Chess and marriage do not mix, as the final round of the Deloitte and Touche Chess Festival in Jersey confirmed. When the previous round ended, the lead was shared by Andrew Webster and Bogdan Lalic. The computer pairings for the final games came up with an interesting choice of opponent for Lalic - his wife, Susan.

Now the Lalics, to avoid any chance of marital disharmony, always agree a draw when paired against each other in tournaments. In a closely contested final round, however, that was not what either of them wanted. Bogdan was not happy to give Webster a clear chance of taking first prize alone, and Susan could still share first prize if she won her final game.

Understanding the dilemma, the organisers agreed to change the pairings: Susan would play against Webster, while Bogdan faced Chris Ward. The results, however, must have left the couple feeling that they should have accepted the original pairings. While Mr Lalic drew his game, Mrs Lalic lost to his rival, giving Webster an undivided first prize. The lesson is clear: those whom the computer has joined together, let no one put asunder.

Here is the game that decided first prize. White over-estimated the value of her initiative after the exchange of queens. Once it was dissipated, the black centre pawns were always going to be too strong.

White: Susan Lalic

Black: Andrew Webster

1 e4 g6 27 h5 g5

2 d4 Bg7 28 Rd5 Kf6

3 Nc3 c6 29 f4 Nxf4

4 Nf3 d5 30 Bd4+ Ke6

5 h3 Nf6 31 Re5+ Kxd7

6 e5 Ne4 32 Rxf5 Ne2+

7 Nxe4 dxe4 33 Kb2 Nxd4

8 Ng5 c5 34 Rxg5 Ne6

9 e6 f6 35 Rg4 Bd6

10 Nf7 Qxd4 36 Rf1 Be5+

11 Nxh8 Bxh8 37 Kb1 Bf6

12 Qxd4 cxd4 38 h6 Ke8

13 Bc4 Na6 39 Ra4 a5

14 Bb5+ Kf8 40 Rc4 Rd6

15 Bh6+ Kg8 41 Rc8+ Kf7

16 0-0-0 f5 42 Rb8 Nc5

17 Bg5 Nc7 43 Kc2 a4

18 Bd7 Bxd7 44 Rf4 b5

19 exd7 Kf7 45 Rg4 Ne6

20 h4 Ne6 46 Kb1 Nd4

21 f3 exf3 47 Rgg8 Ne2

22 gxf3 Rd8 48 Rbf8+ Ke6

23 c3 dxc3 49 Rg7 Rc6

24 bxc3 Bxc3 50 Rxf6+ Kxf6

25 Be3 b6 51 Rxh7 a3

26 Rd3 Bb4 White resigned

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