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BEFORE EMBARKING upon this column, all I really knew about the Mexican Carlos Torre was that he had beaten the great Emanuel Lasker at Moscow in 1925 by virtue of this archetypal "Mill":

After 25 Bf6!! Qxh5 26 Rxg7+ Kh8 27 Rxf7+ Kg8 28 Rg7+ Kh8 29 Rxb7+ Kg8 30 Rg7+ Kh8 31 Rg5+ Kh7 32 Rxh5 Kg6 33 Rh3 Kxf6 34 Rxh6+ Kg5 35 Rh3, Torre won eight moves later.

In fact, The Oxford Companion to Chess informs me that Torre (1908-78) was born in Yucatan and moved with his family to New Orleans in 1915. He was the best chess player in Louisiana by 1924 and played quite successfully in Europe in 1925. While he was competing in Chicago in 1926, he received two letters in the same post, informing him both that he was not going to have a job at the National University in Mexico and that his fiancee had married another! He suffered a nervous breakdown and never played serious chess again.

The 12th Carlos Torre Memorial has just taken place in Yucatan. On 14-21 December, the powerful 102-player Open was splendidly dramatic, with the Cuban Reynaldo Vera starting the ninth and last round clear first on 6.5/8, ahead of a group of nine players on 6. Vera drew (as Black against Michal Krasenkow (Poland)), but there was copious bloodshed elsewhere, including England's Tony Miles' victory against the Hungarian IM Peter Horvath, somewhat ironically as Black against the "Torre Attack" 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5.

In the end Miles, Vera, Francisco Vallejo (Spain) and Gilberto Hernandez (Mexico) were first equal on 7/9, with Miles first on tie-break.

This is one of his wins. Black played horribly in the opening, and Tony soon reached an absolutely delightful ending. At the end, White will win by trundling his king to g6. Black cannot follow, since then the a pawn would drop off.

Tony Miles v

Roberto Martin del Campo

Yucatan 1999 (Round 4)

Modern Defence 1 d4 d6 2 e4 g6 3 Nf3 Bg7 4 Be2 e5 5 Bg5 Ne7 6 Nc3 h6 7 Be3 Nbc6 8 dxe5 Nxe5 9 Nxe5 Bxe5 10 Qd2 Bg7 11 0-0-0 Be6 12 Kb1 a6 13 Bd4 f6 14 f4 h5 15 Bf3 Qd7 16 Nd5 Nxd5 17 exd5 Bf5 18 Rhe1+ Kf7 19 Qb4 b6 20 Qc4 a5 21 h3 h4 22 Bf2 Rae8 23 Rxe8 Kxe8 24 Re1+ Kd8 25 Be4 g5 26 Bxf5 Qxf5 27 Qc6 Qd7 28 Qa8+ Qc8 29 Qxc8+ Kxc8 30 f5 Rg8 31 Re4 Kd7 32 Kc1 Bh8 33 Kd2 Re8 34 Rxe8 Kxe8 35 Kd3 Kd7 36 Kc4 c5 37 dxc6+ Kxc6 38 a4 Bg7 39 Bd4 Bh8 40 b3 Bg7 41 Bb2 Bh8 42 Bc3 Bg7 43 Bd4 Bh8 44 c3 d5+ 45 Kd3 b5 46 Ke3 1-0