Serious, but friendly – a further postscript

As I mentioned in my previous post on this subject, another response to my original article about Milner-Barry’s private games came from GM Ray Keene. He provided the scores of two games he played against Milner-Barry, again played at the latter’s home in Blackheath, in 1980. As one might expect, given their relative ages and strengths, Ray won both games. As Black, the game was a tame affair, with Milner-Barry blundering away a piece in a quiet ending, but the other game was a real slugfest, and a far cry from Ray’s reputation for quiet positional manoeuvering in flank openings. His comment to me was that he was far from sure how sound all the sacrifices were, but it was certainly a fun game!

White: Ray Keene

Black: Sir Stuart Milner-Barry

Blackheath 1980

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. d4 g4 5. Bxf4 gxf3 6. Qxf3

This close relation of the famous Muzio Gambit is apparently known as the Rosentreter-Testa Gambit. It certainly “tests” Black’s willingness to defend!

6…d6 7. Bc4 Qh4+ 8.Bg3 Qf6 9. Qd3 Be6 10. Nc3 Ne7 11. Rf1 Qg5 12. Bf4 Qh4+ 13. g3 Qh5 14. Nb5 Na6

15. Bxd6!? c6?

Now Black is just clearly worse. For better or worse, he had to accept the second piece offering.

16. Be5 Ng6 17. Bxh8 Bxc4 18. Qxc4 Nxh8 19. Rf5 Qg6 20. Re5+ Kd7 21. Nc3 Bd6 22. Rf5 Qh6

23. e5 Re8 24. Ne4 Qe3+ 25. Qe2 Qxe2+ 26. Kxe2 Be7 27.Rh5 Ke6 28. Rf1 c5

29. Nf6 Bxf6 30. Rxf6+ Kd7 31. c3 cxd4 32. cxd4 Nc7 33. Rxh7 Ne6 34. Ke3 1-0

The sort of splendid, 19th-century throwback of a game, that Milner-Barry loved, regardless of the result. I am grateful to Ray Keene for drawing it to my attention.

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