Independent Pursuits: Chess
Wednesday 17 March 1999
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
(see diagram) Nxf4..?
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