Chess

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The Independent Culture
LIKE OTHER "artefacts", chess games can often, by virtue of the opening variation and more subtle pointers, be approximately dated, even without corroboratory evidence. But as today's pair of games, between the same two opponents but more than 20 years apart - Game 2 was in Tilburg in 1978 and Game 1 last week at the US Open in Reno Nevada - shows, it's a ticklish task.

In the English Defence, Black answers a Queen's Pawn Opening (or sometimes the English 1 c4) with ...e6 and a very quick ...b6 and Bb7. It can lead to many manic lines, none more so than this one.

Black gets a reasonable position if White plays 9 hxg8+? Kxg8, but Walter Browne was the first to show that, by leaving the pawn on h7, White retains a huge attack.

The diagram position is treated in detail in The English Defence by Keene, Plaskett and Tisdall, published by Batsford in 1987 - sadly long out of print; and also a booklet for Hull Chess Club by Otto Hardy (details from E.W. Fisher, PO Box 112, Hull HU9 3PZ) where he recommends 11...Bf3!?.

In Game 1 16 0-0-0! was tremendous. If 17...Nd5 18 cxd5 Bxd5 19 Qg4! is very strong. Miles was on the ropes throughout - not for example 33...Kxc6? 34 Be4+. However, he held on and, at the end, Black can reach the dead drawn ending with king against bishop and "wrong coloured rook's pawn".

In Game 2, 12...Kf7? was bad - 12...e5 was much the better option; and White was already winning after 18 f4. At the end of the game, if 28...Kxc6 29 Qd7+ Kc5 30 Qd5+ Kb4 31 Qb5 mate or 28...Ka6 29 Bb5+ Ka5 30 a3.

White: Walter Browne

Black: Tony Miles

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