Click to follow
The Independent Culture
THE ANNUAL Guernsey Open finished a week ago today. The 70-player tournament, sponsored by Avon Insurance, ended in a tie between the Israeli international master Alexander Krays and Jim Plaskett on 6/7, half a point ahead of two Dutchmen, Dirk van Geet and Bram van Dijk, together with Juerg Herzog from Switzerland.

Plaskett, who now lives in Hastings, has since mid-July been haring around the country, playing practically if not every weekend, in the hope of improving his position in the race for the pounds 3,000 first prize in the Onyx Grand Prix.

The leader for some weeks after he took over from Mark Hebden, he was overhauled by Keith Arkell and Hebden after their splendid results at the Leeds Quickplay a fortnight ago; and although he gained 1.2 points in Guernsey, Plaskett is still behind. The current scores are: Arkell 190.2/200, Hebden 188.8 and Plaskett 186.6, way ahead of Colin Crouch, fourth on 171.5.

With less than two months left until the grand finale at the Islington Open the last weekend before Christmas, and only four other "Elite Events" - in which it's relatively easy to improve your score - in between, 3 or 4 points is a serious margin. But Plaskett may be able to gain on a technicality. Danny Gormally, whom he played at the Holy City International in Newcastle in October, may have his rating adjusted up by five points owing to an earlier administrative error. Should this be confirmed, then owing to the increase in his average opposition in Newcastle, Plaskett will receive a bonus, causing his score to rise to 188.3.

In any case, look out for fireworks before Christmas! For the moment though, here is the delightful game which Plaskett, now cast in the role of judge, deemed the "Most Brilliant" in Guernsey.

In the opening, I suspect that White should have captured 11 gxf4 when if 11... exf4? 12 e5 Nh5 13 e6! is good, while 11... Nh5 can be met by 12 f5! The attack started by 14... Qh5! turned out to be viciously strong.

If 15 hxg4 Bxg4 16 Qb3 (16 f3 fxg3) 16... f3 17 Bh1 Rf6 and mates. Again, if 16 hxg4 Bxg4 17 Bh1 Rf6 while 16 Bxf3 Qxh3 is murder. Of course, White couldn't capture 19 Rxf2 in view of Ne3+.

White: R Kirkwood

Black: EM White

Guernsey Open 1998

Leningrad Dutch

1 d4 f5

2 Nf3 g6

3 c4 Bg7

4 g3 Nf6

5 Bg2 d6

6 0-0 0-0

7 Nc3 Nc6

8 d5 Ne5

9 Nxe5 dxe5

10 e4 f4

11 b4 g5

12 Bb2 Qe8

13 Nb5 Ng4

14 h3 (see

diagram) Qh5!

15 Nxc7 f3!

16 Ne6 Bxe6

17 dxe6 fxg2

18 Kxg2 Rxf2+!

19 Kg1 Qxh3

20 Rxf2 Nxf2 0-1