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Rudd 1st= in Uxbridge Masters (06.11.2010) 605

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?

White to play and win.

39th Olympaid – Adams 1-0 Carlsen (09.10.10.)

The Devon Team RapidPlay was held at the Newton Abbot Club on Sunday resulting in a win for the home club’s 1st team. Prizes for the best score by an adult went to Jack Rudd of Barnstaple (6/6) and the junior prize went to Alex Billings (4½/6) of Torquay Boys G. S. Ten teams competed. Full details and pictures can be found on the website.

The 39th Olympiad held over the last 2 weeks in Siberia was won by Ukraine ahead of Russia I with Israel in 3rd place. Of the 149 competing teams England came 24th, Scotland and Ireland were 83rd and 88th respectively, while Wales came 122nd.

World No. 1 player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway had an indifferent tournament by his standards, which started with this loss to Michael Adams in Rd. 3.

White: M. Adams (2728). Black: M. Carlsen (2826).

Robatsch Defence 

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5 4.Be2 d6 5.Nf3 Adams must have considered  5.Bxh5 gxh5 6.Qxh5 dxe5 7.Qxe5 Rg8 8.Qe4 but having one’s queen left in the centre of the board prey to all the enemy pieces was not worth the pawn. 5…Nc6 6.exd6 exd6 7.d5 Ne7 8.c4 Bg7 9.Nc3 0–0 10.0–0 Bg4 11.Re1 Re8 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nf6 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.Rc1 Ne5 16.b3 a6 17.g3 Nf5 18.Bg2 g5 19.Bxe5 Bxe5 20.Ne4 Ng7 21.Qd2 h6 every K-side pawn move weakens the King’s defences. 22.f4 but White is not afraid do likewise and take the risk. 22…gxf4 23.gxf4 the g-file is now open with the Kings at each end, and Adams exploits the situation brilliantly. 23…Bf6 24.Kh2 Nh5 25.Rg1 Kh7 26.Rcf1 Rg8 27.Qe2 forcing the knight to move and preparing his next threat. 27…Ng7 28.Qd3 Kh8 Black is now on the back foot. 29.Bf3 b5 30.Bd1 clearing lines for the rook pair and switching to c2 30…bxc4 31.bxc4 Bh4 32.Bc2 f5 33.Rg6 White can ignore the threat to his knight by threatening mate, and forcing 33…Kh7 34.Rfg1 Qe7 If Black had now taken the knight 34…fxe4 35.Qxe4 and mate is inevitable. 35.Ng3 Bxg3+ 36.Qxg3 Qf7 37.Bd1 the final nail in the coffin, joining the attack and stopping a niggling check on e2 later. 37…Rae8 38.Rxh6+ resigns, for if 38…Kxh6 39.Qg5+ Kh7 40.Qh4+ Nh5 41.Bxh5 and Black must lose his Queen.

Last week’s “lovely little lightweight” by Mansfield was solved by the unlikely-looking 1.Ba1! that leaves Black with no saving moves.

This week’s position is the end of a game between Colin McNab and Jim Sherwin (Black). White is faced with the threat of dxe1=Q+, but how concerned should he be? Does he have sufficiently powerful counter- threats?

White to play and win.