ETCETERA; CHESS

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The Independent Culture
MUCH attention has been devoted to young Matthew Sadler's fine performance in the British Championship, which has made him at 21 the third youngest champion ever. Luke McShane, an 11-year-old who more than held his own against grown masters, was also mentioned in dispatches. Yet the game that most impressed this seasoned campaigner was played by another young man scarcely out of short trousers, 14-year-old Nicholas Pert.

White: J Menadue

Black: N Pert

British Championship, Swansea 1995.

Dutch Defence

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5

One can forgive a young man yielding to the seductive temptations of the Dutch. At least he does not wander into the red light district of 1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 g6?!

3.h3?! Nf6 4.g4 b6!

Black will have no truck with 4...fxg4 5.hxg4 Nxg4 when 6.Ng5 or 6.Qd3 yields a powerful attack.

5.gxf5 exf5 6.Bg2 Bb7 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.h4 Qe8 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.0-0-0 Nb4

A bold advance, luring White's queen on an adventure.

12.Qc4+ d5 13.Qxc7 Ba6 14.Qe5 Rc8 15.Qxf5?

Too greedy! 15.a3! was correct, meeting 15...Rxc3!? camly with 16.axb4!

15...Rxc3! 16.Qe6+ Kh8 17.bxc3 Nxa2+ 18.Kd2 (see diagram)

With the white queen still on f5, this would have lost at once to Ne4+. White relied on the interpolation of 16.Qe6+ to get himself out of trouble, but he had not reckoned with Black's next move.

18...Bb4!!

Unveiling an attack on the white queen, with the added sting that 19.Qxe8 Bxc3+ 20.Ke3 Ng4 is mate!

19.Bh3 Bxc3+ 20.Ke3 Nb4!

Delightful! Now White must defend his c-pawn with 21.Rc1, when he can still fight on. Reeling from the recent blows, however, White succumbs immediately.

21.Qxe8? Ng4+! White resigns.

Very neat: 22.Bxg4 Nxc2 is the prettiest mate I have seen for many a day.

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