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Archive for April 16th, 2016

Evans Above! (16.04.2016.)

As reported earlier, the appearance of the Dutchman, Thomas Broek, added to the interest in the Championship section of the recent WECU Congress, with some enterprising, uninhibited play, as in this last round game.

White: Thomas Broek. Black: Jack Rudd. Evans Gambit [C51]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 The signature move of the Evans Gambit, devised by Capt. William E. Evans (1790 – 1872) as he commanded the Royal Mail’s first steam packet between his native Milford Haven and Waterford. It became a highly popular variation of the Giuoco Piano or Italian Game, described by a contemporary as “A gift of the gods to a languishing chess world”. Both players here knew it well and rattled off the first 12 moves in a matter of seconds. 4…Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qf4 Nd5 11.Qg3 0–0 12.Bh6 Now it begins to get really interesting. 12…g6 13.Bxf8 Qxf8 Although White’s queen has done a job in helping to win the exchange, it’s virtually trapped in a corner. 14.0–0 d6 15.c4 Ndb4 threatening …Nc2 winning the rook. 16.Nc3 dxe5 17.Nd5 e4 18.Nd2 Nd4 19.Bd1 Bd6 20.Qh4 Nxd5 21.cxd5 f5 22.Nb3 Nxb3 23.Bxb3 f4 24.Rac1 Kg7 25.Rc4 Bf5 26.Rfc1 Rc8 27.g4 fxg3 28.hxg3 b5 29.Rc6 a5 30.a4 bxa4 31.Bxa4 Qf7 32.Bb3 Rb8 33.Bc2 Rb4 34.Qg5 a4 35.Qe3 It’s taken 22 moves, but White’s queen can finally escape to the centre of the board. 35…Qxd5 36.Qc3+ Qe5 37.Rxc7+! exploiting the fact that Black’s bishop is overloaded, trying to defend both queen & rook. 37…Bxc7. If 37…Kf6 38.Rd1 Qxc3 39.Rxc3 Be5 40.Rc6+ Kg5 41.Ra6. 38.Qxb4 e3 39.Bxf5 exf2+ 40.Kf1 Ba5 41.Qb7+ Kh6 42.Qh1+ Kg5 43.Be4 Qb5+ 44.Kg2 1–0 White tucks his king away, rather than expose it to risk by 44.Kxf2 Bb6+ 45.Kf3 Qb3+ 46.Kg2 Qb2+ etc. It also threatens 45. Qh4 mate, thus forcing 44…f1Q+ 45.Qxf1 not 45.Rxf1 Qe2+ 46.Kh3 Qh5+ 47.Kg2 Qe2+ 48.Rf2 Qxe4+ etc.

Two Westcountry congresses now follow each other in quick succession. Firstly, the 27th Frome Congress takes place Friday 13th–15th May at Selwood Academy. One can now enter on-line at their website somersetchess.org.

Then there is the 48th Cotswold Congress held over Whit Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 28th – 30th May at King’s School Gloucester. More information may be found on their website,  cotswoldcongress.co.uk.

Last week’s position ended in a queen sacrifice viz 1.Qg8+ and it can only be taken by 1…Raxg8 which leaves the knight free to come to f7 mate because the other rook is pinned and the king is hemmed in by his own pieces. This is known in the trade as a “smothered mate”.

This position is also from the London Classic. The position is complicated, with both queens en prise.  There is no clever mate here, so how does White cut through the Gordian Knot of complex variations and keep it simple.

White to play and win