ETCETERA / Chess

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From this year's Sutton Open Tournament, another instalment of the successful application of Basmanic theories of pawn play.

White: M J Franklin

Black: M J Basman

1. c4?

An immediate blunder. Michael Franklin is an expert on the London System, in which White plays 1. d4, 2. Nf3 and 3. Bf4 almost irrespective of Black's moves. But my 'Global Opening', with h6 and a6, actually has some point against that system: g5 will attack the bishop on f4. By playing 1. c4, he avoids that problem but disturbs the Tao of chess: One shouldn't react to one's opponent's moves before he has made them.

1 . . . g5]

The complete refutation. Somehow playing g5 followed by h6 seems much stronger than the other way round.

2. Nc3 h6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 c5 5. e3 Nc6 6. Nge2 d6 7. d3 f5]

White's unambitious set-up lets me take the initiative.

8. a3 Nf6 9. Qc2 0-0 10. Rb1 e5 11. b4 f4]

For some moves, he has been poised to prevent this advance by playing f4 himself. The right moment for me to play f4 is, of course, on the move before he would have stopped it.

12. b5?

He wants to take on f4 without giving my knight the chance to move to d4, but the knight can be re-routed via e7 and f5, and in

the meantime he has closed the

Q-side where his counterplay should lie.

12 . . . Ne7 13. gxf4 exf4 14. exf4 Nf5

Have another pawn]

15. fxg5 Ng4 16. Bd5+ Kh8 17. Ne4 (see diagram)

Defending f2 and preparing to challenge bishops on the long diagonal with Bb2, but Black's knights are ready for a picnic on the K-side.

17 . . . Nh4 18. gxh6 Nf3+ 19. Kd1 Be5 20. Bb2 Qh4

With his bishop still on c1 this would have threatened Qxf2]] but you can't have everything. It is enough that his king is at my mercy in the centre without wanting a queen sacrifice too.

21. Bxe5+ Nfxe5 22. Kc1

Preventing the threatened 22 . . . Rxf2 23. Nxf2 Ne3+.

22 . . . Nxf2+

There is no need for subtlety. My rook on f2 will hold his position in a vice.

23. Nxf2 Rxf2 24. Rb2 Bg4 25. Qd1 Qxh6+ 26. Kb1 Qe3

I was a little surprised when he resigned, but only because I hadn't fully realised how bad his game was. After 27. Re1 Nxd3 he is quite dead: 28. Rb3 loses to Rxe2.

This game reveals another point of the h6, g5 formation: the pawn chain was a tempting trail to lure his e-pawn far away from its defensive duties.

(Graphic omitted)

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