What’s the most thrilling thing that you can do in chess? To play a former World Champion or a famous grandmaster must go close. In Australia we are a bit isolated so these opportunities are rare. Of course grandmaster Ian Rogers, himself once a top 100 player, has played many of the world’s better players, but what about the result of us?
I’ve played Euwe (World Champion 1935-37) in a simul in Melbourne in the early 1970′s. I lost but the two juniors I was helping on either side of me both won! When Australia played against Russia in a telechess match in 1977 I played Mikhail Tal (World Champion 1960-61) and on the junior board Guy West lost in a dozen or so moves to a kid named Kasparov! IM John-Paul Wallace from Sydney was apparently playing some friendly games on the Internet Chess Club on day and he lost two games to one opponent (but had chances to win in one of them). He found out later that his opponent had been the World Champion – that Kasparov kid again.
Going back a bit earlier in time I’ve been writing an article about Karlis Ozols, (Australian Co-Champion in 1956), who originally came from Latvia and played in some master tournaments in Europe in the late 1930′s. It was interesting to see that in one of these tournaments Ozols played against the World Champion, Alexander Alekhine. Must have been a big thrill for him.
In today’s puzzle we have a position from Ozols’ game against Rueben Fine, the USA grandmaster who was in the top half-dozen players in the world in the 1930′s and 40′s.
Fine is White and has just played 1.f3 attacking Ozols Knight. Normally you would move it back to d6, but Ozols sneakily plays 1…Qc7 as after 2.fxe4 fxe4 he has trapped Fines B on d3. Is Ozols’ plan sound or does Fine find a flaw in it?
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