ETCETERA: CHESS

WOMEN CHESSPLAYERS have come on a good deal since I was a young man. In those days, all one had to do was move towards them with one's knights and they would retreat to their back two ranks, there to perish ignominiously. There was something about the knight's devious gait that could be guaranteed to induce terror in a young girl. Now all that has changed. In today's game, we see Britain's top woman player not only unintimidated by her opponent's horsemanship, but even ordering her own cavalry to trample all over him.

White: A Cooper

Black: S Lalic

British Championship, Torquay 1998

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

A vestigial fear of knights clearly remains in Ms Lalic's make-up: she hastens to reduce White's equestrian capability.

4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 f5 8.g3 b6 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.Nf3 Nf6

The knight retreats to avoid any problems with White playing Nd2.

11.b4 Be4 12.Qb3 Nc6 13.Bb2 Ne7 14.0-0 Qe8 15.Rad1 Qh5 16.Rd2 b5!

A bold sacrifice to create a square on d5 for a black knight.

17.cxb5 Ned5 18.Ne5 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 d6 20.Nc6 Ne4 21.Rc2 Rf6

Ignoring the advanced white knight, Black moves her forces on to the attack. The threat is Rh6.

22.Bc1 f4 23.Qf3 Qg6

No woman player in my day would knowingly have placed her king and queen in such potential jeopardy. All it takes is for the knight on d5 to move absent-mindedly away, and the queen will be lost to Ne7+.

24.Bxf4 (see diagram)

White has calculated 24...Nxf4+ 25.Qxf4! Rxf4 26.Ne7+ and 27.Nxg6 when he would be on top. But Black has seen more.

24...Rxf4! 25.Ne7+ Nxe7 26.Qxf4 Nd5 27.Qc1 Nxf2!

A decisive blow. 28.Rxf2 loses to 28...Qxc2 29.Qxc2 Ne3+, and 28.Rxf2 to 28...Rf8+ 29.Kg1 Rxf1+ 30.Kxf1 Qxc2!

28.Rb2 Qe4+! 29.Kxf2 Rf8+

Now 30.Ke1 Rxf1+ 31.Kxf1 Qh1+ loses White's queen, while 30.Kg1 Rxf1+ 31.Qxf1 Qxd4+ loses the rook. White took the only honourable way out:

White resigned.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'