Independent Pursuits: Chess

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THE GERMAN Bundesliga met last weekend and (as readers must be

getting somewhat tired of hearing) the massive team of which I'm a member, Solingen, again won both our matches for a perfect 10/10: leaving us - with just one intervening match weekend in March - still in good shape for the last-round confrontation with the other powerhouse, Porz from Hamburg, in April.

Only just back from Calcutta, I personally played rather poorly and made a loss and then a win. Matthew Sadler, though, had an excellent weekend, beating Stefan Kindermann on Saturday and then winning today's game against Julian Hodgson. Indeed, it had seemed likely that I too would be playing an English opponent on Sunday: Stuart Conquest. But in the absence of Demenhorst's board three, the Norwegian Simen Agdestein, Stuart played a board higher and won well against Robert Hubner.

My thanks to both players for showing me this game, and especially to Jules for not demurring when I suggested I should publish it. Just over a month ago, the two had met at the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) and then Hodgson had played 3 ...Nc6, had got a rotten position but had then won. This was Sadler's revenge.

7 ...e6 8 Nc3 transposes directly to a line of the French Defence but Hodgson wanted to create something different. However, 11 Bf2 was very strong since if 11 ...d4? 12 Nb5! wins it - though perhaps he could try 11 ...Be6!?

12 ...d4 lost far too much time. Instead of 18 Bh4!? White could have gained a big advantage with the simple 18 Rad1 Qc7 19 Bc2 preventing queenside castling.

During the game Matthew thought that 18 ...0-0!? was better when he intended 19 Nd6 Na5! (not 19 ...Bxh4 20 Nxb7 Qc7 21 Be4!) 20 Bxe7 Qxe7 21 Qh3 g6. But in fact 19 Nf6+!, which he thought only drew, wins after gxf6 (or 19 ...Bxf6 20 Bxf6 gxf6 21 Bxh7+ Kg7 22 Qg4+ Kh8 23 Rad1 Qe7 24 Rd3 Qc5+ 25 Rf2) 20 exf6! Bxf6 21 Qg4+ Kh8 22 Qh5 Qxd3 23 Bxf6+ Kg8 24 Rf3 Qg6 25 Rg3.

If 21 Rd7 Qc5+ 22 Nxc5 Bxc5+ gave some faint hope. At the end after 24 ...Rc8 25 f5! Qxb5 26 fxe6 quickly blows Black away.

White: Matthew Sadler

Black: Julian Hodgson

Pirc Defence

1 d4 d6

2 e4 Nf6

3 f3 d5

4 e5 Nfd7

5 f4 c5

6 Nf3 Nc6

7 Be3 cxd4

8 Nxd4 Nxd4

9 Bxd4 Nb8

10 Nc3 Nc6

11 Bf2! e6

13 Ne4 Bb4+

14 c3 dxc3

15 bxc3 Be7

16 0-0 b6

17 Qf3 Bb7

18 Bh4!? Na5?!

19 Bb5+ Kf8

20 Rad1 Qc7

21 Bxe7+! Qxe7

22 Rd7 Bxe4

23 Qxe4 Qc5+

24 Rf2 1-0