Chess

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The most significant chess event of the year - in a far-reaching metaphysical sense - was the match between the Academics and the Philistines last weekend held at the new Pizza Express at London Wall. The question at issue was whether education is good for your chess and to settle the matter two teams were assembled comprising on the one side players with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge and on the other those players who had somehow bypassed a proper education. Altogether it was one of the strongest matches ever contested in England.

With David Norwood and myself as captain and vice-captain of the Academics, it should come as no surprise that the Oxbridge side romped home to an easy victory. Norwood and I both lost our games, but that only showed what faith we had in the inherent superiority of our cause. Indeed, Norwood even went so far as to match Michael Adams glass for glass with the Chianti which they quaffed during the game.

Norwood had been doing rather well early in the game, after forcing a black knight to make a complete round trip from b8 to c6, b4, a6 and back to b8, but he became confused when Adams stuck a bishop offside on a4. It was clearly not the sort of move to appeal to Norwood's educated tastes, and he blundered a few moves later when he allowed a neat temporary queen sacrifice with 29...Qxf2+ which left Black with a comfortably won endgame.

A couple of years ago, David Norwood gave a series of lectures on "Chess and Education" in support of the thesis that teaching children chess can improve their academic results. Last week's match, however, supported the other side of the same argument: that education can improve your chess.

White: David Norwood

Black: Michael Adams

1 Nf3 Nf6 27 Qd2 Nf6

2 g3 g6 28 Qh6 Qd4

3 Bg2 Bg7 29 Rac1 Qxf2+

4 d4 0-0 30 Kxf2 Ng4+

5 0-0 d5 31 Ke2 Nxh6

6 Nbd2 a5 32 Ng2 Nf5

7 Re1 Nc6 33 Nf4 Nd6

8 c3 Bf5 34 Nd5 Nxc4

9 Nh4 Be6 35 Nxc7 Nxa3

10 e4 dxe4 36 Nxa8 Rxa8

11 Nxe4 Nxe4 37 Kf2 Bxb5

12 Bxe4 Bd5 38 Rxe4 Rc8

13 Bd3 e5 39 c7 Nc4

14 c4 Be6 40 Rexc4 Bxc4

15 d5 Nb4 41 Rxc4 Kf8

16 Bf1 Bd7 42 Rc6 Ke7

17 Bd2 b6 43 Ke3 Kd7

18 Bc3 Re8 44 Rxb6 Rxc7

19 a3 Na6 45 Ra6 Rc5

20 b4 e4 46 Kd4 Rh5

21 Qd2 Nb8 47 h4 Rf5

22 c5 Bxc3 48 g4 Rf4+

23 Qxc3 Ba4 49 Ke5 Rxg4

24 Bc4 Nd7 50 Ra7+ Kc6

25 c6 Nf6 51 Rxa5 Rxh4

26 b5 Nxd5 White resigned

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