1996: Opening the f-file
Mark has a vigorous and enjoyable style both with the pen and with the f-Pawn. We have used a press release or two from Mark elsewhere; here is the last-round game which brought him overall first place in our local Major tournament. — DR
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nf3 Be7
[3...Nd4 Blackburne's Shilling Gambit was tempting, but with £150 at stake I felt it wasn't really the game.]
4...Nf6 5. Be3 O-O 6. c3 d6 7. Nbd2 Be6 8. O-O h6 9. Qe2 Bxc4 10. dxc4
Some people would say that this move is an intelligent attempt to induce strategic weaknesses in my position. I, however, would say that this move is a pile of pants.
10...Nh7 11. Rad1 f5
Hey, I never claimed to be subtle.
12. exf5 Rxf5 13. Ne4 Qc8 14. c5 Qe6 15. cxd6 cxd6 16. c4 Rf7
So I can play ...Nf6 without stranding my Rook.
[Impertinent note from typesetter: White starts to drift. He should pick a plan and go for it hard. This is what Black did, and is why Black won. ]
17...Nf6 18. Nc3 Raf8 19. Nd5 Ng4
20. Nxe7+ Rxe7
21. Nf3 Ref7
It's hard not to laugh at my transparency, but at the same time route one seems to be fairly effective. Spiegel, certainly, looked anxious at this point.
22. b3 Nxe3 23. Qxe3 Rf4
He offered me a draw at this move. I politely declined.
24. Rd5 Qg4 25. Ne1 e4
The final insult. White's whole plan has been based around winning my d-Pawn, and I don't even have the decency to defend it.
[Still, 26. Rxd6 is probably the best move! — DR]
26...Qe2! 27. Qc3 Rxf2 0-1
And that was that.
[Notes by Mark Blackmore]