The 11th European Individual Championships started last weekend in Rijka, Croatia and finishes next weekend. Of the 422 competitors only 3 are English, and all have westcountry connections. Michael Adams (graded 267) is Cornish by birth and is 20th seed; David Howell (grade 247 & 40th seed) has a place at a university in Somerset, while Keith Arkell (grade 257 & 222nd seed) is a Devon resident. His recent appeal in this column for financial help on this trip was met by a generous contribution from a Plymouth donor.
This is Adams’ 2nd round game, an example of a quick king-side attack against the Sicilian Defence.
White: M. Adams (2704). Black: A. Jankovic (2569).
Sicilian Defence–Richter Attack [B67]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 The Richter Attack, indicating that White will go for a sharp King-side attack after castling long. 7…a6 8.0–0–0 Bd7 9.f4 b5 Naturally, Black will try to get his reprisal in first. 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.Qe3 Qe7 13.a3 Rb8 14.Bd3 Bg7 15.Qg3 0–0 16.Qh4 b4 17.axb4 Rxb4 18.Rhf1 Re8 19.Rde1 h6 20.Re3 a5 21.Rg3 Kh8 22.f5 e5 23.Rg4 Kh7 24.Rf3 preparing to pile on the pressure. 24…Rg8 25.Rfg3 Qa7 White now sacrifices the exchange in order to maintain the initiative before Black’s own attack gains too much impetus. 26.Rxg7+ Rxg7 27.Rh3 Qg1+ 28.Nd1 Kg8 29.Qxh6 Kf8 30.Rg3 (White either missed or rejected 30.Qxf6 which seems to kill the game stone dead, e.g. if 30…Rg8 a forced mate follows 31.Qd8+ Be8 32.Qxd6+ Kg7 33.Qh6 mate. Or if 30…Qc5 31.Qd8+ Be8 32.f6 threatening both the rook and Qe7+ 32…d5 33.fxg7+ Kg8 [if 33...Kxg7 34.Qg5+ Kf8 35.Rh8 mate] 34.Qxe8+ Kxg7 35.Qh8+ Kg6 36.Qh6 mate). Back on the board Adams has given Black a move to create a threat of his own, but he is still OK. 30…Ra4 31.Kd2 Ra1 32.Qxg7+ Ke7 33.Qg4 d5 34.exd5 Bxd5 35.Re3 Qxh2 36.Be4 Ra4 37.Qf3 Rd4+ 38.Kc1 Rxe4 39.Rxe4 resigns, as Black is left a piece down.1-0 Play might have continued. 39…Bxe4 40.Qxe4 Qf4+ 41.Qxf4 exf4 42.Nf2 Kd6 43.Kd2 Ke5 44.Nd3+ Kxf5 45.Kc3 Ke4 46.Nxf4 Kxf4 47.Kd4 and White will queen.