Pursuits: Chess

Click to follow
IN MY round-up of Easter tournaments last Friday, I still hadn't received all the results. A total of 121 players took part in the Bolton Easter Congress in three sections, 27 of which were in the Open, won by Ben Hague (Rochdale) on 5/6. Paul Macklin (Charlton) and Brett Lund (Preston) scored 4.5.

In Sheffield, 128 played in four sections. In the Open Stephen Bell (Gateshead Library) made 5.5/6, a point clear of Richard Palliser (Hull) and Peter Hempson (Ecclesall) on 4.5. The largest section was the major, won by Paul Roberts (Sheffield) on 5.5/6.

Here are two of the victor's five wins:

After the excellent 17 ...Na5!, Black got the advantage on the queenside. 16 b4 was bad but if 16 Rb1 Nxc4 17 bxc4 (17 dxc4 f5 is worse; 17 ...Bd7 also looks pleasant for Black.

Black emerged with an extra passed "a pawn" and converted the advantage cleanly. At the end, there's no defence to the slow but deadly plan of ...a3, ...Ra1, ...a2, ...Rmoves and ...a1=Q.

White: Jim Burnett

Black: Stephen Bell

King's Indian Reversed

Taking the bait with 14 ...Bxc3!? was arguably rather foolhardy but far from absurd; the a pawn may not look important but it does provide potential support for a later b4 shifting the important black knight. Black would be quite pleased then to give up a rook for White's black-squared bishop and ideally another pawn for a resultant blockaded position.

But having given up the bishop, Black had to be extremely careful - eg 16 ...Qa5 looked sensible. He tried to take the initiative by throwing forward both knights and 18 ...Rac8 but 19 e5! was a clear refutation, after which White got a large clear advantage.

If 19 ...Qxc4 20 Qxc4 Rxc4 21 b3 wins a piece; or 19 ...dxe5 20 Bh6 f6 21 Bxf8 Rxf8 22 Bxb7 etc. 20 Bxb6 followed by 21 exd6 demolished Black's structure. At the end if 26 ...f6 (if 26 ...Qe6 27 Qh8+ will mate) 27 Qb8+ Kf7 28 Rd7+ leads to mate.

White: Stephen Bell

Black: Richard Palliser

King's Indian Defence