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British Championships Start Today (29.07.2017.) 944

The British Championships start this afternoon at 2.30 at the new venue of Llandudno. All games can be followed as they are played by going to the event website britishchesschampionships.co.uk/live-games-2017.

David Howell is top seed, but will have to meet some strong opposition in the shape of former champions Gawain Jones and Jonathan Hawkins, and the too-rarely seen Luke McShane.  A safer bet for a 1st prize would be Grandmaster John Nunn who is streets ahead of his 29 co-entrants in the 50+ Seniors section, both in experience and current strength.

Here is a recent game of his from the 50+ section of the World Senior Teams Championship in May.

White: M. Adams. Black: J. D. M. Nunn.

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 8.Bg5 Be6 It should be noted that John’s opponent here is not former World Championship finalist Michael Adams, but Mark Adams of Wales – a different proposition,  and playing someone of Nunn’s calibre, White will be keen to get as much material off the board as soon as possible, in the hope this will simplify matters. However, it rarely does in cases like this, as the GMs are experts in “keeping it simple”. 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Nd5 Qd8 11.Nec3 g6 12.a4 Nc6 13.Bd3 Bh6 14.0–0 0–0 15.Qe1 Rc8 16.f4? Probably not the best plan as it’s Black that eventually benefits from this opening up of the kingside. exf4 17.Nxf4 Ne5 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rxf8+ Qxf8 20.Qe2 White is hoping to bring his rook to f1 to complete his piece development and attack the queen, but Nunn is a move ahead of this plan. 20…Qf4 21.Qf2 Qg5 22.Kh1 Rf8 It’s Black that grabs the f-file. Now all Black’s pieces are focussed on the kingside, while most of White’s are on the queenside.  23.Qd4 Ng4 24.Nd1 If 24.hxg4 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Bf4 with several mating lines. You could work them out. 24…Qd2 25.Qc3 Qf4 threatening mate on h2, so forces… 26.hxg4 From now on, Nunn uses the open lines for his pieces to maximum effect. 26…Bg7 27.Qe1 Be5 Again threatening mate on h2. 28.g3 Qxg4 29.Kg2 Qf3+ 30.Kh3 Qg4+ 31.Kg2 Rf3 0-1 The final straw, as Black has everything focussed of the isolated g-pawn. White may be a piece up, but they are powerless. White’s least worst option would have been 32.Qf2 Rxf2+ 33.Kxf2 Qxg3+ 34.Ke2 and Black would presumably push his 2 passed pawns.

No sooner has “the British” finished than the Paignton Congress will be not be far away, taking place during the week starting Sunday 3rd September. Entries can be done online at dccapaigntonchess.com or postally via the entry form.

In last week’s position, White could win by force after 1.Qg8+! KxQ (if 1.RxQ Nf7 mate). 2.Ne7+ Kf8 (if 2…Kh8 3.Nf7 mate) 3.N7g6+ PxN. 4.NxP mate.

This week, White’s queen is under attack, so to where should he move it for best results?

Queen attacked - what to do?

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