Sometimes with young chessplayers, all the pieces begin to fit into place all at once and they achieve wondrous results almost overnight. The legendary Bobby Fischer, for example, had been recognized as a great talent for several years, though his results were uneven. Then in mid-1957 he won the United States Junior championship and then the US Open championship and followed with a clean victory in the US Invitational championship. Thereafter, with but a single exception, he would never be headed in any US tourney. The exception was when he took second place in the 1966 Piatigorsky Cup competition to Boris Spassky, who went on to win the world championship.
In US chess, 1985 would seem to belong to Max Dlugy. In April he shared first place in the grandmaster-studded New York International. In May he had a good plus score in the Tunis Interzonal. In June he won the US Junior championship, and July found the 19-year-old professional from Kew Gardens, N.Y., winning the prestigious World Open, after a playoff with Dmitry Gurevich and Yehuda Gruenfeld, in Philadelphia.
What impresses me most about Dlugy is not his brilliant coups -- all talented young players are capable of brilliancies -- but his tenacity and technical excellence. Witness this game, taken from the World Open, against Steve Odendahl, a strong International Master. Maxim wins a seemingly insignificant doubled and weak pawn and nurses it to victory despite a stubborn, resourceful defense. Queens's Gambit Accepted Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy Odendahl Dlugy
1. P-Q4 P-Q4
2. N-KB3 N-KB3
3. P-B4 PxP
4. Q-R4ch (a) N-B3 (b)
5. N-B3 N-Q4 (c)
6. N-K5 (d) N-N3
7. NxN Q-Q2 (e)
8. N-K5 NxQ
9. NxQ BxN 10. NxN BxN 11. P-K3 B-B3 (f) 12. P-B3 P-QN4 13. P-QR4 PxP (g) 14. BxP R-QN1 15. K-Q2 P-K3 16. K-Q3 B-Q3 17. R-R2 P-K4 18. P-Q5 B-Q2 19. B-Q2 K-K2 20. B-B3 P-QB3 21. P-QN3 (h) PxQP 22. BxQP P-R6 (i) 23. P-QN4 KR-QB1 24. RxP P-QR4 (j) 25. R(3)-R1 PxP 26. B-N2 P-B3 27. KR-QB1 RxR 28. BxR R-QB1 29. B-N2 B-N4 ch 30. K-Q2 B-B4 31. R-R8 (k) BxP ch 32. KxB R-B7 (l) 33. BxP (m) PxB 34. P-B4 R-K7 ch 35. K-B3 K-Q3 36. R-Q8 ch (n) K-B2 37. R-KN8 P-N3 38. R-N7 ch K-Q3 39. R-N7 (o) B-R3 40. R-N6 ch KxB 41. RxB R-K8 42. PxP RxP 43. P-R4 P-N6 44. Resigns (p)
A. Usually seen here is 4. P-K3. The Q check allows Black numerous playable interpositions. Which is best is largely a matter of personal taste.
B. The most enterprising try. If 4. . . . QN-Q2, then 5. P-KN3 transposes into the currently popular Catalan, and here 5. P-K3 and 5. P-K4 are feasible alternatives.
C. This excellent move assures Black a good game.
D. This may already be the losing move, as White never achieves material equality. He should play 6. QxBP, N-N3; 7. Q-Q3, though Black gets an excellent position with 7. . . . P-K4; 8. PxP, QxQ; 9. PxQ, B-KN5.
E. Actually 7. . . . Q-Q3 here is even stronger for Black, who remains with a free extra pawn and a good position.
F. This move sets off Black's advantage. Since White must lose time guarding his KNP, Black will remain a pawn ahead.
G. A masterly concept. Black realizes his advantage will be in his use of the QN file. Note that the attempt to maintain the integrity of his pawn chain with 13. . . . P-QR3 is frustrated by 14. P-QN3, and if 14. . . . BPxP, then it's 15. PxP, PxP; 16. RxR ch, BxR; 17. BxP ch.
H. A good try in a bad position.
I. But not 22. . . . PxP; 23. RxP, when White threatens both 24. BxBP and 24. R-QN1, recapturing his pawn minus.
J. The point of Black's preceding play. Now 25. RxP loses a piece to 25. . . . RxB ch; 26. KxR, BxP ch.
K. White has been defending stubbornly, but the text, aiming for a difficult double-bishop endgame, allows Dlugy a surprising shot.
L. The threat is 33. . . . R-K7 mate.
M. Worse was 33. P-B4, RxB; 34. PxP, PxP.
N. Necessary, since 36. B-K4, RxB; 37. KxR, B-B3 ch leaves Black a bishop up.
O. Now 39. B-K4, RxB; 40. KxR, P-N6; 41. R-N8, P-N7; 42. R-Q8 ch, B-Q2; 43. R-QN8, B-B4 ch finishes.
P. With his King cut off, White will have to give up his rook for the passed NP.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.