A Story of the Game Without A Story
By Life Master Lonnie Kwartler

Joseph Tamargo
Joseph Tamargo

According to Sam Sloan, Grandmaster Andy Soltis resigned in a won position. Sam was searching for the game for years and finally obtained it from Pal Benko. Joe Tamargo won the game and the Marshall Championship of 1976. Sam presented his claim to an e-mail group. John Fernandez claimed Soltis only resigned a drawn position. Sam decided that with best play the position was drawn. I claimed that Soltis was lost when he resigned and showed analysis. Sam said that the game was analyzed years ago and recently by many masters and none presented my idea of how to play the position. He added that without Soltis, as a grandmaster, resigning in a won position, there was no story. Larry Parr called me an evil analytical genius for spoiling his hopes of adding the game to his collection of mistaken resignations. I expected comments about the position, not about me. Okay, I analyzed the position, so one out of three is not bad for e-mail name calling. Actually, I concluded that Andy could have made Joe play on even though he was lost. Is that a mistaken resignation? Each player has to decide when to resign. That is often more difficult to do than just playing on in the hope that the opponent will make the decision easier. Let the readers decide the resignation question of this game and question the analysis. Then it will be decided if the game has a story.

Soltis,Andy - Tamargo,Joseph [C91]
Marshall Chess Club Championship, New York (9), 28.03.1976

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.d4 d6 9.c3 Bg4 10.a4 exd4 11.cxd4 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Na5 13.Bc2 c5 14.Nc3 b4 15.Ne2 Qb6 16.Ng3 g6 17.d5 Nd7 18.f4 Bf6 19.Qg4 Qc7 20.e5 dxe5 21.Ne4 Bg7 22.f5 b3 23.Bb1 Nc4 24.fxg6 hxg6 25.Ng5 Nd6 26.Qh4 Nf6 27.Rxe5 Qd7 28.h3 Nh5 29.Re6 Rae8 30.Rxg6 fxg6 31.Bxg6 Re1+ 32.Kg2 Bd4 33.Bh7+ Qxh7 34.Nxh7 Rxf2+ 35.Qxf2 Bxf2 36.Kxf2 Rd1 37.Ng5 Nf6 38.Ne6 c4 39.Nc7 a5 40.Ke2 Rh1 41.Ke3 Kf7 42.Kd4 Nd7 43.Nb5 Rd1+ 44.Ke3 Nf5+ 45.Ke2 Rh1 46.Rb1 Ne5 47.Na3 Rh2+ 48.Kd1 Nf3 49.Bf4 Rf2

White resigned after 49...Rf2. See the first Diagram. 50.Nxc4 [50.Nb5 c3 51.bxc3 (51.Nxc3 N5d4-+) 51...Rf1+ 52.Ke2 Rxb1 53.Kxf3 Rf1+-+ Kwartler] 50...N5d4 51.Ne5+ Nxe5 52.Bxe5 Nf3! [52...Rf1+ 53.Kd2 Rxb1 54.Bxd4 Sloan. See the second Diagram. A) 54...Rh1 55.Bc3 (55.Bb6 Rh2+ 56.Kc3 Rxh3+ 57.Kc4 Rh4+ 58.Kb5 Ke7 59.Bc5+ Kd7 60.Kxa5 Rh5 61.Kb5 Rxd5 62.Kc4 Rd2 63.Bd4=) 55...Ra1 56.Bd4 (56.Bxa5 Rxa4=) 56...Rh1; B)

54...Ra1 55.Kc3 Rxa4 56.Bb6 (56.h4 Ke7 57.h5 Ra1 58.Kxb3 Rh1 59.Bc3 Rxh5 60.Kc4 a4=) 56...Rh4 57.Bxa5 Rxh3+= JFernandez; 52...Nc2 53.Rc1 Kg6 54.Bc7 (54.Bc3 Kf5 55.Bxa5 Ke5 56.Bb6 Rg2 57.a5 Kxd5 58.a6 Kc4 59.a7 Kd3-+) 54...Kf5 55.Bb6 Rg2 56.d6 Ke6 57.Bc7 Kd7 58.h4 Rh2 59.h5 Rh1+ 60.Kd2 Rxh5 61.Kc3 Rc5+ 62.Kd2 Kc6 63.Rh1 Rc4 64.Rh7 Rxa4 65.Kc3 Rd4 66.Kxb3 Ne3 67.Bxa5 Rxd6 +/=Kwartler] 53.Bc3 [53.Rc1 Rd2#] 53...Rf1+ [53...Ke7 54.Be1 (54.Bxa5 Rf1+ 55.Ke2 Rxb1 56.Kxf3 Rxb2 57.Ke4 Rh2-+) 54...Rc2 55.Bxa5 Kd6 56.Rc1 Rxb2 57.Rc3 Nd4 58.Kc1 Ra2 59.Kb1 Rxa4 60.Bb6 Kxd5 61.Bxd4 Rxd4 62.Rxb3 Rd2 63.Kc1 Rh2 64.Kd1 Ke4 65.Ke1 Kf4 66.Kf1 Kg5 67.Kg1 Ra2=] 54.Ke2 Rxb1 55.Kxf3

55...Rc1 Compare the position of White's King now (in the third Diagram) with the diagram of the position analyzed by Sloan and Fernandez. Now the idea is to keep the b3-pawn and if possible the a-pawn. 56.Be5 [56.Bxa5 Rc2 57.Bb6 (57.Bc3?? Rxc3+-+) 57...Rxb2-+; 56.Bd4 Rc4 57.Ke4 Rxa4 A) 58.Ke5 Rc4 59.d6 (59.h4 a4-+) 59...a4 60.Kd5 a3 61.Kxc4 a2-+; B) 58.Kd3 58...Ke7 59.h4 Kd6 B1) 60.Kc3 Kxd5 B1a) 61.Bb6 Rc4+ 62.Kd3 (62.Kxb3 Rb4+-+) 62...a4-+; B1b) 61.Bf6 61...Rf4 62.Bd8 Rf3+ 63.Kd2 a4-+; B2) 60.h5 60...Kxd5 61.Bg7 Rh4 62.h6 Rh3+ 63.Kd2 Kc4 B2a) 64.Ke2 Rh2+ B2a1) 65.Kd1 Kd3 66.Ke1 a4 67.Kf1 Rxh6-+ (67...Kc2-+; 67...a3 68.bxa3 Rxh6-+) ; B2a2) 65.Kf3 65...a4 66.Kg3 Rxh6-+; B2b) 64.Bf8 64...a4 65.Bg7 Rh2+ 66.Ke3 Rxh6 67.Bxh6 a3-+] 56...Rc4 57.Ke3 [57.Kg3 Rxa4 58.h4 Re4 59.Bc7 a4-+; 57.Bc3?? Rxc3+-+; 57.Bg3 Rxa4 58.h4 Rd4 59.d6 a4-+] 57...Rxa4 58.Kd3 Rh4 59.Bd6 [59.Bc3 a4-+] 59...Kf6 60.Bc5 [60.Bc7 Ke7 61.d6+ Kd7 62.Kc3 a4 63.Kd3 Kc6 64.Kc3 Rxh3+ 65.Kb4 Rh4+ A) 66.Ka5 a3-+; B) 66.Kc3 Rh8 67.Kb4 Ra8 68.Kc4 Kd7 69.Kb4 a3 70.Kxb3 (70.bxa3 b2-+) 70...a2-+; C) 66.Ka3 66...Rd4 67.Bb8 Kb5 68.Bc7 Rd1-+] 60...Ke5 61.d6 Ke6 62.Ba3 Kd7 63.Kc3 a4 64.Bc5 Kc6 65.Ba3 Rxh3+ 66.Kc4 Rh4+ 67.Kc3 Rh7 68.Kb4 Ra7 69.Kc4 Rb7 70.Kd4 [70.Bb4 Rb5 A) 71.Ba3 Rd5 72.Bb4 Rd1 73.Ba3 Rd2 A1) 74.Bb4 Rc2+ 75.Bc3 Kxd6 (75...Rc1 76.Kb4 Ra1 77.Be5 Kd7 78.Kb5 Ke6 79.Bc3 Kxd6 80.Bb4+ Kd5 81.Ba3 Kd4 82.Kxa4 Kc4 83.Ka5 Rxa3++-) 76.Kb4 Kd5 77.Kxa4 Kc4-+; A2) 74.Kb4 74...Rxd6 75.Kxa4 Rd3-+; B) 71.d7 71...Rd5 72.Bc3 Rxd7 73.Kb4 Ra7 74.Bd4 Ra8 75.Bf6 a3 76.bxa3 Rb8+ 77.Ka5 b2-+] 70...Rb5 71.Kc4 Rd5 72.Kb4 Rxd6 73.Kxa4 Rd3 74.Bb4 Kd5 75.Kb5 Rf3 76.Ba5 Rf8 77.Bc3 Rb8+ 78.Ka4 Kc4 79.Ka5 Forced to avoid mate. 79...Kd3 80.Ka4 Kc2-+ Kwartler 0-1

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page