Happy Birthday János Balogh!

Today is János Balogh birthday!

He was born on this day, Sept. 10 1892. And for those of you who might not know, Balogh is on of those rare players who excelled at both Over The Board (OTB) chess and Correspondence Chess (CC).

He won the Romanian Championship in 1930 and played in numerous Hungarian Championships. In addition, he played in the Olympiads for both of these countries.

His playing strength is hard to determine precisely as World War 2 interrupted much of his play. But he was likely of as least of IM strength and probably never received the IM title for two reasons. One that The International Federation of Chess (Fédération Internationale des Échecs, or FIDE for short) didn’t start awarding International titles until 1950 and around that time, Balogh started correspondence chess.

He was awarded the International Master of Correspondence title in 1953 by the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF).

János Balogh was an expert in the openings as the following games show. He even had an opening named after him, although it is now considered unsound.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

János Balogh-Egil Jacobson
Hague Ol.
Netherlands, 1928

[C90]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d3 Nc6!?

[Frederick Yates-Ernst Gruenfeld, Baden-Baden, 1925 continued with 10…O-O 11.Nbd2 Re8 12.Nf1 Bf8 13.Ng3 Nc6 14.h3 g6 15.Bg5 Bg7 16.Qd2 Qc7 17.Bh6 Bh8 18.Qe3 Bb7 19.Ng5 Nd8 20.f4 exf4 21.Qxf4 Ne6 22.Qh4 d5 23.e5 Nd7 24.d4 Nxg5 25.Qxg5 cxd4 26.e6 Nc5 27.exf7+ Qxf7 28.Rf1 Qe6 29.Rae1 Qc6 30.Rxe8+ Qxe8 31.Nf5! 1-0]

11.Nbd2 Qc7 12.Nf1 d5 13.Ng3 O-O 14.Nh4 (14.exd5!?) 14…Rd8 15.Qe2 Nxe4 16.dxe4 Bxh4 (16…d4!!? with the idea of securing a pawn, or even a knight, to d4.) 17.exd5 Bxg3 18.dxc6 Bh4?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020_09_10_a.jpg


19.Qe4! +- Bf6 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.Be3! Qd6 22.Rad1 Qxc6 23.Qh8+ Ke7 24.Qxd8+ Ke6 25.Rd6+ 1-0 (25…Qxd6 26.Bf5+)

Geza Nagy-János Balogh
Budapest, 1932
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.d4 e5 4.dxe5 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nge7 6.Bf4 Ng6 7.Bg3 Qa5 8.Qd5 b3+ 9.Qxa5 b2 10.Qc3 Bb4 11.Qxb4 Nxb4 0-1

Najmes- János Balogh
Budapest, 1943
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qd5 Bb7 6.Qxb7 Nc6 7.Qa6 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 Nc5 9.Qb5 Bxd2+ 10.Nbxd2 a6 0-1

David-János Balogh
Hungary Ch., 1948
[A08]
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bf5 3.Bg2 Nd7 4.c4 c6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3?! (It’s probably too early to bring the queen out. 6.Nc3 is a better try.) 6…Nc5 7.Qb5+ Bd7 8.Qxc5?

8…Rc8! 0-1

János Balogh-Sagorowskij
corres.
European Team Tournament, 1973
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e5 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.Bd3 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Kh1 b5 11.Qe1 [ECO gives 11.fxe5 dxe5 12.Qe2 Nbd7 13.Nh4 +/= (Shamkovich-Morales, Mexico, 1978).] 11…Nbd7 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bd2 b4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Rb8 17.Qg3 Qd6 18.Rae1 Bb7 (18…Rb6!?) 19.Nxe5 Nxe5 20.Bf4 Bh4 21.Qxh4 Qxd5? 22.Be4 Ng6 23.Qg3 Nxf4 24.Bxd5 Nxd5 25.Qb3 Rfd8 (25…Nf6 certainly makes more sense. Now White is in complete control.)


26.Kg1! Bc6 27.Re5 Rb7 28.Rd1 Rbd7 29.Qc4 Bb7 30.Qe4 g6 (30…Nf6 31.Rxd7!) 31.Re8+ Kh7 32.Qe5 f6 33.Qe6! 1-0

The Balogh Defense (also known as the Balogh Counter Gambit) is an unusual chess opening beginning with the moves:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5

Which would make a king pawn opening. The position, however, may also arise by transposition from the Staunton Gambit against the Dutch Defense, 1.d4 f5 2.e4!? (which would make it a queen pawn opening).

The main drawback to this opening, however it may be labeled is weak e6-square, with or without a black pawn on it.

Some noteworthy games.

Euwe-Henri Weenink
Amsterdam, 1923
[ECO, A28]
1.d4 f5 2.e4 d6 3.exf5 Bxf5 4.Qf3 Qc8 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Nc6 7.Nf3 e6 8.O-O Qd7 9.c4 O-O-O 10.Re1 Nf6 +/- (10…e5 11.Nc3 +/- Euwe) 11.Bd2 Re8 12.Na3 Be7 13.b4 Rhf8 14.b5 Nd8 15.Nc2 Nh5 16.a4 g5 17.a5! +/- g4 18.Ng5 d5 19.b6 cxb6 20.axb6 a6 21.c5 Bxg5 22.Bxg5 Nc6 23.Reb1 Qg7 24.Be3 Kd7 25.Nb4 Nxb4 26.Rxb4 Rc8 27.Rxa6 bxa6 28.b7 Rb8 29.Qxa6 Qe7 30.Bg5 Qxg5 31.Qd6+ Ke8 32.Qxb8+ Kf7 33.Qxf8+ Kxf8 34.b8=Q+ 1-0

Kornel Havasi-János Balogh
Hague Ol.
Netherlands, 1928
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.Nge2 fxe4 6.Nxe4 e5 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ng3 Qf7 10.c4 Bd7 11.O-O Ng6 12.Qh5 Be7 13.f4 Bf6 14.Ne4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Bd4+ 16.Kh1 Ne5 17.Qe2 Bg4 18.Qc2 Qh5 19.c5 O-O 20.cxd6 cxd6 21.Ng3 Qh4 22.Qd2 Nxd3 23.Qxd3 Bxb2 24.Bxd6 Bxa1 25.Bxf8 Rxf8 26.Rxa1 Qf6 27.Rf1 Qd6 28.Rxf8+ Kxf8 29.h3 Be6 30.Qf3+ Bf7 31.Nf5 Qxd5


32.Qa3+! 1-0

Eloy Cantero Ramon (2078)-Jose Munoz Izcua
Montevideo, 1954
[Black’s weakened kingside is demonstrated in this game.]
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.Bd3!? Nc6 4.exf5 Nxd4 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6 7.g7+ Nxh5 8.gxh8=Q Nf6 9.Bh6 Ne6 10.Bf5 Bd7 11.Qxh7 Ng7 12.Qg6mate 1-0

Manuel Castillo (2233)-F. Molnar
Paris, 1963
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.exf5 Bxf5 4.Bd3 Qd7 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.c4 Bg4 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nbd2 e5 9.d5 Nd8 10.Qc2 g6 11.Ng5 Bf5 12.Nge4 Bg7 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Ne4 Bg7 15.h4 h5 16.f3 Nf7 17.O-O-O b6 18.Kb1 O-O-O 19.c5 dxc5 20.Bxc5 Kb8 21.Bf2 Nd6 22.Qb3 Bh6 23.Rhe1 Rhf8 24.Nc5 Qb5 25.Ne6 Qxb3 26.axb3 Bxe6 27.dxe6 Rf6 28.Rxe5 Re8 29.e7 Rf7 30.Rde1 Nf5 31.Bxf5 gxf5 32.g3 Bg7 33.Re6 Bf6 34.Kc2 Kc8 35.Kd3 Kd7 36.Bd4 Rexe7 37.Rxf6 Rxf6 38.Rxe7+ Kxe7 39.Bxf6+ Kxf6 40.g4 fxg4 41.fxg4 hxg4 42.Ke4 0-1 (Black wins the pawn war.)

G. Besemer-J. Lens
corres.
Netherlands, 1978
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bd3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nxe4 6.Bxe4 g6 7.Nf3 d5 8.Bd3 Qd6 9.Ne5?! (Perfectly good is 9.O-O.) 9…Nc6 10.Bf4 Qb4+ (Also good is 10…Qf6) 11.Qd2 Qxd2+ 12.Kxd2 Nxd4 13.Nxg6 hxg6 14.Be5 Rh4 15.Bxc7 Bf5 0-1 (16.Bxf5 gxf5 17.c3 Nc6  18.Bg3 Bh6+)

G. Besemer-D. Van Rikxoort
corres.
Netherlands, 1978
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.d5 Ne5 6.Nf3 Nxd3+ 7.cxd3 g6 8.Bd2 Bg7 9.Qc2 O-O 10.O-O fxe4 11.dxe4 Bd7 12.Qb3 Bg4 13.Ng5 h6 14.h3 hxg5 15.hxg4 Nxg4 16.Bxg5 Bd4 17.Nd1 b6 18.Qd3 Bg7 19.Qg3 (>19.Rc1) 19…Nf6 20.Nc3 Qd7 21.f4 Qg4 22.Qxg4 Nxg4 23.Rac1 Bd4+ 24.Kh1 Rf7 25.g3 Rh7+ 26.Bh4 a6 27.Rf3 g5 28.fxg5 Be3


29.g6? (White could try 29.Rcf1 Bxg5 30.Kg1 Bxh4 31.gxh4 Nf6 32.Rf4 Kf7 33.Kf2 Rah8, with a slight advantage for Black.) 29…Rxh4+ (and 30…Bxc1) 0-1

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