ETCETERA / Chess

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THE veteran Devon player Colonel Walter K Polhill secured the deciding win for England in the recent Devonshire Inn World Championships. He has kindly agreed to comment on the game, exclusively for the 'Independent on Sunday'.

White: Col Walter K Polhill

Black: W Hicks

Sorry about the initial, but I didn't catch the chappie's first name.)

1. d4

I was a pawn-to-king-four man in my youth, but I've had to adjust to fading eyesight. I like my opponent's pawns on white squares, where I can see them.

1 . . . b5

Very popular in Okehampton.

2. e4 Bb7 3. Bxb5 Bxe4 4. Bf1

I've found this the soundest. Now Black has to retreat his man before it's cut off by d5.

4 . . . Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Be3 Nd7 7. Qd2 e5 8. Nce2

He was threatening something nasty with exd4, c5 and d4.

8 . . . e4 9. c3 Ngf6 10. h3 Be7 11. 0-0-0 0-0 12. g4 c6 13. Bg2 Qc7 14. h4 Rfc8

After 14 . . . Nxg4, I'd planned to attack with Rh3 and Rg3.

15. h5 Kf8 16. g5 Ng8 17. g6 hxg6 18. hxg6 f5 19. Rh8 Ba6 20. Re1

Giving the knight added protection and preparing the rook for action.

20 . . . Bf6 21. Rh7 Ke7 22. Bf4 Qd8 23. Bh6 Bc4 24. b3

My mind went to jelly thinking about 24. Bxg7 Bxg7 25. Rxg7+ Kf6 26. Rf7+ Kxg6, so I decided to kick his bishop out of my camp.

24 . . . Ke6 25. bxc4 gxh6 26. Kc2

Letting prudence overrule valour, I shifted my king off the g5-c1 diagonal.

26 . . . Rc7 27. Ng3 Bg5 28. f4 Bh4 29. Re3 Ne7 30. Nh3 Qe8 31. g7 Ng8 32. Bxe4]

It was time to charge down the middle, though I must confess my calculations were far from perfect.

32 . . . fxe4 33. Ng5+]

I'd intended 33. Nxe4, then noticed that he could pin the blighter with Qg6. I needed h3 for my queen.

33 . . . hxg5 34. Qg2 Ngf6

Ready to block with 35. Qh3+ g4, he's also attacking my rook.

35. Rxe4+] dxe4 36. g8=Q+] Qxg8

At last my men have the space they need]

37. f5+ Kd6 38. Nxe4+] Nxe4 39. Qh2+

I now noticed that this wasn't mate and nearly lost my head in the heat of the battle.

39 . . . Bg3 (see diagram) 40. Qh6+ Ndf6 41. Qxf6+

Must confess I picked up the wrong piece here. I'd intended 41. c5+ Nxc5 42. Qxf6+, though after Ne6 I didn't see where the attack was going.

41 . . . Nxf6 42. c5+ Kd5 43. Kd3

Thought I was setting a trap when I made this move, then realised that I'd played a blinder. There's absolutely nothing he can do to stop mate next move by c4.

Black resigned.

(Graphic omitted)

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