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Friday, June 17, 2016

Ghizdavu Wins With the Goring Gambit

     When black accepts the Goring Gambit the onus is on white, like in all gambits, to generate active piece play and maintain the initiative at almost any cost in order to justify sacrificing one or two pawns. If black declines it the white often ends up with an isolated d-Pawn type of position. 
     The gambit is seldom seen these days, but judging by the amount of material published on it and the results in my database, it seems that white's resources may have been underestimated. 
     In the following game IM Dimitru Ghizdavu played it against GM Arthur Dake at Lone Pine in 1975. The Fifth Louis D. Statham Masters-Plus Tournament was held at Lone Pine, California from April 13-24, 1975. The first four events had been mostly American affairs, but when six GMs showed up in 1974 Statham got curious as to how many the tournament could draw if he doubled the prize fund and offered any GM in the world free travel and lodging. The result was that 22 Grandmasters and eleven IMs showed up among the 44 players making it one of the the strongest Swiss tournaments held up to that time. 
     There was a surprise in the first round when Larry Evans, who had won the first tournament with six straight wins after a first round loss, was defeated by the number 2 woman in the world, Alla Kushnir. After his loss to Kushnir it looked like Evans may repeat when he reeled off four wins in a row and by round 5 he was tied for first with Miguel Quinteros and Gudmundur Sigurjonsson. Walter Browne and Vladimir Liberzon were a half-point behind. 
     Round six saw Quinteros drop back with a loss to Liberzon who joined Evans, Sigurjonsson, and Browne at the top. 
     Browne took the sole lead after round 7 by defeating Sigurjonsson while Evans and Liberzon drew. 
     Evans defeated Browne in round 8 and was joined by Liberzon after he defeated Sigurjonsson. Browne, Quinteros and Leonid Shamkovich were a half point back. 
     In round 9 the pairings were Evans-Quninteros and Liberzon-Shamkovich. Evans could only draw while Liberzon slowly outplayed Shamkovich to take the sole lead with one round to go. 
     Going into the last round there was a bitter dispute between Larry Evans and the TD, Isaac Kashdan, about the pairings which you can read all about at Chessgamesdotcom.     
     In the end, Evans couldn't get anything going against Gheorghiu and drew and Liberzon also drew with Gligoric to clinch first place. 
     Ghizdavu finished tied for 29th place with GMs Lothar Schmid and Hector Rossetto and Masters Craig Barnes and Jonathan Berry, scoring +2 -3 =5. Dake finished tied for places 35-40 with +2 -5 =3. He was tied with Jeremy SIlman, lawrence Day, Andrew Karklins, Louis Levy and Vranesic. 
     The top finishers were: 1) Liberzon-7.5 2) Evans-7.0 3-8) Browne, Gheorghiu, Weinstein, Quinteros, Panno and Gligoric-6.5 

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