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Archive for August 25th, 2013

British Chess Championships (10.08.2013.)

The British Championships at Torquay finished last night, and the prizegiving will be held this morning. At the time of going to press, it looked very much as if David Howell was going to reclaim the title he first won in 2009 when the event was last held at the Riviera Centre. With 2 rounds still to play, he stands on 8 points, one point clear of his nearest rival.

One local success was John Gorodi of Newton Abbot winning the British U-150 title. He is 87 and one evening he crashed his car on the way home, but discharged himself from hospital the following morning in order to play his penultimate game, and finished win/win to clinch the title.

Also, Giles Body of Lympstone won a difficult problem-solving competition.

The response to this 100th Championship has been tremendous; the previous record of 1,009 at Edinburgh in 2003, was totally smashed with 1,200 entries in all.

This bright game came from Rd. 7 of the Championship. Neil Carr had won the Game of the Day in the previous round, and then came up with this offering.

White: J. Reid (2151). Black: N. L. Carr (2290).

King’s Indian Defence  [E90]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0–0 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 Better is to continue developing with 10.0–0.  10…f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2 fxe4 13.Nxe4 If 13.Bxh3 then Bxh3 prevents castling for a while. 13…Bf5 14.Ng4 h5 15.Nh6+ Bxh6 16.Bxh6 rather than move his rook with 16…Rf7 he plays 16…Bxe4 hitting both f2 and the bishop on g2 17.f3 Black is not backing down. 17…Bxf3 18.Bxf3 e4 19.Bg2 Now the threat that has been veiled for several moves can be played. 19…Nf2 forking queen and rook. 20.Qd4 A counter-threat of mate on g7. 20…Nd3+ preventing castling. 21.Kd2 Rf2+ 22.Ke3 Qf7 both covering the mate on g2 and adding to the pressure down the f-file – attack and defence in one move. 23.Raf1 Nd7 24.Bxe4 If 24.Rxf2?? Qxf2+. 24…N7c5 25.b4 Re8 with a threat of mate that White doesn’t spot. 26.bxc5?? Qf3# the bishop is pinned. 0–1

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Nc6+ Ka6 2.Qa5 mate.

One of the special events at the British Championships is a problem-solving competition, where 10 positions are posted in shop windows around the town. They are relatively easy and meant to be solvable by everyone.

This is one of the ten. White is a pawn down, but can win if he plays the right move. What is that?

White to play and win.

British Chess Championships (03.08.2013.)

The 100th British Championships at Torquay reach the half-way stage this afternoon. In the main tournament there is a record 106 players of all ages and depths of experience, but by this stage it is the Grandmasters and International Masters who are gathering together to form a leading group. For each of the 11 rounds there is a Game of the Day award, determined by Andrew Martin, for which there is a small prize, always welcomed by cash-strapped chess professionals. In Rd. 1 it went to the defending champion, Gawain Jones for this sparkling win.

 White: G. Jones (2643). Black: J. Reid (2151).

Sicilian Defence.

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bd3 g6 5.dxc5 dxc5 6.e5 Nh5 7.h3 Nc6 8.Nf3 Qc7 9.0–0 Bd7 It’s suicide to try and win the e-pawn viz. 9…Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Qxd7# 10.Qe2 h6 11.e6 Bxe6 12.Bxg6 Ng7 If 12…fxg6 13.Qxe6 threatening a powerful check on g6. 13.Be4 0–0–0 Now White must attack the enemy king a.s.a.p.  14.Na3 Bd5 15.Nb5 Qb6 16.Bxd5 Rxd5 17.c4 Both attacking and defending – the best kind of move. 17…Rd8 18.b4 White is seeking to open lines that his pieces can utilise before Black has a chance to complete his development. 18…Ne6 19.bxc5 Qa5 If 19…Nxc5 20.Rb1 creates threats. 20.Rb1 Bg7 21.Qc2 Rd7 22.Bd2 Qa6 23.Rb3 Ncd4 24.Nfxd4 Nxd4 25.Nxd4 Bxd4 26.Rfb1 Qc6 27.Bf4 e5 28.Bg3 e4 29.Qc1 e3 30.Rxe3 Bxc5 White’s offer of the exchange is declined. It could have gone thus: 30…Bxe3 31.Qxe3 Rg8 32.Qf4 threatening mate on b8. 31.Rf3 Qg6 32.Rb5 b6 33.Rxc5+! bxc5 34.Qb2 1–0 White is the exchange down, but, thanks to the long open lines and diagonals he has played for, he is threatening mate on b8 and the rook on h8.

Most of the top games can be followed live each day on the event website www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk which also contains all results and many downloadable games from completed rounds. Also, there is a front page link to keverelchess,com which covers other aspects of the fortnight, including many of the special events, such as the Bullet Chess Challenge, the 9 player simultaneous and the Chess on the Big Wheel.

Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Qb4! threatening 2.Qd4 and Black’s 7 tries to avoid it merely allow other mates.

This one should be a little easier, although White is in danger of losing his knight. How should he respond?

White to pllay & mate in 2

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