Raymond Keene

Max Fuller

I am sorry to hear that the Australian master Max Fuller has died in Sydney at the age of 68. For about a decade Max was a fixture on the British chess scene and the high point of his career came when he was within just one move of tying for first prize in the British Championship, instead of sharing second. I was instrumental in the final outcome, since I was playing Black against Max in the last round. Had Max won, and my notes will reveal how this would have been possible, he would have shared first prize with fellow Antipodean, Bob Wade OBE. As it was, Wade won the championship outright. In 1975 Max also shared second place; he represented Australia many times in the Chess Olympiads, shared first prize in the Australian Championship and was appointed captain of their team in 1986. He was one of the heroes of Australian chess.
 
Fuller-Keene; British Championship, Coventry 1970; Tartakower Defence
 
1 Nf3 d6 2 d4 Bg4 3 h3 Bxf3 4 gxf3 Nd7 5 Bg2 Ngf6 6 f4 d5 White now proceeds to undermine Black’s centre with tremendous energy. 7 c4 c6 8 Nc3 Nb6 9 cxd5 cxd5 10 Qb3 e6 11 a4 a5 12 f5 Bb4 13 fxe6 fxe6 14 0-0 0-0 (diagram 1) White enjoys an excellent position, apart from the fact that his king is somewhat lacking in pawn shelter — one of the points of Black’s exchange of his queen’s bishop for White’s king’s knight. This factor comes to Black’s rescue in subsequent play. Whether it should have done is moot. 15 e4 Bxc3 16 bxc3 Nxe4 17 Rb1 Ra6 A clumsy development for the rook, but I saw no alternative way to proceed. In any case I had a cunning plan in mind. 18 c4 Qh4 19 Ba3 Rf6 20 cxd5 Nxd5 21 Qxb7 h6 This was my stellar idea, signalling the intention to sacrifice a whole rook to strike directly at White’s king.



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