ETCETERA / Chess

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Last weekend, Julian Hodgson retained the British championship with a record score of 10 points from 11 games. He annotates one of his wins from the event.

White: Julian Hodgson

Black: Andrew Martin

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 d5 3. Bxf6 gxf6 4. c4 c6 5. e3 e6 6. Nc3 f5 7. Nf3 Bg7

7 . . . Nd7 and 8 . . . Nf6 looks a better plan, deciding later whether the bishop is better on d6.

8. Qc2] Nd7 9. h3]?

A good plan, but it might have been more accurate to exchange on d5 first. After 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. h3, it takes Black

ages to castle Q-side, while K-side castling is met by an immediate g4.

9 . . . dxc4 10. Bxc4 Qc7

After this further error, Black is already in deep trouble. His idea is to meet g4 with f4, but the queen's position leads him into a tangle. 10 . . . Nb6 11. Bb3 Nd5 would have been better, though 11. g4 is still good for White.

11. 0-0-0 b5? 12. Bb3 Ba6

A very ugly move, defending against Nxb5, and preparing 0-0-0, but now White has an effective attacking sequence.

13. g4 f4

After 13 . . . fxg4 14. hxg4 the attack on h7 leaves White in complete control.

14. Ng5] Nf8

Bolstering e6 (15. Bxe6 had been threatened) and protecting f7 with the queen. Against 14 . . . Nf6, I had planned 15. Nce4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 when 16 . . . 0-0-0 loses to 17. Nxf7 Qxf7 18. Bxe6+.

15. Nce4]

Threatening Nc5, but also preparing a combination.

15 . . . h6 (See diagram)

My position is almost too good here. White can get a clear advantage with 16. Nc5 hxg5 17. Nxa6, but everything told me that 16. Nxf7 would be a winning sacrifice. Finally, I told myself not to be lazy, but to work it out.

16. Nxf7] Kxf7

Taking with the queen allows a fork on d6.

17. d5]

After 17 . . . exd5 18. Rxd5 Black's king has nowhere to run. I spent a long time looking at 17 . . . Bc8 18. Nd6+ Kg8] (18 . . . Qxd6 19. dxe6+ Qxe6 20. Qxc6] wins for White) 19. Nxc8 Rxc8 20. dxe6 c4] I had just decided to be boring, and meet 17 . . . Bc8 with 18. d6] Qd8 19. exf4, with a magnificent position, when he played something else.

17 . . . Be5 18. dxe6+ Kg7 19. Qc5]

Now Black's only way to continue is 19 . . . Rh7 when I had intended 20. Rd6] Bxd6 21. Nxd6 Kh8 22. exf4 Bc8 23. f5] and Black is paralysed.

19 . . . Bc8? 20. Rd7+] resigns.

Capture of the rook leads to 21. Qe7+ and Qf7 mate.

Comments