In 26th Chess Olympiad, a Californian helped give US third place
We reported here recently the results of the 26th Chess Olympiad, in which the United States placed a strong third behind the Soviet Union and England. The only non-grandmaster on the US team was International Master Nick de Firmian, who, as second alternate, more than justified his selection, with 6 wins, 1 loss, and 3 draws, the team's best percentage score. De Firmian, a 27-year-old Oakland, Calif., resident, has long been known as a cool customer who thrives on tactics and time pressure. That he is now capable of mixing in sound, solid positional play shows in today's game, from the 11th-round match with Sweden, the match's sole US victory. De Firmian beat Harry Schussler. Queen's Indian Defense de Firmian Schussler de Firmian Schussler de Firmian Schussler de Firmian Schussler
1. P-Q4 N-KB3
2. P-QB4 P-K3
3. N-KB3 P-QN3
4. P-QR3 B-R3
5. Q-B2 B-N2
6. N-B3 P-B4
7. P-K4 PxP
8. NxP N-B3 (a)
9. NxN BxN (b) 10. B-K2 P-Q3 11. B-B4 (c) B-K2 12. R-Q1 Q-N1 13. O-O O-O 14. R-Q2 Q-N2 15. B-B3 QR-Q1 16. KR-Q1 Q-B2 17. N-Q5 (d) BxN 18. BPxB Q-Q2 (e) 19. PxP QxP 20. Q-R4 P-KN4 (f) 21. BxNP NxP 22. BxN BxB 23. R-Q5 P-B4 24. B-B2 R-Q2 (g) 25. P-R4 B-R3 and
A. Black now obtains a passive and unpromising position. We prefer 8. . . . B-B4; 9. N-N3, N-B3; 10. NxB, PxN, when Black cedes the two bishops for active counterplay based on control of key central squares. Also preferable is 8. . . . P-Q3; 9. B-K2, QN-Q2; 10. O-O, P-QR3, with a solid hedgehog formation.
B. No better is 9. . . . PxN; 10. P-K5, N-Q2; 11. P-B4.
C. White focuses on the weak QP while Black tries to avoid playing P-K4, which would give up all hope for an eventual P-Q4.
D. This pretty move sets off White's advantage. Now if Black tries 17. . . . PxN, then 18. BPxP, R-B1; 19. R-QB 1, and White will emerge with a tremendous pawn on B6.
E. Should Black exchange queens, White's control of the QB file, in conjunction with the bishop pair, should add up to a decisive advantage.
F. Since both 20. . . . Q-Q2; 21. QxQ, RxQ; 22. P-K5 and 20. . . . R-Q2; 21. Q-B6 win for White, Black tries for a radical, tactical solution to his problems. Unfortunately the weakening of his king position merely adds to his troubles.
G. Losing immediately. Black had to play 24 . . . K-R1, although a White win is routine after 25. QxP.
H. Black resigned when he noticed White could play 26. BxP, RxB; 27. Q-N4 ch.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.