pinoymaster77: Cardoso, Rodolfo Tan -- Bronstein, David I [B07]
Portoroz Interzonal (21), 1958
1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Bc4 Bg7 4.Ne2
Not in the books, but anyway Rudy does not read the books. He has his own set-up in mind with f3, Be3 and Qd2 to follow.
4...Nf6 5.Nbc3 Nbd7 6.f3 c6 7.a4 a5 8.Bb3 0-0 9.Be3 e6 10.Qd2 Rb8 11.Nd1!
Preventing 11...b5 because of 12.axb5 cxb5 13.Qxa5. If Black retakes the pawn with the rook 12...Rxb5 then 13.Ba4.
11...b6 12.Nf2 Ba6 13.g4 c5 14.h4! h5
[14...c4 15.Ba2 simply makes the wayward c-pawn a target. However, the text move is not the best either. With the benefit of hindsight Black should have played 14...Bxd2 to get the soon-to-be-powerful knight out of his hair.]
15.Ng3 hxg4 16.fxg4 d5 17.h5
[17.e5? cxd4 18.Bxd4 Nh7 wins the e5-pawn. If 19.Qe3 then 19...Qc7]
Black’s position is very bad. Cardoso is threatening e5 followed by c3 and Bb1 with a powerful kingside attack. Bronstein decides to sacrifice a pawn to get some activity plus to keep the a2-bishop shut out.
[19.Qxc3?! is precisely what Bronstein wanted, because of 19...Rc8 20.Qd2 Qc7 21.Bf4 (21.c3?? Qxg3) 21...Qxc2]
[20.Bf4 e5 complicates things too much.]
The threat is 22.hxg6 fxg6 23.Nf4.
21...g5 22.h6 Bh8 23.Nh5
[23.Bxg5? f6 white’s e-pawn is pinned]
[24.Bxg5 Qxc3 25.Qxc3 Rxc3 26.Bd2 Rxc2 Black’s pieces are coming to life]
24...Qxc3 25.Qxc3 Rxc3 26.Bd2?
Cardoso slips up. He should have played 26.Kd2 and I will show you later why. Bronstein gets a chance to come up after being under pressure from the opening but his nerves fail and he continues weakly.
[27.Bb3? Bxd3! that is why]
He should have exchanged first with 27...Bxd3 28.cxd3 Rxa4 because now white’s bishop is shut off.
[28...Rc4 maintains the advantage]
[29...fxe5 30.Nxe6 Rc8 is a good way to continue, but not 29...Bxg7?
30.hxg7 Kxg7 31.Nb2 white wins because of the double attack on h7 and a4.]
White now has the threat to win Black’s rook with 31.Bxh7+
Forced as the b1-bishop is too powerful. For example 30...Ra3 31.Nxe6 Rf7 32.Nd8 Rf8 33.e6! Rxd8 34.Bg6! wins.
31.Rxb1 fxe5 32.Nxe6 Rc8 33.Rh3 exd4 34.Nxd4 Bxd4 35.cxd4 Rc6 36.Rbb3!
Cardoso’s rook enters the game via the 3rd rank. He is already winning at this stage.
36...Kf7 37.Rbe3 Ndf6
38.Re5 Re6 39.Rxe6! Kxe6 40.Rb3 Nd7 41.Nh3 Kf6 <D>
Position after 41...Kf6
The game was adjourned at this point. Next morning the envelope was opened.
Black resigns. Everything is lost after 42.Nxg5:
1) 42...Nhf8 43.h7 Kg7 44.Rh3;
2) 42...Ndf8 43.Rxb6+;
3) 42...Kg6 43.Nxh7 Kxh7 44.Re3;
4) 42...Nxg5 43.Bxg5+ Kg6 44.Re3 Nf8 45.Be7 Nh7 46.Re6+ Kf7 47.Rxb6.
This game destroyed Bronstein. This was his first-ever loss in an Interzonal after 58 games in which he went undefeated -- the 19 games of Saltsjobaden 1948, 20 games of Goteborg 1955, and previous 19 games of Portoroz. And he never made it into the Candidates again.
“You see, that ‘fat’ point that I took from Bronstein saddened me more than any defeat at the tournament. Bronstein is my idol. Ever since I started playing chess, his games have been... (Cardoso did not continue his train of thought but simply added) That’s the way that chess is. What could I do?” (from Grandmasters in Profile by D. Bjelica).
History has not been kind to IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso:
1) His name is misspelled in the major databases as “Radolfo”. For some reason this has never been corrected.
2) His real name is Rodolfo Tan -- this was revealed by me by Meralco chess club President Rolly Sol Cruz. As is the custom at that time Mang Rudy spelled his name as Rodolfo Tan y Cardoso and somehow the “y” dropped out.
3) And, the biggest cruelty, chess historians have often referred to Bronstein’s “big blunder” causing him to lose to the unknown player Cardoso. The implication was that Bronstein was winning but fell to a cheapo trap. Also, some sources have mentioned that electrical power failed in the playing area due to a thunderstorm around move 27, and he was unable to regain concentration. Let me state firmly that the power interruption affected both players, and that Cardoso had the edge for much of the game. At the time of 41...Kf6 Bronstein was already lost -- the move played just allowed Cardoso to spring an attractive combination.
We will continue our stories on Monday.