International grandmaster begins weekly Monitor chess column
Viktor Korchnoi is a familiar presence at World Championship matches. But he was a surprise entrant in August's US Open in Pasadena, Calif. The Swiss grandmaster, a defector from the Soviet Union, had some time on his hands when Soviet Grandmaster Gary Kasparov failed to appear for their scheduled semifinal match in the current championship series.
It was little surprise that Korchnoi played strongly in the record field of 836 players, scoring an impressive 101/2-11/2. US co-champion Larry Christiansen , however, matched this.
The US Open is one of my favorite tournaments, and I have played in 28 of them since 1946. I have won it three of those times and tied for first twice more.
The 1957 Cleveland Open was particularly memorable for me. I proudly drove home with the first-place trophy, but found out that a technicality in the tiebreakers meant I had to turn over the cup to a 13-year-old upstart named Bobby Fischer! It was the last time, incidentally, that anyone ever tied Fischer in a domestic tournament.
This year I could not match the consistently sterling play of Korchnoi and Christiansen, but I did enjoy several games, including this entertaining if frivolous effort.
I speculated a pawn as early as my fourth move instead of playing a sounder move such as P-K5. Black played well for a while, but then allowed me chances. I chose some pretty moves over efficient ones from time to time, but the final King hunt, combined with a spearing of the Queen, is genuinely amusing.
French Defense Bisguier Barry Brandt 1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. N-QB3 B-N5 4. N-K2 PxP 5. P-QR3 BxN+ 6. NxB N-QB3 7. B-QN5 N-K2 8. O-O O-O 9. B-K3 P-B4 10. Q-Q2 N-N3 11. N-K2 QN-K2(a) 12. P-KB3 P-B3 13. B-QB4 PxP 14. RxP N-Q4 15. N-B4 N(N)xN 16. BxN N-B3 17. R-K1 N-K5 18. Q-Q3 Q-N3 19. B-K5 B-Q2 20. P-KN4 K-R1 21. PxP PxP 22. RxN(b) PxR 23. R-KN3 R-KN1 24. QxP QxNP 25. RxP!(c) RxR 26. BxR+ KxB 27. Q-K7+ K-N3 28. Q-B7+ K-N4 29. Q-N7+ K-B4 30. QxB+ K-B5 31. Q-KB7+ K-K6 32. Q-B2+ K-K5 33. B-Q3+ K-Q4 34. P-B4+, Black resigns.
A. 11. . . . P-K4 would still leave White with the problem of finding compensation for the gambited pawn.
B. Removing Black's only effectively positioned piece. Then the simple 23. RxR+, RxR; 24. Q-KN3 would have left Black defenseless.
C. Black is winning after 25. BxP+?, RxB; 26. RxR, Q-B8+; 27. K-N2, B-R6+!; 28. KxB, Q-R3+. After 25. RxP!, White could meet 25. . . . Q-B8+ with 26.K-B2, Q-Q7+; 27. K-B3, Q-Q8+; (27. . . . Q-B6+ 28. B-Q3) 28. B-K2, Q-R8+; 29. R-N2+, winning.