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It is 20 years since Tony Miles ignited the English chess explosion by becoming our first grandmaster. In those two decades, England rose from nowhere to become the second strongest chess nation and the only serious challenge to the old Soviet Union. Miles's own fortunes were less smooth, including a period during which he changed his chess allegiance to the United States. Recently, however, he moved back to England, and last weekend even turned up playing on top board for Slough in the Four Nations Chess League.

The seventh round of this year's competition was played in Ware, sponsored by the local NatWest bank, and attracted nine grandmasters and 19 masters. With a 71/2-1/2 victory over Richmond, Slough moved up to second place, a point behind last year's winners, Midland Monarchs. Miles's own contribution was a characteristic blend of subtlety and force.

Black's strategy is set with 9...Bc5 and 12...e5: he will play to swap black-squared bishops, exchange his other bishop for a white knight on d5 and leave himself with a strong knight against a restricted bishop. White's 27.f4 smacks of impatience and gives Black objects of attack on the K-side. Miles finishes neatly with 43...Nh5! when 44. Qxh5 loses to 44..Ra3+. In the final position, White is mated after 45.Kxh5 g6+ 46.Kxh6 (or 46.Kg4 Ra4+) Qh4+.

White: Richard Bates

Black: Tony Miles

1 d4 e6 6 0-0 Nf6

2 Nf3 c5 7 e4 Nc6

3 g3 cxd4 8 c4 Nxd4

4 Nxd4 a6 9 Qxd4 Bc5

5 Bg2 Qc7 10 Qd2 0-0

11 b3 d6 29 axb4 Qh4

12 Bb2 e5 30 Qd4 Nf6

13 Nc3 Bg4 31 Rce1 Ra2

14 Rac1 Rac8 32 Kg1 Rxe2

15 h3 Bd7 33 Rxe2 h6

16 Kh2 Bc6 34 Qxb6 Qxf4

17 Nd5 Bxd5 35 Qf2 Qxc4

18 exd5 a5 36 Rb2 Ra1+

19 Bc3 Ra8 37 Kh2 Qc3

20 Qb2 Bb4 38 Rc2 Qe5+

21 a3 Bxc3 39 Qg3 Qe7

22 Qxc3 Nd7 40 Qf3 Qe5+

23 b4 b6 41 Qg3 Qd4

24 Qb2 Ra7 42 Qf3 Qg1+

25 Rfe1 Rfa8 43 Kg3 Nh5+

26 Re2 Qd8 44 Kh4 Qe1+

27 f4 exf4 White resigned

28 gxf4 axb4

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