CHESS

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The Independent Culture
call me old-fashioned if you will, but I must decry the modern practice of allowing young ladies to compete with men in serious tournaments. What is a gentleman to do when attacked on a chessboard by a slip of a young thing such as Miss Harriet Hunt? Traditional values of chivalry are sadly incompatible with the life and death struggle that is the game of chess.

White: Mr D Rylander

Black: Miss Harriet Hunt

European Junior Championship, 1997

Having scored a fine victory in the World Girls Championship, England's finest young chessboard filly upgraded to the boys' section for the European title.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4

All young ladies are afraid of knights, so Miss Hunt hastens to exchange one of her opponent's cavalry.

4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 cxd4 7.exd4 d5 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b6 10.Qe2 Bb7 11.a3

Impatience! The bishop will soon in any case have to decide whether it wants to capture on c3 or retreat. 11.Bg5 or 11.Rd1 would have been more to the point.

11 ...Bxc3 12.bxc3 Nbd7 13.Bd3 Qc7 14.c4 Rfe8 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Nd7 17.Re1 Rac8 18.Bg5 Nf8

Guarding h7 and ready to move to g6, a knight on f8 is the perfect insurance.

19.Rac1 Qc5 20.Qg4 Qxa3

Recognising that White's aggression is pure bluff, Black eats the bait.

21.Rcd1 Rc7 22.Re3 Qa4! 23.Rh3

White has dreams of a quick mating attack with 24.Bxh7+ Nxh7 25.Qh5. Since ...g6 leaves Black in dire peril after Bf6, and ...h6 is always met by Bxh6, Black appears to be in great danger, but she has everything under control.

23 ...Rd7! 24.Rf1 Qc6! 25.Re1 (See diagram)

Now White hopes to play Be4, but a rude shock awaits him.

25 ...h5!!

Delightful - Qxh5 allows mate on g2, Rxh5 loses the bishop on d3, and 25.Qg3 Rxd3 also sheds material.

26.Rxh5 Rxd3 27.Bf6 Ng6 28.f3 Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Qf2 30.Rg1 Rxf3! 31.Rg5

White is still kicking, but only feebly.

31 ...Rxf6 32.exf6 Qxf6 33.h4 Rd8 34.Qg3 Rd4 35.Re1 Rxh4+ 36.Kg1 Qd4+ and White resigned.

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