Chess

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The Independent Culture
The founder and director of the 4 Nations Chess League looks wistfully back to the time when he could concentrate on his play instead of having to organise the matches too.

White: J Kristiansen

Black: C Dunworth

This game from the tournament in Obro, Copenhagen, a few years back is one I still hold dear. It is a good demonstration of the central role of pawn play.

1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Nf3 c6 4. b3 Nf6 5. Bg2 Nbd7 6. Bb2 Be7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. d3 a5 9. Nc3 Nc5 10. d4?]

10. Qc2 is more in keeping with the needs of the position. The move played loses time and limits the scope of the bishop on b2.

10 . . . Nce4 11. Nd2 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 b5 13. e4

This must have been his main idea in playing 10. d4, but this push in the centre is by no means clearly advantageous. Black's d-pawn is solidly supported, and the further advance e5 is not as strong as it might seem.

13 . . . Ba6 14. Re1 b4 15. Bb2 a4 16. e5 Nd7 17. c5

After 17. cxd5 cxd5 18. bxa4 Qa5 Black has an exquisite game with pressure down the

a-file, use of c4 and highly active minor pieces.

17 . . . f6 18. Nf3

I was hoping for 18. f4? fxe5 19. fxe5 a3 20. Bxc1 Nxc5] 21. dxc5 Bxc5+ when Black dominates the board. White's whole plan of e4 and e5 was superficially attractive, but the e- pawn ended as a target. His problem is that his pieces are not really pointing in the right direction for a K-side attack.

18 . . . a3 19. Bc1 f5

With the centre and Q-side now closed, Black plans an advance of the K-side pawns.

20. h4 h6 21. Kh2?

With his eye on the e6-pawn, White begins a plan to re-route his knight to f4 via g1 and h3, but he should first have bolstered his control of g5 with Be3 and Qd2.

21 . . . Qe8 22. Ng1 g5 23. Nh3 Qg6 24. Qd2 (see diagram)

Now after 24 . . . gxh4 25. Qxh6 or 24 . . . g4 25. Nf4 White has a fine game, but my next move completely cuts across his plans, breaking through to provide Black's major pieces with the action they have been seeking.

24 . . . f4] 25. gxf4

This may already be the losing move. 25. Rg1 would have been an improvement.

25 . . . g4] 26. f5

This jettisons a pawn to give the knight a square on f4. The miserable 26. Ng1 would have been bad enough after Bxh4, and probably disastrous after 26 . . . Qh5]

26 . . . Rxf5 27. Nf4 Qf7 28. f3?

With his strategy destroyed, and now facing the threat of Rf8, White falls apart completely.

28 . . . Bxh4 29. fxg4 Rxf4 30. Rh1 Bg5 31. Qxb4 Nxe5 White resigns.

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