Harriet Hunt, the English representative in the World Girls Championship in Poland, made a fine start, winning her first three games, before she came unstuck in an extraordinary game against one of the favourites.

The opening began as a Caro-Kann but quickly reached a line of the Nimzo- Indian in which White has attacking prospects on the K-side to compensate for the isolated d-pawn. Hagarova's direct aggression with 13.Bd3, 14.Re3 and 16.Ne5 seemed to reap immediate dividends when the exchanges after 17...a6 left White's bishop entrenched on f6. All White needed was to get her queen to h6, and Black would be unable to prevent mate.

Hunt found a fine source of counterplay in 20...Qd5 (momentarily tying the white queen to the defence of g2) followed by 21...Qxa2 and 22...Rxc3! when the back-rank mating threats left White with no time to play her intended Rxh7.

After 23.Rd1, Black looked helpless against the threat of Rxh7, but she came up with the brilliant 23...Rf3!! With Rxf6 and Qxf2+ both threatened, White had to accept the sacrifice, but 24...Qe2 again prevented 25.Rxh7 when 25...Qxd1+ 26.Kg2 Qxf3+ wins for Black.

However, after 25.Rf1 Bxf3 26.Qf4 Bxh5 27.f3! White was once again threatening Qh6 and there was nothing for Black to do about it except give up her bishop, leaving herself with four pawns for a piece.

But that bishop was still stuck on f6, and White still had mating threats. After 30.h4! White's plan is to tuck her king safely out of harm's way on h2, then continue with Be5 and Qf6. In a difficult position Black's 30...h6 and 31...g5 was disastrous; after 32.Rg2 she had no defence to the threat of Bxg5 since Kh7 loses to Qe4+ and Kf8 to Qd6+.

White: Zuzana Hagarova

Black: Harriet Hunt

World Junior Championship 1997

1 e4 c6 17 Bb5 a6

2 d4 d5 18 Bxf6 axb5

3 exd5 cxd5 19 Nxd7 Qxd7

4 c4 Nf6 20 Qg4 Qd5

5 Nc3 e6 21 Re5 Qxa2

6 Nf3 Bb4 22 Rh5 Rxc3

7 Bd3 dxc4 23 Rd1 Rf3

8 Bxc4 0-0 24 gxf3 Qe2

9 0-0 b6 25 Rf1 Bxf3

10 Bg5 Bb7 26 Qf4 Bxh5

11 Re1 Nbd7 27 f3 Bxf3

12 Rc1 Rc8 28 Rxf3 Ra8

13 Bd3 Re8 29 Rf2 Qh5

14 Re3 Bxc3 30 h4 h6

15 bxc3 Qc7 31 Kh2 g5

16 Ne5 g6 32 Rg2 resigns

Comments