Nigel Bloch was one of South Africa’s greatest players and one of a, not inconsiderable, number of local players whose talent never had the opportunity to blossom (I would include Roger Schackis, Donald MacFarlane, Kevin and Michael O’Sullivan to name a few who would have had the potential to become grandmasters). At the 1973 World Junior, Bloch was discussing with the Rhodesian representative Victor Strugo (who later became an IM in food appraisal) what to do against the very theoretically astute English International Master Michael Stean in his next game. It was concluded that 1 a3 is sort of like playing ‘Black’ with an extra tempo and might have the surprise value to knock Stean off his stride.
Bloch,N - Stean,M [A00] World Junior Chess ch XII Final A Teeside (3), 1973 1.a3 (Tony Miles was playing in the same tournament and in less than a decade later he inflicted a famous defeat on the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov as Black with 1 e4 a6!?–perhaps inspired by the defeat of his compatriot to an unknown South African) …g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nxc3 7.dxc3 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 Nd7 9.Kc2 Nc5 10.Bh3 h5 11.Bxc8 Rxc8 12.Be3 Ne4 13.Nf3 c5 14.Nd2 Nd6 15.f3 b5 16.Bf2 0–0 17.a4 b4 18.cxb4 cxb4+ 19.Kb3 a6 20.Rac1 Bh6 21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Rd1 f5 23.Bb6 Bxd2 24.Rxd2 Kf7 25.Rc2 Rxc2 26.Kxc2 (The mass of exchangesmight appear to be a drawing mechanism from the lower-rated player when in fact it is the transition to an extremely promising Bv N ending) .... Nc4 27.Bc5 Ke6 28.b3 Kd5 29.Bxb4 Ne3+ 30.Kd2 Nf1+ 31.Ke1 Ne3 32.Bxe7
Nc2+ 33.Kd2 Nd4 34.b4 Kc4 35.Bf8 Nc6 36.Ke3 Nxb4 37.Kf4 a5 38.Kg5 Kb3 39.e4 fxe4 40.fxe4 Kxa4 41.e5 Kb5 42.Bxb4 axb4 43.e6 Kc6 44.Kf6 b3 45.e7 Kd7 46.Kf7 1–0
Bloch stopped playing tournaments at the end of the 70’s although a database reveals a correspondence game of his played in 1994.
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN SEE DIAGRAM