Chess: Watson's win is just elementary

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The Independent Culture
WILLIAM WATSON'S recent win in the British Championship was a remarkable performance. He scored seven wins and four draws from the 11 rounds.

Watson is one of those unfortunate English grand

masters who has had to live in the shadows of more illustrious compatriots. As he showed in Norwich, however, he has the mixture of forcefulness and calm that is very effective in dealing with anything below the best opposition. He demolished the eventual runner-up in convincing fashion.

White's 4. Qxd4 is an unusual move, avoiding all the deeply analysed lines with 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 and now either g6 or a6, and maintaining White space advantage at the expense of losing time with the queen.

With 6. Qd2, White envisages developing his bishop on b2, but somehow he never seems to have time for it. First, b3 is ruled out because of tricks on the long diagonal (10. b3 Nxe4, for example), and then because it makes it too easy for Black to play b5.

When White finally managed to play b3 safely, and Howell replied with his long- prepared b5, Watson had calculated that he could preserve a strong initiative. Applying pressure to e7, he kept his advantage with 19. b4] and 20. Bxc4. By move 22, Black was so cramped that he felt obliged to buy-off the bishop on g5 with an offer of the h- pawn, but it all ended in disaster.

Final scores were: Watson 9; Howell 8 1/2 ; Ward and Arkell 7 1/2 ; Webster, Ledger and Hebden 7. Andrew Webster won the Under-21 title and Cathy Forbes took the Ladies title.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Watson Black: Howell ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 c5 18 Nd5 Re8 2 Nf3 d6 19 b4 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 20 Bxc4 a5 4 Qxd4 a6 21 bxa5 Nde5 5 c4 Nc6 22 Bb5 h6 6 Qd2 g6 23 Bxh6 Bxh6 7 Be2 Bg7 24 Qxh6 Qxa5 8 Nc3 Nf6 25 a4 Qa7 9 0-0 0-0 26 Qe3 Qa5 10 Rb1 Rb8 27 Rec1 Kg7 11 Re1 Bg4 28 f4 Ng4 12 Qe3 Nd7 29 Qg3 Qa7+ 13 Bf1 Bxf3 30 Kf1 f5 14 Qxf3 Rc8 31 exf5 gxf5 15 Qh3 Na5 32 Bxc6 Rxc6 16 b3 b5 33 Rxc6 Qxa4 17 Bg5 bxc4 34 Qc3+ 1-0 -----------------------------------------------------------------