This is me sitting on the largest chessboard in the whole world.
(looks like the floor at Burger King to me...Ed).
The Council have laid this giant Chessboard stretching
from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and only I can see it.
(still looks like the floor at Burger King...Ed).
I've just looked at the picture of me - I'm putting weight.
(That is because you keep going to Burger King...Ed).
But enough of this nonsense. This week we look at...
Yes people it's the BRITISH CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP when the cream of
British chess converge on some unsuspecting city. Liverpool.
To show us all that Chess in Britain is something we can all be proud of.
So let us look at the blunders.
Grigoryan (2059) v Zhou (2259), British Championship 2008.
White to play, bait the trap.
The c-pawn cannot be protected. White played 29.Kb1 so when it was captured
the Knight on c3 would not be pinned. Did you notice that the Rook on d7
and King of g8 are Knight forkable? White did.
29.Kb1! Rxc4 30.Ne4
Black cannot stop Nf6+ spearing a Rook.
The Slack Move
Hawkins (2232)v Elwin (2022), British Championship 2008.
Black to move. That is an annoying pin on the f6 Knight.
So Black kicked the Bishop with 12...h6? (12...Be6 was better)
This what you call putting the pressure on a pinned piece.
Look at this.
White wins a piece in all variations due to the Queen
winning forks and discovered attacks that hide in the position..
The Pub Trap
Eggleston (2372) v S.Ledger (2138), British Championship 2008
A bit of light relief that could have ended with White
running out of the tournament hall and jumping into the Mersey.
Black is lost, so try one last throw of the dice.
40...Rdd8! and if White plays the sleepy 41.cxd8=Q then 42...Rxc1 mate.
That's when White runs off to make his splash in the river.
So White played...
41.cxd8=N+ and White kept his clothes dry.
Trent (2470)v S.Ledger (2138), British Championship 2008
This is instructive. Black to play and Black is lost.
All he can do is make legal moves and hope White screws it up.
What would you play here?
Black chose 27...Qd7. I think it's what most of us would play.
But it has covered an important flight square and White knows his mating patterns.
28.Rxe6+ fxe6 29.Rxe6+ Re7 30.Qh8+ Kf7 31.Rf6 mate.
One of those when the most natural move losses.
D.Ledger (2260) v L.Davis (2071), British Championship 2008
Black to play:
"Hmmmm if I can play 13...Rd4 and he plays 14.Nxc5 I can play 14...Rc4
and thus get rid of my isolated c-pawn." So Black played 13...Rd4? 14.Nxd4 Oops!
Resigning in a Won Position.
Tiruchirapalli (2247) - McCullough (1910)
Black to play. Yes it looks grim, Yes it looks over. So Black resigned.
But looks deceive. There is no forced mate after 27...Rg4.
No even a perpetual. I would have chased a King in this position
fully expecting to find a cute mate in two or three. There is none.
Black can escape and then Black's extra material will win.
Here is the full game, a clean White win is given in notes.
[Click here to replay the game]
Tiruchirapalli - McCullough
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 Be7 9.Nf3 Nb4 10.Bb1 b6 11.0-0 g5 12.Ne1 Ba6 13.f4 gxf4 14.Bxf4 Bg5 15.Nd3 Nxd3 16.Bxd3 Bxd3 17.Qxd3 Bxf4 18.Nxf4 Rc8 19.Rf3 Qg5 20.Raf1 Qh6 21.Qb5 Rg8 22.Rh3 Qg7 23.Rg3 Qh8 24.Nh5 Rxg3 25.Rxf7 [25.Nf6+ Kf8 26.Qxd7] 25...Kxf7 26.Qxd7+ Kg6 27.Nf4+ Kg5 28.Qf7 Rg4
Any Old Move Will DO
Buckley (2401) - Gormally (2504), British Championship 2008.
White to play: Black is threatening mate on g2.
White can play 29.f3 or 29.Qh3. Instead White shrugged his shoulders and played 29.Qg4?
Black used this clumsy move to gain a tempo to double Rooks 29...Rd4!
and the game turned around. Here is the full game.
Gormally's play after 29....Rd4 is a perfect example of counter attacking chess.
Watch as he uses the two weakness in the White position. g2 and the back rank to
keep the pressure on White and manoeuvre his pieces into a position for the kill.
The kill came on move 37...Nf4 and White resigned.
I've played the game on for a few moves to show you a nice variation.
[Click here to replay the game]
Buckley - Gormally
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.0-0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.a3 Ba5 10.Qe2 cxd4 11.exd4 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Qc7 13.Bg5 b6 14.Bd3 Bb7 15.c4 h6 16.Bd2 Rfd8 17.Rad1 Rac8 18.Rfe1 Qd6 19.Bc1 Qc6 20.Bb2 Qc7 21.Bc1 Ba6 22.Ne5 Nxe5 23.dxe5 Nd7 24.Qe4 Nf8 25.Qg4 Kh8 26.Re4 Ng6 27.Qh5 Bb7 28.Ree1 Qc6 29.Qg4 Rd4 30.Qg3 Rcd8 31.Be2 Rxd1 32.Bxd1 Qe4 33.Be3 Qb1 34.Qg4 Nxe5 35.Qe2 Qg6 36.Qf1 Nd3 37.Re2 Nf4 38.Rd2 Rxd2 39.Bxd2 Nxg2 40.Bh5 Ne1+ 41.Bxg6 Nf3+ 42.Kg2 Nxd2+ 43.Kg1 Nxf1
This looks good and will be out in the
next few days at a bookstall near you.
I wonder if it's about Alex 'Ted' Alcoline
the famous part-time Chess Master and Farmer.
He goes around the country winning chess
tournaments and solving farming problems.
In the last one I read: Meeting at Dusk
Alex fixed an abandoned tractor and used it to get
to the last round of the British Championship just
before his flag fell.
He had to make 40 moves in 90 seconds against
the nasty villain, Doctor Tullasch.
Alex of course makes it, he wins the British Title and
then saves his neighbours farm from pigs anthrax.
Classic first sentence.
"Alex was ploughing a field and thinking
about the Ruy Lopez"