Chess Computers in 1977

Before we start, I capitalize the name of chess playing computers to clarify who (or what?) is playing White or Black. Now let’s get to the main event.






Chess computers, of course, had been in development for a couple of decades before 1977. But in that year, several notable events brought the chess computer to the public’s attention.


But let’s first mention that the International Computer Chess Association was established, which is important to this article, even if the public was not aware of it.


More worthy for public interest was the first microcomputer chess playing machines, CHESS CHALLENGER and BORIS, were created and sold to the general public. You could now buy a computer to play chess. Even better was the fact they were not too strong and existed more of a novelty than a challenge, making them easy prey to most players. Nevertheless, I heard many people brag how they “beat the computer”, or they were “better than a computer”. What they sometimes forget to mention they played the same opening repeatedly, until they got the result they wanted. Not exactly cheating, but not entirely honest either! (I must pause and smile here, as I the only reason I didn’t do such things was that I couldn’t afford these machines).


Also, in 1977, CHESS 4.6, a stronger machine than either CHESS CHALLENGER or BORIS, became the first chess computer to win a major chess tournament. That occurred at 84th Minnesota Open in February of 1977. It achieved an Expert USCF rating.


In August, SNEAKY PETE played in the U.S. Open. It was the first machine to do so, was promoted and gathered much attention, but its results were not impressive.

The December 1977 issue of Chess Life and Review had this to say;


“Computers were everywhere during the U.S. Open. A major attraction for the entire tournament was SNEAKY PETE. The poor machine had to stick it out on Board 69 for the entire two weeks and was constantly surrounded and scrutinized by Class As and Experts. SNEAKY rated 1209, was so nervous he lost seven games in a row. And every back-rank mate was immortalized in the daily games bulletins.”


In 1977, Michael Stean, who earlier in the year earned the GM title, became the first Grandmaster to lose a computer program.


CHESS 4.6-GM Michael Stean
Blitz Game
London, 1977
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 c5 4.dxc5 (This does not seem best. 4.d5!? is probably better.) 4…bxc5 5.Be3 d6 6.Bb5+ Nd7 7.Nf3 e6 8.O-O a6 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.Qd3 Ne7 11.Rad1 Rd8 12.Qc4 Ng6 13.Rfe1 Be7 14.Qb3 Qc6 15.Kh1 O-O 16.Bg5 Ba8 17.Bxe7 Nxe7 18.a4 Rb8 19.Qa2 Rb4 20.b3 f5 21.Ng5 fxe4 22.Ncxe4 Rxf2 23.Rxd6 Qxd6 24.Nxd6 Rxg2 25.Nge4 Rg4 26.c4 Nf5 27.h3 Ng3+ 28.Kh2 Rxe4 29.Qf2 h6 30.Nxe4 Nxe4 31.Qf3 Rb8 32.Rxe4 Rf8 33.Qg4 Bxe4 34.Qxe6+ Kh8 35.Qxe4 Rf6 36.Qe5 Rb6 37.Qxc5 Rxb3 38.Qc8+ Kh7 39.Qxa6 1-0

But this was a blitz game. Chess computers still could not compete against World Champions, either current or past, in blitz games, or under tournament conditions.


Fischer (yes, that one!) play three games against a chess computer. The first one is the most well-known and perhaps his best effort.


Greenblatt was the name of the programmer. I do not know the name of his computer, or if it even had one, so I’ll just use his name.


Here are the three games Fischer was known to have played after his 1972 World Championship win.


Cambridge, 1977
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 d5 4.Bxd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O [Fischer liked to experiment with the Bishop’s Gambit, probably as a result of publishing an article titled, The King’s Gambit is Busted, where he showed how Black should win after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d6. Here’s a game from his simul tour of 1964: GM Fischer-Nyman, Simul, Cicero, May 20 1964, 7.O-O Bxc3 8.dxc3 c6 9.Bc4 Qb6+ 10.Kh1 Nxe4 11.Qe1 Re8 12.Bxf4 Nd6 13.Bxd6 Rxe1 14.Raxe1 Bd7 15.Ng5 Na6 16.Rxf7 1-0.] 7…Nxd5 8.Nxd5 Bd6 9.d4 g5 10.Nxg5 Qxg5 11.e5 Bh3 12.Rf2 Bxe5 13.dxe5 c6

14.Bxf4 +- Qg7 15.Nf6+ Kh8 16.Qh5 Rd8 17.Qxh3 Na6 18.Rf3 Qg6 19.Rc1 Kg7 20.Rg3 Rh8 21.Qh6mate 1-0


Cambridge, 1977
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 cxd4 [Black tried the original 4…b6 in GM Božidar Ivanović-Grigic, Vinkovic, 1982 and lost after the spectacular 5.dxc5! bxc5 6.Qd5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qa5 8.Qxa8 Qxc3+ 9.Kd1! 1-0.] 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng8 9.f4 f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 11.Bc4 d5 12.Be2 Rb8 13.b3 Ng4 14.Bd4 e5 15.fxe5 O-O 16.Bxg4 Qh4+ 17.g3 Qxg4 18.Qxg4 Bxg4 19.Rf1 Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 c5 21.Bf2 Bxe5 22.Be1 Rf8+ 23.Kg2 Rf3 24.h3 Rxc3 25.Bxc3 Bxc3 26.Rf1 Bf5 27.Rf2 h5 28.Re2 Kf7 29.Re3 Bd4 30.Rf3 Ke6 31.c3 Be5 32.Re3 d4 33.cxd4 cxd4 34.Re1 d3 35.h4 d2 36.Rd1 Bc3 37.Kf2 Bg4 38.Rh1 Bd4+ 39.Kg2 [Any player would automatically see that promoting the pawn would force White to part with his rook for bishop (winning the exchange and eventually win the game). Fischer, however, wants the rook for free.]
39…Kd5! 40.a3 Ke4 41.Rf1 Kd3 42.Kh2 Ke2 43.Kg2 Bh3+ 44.Kxh3 Kxf1 45.b4 d1=Q 46.Kh2 Qe2+ 47.Kh3 Qg2mate 0-1


Cambridge, 1977
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd3 Be6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Nd5 Rc8 12.Nxe7+ Qxe7 13.f3 d5 14.Nd2 Qb4 15.Nb3 dxe4 16.Qd1 Nd5 17.Ba7 b6 18.c3 Qe7 19.fxe4 Ne3 20.Qd3 Nxf1 21.Qxa6 Ne3 22.Bxb6 Qg5 23.g3 Ra8 24.Ba7 h5 25.Qb7 h4 26.Kf2 hxg3+ 27.hxg3 f5 28.exf5 Rxf5+ 29.Ke1 Raf8 30.Kd2 Nc4+ 31.Kc2 Qg6 32.Qe4 Nd6 33.Qc6 Rf2+ 34.Kd1 Bg4 35.Bxf2 Qd3+ 36.Kc1 Bxe2 37.Nd2 Rxf2 38.Qxd7 Rf1+ 39.Nxf1 Qd1mate 0-1



It would take another two decades for chess computers to score a win against World Champion.

A First

My friend, A., started a writing class. Her first assignment was to make a list 10 things of her “firsts”, and then write about them.


Intrigued by this idea, I decided to write about one of my “firsts”.







I was in grade school in the early 1970’s and in the fourth grade.


I played a simple Scholar’s Mate [For those who don’t know the moves, they are 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4? (played to attack White’ queen and threaten …Nxc2+, but actually loses) 4.Qxf7mate].


I was joyful. Happy. My dad played it against me and I thought it was the best way to win and why did people need chess books?


Then doubt.


Was this it? Was this the best one could achieve in chess? To win a game in four moves? Was this the only, or at least the best, way to win? Why did Grandmasters Fischer and Spassky take so long to move in their match?


Spassky Fischer


Didn’t they know about Scholar’s Mate?


It was only later I discovered that the game of chess is incredibly complex.


And what I have learned in the last 40+ years of studying this game is;


(1) Black does not have to respond 1…e5 to White’s first move.


(2) There are opening variations that go past the 10th, the 20th moves.


(3) There is usually a middle game.


(4) There are endings to learn.


(5) Books exist to help the beginner, the novice, the merely good player, the experienced player, the expert and the master.


(6) And Grandmasters know Scholar’s Mate.

John Hurt’s Wings

John Hurt was a local player from Memphis who played there for over three decades. He was Class A competitor during his Tennessee tenure.

He was fond of the Sicilian Wing Game (1.e4 c5 2.b4) and even wrote a book about it. Titled The Sicilian Wing Gambit (1983), it met with moderate success.

He even wrote an article that appeared in the Tennessee Chess News (May, 1974) which featured many of his games and are reprinted here with updated notes.



John Hurt-H. Smith, no date
1.e4 c5 2.b4 e6 3.bxc5 Bxc5 4.d4 Bb6 5.Nf3 Ne7 6.Bd3 O-O 7.c3 f5 8.O-O Nbc6 9.Nbd2 a6 10.Nc4 fxe4 11.Bxe4 d5 12.Bxh7+ Kxh7 13.Ng5+ Kg6 14.Nxb6 Qxb6 15.Qd3+ Nf5 16.g4 e5 17.gxf5+ Bxf5 18.Qg3 Kf6 19.Be3 Qc7 20.dxe5+ Ke7 21.Bc5+ Kd7 22.e6+ 1-0

John Hurt-Middleton, no date
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 O-O 11.Nb5 Nc6 12.Ra4 Qf5 13.O-O Nd5 14.d4 exd4 15.Bd3 Qh5 16.cxd4 Be7 17.Re1 Bg4 18.Be4 a6 19.Bxd5 axb5 20.Rxa8 Rxa8 21.Bxc6 1-0

John Hurt-Berry
Arkansas Open, 1961
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 bxa3 4.Nxa3 d5 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nb5 Qd8 8.d4 Bf5 9.d5 Nb4 10.Nfd4 Bd7 11.Bc4 a6 12.Qe2 axb5 13.Nxb5 Rxa1 14.Nd6mate 1-0

John Hurt-Wright
Delta Invitational
Greenville, Mississippi, 1961
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 Nc6 4.axb4 d5 5.exd5 Nxb4 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.c4 Nd3+ 10.Kf1 Nxc1 11.Ne5 Qc7 12.Qa4+ Kd8 13.Nxf7+ Kc8 14.Qe8+ Qd8 15.Qxd8mate 1-0

John Hurt-Middleton
Memphis C.C. Rating Ladder
Tennessee, 1961
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Nb5 Kd8 12.Ra4 Qd5 13.d4 exd4 14.Nfxd4 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Bd7 16.O-O Bxa4 17.Qxa4 Re8 18.Rd1 Ke7 19.Bf3 Qe5 20.Bf4 Bxd4 21.Bxe5 Bxe5 22.Qb4+ Ke6 23.Qxb7 Rab8 24.Qc6+ Ke7 25.Qc5+ Ke6 26.Re1 Nd7 27.Qd5+ Kf6 28.Qxd7 Bxc3 29.Qc6+ Kg5 30.Qxc3 f6 31.Qc5+ Kg6 32.Qh5mate 1-0

John Hurt-Richard Long
Nashville vs. Memphis Match
Tennessee, 1962
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Nb5 O-O 12.Ra4 Qf5 13.O-O Rd8 14.Nh4 Qb1 (A bizarre move. White will certainly gain at least a few tempi trying to snare the queen.) 15.d4 Be6
16.Be3 [16.Bd3 would seem better. But White has to be careful. After 16…Bxd4 White can’t immediately play 17.Bxb1 due to 17…Bxf2+ 18.Kh1 Rxd1 19.Rxd1 Bb3. Instead he has to first play 17.Nxd4! Qb6 (or 17…Bb3 18.Bxb1 Bxd1 19.Rxd1 exd4 20.cxd4) 18.Nxc6 Qxc6 19.Qc2.] 16…Qxd1 17.Bxd1 exd4 18.cxd4 Bb6 19.Bf3 Bb3 20.Ra3 Bc4 21.Rb1 Bd5 22.h3 h6 23.g4 Bxf3 24.Nxf3 Nd5 25.Kg2 Rac8 26.h4 Ba5? 27.Nxa7 Ra8 28.Nxc6 bxc6 29.Rba1 Nxe3+ 30.fxe3 Rd5 31.Ne5 1-0

John Hurt-Fischbarg
Mid-South Open, 1964
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 bxa3 4.Nxa3 Nc6 5.d4 d5 6.exd5 Qxd5 7.Nb5 Kd8 8.Be3 e5 9.dxe5 Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1+ Bd7 11.Nf3 a6 12.Bb6+ Kc8 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.Rxd6 Nh6 15.Bd3 Re8 16.O-O Re6 17.Rxe6 Bxe6 18.Rd1 a5 19.Bb5 a4 20.Ng5 a3 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Bc4 Ra4 23.Bxe6+ Kb8 24.Bb3 Re4 25.e6 Nf5 26.f3 Re2 27.Kf1 Re5 28.Kf2 Rb5 29.g4 Rxb6 30.gxf5 Rb5 31.Ra1 Ra5 32.Ke3 b5 33.Bd5 Kc7 34.Bxc6 Kxc6 35.c3 a2 36.Kd3 Kd6 37.Kc2 Ra7 38.Kb3 Ke5 39.Rxa2 Re7 40.Ra6 Kxf5 41.Kb4 Kf4 42.Kxb5 Kxf3 43.Kc5 Rc7+ 44.Rc6 1-0

John Hurt-James Wright
Club Ladder Game
Memphis, 1965
1.e4 c5 2.b4 b6 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.bxc5 Bxe4 5.Nc3 Bb7 6.cxb6 axb6 7.d4 d5 8.Ne5 Nf6 9.Bb5+ Nbd7 10.Qf3 Qc8 11.Bxd7+ Nxd7 12.Qxf7+ Kd8 13.Ne2 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Qxc2 15.Be3 Ra6 16.Nd4 Qc3+ 17.Ke2 Rxa2+ 18.Rxa2 Qc4+ 19.Kf3 Qxa2 (John Hurt claimed White has a forced mate in 8. Can you find it?) 1-0

John Hurt-David Burris
Tennessee Open, 1965
[White makes several small errors in the opening.]
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Nb5 O-O 12.Ra4 Qf5 13.O-O e4 14.Nfd4 Qg6 15.Kh1 Bg4 16.f3 exf3 17.Nxf3 a6 18.Nbd4 Nxd4 19.cxd4 Bd6 20.Ba3 Rad8 21.Qb3 Qh5 22.Bxd6 Rxd6 23.Qxb7 Re8 24.Bc4 Bxf3 25.gxf3 Nd5 26.Ra5 Rh6 27.Rf2 Re1+ 28.Bf1 Rxf1+ 29.Kg2 Qh3mate 0-1

John Hurt-Churchill
Club Game, 1969
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 O-O 11.Nb5 Nc6 12.Ra4 Qf5 13.O-O Nd5 14.d4 exd4 15.Bd3 Qh5 16.cxd4 Be7 17.Bd2 a6 18.Qa1 Bh3 19.Ne1 Bd7 20.Nc3 Ncb4 21.Nxd5 Nxd5 22.Ra5 Bd6 23.f4 Bc6 24.Rf3 Qg4 25.Qb1 g6 26.f5 Qxd4+ 27.Kh1 Nc3 28.Qa1 Bxf3 29.Bxc3 Bxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Qg4+ 31.Kh1 Qh4 32.Ra2 Rfe8 33.Rg2 Re3 34.Qd1 Rae8 35.Nf3 Qh3 36.fxg6 fxg6 37.Bxg6 Kf8 38.Qxd6+ R3e7 39.Be4 Qe6 1-0

John Hurt-Robert Holyfield
Memphis City Ch., 1973
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Be7 8.Na3 Nf6 9.Nb5 Bd8? 10.Ba3 Bg4 11.Bc4 Qd7 (Certainly not 11…Qxc4? 12.Nd6+, and after 11…Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Qxf3 13.gxf3, Black still has to worry about White’s very aggressively placed pieces.)  12.Nd6+ Kf8 13.Nxf7+ Ke8 14.Nxh8 1-0

John Hurt (1894)-Peter Thayer (1556)
Memphis Candidates, 1974
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bd6 8.Na3 Bxa3 9.Bxa3 Bg4? 10.Qa4+ Bd7 11.Qb4!! 1-0

John Hurt (1894)-Stephen Thomas (1556)
Memphis Candidates, 1974
1.e4 c5 2.b4 d6 3.Nf3 a6 4.c3 Bg4? (This is almost never a good move in the Sicilian.) 5.Bc4 e5? (Severely weakening the f7 square and the diagonal leading to it.) 6.Bxf7+! Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Ke8 8.Qxg4 Nf6?? (The immediate and obvious 8…dxe5 is better.) 9.Qe6+ Qe7 10.Qc8+ Qd8 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.Nf7+ 1-0

John Hurt-James Wright
Club Ladder Game
Memphis, 1974
1.e4 c5 2.b4 b6 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.Bc4 e6 5.Qe2 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bxd5 Bxd5 8.bxc5 Bxc5 9.c3 O-O 10.d4 Be7 11.O-O Qc7 12.Nfd2 d6 13.f4 Nd7 14.Ba3 Rae8 15.c4 Bb7 16.Nc3 dxe5 17.Bxe7 Rxe7 18.Nb5 Qb8 19.fxe5 f5 20.Nd6 Ba8 21.Nf3 h6 22.Nh4 g5 23.Ng6 Rg7 24.Nxf8 Nxf8 25.Rac1 Ng6 26.g3 f4 27.d5 exd5 28.cxd5 fxg3 29.hxg3 Ne7 30.Rf6 b5 31.Rxh6 Qb6+ 32.Kh2 Bxd5 33.Qc2 Qe3 34.Qc8+ Nxc8 35.Rxc8mate 1-0

John Hurt-Thomas
Memphis C.C. Championship, 1975
1.e4 c5 2.b4 d6 3.Nf3 a6 4.bxc5 dxc5 5.c3 Bg4 6.Bc4 e5 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Nxe5+ Ke8 9.Qxg4 Nf6 10.Qe6+ Qe7 11.Qc8+ Qd8 12.Qxd8+ Kxd8 13.Nf7+ Ke7 14.Nxh8 1-0

John Hurt-Rackley
Summer Rating Tourney, 1975
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.axb4 Nf6 7.Nc3 Qd8 8.b5 Nb4 9.Bc4 e6 10.O-O Be7 11.Ba3 O-O 12.Re1 Re8 13.d4 Qc7 14.Ne5 Bd6 15.b6 Qxb6 16.Nb5 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Rd8 18.Qe2 Nfd5 19.Rab1 a6 20.Nd6 Qa5 21.Qf3 Nxc2 22.Qxf7+ Kh8
23.Ne8! 1-0

John Hurt-Stearns
Memphis vs. Nashville Match, 1976
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e6 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Be7 8.Na3 Bd7 9.Nc4 b5 10.Ne3 Qb7 11.Qb3 a5 12.Ne5 b4 13.Be2 Ra7 14.Bf3 Qb5 15.Nxd7 Nxd7 16.c4 Qb6 17.d4 Qxd4 18.Bb2 Qb6 19.Bxg7 Nc5 20.Qb1 Bf6 21.Bxh8 Bxh8 22.Qxh7 Bxa1 23.Qxg8+ Ke7 24.O-O Bc3 25.Bh5 Rd7 26.Qxf7+ Kd8 27.Rd1 Rxd1+ 28.Bxd1 b3 29.Qg6 Qd6 30.Nd5 Qe5 31.Qg8+ Kd7 32.Qf7+ Kc6 33.Qe8+ Kd6 34.Qb8+ Kc6 35.Qc8+ Kd6 36.Qc7mate 1-0

John Hurt-Scott
Mid-South Open, 1978
1.e4 c5 2.b4 Qb6 3.bxc5 Qxc5 4.d4 Qc7 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 d6 7.O-O Bg4 8.Be3 g6 9.Nbd2 Bg7 10.c4 O-O 11.Rb1 Nc6 12.h3 Bd7 13.Nb3 Nb4 14.e5 dxe5 15.dxe5 Nxd3 16.exf6 exf6 17.Qxd3 Bf5 18.Qe2 Bxb1 19.Rxb1 Rfe8 20.c5 Qc6 21.Na5 Rxe3 22.Qxe3 Qa4 23.Nxb7 Qxa2 24.Qb3 Qe2 25.Re1 Qa6 26.Re7 Rf8 27.Nd6 h5 28.Nxf7 Kh7 29.Qb7 Qa1+ 30.Kh2 Rg8 31.Qxa7 Qc1 32.Qc7 1-0

John Hurt (1831)-Morris Busby (1033)
Bluff City Open, February 17, 1979
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 Nc6 4.axb4 Nf6 5.b5 Nd4 6.c3 Ne6 7.e5 Ne4 8.d4 d5 9.f3 N4g5 10.h4 1-0

John Hurt-Mueller
Norderstedt vs. Memphis Match, 1979
1.e4 c5 2.b4 e5 3.Nf3 cxb4 4.Bc4 Qf6 5.a3 Nc6 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Bc5 8.Na3 a6 9.Nb5 Rb8 10.Nc7+ Kd8 11.Nd5 Qg6 12.d3 Qxg2 13.Rf1 d6 14.Ne3 Bxe3 15.fxe3 Bg4 16.Ra2 Qh3 17.Bxf7 Nh6 18.Bd5 Rf8 19.Raf2 Kd7 20.d4 exd4 21.exd4 Rxf3 22.Rxf3 Qh4+ 23.R1f2 Ne7 24.Qa4+ b5 25.Qxa6 Nxd5 26.exd5 Bxf3 27.Qc6+ Kd8 28.Qxd6+ Kc8 29.Bf4 Rb7 30.Qf8+ Kd7 31.Qxg7+ Kc8 32.Qf8+ Kd7 33.Bxh6 Bxd5 34.Kd2 Qe7 35.Qf5+ Be6 36.Qe5 Qa3 37.d5 Qa2+ 38.Ke3 Qa7+ 39.Kd3 Qxf2 40.Qxe6+ Kc7 41.d6+ Kc6 42.Qe4+ Kxd6 43.Bf4+ 1-0

John Hurt-Fowler
Mid-South Open, November 25, 1979
1.e4 c5 2.b4 a5 3.bxc5 Nc6 4.d4 e6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Nf3 d6 7.cxd6 Bxd6 8.e5 Bb4 9.Bd2 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Ne4 11.Bb2 a4 12.Qd3 Qa5+ 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 b5 15.Qxa5 Rxa5 16.a3 Na7 17.Bc3 Ra6 18.Rb1 Bd7 19.Bb4 Bc6 20.Bc5 Kd7 21.Bxa7 1-0


Here some additional Sicilian Wing Gambit games for study or enjoyment (or both!)

Rome, 1620
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.d4 e6 4.a3 bxa3 5.c4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 d5 8.e5 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nc6 10.Ne2 Nge7 11.Rxa3 O-O 12.O-O Nf5 13.Rd3 a6 14.f4 b5 15.Bb3 a5 16.g4 Nh6 17.h3 a4 18.Bc2 b4 19.f5 exf5 20.g5 b3 21.Bd1 Qa5 22.Qf4 Qb5 23.Rg3 Bd7 24.gxh6 g6 25.Qg5 f6 26.exf6 Rf7 27.Nf4 Nxd4 28.Nxg6 Ne6 29.Ne7+ Kh8 30.Qg7+ Nxg7 31.fxg7+ Rxg7 32.hxg7mate 1-0

Capablanca-Richard Black
New York, 1911
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 bxa3 4.Bxa3 d6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d4 g6 7.h4 Bg4 8.c3 Bg7 9.Nbd2 Nf6 10.Qb3 Qb6 11.Qa2 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Nh5 13.Nc4 Qc7 14.Bc1 O-O 15.Rb1 Kh8 16.Bh3 b6 17.Bg4 Nf6 18.Ne3 h5 19.Bh3 Na5 20.Bd2 Bh6 21.Rc1 Kh7 22.c4 Nb7 23.Nf5 Ng8 24.Nxh6 Nxh6 25.Bxh6 Kxh6 26.Qd2+ Kh7 27.f4 e5 28.fxe5 dxe5 29.d5 Nc5 30.Qe2 Qe7 31.Bf5 Kg7 32.Rc3 Rh8 33.Rg3 Rh6 34.Qe3 Qf6 35.Rhg1 Kh7 36.Rg5 gxf5 37.Rxf5 Qe7 38.Qf3 f6 39.Rxh5 Nd3+ 40.Kd1 Nf4 41.Rxh6+ Kxh6 42.Qg3 Rc8 43.Qc3 Qc5 0-1

IM Shirazi-IM Peters
US Ch.
Berkeley, CA, 1984
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.axb4? Qe5+ 0-1

GM Timur Gareyev (2703)-Peter Bodziony (1733)
Blindfold Simul
Las Vegas, Dec. 3 2017
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 Qe7 9.Bxb4 Qxb4 10.Nc3 a6? 11.Rb1 Qc5 12.Ne4 Qc6 13.Nd6+ Ke7 14.Ng5 f6 15.Qh5 fxe5 16.Nge4! Rf8
17.Qg5+ Rf6 18.Qxg7+ Rf7 19.Qxf7+ Kd8 20.Qf6+ Kc7 21.Ne8mate 1-0

T. Shih (2060)-P. Sorge (1617)
US Amateur Team Ch., East, 2000
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e5 4.axb4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.d3 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Qb3 Be6 10.Nf3 Nf4 11.Nxe5 Bxc4 [Tempting, but ultimately winning for the other player is 11…Nxg2+ 12.Kf1 Bh3 13.Bxf7+ Kf8 14.Bh5 Nf4+ 15.Ke1 (not 15.Kg1 Ne2#) 15…Nxd3+ 16.Nxd3 Qxd3 17.Qf7#] 12.Qxc4 Ne6 13.O-O O-O 14.Be3 Nd7 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Rxa7 Rxa7 17.Bxa7 b5 18.Qb3 Qxa7 19.Qxb5 Rb8 20.Qf5 Qa2 21.d4 Qe2 22.g3 g6 23.Qa5 Qe4 24.Nd2 Qe2 25.Qa7 Rb2 26.Qxe7 Rxd2 27.Qf6 Rd1 28.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 29.Kg2 Qd3 30.Qf3 Qxf3+ 31.Kxf3 Kf8 32.h4 Ke7 33.Ke4 Kd6 34.g4 f6 35.f4 Ng7 36.c4 f5+ 37.gxf5 gxf5+ 38.Ke3 h5 39.Kd3 Ne6 40.Ke3 Nc7 41.Kd3 Na6 42.Kc3 Nb8 43.Kb4 Nc6+ 44.Kc3 Ne7 45.Kb4 Ng6 46.Kb5 Nxf4 47.Kb6 Nd5+ 48.Kb5 Nc3+ 49.Kb4 Nd5+ 50.Kb3 Nf4 51.Kc3 Ng6 52.Kd3 Nxh4 53.Ke3 Ng6 54.Kf3 h4 55.Kg2 Nf4+ 56.Kh2 h3 57.d5 Nxd5 58.Kxh3 Ne7 0-1


Three games from the 1970’s.

Recently I bought some old state chess magazines, all from 1970 to 1975. They were all purchased from ebay and I found some wonderful gems in this collection.


Almost all the games had to be translated from Descriptive Notation (DN) into Algebraic Notation (AN) as DN was the most popular method of recording and analyzing games.


Here are three games I found to be enjoyable, and even instructive.




Proll (1998)-Babinski (2157)
US Open
New York, 1974
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 (The Moller Gambit.) 9…Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 h6 14.Qh5!? (Usual is 14.Qe2, followed by 15.Re1 and putting pressure on the “e” file.) 14…g6? (This move just weakens Black’s kingside pawn structure at a time when he needs it the most. White is practically winning here. Black can sidestep many of his troubles with 14…O-O.) 15.Qh4 [Another winning try is 15.Qf3 hxg5 16.Rae1 Rh4 17.Qf6 Rxe4 18.Rxe4 Bf5 19.Bb5+ c6 20.dxc6 Bxe4 21.c7+ Nc6 22.cxd8=Q+ Rxd8 23.Qd4 d5 24.Qxa7 Rd7 25.Bxc6 bxc6 26.Qa8+ Ke7 27.Qxc6 Rd6 28.Qc5 1-0 (Treybel-Engler, Prague, Nov. 28 1908)] 15…Bf5 16.Re3 Kf8 17.Qd4 Kg8


18.Qxh8+! 1-0


Steve Ellis-Dwight Weaver
Nashville vs. Memphis Match
Tennessee, 1974
[“Nashville – Memphis Match 1974”, Tennessee Chess News, Nov. 1974]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bc4 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qe2 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 d5 10.O-O-O dxc4 11.Nxe6 Qa5 12.Nxf8 Bxf8 13.Nc5 Qxa2 14.Qf3 Qa1+ 15.Kd2 Qxb2 16.Ke2 Qxc2+ 17.Rd2 Qg6 18.h3 Bf5 19.Qxb7 Na6 20.Qxa8 Nxc5 21.Bxc5 Bd3+ 22.Ke1 Qe6+ 23.Be3 Be4 24.Qxa7 c3 25.Rd8 Qb3 26.Rxf8+! Kxf8 27.Qc5+ Ke8 28.Qe5+ Kd7 29.Qxe4 c2 30.Kd2 Qb2 31.Qd4+ 1-0


Ted Bielbaum (2029)-Stuart Samuel (2016)
Danvers C.C. Ch.
Massachusetts, Aug. 31 1973
[Notes based “Tournament Games”, Chess Horizons, Jan.-Feb. 1975]
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.Nf3 dxe5 4.e4?! (Transposing into a sort of King’s Gambit Declined, but with the addition of the moves “fxe5” and “dxe5” helps Black.) 4…Bc5!? [It appears From’s Gambit, or at least this variation, was a popular opening in the 1970s. Here is another game from the same time period. 4…f5!? 5.d4 fxe4 6.Nxe5 Be6 7.Be2 Nd7 8.Bf4 Nxe5 9.Bxe5 Bd6 10.O-O Nf6 11.Bh5+ Kd7 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.d5 Bc5+ 14.Kh1 Bg8 15.Qg4+ Kd6 16.Qf4+ Kd7 17.Bg4+ Ke8 18.Qxe4+ Be7 19.Nc3 h5 20.Rxf6 hxg4 21.Qg6+ Kd7 22.Qxg4+ Ke8 23.Re1 Qd7 24.Rf8+ 1-0 (Thompson-Taylor, South Carolina, 1970)] 5.c3 Nc6! (Normal lines are 5…Nf6 6.Nxe5 Qe7 7.d4 Bd6 8.Nf3 and 5…Bb6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Nf6=. Too risky would be 5…Qe7 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Qxe4+? 8.Kf2! Be7 9.Nc3.) 6.Bb5 Nf6!? (6…Bd7! prevents 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4? Nxd4! 9.Nxd4) 7.Nxe5 O-O (7…Nxe4? 8.Qf3! O-O 9.Qxe4 +-) 8.Nxc6? (Too dangerous. White should play 8.Bxc6! bxc6 9.d4 Nxe4 10.O-O Qd5 11.Bf4=) 8…bxc6 9.Bxc6 Nxe4!? [Leading to unclear complications. If 9…Qd3!? 10.Qf3 (10.Bxa8? Bg4) Qc2 11.Qd1! Qd3 12.Qe2 (12.Qf3=) 12…Ba6 13.Qxd3 Bxd3 14.Bxa8 Rxa8 15.b4 Bb6 16.Bb2 Nxe4 17.c4 Nf2 18.c5 Nxh1 19.Bd4 Re8+ wins!] 10.d4 (Both 10.Bxa8?? Bf2+ and 10.Bxe4 Qh4+ get mated. 10.Qf3? Nf2! 11.d4 Nxh1 12.dxc5 Qh4+ 13.g3 Qxh2 14.Bxa8 Re8+ 15.Be3 Bg4! -+) 10…Qh4+ 11.g3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qxg3+ 13.Kd2 Be7? [A blunder. After 13…Qf4+ 14.Kc2? (14.Kd3? loses to 14…Ba6+ 15.Kc2 Qf5+ 16.Kb3 Rab8+) 14…Bf5+ 15.Kb3 Rab8+ 16.Kc4 Qd6, Black wins. White must permit the draw by 14.Ke1! Qg3+ 15.Kd2 Qf4+.] 14.Qf3 Qg6 15.Be4 f5 16.Bxa8 1-0 (The editor must have had fun annotating this game!)