There has been much praise for the play of an Indian lad, Anand, and that of Mr Gata Kamsky of Siberia and the USA. Their victories in various "world championship" competitions cannot be denied, yet can their quality of play compare with that of Mr Colin Crouch? Consider the following game, played in Slough.
White: M Chandler
Black: C Crouch
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
While other flashy young grandmasters experiment with exotic King's Indians or Ben-oni Defences, our Colin sticks to the reliable Slav.
3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.h3 0-0 10.Nh4 Nb6 11.Bb3 Nbd5!
A lesser man might have retreated his bishop to g6, but Black's game is improved by having his e-pawn on f5.
12.Nxf5 exf5 13.Qd3 g6 14.Bd2 Bd6!
Why give White the opportunity to exchange his miserable bishop on d2?
15.a5 a6 16.Na4 Qe7 17.Rac1 Rad8 18.Bxd5 Nxd5 19.Qb3 f4!
White's men have drifted leftwards as though the board were on an incline. 16.Na4 was bad enough, but with 19.Qb3 abandoning control of e4, Black can seize the initiative. Allowing f4 without being able to reply with e4 amounts to negligence by White. Perhaps he hoped his next move would force e4. He is in for a shock.
20.Rfe1 Qg5! 21.e4 Ne3!! (see diagram).
Bravo! 22.fxe3 f3! 23.g4 Qh4 leaves White defenceless, while 22.Bxe3 fxe3 23.Qxe3 (or Rxe3) would be skewered by Bf4. Now 22.g3 is the best chance, but Chandler grabbed a pawn, misjudging the second wave of the attack.
22.Bxe3 fxe3 23.fxe3 Qg3 24.Rf1 Qh2+ 25.Kf2 Bg3+ 26.Kf3 Bh4 27.Nc3 Qg3+ 28.Ke2
White counts on 28...Qxg2+ 29.Kd3, when his king is safely tucked up.Crouch finds something more devastating.
28...Bg5! 29.Nd1 Rxd4!
With exd4 losing the queen, White's defences are finished.
30.Nf2 Rb4!! 31.Qc3
31.Qxb4 Qxe3+ 32.Kd1 Qxc1+ loses quickly. But now comes the coup de grace.
31...Rxb2+!! 32.Qxb2 Qxe3+ 33.Kd1 Rd8+ 34.Kc2 Rd2+ 35.Kb1 Rxb2+ 36.Kxb2 Qe2+ White resigned.
After 37.Kb1 Bxc1, White's army is routed.