MARK RUBERY CHESS
During the 1958 Munich Olympiad, Wolfgang Heidenfeld and Kenneth Kirby were rivals representing the Springboks at this world team tournament. They both had differing pre-tournament strategies as to how they would play against titled opponents: Heidenfeld preferred to take the fight his opponent, instilling murky complications at the first opportunity, whereas Kirby was content to hold the balance and perhaps escape with a draw. Their match against the fancied American team was a chance for both these rivals to put their theories to the test.
With some vigourous play Heidenfeld grabbed the initiative from his opponent William Lombardy (who would soon become world junior champion and later a second of Fischer’s), but overestimated his chances and got his pieces into a terrible tangle on the queenside.
In contrast Kirby was navigating calm waters when peace was concluded in a roughly equal position. Bisguier seemed content with the result as his team mate Larry Evans seemed to be going down in flames against Grivanis who was energetically pursuing the ‘Heidenfeld Plan’ (unfortunately Grivanis overreached and lost).
Here is how Kirby in a colourless, yet effective performance, achieved his aim much to the chagrin of his team mate!
Kirby,K - Bisguier,A [D13] Munich olm prel (6), 1958
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 e6 7.e3 Be7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.00 Nh5 10.Be5 f5 11.Rc1 Nf6 12.a3 Bd7 13.Bf4 Ne4 14.Ne5 g5 15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.Be5 Bf6 17.Bxf6 Rxf6 18.f4 gxf4 19.Rxf4 Ng5 20.Rf2 Be8 21.Rfc2 Rh6 22.Qe1 Bh5 23.Ne2 Bxe2 24.Qxe2 Qd6 25.g3 Rh3 26.Qf2 Rh6 27.Bf1
Heidenfeld felt so strongly that Kirby was fortunate to draw that he proposed a correspondence match of eight games from the final position in order to seek the truth of the matter!
Whatever conclusions might one draw from all this? Perhaps that there were more interesting and passionate characters on the chess scene in those days...
Once when Blackburne was giving a simultaneous exhibition, his opponent had ordered and just been served a glass of whisky. Instead of making his move, Blackburne drank the whiskey and went on to the next board. How I would have loved to have known him personally!’ - Tony Santasiere