Chess

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SUSAN Arkell tells a sad tale from the Seville Open.

White: J Martin

Black: S Arkell

As this game begins, a man rushes up to tell me of a perishable surprise he has for me in his car.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. 0-0 0-0 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 h6 11. Be3 Re8 12. h3?

This lessens pressure against d5 by putting the pawn on a square attacked by Black's bishop.

12 . . . Bd6 13. Qd2 Qe7?

Instead Bd7 and Qc8 would have put pressure on h3, with Re5 and Rh5 adding to the attack.

14. Bf4 Bb4 15. Ndb5

Threatening Nc7. The man with the present in his car is already sighing and looking at his watch.

15 . . . Ba5 16. Qd1 Rd8 17. Nd4 Be6 18. Be3 Qd7 19. Kh2 Rac8 20. Rc1 Bc7 21. Na4 Qe7 22. Nxc6 bxc6 23. Bxa7?

23. Rxc6 Bxg3+ is worse, but this is also a misjudgment. White should play Nc5 or Bc5.

23 . . . Bxg3+ 24. fxg3 Qxa7

White is now clearly worse.

25. Rc3 c5 26. R3f3 Ne4 27. Rf4 Qa5 28. Qc2 Nd6 29. Nc3 Nb5 30. Nxd5]?

I analyse 30 . . . Bxd5 31. Bxd5 Rxd5 32. Rxf7 Rg5 (to stop Qg6) when 33. Qc4 seemed strong. The man with the gift is now looking very impatient so I decide to take two pieces for the rook.

30 . . . Rxd5 31. Bxd5 Bxd5 32. Qf5 Be6 33. Qh5 Qxa2 34. b4 Nd4?

Careless. 34 . . . Nc3] would have kept a winning position.

35. R1f2 Nb3

Necessary to defend c5.

36. Rxf7 Bxf7 37. Qxf7+ Kh8 38. e4 Qb1 39. e5 Ra8]

39 . . . cxb4 40. e6 Rc1 41. e7 Rh1+ leads to nothing special.

40. h4 Ra1 41. Kh3 Qh1+?

I thought I was winning easily, but 41 . . . Qe4] is the way to do it.

42. Kg4 Qe4+ 43. Rf4 Qe2+ 44. Kf5 Qd3+

I had assumed that Nd4+ won here, but Rxd4 draws at once.

45. Kg4 Nd4 46. Kh5] Qe2+ 47. g4 Qxe5+ 48. g5 hxg5 49. hxg5 Rh1+ 50. Kg6 (see diagram)

Now I realise I have been careless again. 49 . . . Qe2+ would have won simply. I spend 30 minutes working out a win, relieved to find there still is one.

50 . . . Qd6+ 51. Rf6 Qxf6+] 52. gxf6 Rg1+ 53. Kh5 g6+ 54. Qxg6

Forced, since 54. Kh4 (54. Kh6 Nf5 mate) Nf3+ 55. Kh3 Ng5+ lost the queen anyway.

54 . . . Rxg6 55. Kxg6 cxb4 White resigns.

56. f7 Ne6 is hopeless. I am gloomily handed a wilted bunch of flowers.

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