The 12th Seniors Congress has been held all this week at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, one of the best venues in the country. The final prizelist was only made clear yesterday afternoon, after going to press, but the early rounds produced some interesting games. In this encounter, Black holds back from any occupation of the centre early on, but this doesn’t prevent him from launching a crushing attack as soon as he knows where the White king will be stationed. The build up to it is steady and it is interesting to see how White counters in the centre and how Black denies him the time to make anything of it.
White: A. F. Footner (173). Black: M. W. Wiltshire (148).
Nimzowitsch Defence. [B00]
1.e4 b6 2.Nf3 Bb7 3.Nc3 g6 4.d4 Bg7 5.Bc4 e6 6.Bg5 Ne7 7.Qd2 h6 8.Bf4 d6 9.0–0–0 White has committed himself early to Q-side castling, and Black can make this his target for attack. 9…a6 the launching pad. 10.d5 e5 11.Be3 Nd7 12.g3 Nf6 13.Nh4 b5 14.Bb3 Bc8 Black is in no desperate hurry to launch the attack immediately, but takes time to get his pieces better positioned for the moment when he’s ready, which is all well and good as long as he is not allowing his opponent time to counter on the opposite wing. 15.f3 Bd7 16.g4 Nc8 17.g5 hxg5 18.Bxg5 Nb6 19.Qe2 the time has come. 19…b4 20.Nb1 Bb5 21.Qe1 a5 22.c3 a4 the “pawn storm” continues apace. 23.Bc2 b3 24.axb3 axb3 25.Bxb3 Black has lost a pawn during this little skirmish, but it merely opens lines to the White king for Black to exploit. 25…Qd7 26.f4 Ba4 27.Bxa4 Qxa4 28.fxe5 Ng4 29.e6 f6 sidestepping the threat and gaining a tempo at the same time. 30.Bd2 Nc4 31.Na3 Qb3 and White resigned, as he cannot avoid mate on either b2 or a1. For example, if 32.Nxc4 Ra1#.
This was an unexpected result as Footner was one of the favourites, but it was no fluke as Wiltshire went on to win his second game against another high-flier.
The 45th Torbay Congress starts next Friday evening at the Riviera Centre. Enquiries about late entries should be directed to Mark Batten on 07971-626877.
Solvers are sure to have noticed that last week’s problem by Sam Loyd was incorrectly printed – a white piece had been inadvertently omitted, making it impossible to mate in 2 moves. Apologies for that, and here is the correct version. It is another “waiter”, where there is no immediate mating threat, but every Black move allows White in for the kill. The solution is 1.Ke8! offering his knight on e6 to be taken, but this allows 2.Qc6 mate. Now you can work out White’s replies to Black’s other moves.