|Phony Benoni: The US Open generally has a schedule of daily tournaments for those players bored by playing only one game a day. At the 1986 event in Somerset, NJ, the first of these preceded round 1. My 1958 rating got me into a section with three 2000+ players, but I had won my first two games before perpetrating this monstronsity in round 3:|
Jose LaHoz (2016) - David Moody (1958)
<1.c4 e5 2.g3 f5 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.e3 Nc6 6.Nge2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 Be6 9.Nd5 Bxd5 10.cxd5 Nb4>
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Nothing much happens at this point, but you'll soon learn why the diagram is here.
<11.a3 Na6 12.b4 Qe8 13.Bb2 Qh5 14.d4 Ng4 15.h3 Rf6 16.hxg4 fxg4 17.b5 Rh6 18.Re1 Rf8 19.bxa6 Qh2+ 20.Kf1 Bh4 21.gxh4 Rhf6>
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No, the three-piece sacrifice wasn't sound, but the time limit was 30 moves in 30 minutes and it quickly shows.
<22.Nf4 exf4 23.f3?? gxf3 24.Bxf3?? Rg6> 0-1
And the best part is that I could expect an easy pairing in round 1 of the Open, ensuring a nice 4-0 day. Unfortunately, that US Open happened to be top-heavy, and I got GM Larry Christiansen instead.
As we played the first few moves it became apparent we were headed into the same line as the LaHoz game. I'm going to sacrifice three pieces and checkmate a Grandmaster! OK, he'll probably find a way out, but it should still be fun.
While I was glued to the board, desperately trying to recall the moves I had played a couple of hours before, Christiansen was doing his celebrated imitation of a Jack-in-the-Box. From the smell of his breath, it was obvious he was sneaking a cigarette out in the hallway. As I learned later, he was doing a simul by giving an interview to an attractive female reporter between moves.
So we reached the diagrammed position. Christiansen returned to the board, did me the honor of sitting down, instantly played <11.Qb3> winning a pawn for nothing, and hopped back up again.
I was abashed, but only for a second. Hey, if I can sacrifice three pieces against an Expert, surely I can give away a mere pawn to a Grandmaster!
By move 19, with another pawn going and my illusions totally shattered, I finally resigned. I got a handshake and an autographed scoresheet out of the deal. He got to go back to the interview. Definite win-win.