Cambridge triumph

Chess
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The Independent Online
The world's oldest continuing chess fixture, the annual Oxford- Cambridge match was played for the 114th time last weekend at the RAC Club (with sponsorship from the law firm Watson, Farley & Williams) and saw Cambridge winning by 5-3 to go one ahead in a series dating back to 1874.

The best combination came on the women's board and brought Oxford their only win. Emilia Holland (Cambridge, playing White) had drifted into a passive position from a Queen's Gambit. In the diagram, she played 1.Rd2 to keep the black queen out of d3, but was surprised by 1...Rxe3!

After 2.Rxe3 Qb1+ White regains the rook to stay a pawn ahead. Instead, she gave up her queen for two rooks with 2.Qxe3 Rxe3 3.Rxe3, but after 3...Qb1+ 4.Kf2 g6 5.a3 Qc1! 6.Rde2 Qd1! White was struggling. The end came abruptly with 7.Re7 Qxd4+ 8.Kg3 g5 9.R7e5 Qh4 mate.

The moral is clear: with this Queen's Gambit pawn structure, White must either play a minority attack with b4 and b5, or plan a central advance with f3 and e4. If you try for both at once, you end up with neither.

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