If you find yourself at a loose end in north London this weekend, you should drop in at the London College of Traditional Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (HR House, 447 High Road, Finchley N12) where three London grandmasters, Chris Ward, Keith Arkell and Neil McDonald, face three Chinese grandmasters, Wang Zili, Ye Jiangchuan and Peng Zaomin, in a challenge match between London and Peking.

Until the Sixties, China did not participate in international chess. With their own Chinese Chess, as well as Go and other oriental board games, they showed little interest in the Western game. Chinese teams played in the Olympiads of the late Sixties, but were seen more as a curiosity than a threat to the leading chess nations. Indeed it was not until 1974 that a Chinese player won a game against a grandmaster. I well remember the loser of that game, the urbane Dutch Grandmaster Jan Hein Donner, proudly maintaining: "Now I am the third most famous player in the world." Since his defeat would ensure that his name would be known throughout China, he reckoned that only Fischer and Spassky would be more famous.

In the Eighties, the Chinese became a real world chess power - but only in women's chess. Now their men are beginning to catch up. In the first round of the London-Peking match, the Chinese players, with the advantage of the white pieces on all boards, won 3-0. In the following game, Neil McDonald fell victim to an imaginative attack.

After 27...Bg7, McDonald must have counted on 28.hxg7+ Kh8 29.Bg3 when 29...f5! leaves him very much in the game. But when White spotted 28.Bxd5 29.Bxe6+! and 30.Rh3! Black was dead.

White: Ye Jiangchuan

Black: Neil McDonald

1 e4 e6 18 Bd3 Rfe8

2 d4 d5 19 Rfe1 Nd5

3 Nd2 c5 20 Be4 Rad8

4 exd5 Qxd5 21 Rd3 g6

5 Ngf3 cxd4 22 Qd2 b4

6 Bc4 Qd6 23 Rf3 bxc3

7 0-0 Nf6 24 bxc3 Bf8

8 Nb3 Nc6 25 h4 Bc8

9 Nbxd4 Nxd4 26 h5 f6

10 Nxd4 Bd7 27 hxg6 Bg7

11 c3 Qc7 28 Bxd5 fxe5

12 Qe2 Be7 29 Bxe6+ Kh8

13 Nb5 Qc6 30 Rh3 Bxe6

14 Bf4 0-0 31 Nxe6 Rxd2

15 Rad1 a6 32 Rxh7+ Kg8

16 Nd4 Qc5 33 Rxg7+ Kh8

17 Be5 b5 34 Rh7+ 1-0

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