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THE AGENCY Masters tournament in London has been producing some fine games, though nothing quite to match this McMonster for sheer excitement. The fun began when Black sacrificed a pawn to open Q-side lines with 8...b5. White opened a few more lines of his own with 10.e4 when Black ignored the apparent threat of 11.e5 (which would have been met by cxd4).

The first real surprise came with 18...Ne3!? After 19.Bxe3 Bxe3 White cannot play either Rxd8 (because of mate on c1) or Qxe3 (which leaves the rook on d1 to be taken). White got his own back for this piece of impertinence by playing 21.Nxf7!? when both 21...Rxf7 22.Bxe6 and 21...Kxf7 22.Rd7+ are very dangerous for Black.

21...Rxc4 seemed to solve his problems, but after 22.Nd6 his rook was hanging and a quick Qxe6+ was in the air. The solution was 22...Re4! (to meet Nxe4 with Bxe4+) but 23.Rhe1! led to White's regaining his piece. When the dust settled after 27.Nc4, White looked better, but he seemed not to notice Black's e-pawn sprinting through until too late. At the end, 41.Kb3 Qxb2+ 42.Ka4 Ra1+ forces mate.

White: Colin McNab

Black: Neil McDonald

Agency Masters, London 1998

1 c4 c6 22 Nd6 Re4

2 Nf3 d5 23 Rhe1 Rf2

3 e3 Nf6 24 Nxb7 Rd4

4 Nc3 e6 25 Na5 Rxd1+

5 Qc2 Nbd7 26 Rxd1 Bd4

6 d4 Bd6 27 Nc4 Qc5

7 Bd2 0-0 28 a4 Kg7

8 0-0-0 b5 29 a5 e5

9 cxb5 c5 30 b6 axb6

10 e4 Bb7 31 axb6 Rf8

11 exd5 Nxd5 32 Qa4 Rf7

12 Ne4 Be7 33 Rd3 e4

13 dxc5 Nxc5 34 Rb3 e3

14 Nxc5 Bxc5 35 b7 e2

15 Ng5 g6 36 b8Q e1Q+

16 Kb1 Bxf2 37 Ka2 Rf1

17 h4 Rc8 38 Rb7+ Kh6

18 Qb3 Ne3 39 Qba8 Qxc4+

19 Bxe3 Bxe3 40 Qxc4 Qa1+

20 Bc4 Qb6 White resigned

21 Nxf7 Rxc4