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Two Frome Games (24.05.2014.)

Here are two games from the recent Frome Congress that had a bearing on the prizelist. This one is from the Open.

White: B. Morris (174). Black: D.Cordner (166)

1.e4 c6 2.Ne2 Most unusual. 2…d5 3.e5 f6 If White wanted to lure Black away from the well-lit paths of known opening theory, he has certainly succeeded. 4.Nf4 threatening 5. Qh5+ g6 6.Nxg6 4…Bf5 5.d4 fxe5 6.dxe5 Qc7 7.Be2 Qxe5 The queen is lured forward while the minor pieces are still waiting for the call to arms. 8.0–0 Nf6 9.Re1 threatening Bh5+ winning the queen. 9…Qc7 10.c4 e6 11.cxd5 Bd6 12.Nxe6 Bxe6 13.Bh5+! g6 14.Rxe6+ Kf7 15.Qf3 Nbd7 16.Bg5 cxd5 17.Bg4 Bxh2+ Black was happy to get his own check in, but it has no bearing on the main issues. 18.Kh1 Be5 19.Nc3 h6 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Nxd5 Qd8 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bh3 Rf8 24.Nxf6 Kg7 25.Nxh5+! 1-0 and Morris came 2nd= in the Open.

This pair were clear leaders of the Major going in to the final round. Notes based on those by the philosophical loser.

White: I. Annetts (152). Black: T. Woodward (153).

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.a4 b4 9.d3 d6 10.a5 Bg4 11.c3 Rb8 12.Bc4 Qc8 13.Nbd2 bxc3 14.bxc3 Be6 15.Qa4 Nd8 16.Ba3 c5 17.Reb1 Bxc4 18.Nxc4 Nc6 19.Rb6 Rxb6 20.Nxb6? Better was 20.axb6 20…Qc7 21.Bc1 Rb8 22.Rb1 Bd8 23.Nd2 Be7 24.Nd5 Nxd5 25.Rxb8+ Nxb8 26.Qe8+ Bf8 27.exd5 Nd7 28.c4? Qxa5 29.Qxd7 Qc3 30.Qa4 Qxc1+ 31.Nf1 Qb1 32.Qxa6 Qxd3 33.h3 Qd1 34.Qc8 g6 35.Qd8 Qc1 36.Qf6? With both sides having seconds in which to reach move 40, each of us errs. 36…Qxc4 37.Ne3 Qf4 38.Qd8 c4? 39.Qc8 Qd4 40.Qxc4 Qxc4 41.Nxc4 Kg7 42.f3 Kf6 43.Kf2 Ke7 44.g4 Bh6 45.Ke2 f5 46.Kd3 Bf8 47.g5 h6 48.h4 hxg5 49.hxg5 Kd7 50.Ke3 f4+  51.Ke4 Be7 52.Nd2 Bxg5 53.Nf1 Kc7 54.Nh2 Kb6 55.Nf1 Kb5 56.Nh2 Kc4 57.Nf1 Kc3 58.Nh2 It was here that I realised my king was in a stalemate position. With the move and no horse, the game is drawn. 58…Kc4 59.Ng4 Kc5 60.Nh2 Be7 61.Ng4 Bf8 62.Nf6 Be7 63.Ng8 Bd8 64.Nh6 Bg5 65.Nf7 Be7 66.Nh8 g5 67.Nf7 Bf6 68.Nh6 Kc4 69.Ng4 Be7 70.Nf6 I was inside my last minute and I chose the stalemate. 70…Bxf6 He took and I held out my hand to acknowledge the draw. He, assuming I was resigning, graciously offered his and I then realised that his g-pawn had moved. Doooh! 71.Kf5 Kxd5 72.Kxf6 e4. 0–1

… and so Woodward took clear 1st prize.

In last week’s position, Black could play 1…Bxh2+ and White’s rook will be undefended. Here Black has a strong attack down the a-file, but the White knights seem to be just about holding the fort. What can Black do about it?

Black to play and win

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