ETCETERA: CHESS

MY old friend David Bronstein never selects an opening without considering the historical significance of the game. When, some years ago, he returned to play in England after a long absence, he thought some time over his first move, then chose the English Opening. The following game, from the Hastings Challengers, saw him in Russian mood.

White: David Bronstein

Black: Bryan Kelly

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Qe2!

A tribute to the great Russian master Mikhail Chigorin, who had played his favourite 2.Qe2 variation against the French Defence at Hastings in 1895.

3...Nc6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 d5 6.d3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.e5 Nd7 9.c4! d4

A strategic error that cedes the e4 square and slows Blacks counterplay. The pawn should be kept at d5.

10.h4 a6 11.Bf4 Rb8 12.Nh2 Na5 13.Nd2 b5 14.b3 Bb7 15.Bh3 bxc4 16.bxc4 Nc6 17Ng4 Ba8 18.Nf3 Rb4

Back in the 1960s, White used to advance the h-pawn to h6, then try to attack on the weakened black squares. Bronstein's plan is far more subtle.

19 Ng5! Qb6 20.Bg2 Rb2 21.Qd1 Qa5 22.Be4 g6

22...h6 would have invited some such jollity as 23.Nxh6+ gxh6 24.Qh5 Kg7 25.Qxh6+!? (25.Nxe6+ is actually quicker) 25...Kxh6 26.Nxe6+Kh5 27.Ng7+ Kg4 28.f3+ Kh3 29.Bf5 mate.

23.Qf3 Qc7 (see diagram)

Black finally puts some pressure on e5, but too late.

24.Nh6+ Kg7 25.Nhxf7! Ncxe5

Black knows he is liable to lose his queen, but banks on taking White's queen with check in return.

26.Nxe6+! Kxf7 27.Bxe5+! Kxe6

And now 28.Bxc7 may be met by Rxf3. But Bronstein is ready for it.

28.Bd5+!

The coup de grace. Now 28...Kxe5 is met by 29.Rfe1+ Kd6 30.Re6 mate.

28...Bxd5 and Black resigned.

White makes the choice between 29.Qxd5+ Kf5 30.Bxc7+ and 29.cxd5+ Kxe5 30.Rfe1+ Kd6 32.Re6 mate.

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