The Fabulous 80s: Richard Delaune!

International Master Richard Delaune (from Virginia) was a fixture in the Maryland/Virginia/DC tri-‘state’ chess scene.  He also played in numerous World Opens.  For some reason “Chess Canada” referred to him as “R.K. Deliune” and nobody ever found out why.   Richard passed away at a relatively young age (so did his Virginia chess friend, Don Barr).

Richard's in the back row on the left, seated. 1990s? Maryland?

The photo above may have been taken by the recently deceased Bill Hook but I’m not sure.

He was often the last player to finish in a round; a hard-worker, strategically minded, contesting more often than not long endings.  I remember waiting for him at some Maryland tournament to finish so we could go and having to give up after hanging out at the tournament several hours.

I played Richard in the last round Maryland State Championship 1982. I won that game (catapulting ahead of him in the standings, previously he was a 100% record with 4 out of 4) to win the event with 4.5 out of 5) and drew him sometime later in another tournament (Lawrence Pfefferkorn Open?).  Those were the only two times we were to play.  I don’t know when he became an IM, exactly.

The 1982 encounter? : 

[Event “Md. St. Ch.”]
[Site “College Park, MD”]
[Date “1982.??.??”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “5”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Mark Ginsburg”]
[Black “R K Delaune”]
[ECO “E41”]
[WhiteElo “2389”]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Bd3 O-O 6. Nge2 cxd4 7. exd4 d5 8. a3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Be7 10. O-O a6 11. Ba2 Nc6
12. Qd3 b5 13. Rd1 Bb7 14. Qh3!

This is a dangerous setup that I had seen mentioned somewhere.  I think Petrosian had success with it.  The move d4-d5 is always in the air.
The immediate 14. d5 exd5 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Bf6 does not look like much.
14… b4 14… Na5 seems more to the point.
15. axb4 Nxb4 16. Bb1 Rc8 17. Bf4!
A rather novel way to attack.  Bishop to e5, other forces gang up on g6.  It was motivated by black moving his N/c6 offside.

Position after 17. Bf4!

17…Qb6 18. Be5 g6 19. Qh4?!
As the game shows, 19. Nf4 right away is correct.
19…Qd8 20. Qh3 Qb6 21. Nf4! Nd7 22. Qh6 Nf6 23. Ra3!
The last reserve is brought up before the decisive action.

Time to act

24. Nxg6! fxg6 25. Bxg6 hxg6
26. Qxg6+ Kf8 27. Bxf6 Bxf6 28. Qxf6+ Ke8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8

(30… Kd6 31. d5! Nxd5 32. Ne4+ Kc6 33. Rc1+ Kb5 34. Nc3+ Nxc3 35. Rb3+ Ka5 36. Qxc3+! Rxc3 37. Ra1 mate)

31. Ne4! Qxd4 32. Qg8+ Ke7 33. Qg5+ Ke8 34. Rxd4 Rxd4 35. Qg6+ Ke7 36. Qg7+ Ke8 37. Nf6+ Kd8 38. h3 1-0

The author, New York City, 1983


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