Click to follow
The Independent Culture
THE COVERAGE of a tournament such as the recent Smith & Williamson British Championship is bound to concentrate on the games and results of the top grandmasters and any other lesser mortals they tolerate in their midst among the leading places. Yet there is also a good deal of excellent chess, and even more entertaining chess played on the lower boards of the competition. Today's game is both good and entertaining.

After 1.e4 d6 2.d4 e5, White ought to have accepted the invitation to play 3.dxe5 dxe5 4.Qxd8+ Kxd8 5.Bc4. It's a little dreary exchanging queens so early, but the resulting position is a sure advantage for White, and as much as he ought to expect from the opening. If White is going to lead the game instead into a Philidor's Defence with 3.Nf3, he needs to have an idea what he is going to do, and in this game White's ideas after the opening were mainly wrong ones.

The first crucial moment came after 10...Be6 when 11.Kb1 is the most flexible move. By playing 11.g4, White failed to appreciate the difference between this position and the Sicilian Dragon it closely resembles. After 11...c5! (a move you cannot play in the Dragon) 12.Be3 Qa5, White had problems. 13.Kb1 would now invite 13...Bxg4 14.fxg4 Nxe4 with a winning attack.

Reduced to 13.a3, White gave his opponent an object of attack, of which Black took full advantage.

In the diagram position, 19...bxa3! was a nice touch, when 20.bxa4 a2! wins for Black. As the game went, White obtained a good deal for his queen, but his house was collapsing.

White: A. Jackson

Black: M. Osborne

British Championship 1998

1 e4 d6 16 h4 b4

2 d4 e5 17 Nb1 Rab8

3 Nf3 exd4 18 h5 Qa4

4 Nxd4 g6 19 b3 bxa3

5 Nc3 Bg7 20 h6+ Kg8

6 Be3 Nf6 21 Qc3 a2

7 f3 0-0 22 Qxf6 a1=Q

8 Qd2 Nc6 23 Qg7+ Qxg7

9 0-0-0 Nxd4 24 hxg7 Bxb3

10 Bxd4 Be6 25 gxf8=Q+ Kxf8

11 g4 c5 26 cxb3 Qxb3

12 Be3 Qa5 27 Kd2 Qxf3

13 a3 a6 28 Rh3 Rb2+

14 Bh6 b5 29 Kc1 Rxb1+

15 Bxg7 Kxg7 White resigned