Independent Pursuits: Chess

A DECADE or so ago, English juniors were much feared. After an interregnum we're back, with many congratulations to Nicholas Pert and Ruth Sheldon, the European boys' and girls' under-18 gold medallists.

For Sheldon, this a second gold medal after her success at the European girls under-14s in Bratislava in 1993. Seeded sixth, she faltered in the second round with a loss to the Spaniard Gomez-Cabrero Lopez but had a wonderful tournament thereafter, ending up a whole point clear on 9/11.

The victory of Nicholas Pert from Ipswich, in a tournament with 12 international masters and slightly more holding the lesser title of Fide master, is by far his greatest achievement to date. In an interview with El Pais, Pert ascribed his success partly to restricting his preparation with the grandmaster Stuart Conquest to just two hours, so as to remain fresh for the game. Seeded 15th, he also felt that the pre-tournament favourites were under more pressure in the finishing straight, after nine of them bunched on 6/8 with three rounds remaining.

Pert had joined this leading group with a victory against the strong Romanian Levente Vajda - which he said was his first intimation that he might be in with medal chances. He followed this with two further wins against the Ukrainian Fedorchuk and the Israeli Gershon, and was able to coast in the last round with a peaceful draw as Black against the Russian Alexei Ilijushin which left both equal on 81/2/11, but Pert the easy winner on tie-break.

Here is that crucial eighth round game. Vajda got wonderful play with the pawn sacrifice starting 15... b5 but Pert kept his head and sacrificed the exchange with 26 Rxc3! to create counterplay. Black ought to have been doing quite well but after losing two tempi on moves 31 and 32, he was on the ropes. Pert kept his nerve well in the queen ending. In the final position after 54... gxf5+ 55 Kxf5 Kd7 56 Kxf6 Ke8 57 Kg7! wins.

White: Nicholas Pert

White: Levente Vajda

King's Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6

2 Nf3 g6

3 g3 Bg7

4 Bg2 0-0

5 0-0 d6

6 c4 Nbd7

7 Nc3 e5

8 e4 exd4

9 Nxd4 Re8

10 h3 a6

11 Re1 Rb8

12 Rb1 Ne5

13 b3 c5

14 Nc2 Nc6

15 Nd5 b5

16 cxb5 Nxd5

17 exd5 Rxe1+

18 Nxe1 Nd4

19 bxa6 Bxa6

20 Bb2 Qa5

21 Bxd4 Bxd4

22 Nf3 Bf6

23 Qd2 Bc3

24 Qf4 Qxa2

25 Rc1 Qb2

26 Rxc3! Qxc3

27 Qxd6 Qa1+

28 Kh2 Re8

29 Qxc5 Bf1

30 b4 Bxg2

31 Kxg2 Rd8

32 Nd4 Re8

33 d6 Re4

34 d7! Rxd4

35 Qc8+ Kg7

36 d8Q Rxd8

37 Qxd8 Qe5

38 Qd3 h5

39 h4 Kf8

40 Qd8+ Kg7

41 Qa8 Qb5

42 Qa5 Qc6+

43 Kh2 f6

44 Qa7+ Kf8

45 Qb8+ Ke7

46 b5 Qf3

47 Qa7+ Ke6

48 Qc5 Qd5

49 Qxd5+ Kxd5

50 Kh3 Kc5

51 g4 hxg4+

52 Kxg4 Kxb5

53 f4 Kc6

54 f5 1-0

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer