Games: Chess

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In the late Sixties, the most interesting national team in the world was that of Canada. On top board, they had Duncan Suttles, a highly imaginative grandmaster with a penchant for developing his knight on h3 or h6. Typically as White he would open 1.g3, then continue with Bg2, Nc3, d3 and Nh3. On one memorable occasion, he went on with Bd2, Qc1, Nd1, f3 and Ndf2, to give the knight on h3 some support.

Lower down the team, however, was Lawrence Day, a player who, on his day, could make Suttles look quite unadventurous. Looking at some games from this year's Canadian Championship in Ontario, I was delighted to see that Day is still producing weird and wonderful chess.

The following game from that event may set some sort of a record. Of Black`s 40 moves, 18 of them give check. White, while all this is going on, makes 16 moves with his king - and wins the game. In the opening, White's 7.Nc3?! is not as good as 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.d4 Bg4 9.Qd2, but Black's piece sacrifice with 7...Nxe4 looks highly speculative.

With White's king stumbling around like a drunk in a minefield, the rest of the game was hilarious. Black finally blundered his queen away as his attack ran out of steam, and resigned before White could get over the shock and take it.

White: L Day

Black: R Teodoro

1 e4 e5 22 Kc3 Rc6+

2 f4 exf4 23 Kd2 Rf6

3 Nf3 Be7 24 Qg3 Qd5

4 Nc3 Bh4+ 25 c3 Rg6

5 Ke2 d5 26 Qh3 Rxg2+

6 Nxd5 Nf6 27 Kd1 Re8

7 Nc3 Nxe4 28 Re1 Rxe1+

8 Nxe4 Qe7 29 Kxe1 Qe4+

9 Nxh4 Qxh4 30 Qe3 Rg1+

10 Kd3 Bf5 31 Ke2 Qg4+

11 Qe2 0-0 32 Kd3 Qg6+

12 Kc3 Nc6 33 Kc4 Qc6+

13 d3 Bxe4 34 Kb3 Qb6+

14 Qxe4 Rae8 35 Kc2 Qg6+

15 Qxf4 Qe1+ 36 Qd3 Qc6

16 Kb3 Na5+ 37 d5 Qd7

17 Ka3 Re6 38 b3 h5

18 d4 Nc4+ 39 Kb2 Rg2+

19 Bxc4 Qa5+ 40 Bd2 Qh3

20 Kb3 Rb6+ Black resigned

21 Bb5 Qxb5+

After that, we deserve something a little more sober, so here is a game by England's own most imaginative grandmaster, played in a tournament at Leeuwarden in the Netherlands last month. After a curiously unambitious opening - 4.Nd2 looks considerably less aggressive than either 4.exd5 or 4.e5 - Speelman moves on to the attack with the uncompromising 11.fxg3.

His investment in the open f-file paid off handsomely with 21.Bxg6! which ripped open Black's defences. After 22.Qd3 Black could not defend g6, so tried to prevent mate on the f7 square. An easy sacrifice on f6 was then all it took to finish him off. In the final position 26...Ke7 27.Qg7+ is fatal, while on 26...Qxf6 27.Qxf6+ Kg8, the simplest way to end it is 28.Qg5+ Kf8 (Kh7 allows Qg6 mate) 29.Ng6+.

White: J Speelman

Black: M Bosboom

1 d4 g6 14 Bh4 Bf6

2 e4 Bg7 15 Bd3 Nd6

3 c3 d5 16 Ne5 Kg7

4 Nd2 dxe4 17 Qe3 h5

5 Nxe4 Nh6 18 Bg5 Rh8

6 Bc4 Nf5 19 Rf2 Rc8

7 Nf3 0-0 20 Ref1 Ne8

8 0-0 Nd7 21 Bxg6 fxg6

9 Qe2 b6 22 Qd3 Bd5

10 Ng3 Nxg3 23 Qxg6+ Kf8

11 fxg3 Bb7 24 Bxf6 exf6

12 Bg5 Nf6 25 Rxf6+ Nxf6

13 Rae1 Ne4 26 Rxf6+ resigns