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Flohr - van den Bosch
Compiled by Chessical


As part of his preparation for his match against Max Euwe, Salomon Flohr played a short match in April 1932 against the 26 y.o. Dutch master Johannes Hendrik Otto van den Bosch. Van der Bosch was a strong amateur, who had just came second place with Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander in a small British tournament at Cambridge, England, in March 1932, behind Mir Sultan Khan. He was thought sufficiently strong to represent Holland in the first three Olympiads. Van der Bosch had previous experience of playing a top grandmaster one-to-one, he had lost a short match to Akiba Rubinstein (+0 =0 -3) in 1930.

The match was delayed by a difficulty in finalising the funding. (1)

The match lasted from 15th to 23rd April 1932 and was played in The Hague.

Match Score:

Van den Bosch had White in the odd numbered games. Flohr won (+4 -0 =4) (2), but he came close to defeat in Game 3 and his opponent played sharply and with aggression.

Flohr was superior in noting and seizing tactical opportunities. Van den Bosch lost material three in three games (1,4 and 7) due to overlooking short sharp combinations.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts 1 Flohr 1 1 1 1 6 2 van den Bosch 0 0 0 0 2

Cumulative score:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Flohr 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 6 2 van den Bosch 0 1 1 1 1 1 2

<Highlights of the match>

Game 1 Flohr as Black outplayed van den Bosch in the late middlegame. Van den Bosch had played very aggressively against Flohr's Caro-Kann defence. Flohr weathered the storm, and in a position whose outcome seemed to be a probable draw, was alert to the possibility of a tactical coup,

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van den Bosch had played <29...Qd2> to prevent the advance of the <f> pawn but Flohr saw he could push the pawn through as <30.Bxf4?> lost to Qe4 attacking two pieces. The release of Flohr's King's bishop aginst his opponent's black square weaknesses soon decided the game.

Game 2 Despite his loss in the first game, van den Bosch again played a sharply using the new hyper-modern Grunfeld Defence. He emerged with an advantage out of the opening but missed the win of a pawn by:

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20...Qxb2! instead of the actual 20...Rd2. This allowed Flohr to equalise and a draw was soon agreed.

Game 3 Flohr defended with an Old Indian Defence but drifted into an inferior position. In the middle game, van den Bosch missed at least one winning opportunity. Flohr defended poorly against his oponent's attack upon his King. The culmination of the attack should have led to victory for van den Bosch:

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34. Nh6+! Kh8 35. Qxf6+ Bxf6 36. Rxf6 Nd7?! and now with an extra piece for a pawn he should have been able to win but could only draw.

Game 4 Van den Bosh blundered a piece straight out of the opening to one move coup:

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played <18...Rd7?> overlooking the toxic <Nb5!> winning a piece.

Game 5 Once again van den Bosch played energetically in the opening. He castling on the opposite side and throwing his K-side pawns up the board towards Flohr's King. Despite Flohr bing left with no pawns in fornt of his King, he steered through the complications and then won the game with a neat combination:

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27...Rxe3! 28.fxe3 Rc2

Game 6 Was a QGD, which van den Bosch, as Black, drew with a Bishop sacrifice for perpetual check.

Game 7 Faced with Flohr's Caro-Kann, Van den Bosh sacrificed a pawn to displace the Black King but he could not exploit this. His pieces were driven back and his game collapsed when he lost a piece stranded deep in his opponent's territory.

Game 8 The final game was the second QGD, pieces were quickly exchanged and draw was agreed in only 23 moves.


(1). "The Telegraph", 12th April 1932 p.2.

(2). "The Sumatra Post", 9th May 1932 p.2.

Game 1. 15th April 1932.
J van den Bosch vs Flohr, 1932 
(B15) Caro-Kann, 33 moves, 0-1

Game 2.16th April 1932.
Flohr vs J van den Bosch, 1932
(D93) Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3. 17th April 1932.
J van den Bosch vs Flohr, 1932 
(A53) Old Indian, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4. 19th April 1932.
Flohr vs J van den Bosch, 1932 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 22 moves, 1-0

Game 5. 20th April 1932.
J van den Bosch vs Flohr, 1932
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 28 moves, 0-1

Game 6. 21st April 1932.
Flohr vs J van den Bosch, 1932
(D62) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7. 22nd April 1932.
J van den Bosch vs Flohr, 1932
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 26 moves, 0-1

Game 8. 23rd April 1932.
Flohr vs J van den Bosch, 1932
(D61) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

8 games

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