It’s a race. How fast can you bring out your pieces? In this Bird’s Opening I felt I was running uphill as White. Objectively I had good moves. I found a lot of them but not enough of them. The bottom line was my opponent Roger Peeples played very well.
After 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 g6 3.e3 Bg7, I could not play 4.b3. Therefore I went with the modest 4.Be2. Here 7.Nc3 would have been better. My pieces were cramped.
Black opened the center with 10…e5! He attacked my kingside. My plan to extricate myself was excruciatingly slow. Black came crashing through and smashing me flat. I could not avoid material loss. When it was over, I wished I had played his moves.
Roger Peeples played a beautiful game. It was just the type of win that I would enjoy if I were Black against the Bird. But I had White. We played another postal game four years later. That time I managed to win as White in a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit in 19 moves.
Sawyer (2100) - Peeples (2151), corr APCT 1982 begins 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Be2 Nf6 5.0-0 c5 6.d3 0-0 7.a4 [7.Nc3=] 7...Nc6 8.Ne5 [8.Qe1 Bf5=/+] 8...Nd7 [8...Qd6!=/+] 9.Nxd7 [9.Nxc6! bxc6 10.Nd2=] 9...Bxd7 10.Qe1 [10.Bf3!?; 10.Nc3!?] 10...e5! 11.fxe5 Bxe5 12.Nc3 [12.c3 Qe7=/+] 12...Be6 [12...Nb4-/+] 13.Bd2 d4 14.Nd1 Qd6 15.g3 Bh3 16.Rf2 f5 17.Bf1 Bg4 18.Be2 Bg7 19.Bxg4 fxg4 20.e4 Qe7 21.b3 Ne5 22.Kg2 Nf3 23.Qe2 Rf7 24.Nb2 Be5 25.Nc4 Bc7 26.Raf1 h5 27.Be1 h4 28.Nd2? [28.Rxf3 gxf3+ 29.Rxf3 Rxf3 30.Qxf3 Rf8-/+] 28...hxg3 29.hxg3 Bxg3 0-1
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