Pursuits: Chess

THE SEVENTH Monarch Assurance Open is under way at the Cherry Orchard Hotel in Port Erin in the Isle of Man, with an unprecedentedly strong entry.

With a prize fund of pounds 10,000, the organiser Dennis Hemsley has attracted 12 grandmasters and four international masters in the field of 48. And not just any grandmasters, but a list headed by Nigel Short, presently rated 2,670, followed by the formerly Russian, now Dutch grandmaster Sergei Tiviakov - a cool 2,665 - and Estonian Jaan Ehlvest on 2,625.

With such a strong entry, even the top seeds haven't had it all their own way and last year's winner fourth seed Alexander Baburin actually lost to the Norwegian international master Eirek Gullaksen in the very first round; another victim was the Latvian GM Igor Rausis who lost to Colm Daly; while Short himself could only draw as Black against the Russian Alexander Cherniaev.

There were fewer upsets in the second round, with the possible exception of Monday's game in which Ehlvest was summarily dispatched by Jim Plaskett; but then Jim can beat anybody on his day. Indeed, in round three he lost to Israel's Emil Sutovsky, who then shared the lead on three points with Chris Ward.

So despite early setbacks, the seeds have been drifting towards the top.

For the moment, though, here is what not to do against Jim Plaskett.

By omitting ...d6 in the opening, Plaskett was able to play ...d5 in just one move against the so-called English Attack. In the diagram 14... Nc4! set Ehlvest back on his heels. Instead of 16 Qxb4 16 Bf4 e5 17 Bxe5 Qxe5 18 Qxb4 Bc6 is also bad. But it was only with his final move that Ehlvest made it simple. After 27... e5! 28 Bxb2 Rxd2+ 29 Ke1 Rxc2 wins a piece. But White could have forestalled 27... e5 with either 27 e5 which might be met with 27... g5 to isolate it - and maybe threaten 28... f6 29 exf6 e5; or possibly 27 f4.

White: Jaan Ehlvest

Black: Jim Plaskett

Monarch Assurance

Isle of Man 1998

Sicilian Taimanov

jspeelman@compuserve.com

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 e6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 Nc6

5 Nc3 Qc7

6 Be3 a6

7 Qd2 Nf6

8 f3 b5

9 g4 h6

10 0-0-0 b4

11 Na4 Ne5

12 Be2 d5

13 Nb3 Bb7

14 Nac5 (see

diagram) Nc4!

15 Bxc4 dxc4

16 Qxb4 cxb3

17 Qxb7 Qxb7

18 Nxb7 bxa2

19 Kd2 Nd7!

20 Ke2 Rb8

21 Nd6+ Bxd6

22 Rxd6 Rxb2

23 Rxa6 0-0

24 Rd1 Ne5

25 Rd2 Nc4

26 Bd4 Rd8

27 Ra4? e5! 0-1

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes