The Classic 80s Part 1B: More Lone Pine 1980

Archival Photo

Let’s start with a nostalgia photo from Lone Pine 1980 that my sister recently discovered in my parents’ Bethesda, MD house – buried for many decades but now unearthed like an archaeological treasure.


What we have here is in the foreground, left, former Candidate GM Yefim Geller tussling with red-haired bearded ex-World Junior Champ IM Julio Kaplan (hailing originally from Puerto Rico). Seated in the back left is a very young IM Victor Frias. I cannot tell who he is playing – readers, have any ideas? I guess we could deduce this answer if somebody has the bulletins. Strolling in the back with the trademark cap is veteran U.S. world championship contender the one and only GM Sammy Reshevsky.

More Lone Pine Action

Continuing with my Lone Pine saga, here’s a tussle versus a former US Champion, John Grefe.

John A Grefe vs Mark Ginsburg
Lone Pine Open, 1980

Ruy Lopez, Cordel Variation, early Queen ‘Development’ Madness

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. O-O Qf6!?

Postscript 3/23/08: It’s heartwarming to see IM Lenderman try this rare but playable variation (and win!) in Foxwoods 2008 versus FM R. Negata!

5. b4!? 5. c3! is the best move here (or 4. c3!). John goes in a completely new direction. It’s a sort of perverted Evans Gambit!


5… Bb6 6. Bb2 Nge7 7. c4 Nd4 8. c5 White plays the most actively. Black must start capturing things and hope to stay afloat.

8…Nxb5 9. Bxe5 Qg6 10. a4


A really unique position has been reached after only 10 moves! Black might be a little bit worse here.

10… d6 11. axb5 dxc5 12. bxc5 Bxc5 13. d4 Bb6 14. Nc3 O-O 15. Na4 Bg4 16. Nxb6 Qxb6 17. Qc2 Bxf3 18. gxf3 Ng6 Now black is reasonably happy, having placed a knight somewhere near white’s weakened kingside pawns.

19. Qxc7 Qxb5 20. Bd6 Qg5+ 21. Kh1 Qf6 22. f4 Rfd8

The pawn count doesn’t matter here. Black is super-active.


23. e5 Qxf4 24. Qxb7 Qxd4 25. Rad1 Qa4 26. f4 Nh4 27. Rc1 Nf5 28. Rc7


28… Qa2 29. Rfc1 Qe6! An ideal centralization with a secret point. You’ll see it very soon.

30. Rd1 Rab8! Methodically, black activates every last unit and prepares for a hidden crushing blow.


31. Qxa7 Ng3+!! A very pleasing move to play. White has no defense against this bolt from the blue.

32. hxg3 32. Kg2 Qg4! mates similarly.

32…Qh3+ 33. Kg1 Qxg3+ 34. Kf1 Qf3+ 35. Ke1 Rb2 0-1

White is mated and hence gives up. Too bad I lost many games in the event, but still this one was a thrill.


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3 Responses to “The Classic 80s Part 1B: More Lone Pine 1980”

  1. The Fabulous 00s: The Magic and Delight of Foxxxwoods, Connecticut « IM Mark Ginsburg Presents A Personal Chess History Says:

    […] I’m playing Lev Alburt (who had recently defected from the USSR) and in the background is future IM Steve Odendahl from Maryland. It looks like we’re playing in a brick penitentiary but that was in fact the Lone Pine, CA, playing hall.  See this post for more Lone Pine games and photos. […]

  2. The Fabulous 70s: 3 Chess People and a Beautiful Woman … Plus, Petrosian Tidbits « IM Mark Ginsburg Presents A Personal Chess History Says:

    […] left: Louis D. Statham, the famous patron of the Lone Pine super-Swisses. Upper right: ex-WC Tigran Petrosian, winner of Lone Pine 1976 (the 6th LP incarnation). Bottom […]

  3. John P. Dellova Says:

    While playing in a 1980s Bill Goichberg tournament (probably at the Roosevelt) I heard you guffaw at the mention of Sam Reshevsky and till tonight I’d held it against you, Then I read your explanation of some of old Sammy’s underhanded over the board practices and your reaction made sense — I’d assumed it had something to do with Reshevsky’s declining play. Glad I read the details at last.

    ** After having been away from the game for over 20 years (I used to be an expert) I’ve come back to it at age 64 and have enjoyed all of your online recollections, especially your duet against Feldstein and Walter Shipman running back and forth between the two locations, I knew both pretty well and got a kick out of your describing the late Mr Feldstein’s feasting while playing. He devoured a huge hero with desert during our one tournament game, slamming pieces and clock with each move, including the final one that he resigned on, causing those around us to have a good laugh (I think this was a Cucci tournament) . Feldstein, wearing one of his odd T-shirts (I think it proclaimed ‘I play Sanasteire’s Folly’) finished his over the board meal and rushed off.

    ** I can picture your episode at the Marshall CC being ejected with Max Dlugy by Leslie Braun, a very good friend of mine. Les did definitely conjure clown images but he was always willing to laugh at his own nonsense, and to me he was a great person . As you said, Kudos to Walter Shipman for his action; and he’s another great person.

    *** My only encounter with Sam Reshevsky was in the adjournment room of the Henry Hudson Hotel during the 1965-66 US championship. I was one of only three spectators. Originally there were five but Fischer, who arrived late, immediately had two kids thrown out for loud whispering over a small analysis board. Reshevsky played white and had isolated triple g pawns at 2-3-4 where he retreated his king after being checked a few times by Fischer, who resigned on the final king move. They were both very friendly during the postmortem — which surprised me because I thought there was a lot of antagonism between them — and I got everyone’s autograph (the Byrne brothers, Duncan Suttles when he was still only a young expert “You want MY autograph?” incredulously) and I believe Hans Kmoch and Anthony Saidy. Finally face to face with my hero Robert J the only thing I could say as he autographed my sheet was “I’m from Brooklyn too!” He smiled amiably and said, “Isn’t that something!” in a way that was honest and not patronizing. That’s the Fischer I’ll always remember.

    **Hope you’ll put all your great comments in a book. Can’t wait to read it!

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