Games
[Event "Doncaster v Scarborough"] [Site "?"] [Date "1996.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Burnett, J."] [Black "Stephenson, N."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A07"] [Annotator "F.N.Stephenson"] [PlyCount "47"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.03.23"] {[%evp 0,8,19,27,26,-27,55,40,32,19,21]} {GETTING THERE FIRST. Dutch defence devotees dream about an attacking stance that Black can hope to achieve against White's kingside fianchetto set up. It can come about from either the Classical Dutch or the Stonewall variation and features three or four Black pieces swarming around the White king: the Black queen gets there by Qe8 and Qh5: the bishop is harder to transport and might have to go "the long way around" starting with Bd7; the knight just jumps to e4; if the f-file gets opened a rook aims menacingly down it. Otherwise it has to be "lifted" by Rf6 and Rh6. If all this sounds hard to accomplish, then I've explained it just right....beacuse it's usually impossible! Since even before Sun Tzu's "Art of War", it has been known that the battle usually goes to the general who "gits there fustest with the mostest"...this was the succinct way that US historians explained the remarkable success of Nathan Bedford Forest III, who enlisted as a private in July 1861 and became a Confederate cavalry general inside a year! Typical of his feats was leading a mounted cavalry of 2,500 troopers over a hundred miles in 50 hours to the Battle of Palucha. Heinz Guderian used similar tactics in May 1940-but with motorised armour insted of horses-to sweep through the Ardennes and take Sedan, opening up the road to Paris. On a much smaller scale of our chessboard, the same principle applies, and in the decade before the US Civil War, another Southerner-Paul Morphy-was astounding the whole chess world with his blitzkrieg tactics of "getting there with the most". Morphy, at the age of 24, had withdrawn from chess earlier in the year that the "war between the states" started but he was in opposition to the South's secession and never took up arms against the North. In the first game of this article, Black finds a way of getting his bishop quickly to the intended battleground but his defensive duties then hindered the chance of him achieving a sufficient superiority of force there. At the time of the game below Jim Burnett was Yorkshire Champion. Richard Hall, David Wise and I were trying to help Scarborough get in (and stay in) the top division of the Yorkshire League: the famous Woodhouse Cup, which was started in 1884.} 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c6 3. Bg2 Bg4 {Black risks putting his bishop in front of his intended Stonewall pawn set-up; it was a device I had used before but with the White pieces.} 4. O-O Nd7 5. d4 e6 6. Nbd2 f5 7. b3 {The Stonewall is in place but there is a possible breach in it, on the e5 square. Black rushes to defend against a White knight landing there.} Qf6 8. Bb2 Bd6 9. c4 Nh6 10. Qc2 O-O 11. Rae1 Nf7 {This overprotection of the e5 square frees the queen to take up a more aggressive post but, of course, the knight has had to pull back; Black hoped this would be temporary.} 12. e3 Qh6 13. Qc1 Qh5 {Being thwarted from occupying e5, White switches play to another Black weakness-the a3-f8 diagonal and distracts Black from building up his forces against the White king.} 14. Ba3 Nf6 15. Bxd6 Nxd6 {Now 16.Ne5 was possible. Black would have continued with 16...Bh3 (not 16...Be2 because of 17. Rxe2 Qxe2 18. Bf3 netting the wayward Black queen).} 16. Qc2 Nf7 17. Rc1 Bh3 18. Rfe1 Ne4 19. Bh1 Bg4 20. Ne5 Nxe5 ({Black was aware of the famous game Maroczy-Tartakower, Teplitz-Schonau 1922, where in a similar set-up, Black sacrificed a rook on h2 to capture with Qxh2+. Here, he was tempted by} 20... Nxf2 21. Kxf2 Qxh2+ 22. Bg2 Bh3 {but felt it was too unclear to risk in team play. Its a long drive from Scarborough to Middlesbrough when you have to explain how you threw away the half-point that would have clinched a win or a draw for your team!}) 21. dxe5 Ng5 22. f4 {Jim coolly keeps his nerve under fire and finally beats off the marauding Black pieces from the vicinity of his king.} Nf3+ 23. Nxf3 Bxf3 24. Bxf3 ({After} 24. Bxf3 Qxf3 25. Qe2 Qxe2 {there isn't much for either side to play for.}) 1/2-1/2