Chess

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The Lloyds Bank Masters tournament, currently being played at the Cumberland Hotel at Marble Arch, London, is producing more than its usual share of grandmaster casualties. Not only are the GMs losing to lesser mortals, but in today's two games, they are bashed flat in no time at all.

Hodgson's horror came in the second round, when the British champion lost in 18 moves to Neil McDonald. Experimenting with an unusual line of the Sicilian Defence, Hodgson ran straight into trouble. White's 8. Qe2] and 9. e5] made 7 . . . g6 look distinctly too slow. Barging straight down the middle, McDonald finished neatly with a knight sacrifice. At the end 18 . . . Kf8 19. Bc4] Qe8 (or 19 . . . Nxc4 20. Rhf1+) 20. Rhf1+ Nf6 21. Rxf6+ (or 21. Rd8]) forces mate.

White: McDonald

Black: Hodgson

1 e4 c5 10 fxe5 Nh5

2 Nf3 d6 11 0-0-0 Bxe5

3 d4 cxd4 12 Nd5 Nhf6

4 Nxd4 Nf6 13 Nf3 Nxd5

5 Nc3 a6 14 Nxe5 h6

6 Bg5 Nbd7 15 Bh4 N5b6

7 f4 g6 16 Nxg6 fxg6

8 Qe2 Bg7 17 Qe6 g5

9 e5 dxe5 18 Qg6+ 1-0

On Monday, Andrew Hon celebrated his nineteenth birthday by catching the Dutch grandmaster, Paul van der Sterren, in an opening trap. Instead of 5 . . . Qh4+? Black should play 5 . . . Nxc3 6. bxc3 d4] As the game went, Hon found some neat tactics (16. 0-0-0] and 18. b4]) after queens were exchanged to prove that Black's game was untenable.

White: Hon

Black: van der Sterren

1 e4 e5 12 d4 Bxf3

2 Nc3 Nf6 13 Qxf3 Qxf3

3 f4 d5 14 Bxf3 Nxd4

4 fxe5 Nxe4 15 Bg5+ Kc8

5 d3 Qh4+ 16 0-0-0 Bc5

6 g3 Nxg3 17 Bxh1 Kb8

7 Nf3 Qh5 18 b4 Ne6

8 Nxd5 Nxh1 19 bxc5 Nxg5

9 Nxc7+ Kd8 20 Rd7 Kxa8

10 Nxa8 Bg4 21 Rxb7 1-0

11 Bg2 Nc6

(Photograph omitted)

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