Chess

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The Peking team (essentially the full Chinese side) were too sharp for their London opponents and won by 10-8 the match at the London College of Traditional Acupuncture. With one round to play, the Chinese led by a single point, but London had White in all three last-round games and the contest seemed wide open.

The game that decided it was Peng Xiaomin's win on the black side of a Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation against McDonald. The early signs all looked favourable to England: with queens exchanged at move six, it was clearly going to be a quiet, positional game; also the variation with 8.Ne2, 9.b3 and 10.Nd2 is one that McDonald has made his speciality. On both counts, one would have expected solid, English technique to stifle the Chinese inexperience.

It all seemed to be going well when 19.Nf5 led to the elimination of Black's bishop pair: White's pawn majority looked effective, and his bishop far superior. With all his pawns on white squares, while six of Black's obstructed his own bishop, White apparently had a clear advantage. The rest of the game, however, demonstrated the bad side of a "good bishop" - its inability to defend its own pawns.

With 24...Nc6! and 25...Bg3! Black began to exploit the strengths in his own position. For the rest of the game, his knight had a splendid time harassing bishop and pawns. White went to pieces after 39...Rf3 when 40.e6 Rxf2 41.Rg8+ Kb7 42.e7 Nf3 wins for Black, but 40.exf6! leaves White still fighting after 40...Rxf2 41.f7 or 40...Rxf5 41.f7.

White: Neil McDonald

Black: Peng Xiaomin

1 e4 e5 23 Kf1 Nb4

2 Nf3 Nc6 24 c3 Nc6

3 Bb5 a6 25 c4 Bg3

4 Bxc6 dxc6 26 Rd5 Nb4

5 d4 exd4 27 Rxd7 Rxd7

6 Qxd4 Qxd4 28 Nxg3 Rd1+

7 Nxd4 c5 29 Kg2 Rd2+

8 Ne2 Bd7 30 Kh1 hxg3

9 b3 0-0-0 31 Rg2 Rd3

10 Nd2 Ne7 32 Rxg3 Rxb3

11 Bb2 Ng6 33 Bc1 Nd3

12 f3 f6 34 Be3 Ne5

13 a4 b6 35 Bf4 Nd3

14 Nc4 Be6 36 Be3 Ne1

15 Ne3 Bd6 37 Bf2 Nxf3

16 Rd1 h5 38 Rxg7 Nd2

17 Kf2 h4 39 e5 Rf3

18 g4 Rd7 40 Bg3 fxe5

19 Nf5 Bxf5 41 Rg5 Ne4

20 gxf5 Ne7 42 Bxe5 Nxg5

21 h3 Nc6 White resigned

22 Rhg1 Rhd8

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