Pastimes; Chess

Anyone can win a brilliant game. If you want to spot a really good player, look at the games he loses. Take this game lost by Luke McShane in round nine of the current British Championship. Taken by surprise by the Four Pawns Attack, he replied passively with 6...Nbd7? White barged on with 7.e5 and 11.h4 and after 12.h5, Black's game was critical. But 12-year-old Luke fought back resourcefully, correctly calculating at move 14 that 14...Ndf6 15.Nxe6 Bxe6 16.Qxe6+ Kh8 17.Rh3 would leave White with too strong an attack, and instead giving up the exchange for two pawns. White's attack persisted, but he needed to give back his extra material, then find the fine idea of 31.Rc1! (much better than the obvious Bc4) to win the game. Black's resistance in this game is as impressive as any he has won.

White: Graeme Buckley

Black: Luke McShane

1 d4 Nf6 19 0-0-0 Bxd5

2 c4 g6 20 cxd5 Ng6

3 Nc3 Bg7 21 Bc3 Nd6

4 e4 d6 22 Qg4 Re8

5 f4 0-0 23 Qh3 b5

6 Nf3 Nbd7 24 b3 b4

7 e5 Ne8 25 Ba1 h6

8 Qe2 c5 26 Rxh6 Bxh6

9 d5 e6 27 Qxh6 Nf5

10 dxe6 fxe6 28 Qg5 Nd4

11 h4 dxe5 29 Bxd4 cxd4

12 h5 gxh5 30 Kb2 Kg7

13 Rxh5 exf4 31 Rc1 Re7

14 Ng5 e5 32 Rc6 Re8

15 Ne6 Qf6 33 d6 Qe6

16 Nxf8 Nxf8 34 Rc7+ Kf8

17 Nd5 Qf7 35 Qh6+ 1-0

18 Bd2 Be6