SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Grandmaster Gedeon Barcza was born in Hungary in 1911 and died in 1986. A math professor , Barcza won the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1954. (He was also an IM in correspondence chess.)
Having won the Hungarian championship not less than 8 times and representing his country 7 times in the Olympics, Barcza was much loved and respected by several generation of Hungarian players. So much so that, if I remember correctly, an old trainer of mine, Andras Adorjan–as a sign of respect–went ahead and organized a memorial to his teacher BEFORE Barcza had actually died!
I have recently been taking a look at Barcza’s games , especially when he was White (he popularized the system beginning 1.Nf3 and 2.g3 against everything) and I have found many interesting games.
A consumate positional player, Barcza’s games collection contains much material that can be used for teaching/training purposes. Especially in the endgame. Curiously, the Hungarian grandmaster was at times not a very good tactician, a trait that he sometimes shared with Botvinnik. As a result, there are numerous instances where he was on the wrong side of tactical skirmishes. However, the student can also find much to be learned from these…
Below is just a small sample of tactical themes from his games…ENJOY!
Venice, 1949 Up to now a very instructive game! Black’s last move was taking a pawn on a5 (31…Qxa5), hitting the White Rook on e1. If White now moves his Rook then 32…Bf6 follows and Black will be better!
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
White had just played 18.h3?, politely asking the Knight on g4 to move away. This is just one example of how sometimes Barcza could overlook the obvious…
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN MATERIAL!———————————————–
Just to prove a point about how strong a grandmaster he was, I also present a beautiful win by Barcza over Smyslov! The Rook ending can be found in several endgame texts:
WHITE TO PLAY:
Budapest, 1949. Barcza had just played 31.Qe4?!, at first sight a reasonable move but infact a serious mistake.. This gives Bronstein the tactical opportunity that he had been waiting for. Do you see the problem with Barcza’s last move?
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!———————————————-gm BARCZA
Budapest, 1957. Position after White’s 25th move. A very wild,exciting game for the spectators thus far…White seems to be getting the upper hand with his two pieces for Rook and 2 pawns (the pawns are blockaded on the Queenside, a positive plus for White). But Barcza has active play and a neat trick up his sleeve. Do you see it?
BLACK TO PLAY AND DRAW BY FORCE!
Moscow, 1956. Position after White’s 26th move (26.Ng1) Ciocaltea was a strong Romanian grandmaster who would later defeat Bobby Fischer at his peak! Here the Romanian had earlier come out of the opening with the better game, but when the Hungarian started to play for an attack and sacrificed a pawn, he began to play less confidently.
Here a wonderful tactical opportunity has arisen for Barcza, and he does not let it go by:
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!————————————–im CZERNIAK
Belgrade, 1954. Position after 33 moves. Black had a good game up to when he decided to go fishing with his Queen…now a golden opportunity is given to Barcza.
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
Barcza,G—Zimmermann, O: White won after 32.Rxf7!! Qxe1 33.Qg6 Bf6 34.Bxh6! Ne3+ (Or if instead 34…Ra2 35.Rxg7+ ) 35.Bxe3 Ra1 ( 35…Ra2 36.Ne4 ) 36.Rxf6 1-0 The White King escapes the few checks at Black’s disposal.
Barcza ,G—Smyslov, V: Black wins the Exchange for nothing with 18… Ne3! Smyslov won easily afterwards.
Barcza ,G—Bronstein, D: The theme is back-rank mate! Bronstein played the surprising 31…Nxd3!! 32.Qxf5 ( 32.Qxd3 Rxe1+ ) 32…Nxe1 !! threatening mate in one move! 33.Kf1 Nc2+! 34.Bc1 ( 34.Ke2 Nd4+ ) Rxc1+ 35.Ke2 Nd4+ 36.Kd2 Nb3+ 0-1
Szilagyi G—Barcza,G: Black played the clever 25…Bh3!! which should draw. The game continued 26.Ng3! (taking the Bishop allows a forced mate starting with 26…Qf6+) 26…Qf6+ Now correct is 27.Kg1! when 27…Bxg2! 28.KxB Qf3+ 29.Kg1 Rxg3+! leads to perpetual check . HOWEVER, White wanted more and risked 27.Ke2? when Barcza won after 27… Bxg2 28.Nxe4 Bf3+ 29.Kd2 Rg2+ 30.Kc3 Qe6 31.Nd2 Be2 32.Be4 f5 33.Rxe2 Rxe2 34.Bb1 Qxe3+ 35.Bd3 Rd8 36.Bc5 b4+ 37.Kc2 b3+ 38.Kc3 Re1 0-1
Ciocaltea,V—Barcza,G: Black won after 26…Bxh3!! 27.Nxh3 (taking with the pawn allows mate in 2 starting with 27…Qf2+) 27… Qg3+ 28.Kh1 Nxf3!! 29.Qxf3 Qxe1+ 30.Kh2 and Black has several ways to win, the simplest being 30…Rab8! Barcza played less precisely with 30… Bd6+ but still won!
Barcza,G—Czernia,M: White crashed thru with the strong 34.Bf5!! Kh8 35.Nxf7+ 1-0