Chess

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The Independent Culture
YESTERDAY, I gave John Nunn's quite spectacular loss against Igor Nataf in the French League at the beginning of April. As Nunn recounts in his excellent article in the British Chess Magazine (BCM), this was the first game which he had lost for 15 months and when his team mates ribbed him with comments such as "It'll probably win the Best Game Prize in Informator", he "began to worry that in 50 years' time I would only be remembered as the guy who lost to Nataf . . ."

Of course, this is utter nonsense. Indeed, Nunn himself played one of the greatest games of recent times against Alexander Beliavsky in Wijk aan Zee in 1985, the game which the panel voted second of all games in the first 64 Informators.

But a loss like the one against Nataf, however much you appreciate its aesthetic value, is deeply upsetting; and it's greatly to John's credit that he came back the very next day to play a splendid attacking game himself.

In the opening, Nunn confused his opponent with 3 c3 and after 4 ...d4 they entered relatively uncharted waters.

6 ...g5!? is quite logical since it menaces the e5 pawn though 6 ...Nge7 is more common. 10 Bxb7? Rb8 would have been very lame but of course Nunn wanted to attack. If 10 ...gxf3 11 Nxf3 Nc6 12 Ng5 Nf6 13 Qf3 yields a very strong attack. Nunn says that against 10 ...h6 he intended 11 Nxe6 Bxe6 12 fxe5 and that 10 ...Nc6 11 f5 exf5 12 Bxf5 Bxf5 13 Rxf5 Nf6 was probably best.

If 13 ...Nf6 14 Nd2 Bg7 15 Nde4 Nxe4 16 Nxe4 is very good, but Miezis had completely missed Nunn's splendid 14 Ne4!! in the diagram. The point is that if 14 ...Nxf5 15 Qa4+! wins the queen after either Qd7 16 Nf6+ or 15 ...Ke7 16 Bg5+.

16 Rf6! effectively trapped the h6 knight since if 16 ...Nhg8 17 Nd6+ Kd7 18 Qxg4+ etc. Certainly not 21 Nd6+? Rxd6 22 Rxd6 Qf4! trapping the rook in mid-board! But after 21 Nbd2 if then 21 ...Rxd3 22 Nd6+ simply wins and the rest was mopping up.

White: John Nunn

Black: Normunds Miezis

Sicilian Defence

jspeelman@compuserve.com

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 e6

3 c3 d5

4 e5 d4

5 Bd3 Nc6

6 0-0 g5!?

7 Be4 Bd7

8 d3 g4

9 Ng5 Nxe5

10 f4! Ng6?

11 f5 exf5

12 Bxf5 Bxf5

13 Rxf5 Nh6

(see diagram)

14 Ne4!! Bg7

15 Bg5 Ne7

16 Rf6! dxc3

17 bxc3 Qd5

18 Rd6 Qf5

19 Bxh6 Bxh6

20 Rxh6 0-0-0

21 Nbd2 Ng6

22 Qb3 Qd5

23 Qxd5 Rxd5

24 Rf1 Rf8

25 Rxh7 f5

26 Rh5 Kc7

27 Nc4 Ne7

28 Rh7 Kd7

29 Ne3 1-0

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