Independent Pursuits: Chess

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THE ONYX Grand Prix is fast approaching its climax at the Islington Open on the last weekend before Christmas, with three still in contention for the pounds 3,000 first prize.

Despite great efforts over the past few weeks, none of Mark Hebden (on 190.6 out of a possible 200), Keith Arkell (190.2) and Jim Plaskett (189.3) has succeeded in improving their scores. The man most rapidly improving is Bogdan Lalic, who has moved up to fifth on 173.5, behind Aaron Summerscale on 177.5. Both of these are too far behind to catch the leaders, even if they scored 5/5 at Islington - an elite event which counts eightfold so that this would be multiplied up to a maximum 40/40. But a perfect score for any of the top three would almost certainly secure victory.

Apart from the main Grand Prix there is also a so-called Prixette led by Susan Lalic, a Junior Prix led by Simon Williams, who has a narrow lead over Richard Bates, a Disabled section in which D Hartley is in front, and an Amateur Prix.

In a most informative press release, Grand Prix supremo Leonard Barden explains that Andrew Horton-Kitchlew, the Amateur Prix leader, was taught chess by his father, who in turn was taught in Pakistan by the almost legendary Mir Sultan Khan (1905-66).

A truly great natural player, Sultan Khan was taken by Sir Umar Hayat Khan into his household as a chess player in 1926 and only played in Europe from 1929-33 while his master was based in England. Three times British Champion, in 1929, 1932 and 1933, he was possibly unique in being described by Capablanca as a genius; and he included Flohr, Rubinstein and Capablanca himself among his victims.

Although generally much weaker in the opening than other phases, here Sultan Khan with 5.a3 introduced an idea taken up many years later by Tigran Petrosian and now deeply theoretical. After 13.Nxd6, Black got a bad structure. White's material advantage after 23.Qxc2 was decisive: but Khan's exploitation against an ex-world champion was extraordinarily calm.

White: Mir Sultan Khan

Black: Jose Raoul Capablanca

Hastings 1930-31

Queen's Indian Defence

1.Nf3 Nf6

2.d4 b6

3.c4 Bb7

4.Nc3 e6

5.a3 d5

6.cxd5 exd5

7.Bg5 Be7

8.e3 0-0

9.Bd3 Ne4

10.Bf4 Nd7

11.Qc2 f5

12.Nb5 Bd6

13.Nxd6 cxd6

14.h4 Rc8

15.Qb3 Qe7

16.Nd2 Ndf6

17.Nxe4 fxe4

18.Be2 Rc6

19.g4 Rfc8

20.g5 Ne8

21.Bg4 Rc1+

22.Kd2 R8c2+

23.Qxc2 Rxc2+

24.Kxc2 Qc7+

25.Kd2 Qc4

26.Be2 Qb3

27.Rab1 Kf7

28.Rhc1 Ke7

29.Rc3 Qa4

30.b4 Qd7

31.Rbc1 a6

32.Rg1 Qh3

33.Rgc1 Qd7

34.h5 Kd8

35.R1c2 Qh3

36.Kc1 Qh4

37.Kb2 Qh3

38.Rc1 Qh4

39.R3c2 Qh3

40.a4 Qh4

41.Ka3 Qh3

42.Bg3 Qf5

43.Bh4 g6

44.h6 Qd7

45.b5 a5

46.Bg3 Qf5

47.Bf4 Qh3

48.Kb2 Qg2

49.Kb1 Qh3

50.Ka1 Qg2

51.Kb2 Qh3

52.Rg1 Bc8

53.Rc6 Qh4

54.Rgc1 Bg4

55.Bf1 Qh5

56.Re1 Qh1

57.Rec1 Qh5

58.Kc3 Qh4

59.Bg3 Qxg5

60.Kd2 Qh5

61.Rxb6 Ke7

62.Rb7+ Ke6

63.b6 Nf6

64.Bb5 Qh3


black resigns