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The Independent Culture
EVERY YOUNG player needs a role model. Some of my students try to play like Garry Kasparov, but rarely progress beyond the stage of snarling, snorting and pacing angrily round the stage. Others try to play like Anatoly Karpov, but find that the cultivation of delicate positional advantages is an ineffective procedure if you lack the talent to detect those advantages in the first place.

I recommend them to study the games of Gyula Breyer, the Hungarian who died in 1921 at the age of 27. Anyone who tries to emulate Breyer's strange style will soon realise the utter futility of trying to play like a genius, and will then return to the straightforward practical chess that scores points.

White: Gyula Breyer

Black: Kornel Havasi

Somewhere in Hungary, 1920

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nd2

Breyer's favourite, keeping open the option of either c3 or c4.

2...d5 3.e3 Bf5 4.c4 c6 5.Ngf3 e6 6.Be2 Bd6 7.c5!

Conventional wisdom advises keeping this pawn on c4 to retain some influence on the centre. Breyer was never conventional.

7...Bc7 8.b4 Nbd7 9.Bb2 Ne4 10.Nxe4 dxe4

Natural enough, but taking with the bishop may be better.

11.Nd2 Nf6 12.g4! Bg6 13.h4! h5 14.gxh5!

With Black's knight greedily eyeing the d5 square, this is the way to distract it.

14...Nxh5 15.Qc2

Perhaps only now did Black appreciate his opponent's plan: to castle long and attack on the K-side.

15...Nf6 16.0-0-0 Bf5 17. Rdg1 Kf8 18.h5 a5 19.b5 cxb5 20.Bxb5 Rxh5

Black thinks he has won a pawn by luring the bishop from e2, but Breyer has everything under control.

21.d5! Rxh1

21...Qxd5 21.Bxf6 costs Black material.

22.Rxh1 Kg8 23.d6 Bb8 24.Nc4 Ba7 25.Bd4 Rc8 (See diagram.)

The c-pawn is under attack; what is White to do?


Answer: give mate on the h-file!

26...Bxc5 27.d7!! Nxd7 28.Qh2 f6 29.Bxc5 Nxc5 30.Qh8+ Kf7 31.Be8+! resigns.

Better to give up than submit to 31... Qxe8 32.Nd6+ or 31...Ke7 32.Qxg7+.