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The Independent Culture
ON TUESDAY, I discussed my Bundesliga team Solingen's collapse last Sunday in the final shoot-out against Porz of Cologne. My own game, White against Ulf Andersson, was a rather colourless draw in just 21 moves. I had quite an interesting battle on the Saturday though, which, in the shape of a vicious swindle, may illustrate why Grandmasters generally triumph against weaker opposition in the end: but also demonstrates the great strength of even considerably lower rated players today - Mr Kummerow is just 2,305.

In the opening 13 c3 b6 14 Qh4 is quite common but I thought that 13 Qh4 was inaccurate and so tried to punish it with 13 ...c4?!. Not 14 Bxc4? Be7! but two moves later if 16 ...Be7 17 Qe4 hits the rook - though 16 ...g5 17 Qe4 Bb7 18 Qe2 g4 19 Nh4 is interesting.

As played, I was a pawn down for minimal compensation and after 20 Re1! preparing 21 Nf1 had almost nothing.

28 fxe3! was excellent - after 28 Rxe3 Rd5 Black's fine - and 28 ...h5? (I should have played 28 ...Qc6) just induced a strong reply in 29 Qh4! 30 Qf4 gave me some hope - 30 Rf1 looks even better - and after avoiding the hideous 32 ...exd4? 33 Qf6+ Kg8 34 exd4 Rxd4? 35 Re7 Rd1+ 36 Kg2 Qc4 37 Qxf7+ Qxf7 38 Rfxf7 I decided in time trouble to chance my arm with 36 ...exd4!? when 37 Qxe7 Rxe7 38 exd4 (if 38 cxd4 f5!?) 38 ...Rc6 39 Rf3 Rc4 40 a5 Ra4 is fine for Black. But he correctly played 37 Rxf7+! to reach an ending where the connected passed pawns are very potent.

If 43 ...Rc2 44 d5! when Kf7 fails to 45 d6 threatening 46 Qe7+. Towards the end, White should win if he can safely get his king to g5. So if 46 d5? Kh6! pre-empting White. Not 47 h3?? R2f5! 48 exf5 g5 mate! But 48 h3! looked very strong.

50 ...Kh6 51 Qh8+ Kg5 52 Qd8+ Kh6 looked like a draw but I couldn't resist 50 ...Rff2 when 51 g4! hxg4+ 52 Kxg4 is still quite good for White.

51 Kh4?? was a gross blunder since after my reply White loses by force. If 53 Kh3 Rff2 54 Qc1+ Rd2 55 Qg1 g5 wins; or 53 Qc1+ g5+ 54 Kh3 Rf6! (threatening 55 ...Kg6 and 56 ...g4+) 55 e5 Rb6 56 a5 Kg6! etc.

White: Heiko Kummerow

Black: Jon Speelman

Caro Kann Defence