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Donald Byrne vs John Alan Grefe
US Championship (1973), El Paso, TX USA, rd 8, Sep-18
Hungarian Opening: Symmetrical Variation (A00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-18-13  jerseybob: First off, can we call this opening by its proper name? It's an English Opening, for God's sake! Donald Byrne was an incredibly aggressive player, never afraid to mix it up, but Grefe is up to the task. With 13..Bh3 he offers to trade the bishop, but what it gets traded for is the surprise: after 15.Nf4,g5! 16.Nxh3, it's for the Knight! Then in moves 17-23, black eggs on the white pawns, artfully retreating until it's time for counterattack with 24..Bd4ch. And despite a fierce-looking last-ditch white attack, black's doubled rooks and superior minor pieces carry the day.
Jan-18-13  Peter Nemenyi: Grefe's co-winning of the 1973 US Championship was one of the great odd feats of American chess history. He came out of nowhere to do it and more or less returned to nowhere afterward, as far as chess achievement is concerned.

William Lombardy and David Daniels wrote an excellent old-fashioned tournament book about this event, entitled just U.S. Championship Chess. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in American chess history who sees it at a reasonable price.

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  Phony Benoni: And in said tournament book, Lombardy points to 32.Be3 as an immediately decisive blunder, possibly induced by time pressure--White forfeited soon after. After 32.Qh5 it's still a game.
Feb-24-13  RookFile: Be3 really brought Byrne to grief.
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  perfidious: Been a long time since reading the tournament book, but time trouble makes sense, as it hardly takes a strong master to foresee the ruinous consequences of allowing ....Ne5.
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  DrNyet: Ah, the richness of! This interested game sits uncommented until 2013. I appreciate the interesting and knowledgeable commentary. Nice job jerseybob (not to denigrate the others).
Oct-12-13  jerseybob: DrNyet: Next time you're in Bandera say hi to Willie. Phony Benoni: How about after 32.Qh5,Qe7!? guarding h7 and renewing knight discovery threats. If 33.Qf5,Nh4
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Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
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