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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Practical Advice on the Isolated d-Pawn

    Back in March I covered some basic strategy on the handling of the isolated d-Pawn and gave an instructive game between Szabo and van Seters.
     The following game is a gem where Bronstein scores a quick knockout with the isolated d-Pawn, but the important thing is the excellent practical advice that C.J.S. Purdy offers in his notes to the game where he explains how black went wrong.  Whether you play with or against this formation, Purdy's advice is worth remembering. 
     Bronstein needs no introduction, but his opponent, Bela Berger, is probably unknown unless you are Australian. Berger was born August 12, 1931 in Szombathely, Hungary. 
     He finished 5th in the Hungarian Championship at Budapest 1953 and in 1954 he played for Hungary "B" at fourth board in 1st Triennial Cup in Budapest. 
     After the failure of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Berger moved to Australia, where he won the New South Wales state title in 1957 and 1961. 
     He played in the Australian Championship in 1958/59, finishing second with 11.5 points, behind Lajos Steiner who scored 12.5. Australian champion John Purdy, son of C.J.S. Purdy, was one of Australia's two representatives at the 1963 Pacific Zonal Championship in Jakarta. There was a quadrangular selection tournament in Melbourne for the second spot. Berger and Karlis Ozols tied for first; the selectors voted in favor of Berger 3-0. In Jakarta, he tied for first with Indonesia's Arovah Bachtiar on 5.5/8, and won the playoff 2-1 after 3 games. A fourth game was won by Bachtiar, but it had no bearing on the outcome, as the tiebreak system used favored Berger. As zonal champion, he became an International Master. 
     He went on to play in the 1964 Interzonal tournament in Amsterdam, with 18 grandmasters and 6 international masters, finishing 23rd out of 24. Berger tied for 7-8th in the Meralco Open in Manila in 1968. He died in December 2005 in Sydney, Australia. 

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