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THE 23RD Richmond Rapidplay, organised by Richmond Junior Chess Club, took place on Sunday 18 April with 95 players in four sections.

The Open was stronger than usual, with a grandmaster and six international masters among the 27 entrants. While GM Aaron Summerscale was bombing out on just 4/6, it was left to the six IMs to fight it out. Andrew Ledger took the event by the scruff of the neck, winning his first five games including consecutive defeats of fellow IMs Alex Cherniaev (Russia), Saevar Bjarnarson (Iceland) and Richard Bates before a quick draw in the last round with Gavin Wall to romp home on 5.5/6. He was followed by Bjarnarson 5 and Gavin Wall and IM Simon Williams 4.5.

In the small Major - 14 players - Andrew Bigg was first on 5/6; David Bates made 5/6 in the Intermediate and Trevor Pettit and Ivan Sayer shared first place in the Minor on 5/6.

The next Richmond Rapidplay will be on 6 June (Richard James, 0181-898 0362/1190, or rjcc@globalnet.co.uk).

By its very nature, you can get away with a lot more at Rapidplay than at a slower time limit. Take this extraordinary game from the Major.

I'd never seen this amazing gambit before but it obviously packs a serious punch at a fast time limit. In fact I did find four games in a big database, all with a Mr D. Frank as White in the Pinneberg (which, I discovered is a little north of Hamburg) Open in different years.

My feeling would be to return a second pawn as soon as possible and somewhat churlishly (I hope I'm not spoiling Mr Faldon's fun too much either) N. Meyberg did so in a game against D. Frank in the Pinneberg Open 1992 with 7 ...d5 8 Bxd5 c6 9 Bb3 Bb4 10 Qf3 Be6 11 Bd2 Bxc3 12 bxc3 N8e7 13 0-0 0- 0 14 Qd3 c5 15 f4 Rc8 16 Bc4 Bxc4 17 Qxc4 cxd4 18 Qxd4 Qxd4+ 19 cxd4 Rxc2 and Black won easily.

8 ...d5 9 Bxd5 (9 exd6 Nf6) 9 ...Be6 10 Bxb7 Rb8 11 Bc6+ Kf8 is also possible. As played, though, White got a huge attack. If 13 ...c6 14 f5 d5 15 exd6 Qxd6 16 fxg6 hxg6 17 Rae1 White is better. 14 ...d5? lost. 14 ...Nf8 also looks bad after 15 f6 Qa3 16 Rf3! Ng6 17 Rg3 Qf8 18 Rxg6+ hxg6 19 Qxg6+ Kh8 20 Bxf7 and there seems to be no defence to Ra1-f1-f4-h4xh6+. So perhaps 14 ...Nh4 or 14 ...Nh8 to leave f8 free for the queen; but I still believe White.

White: Dave Faldon

Black: Douglas Hogan

Four Knights

1 Nc3 e5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 e4 Nf6

4 Nxe5?!? (see



5 d4 Ng6

6 e5 Ng8

7 Bc4 Bb4!?

8 Qf3 Qe7

9 0-0 Bxc3

10 bxc3 Nh6

11 Qd3 0-0

12 Bxh6 gxh6

13 f4 Rd8!?

14 f5 d5?

15 exd6 cxd6

16 fxg6 hxg6

17 Qxg6+