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Progress in the British (04.08.2018.) 997

The draw for Rd. 1 of the British Championship will keep the Grandmasters apart, as they should be meeting in the later rounds, which gives them an easier chance to get warmed up. However, one player they might not wish to meet in those circumstances is Jack Rudd of Bideford, whose sharp and mercurial style is guaranteed to unsettle and test any of them, as in this game.

White: Ameet Ghasi (2494). Black: Jack Rudd (2244).

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5 An unusual early move, but the open b-file later becomes the scene of decisive action. 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.d3 e6 5.0–0 Be7 6.c4 bxc4 7.dxc4 0–0 8.Qc2 White makes a number of move sequences that are easily repulsed and seem to do little to help his overall development. 8…Be4 9.Qd2 c6 10.Nc3 d5 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Qc2 Bf6 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Bxd2 Qb6 15.Rab1 Nd7 16.b3 g6 17.e4 Rac8 18.Be3 This bishop continues to flit all over the board to no great effect. 18…d4 19.Bd2 a5 20.Qd1 Be7 21.h4 Bb4 22.Bg5 Rfe8 23.Kh1 f6 24.Bh6 Ne5 25.Bf4 Rcd8 26.Bc1 Its 7th move finds him back on its original square. 26…h5 27.Bh3 d3 28.Be3 Bc5 29.Bxc5 Qxc5 30.f4 Nf7 31.Qd2 Rd4 32.Rbe1 Nd6 33.Bg2 f5 34.e5 Ne4 35.Bxe4 fxe4 Black now has a menacing pair of central passed pawns as opposed to White’s immobile pawns. 36.Re3 Black now needs to break up White’s Q-side pawns. 36…a4 37.Rfe1 axb3 38.axb3 Rb8 39.Rxe4 Rxb3 40.Rxd4 Qxd4 41.f5 Qc3 Black would like to exchange queens, freeing up his advanced pawn. 42.Qf2? Rb2 43.Qe3? Qc2 Resigns, in view of 44.Qg1 Qxc4 45.Qf1 Qd5+ 46.Kg1 gxf5 and Black is totally dominant 0–1.

After 6 of the scheduled 9 rounds the leading pack consisted mostly of the usual suspects, namely 1st= Michael Adams & Gawain Jones 5/6. 3rd= David Howell; Tomas Fodor; David Eggleston; Luke McShane & Mark Hebden. With, at the time of going to press, 3 rounds still to play, and these leaders due to fight it out among themselves, and every likelihood of a play-ff, it’s a question of who can best hold their nerve, but most money will be on either Adams or Jones.

In last week’s position, White won a piece, and with it the game, after 1.Rd7!  when Black can’t take it because of 2.Ra8+. He can only defend his rook by 1…Bb6 but then there’s 2.RxR+ BxR and 3.Ra8 pins the bishop which can be taken at leisure next move.

As I wrote last week, Samuel Boden was one of Hull’s master players in the 19th century, and he had a maxim which ran “He who strives to win a drawn game, will invariably lose”. An example of this arose on Tuesday evening at the end of the Rd. 3 game on Bd. 1 between Tomas Fodor (W) and Michael Adams. After being on the back foot for much of the first half of the game, Fodor recovered and himself started pressing, winning a pawn before playing 61.Qe5 to reach this week’s position, probably harbouring thoughts of a win against the top seed, possibly after exchanging queens and utilising his extra pawn. But Boden was right, he had striven too much and resigned next move. Why?

Michael Adams (Black) to win immediately.

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