So, Mickey Adams proceeded to win the British Championship as expected with the excellent score of 9½/11 points, 1½ ahead of his nearest rival and the highest total since Julian Hodgson won the title with 10 points at Plymouth in 1992. The other native Cornishman, Andrew Greet, also did very well in coming 3rd= on 7½, with a late run of 4/5 points in the 2nd week. The three adopted Devonians did rather less well, though were by no means disgraced. Leading the trio was Keith Arkell (7), ahead of Dominic Mackle (6½) and Jack Rudd (6), though Mackle’s performance related to his actual grade (194) was by far the better.
Here is a second look at Adams’ first game. White, faced at the outset with almost certain defeat and the choice of what opening to play, feels he might as well go down in buccaneering style, and opts for a swashbuckling gambit in the hope, perhaps, that there might be some glimmer of light in the ensuing complications. There was, of course, but only for Adams.
White: Robert Eames (207). Black: Michael Adams (267). Bishop’s Gambit – Morphy Variation. [C33]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 The King’s Gambit, offering White’s f-pawn in exchange for quick development and a strong centre. 2…exf4 3.Bc4 This is now called the Bishop’s Gambit. 3…d5 Not to be outdone in the generosity stakes, Black offers a pawn back, for the same reasons. A move propounded by the German Ludwig Bledow in 1840 4.Bxd5 Nf6 the great Paul Morphy’s favoured continuation. 5.Nf3 Nxd5 6.exd5 Qxd5 7.Nc3 Qf5 8.0–0 Nc6 9.d4 Be6! This invites White to try and win a piece. If White had fallen for it by playing 10.d5 forking 2 pieces then 0–0–0! simply wins the d-pawn; 10.Ne2 g5 11.b3 0–0–0 12.Bb2 Bg7 13.c4 g4 14.Ne1 f3! Naturally, Black must try to crack open White’s kingside defences without delay. 15.gxf3 Rhg8 16.f4 If 16.fxg4 Qxg4+ 17.Ng3 Nxd4 16…g3 Already there is no defence. 17.Nf3 If 17.Nxg3 Bxd4+ 18.Bxd4 Nxd4 19.Rf2 (or 19.Kh1 Rxg3 20.hxg3 Qh3+ 21.Kg1 Qxg3+ 22.Ng2 Bg4 23.Qe1 Ne2+ 24.Qxe2 not 24.Kh1?? Qh3 mate) 19…Qh3 20.Ng2 Nf5 21.Qf3 Nxg3 and Black’s attack is unstoppable. 17…gxh2+ 18.Kh1 Bf6 19.Qd2 Qg4 20.Rf2 Bf5 21.Qe3 Nb4 0–1
Black brings his final piece into play, ready to invade the White defences on either c2 or d3. This crushing win by Adams in Round 1 spelled out to the rest of the field just what they could expect.
The solution to last week’s position was 1.Rf2! allowing the Queen to administer mate in several places across the 3rd rank.
There now follows the 1st of 2 early two-movers by the noted Cornish problemist, Christopher Reeve.