US, Scandinavia even things out on an Icelandic chessboard
Reykjavik, Iceland, which will be long remembered by chess aficionados the world over as the site of Bobby Fischer's 1972 world championship victory over Boris Spassky, was host to a different type of match recently. An all-star team from the United States battled a mixed team from the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland in a 12-board, 24-game match. As befits a friendly encounter, the result was a 12-12 tie. The games were all hard fought. Plus scores of 1 points in two games were turned in by Grandmasters Lubomir Kavalek, Lev Alburt, and Walter Browne, and Grandmaster-elect Maxim Dlugy for the Americans. International Master Harry Schussler of Sweden was the only double winner and was the hero of the Nordic team with a 2-0 score.
The US team trailed 6-5 after the first day of play, but reversed the score in the second round to break even.
Today's featured game, Browne's victory over GM Johann Hjartarson of Iceland, was probably the most attractive contest of the first round. The stubborn defense of the loser, who hung on when it seemed as if the veteran American grandmaster would blow him off the board, typified the fighting qualities of both teams. Queen's Indian defense Browne Hjartarson
1. P-Q4 N-KB3
2. P-QB4 P-K3
3. N-KB3 P-QN3
4. P-QR3 (a) B-R3
5. QN-Q2 P-Q4
6. Q-B2 B-K2 (b)
7. P-K4 O-O
8. P-K5 N-K1
9. B-Q3 (c) P-R3 10. O-O P-QB4 11. QPxP NPxP 12. R-Q1 N-B2 13. N-B1 N-B3 14. N-N3 N-R4 (d) 15. P-N3 R-N1 16. R-N1 Q-K1 (e) 17. BxP PxP (f) 18. B-R7 ch K-R1 19. B-N5 B-N2 (g) 20. B-K4 BxB (N4) 21. NxB Q-K2 22. Q-Q2 P-B4 (h) 23. BxB RxB 24. Q-B4 K-N1 25. PxP RxR 26. RxR R-Q1 27. N-B3 (i) Q-Q2 28. P-KR4 Q-Q6 29. R-QB1 N-N6 (j) 30. R-K1 N-Q5 31. Q-N5 NxN ch 32. PxN R-Q2 33. N-R5 N-K1 34. K-N2 QxBP 35. N-B4 R-KB2 (k) 36. N-N6 Q-Q5 37. Q-R5 R-N2 38. Q-R8 ch K-B2 39. P-R5 Resigns (l)
A. Browne has played many beautiful games with this innocuous looking move, first popularized by Petrosian and then espoused with great success by world champion Gary Kasparov.
B. Less challenging but safer would be 6. . . . B-N2, to hinder 7. P-K4.
C. This natural developing move forces a weakness in Black's kingside. Now 9. . . . P-N3; 10. P-KR4 would be even more ominous for Black.
D. Black plays consistently for pressure on the queen's wing. It is not obvious, at this point, that the precarious emplacement of this knight will shortly allow White an attractive combination.
E. Removing the queen from the queen file to be able to threaten the QBP. But now the fireworks begin.
F. Much sterner than 17. . . . PxB; 18. Q-Q2, NxNP (White threatened the knight on the rim as well as the KRP); 19 QxP, P-B4; 20. PxP e.p., RxP; 21. Q-R7 ch, K-B1; 22. Q-R8 ch, K-B2; 23. N-K5 mate. The next few moves center on White's attempt to transfer his queen to the attack via his K4 square.
G. Still preventing 20. Q-K4.
H. Black has to take measures against 23. Q-B4 and 24. Q-R4 ch.
I. Now White must take care. 27. Q-R4 is adequately met by P-N3, and Black is threatening 27. . . . R-Q5, winning the QBP.
J. Probably better than 29. . . . QxRP; 30. Q-N5 and 31. N-R5 and White's attack is very virulent despite the paucity of pieces.
K. It is not easy for Black to formulate a successful defense. After the text, White could respond strongly with 36. R-Q1, intending 37. R-Q8, though the text move is also quite good. The players were short of time at this point.
L. 40. Q-B8 mate is unavoidable.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.