Chess

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The Independent Culture
IF JULIAN Hodgson retains the British Championship today, he will surely look back on his 8th round game with John Emms as the moment when it all came right. It is a wonderful scrap, full of brilliance and errors.

Hodgson's usual messy opening led to a very sharp middle- game which exploded with 21 . . . d5]? White can now maintain his bind with 22. Nxd5 Nxd5 23. Rxd5 Bc6 24. Bc4] but Hodgson's 22. e5? let Black sacrifice the exchange powerfully. The real action began with 30. Rxd7] c4]? (30 . . . Nxd7 31. Bc4 brings White back into the game) 31. Rxf7]] Now 31 . . . Kxf7 allows 32. Ne5+ Ke6 (Kg8 or Ke8 lose to f7+) 33. Bxc4+ Nxc4 34. Nxc4 when Black's king is the more exposed. So Emms won the queen with 31 . . . Ba3 32. Rg7+ Kf8 33. Rhxh7 Bxb2+ (33. . . Qc3+ achieves nothing after 34. Kd1).

With White now short of time, and Black desperately so, Hodgson now disdained the obvious 34. Kxb2 and played 34. Kd1] Emms played 34 . . . Qd5+? but immediately lost on time. After 35. Nd2] White wins anyway.

Instead, 34 . . . Bxf6] 35. gxf6 Qa1+ 36. Ke2 Qxf6 would have been a simple win for Black. Going back a move, however, 34. Kxb2] wins for White, whose king is chased by knight and queen checks to a safe haven on h2.

White: Hodgson

Black: Emms

1 d4 Nf6 19 f5 Rfe8

2 Bg5 Ne4 20 f6 Bf8

3 h4 c5 21 0-0-0 d5

4 d5 g6 22 e5 Rxe5

5 Qd3 Qa5+ 23 Qf2 Rxe3

6 Nd2 Nxg5 24 Qxe3 d4

7 hxg5 Bg7 25 Qe1 dxc3

8 c3 d6 26 Qxc3 Qf4+

9 e4 Nd7 27 Rd2 Qa4

10 a4 Rb8 28 b3 Qa3+

11 Nc4 Qc7 29 Qb2 Qa5

12 f4 a6 30 Rxd7 c4

13 a5 b5 31 Rxf7 Ba3

14 axb6 Nxb6 32 Rg7+ Kf8

15 Qc2 e6 33 Rhxh7 Bb2+

16 dxe6 Bxe6 34 Kd1 Qd5+

17 Ne3 Bd7 1-0 (time)

18 Nf3 0-0

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