ETCETERA / Chess

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A BLOODTHIRSTY game, ending in checkmate, from last month's British Championship in Norwich.

White: Keith Arkell

Black: Andrew Webster

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nf3 Nbd7 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 g5 7. Bg3 Nh5 8. e3

With White's bishop about to be exchanged and Black's coming quickly to g7, it is important to keep control of the central black squares.

8 . . . c5 9. Be2 Bg7 10. 0-0 0-0 11. Ne1 Nxg3 12. hxg3 a6

It is difficult to find a plan that does not further weaken Black's position. Perhaps the whole idea of g5 and Nh5 was dubious.

13. Nc2 Rb8 14. Qd2 cxd4 15. exd4 Nf6 16. Ne3 d5]?

An interesting idea to prevent slow strangulation by such moves as a4, a5, d5, Qd3 and Nf5.

17. cxd5 b5 18. b4 Qd6 19. a4 Qxb4 20. axb5 axb5 21. Rfb1 Qd6 22. Bxb5 Rd8 23. Ra7

The doubled d-pawns control many important squares. Now I threaten Nc4 trapping the queen.

23 . . . Rb7 24. Rxb7 Bxb7 25. Nf5 Qc7 26. Bc6] Bc8

Instead 26 . . . Bxc6 27. dxc6 e6 (Qxc6 loses the queen to Nxe7+) 28. Rb7 is dismal for Black.

27. Nb5 Qb6 28. Nxe7+ Kh8 29. Nxc8 Rxc8 30. Qd3 Qd8 31. Qf5 Bf8 32. Ra1 Kg7 33. Ra7 Be7 (see diagram)

Offering me the chance of an apparently simple combination which turned out more complex than I had imagined.

34. Rxe7 Qxe7 35. Qxc8 Qe1+ 36. Kh2 h5 37. f3 g4

Threatening either gxf3 or h4.

38. Qf5 gxf3 39. Qg5+ Kh7 40. Qf5+ Kg7 41. Qg5+ Kf8

Now past the time control, both sides can stop to think. After 41 . . . Kh7, I can play 42. Bd7] f2 (Nxd7 loses prosaically to Qxh5+ and Qxf3) 43. Bf5+ Kh8 44. Qxf6+ Kg8 45. Qg5+ Kf8 46. Qh6+ Ke8 (Ke7 is mated by Qd6+ and Nc7) 47. Qh8+ Ke7 48. d6 mate.

42. Qxf6 f2

Black has three threats: f1=Q, f1=N+ and Qg1+ with mate next move. White must act quickly.

43. Qh8+ Ke7 44. d6+ Ke6 45. d5+ Kf5 46. Qxh5+

After the game, my opponent showed me a fantasy variation: 46. Nd4+ Kg4 47. Nf3 (Qg7 mate is better) Qg1+]] 48. Nxg1 f1=N+] 49. Kh1 Ng3+ with a draw by perpetual check. Back in reality, Black must now retreat, since 46 . . . Ke4 is mated by 47. Qf3+ Ke5 48. Qf4.

46 . . . Kf6 47. Qh6+ Kf5 48. Bd7+ Ke4

He can walk a shorter plank with 47 . . . Ke5 48. Qf4+ Kxd5 49. Qd4 mate.

49. Qf4+ Kd3 50. Bf5+ Ke2 51. Nd4+ Kd1 52. Bc2 mate.

With Black's king and queen ready for the next game.

(Graphic omitted)

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