In 1989 intrepid photographer Eric Tall (former Senior Master from Michigan) and I set out to Belgium and Holland. I was going to play in a small FIDE IM round robin that was going to take place in Brugges, Belgium and also have some rounds in Gent, I believe.
Here is a photo of Eric (left), myself and Ben Finegold from that trip. This photo was probably taken at the Brugges venue.
After the event Eric and I went to Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Holland to explore and have fun while observing New Year’s Eve 1990. We rendezvoused with fellow American Christine Syben.
Here are Eric and Christine at the rocky shores of Scheveningen, Holland. If memory serves, Christine went on to lose all her money at the local casino shortly thereafter and we had to get her a train ticket back to Germany where she had relatives or some such.
Finally we have Ben Finegold (left) with Belgian player Marc Geenen after the round, enjoying some Trappiste Ale.
In the tournament itself, I finished with +4 =5 -0 to win it with 6 1/2 out of 9. Ben was 2nd with +3 =6 -0, 6 out of 9.
I don’t have any game scores handy from Brugges 1989. They are ‘somewhere’, I am searching…. however I did find some from a similar event played 2 years earlier, the Eeklo Belgium ECI International, August 1987.
Here they are.
IM Gabor Pirisi (HUN) – IM Mark Ginsburg
ECI International Eeklo Belgium 8/14/87
Sicilian Defense, Scheveningen Variation, Keres Attack Deferred. Round 2.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 a6 7. g4 h6 The most circumspect reply.
8. Qf3!? A little strange – but a Hungarian specialty. It was quite popular in the late 1980s. White is toying with the idea of Qf3-h3, to further the g4-g5 plan.
8…Nc6 8… Nbd7 is possible here. One topical game continued 9. Qh3!? Nc5 10. f3 e5 11. Nb3 Be6 12. Nxc5 dxc5 13. Qg3 Be7 14. h4 Qa5 15. Qxe5 O-O-O 16. Bc4 Bd6 17. Bxe6+ Kb8 18. Qf5 fxe6 19. Qxe6 Rhe8 20. Qf7 Nd5 21. O-O-O Nxe3 22. Rxd6 Rf8 23. Qxg7 Rxf3 24. Qe5 Rxd6 25. Qxd6+ Ka7 26. Qd3 Rg3 27. Ne2 Nf5 28. Nxg3 and black resigned, 1-0 Sax,G (2550)-Tukmakov,V (2570)/Las Palmas 1978)
9. Rg1 Bd7!? Black can also try the more committal 9..g5!? here: 10. O-O-O Bd7 11. h4 Rg8 12. Qe2 Ne5 13. Bh3 b5 14. f4 gxf4 15. Bxf4 b4 16. Nb1 Ng6 17. Bg3 Qa5 18. Qf3 Be7 19. e5 Nd5 20. Rgf1 Rf8 21. exd6 Bxh4 22. Bxh4 Nxh4 23. Qg3 Ng6 24. Bg2 Rc8 25. Bxd5 Qxd5 26. Nxe6 Rxc2+ 27. Kxc2 Qc4+ 28. Kd2 Bxe6 29. Qe3 Qxg4 30. Rc1 Qg5 31. Rc7 Kd8 32. Qxg5+ hxg5 33. Rfc1 Rh8 34. R1c6 Rh4 35. Ra7 Ne5 36. Rcxa6 Nc4+ 37. Ke2 Rh2+ 38. Kd3 Rxb2 39. Rb7 Nxd6 40. Rxd6+ Kc8 41. Rbb6 Rxb1 42. Rbc6+ agreed drawn, 1/2-1/2 Ermenkov,E-Suba,M/Baile Herculane 1978
10. h4 h5 11. g5?! Not impressive. Stronger is 11. gxh5 Rxh5?! (11… Nxh5 looks better; e.g. 12. O-O-O Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. Bd4 b5 15. Bd3 b4 16. Ne2 Bb7 17. Kb1 and white has a small edge) 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Bg5 Rh8 14. O-O-O Be7 15. Qe3 Qc7 16. Bh3 b5 17. f3 Bb7 18. Kb1 Rc8 19. Rg2 b4 20. Nd5 exd5 21. Bxc8 Bxc8 22. exd5 Bf5 23. Re2 Kd8 24. Rde1 Re8 25. Qd4 Bg6 26. Qxb4 Nxd5 27. Qb3 f6 28. Bd2 Qc6 29. Rg2 Bf5 30. Rxg7 Kc8 31. a3 Qb5 32. Bb4 a5 33. Ka1 axb4 34. c4 Qc5 35. cxd5 and black gave up, 1-0 Blees,A (2415)-Rytshagov,M (2495)/Antwerp 1996)
11… Ng4 12. Bh3? A bad move. Superior was 12. Qg3 and now the simplest is 12…Nxe3! 13. Qxe3 Qb6! 14. O-O-O Nxd4 15. Rxd4 d5 16. Rd2 Bc5 and black is fine.
12… Nce5 13. Qe2 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 Qb6 15. g6? Oops. White didn’t notice the threat. Strangely, he was defenseless anyway. If 15. O-O-O? Nc4! and black wins, forking e3 and b2. If the pathetic 15. Kf1, to escape the simple tactical trick that occurred in the game, again the elementary 15…Nc4 wins.
15…Qxd4! Winning a piece due to 16. Qxd4 Nf3+. The rest is easy, in fact it was already resignable.
16. gxf7+ Kd8 17. Qg5+ Kc7 18. Rg3 Nxf7 19. Qf4 Ne5 20. Rd1 Qb6 21. Qg5 Rh6! The white queen is in trouble and black is a full piece up in any event.
22. Ne2 Rc8 23. f4 Nf7 24. Rc3+ Kb8 and white gave up; his queen is trapped.
IM Franciscus Borm (NLD, 2420) – IM Mark Ginsburg (USA)
English Opening, Ukrainian Variation 4….e4!?
ECI 1987, Round 6
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 d6 4. d4 e4!? One of my pet variations. See my J. Benjamin game or my L. Alburt game.
5. Ng5 Bf5 6. Qc2 The text is very direct. 6. g4!? is the usual choice of my opponents.
6….h6 7. Ngxe4 Nxe4 8. Nxe4 Qh4! At first glance this looks like it wins a piece since the f-pawn is pinned.
9. Nxd6+! A saving counter-tactic.
9…Bxd6 10. Qxf5 Bb4+! After a flurry of tactics, the game settles down and white may maintain a very small edge.
11. Bd2 11. Kd1 is playable and can lead to crazy positions. For example, 11…Qxd4+ 12. Qd3 Qxf2 13. Qe4+ Be7! and black is OK. The greedy 14. Qxb7 O-O 15. Qxa8? Qd4+! gives black a winning attack.
11…Bxd2+ 12. Kxd2 Qxd4+ 13. Kc2 Qxc4+ 14. Kb1
If black is not careful here, he will wind up worse due to the potentially superior WB vs BN situation.
14…Qd4! Strong. White has no time to get his pieces out in a normal way. In Christopher Ward (2310) – R. Nay, Paris Op. 1988, black played the weak 14…O-O? 15. e3 Qb4 16. Bd3 g6 and white, a future GM, was well on top and went on to win.
15. a3! White didn’t want to go for the risky 15. Qc8+ Ke7 16. Qxc7+ Nd7 with obvious compensation. Rightly so: 17. e3 Qd1+ 18. Qc1 Qxc1+ 19. Kxc1 Rac8+ gives black more than enough; white lags hugely in development.
15…Nc6! 16. e3 Qd1+ 17. Ka2
17…Nb4+! A very pleasing move to play. An immediate perpetual check is forced: 18. axb4 Qa4+ 19. Kb1 Qd1+ will repeat. White exclaimed “This entire game was a trick!” Chess has its logic, queens and knights are indeed full of tricks in tandem.
To cap it all off, here is the author in Rotterdam, Holland 1989, with 2 minutes to New Year’s! I had been deathly ill in my hotel room the prior 2 days and this was the first day I could straggle out of there, hence the sallow appearance.
Photo by Eric Tall. “No Way Uit!”