It was only a matter of time before I receive my first complaint. Too much chess politics! Well, alright. So tonight, I thought I'd flick through some old Chess Worlds. Blasting to 1947 I spot a game from the Victorian Championships. That tournament was won by a Dr M. Gellis. He finished on 9.5/10 - a half point ahead of F.A. Crowl.
The featured game is between C.G. Watson (white) and the tournament winner (black). Gellis was lucky thanks to Watson's horrible blunder on move 40.
Victorian Championship 1947
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 d6 5. c4 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Bd7 10. Rc1 Rc8 11. f4 Ne8 To which Purdy's remarks now seem somewhat inappropriate. He writes: "He [Gellis] should have countered with 11... Qb6 throwing, if not a spanner in the works, at least a nigger in the woodpile" - CJS Purdy. Say what? Obviously now considered offensive, but the phrase apparently means, "a concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way". 12. Qd2 e6? A difficult move to make - perhaps to counter the f5 thrust. But now the d6-baby is compromised. 12... a6 to avoid exactly a knight landing on b5. 13. f5 Nf6 14. fxg6 hxg6 13. Ndb5 Qa5 14. c5! a6 15. Nxd6 Nxd6 16. cxd6 Qb4 17. a3 Bxc3 18. axb4 Bxd2 19. Bxd2 Nd4 20. Bd3 Rxc1 21. Rxc1 Rc8 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. Be3 Nb5 24. e5 Kf8 25. Be4 Ke8 26. Kf2 Kd7 27. Bc5 h6 28. Ke3 Ke8 29. Kd3 g5 30. Ke3 f5 31. exf6 Kf7 32. fxg5 hxg5 What would you play? 33. d7 Bxd7 34. Bxb7 is good enough, but now Watson finds a more aesthetic move.
33. Bxb7!! Nxd6 34. Bxc8 Nxc8 35. Ke4 Kxf6 36. g4 Ne7 37. Bxe7+ Kxe7 38. Ke5 Kf7 39. Ke4 Ke7 40. Kd4?? "A sheer absurdity", wrote C.J.S Purdy. The Aussie legend then gives the following as the correct method of winning: 40. Ke5 Kf7 41. Kd6 Kf6 42. b3 Kf7 43. Kc5 Kf6 44. b5 axb5 45. Kxb5 Ke5 46. Kc5 Kf4 47. b4 - CJS Purdy 40... Kd6 41. h3 e5+ 42. Kc4 Kc6 43. b3 Kd6 44. Kd3 Kd5 0-1