ETCETERA / Chess

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With the game that won him the Copenhagen Open, Keith Arkell maintains chess is a game of luck.

White: Gerard Welling

Black: Keith Arkell

To win a tournament you usually need a bit of luck. In this game, I had lashings of it.

1. f4 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. c3 c5 5. d3 Nc6 6. Nh3 Nf6 7. Na3 b6 8. 0-0 Bb7 9. Nf2 d4 10. Nc2 0-0 11. e4 dxe3 12. Nxe3 Qd7 13. Nc4 Rad8

With the white knight taking four moves to reach c4, the opening has gone rather well for me.

14. Qe2 Rfe8 15. Bh3 e6 16. a4 h5 17. Be3 Qd5

With 18. Bg2 Nd4] now winning, I felt very much on top.

18. Nd2 e5

I also considered 18 . . . Ng4, 18 . . . Nd4]? and 18 . . . Nce7, all of which are strong. I thought e5 was thematic, but it soon went wrong.

19. Nde4 exf4 20. Bxf4 Ng4?

A panicky reaction on seeing that 20 . . . Nxe4 21. dxe4 Qb3 (Na5] is better) 22. Ra3 loses the queen.

21. Nxg4 hxg4 22. Bg2 Qe6

22 . . . Qxd3 runs into trouble after 23. Qxd3 Rxd3 24. Nd6.

23. Qc2 f5??

Played quickly, overlooking the attack with Ng5 and Qb3.

24. Ng5 Qe2

Hoping that something would turn up, I now saw 25. Qb3+ Kh8 26. Nf7+ Kh7 27. Nxd4 Nd4] and thought I was winning.

25. Qb3+ Kh8 26. Rf2 Nd4 (see diagram)

My opponent told me afterwards that he assumed I had it all worked out. He looked at 27. Qf7 Qxf2+ 28. Kxf2 Re2+ when 29. Kf1 Bxg2+ 30. Kg1 Nf3+ is good for Black, but 29. Kg1] Rxg2+ 30. Kf1 should win easily. Instead, he steered for an endgame a piece up.

27. cxd4 Bxd4 28. Rf1 Bxg2 29. Kxg2

29. Qf7 would be good, were it not for the reply Qxf1 mate.

29 . . . Bxf2 30. Rxf2 Qxd3 31. Be5+] Rxe5 32. Qxd3 Rxd3 33. Nf7+ Kg7 34. Nxe5 Rd4 35. b3 Kf6 36. Nc4

36. Re2 was better. White did not realise he was in danger of losing.

36 . . . Rd3 37. Rb2 g5 38. Kf2 f4 39. Nd2 Ke5 40. Rc2 Kd5 41. Ke2 Re3+ 42. Kf2 Rd3 43. Ke2 Re3+ 44. Kf2 Kd4]

Just in time I adjusted to the fact that I was probably winning.

45. Rc4+ Kd3 46. gxf4

Or 46. Nf1 Re2+ 47. Kg1 Rc2 48. Rxc2 Kxc2 49. Kf2 Kd1 50. Kg2 Ke2 51. Kg1 f3 and Black wins.

46 . . . gxf4 47. Rxf4

And here 47. Nf1 Re2+ 47. Kg1 Re4 48. Rc1 Rb4 49. Rb1 Kc2 wins for Black.

47 . . . Kxd2 48. b4 Rh3 49. Kg2 Rh7 50. a5 Rc7 51. axb6 axb6 52. bxc5 bxc5 53. Rxg4 c4 54. Kf3 c3 55. h4 c2 White resigns.

Both 56. Rg2+ Kd3 and 56. Rg1 Rf7+ 57. Ke4 Rh7 offer no hope.

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