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Independent Pursuits: Chess

ON THE weekend circuit, most of the events are played annually but there are some much more regular ones such as Adam Raoof's Golders Green Rapidplays (0181-202 0982 adam@circuit.demon.co.uk) and the divers Kensington tournaments held at Imperial College, London, by the indefatigable Barry Gale (0181-316 4132; b.j.gale@ic.ac.uk).

Generally, as at Golders Green, these are one day rapidplays. But the latest over 20-21 February was exceptionally a weekend congress at a normal time limit. There were 120 players competing in five gradated sections starting with the Premier, restricted to players rated under 215, which was won jointly by Paul Georghiu and Jovanka Housha with 5/6.

This nice game from the Minor (under 145) was in the file of best games provided by Mr Gale but also sent independently by the winner. And while I obviously can't guarantee to publish such material, readers are very welcome to send their own games to my e-mail address (see end of article).

Black's bad plan in the opening of actually encouraging 6.Bxc6+ left White with a clear structural advantage. The bold 9.g4 threatened g5 before Black could castle freeing e8 as a retreat square.

17...Qe7 looks better to control c5 but eg 18.Qg3 Rfe8 19.Nd2 e5 20.fxe5 fxe5 21.Bb2 is quite good. After 21...e4 Black looks positionally busted - though I might have tried 23...Ng5!? 24 h4 Nf3 sacrificing a pawn - but alternatives were also bleak.

With 28.Nb1!, White started a splendid manoeuvre to transfer the horse to the kingside without allowing it to be exchanged for Black's useless bishop.

33..g5 was desperate, but Black would surely also be mated if he waited. I might have deferred g5 for one more move with first 36.Rh2 since 37...Rf3 might be very mildly annoying.

In the diagram Black should try 38...Rxf4 39.exf4 Rf7 hoping for some mess after eg 40.Rh2 Qd7 41.Rxh5+ Kg8 42.Rh6 Qf5. The pretty 42.Be7! sealed matters since if 42...Qxe7 43.Qg8 mate or 42...Rhxe7 43.Qf6+.

White: Peter Lord

Black: Robert J Heaton

Kensington Minor 1999

Bird's Opening


1.f4 d5

2.b3 Nf6

3.e3 Nc6

4.Nf3 Bf5

5.Bb5 a6

6.Bxc6+ bxc6

7.Ne5 Bd7

8.d3 e6

9.g4 h6

10.Qf3 Bd6

11.0-0 0-0

12.Bb2 a5

13.a4 Rb8

14.Kh1 Nh7

15.Rg1 Bxe5

16.Bxe5 f6

17.Bd4 e5

18.Bc5 Rf7

19.Qg3 Qe8

20.Nd2 Rd8

21.d4 e4

22.f5 Bc8

23.h4 Ba6

24.Rg2 Rdd7

25.Rh2 Qd8

26.Rg1 Bb7

27.Qh3 Ba6

28.Nb1 Bb7

29.Nc3 Ba6

30.Nd1 Kh8

31.Rd2 Kg8

32.Qg3 Nf8

33.Nf2 g5

34.fxg6 Nxg6

35.Nh3 Kh7

36.g5 fxg5

37.hxg5 h5


(see diagram) Nxf4..?

39.g6+ Nxg6

40.Qxg6+ Kh8

41.Rh2 Rh7

42.Be7! Rdxe7


44.Rxh5+ Kg8


Black resigns