Chess

Years ago, I saw an old club player gleefully reading a chess magazine article while waiting for an opponent. It showed two quick wins by Black with identical combinations. The first was a Queen's Gambit: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 c5 5.Bxc4 e6 6.0-0 a6 7.Qe2 Nc6 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.e4 Qc7 10.Nc3 Ng4 11.h3?? Nd4! and White resigned. He must lose either his queen or king. The second was a Sicilian: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd44.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.0-0 Bc5 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Qe2 Ng4 10.h3 Nd4 White resigned.

So when his opponent arrived, my old friend played, for the first time in his life, the Sicilian Defence. I'd warned him. You can't just pick up a state-of-the-art weapon like the Sicilian and expect anything other than shooting yourself in the foot. Only 20 minutes later I heard a whoop of joy as Black thumped his knight down on d4 and White gave up. So much for sophisticated theory.

This game, played at Wijk aan Zee last week, shows that a version of the same trap still works. At the end 21.e5 or 21.exf5 loses to Bxf3; anything else is mated by Rf6 and Rg6.

White: I. Brodsky Black: A. Tregubov 1 e4 c5 12 Bf4 Ne5

2 Nf3 Nc6 13 Bd3 Nh5

3 d4 cxd4 14 Bg3 Nxg3

4 Nxd4 Qc7 15 hxg3 Nf3+! 5 Nb5 Qb8 16 gxf3 Qxg3+ 6 c4 Nf6 17 Kh1 Qh3+ 7 N5c3 b6 18 Kg1 Qg3+ 8 Be3 Bb7 19 Kh1 Qh3+ 9 Be2 e6 20 Kg1 f5! 10 0-0 Bc5 White resigns 11 Qd2 0-0

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