Devon’s top two resident players joined 33 others in last week’s Uxbridge Masters Tournament. Grandmaster Keith Arkell of Paignton was top seed, while International Master Jack Rudd of Bideford was 4th. However, after the scheduled 9 rounds it was a case of positions reversed as Rudd finished 1st= with Aaron Summerscale while Arkell came 4th. Significant in this outcome was their individual encounter in Rd. 4.
White: J. Rudd (210). Black: K. C. Arkell (231).
Queen’s Indian Defence – Nimzowitsch Variation.
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Ba6 Nimzowitsch’s favoured treatment of this opening. 5.Qc2 b5 6.cxb5 Bxb5 7.Nc3 Ba6 8.Bg2 Be7 9.e4 9.Ne5 is met by 9…c6. 9…c6 10.Bg5 0–0 White is keen to develop as quickly as possible and the a6 bishop prevents castling short, so… 11.0–0–0 From now on it will be a race to attack the opposing king. 11…d5 12.e5 Nfd7 13.h4 Re8 13…Bxg5+ 14.hxg5 would open long lines for White to exploit. 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Ng5 Nf8 Black is being forced onto the back foot. 16.f4 Nbd7 17.f5 h6 18.fxe6 fxe6 If 18…hxg5 19.exd7 Nxd7 20.hxg5 Qxg5+ 21.Kb1 Nf8 22.Qf2 19.Nh3 c5 20.Nxd5! exd5 21.Bxd5+ Ne6 22.Nf4 Rather than winning the exchange by grabbing the rook, White threatens to win a whole minor piece – a greater material gain. 22…Ndf8 23.dxc5! Again, White eschews the rook in favour of another pawn, leaving him with 3 pawns for the piece he has sacrificed, and this c-pawn plays a decisive role. 23…Rad8 24.Bb3 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Bc8 26.Rd6 Meanwhile, the e6 knight is still pinned. 26…Qf7 27.h5 Kh8 28.c6 Qc7 29.Qc4 Qa5 threatening both e1 and e5 30.Qc3 Qb6 31.Ng6+ Nxg6 32.hxg6 Qc7 33.a4 Qe7 34.Kb1 Ng5 35.Bd5 Bf5+ Now Black’s pieces are becoming more active. 36.Ka1 Ne4 37.Bxe4 Bxe4 38.c7 White’s earlier decision to take the c-pawn is bearing fruit. 38…Bf5 39.Qc5 Be6 40.Qc6 Bc8 White is still a piece down and needs to bring matters to a swift conclusion. 41.Qxe8+! Qxe8 42.Rd8 Qg8 43.b4 there’s no need to take the queen immediately – it’s not going anywhere. 43…a6 44.b5 axb5 45.axb5 h5 46.b6 h4 47.gxh4 1-0 Black is left in “zugswang”, having no move except one that will worsen his already dire position. A splendid overall performance by Rudd.
The solution to last week’s complex position was 1.Nf6! threatening Nd7, and Black playing 1…Nb6 to cover this allows 2.Qa5 mate. Other Black moves are also met with mate.
This position shows Michael Adams (White) facing a strong attack. How should he best respond to be sure of a result?