Thursday, September 1, 2016

French Defence vs DLP Ballard

DLP Ballard from Oklahoma is a Life member of the USCF who earned the National Master title. He and I played postal games almost every year from 1978 to 1982. DLP won the first game with 1.g3 in what was basically a Reversed Pirc Defence. Duncan Suttles was famous at that time for playing 1.g3. Grandmaster Suttles was very active. Usually Suttles played 1.e4, but if not he chose 1.g3, 1.c4 or 1.Nc3.

My early loss vs DLP Ballard occurred when I was very much in the learning phase of my chess skills and experience. All the rest of my games vs DLP Ballard were drawn.

When I wrote to someone every week for months, I might have ongoing conversations. DLP Ballard was a friendly guy. Sometimes we would chat. I was curious and asked him one time what the “DLP” stood for. As I recall he said, “D La Pierre Ballard”. He said his first name was just the letter “D”. I think he signed his postcards “D”. Very nice.

Since he was rated over 2200 in tournament play, I am guessing that he was stronger face to face than via correspondence. Still he was a pretty good postal chess player for several years. This was the only game where I had White. We reached a critical variation of the French Defence Tarrasch after 3.Nd2 c5.

I traded off both my bishops for both of his knights. Then we mixed things up. After multiple exchanges I had a queen and a pawn for his two rooks. We agreed to a draw when we could have repeated moves.

Sawyer (2100) - Ballard (2050), corr APCT 1980 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Ngf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0 Nge7 9.Nb3 Bd6 10.Bg5 0-0 11.Re1 a6 12.Bxc6 [12.Bd3!?] 12...bxc6 13.Bxe7 Bxe7 14.Nbd4 Bd7 15.Ne5 Bf6 16.Ndxc6 Bxc6 17.Nxc6 Qd6 18.Nd4 Qb4 19.Nc6 Qxb2 20.Qxd5 Qxa1 [20...Qb5 21.Rad1=] 21.Rxa1 Bxa1 22.g3 Bc3 23.Qc5 Bf6 24.a4 g6 25.Ne7+ [25.Qb6+/=] 25...Bxe7 26.Qxe7 Rfe8 27.Qb7 Reb8 28.Qc7 Rc8 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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