1923: Young Turks

Bruce,RM - Mallison,HV, Winter Wood Championship, 1923

Young Turks

The Thomas Winter Wood trophy is a knockout championship of the club champions of Devon, and in 1923 the final was contested between two players who had yet to make their considerable reputations in the West country. This was the first time an Exeter player had won the trophy. — DR

London System

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 d5 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 e6 6. Bd3 Be7 7. h3

To provide a retreat for the QB in case Black played ...Nh5

7...O-O 8. Nbd2 h6


With the intention of playing ...Bd6; and preventing White from replying Bg5

9. O-O Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. dxc5 Qxc5 12. Nb3

After this Black gets the advantage in the centre. 

[12. e4 would have kept the game even. ]

12...Qe7 13. Rc1 e5

threatening ...e4

14. Bb1 Be6

Preventing c3-c4.

15.Nfd2 Rad8

This prevents c3-c4 and e3-e4, but Rfd8 might have saved a move.

16.Qc2 Rc8 17.f4

[17.e4 d4; 17.a3 was a useful precautionary move]




A mistake, which loses at least a Pawn.

[18.Nd4 could have been played; or 18.a3 Black, however, would get a good game in the latter case, by 18...Nh5 followed by ...Qh4.]


[18...dxc4 is also playable, for if 19.Nxe4 (19.Nxc4 Nb4) 19...Nxe4 20.Qxe4 f5]


[19.Qd1 dxc4 and ...Nd3, but still this was White's best chance]

19...dxc4 20.a3?

This loses a piece.

[20.Nd4? Nbd5 21.Qa3 Qxa3 22.bxa3 Nxe3;

20.Na5? b6 21.Naxc4 Nbd5 wins the Knight;

20.Na1 Black can secure much the better game with a Pawn ahead after any of 20...Nbd5 (20...Nd3; 20...b5) ]

20...Nbd5 21.Qe5 cxb3 22.Nxe4 Nxe4 23.Qxe4

threatening f4-f5


[23...f5 and ...Qf6 was simpler.]

24.Qe5 Rfe8 25.Rfd1 Rxc1 26.Rxc1 Bd7 27.Rc7

[27.Qxe7 Rxe7 28.Kf2 Bc6]

27...Qxe5 28.fxe5 Rxe5 29.Rxb7 Rxe3 30.Kf2 Re8 31.Rxb3

[31.Rxa7 Bb5 idea ...Re7+]

31...Bc6 32.Rb4 Ne4+ 33.Kg1

Either this or BxNe4 is forced; any other move loses the Bishop.


Guarding against a possible mate on the back rank.

34.Rd4 Nc3

Forcing an exchange, but

[34...Ng3 was simpler 35.Kf2 Nh1+ 36.Kf1 Bb5+ 37.Bd3 Ng3+]


[35.bxc3 Re1+]

35...Re1+ 36.Kh2

[36.Kf2 Rxb1]

36...Nxb1 37.Rxc6 Re2 38.Rc8+ Kg7 39.Rb8 Re7

The idea was to get the Knight out by ...Rd7, ...Nd2


[40.Rc8 was better]



41.Rb8 Nd2 42.Rc8

To prevent ...Nc4, but [42.b4 was better]


[42...Nf1+ and ...Ne3 was also possible.]

43.Kg1 Rxb2 44.Rb8 Rb1+ 45.Kf2 Nd2 46.Rd8 Nc4 47.Rd7 a5 48.Rd5 Rb2+ 49.Ke1

[49.Kg1? Rxg2+ 50.Kxg2 Ne3+; or 49.Kg3? ]

49...Rxg2 50.a4 Ra2 0-1

[Notes by H.V. Mallison]

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