Tuesday 15 September 1998
After some considerable blood-letting, the 10-team first division was won by Barcino, from Terrassa, headed by Alexei Shirov on 24/36 ahead of Miguel Illescas's team Gracienca (Barcelona) on 22.5.
I fear that my team, the splendidly named Centro Goya-Villa de Teror from the Gran Canarias was cool last on just 10.5. Originally, we intended to have the Argentine Grandmaster Daniel Campora on second board, but we were late in registering him, and Federations will be Federations... We were joined for the drop by Olivar (Saragosa) and Vulca (Barcelona). If you recall, last Friday I described the the Endesa team's ploy of deliberately defaulting the top board against Olivar: this helped them just avoid relegation.
I had an abysmal tournament. True the top board isn't easy - we averaged 2582 - but there was no reason to lose to Lautier, Illescas and - from a won position --Romero. And as for my supremely publishable last-round loss to Orestes Rodriguez. I shall present it for your (if not my) delectation in a few days. Still I did beat Arencibia (Cuba). And I played one decent game against Alexei Shirov.
In the opening, 7...Nbd7 weakened c6 - I thought 7...e6 might be better. Still I had very little until he played 14...Qe7?! - he should take on f3 first. Instead of 18...a5?, 18...Nb8 wouldn't have been too bad. After 20.Nxd5! he'd missed that if 20...Rxc1+ 21.Bxc1 exd5 22.Nc6! wins. 21...Bxd2 was the best chance for if 21...Bxa5 22.Rxf8+ Nxf8 23.Bxa5; or 21...Rxc8 22.Qxb4 Rc1+ 23.Kh2.
22...g6! was the only move. If 22...Nhf6 23.Nf5 Qb4 24.Rxf8+ Nxf8 25.Rb8 Qc5 26.Qb6! Qa3 27.Qb2! Qa7! 28.Qe5! wins.
The rest was very sharp. One of the many beautiful lines which disturbed my sleep that night goes 25...Nf6 26.d4 Qc1+ 27.Kh2 Nd7 28.Qd6 Be1! 29.Rc8!! when a) 29...Qb1 30.Rxf8+!! Nxf8 31.Ne7+ Kg7 32.Qe5+ f6 33.Qc7 Kh8 34.Qd8 Kg7 35.Nxd5 Kg8 36.Qe7 Qb8+ 37.Kg1! b) 29...Kg7 30.Rxf8! Bxf2 31.Rxf7+ Kxf7 32.Qxd7+ Kf8 33.Qd6+ Kg7! 34.Qe5+ Kh6 35.Qf4+ Kg7 36.Qxf2.
He'd missed 29.Nd8! and should have taken my knight on c6 either with or without checking on c1 - though my initiative should be decisive in either case.
White: Jon Speelman
Black: Alexei Shirov
Salamanca (round 7) 1998
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
JK Rowling's Harry Potter Halloween stories: Dolores Umbridge was based on real person she 'disliked intensely'
Best horror films of all time
Benedict Cumberbatch describes the 'explosive' Sherlock sex scene that will never happen
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Halloween 2014: The horror films and scary TV to watch on Netflix
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything