Mirroring the Opponent's Opening, Centralizing and Setting Traps

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In a tournament in Puerto Rico in 1983, I had Black against Manuel Moraza, ex-champion of my country and a very strong player. I had not played actively in 5 years, and this was the last round of a 5-round weekend Swiss. So I played his favorite Taimanov Sicilian, although I really never studied the opening. I was playing, as they say "by ear".

I was able to produce a good game. Grandmaster Julio Bolbochán ( He has victories against Euwe, Larry Evans and Ludek Pachman) visited Puerto Rico the next year, and Mr. Moraza showed him the game. Mr. Bolbochán liked it! So here it goes.


How did I win this game?

1) By surprising my opponent by playing his own favorite opening.

2) By countering his inexact moves with the opening of the centre and centralizing my pieces.

3) By setting two traps into which he fell.