Chess

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The Independent Culture
Britain's first-ever grandmaster, Tony Miles, came back to form in winning the Seville Open this year. He annotates his win from the last round.

White: A J Miles

Black: V Lalic

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. a3

A nice old move brought back into fashion by Kasparov. The plan is to stifle the bishop on b7 by playing d5, but without allowing Black to undermine White's whole centre with Bb4.

4 . . . Bb7 5. Nc3 g6 6. g3]

This is a new move and, I think, an important innovation. Usually White plays 6. d5, when Black obtains active play by bring his knight via a6 to c5. But what's the hurry? The pawn on d4 hampers the bishop on g7 and keeps the knight from c5. White can reserve the cramping d5 advance for later.

6 . . . d5

This must be a critical replay, putting a stop to White's thoughts of playing d5 himself, but it does not seem to solve Black's problems.

7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 Qxd5

Taking with the bishop is better, but White still preserves an edge.

9. Bg2 c5

Black meets the threat of Nh4 and hopes for simplifying exchanges, but he is falling dangerously behind in development.

10. 0-0 Bg7

After 10 . . . cxd4 11. Nh4 Qd7 12. Bxb7 Qxb7 13. Qxd4, the attack on the rook is embarrassing.

11. dxc5 Qxd1

Black understandably does not want to lose time with 11 . . . Qxc5 12. Be3, but the queen exchange fails to ease his position.

12. Rxd1 bxc5 13. Be3 Na6

With the pawns on c5 and a3 hindering its advance, the knight has little future here, but 13 . . . Bxb2 loses a piece to 14. Rab1, while 13 . . . Nd7 14. Ng5] threatens both Nxf7 and Ne4.

14. Ng5 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 Ke7

In view of the threat of Rd6, this was forced, but the king now becomes a target.

16. Ne4 Bxb2 (see diagram)

Played more in desperation than greed. After 16 . . . Rac6 17. Rd6, White has a winning advantage.

17. Rab1 Rhb8

Neither 17 . . . Bxa3 18. Rb7+ nor 17 . . . Rab8 18. Rxb2] Rxb2 19. Bg5+ Ke8 20. NBf6 offered any better chance of survival.

18. Bf4 e5

Instead 18 . . . Rb6 loses to 19. Rxb2 Rxb2 20. Bd6+ Ke8 21. Nf6+ Kd8 22. Be5+.

19. Bg5+ Kf8 20. Rd7 Kg7

The threat was 21. Bh6+ Kg8 22. Nf6+ Kh8 23. Rxf7 with mate to follow.

21. Bf6+ Kg8 22. Ng5 Rb6 23. Rxf7 resigns.

Despite the minimal force left on the board, White has a mating attack. A very satisfying game, with the advantage achieved in the opening flowing smoothly through to the end.

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