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Kingsbridge & the Classic (22.12.2012.)

The small Kingsbridge Club hosted a rapidplay tournament last weekend.

Open Section: 1st Meyrick Shaw (166 – Exmouth), the only player with a maximum 6 wins. 2nd John Franklin. Grading prizes: U-137 Oliver Wensley (136 – Exmouth). U-110 Roy Greenhalgh (101 – Plymouth). Junior prize: Reece Whittington (106 – Exeter).

By way of contrast, at the same time London was hosting the strongest tournament in this country for many years – the 4th Chess Classic. This was won for the 3rd time by the Norwegian, Magnus Carlsen, who thereby achieved the World No. 1 slot and the highest rating ever achieved. Nine of the world’s best players fought it out, with a scoring system the same as league football, 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw. This has had the effect of forcing players to try all-out for a win, instead of settling for the proverbial “grandmaster draw”. Although it doesn’t eliminate draws (16 of the 36 games were drawn) but their average number of moves was 64, indicating the degree of effort put in. Here is one of the home wins.

White: M. Adams (2710). Black: Judit Polgar (2705).

Sicilian Defence  [B40]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 White is clearly keen to leave the well-trodden paths of familiar theory. 3…Nc6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.Qe2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.0–0 Be7 8.Rd1 0–0 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Rxd4 Bf6 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.c4 Nb4 14.Nc3 a6 15.Bf4 e5 16.Be3 Be6 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.cxd5 Bf5 19.d6 Qd7 Black needs to blockade the advancing pawn. 20.Bb6 Rac8 21.Bc7 Bg4 22.Bf3 h5 23.Rac1 Rfe8 24.Bxg4 hxg4 25.Qe4 Bg5 26.Rc5 Bd8 27.Qxb7 Re6 28.Rdd5 Rf6 29.Qxa6 Qf5 Threatening major damage via f2. 30.Qe2 Qb1+ 31.Rd1 Qxa2 32.Rxe5 Bxc7 33.Re8+ Rxe8 34.Qxe8+ Kh7 35.dxc7 Qa7 White now has to decide whether to queen his pawn now, or deal with the Black threats first; in view of the forced line 36.c8Q Qxf2+ 37.Kh1 Qf3+ 38.Kg1 Qxd1+ 39.Kg2 Qf1 mate, it was not a difficult decision. 36.Qe4+! 1–0. Black can’t deal with getting out of check and preventing queening next move.

This ending was also played out at the Classic between World Champion Vishy Anand and Mickey Adams. The Cornishman has just played Qd1 to which the Indian replied Qh6, with a view to taking the bishop next move and attacking the then defenceless Black king. However, he missed the thunderbolt up his opponent’s sleeve. Can you see it?

Black to play and win immediately.

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