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Zoltan von Balla vs Richard Reti
Budapest (1918), Budapest HUN
Spanish Game: Schliemann Defense (C63)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-08  paladin at large: An amazing miniature - after 7. Ng5? Reti blows away all of the white king's kingside friends who had not run away. At the end, white's queenside is still sound asleep.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <paladin at large>An amazing miniature - after 7.♘g5? Reti blows away all of the white king's kingside friends who had not run away.

<paladin at large>,
7.exf5 was a better move - Reti takes full advantage of the Knight not being on f3. The final position is rather amusing - the lone White King totally surrounded by Black pieces.

click for larger view

Mar-13-11  DiscoJew: Glorious and beautiful game!
Oct-25-14  Albion 1959: I first came across this game back in 1981 in a book titled Test Your Chess Piece Power by JN Walker. Published by Oxford Books in 1980: Having seen this performance by Balla, it is difficult to imagine that he actually had a plus score against Reti !! Indeed the five games that they played were short games that were decisive: Reti's 8th move Qe7 was a deep move, that someone like Bronstein or Tal would play. However, in spite of all Reti's brilliance and imagination the concept and sacrifice were unsound. Balla had defensive resources avaliable to him, but failed to find under the increasing pressure of Reti's oncoming attack. It was not easy to find over the board, but on move 11 the prophylactic Re1! appears to hold back the immediate threats, notably Nxe4. A possible line could be
11.Re1 Nf3+
12.gxf Bxf3
13.Re3! fxe
14.fxe Ng4
White can fight back, it is still a difficult position to defend, but there is no quick knockout. It appears that white should give back some material to maintain the balance. Also 13.g3 and 15.Kg2 do not appear to do anything to hold the position. Finally, on move 18.
18. Bf7+ Kf8
19. Qb4 e4
20. Kxg3 Qh4+
21. Kf4 Bh5+
22. Ke3 Qg5+
The white king will be shot down in the crossfire of checks:
Jan-06-16  transpose: 7,,,f4 was the positional move of the game. 11…Nxe4 may be spectacular, but it is a logical outgrowth of 7..f4. Very instructive game by Reti.
Nov-26-16  thegoodanarchist: Balla Confusion

Mar-27-18  Retireborn: According to Gillam's 1916 booklet, this game was actually played in November/December 1916, probably round 2, of a 4 player double rr in Budapest, which was won by Breyer.

His source is Magyar Sakkvilag 1917, so it seems the game wasn't played in 1918 at least.

I think it may have been Golombek's book which put it 1918; there seems to have been a plethora of these small tournaments in Budapest in those years, so confusion is not surprising.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: Kalendovský, in his book on Reti, gives December 1916 for this game and speaks of the December tournament. He had no information on Reti's results or the final standings.

Kalendovský distinguishes that tournament from the October tournament, for which a cross-table is known. Adams, in his book on Breyer, states that this *October tournament* was played in November-December ...

Mar-27-18  Retireborn: <Telemus> Thanks for that. Gillam does have a cross-table, which he derives from the Algemeen handelsblad, but there's a query about one Balla v Breyer game and whether it was really played in this tournament, or not played at all.

Reti came third (out of four) with +1=2-3 according to the table, so this was his only win.

Accoding to Gillam only one game (Balla v Esser, not present here) has a specific date of November 15th.

Mar-27-18  Retireborn: Although he does give a specific date for one other game...

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