Catching up on the chess news in brief, here are three brevities from recent events. The first comes from a tournament in Budapest in October.

It was more than 30 years ago when Bent Larsen first demonstrated that Black can safely allow 15.Bb5+. His king is inconvenienced, but the strength of the knight on d5 is more than worth it. In this game, White's 18.Qh4 combined with 19.Nd2 add up to gross negligence. Once Black has been allowed to play g5 and Nf4, White's game falls apart. There is no answer to 22...Ne4, since 23.bxe4 loses to Ne2+, while 22.Qg4 is met by ...h5.

White: Levente Lengyel

Black: Joshua Waitzkin

1 d4 Nf6 14 dxc5 Nxc5

2 Nf3 d5 15 Bb5+ Kf8

3 c4 e6 16 Qd4 Qb6

4 e3 c6 17 Be2 h6

5 Bd3 Nbd7 18 Qh4 a5

6 0-0 Be7 19 Nd2 g5

7 Nc3 dxc4 20 Qg3 Nf4

8 Bxc4 b5 21 Bf3 Qb5

9 Bd3 Bb7 22 Nb3 Ne4

10 e4 b4 23 Nd4 Qxf1+

11 Na4 c5 24 Kxf1 Nxg3+

12 e5 Nd5 25 hxg3 Nd5

13 Nxc5 Bxc5 White resigned

The next game, from the Russian Cup in St Petersburg, sees White improvising an extravagant idea - which works to perfection. Against Black's unusual hybrid of a Queen's Gambit Accepted and Grunfeld Defence, 6.b4 looks a rather clumsy way of preventing Black from striking in the centre with ...c5. After 9.Ba3!? and 10.b5, however, it was clear that White's plans were more aggressive.

If Black plays 10...dxe3, then either 11.Bxf8 or 11.fxe3!? Bxa1 12.Qxa1 leaves White well placed for a direct attack on the king. As the game went, Black tried to ensure that f7 was well enough defended, but was caught by 17.Bxf7+! White's final move is most elegant: the pinned queen cannot take the knight, and 18...Bxf6 19.Rxf8+ is fatal.

White: A Neverov

Black: A Karpeshov

1 d4 d5 10 b5 Re8

2 c4 dxc4 11 exd4 a6

3 Nf3 Nf6 12 Rfe1 Rxe1+

4 e3 g6 13 Rxe1 axb5

5 Bxc4 Bg7 14 Nd2 e5

6 b4 0-0 15 Re8+ Nf8

7 Nbd2 Nfd7 16 Ne4 Qf4

8 0-0 e5 17 Bxf7+ Qxf7

9 Ba3 exd4 18 Nf6+ resigns

Back to Budapest for the final game, in which a classical pawn centre is brought to a state of total collapse by persistent nibbling from the edges. Black's devious opening play is more difficult to meet than it looks. White really cannot afford the time for 9.h3, as he soon discovered.

Since 11.0-0? would simply pin his own d-pawn and lose the pawn on e5, White could find nothing better than to give up his proud centre, but he was still unable to castle. Black soon found himself way ahead in development and White could only wait to be killed by an invasion of the black rooks. At the end 23.Bxe2 Qf2 is mate.

White: Li Thai Phuong Lien

Black: JP Schmidt

1 e4 g6 13 dxe7 Nxe7

2 d4 Bg7 14 Kf1 Rd7

3 Nc3 d6 15 Ne4 0-0

4 f4 c6 16 Nxf6+ Bxf6

5 Nf3 Bg4 17 g4 Nd5

6 Be2 Qb6 18 Ra3 Re7

7 e5 Nd7 19 Qd3 Bh4

8 a4 a5 20 Qd2 Rfe8

9 h3 Bxf3 21 Rb3 Re1+

10 Bxf3 Rd8 22 Kg2 R8e2+

11 exd6 Bxd4 White resigned

12 Qe2 Ndf6

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