The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT COMICS - Mark Ru­bery To play a game of chess is re­ally just one way of car­ry­ing on an ar­gu­ment. – David Bron­stein

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.


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