ETCETERA / Chess

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Last weekend, the second World Team Tournament at Sticklepath, Devon, was won by the Devonshire Inn (representing England), led from the front by Colonel Polhill, who describes his last-round victory.

White: W Hicks

Black: W Polhill

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6

Cavalry before clergy. The trouble with bishops is you never know where they're going to be needed. Save them for the last rites I always say.

4. Ng5 Bc5

Ignoring his demonstration, I hurry my men into battle.

5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7. Ke3 Qe7

Having flushed his king into the open, it's time to prepare the heavy artillery.

8. c3]

The blighter has more sense than I gave him credit for. After 8. Nxh8 Qc5+ or 8. Kxe4 d5+ he is quickly overrun. Instead he prepares a bolt-hole for his king on c2. Time for the cavalry charge]

8 . . . Nd4] 9. Kxe4

9. cxd4 exd4+ is more than he can stand.

9 . . . Qh4+ 10. Ke3 Qf4+ 11. Kd3 d5]

Preparing to bring in reinforcements: the threat is Bf5 mate.

12. Bxd5 Bf5+ 13. Kc4 b5+ 14. Kc5

Now he has really shot his bolt, but it's not so easy to nail him down. I decided it was necessary to redeploy my big gun.

14 . . . Qh4] 15. Nxe5]

Picking off a vital man. Now 15 . . . Qe7+ 16. Kxd4 c5+ 17. Ke3 Qxe5+ 18. Kf2 only chases him back to safety. There is only one thing for it:

15 . . . 0-0-0]

Lining up my heavy weapons in preparation for Rxd5+ followed by Rd8+. His reply is the best chance to survive.

16. c4 Rxd5+] 17. cxd5 Rd8

Now the threat is Rxd5+ followed by Qd8+ and Qd6 mate.

18. Nc3 Nc2

Now I thought I had him. If he prevents Qb4 mate with 19. d4, then I play 19 . . . Qe7+ 20. Kxb5 Qb4+ 21. Ka6 Qb6 mate.

19. Qxc2 Bxc2 20. d4

Counting the dead, I saw that matters were not so clear. With rook, two knights and a pawn, he has more than enough for a queen. I had to rekindle the attack.

20 . . . Qf6 21. Nc6

Cutting off the queen's line to b6. My reply threatens mate on d6.

21 . . . a6] 22. Kb4 Kb7]

The king prepares to lead his forces into the final battle.

23. Nxd8+ Kb6] 24. Ne6

Now there's a mate in two with a5+ or a mate in three with Qe7+, but I decided to end the game with a flourish.

24 . . . Qxd4+] 25. Nxd4 a5+ 26. Ka3 b4 mate (see diagram).

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