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THE BEST game in the Isle of Man International Open at the end of last month was, interestingly enough, between two women. The winner annotates her victory.

White: Christine Flear

Black: Susan Arkell

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5

In this Tarrasch Defence, Black accepts an isolated d-pawn in exchange for active pieces.

4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. 0-0 0-0 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 h6 11. Be3

The bishop has done its job on g5 by persuading Black to capture on d4. Now it returns to bolster White's control of d4.

11 . . . Re8 12. Rc1 Bf8 13. Qa4

Apart from this, 13. Qc2, 13. Qb3, 13. Nxc6 and 13. a3 have all been tried here.

White would like to get a rook on to the d-file quickly, but it is not easy to decide on a place for the queen.

13 . . . Bd7 14. Rcd1 Nb4 15. Qb3 a5

Now 16. Rd2 a4 17. Qd1 a3 is fine for Black, so White has little option but to play a move that cements the knight on b4.

16. a4 Bg4 17. h3 Bd7

Black is happy to lose a move in order to weaken White's K-side pawns. Now in some variations where White wins the d-pawn, the pawn on h3 is lost in return.

18. Kh2

A couple of weeks before this game, I had the same position as Black against the Russian grandmaster Gennadi Timoshchenko at Paignton. He played 18. Ndb5 but I had a good position after 18 . . . Bf5 19. Rd2 Qc8 20. Kh2 Ne4 and the game was eventually drawn.

18 . . . Bd6 19. Ncb5

Instead 19. Ndb5 runs into 19 . . . Bxg3+] 20. Kxg3 Qb8+ when White's king ends up in grave danger on f3. The same idea does not work now, because the bishop on e3 is protected and White can simply play 20. fxg3.

19 . . . Bb8 20. Nc2?

White falls into the trap at the second opportunity.

20 . . . Nxc2 21. Qxc2 Bxb5 22. axb5 (see diagram) Bxg3+] 23. Kxg3 Qd6+ 24. Kf3 Re4

Black's threat is simply to double rooks on the e-file, then play Rxe3+ followed by Nh5, with mate by Qg3 to follow. Another thing for White to worry about is Nh5 followed by Rf4+.

25. Bc1 Qe5]

Denying White the time to hide with e3 and Ke2. Now 26. e3 loses to 26 . . . Qf5+ 27. Ke2 Rxe3+ 28. Kd2 Re2+] winning the queen.

26. Qd3 Nh5 27. e3

This loses quickly, but so did everything else. 27. Qxd5 Rf4+ 28. Bxf4 Qxf4 is mate, while 27. Bh1 is met by Qh2.

27 . . . Qf6+ 28. Ke2 Nf4+ White resigned.