Games: chess

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One does not often willingly exchange queens into a simple endgame a pawn behind when one is hoping for victory, but that is what Jonathan Rowson did in today's game. Played earlier this month in Tallinn, Estonia, it was one of the games that brought Rowson the silver medal in the European Junior Championship. I do not know how much he had calculated when playing 34.f5, but it resulted in the loss of a pawn - and the eventual win of the game.

Both players seemed to become a little confused in the opening. When White plays 7.N5c3 instead of 7.N1c3, the idea is usually to develop the other knight to d2 rather than a3. By the time he settled for 12.Na3, he had already played the cumbersome plan of Re1 and Bf1, slowing down his K-side play. When Black then went in for the strange 12...Nb4?! it gave White a chance to bring his knight back via b5 to d4. When Black's knight came back to c6, it was difficult to work out who had lost more time and whether it had been worth it.

Black's 24...d5 changed the complexion of the game but Rowson's 34.f5! seized the initiative. Black won a pawn, but the white pawn at f6 forced Black's king on a long trek to rejoin the game. The black e-pawn was bound to fall, and after that, the endgame was won for White, who played the final king and pawn endgame very neatly.

White: J Rowson

Black: B Kosmac

1 e4 c5 31 Rxc1 Bc5+

2 Nf3 e6 32 Kh2 Ne7

3 d4 cxd4 33 Nxe7+ Rxe7

4 Nxd4 Nc6 34 f5 Bd4

5 Nb5 d6 35 Qg4 Bxe5

6 c4 Nf6 36 Bxe5 Rxe5

7 N5c3 b6 37 f6 g6

8 Be2 Bb7 38 Rc7 Rc5

9 0-0 Rc8 39 Rxc5 bxc5

10 Re1 Be7 40 Qd7 Qc8

11 Bf1 0-0 41 Qxc8+ Bxc8

12 Na3 Nb4 42 Kg3 Bb7

13 Nab5 a6 43 Kf4 Kf8

14 Nd4 Qc7 44 g4 Ke8

15 Bg5 Rfe8 45 Bc4 h6

16 Rc1 Qb8 46 g5 hxg5+

17 Bh4 Nc6 47 hxg5 a5

18 Bg3 Ne5 48 Ke5 e3

19 b3 Qa8 49 Kf4 Bd5

20 Qe2 Bf8 50 Bb5 Kd8

21 f4 Ng6 51 Kxe3 Kc7

22 Na4 Nd7 52 Kd3 Kd6

23 Nf3 Bc6 53 Bc4 Ke5

24 Nc3 d5 54 Bxd5 Kxd5

25 cxd5 exd5 55 a3 Kc6

26 e5 Nc5 56 Kc4 Kb6

27 Nd4 Bb7 57 Kd5 Kb5

28 h4 Ne4 58 Kd6 Kb6

29 Nxe4 dxe4 59 a4 resigns

30 Nf5 Rxc1