Independent Pursuits: Chess

IF YOU are going to lose with White, you may as well get it over with quickly. That is the lesson of today's two games from events still in progress in London and Sweden.

The first comes from the opening round of the Agency Masters, at the Agency Club in London. Neil McDonald has made a speciality of winning moderate-strength all-play-all tournaments in London, but this time he got off to a dreadful start:

White: Neil McDonald

Black: Peter Wells

1e4 e5 10 Nxe5 Bxe4

2 Nf3 Nc6 11 g5 Rg8

3 Bb5 a6 12 d3 Bf5

4 Ba4 Nf6 13 Re1 Bxh3

5 0-0 Be7 14 Kh2 Be6

6 Bxc6 dxc6 15 gxf6 gxf6

7 Qe2 Bg4 16 Nf3 Qd5

8 h3 Bh5 17 Kh1 Bd6

9 g4 Bg6 White resigned

White lasted longer in this game from Malmo, but suffered more. Boris Spassky has not played for some years and looks very rusty.

White: Boris Spassky

Black: Joel Lautier

1 e4 c5 19 Be3 Rf3

2 Nf3 Nc6 20 Bg1 Ne6

3 Bb5 d6 21 Rh2 Rbf8

4 Bxc6+ bxc6 22 b3 Bd8

5 d3 e5 23 Kb2 Qb7

6 c4 Ne7 24 Qc1 Qf7

7 Nc3 Ng6 25 Be3 Qh5

8 g3 Be7 26 Rg2 Ba5

9 Ng1 0-0 27 Rdg1 Nd4

10 h4 f5 28 Re1 Bh3

11 Qe2 Rb8 29 Rh2 Bf1

12 f3 Rf7 30 Ng1 Rxg3

13 Be3 Qa5 31 Rxf1 Rxf1

14 Qc2 Nf8 32 Qxf1 Rxe3

15 Bd2 Qb6 33 Rh3 Qh6

16 0-0-0 fxe4 34 Nb1 Re1

17 fxe4 Bg4 White resigned

18 Nge2 Rf2