Chess

Emotions play a far greater role in deciding games than most of us realise. Miscalculations and misjudgements happen when the mind is best prepared for them - and there is nothing that prepares a mind so well for a miscalculation as the feeling that a previously good position has begun to slip.

Such a mistake cost Jonathan Rowson his match against Julian Hodgson last week. When the final game began, scores were level at 21/2 all. Rowson had won the first game, Hodgson the second, and the next three had been drawn. In game six, Hodgson found another eccentric way to meet the Sicilian Defence, but it did him little good. Black's knight seems to be having a hard time as it is chased from f6 to c6, but after the exchange of the white e-pawn Black has a very comfortable game.

White's 20.Bb1 was a bluff that paid off. Black can simply play 20...Bxg2 21.Rg1 Qb7 with a clear advantage. Black also obtained a promising-looking position the way he played, but he seemed to lose the thread of the game after Hodgson's somewhat desperate 23.Ke2 and 24.h4. After 24...Bf4! Black would keep a big advantage, since 25.g3 loses to 25...Rxd4 26.Qxd4 Bxf3+. Instead Rowson retreated his bishop , letting White organise his defences with 25.Qe3 and 26.Kf2.

After 27.Qg5 it was time for Black to take stock and recognise that his advantage had gone. His 27...Qf7? let White turn the tables with a simple combination. Finally Black threw it all away with a blunder. After 40...Rf8 White wins with 41.Bxh7+! Kf7 42.Rd7+.

White: Julian Hodgson

Black: Jonathan Rowson

Sixth match game 1997

1 e4 c5 21 f3 Qh4+

2 Nf3 e6 22 Qf2 Qh6

3 b3 Nf6 23 Ke2 Bg5

4 e5 Nd5 24 h4 Be7

5 c4 Nb4 25 Qe3 Qg6

6 Bb2 b6 26 Kf2 Bd6

7 a3 N4c6 27 Qg5 Qf7

8 Nc3 d6 28 Nxf5 exf5

9 exd6 Bxd6 29 Bxe5 Be7

10 d4 cxd4 30 Qf4 Rxd1

11 Nxd4 0-0 31 Rxd1 Bxa3

12 Nf3 Bb7 32 Bd6 Bxd6

13 Nb5 Bf4 33 Rxd6 b5

14 Qc2 Nd7 34 c5 a5

15 Rd1 Qe7 35 Qd4 Bc8

16 Bd3 f5 36 Bc2 f4

17 Qe2 a6 37 Qd5 Qxd5

18 Nbd4 Nxd4 38 Rxd5 Bb7

19 Nxd4 Ne5 39 Rd7 Rf7

20 Bb1 Rad8 40 Rd8+ resigns

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