ETCETERA / CHESS

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The Independent Culture
Britain's first grandmaster annotates an original victory from the recent tournament in Arhus, Denmark.

White: A J Miles

Black: E Mortensen

When this was played, Mortensen led the tournament by a clear margin. I needed to win to have any chance of challenging for first.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c3

If you don't know whether your opponent is intending to play the King's Indian (with d6) or the Grunfeld (with d5), this is a useful little move to steer the game into unusual channels.

3 . . . Bg7 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bf4

Some players automatically retreat the bishop to h4 in such positions, because that's where bishops always go from g5, but it does nothing on that square.

After 5. Bf4 White intends Nbd2 when . . . d5 leaves the bishop on a nice diagonal, which . . . Nxd2 is met by Qxd2,

with queen and bishop lined up for a

later Bh6.

5 . . . d5 6. Nbd2 c5 7. e3 Nc6

7 . . . Nx2 would have been more sensible. Black must have thought that the exchange of knights would now his pawn on e4 exerting a cramping effect. In fact, White's pieces operate happily round

the pawn and Black's position is weakened.

8. Nxe4 dxe4 9. Nd2 f5 10. Qb3]

The point of the operation: there is no easy way for Black to castle.

10 . . . cxd4 11. cxd4 Na5

I had expected 11 . . . e6, which would have been an improvement on what he played.

12. Qc3 b6?

He would have done better to retract his previous move with 12 . . . Nc6. Castling was still impossible because of Bc7.

13. b4] Nb7 14. Rc1 Nd6 15. Qb3]

Back to the same old theme of delaying Black's castling.

15 . . . Bb7 16. Be2

I was tempted by 16. Nc4 when 16 . . . Nxc4 17. Bxc4 is clearly bad for Black, and 16 . . . Qd7 loses nicely to 17. Nxd6+ exd6 18. Bb5] Qxb5 19. Qe6+ with mate to follow, but after 16 . . . Nf7 Black's position is solid.

16 . . . Rc8 17. 0-0 Rxc1

After this Black's game is probably lost, but it is hard to suggest a constructive plan.

18. Rxc1 Qd7 19. Nc4 Nf7 (see diagram)

19 . . . Nxc4 20. Bxc4 would have been disastrous, and White was again threatening Nxd6+ followed by Bb5] so this retreat was forced. But it does not solve the problem.

20. Nxb6] axb6 21. Rc7 Bd5

The only move, since 21 . . . Qd5 would have lost to 22. Bc4.

22. Qc2 Qe6 23. Bb5+ Kf8

After 23 . . . Kd8 I had planned 24. Rb7] when Black cannot defend both threats of Rb8 and Qc7 mate.

24. Rc8+ Nd8 25. Rxd8+ Kf7 26. Rxd5] resigns.

Taking the rook loses the queen to Bc4. A pleasant thematic end to a game in which the a2-g8 diagonal played such a strong role.

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