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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

1949 Sydney vs London Radio Match

     Finally, after many years of misery through the depression and World War II, in 1949 postwar prosperity was starting to get underway with companies now able to supply cars, televisions and the other goods. 
     Cars got bigger and as did television sets. 1949 saw the introduction of soap operas, so called because many soap manufacturers sponsored the shows. Also, RCA perfected a system for broadcasting in color. 
     China became a communist country and Russia had the nuclear bomb which scared the West. By the early 1950s, which was the time I began elementary school, schools were showing us short "training" films demonstrating what happens during a nuclear attack and teaching us to dive under our desks and cover our heads in the now infamous duck-and-cover drills in case of an atomic attack. Our teachers warned us the the big city of Cleveland, sixty miles away, was targeted by the Russians so this stuff was to be taken seriously! 
     The Sydney vs. London radio match was a ten-board match played via radio between the Sydney Chess League and the London Chess League that was held from the 26th and 28th of August 1949. The Sydney team had White on odds.
     After WWII these matches were popular, but things didn't always go smoothly. They were frequently limited by time ans the results were sometimes inconclusive. 
     In a 1949 New York vs. Paris match there was a serious disagreement based upon the fact that Al Horowitz had to wait 50 minutes tor a move from Nicolas Rossolimo. It turned out that the French had sent it, but it never reached Horowitz. 
     Horowitz made a P-sacrifice and assumed that he had an additional 50 minutes because of the wait time. He didn't and his position was adjudicated as lost by Eugene Znosko-Borovsky who had also adjudicated Edward Lasker as having lost against Dr. Tartakower.He also adjudicated a loss by Maurice Raizman against Isaac Kashdan and the game Cesar Boutteville vs. John Collins a draw.
     Hans Kmoch in New York agreed with Znosko-Borovsky's assessments except for the Bouttevill-Collins game which he believed to be a clear win for Collins. To settle the dispute, the games were examined by Miguel Najdorf who confirmed Kashdan's win and Horowitz' loss, but ruled that the games of Tartakower/Lasker and Boutteville/Collins weren't far enough along to reach a firm conclusion and so they were drawn. 
     Apparently the games in the London vs. Sydney match ran smoother. Of the players in this game, not much information is available on Stefan Kruger. Originally from Austria, he settled in Australia and won the New South Wales championship in 1949 and 1951. A music benefactor, the Fine Music Sydney Kruger Scholarship which assists young, outstanding individuals further their career in their chosen field of music is named after him. 
     The London player Joe Stone (March 16, 1906 - 1972, 66 years old) was born with last name of Stracstein (or Strachstein), but in July of 1944 changed his name to Stone. In 1933, playing under the name of Strachstein he finished first in the Major section of the London Congress. Apparently in 1937 and 1939 he was living in Scotland. In 1939 ge drew a simultaneous game against Salo Flohr that was played in London. In 1947, he played top board for Middlesex in a friendly four-board match against members of the Czech team visiting Britain at the time. He lost his game against Tibor Florian.

Kruger, Stefan - Stone, Joe

Result: 0-1

Site: London-Sydney Radio Match

Date: 1949.08.26

Closed Ruy Lopez: Deferred Exchange Variation

[...] 1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 a6 4.♗a4 ♘f6 5.O-O ♗e7 6.♗xc6 This delayued exchange loses a tempo compared to the Exchange Variation (4.Bxc6), but the idea is that the N on f6 and the B on e7 will now be awkwardly placed. That's because the N on f6 prevents black from supporting the e-Pawn with ...f7-f6, and the N is somewhat passively posted on e7. 6...dxc6 7.♘c3 One of about a dozen reasonable moves here! 7...♗g4 8.h3 ♗h5 Although most games in my database ended in a draw after this move, it is better than capturing on f3 which is slightly better for white. 9.g4 Should black take on g4? Or should white have played it safe and played 9.d3? 9...♗g6
9...♘xg4 With this move black gets the advantage so white should have played 9.d3. 10.hxg4 ♗xg4 11.♔g2 ♕d6 12.♖g1 O-O-O 13.♘e2 h5 with a promising position which black capitalized on in Blackstock,L (2410)-Pinter,J (2445)/Budapest 1977
10.♕e2 ♘d7 11.d4 Black is faced with the problem of how to defend his e-Pawn. 11...♗d6 A reasonable looking move, but white could have seized the initiative by capturing on e5.
11...exd4 12.♘xd4 ♗c5
12...h5 13.♘f5 hxg4 14.hxg4 ♗d6 Sax,G (2590)-Ivkov,B (2525)/Rio de Janeiro 1979 is equal and eventually drawn.
13.♘f5 O-O 14.♘g3 ♖e8 ie equal and was eventually drawn in Klein,E-Keres,P/Soviet Union 1946
11...f6 As is frequently seen in the Exchange Variation is also quite satisfactory. 12.♖d1 ♗d6 13.dxe5 ♗xe5 14.♘xe5 fxe5 Kovalevskaya,E (2475) -Xie,J (2568)/New Delhi 2000
12.dxe5 ♘xe5 13.♘xe5 ♗xe5 14.f4 ♗xc3 15.bxc3 h6 16.f5 and white is better. 16...♗h7 17.♖b1 b6 18.♗f4
12...♕e7 13.dxe5 Slightly more accurate was 13.d5 (13.d5 was more accurate. 13...c5) 13...♘xe5 14.♘d2 ♕h4 15.f4 After 15.Kg2 white easily defends himself against any K-side threats. Instead he makes a serious miscalculation.
15.♔g2 h5 16.g5±16...♘g4 17.f4 ♘xe3 18.♕xe3 There is no attack on white's K and black's Q is out of play.
15...♕g3 This is must have been an unpleasant surprise for Kruger.
15...♕xh3 This may have been what white expected. Now after 16.fxe5 ♕g3 17.♔h1 ♗xe5 18.♖ae1 ♕h3 19.♔g1 h5 20.g5 O-O-O 21.♕g2 white is a bit better.
16.♔h1 ♕xh3 17.♔g1 ♕g3 18.♔h1 ♘xg4 19.♖f3 ♕h4 20.♔g1
20.♔g2 To quote Fritz, this move doesn't get the cat out of the tree. 20...♕h2 21.♔f1 ♕h1 22.♗g1 O-O-O White's best chance is to trade Qs with 23.♕g2 ♕xg2 24.♔xg2 ♗xf4 25.♖xf4 ♖xd2 26.♔h3 h5 and black is winning by virtue of his extra Ps.
20...♗h5 21.e5 ♗e7 22.♗d4
22.♘ce4 O-O-O 23.♖g3 ♘xe3 24.♕xe3 g5 25.♖h3 ♕g4 26.♕g3 ♕xg3 27.♖xg3 gxf4 woukd put up stiffer resistance, but black's two Bs and extra material should be sufficient to win the game.
22...O-O-O 23.♖d3 Black to play and win... 23...♖xd4 The coup de grace 24.♖xd4 ♗c5 25.♘f3 ♕g3 (25...♕g3 26.♕g2 ♗xd4 27.♘xd4 ♕e3 28.♔h1 ♕xd4 winning.)
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  1. Was Oliver Penrose and y relation to the many-time British champion Jonathan, or the Nobel Prize-winning Roger?

  2. In addition to producing some chess problems and studies Lionel Penrose also produced some rematkable children. I'd like to be at the dinner table with them even though I probably wouldn't understand a word of what they were talking about.