Chess

The best-laid traps are the ones where the trap-laying move has an internal logic that conceals its intentions. A trap set for its own sake ought not to succeed against any reasonably suspicious opponent, but a trap introduced by an apparently pur poseful move is much harder to detect.

The best blunders are also well-intentioned and have an internal logic of their own. The six-move deep calculation with a glaring hole at move one is a far more satisfying blunder to behold than the one-move howler and is probably easier to make as well.

The game between Alisa Maric and Ketevan Arakhamia from the sixth round of the Hastings Premier Tournament this week produced an excellent trap and a splendid blunder which pushed Maric out of the leading group. The diagram position was reached after 30 moves on each side. Black (Arakhamia), with more space and a more active bishop, has a clear advantage.

White met the attack on her c-pawn with 31.Qa3 which also eyed the a-pawn. Black replied 31...Rb8. Now 32.Qxa7?? Bh2+ is too blatant a trap to fall for, so White continued 33.Kf1, cutting out the possibility of a check on h2.

Now comes the clever bit. Black played 32...Kh6! which at first glance seems pointless. White must have reasoned that the idea was to get the black king off the same rank as the queen, which would allow the knight to move from d5 without losing to Rd7. But why does the knight want to move? We soon learnt the answer.

White played 33.Qxa7, when 33...Ra8 34.Qb7 Qxc5 looks natural and strong, but instead Arakhamia played 33...Nc3!? And that's when White fell into the trap.

Her reasoning must have gone something like this: What happens after 34.Rd7? Since her bishop and queen are attacked, she must move the queen to create a threat of her own. 34...Qe6 looks strong, when my knight and rook are both attacked. That must be why she played Kh6 on the previous move. But after 34...Qe6 I have 35.Qxc7! Qxc4+ 36.Kg1 Nxd1 37.Rh7+ Kg5 38.h4+ and mate next move with Qe7 or Qg3.

Wonderful! So White played 34.Rd7?? and resigned after 34...Qxd7! After 35.Rxd7 Rb1+ she is mated.

Scores after round 7: Luther 51/2; Nunn 41/2; Arakhamia, Sher 4; McNab, Maric 31/2; Howell, Madl 3; Kachiani-Gersinska, Lalic 2.

William Hartston

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz