Chess

Today's game starts with 15 moves of theory in a sharp line of the Sicilian before Black plays a new idea, improving the activity of his queen and offering a pawn sacrifice. White, probably unwisely, accepts the offer after which Black seizes the initiative and pushes his advantage home in a devastating attack, enhanced by an imaginative and original way of developing his queen's rook.

An everyday tale of chessplaying folk, you might think, but the remarkable thing about this game is that it was played in the English Under-14 Closed Championships held last week at Yateley Manor School, Hampshire. The event was restricted to players in the official British Chess Federation Junior Squad and enabled coaching to take place in a competitive atmosphere.

Black's 15...Qc5 is an interesting idea to increase his black-square influence, but White should not have been tempted by 17.Bxe5 and 18.Nxg5. Instead 17.Bf2 looks more to the point, fighting for control of the black squares instead of conceding them for the sake of a mere pawn.

Black's 22...Ra7! was a very important move, without which he would find it extremely difficult to develop his Q-side.

White's 24.Ng5 was a huge misjudgement. Either 24.Rhe1 (intending a quick Qe3) or 24.a3 (delaying ...b4) would have been much better. As played, the knight sortie not only lost time, but compunded the error with 25.Ne2? (25.Nb1 is now the only chance). When 26...Bb5 came, White had to move his queen while maintaining the defence of the knight on e2, but then came 27...Qc4 attacking both e2 and a2. With the loss of the a-pawn, White's game collapsed. Not bad for a couple of 13-year-olds.

White: J Mutton

Black: A Longson

1 e4 c5 17 Bxe5 dxe5

2 Nf3 d6 18 Nxg5 Nh5

3 d4 cxd4 19 Qd2 Nf4

4 Nxd4 Nf6 20 Nf3 b5

5 Nc3 a6 21 g3 Nxd3+

6 Bg5 e6 22 Qxd3 Ra7

7 f4 Be7 23 h4 Bd7

8 Qf3 Qc7 24 Ng5 b4

9 0-0-0 Nbd7 25 Ne2 f6

10 Bd3 h6 26 Nh3 Bb5

11 Bh4 g5 27 Qf3 Qc4

12 fxg5 Ne5 28 Rhe1 Qxa2

13 Qe2 Nfg4 29 Qb3 Qa1+

14 Nf3 hxg5 30 Kd2 Rd7+

15 Bg3 Qc5 31 Ke3 Rxd1

16 h3 Nf6 White resigned

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