Chess

HARD ON the heels of the Mind Sports Olympiad, indeed slightly overlapping, so that special arrangements had to be made for those competing in both, the first Coulsdon International Open took place from 28 August to 3 September. Sponsored by the Coulsdon Chess Fellowship, which has happily also expressed an interest in continuing next year, the tournament boasted a prize fund of nearly pounds 2,000 which attracted an entry of 24 from half a dozen different countries.

With his usual mixture of cautious draws and hard-fought wins, Bogdan Lalic emerged as the sole winner on 6.5/9, ahead of five who were second equal on 6: Danny Gormally, Graeme Buckley, Alexander Cherniaev (Russia), Jacob Murey (Israel) and Ronald Burnett (US).

There was also a congress over the long weekend in which Keith Arkell won the Friday night blitz with 7/7. This would not normally be a matter of much interest, except that blitz events now count towards the pounds 3,000 Onyx grand prize, so that Arkell's total, boosted by his victory with 10/15 in the Rapidplay - the Chess Olympiad Championship - at the Mind Sports, has now risen to 194.4/200.

Lalic is second with 190.7 but Julian Hodgson, not in the running till recently, has made an immense surge due to his victory in the British Championship at Scarborough and numerous medals at the Mind Sports - so that from just 50/50 before these events he had now risen to 188.6/200; ahead of Summerscale on 183.1, Hebden 182.8, Gormally 181.2 and Plaskett 180.2. Meanwhile Jovanka Houska leads the Prixette with 77.9/100, ahead of Harriet Hunt on 57.2, and Simon Williams is first in the Junior Prix on 82.0.

Today's game is really a tale of a pawn structure and two (utterly dissimilar) bishops. 7 a4 in the opening looked rather irrelevant and it quickly reached a "Dutch Stonewall reversed" of which Lalic had rather a good version. He too decided to set up a stonewall but his b7 bishop was immensely better than the passenger on c1 and when White, threatened with ...Ng3+, exchanged on e4 - I suppose he should have sacrificed the exchange with Rg1 though it's utterly dire - Lalic "sacrificed" with 26 ...Nxd4! and the sky fell in.

The vicious 30 ...Bd5! prevented any annoyance through an exchange sacrifice with d5 Bxd5 Rxd5. Faced with 33 ...Rg2, White surrendered two moves later.

White: Graeme Buckley

Black: Bogdan Lalic

Bird's Opening

1 f4 d5

2 e3 g6

3 Nf3 Bg7

4 Be2 c5

5 0-0 Nf6

6 d3 Nc6

7 a4?! b6

8 Ne5 Bb7

9 Nd2 0-0

10 c3 Qc7

11 d4 Ne8

12 Bd3 Nd6

13 Qf3 e6

14 Rb1 f6

15 Ng4 f5

16 Ne5 Ne4

17 Qe2 g5

18 g3 gxf4

19 gxf4 Bxe5

20 fxe5 Kh8

21 Nf3 Rg8+

22 Kh1 Qg7

23 Bd2 Qh6

24 Bxe4 dxe4!

25 Ne1 cxd4

26 cxd4 Nxd4!

27 exd4 e3+

28 Nf3 exd2

29 Rbd1 Rg3

30 Rxd2 Bd5

31 Rd3 Rag8

32 a5 Qh3 0-1

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