It’s that time of year again, that oh-so special time when the first snow falls and the whole country staggers to a halt. Back in the days when Britannia ruled the waves and the majority of the globe, and we beat the rest of the world to inventions and led the way with exploration, the idea of not being able to just get on with things would have been totally abhorrent. If the Great Britons were alive today, they would surely turn in their graves.
We’re not helped by the compulsive liars in the world, who spread panic and confusion with lunacy about temperatures ‘set to reach – 15’…the last time that happened, woolly mammoths roamed the earth and brass monkeys jammed the ‘phone lines to B&Q with requests for welding equipment.
As I sat and watched the first flakes falling on a cold and still evening, as I saw them collect around my feet and cover everything with their clean, clinical frosty presence, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, ‘I must get that hole in the roof fixed.’
What has this got to do with chess? Nothing at all, of course. I’m just practicing for the time when I retire from the competitive scene and take up writing novels.
You want chess? Okay, here’s some great chess…….
There are special moments in the lives of all chess players. Occasionally, each and every one of us will play a game that will stick in the memory for the rest of eternity.
Here is a great game by Elmwood man John Garnett, played at the recent Hastings Challengers’ tournament.
John Garnett v IM Petr Marusenko (Notes by John)
1 c4 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 d3 0-0 6 e3 c5 7 Nge2 Nc6 8 0-0 d6 9 b3 e5 10 Bb2 g5 11 f4
This is an important move in this type of position to prevent Black from playing ...f4 himself.
11...gxf4 12 exf4 h5 13 Nd5 Ng4 14 Qd2 h4 15 Ne3
When I played this I missed that Black could play 15...Nxe3 16 Qxe3 exf4 when the queen and bishop are both en prise. Fortunately for me, Black runs into problems if he does this.
15...Nxe3 16 Qxe3
Now if Black plays 16...exf4, White has 17 Bd5+ Kh7 (17...Rf7 may be better) 18 Rxf4 Bxb2 19 Rxh4 Qxh4 20 gxh4 Bxa1 and Black's king is still very exposed. Black was sufficiently worried by the bishop check to play...
16...Be6 17 fxe5 dxe5
After 17...Nxe5 I would have played 18 Nf4. After the move played I can capture on c5, but there is a more advantageous way to win a pawn.
18 Bxc6 bxc6 19 Bxe5 Bxe5 20 Qxe5 Qf6
My opponent played this move quickly. The ending after the queen exchange appears good for White. However, I was worried that as my opponent seemed happy to allow this, the ending might be more tricky than it looks at first. So I instead played...
21 Qxc5 hxg3 22 hxg3 Rae8 23 Nf4 Bd7 24 Rae1
Taking on a7 looks risky, as I don't want to encourage something like Re8-e7-h7 and 24 …Qh6.
24...Qc3 25 Rxe8 Rxe8 26 Qd6 Bc8
I don't think there is any very good way to defend the bishop.
27 Qxc6 Qd4+ 28 Kg2 Bd7 29 Qd5+
I'm not worried about going into an endgame now.
29...Qxd5 30 Nxd5 Bc6 31 Rxf5 1-0
Junior Tournament Imminent
Also over at the CLP site, you’ll find details and a downloadable entry form for the 1st Cleveland Junior Chess Championships, to held at Teesside High School on Saturday 28th February. You know what they say; ‘Be There – Or Be Square!’