BOBCH #4: Dely vs. Boey (1974)

By now, there are several thousands of games on this site. How is one supposed to find games that are interesting? The answer is that one is not. One can, from now, look at the Best Of Belgian Chess History posts to find some of the more interesting ones. One can even make suggestions to the webmaster. One is very lucky, indeed.

The scene:

It’s the beginning of the seventies. The chess world is in deep shock, for a Belgian has earned the IM title! Yes indeed, after convincing performances on Belgium’s first board in the 1970 and 1972 olimpiad, Boey has gained the master title. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also doing very well in the correspondence world championship. People in the Netherlands have noticed this, too, and decide to invite him for the IM group of the 14th IBM tournament. For Boey, this is a unique opportunity, because international tournaments don’t exist in Belgium. The first round pits him against the experiences Hungarian master Dely.

The protagonists:

White: IM Péter Dely, 40 years old, rating: 2470

Dely had already had a distinguished career by this point. Just a few years before he had won the highly prestigious Hungarian championship. A regular member of the national team, he has helped it win a silver and a bronze medal in the European team championship. Among his most notable individual results were victories in the classic Reggio Emilia tournament, as well as in the Rubinstein memorial in Polanica Zdrój. As a curiosity, he had also won the first ever tournament to count for the official FIDÉ rating in Luxembourg in 1971. According to, Dely reached a peak of the 71st palce in the world.

Black: IM Jozef Martin Boey, 40 years old, rating: 2435

Boey was about as old as Dely and had about the same rating, but he had played far fewer international tournaments. He had mainly built his reputation in the olimpiads – he had already played six – and two zonal tournaments. This lack of international appearances was due to the fact that Boey never became a professional player. This is also why he focused on correspondence chess. In this discipline, he had already finished second and shared second in two European correspondence championships and was still in the running to win the world championship.

Why did I choose this game?

It shows Boey in superior form, wielding his favourite Chigorin defence as a terrifying weapon. His experienced Hungarian opponent gets a bit too greedy in the opening and is immediately squashed like a third-class player.

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