Back in the Saddle Again

With opposite coloured bishops the attacking side has in effect an extra piece in the shape of his bishop. –  Mikhail Botvinnik

I had a difficult few months of chess, but I’m back in the saddle again. Even my opponent, USCF Life Master Brian Douglas Wall, noticed and commented upon the change.

For one thing, I’ve gotten over what in retrospect was probably pneumonia.  But the important change is that I’ve settled some issues that were spoiling the game for me.

  1. I spent some time feeling I had penned myself in too closely in my choice of openings. But that which I concluded some years ago about my formal repertoire I believe still valid. The wide spectrum of opening possibilities mostly lie for me in the realm of rapid or blitz chess. I have to follow my own interpretation of game theory as it applies to a comprehensive approach to the openings and cannot play with heart in any other fashion.
  2. The utilitarian justification for continuing to participate in formal competition is that it requires the discipline to find the coup au plus juste first time, every time. This is a good life and work discipline.

In any event, my play in tonight’s game conformed at least to my minimum expectations.

My opponent with White chose the “Chicken Classical” against my Modern Defense with 6. h3. I thought for a very long time and chose 6 … Na6 with an early c5 and a Benoni pawn formation. White sought action with a temporary pawn sacrifice, but dynamic equality ensued leading to a Q+R+B ending with bishops of opposite colors in which White had to abandon his intended pawn-snatching raid and force the trade of queens to save his king.

Jacques Delaguerre