Pastimes: Chess

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The Independent Culture
The last round of the Hastings tournament takes place today, so hurry down to the Cinque Ports Hotel and see if the Croatian Grandmaster Bogdan Lalic can hold off the British challenge of Jonathan Speelman, Tony Miles and Stuart Conquest, or whether the Russian Alexander Khalifman will sprint past them all.

The Hastings battle has been quite level this year, with little to choose between any of the players. The games have been entertaining, none more so than Conquest's conquest of Luther.

After a bizarre opening - White's 8.Rg1 and 10.g4 is superbly rustic - Luther let his queen wander into trouble. After 22.Bc1, Black was forced to surrender his a-pawn, but hit back with 24...Nxf5, when 25.exf5 e4 leaves Black threatening Qxc3+. Conquest found a brilliant refutation with 25.Nxc6! when Black's queen is lured from f6 and White emerges ahead on pawns and position.

White: Stuart Conquest

Black: Thomas Luther

1 b3 d5 21 Rh1 Qg5

2 e3 Nf6 22 Bc1 Nd7

3 Bb2 Bf5 23 Nc4 Qf6

4 Nf3 Nbd7 24 Nxa5 Nxf5

5 d3 h6 25 Nxc6 bxc6

6 Nbd2 e6 26 exf5 e4

7 Qe2 Bh7 27 Qa6+ Kb8

8 Rg1 a5 28 Bf4+ Bd6

9 a4 Bb4 29 Bxd6 Qxd6

10 g4 Qe7 30 Be2 Nc5

11 h4 0-0-0 31 Qb6+ Kc8

12 Nd4 Ne8 32 Rd1 Nd3+

13 h5 Nd6 33 Kf1 Rd7

14 Bg2 c6 34 Rh4 Re8

15 c3 Bc5 35 Qa6+ Kb8

16 e4 dxe4 36 Bxd3 Qf6

17 dxe4 e5 37 Rf4 Qg5

18 Nf5 Bxf5 38 Qb6+ Rb7

19 gxf5 Qh4 39 Qxc6 1-0

20 Bf3 Nf6