Chess: Cut-price commentary

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COMPLETING our survey of British chess magazines, we come to the glossiest and most popular production. Chess Monthly is the third incarnation of a magazine founded by B H Wood in 1935, named Chess. After half a century, it was taken over by the Maxwell empire as Pergamon Chess.

Salvaged from the ruins by a small group of players, writers and businessmen, it was resuscitated with scarcely a blip in production.

Strongest on up-to-date coverage of tournaments, it also has items of historical and general interest. The style is often self-indulgent, but the tone is cheerful and informative, with many photographs - some in better focus than others.

Chess Monthly is available at W H Smith or from Chess & Bridge Ltd, 369 Euston Road, London NW1 3AR at pounds 2.50 an issue or pounds 23.95 a year. For a limited period, readers of the Independent are offered an annual subscription for pounds 19.95.

Chess & Bridge has also become involved in a price-cutting battle over the forthcoming 'Times World Chess Championship' between Short and Kasparov. Last week, prices of the cheapest seats for each game at the Savoy Theatre were cut from pounds 45 to pounds 20 'to make the championship accessible to as many people as possible'.

Even before the announcement however, the London Chess Centre (home of Chess & Bridge) gave details of its own cut-price commentaries on the games. Every evening during the match (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7 September to 30 October) from 5.30pm (4.30pm on Saturdays), the games may be followed live at their Euston Road address.

Tickets will cost pounds 5 a game, half-price for children, OAPs and UB40s, with a 10 per cent reduction for advance bookings. For full details of commentaries and other events at the London Chess Centre, telephone 071 388 2404. For seats at the Savoy Theatre, contact First Call on 071 497 9977.

We finish with a historical item from the current (August) issue of Chess Monthly, a little- known game won by Alexander Alekhine in 1937. In a standard line of the Queen's Gambit, Alekhine keeps his king in the centre, pushes his h-pawn, and hustles his opponent off the board.

The move 6. h4?] is quite outrageous, but becomes partly justified by Black's 7 . . . Nxd5 instead of exd5] Black's taking with the knight gives White the central control needed to get away with his extravagant idea.

White's 9. Nh3 should have signalled the idea of e4, Bxf6, e5, Bh7+, Qh5+ and Ng5, but Black either failed to get the message or underestimated it. At the end, Black has no defence to a mating attack beginning with 23. Rd1.

White: Alekhine

Black: Reilly

Nice 1937

1 d4 Nf6

2 c4 e6

3 Nc3 d5

4 Bg5 Be7

5 e3 0-0

6 h4 Nbd7

7 cxd5 Nxd5

8 Bd3 Re8

9 Nh3 N7f6

10 e4 Nxc3

11 bxc3 c5

12 Bxf6 Bxf6

13 e5 Be7

14 Bh7+ Kxh7

15 Qh5+ Kg8

16 Ng5 Bxg5

17 hxg5 Kf8

18 g6 Qd5

19 Rh4 fxg6

20 Qxg6 Ke7

21 Qxg7+ Kd8

22 dxc5 1-0