ETCETERA / Chess

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Grandmaster Conquest wasted little time on these two miniatures from the Challengers' tournament at Hastings.

White: Conquest (England)

Black: Marusenko (Ukraine)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Bc4

Very fashionable in the 1960s, but now everyone plays 6. h4.

6 . . . e6 7. N1e2 Bd6 8. Nf4 Qh4] 9. Ngh5

Since 9. Qf3 is met by Bxc2 White has no good alternative. In view of this, 8. h4 may be better than Nf4.

9 . . . Bxh5 10. Qxh5 Qf6?]

Not content with an immediate exchange of queens, Black expects to achieve the same object on better terms after 11. Ne2 (11. Nxe6 loses to g6) Qg6] 12. Qxg6 hxg6.

11. Nd3]] Qxd4

Taking the bait. Instead 11 . . . Qg6 would have been met by 12. Qf3 when Qxc2 is illegal.

12. Bxe6] Qe4+?

The best move was 12 . . . g6 when 13. Qg4 Qxg4 14. Bxg4 f5 leaves White with only a microscopic advantage.

13. Kd1] (see diagram)

Now 13 . . . Qxe6 loses to 14. Re1; still 13 . . . g6 14. Qg4 Qxg4+ was possible. Instead, my opponent bashed out his reply.

13 . . . Qg6?? 14. Qxg6 hxg6

Queens are exchanged on his terms, but there is a sting in the tail.

15. Bc8] Nd7 16. Bxb7 Rd8 17. Bxc6 Nf6 18. Be3 a6 19. c3 Ng4 20. Bb6 resigns.

21. Re1+ is coming. A brief encounter, but the next was shorter.

White: Conquest (England)

Black: Allen (Canada)

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. Nf3 c5 5. Qa4+]? Nc6

5 . . . Bd7 is equally playable.

6. Ne5

Crude, but wholly consistent.

6 . . . Bd7

The annals of theory also contain the obscure 6 . . . Qc7]? 7. Nxd5 Qxe5 8. Nb6] Rb8 9. Nxc8 Rxc8. After the move played the tempting 7. Nxf7 fails after 7 . . . Nxc3 8. Qc4] Na5]

7. Nxd7 Qxd7 8. g3

8. e3?] Ndb4 is unpleasant for White. Both sides develop peacefully.

8 . . . e6 9. Bg2 Be7 10. d3

Chasing pawns with 10. Qg4 brings disaster after 10 . . . h5] 11. Qxg7 Bf6.

10 . . . 0-0 11. Bd2 Rfd8 12. Rd1 a6 13. 0- 0 b5

Avoiding the trap of 13 . . . Nxc3 14. bxc3] Nd4? when after 15. Qxd7 Nxe2+ 16. Kh1 Rxd7 17. Bf3, Black loses his knight.

14. Qg4 Rac8??

Natural and losing immediately.

15. Nxd5] resigns.

Too late he saw that 15 . . . exd5 16. Qxd7 Rxd7 17. Bh3] nets rook for bishop, with a simple win.

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