Of Devon’s five wins in their recent match against Warwickshire, this one was probably the most entertaining, in which White plays a sharp opening with brio, winning material before returning it to leave him with a simple win.
White: C. V. Howard (154). Black: G. Hope (161)
King’s Gambit – Kolisch Defence [C39]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 The King’s Gambit, from the 19th century handbook of swashbuckling gambits. 2…exf4 3.Nf3 Essential to prevent an immediate 3…Qh4+ 4. g3 fxg etc. Only the very brave would play 4.Ke2 with expectations of winning, as did Cornishman Dr. Jago vs A. R. B. Thomas in a correspondence game from 1954. 3…g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 d6 Kolisch’s favoured move which adopted his name. 6.Nxg4 Nf6 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.d4 Rg8 9.Nc3 c6 10.Qf3 Bh6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Ne4 Qe7 13.Bc4 exd4 14.0–0 Bg4 15.Qb3 Be6 White must keep developing pieces rather than exchange. 16.Bxf4 Bxf4 17.Rxf4 Nd7 White develops his knight at the cost of 2 pawns. Another way was 17…Bxc4 18.Qxc4 Nd7 19.Qxd4 0–0–0 20.Nd6+ Kb8 21.Nxf7 Rde8 22.Qd6+ Qxd6 23.Nxd6 Re2 24.Rf2 and Black would be just a pawn down rather that the exchange. 18.Qxb7 Rb8 19.Qxc6 Bxc4 rather than simply retaking, White can win a rook with… 20.Nf6+ Kd8 21.Nxg8 Qe3+ 22.Rf2 White had had to calculate at move 20 that he had this defence available. 22…Rc8 23.Qd6 Be6 24.Rd1 Rxc2 Being the exchange ahead, White can afford to try to make equal exchanges. 25.Qxd4 Qxf2+ 26.Qxf2 Rxf2 27.Kxf2 f5 28.Nf6 Ke7 White’s pawn structure allows him to continue his policy of swapping off all pieces, in this case leaving a simple win. 29.Nxd7 Bxd7 30.Rxd7+ Kxd7 31.Kf3 Ke6 32.Kf4 Kf6 33.b4 Ke6 34.a4 1–0.
The Black King must move over to deal with the extra pawn, leaving the White King free to clear up on the opposite wing and queen a pawn or two – a hopeless prospect.
The British Championships start at Canterbury three weeks tomorrow, where Michael Adams, the Cornish former World No. 4, returning to the event after a long absence, must be hot favourite to win. Shortly after that he will be coming down to the 60th Paignton Congress, possibly as the new British Champion, to put on a simultaneous display against 30 opponents. Follow his progress on his own website michaeladamschess.co.uk.
In last week’s position, 1.Qa5! leaves Black helpless.
This composition by Thomas and Frideswide Rowland (née Beechey) in 1882 was judged the Best 2-Mover by J. Paul Taylor of Exeter in an annual competition in the Weekly Irish Times.