+ Ke6 41. Qd7# in the Sunday Times magazine. ]

34...Kh7 35. Be4+ Kg8 36. Qg6+ Bg7 37. Qh7+ Kf7 38. Bd5+ Ke8 39. Qg6+ Kd8 40. Qd6+ Ke8? 41. Bc6+ Kf7 42. Bd5+? Ke8 43. Qg6+

Time control reached; Basman had a long think here and eventually he forced a repetition of position, which I thought was a prelude to a draw offer.  Despite having a lot more time to think, I repeated the same mistake — I learned a lot about psychology from this game!

43...Kd8 44. Qd6+ Ke8? 45. Bc6+ Kf7 46. Qc7+ Ke6? 47. Qd7# 1-0

[Notes by Chris Bellers and Peter Clarke]

Chess Quotes

"The loser is always at fault."
— -- PANOV