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British Championships 2010 (10.07.2010.)

 The British Championships start a fortnight tomorrow in Canterbury with a total of only 554 entries at the moment. Although a number of late entries will be coming in, it will probably fall well short of last year’s entry of almost 1,000 at Torquay.

In the top section, Michael Adams is overwhelming favourite with a grade of 267, well ahead of the other four Grandmasters so far entered, Peter Wells & Stephen Gordon (both 238), Keith Arkell (237) and Simon Williams (234).

The last time Adams played in the event (Hove 1997) he became joint champion after an unresolved play-off. In the last round, he needed a win to be sure of being involved in that play-off. This is that game.

White: M. Adams (260) – A. C. Kosten (241)

Ruy Lopez – Close Defence [C88]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Black has the choice of taking the proffered e-pawn (Open Defence) and having to endure sharp attacking play, or continuing with sensible development as here with the Close Defence   5…Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 White now continues somewhat cautiously for a few moves, watching and waiting. 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 d6 10.a3 Qd7 11.Nc3 Rae8 12.Nd5 Na5 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.Ba2 White retains both bishops, a small advantage as the position opens up later. 14…c5 15.Nh4 Nc6 16.c3 Bc8 17.Bg5 Kh8 18.Bd5 Nd8 19.Nf5 Qc7 If 19…Bxf5 20.exf5 and Black’s kingside pawns are going to be broken up, a second small advantage. 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Qf3 Rg8 22.g3 Ne6 23.Kh2 Ng5 24.Qe3 Rg6 25.a4 a thematic freeing move in this opening, though it usually comes earlier. 25…bxa4 26.Rxa4 Reg8 27.Rea1 Ne6 28.Nh4 Rg5 29.Qf3 threatening the weak pawn on f6, brought about by the exchange on move 20. 29…Qe7 30.Nf5 Qf8 31.Rxa6! with Black’s pieces tied up in defence, White offers to sacrifice material in order to monopolise the open spaces on the queenside. 31…Nc7 If Black had accepted the offer play might have continued 31…Bxa6 32.Rxa6 Nc7 33.Nxd6 Nxd5 34.exd5 R5g6 35.h4 and all the attacking options are with White. 32.Nxd6 Nxd5 33.Nxc8 Qxc8 34.exd5 Rf5 35.Qe2 Qd8 36.c4 Qf8 37.Ra8 Qh6 38.d6 1–0 The advancing d-pawn will prove decisive.

Cornwall’s other player in the Championship is Andrew Greet (231) while Devon’s interests centre around Jack Rudd (214) and Dominic Mackle (200).

had accepted the offer play might have continued 31…Bxa6 32.Rxa6 Nc7 33.Nxd6 Nxd5 34.exd5 R5g6 35.h4 and all the attacking options are with White. 32.Nxd6 Nxd5 33.Nxc8 Qxc8 34.exd5 Rf5 35.Qe2 Qd8 36.c4 Qf8 37.Ra8 Qh6 38.d6 1–0 The advancing d-pawn will prove decisive.

Cornwall’s other player in the Championship is Andrew Greet (231) while Devon’s interests centre around Jack Rudd (214) and Dominic Mackle (200).

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Qa6! and if 1…Kxf3 2.Qe2 mate or 1…Qxf3 2.Qxe5 mate or 1…Bxd5 2.Qd3 mate.

This 2-mover is by the brilliant Devon composer, Comins Mansfield.

White to mate in 2.

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