Independent Pursuits: Chess

Click to follow
AS IS traditional there was plenty of action over the Easter weekend with tournaments all over the country.

Alongside the Redbus Knockout where I was playing in Southend, there was the 43rd Southend Congress, which resulted in a six-way tie between Adrian Jackson, David Ledger, Andrew Ledger, Nick Pert, John Sugden and Peter Sharp, all on 5.5/7

In the 52nd West of England Championships in Exmouth, the top score in the Open was made by Mike Bushill (Wood Green), though the title of West of England Champion and a qualifying place for this year's British Championship went to local player Neil Crickmore, a former British Under-18 champion.

The 25th Surrey Congress at Sutton resulted in victory for Andrew Webster with 6.5/7 ahead of Andrew Kinsman on 6 and Richard Bates and Simon Williams on 5.5; the Premier section (under 170) was won by 10-year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam on 6/7.

With Arkell and Hebden away at the French League and Lalic and Plaskett in Southend - at which only the slow games counted for Grand Prix purposes - there was little change in the Onyx Grand Prix leaderboard which currently stands at Arkell (160.5/200), Lalic (137.5), Plaskett (136.7), Gormally (134.5), Andrew ledger (129.4) and Hebden (125.5): though Grand Prix supremo Leonard Barden tells me that Lalic, who has a high percentage in the events he's so far played, is currently best placed to take the title.

The hurly-burly of weekend tournament play can be conducive to some admirably chaotic chess, such as this game played not last weekend but three weekends ago at the 7th Doncaster Congress in which the top section Stars Barred section for players up to 220 was won by Lawrence Cooper.

In the opening, White usually plays 4.d5 - instead he plotted to win a pawn with 6.Bxb8 though Black got huge compensation with the two bishops and a big centre.

If 19.hxg3 fxg3 20.Ng4 Qh4 21.Rfd1 Kh8! (better than 21...e5 22.Nf6+! Qxf6 23.Qxd5+ Kh8 24.Nd2 en route to f1) threatening ...h5 yields a very dangerous attack.

With 20.Nxd7!? - rather than 20.Ng4 Qh4 - White sacrificed his queen for considerable materal though his king remained under fire. 24...Rxf8 was possible and if 25.f4? Rxf4! but it was only with 27...exf3? that Black went badly wrong: instead 27...Rxf8! 28.fxe4 (or 28.f4 Rxf4 29.Rf1 Rh4!) Qf2+ 29.Kh2 Rf4 30.Kh3 Rf6 is winning. At the end Black lost on time though his position was indefensible, anyway.

White: Gary Hinchcliffe

Black: J.Mutton

Doncaster Stars Barred 1999


1.d4 Nf6

2.Bg5 Ne4

3.Bf4 c5

4.c3 cxd4

5.Qxd4 d5

6.Bxb8 Rxb8

7.Qxa7 e6

8.e3 Bd7

9.Qd4 f6

10.Nd2 Bc5

11.Qd3 f5

12.Ngf3 b5

13.Be2 0-0

14.0-0 Qf6

15.Nb3 Bd6

16.Qd4 Qh6

17.Ne5 f4

18.f3 Ng3

19.Rfe1 Nf5

20.Nxd7 fxe3!

21.g3 Nxd4

22.Nxd4 e5

23.Nc2 e4

24.Nxf8 Bxg3!?

25.hxg3 Qh3

26.Nxe3 Qxg3+

27.Ng2 exf3?

28.Bxf3 Qxf3

29.Rf1 Qg4

30.Rf4 Qg5

31.Raf1 h5

32.Ne6 Qg6

33.Nd4 Ra8

34.a3 Rb8

35.Nf5 Kh7

36.Nfh4 Qb6+

37.Kh1 Rb7

38.Rf5 g6


Black resigns