Chess: Always anticipate the unexpected

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The Independent Culture
BEAUTIFUL strategy, pity about the mate, writes William Hartston. That is the trouble with chess: you can think you are doing all the right things, and something unexpected happens to spoil it, as Keith Arkell found in today's game from the Lloyds Bank Masters.

The ugly-looking 5 . . . b5 has a sound motive: by exchanging b-pawn for c-pawn, then following up with c5 and cxd4, Black ensures himself a central pawn majority. When Arkell's 13 . . . a5 was met by 14. a4, he stifled White's Q-side pawn majority.

He also exchanged bishops before playing d5, thus leaving his pawns controlling the white squares and his bishop looking after the black ones. Perfect strategy, ideal harmony, but total disaster followed shortly.

The key move is Naumkin's 20. Rc7]] which Arkell thought he 20 . . Bd6 had prevented. After 21. Nxd6 Qxc7 Black wins, while any rook move loses the knight on e5. He had missed 21. Rxf7 Bxe5 22. Rxg7+]] Now 22 . . . Kxg7 loses to 23. Qg5+ followed by Bxe5, when Black's attacked queen cannot defend the knight on f6. This left Black the choice between 22 . . . Kh8 and 22 . . . Kf8. The first runs into trouble against 23. Rf7, so Arkell moved his king the other way, only to be run down by 23. Qh6. If 23 . . . Ke8, then 24. Bxe5 Qxe5 25. Nc7+ wins simply, while 23 . . . Ng8 loses to 24. Rxg8+ Kxg8 25. Qg5+ and 26. Bxe5. At the end, Black would be mated after 24 . . . Ke8 25. Qg6+ Kf8 26. Qf7.

White: Naumkin

Black: Arkell

1 d4 Nf6

2 c4 e6

3 Nf3 b6

4 g3 Ba6

5 b3 b5

6 cxb5 Bxb5

7 Bg2 c5

8 0-0 Bc6

9 Bb2 Be7

10 Nbd2 cxd4

11 Nxd4 Bxg2

12 Kxg2 0-0

13 Rc1 a5

14 a4 Na6

15 Nc4 Nb4

16 f3 Ra6

17 Qd2 Qb8

18 Nb5 d5

19 Ne5 Rd8

20 Rc7 Bd6

21 Rxf7 Bxe5

22 Rxg7+ Kf8

23 Qh6 Bxb2

24 Rxh7+ 1-0

Meanwhile, in the run-up to the Nigel Short-Garry Kasparov World Chess Championship match sponsored by the Times at London's Savoy Theatre starting 7 September, the English grandmaster has been reported as accusing his opponent of being a communist who took lessons in techniques of intimidation from the KGB, while Kasparov has said that he has been too busy in Russian politics to prepare for the match.

And finally, the Times they are a-changing the prices again and Sun readers can now buy for pounds 10 a seat originally priced at pounds 45, but recently reduced to pounds 20. Anyone who paid pounds 65 for an upper circle seat may exchange it for a dress circle ticket now costing pounds 55 but once pounds 85. And if you did pay pounds 85, you can have a free lunch. These offers, and occasional drinks vouchers, are made in an endeavour 'to keep the situation as simple as possible'. It might have been simpler to offer refunds.