Chess

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EFFECTIVE chess is a mixture of fine strategy, tactical alertness and luck. While the brilliant finishes gain applause, it is the strategic play setting them up that deserves it. For good strategy constricts the opponent, setting the necessary conditions for the neat execution. But you may still need a little luck for the putative winning combination actually to win.

Andrew Martin's well-played win against Ali Mortazavi in the British Championship in Plymouth is a good illustration. White's strategy after the opening works to perfection: 9. a4 lures the Black pawn to b4, then 10. Na2 and 12. Bd2 force a5 to defend it. 13. c3 then led the White knight to b5, the square weakened by a5.

The positional advantages obtained by all this led to 18. Nd5] White regains his piece, but only some tactical accidents ensure that he wins a pawn too. The main point is that 22 . . . Bxd5 would be met by 23. R7xe5 when Bxf3 loses to Qxd8+.

When the dust settles, Black is a pawn behind, with apparently good chances to draw, but he loses his way between moves 27 and 30. Martin's 31. Rd5] was killing, setting the knight up for a variety of forks. At the end 39 . . . Re2 40. Nxe8+ Rxe8 41. a5 is an easy win.

/ET

White: Martin

Black: Mortazavi

1 Nf3 c5 21 Rc7 Qf5

2 e4 e6 22 Rxe7 e4

3 d4 cxd4 23 Bxe4 Nxe4

4 Nxd4 a6 24 R7xe4 Qxd5

5 Nc3 Qc7 25 Qxd5 Bxd5

6 Be2 b5 26 Re7 Bb3

7 0-0 Bb7 27 Nc3 g6

8 Bf3 d6 28 h3 Be6

9 a4 b4 29 Rb7 Rd4

10 Na2 Nf6 30 Re5 Bd7

11 Re1 Be7 31 Rd5 Rxd5

12 Bd2 a5 32 Nxd5 Be8

13 c3 bxc3 33 b3 Kg7

14 Nxc3 0-0 34 Nb6 Rd8

15 Ndb5 Qd7 35 Nc4 Rd1+

16 Bf4 Rd8 36 Kh2 Kf6

17 Rc1 Nc6 37 Nxa5 Rd2

18 Nd5 exd5 38 Nc4 Rxf2

19 exd5 Ne5 39 Nd6 1-0

20 Bxe5 dxe5

/ET

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