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     Bill Wall's  Favorite Game of Chess      

This is mostly a  text-based game ... with just two diagrams.  (Sorry - no replay page. At least not yet.) 

 Click  HERE    to see an explanation of the symbols that I like to use. (Near the bottom of the page.) 

  D. Bodo (2200) - F. Portisch (2450);  
  ICT / Masters  (Magyarorszag?)  
  Budapest, Hungary;  1968(1969?)   

 [A.J. Goldsby I] 

   The CB medal of this game. (b-w_fcg-medal.gif, 02 KB)

Most younger players will probably not know what I am talking about ... 
but about 25 years ago, a fellow named Bill Wall came out with a series of books. 

These books were about one of my favorite topics, quick games ... or miniatures. He grouped them by the openings. With titles like  "500 French Miniatures,"  or  "500 Sicilian Miniatures,"  it was easy to see that these books were entertaining, fun, good to study for traps and tactics, and also good reference material. (I always wanted to get my name in one of them, but I don't think I ever made it.) 

Wall also has a great web site ... that has a TON of good information and many cool downloads on it. I thought it would be wild to contact him ... and find out what Bill's favorite chess game would be. (He was nice enough to respond and also give me the following game.) 

Without further ado, I am proud to present ... (drum roll please); ...   
BILL WALL'S FAVORITE GAME OF CHESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  


Many databases give this game as being played in 1969.  Appropriately, I used Bill's own book as my main reference for this particular game. ("500 French Miniatures," by SM Bill Wall. Game # 464, Page # 111.) 

After some checking ... I think that this game was probably played in 1969.  See the Informant # 07
 and game # 212. There is also a book in Hungarian that gives this game as well. (Magyarorszag.) 

The ratings are simply estimates, and have been expressed in values equal to current FIDE ratings. 
{The Chess-Metrics web  site  gives F. Portisch as being rated 2270 at the beginning of 1969. 
  The same site offers no rating at all for Black.} 

 1.e4 e6;  2.d4 d5;  3.Nc3 Bb4;  4.e5 c5;  5.a3 Bxc3+;  6.bxc3 Ne7;  7.Qg4!?,  (Probably - '!')    
The main line ... (of the Winawer Variation of the French Defense); and one of the sharpest variations that White can possibly play. (Black is forced into playing a gambit, unless he wants to make positional concessions like playing the grossly weakening move, ...g6; or losing his castling rights and moving his King to f8.) 

[ See MCO-14, page # 194. See also columns # 31 through column # 60, and all applicable notes. ] 


     [ White can also try:  7.Nf3, "+/="  (The positional line.);    
        or even  7.a4!?, "+/="   (designed to stop ...Qa5-to-a4);   
        with a small - but constant edge; in either case. ]   


The next few moves are all book. 
 7...Qc7!;  8.Qxg7 Rg8;  9.Qxh7 cxd4;  10.Kd1?!,  {See the diagram ... just below.}     
A truly inferior move ... but opening theory was NOT as developed then it is today!! 
(At one time, the opening books considered this a good and playable alternative to Ne2 here.) 



   The position in the game after White plays Kd1.  (b-wal_fcg-pos1.gif, 68 KB)



See the super game: 
GM M. Tal - GM M. Botvinnik; (FIDE) World Championship Match, (The historic first game!) 
Game # 01; Moscow, U.S.S.R; 1960. 
(White used Kd1 ... under a slightly different setting ... and won a very beautiful and sparkling victory.) 

Originally I thought that Florian had been too critical ... in awarding this move (Kd1) the inferior designation. 
But after careful consideration, I decided that he was correct. 


     [ The main line is:   >/=  10.Ne2! Nbc611.f4, ('!')     
        The best move here.   

           ( White falls into a bad trap by playing the following moves:     
              </= 11.cxd4?!, ('?')  11...Nxd4!;   
              Exploiting the undeveloped state of the White army.      

              12.Nxd4?? Qc3+;       
              and White has a rotten ... and very probably ...       
              a lost position here. ('/+' or "-/+")       

        11...Bd712.Qd3, "+/="  12...dxc3; "<=>"    
        White has a solid edge ... but Black gets a ton of play for his material. 
        The second player has won dozens of sharp and very beautiful games 
        at the master level with this continuation. 
        {One friend used to joke: "Theory smiles on White, but Black wins all 
          the best games!"}   

        See the encounter:  GM Chris Lutz - GM W. Uhlmann; (FIDE?) Zonal Tournament    
        Dresden, Germany; 1998.  {White won a long game.}   

        [ See also MCO-14, page # 214; column # 31, and note # (f.). ]     

     *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***   

        See also the contest:  GM Peter Svidler (2713)GM Vassily Ivanchuk (2714)   
        ICT / Super-GM Event / # 16 / Linares, ESP; 1999.   (0-1, 39 moves.)    
        {Black won a nice game here.} ]    



A natural developing move ... but possibly not the most accurate in this position.   

     [ It is much better for Black to play the immediate:   
       >/=  10...dxc3!; "=/+"   {Diagram?}   
       according to several strong chess programs, (like Fritz 8.0). ]   


 11.Nf3?,   {Diagram?}    
This is also a very natural (and seemingly good) developing move in this position. 
But it is also a very serious mistake. 

     [  Much  better is:   >/=  11.f4, "+/="   as in the contest:    
        GM E. Vasiukov - S. KrasnovICT / Zheboksaru Masters /  
        Cheboksary, U.S.S.R; 1960.   {Drawn in just under 40 moves.} ]    


 11...dxc3!?;  (dubious?)       
While this is a very natural-looking move ... it is simply inaccurate. 
{And most sources do no comment on this fact, either.} 

There is no way that this is the best play available here for Black.  
(In fact, you could award this move a whole question mark ...    
 as Black may have just allowed White a winning combo.)    

     [ After the moves:   >/= 11...Nxe5!12.Nxe5 Qxe5;  "/+"    
        Black is clearly [much] better. ]   


 12.Bh6?;  (ugh)    
A truly horrible move ... Black opened the door ... 
and White failed to walk through it - and into the light!   

     [  White missed his chance, with  N-N5!  he probably gains the upper hand. 
         For example:   >/=  12.Ng5! Nxe5!?13.f4! Ng4;    
         This could be forced here.    


             ( Or possibly: 13...Rxg5!?;  {Diagram?}     
               [ Florian stops here and says that Black is better. ('=/+') ]      

               14.fxg5 N5g6;  15.h4, "+/="  {Diagram?}      
                but Fritz affirms a solid edge for White in this position. )      


         14.Bb5+! Bd715.Qxf7+ Kd816.Bxd7 Qxd7   
          Apparently this is forced.    

             ( </=  16...Nf2+?;  17.Ke2 Nxh1??;  18.Nxe6+ Kxd7;  19.Nxc7, "+/-" )     

         17.Re1 Nf2+!?18.Ke2 Ne419.Nxe4! dxe420.Kf2!,  ''  
          White is clearly (much) better here.  (Possibly even just winning here.)   
           (This is my own, original analysis. I spent many hours, and used several 
            different computer programs to work out - and then verify - this line.


       One reference volume gives the following continuation:   

        As was already seen in Informant # 07; this is  NOT  the correct continuation.    

        12...Bd7;  ('?')    
        This is not the most accurate move here. (Definitely not!)    

             ( Black should play:  >/=  12...Qb6!;  "=/+"   {Diagram?}   
               as  IM Tibor Florian  pointed out ... long ago, in  Informant # 07   
               (Fritz 8.0 confirms this!!)  )     

        13.Ng5('?')  {Diagram?}     
         This is not the time for this move!  Not here - not in this position!    

             ( Necessary was: 13.Rb1[],  "~"   {Diagram?}    
                when I am not sure who is really better - in this position. )      

        13...Rf8[]14.Bd3!? Qb6!15.Be3!? d4    
         The end of the column here.    

        16.Bf4 Ng6?(A bluff?)      
         Simply a terrible move. ('??') 

             ( Forced was:   >/=  16...Nd5[];  "~"   with fair play for Black. )      

        A (GROSSLY) inferior move here, for White in this position.   

       ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **    

            ( The best move was to take on g6 here.  MCO  looks at this variation ... 
               but  (mostly)  comes to the wrong conclusions!    

               For example:   >/=  17.Bxg6! fxg618.Qxg6+ Kd8;  
               19.Nxe6+??,   ('?!' - MCO.14)   {Diagram?}     
               Yet another bad move.   

                   ( Better is:  >/=  19.g3,  ('')   {Diagram?}        
                      with a clear advantage to White.        
                     {MCO does not mention this possibility at all.} )        

               19...Bxe620.Qxe6 Rxf421.Qg8+? Kc722.Qxa8??     
               A horrible move/blunder.   

                   ( White had to play:  22.Qg7+[], but Black is still MUCH better. )       

               22...d3!(Mate in six?)    {Diagram?}  
               Black is winning ("-/+") easily.  Analysis by - GM Nick de Firmian. )   

       ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **      

        (Returning to the main branch of our analysis line.)    

         17...0-0-0!?;  ('!')  {Diagram?}      
         In the long-term, Black must get his King to safety ... 
         to have any real winning chances.   

             ( Or   </=  17...Ncxe5?!; 18.Bg5;  "~"   {Diagram?}     
                and Black's King gets stuck in the center of the board. )      

         18.Nd6+ Kb819.Bg3 Ngxe5!?;  "~"  (Not a clear position!!)    
White ... "slowly lost the game," according to de Firmian and   
         MCO-14. But Fritz 8.0 still sees a slight edge for White, ('+/=');  
         after the move,  Nxf7!  here.   
         (Much worse for White is the continuation: Re1?!, f6! "=/+"     
          and the second player stands clearly better.)     

         GM Praveen M. ThipsayGM Simen Agdenstein  
         (FIDE) {men's} Olympiad / TT / Thessaloniki, Greece; 1984  

         [ See MCO-14, page # 214;  column # 34, and also note # (o.) ]  ]     

 12...Bd7!?;  (hmmm)      
Many books adorn this with an exclamation point ...   
but it is probably not the best or the sharpest move that Black could have played at this point.   

     [ Better was:   >/=  12...Qb6!; "=/+"   with a slight edge to Black. ]   


 13.Ng5?,  (yuk)     
A day late, a dollar short ... and a pound too light.   

     [ Much better was:  >/=  13.Rb1[]  13...0-0-014.Bg7 Ng6; "~"    
        when the position is roughly balanced here. ]    


 13...0-0-0!?;  {Diagram?}      
This involves a very interesting and a very enterprising gambit ...   
but it is not clear that it is all that good, or even necessary.   

T. Florian - annotating this game for  Informant Number Seven  (07) - awards this move an exclam. 

     [ Much better was:   >/=  13...Nxe5!; "=/+"  (Maybe - '/+')    
       when Black might be clearly (a lot) better in this position. ]   


Now White takes on f7 ... there was nothing else that was any better.   
 14.Nxf7 Nf5!!;  (Maybe - '!!!')   {See the diagram - - - just below.}    
I like this ... it is an extremely bold - and a very deep sacrifice. 
(Not even some computer programs fathom it all the way out to the end!)    



   Black just played his Knight to the f5-square, is this really any good?  (b-wal_fcg-pos2.gif, 68 KB)



This would probably be a good place for a diagram.   
(IM Tibor Florian and SM Bill Wall only give this move one exclam.)  

     [ Or  14...Be815.Nxd8 Bg6; "~"   which is rather vague. ]   


The next couple of moves look to be all forced - or best.   
 15.Nxd8 Qxd8;  16.Bf4 Rg4!;  (best)    
Florian also gives this move an exclam ... it is the prelude to a very cunning sacrifice. 

 17.g3 Qb6;  18.Bh3?,  (urgh)     
Yet another move from White ... that is a whole lot less than best. 
(To be fair, White was under a lot of pressure here.) 

One old book on the French gives this game ... and says White must play K-K1,  
when ...Q-N7;  gives the second party adequate play.   

     [ White maybe had to play:   
        >/=  18.Ke1!? Qb2!?; "~"    but I like Black's position here.   

          ( Also good was:  = 18...Ncd4!;  "=/+"       
             when Black is probably just a little better here. )      


        Another possibility was:   (</=)  18.Qh8+!? Kc719.Qh5!? Rxf4!!   
        20.gxf4 Qxf2!21.Qe2 Qxf422.Bh3 Ne3+23.Kc1 Nd4!;  "-/+"    
        and Black's play is overwhelming. ]   


(IM Tibor Florian gives both of Black's next two moves an exclam.)    

 18...Rxf4!; ('!!')  19.gxf4 Qxf2!; ("-/+")  White RESIGNS.     

The first player cannot possibly cover all of the key squares here. {See the diagram below.} 



   The final position of the game ... White gives up.  (b-wal_fcg-pos3.gif, 69 KB)



     [ The following analysis  clearly  proves that White is completely lost in this position. 

        19...Qxf2!20.Qg8+ Kc721.Kc1    
         This is probably forced here.    

            ( Or 21.Qg2? Ne3+;  ("-/+")  But not </= 21.Rf1?? Qd2# )       

        Again, it looks like White has no real choice here.    

            ( </= 22.Kd1?? Qd2#. )      

        Once again ... this is forced.    

            ( Of course not: </= 23.Ka2?? Qb2#. )      

        23...Qb2+24.Kd1 Ncd4!(Maybe - '!!')     
        A big improvement over a lot of previous analysis.   

            ( Not quite as accurate is:  </=  24...Qxa1+!?,  {Diagram?}         
              Black is winning  ("-/+")  on material. - Senior Master Bill Wall. )       

        25.Rc1!?,  {Diagram?}    
        This move looks forced.   


           ( White can also try the very bizarre-looking move, K-K1.    
              For example:  

              25.Ke1 Nxc2+!26.Kf1 Ncd4!!27.Qg2 Bb5+28.Kg1 Qxa1+  
              29.Kf2 Qb2+30.Kg1 Qc1+31.Qf1[]{Box.}  {Diagram?}    
              Ugly ... yet completely forced.   

                 ( Not </= 31.Kf2? Qe3#.)       

              31...Bxf132.Kf2 Qxf4+33.Ke1 Nc2+34.Kd1 Qd2#. )      


        (Returning now to our main analysis line - that began with ...Qxf2.)  

        25...Ne3+26.Ke1 Qxc1+!27.Kf2 Qxc2+!!28.Kg3[],  
        Believe it or not ... this play is totally forced here.   

            ( But not </= 28.Kxe3?? Qd2#.)       

       Once again - there are very few viable choices here for White. 

            ( Definitely not: </=  29.Bxf5? Qg2+!;  30.Kh4 Nxf5+;       
              31.Kh5 Qxg8;  "-/+"   It is mate in two - at most. )       

        29...Qe4+30.Kf2 Qxf4+;    
        So far ... it has been all forced. 

        An now the prettiest mate is probably the following continuation. 
        31.Kg1 Nd1!?;    This leads to a fancy finish.   

            ( Probably a little more ruthless and efficient is the move: >/= 31...c2!. ("-/+") )    

        32.Qg2[] Qe3+33.Kf1 Bb5+34.Qe2 Qf2#!   ]    


A truly brilliant and a very great, memorable game by IM Ferenc Portisch! 

Historians should note that this game is often [FALSELY] attributed to GM Lajos Portisch. 
(Who is F. Portisch's brother!)  

Wall told me was how he liked the fact that Black sacrificed two exchanges, and White suddenly finds himself  
 overwhelmed with all of Black's threats. 

Bill and I swapped several e-mails. Here he authenticates the game and the score:  

<< A.J.,

     This is {still} my favorite game. Jack Battell had the game published in 'Chess Life & Review'
     January 1970, page 33; and gave it as Lajos Portisch. >> 
    {I take this to mean that L. Portisch was indicated as being the second player in this contest.} 

<< The game appeared in Chess Informant 7/212, and it does say F. Portisch, annotated by Florian. 
      ECO, C, (Volume 1); only had Portisch (page 75, footnote 67). A CD database I opened shows 
      Ferenc Portisch as playing it. Looks like 12.Bh6, is the losing move. My own book, 500 French   
      Miniatures, has F. Portisch, (game 464); and I had the game as being played in Budapest. Minev 
      has F. Portisch in his book, French Defense, page 376. 

      BILL WALL >>  

      (Bill - also - kindly sent me an e-mail with all the moves of this game.)  

 Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I 
  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2004. All rights reserved.  


  0 - 1  

I am very proud of the analysis job that I have done here, I corrected many mistakes that were made,  (as in connection with this contest);  in about 10 different books. (I won't give a Bibliography here, Wall's e.mail quotes just about all the pertinent sources.) 

I (also) consulted just about every book in my own library on the French, (over 30 books); as well as ECO, BCO, and MCO. (Etc.) 

My analysis is of the highest quality ... I worked with Fritz 8.0 or Deep Junior always running in the background. I mined the database thoroughly and looked at dozens of games ... I probably found a few the average French player has never seen. I worked on this game - on and off - for over two weeks now.  The work might also be of minor theoretical importance, I think the analysis clearly demonstrates that the variation with Kd1 and Nf3 is completely insufficient. (Basically - based on this work - it is now refuted.)  

If you enjoyed this analysis, (or want to comment on it); and would like to contact me ... this is my contact information:  
A.J. Goldsby I  (  P.O. Box 11718; Pensacola, FL  32524  (USA)  

 Thursday, October 21st, 2004:   
I have gotten many e-mails about this page, but I have not kept a close track as I have with many other pages. 

I have received perhaps 10-12 e-mails from lower-rated players. Their response has been WHOLLY POSITIVE. (Thanks.)

I also have gotten a couple of e-mails from masters. They did not question my analysis, just why I did it. One is a well-known chess author, he told me that I did NOT know how to analyze and I had to learn how to "spend no more than 30 minutes on a game." He also questioned my motivation for doing this game. He said it was a waste of time ... on such an insignificant game of chess. 

My response to such a diatribe would be:  "What ever happened to the pure love of the game?"  "What about the search for truth?"  "Isn't analysis about discovering what lays at the core of the game? Who cares if it take two days ... two weeks ... two months ... or even two years to discover what the TRUTH is about any game?"  Not to brag or beat my own drum, but I am sure that I have come much closer to the truth - and have done a better game analysis - than that author ever will. (I am very sincere about this.) And I DON'T care how many books he has written!!!  

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 Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2011.  
  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2011.  All rights reserved.  


  Page created mid-July, 2004.  First posted on the 'net: Monday; July 19th, 2004.  This page was last updated on 07/14/12 .