Chess

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It was an amusingly sexy little Hastings rather than a great Hastings. 1994/5 will not go down as a memorable Hastings vintage, except, perhaps for the Challengers tournament, where Harriet Hunt achieved an International master norm at the age of 16 - the youngest British girl ever to do so - and first place was shared by David Bronstein, who was a veteran when many of today's veterans were in nappies.

For today's game, however, we return to the unisex Premier tournament, where the men did finally manage to finish well ahead of the women, though not without having to work hard for it. This is an all-woman game in which the winner displayed good commandof both positional and tactical ideas, though there are strong grounds for suspecting that she only discovered the true point of her winning combination when half-way through it.

The opening looked like a typical, attacking-on-opposite-wings, King's Indian until White saw a chance offered by Black's 15...b4 (15...a4 may be an improvement). With 17.h6! White blocked the K-side and shut her opponent's bishop out of the game so completely on h8, that White was effectively a piece ahead on the other wing.

White cashed in her positional advantages with 29.Na5! intending the queen sacrifice that followed. After 33.Bxc5 dxc5, it looks as though White should win easily, but Black's position turns out not to be as helpless as it seems. After the obvious 34.Rd7Qb5+ 35.Kf2, Black plays 35...Bf6! (not Qxc6?? allowing Rd8+) when 36.c7 Bh4+ forces a draw.

Kachiani-Gersinska solved the problem with the delightfully cool 34.g5!! stifling the bishop and forcing the win. Had she seen this when giving up her queen? I suspect not, but you don't need to calculate everything when your tactical judgement is operating well.

White: K. Kachiani-Gersinska Black: K. Arakhamia 1 d4 Nf6 20 Nc4 Ra6

2 c4 g6 21 Rc1 Qb8

3 Nc3 Bg7 22 Nd3 Rc8

4 e4 d6 23 Nxc5 Nxc5

5 Be2 0-0 24 Kf2 Ra7

6 Bg5 Na6 25 Rhd1 b3

7 f3 e5 26 a3 Nd7

8 d5 c6 27 Kf1 a4

9 g4 cxd5 28 Be3 Rac7

10 cxd5 Bd7 29 Na5 Rc2

11 Nh3 Qe8 30 Nc6 R8xc6

12 Nf2 Nc5 31 dxc6 Rxe2

13 Qd2 a5 32 Kxe2 Nc5

14 h4 b5 33 Bxc5 dxc5

15 h5 b4 34 g5 Qb5+ 16 Ncd1 Bb5 35 Rd3 f5

17 h6 Bh8 36 c7 Qa6

18 Ne3 Bxe2 37 Rxc5 resigns 19 Qxe2 Nfd7

William Hartston

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