Afew years ago, while compiling a book of chess brilliancies, I discovered that from the 1850s to the 1880s a majority of the truly outstanding games were played in London. For example, Anderssen- Kieseritsky, the Immortal Game, played at Simpsons-in-the-Strand, or the incredible Queen sacrifice from Zukertort- Blackburne, London 1883. In this century, the percentage has diminished con- siderably, but since 1980, with the advent of the splendid Phillips and Drew tour- naments, all indications are that London is about to regain its position as a world capital of chess. The present culmination of this movement is the spectacular staging of the world championship semi-finals by Acorn Computers.
The matches (Kasparov-Korchnoi and Smyslov-Ribli) are to be held in the Ban- queting Hall of the Great Eastern Hotel with room for 500 spectators, and will start on Monday 21 November and run between 4.00 and 9.00 pm seven days a week for a projected period of 28 days. Tickets are now available on the 200-0-200 telephone number for credit card bookings as well as through all branches of booking agents Keith Prowse, who will also accept credit card bookings (Keith Prowse Company Ltd, 24 Store St, London WC1 7BA) and tickets will be available 'at the door' of the Great Eastern Hotel in Liverpool St, Lon- don EC2.
Ordinary tickets will now cost £4 (superior tickets close to the games £8); for those under 16 they will cost £2; weekly seasons will be £20 and 'full duration' season tickets will be £50. It is also possible to obtain tickets by contacting Paul Lam- ford of B.T. Batsford, on 486-8484.
There has not been such a concentrated assembly of leading talent in London since 1851 — in fact, of the world's top five Grandmasters, only world champion Kar- pov will not be in action in London, and even he will be there spectating for the first few days.
Gareth Williams, manufacturer of the 'Countdown* electronic chess clock, has of- fered us a superb set of ivory Staunton pat- tern pieces for use in the match. They were those employed by Zukertort when he won the first prize at London 1883. There is only one snag. Though the white men are indeed white, the black pieces, as was common a century ago, are a deep shade of red. Up to now there has been no response to the sug- gestion I made to Korchnoi that he, the Soviet defector, should take white throughout the match, while Kasparov should always command the red army.
This week, I will give an insight into the
cerebral wonders we are likely to behold, by quoting, one game by each of the com- batants.
Smyslov-Botvinnik: World Championship, Moscow 1958; Granfeld Defence.
1 d4 N16 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 One of Smys]ov's own favourite defences. 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Qb3 dxe4 6 Qxc4 0-0 7 e4 11g4 8 Be3 Nfd7 9 Rd1 Nb6 10 Qb3 Nc6 11 d5 Ne5 12 Be2 Nxi3 + 13 gsf3 Bh5 14 h4 Qd7 15 a4 a5 16 Nb5 Nc8 17 11d4 Nd6 18 13xg7 Kxg7 19 Nd4 Kg8 20 Rgl Qh3 21 Qe3 c5? Correct is 21 Qxh4 22 Qh6 e5! or 22 e5 Ne8 23 Nf5 Qb4 + with fighting chances. 22 dxc6 bxc6 23 Qg5 c5 24 Nc6 Black resigns.
Now a Q sacrifice from the Hungarian representative:
Quinteros — Ribli: Montilla 1974; Nimzo-Indian Defence.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 c5 5 dxc5 0-0 6 Bf4 Na6 7 a3 Bxc3 + 8 Qxc3 Ne4 9 Qd4 Naxc5 10 Rdl d5 11 b4 Na4 12 f3 Nec3 13 Rd3 f6 Heralds a crushing central advance, 14 Bd2 e5 15 Qh4 d4 16 e3 Bf5 17 Bxc3 Nxc3 18 Rd2 dse31 19 Rxd8 RfxdS 20 Be2 Rd2 21 g4 Bd3 22 Kf1 Nxe2 23 Nxe2 Rxe2 24 Kg1 Rd8 White resigns.
The most rapid win in a Candidates' match:
Korchnoi — Karpov: Candidates' Final, Moscow 1974; Queen's Indian Defence. 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 g3 b6 4 Bg2 Bbl 5 c4 Be7 6 Nc3 0-0 7 Qc2 c5 8 d5 exd5 9 Ng5 Nc6 Better is 9 . . g6 e.g. 10 exd5 d6 11 h4 Na6 12 h5?! Nb4 13 Qd2 Nfxd5 14 hxg6 Ne3!! 10 NxdS g6 11 Qd2! NxdS 12 BxdS Rb8? Overlooking a coup. 13 Nxh7! Re8 Or 13 ...Kxh7 14 Qh6 + Kg8 15 Qxg6 + winning. 14 Qh6 Ne5 15 Ng5 BxgS 16 BxgS QxgS 17 QxgS BxdS 18 0-0 Bxe4 19 f4 Black resigns.
And a win by the superstar, Kasparov, against the solid Ulf Andersson:
Kasparov — Andersson: Tilburg 1981; Queen's Indian Defence.
1 d4 Nf6 2c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 a3 Bb7 5 Nc3 Ne4 6 Nxe4 Bxe4 '7 Nd2 Bg6 8 g3 Nc6 9 e3 a6 10 b4 b5 11 cxb5 axb5 12 Bb2 Na7 13 h4 116 14 d5 A typical Kasparov sacrificial break to open lines for his pieces. 14 . . exd5 15 Bg2 c6 16 0-0 f6 17 Rel Be7 18 Qg4 K1719 h5 Bh7 20 e4 dxe4 21 Bxe4 Bxe4 22 Nxe4 Nc8 23 Rad! Raj 24 Nxf61!
Position after 24 MO!!
(Diagram) 24 gxf6 25 Qg6 + Kf8 26 Bel d5 27 Rd4 Nd6 28 Rg4 Nf7 29 1306 + Ke8 30 Bg7 Black resigns. If 30 ... Rg8 31 h6 wins.
Readers may be interested in literature devoted to the four players in the cham- pionship, or books written by them. Strangely, I can find nothing in English about Ribli, but his opponent, Smyslov,
has two excellent works in print, namely Rook Endings (Batsford £5.95) and 125 Selected Games — his own, of course — (Pergamon £9.95). Korchnoi and Kasparov have been more prolific, for example: Kor- chnoi's autobiography Chess Is My Life (£6.95) and 400 Best Games (£5.95). Kasparov has My Games (all of them, with light notes, up to the end of 1982) (£9.95); Fighting Chess (£4.95) and Batsford Chess Openings (£7.95). The last five named are all published by Batsford.
Chequers £500 Competition No. 5 (Week 2).
Here is the second question: in Kasparov Andersson (above), what would have hap- pened had Black played 24 .. fixf6 instead of 24 ... gxf6? All you have to do to enter is write the main line only on a postcard, and send it to:
Chequers Competition No. 5 (Week 2), The Spectator, 56 Doughty St, London WC1 2LL.
The first correct answer to reach me scores 10 points, then 7, 3 and 1. Postmark to decide rather than time of arrival. After our 6th week, points will be totalled, with the prize of £500 going to the highest scorer.
I close this article, which celebrates a remarkable development in British chess, with Tony Miles's historic win against the world champion in the recently concluded BBC TV Tournament. This is the first Will by an English player against a reigning world champion on English soil since Blackburne beat Lasker in the tournament at London in 1899.
Karpov — Miles: Bath, November 1983; Caro- Kann Defence.
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nf6 5 Nxf6 + gxf6 Nf3 Bf5 814 More sophisticated is 7 c3 Nd7 8 g3 blunting Black's ambitions down the `g' file, 7 ... Nd7 8 c3 Qb6 9 b4 e5 10 Bg3 0-0A
11 Be2 h5 12 0-0 Be4 13 Nd2 Bd5 14 Bxh5 exd4 15 c4 Be6 16 a3 Ne5 17 Rel d3 18 c5 Qb5 19 Kt' Bh6 20 a4 Qa6 21 f4 Nc4 22 b5 cxb5 23 Rxb5 24 Rb2 Nc2 25 Bf3 Bd5 26 Re71118 27 BxdS Rxd5
Position after 27 . Rxd5
(Diagram) 28 R2xb7 In a confusing situation Karpov goes wrong. 28 Rexb7 must be stronger. 28 ...Bxe7 29 Rxe7 Qc6 30 Rxf7 Rsc5 31 00+
f5I f5 32 Qg7 Much more dangerous is 32 Rx-- 32 Re8 33 h4 The final error. Better is 33 h3,
avoiding a check on g4. 33 Ne3 34 1112 Rcl 35 Kh2 Ng4 + 36 Kg3 Nxf2 37 Nf3 Ne4 + 38 Kh2 d2 39 Nxd2 Nxd2 Karpov lost on time.
Tony Miles's own deep notes to this game
will appear in Chess Express, a new magazine being launched on 25 November. Inquiries to Chess Express, Panther House, Mount Pleasant, London WC1.