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Colonel Polhill extols the gentle art of losing quickly.

It matters not who won or lost, but whether there was time to down a pint after the game. I have often advocated the policy of getting one's losses over quickly; I am glad to see how many grandmasters are heeding my advice, as today's morsels show.

Game One:

White: Yasser Seirawan

Black: Alex Yermolinsky

US Championship 1994

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.e3 f5 5.g4!

The book advises 6.f4, playing on the slight advantage of a pawn at c4 against one at c6, but such turgid strategy can keep you occupied all night. Go for it with g4, I say.

5...fxg4 6.Qxg4 Nf6 7.Qg2

Did not Dr Tarrasch say: "A queen in fianchetto makes the game go allegretto"?

7...c5 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Bd2 a6 10.0-0-0 Qc7 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Rg1 0-0

Castling into it, but something had to be done to defend the g-pawn.

13.Ng5 Kh8 14.Kb1 Ne5? 15.Na4! Ba7? 16.Bb4! Rg8

Black still does not realise what is about to hit him.

17.Qg3! (diagram) resigns!

White threatens 18.Qxe5! Qxe5 19.Nf7 mate and there is nothing to do about it. 17...h6 18.Qxe5! leaves Black a piece behind.

Game Two:

White: R Zelcic

Black: P Jukic

Croatian Championship 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4

A jolly alternative to Na5.

6.c3 b5 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxb5+ Kd8 11.0-0 exd4 12.d3 Qe5 13.Nd2 Bd6 14.g3 Rb8 15.Nc4 Nf4!!? 16.Qxf4

16.Nxe5 Bxf3 is not bad for Black.


Now 17.f3 Bxf4 wins a queen, while 17.Qe4 Qxb5 leaves Black on top.

17.Qg5+ resigns.

Must have missed that one!

Finally (and best of all):

White: G Vescovi

Black: I.Sokolov

Malmo 1995

1.e4 e5 2.Bb5?! c6 3.Ba4 Nf6 4.Qe2 Bc5 5.Nf3 d5 6.exd5 0-0 7.Nxe5 Re8 8.c3? Bxf2+!

Now 9.Kxf2 loses to Rxe5! followed by Ng4+.

9.Kf1 Bg4 10.Qxf2 Rxe5 11.Kg1 Qe7 White resigns.

12.h3 Re1+ 13.Kh2 Qe5+ is murder.