1996: The last round

Game Saqui,D - Hill,D, Spectrum Premier (5), Torquay, 1996

The Last Round

This game clinched the Spectrum Premier tournament at Torquay. Although I entered the Major, I had been brought into the Premier to make a six-player all-play-all. But in the last round, I found myself in the sole lead with 3/4... — DH

Pirc Defence, Byrne Variation

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Qd2

[6.e5 Nd5 Even-Stevens]

6...0–0 7.Be2 Re8

[7...b5]

8.0–0–0 Qa5 9.Kb1 e5 10.fxe5 dxe5 11.d5 Nbd7

The tension in the centre has been relieved somewhat. I was happy with my position.

12.Nh3 Qb4 13.a3?!

Not really necessary.

13...Qb6 14.Rhf1 cxd5 15.exd5 e4

Making room for my Knight on e5.

16.Be3 Qd8 17.Bg5 Qb6 18.d6?!

Needing a win White decides to play on.

18...e3 19.Qc1 Ne4 20.Nxe4 Rxe4 21.Rf3

[21.Be7 was worth a try.]

21...Bd4 22.c3?!

further weakening his Pawns.

22...Bc5 23.Bd3 Re6 24.Bc4

+-----------------+
|r+b+.+k+|
|0p+n+p+p|
|.1.)r+p+|
|+.g.+.G.|
|.+B+.+.+|
|).).0R+N|
|.).+.+P)|
|+K!R+.+.|
+-----------------+

24...Ne5!?

This 'felt' the right move.

25.Bxe6 Bxe6 26.Rxe3 Bxe3 27.Bxe3 Qb3 28.Qd2 Qa2+ 29.Kc1 Bb3 30.Qe2 Nc4 31.Qxc4 Qa1+ 0–1

[Notes by Dan Hill]

Chess Quotes

"A lot of the difference between an IM and GM is a seriousness to the game. The GM is willing to go through all this. He's willing to put up with anything. This shows his dedication. One other thing is the GMs superiority in tactics. For example Christiansen can find tactics in any position. If you're a GM you should be able to overpower the IM tactically. The GM will often blow out the IM in this area. "
— Nick de FIRMIAN, in How To Get Better at Chess : Chess Masters on Their Art by GM Larry Evans, IM Jeremy B Silman and Betty Roberts

EDITORIAL NOTE: This of course contradicts David Norwood's view. While David's opinion is based on research, I think Nick's is the correct one. I have a wonderful proof of this theorem, but unfortunately this page is too small to hold it. - Dr.Dave.