1 FEBRUARY 1992, Page 43


Celtic binge

Raymond Keene

Gary Kasparov often jokes that he should be given honorary Scottish citizenship for his resurrection of the Scotch opening at world championship level. With the world champion setting the trend, the grandmasters in the Foreign & Colonial Hastings tournament were only too willing to sample the delights of the Scotch though, it must be admitted, it was Black who achieved the better results. Here are the two most important games with this opening played at Hastings.

Chandler — Adams: Foreign & Colonial Hast- ings Premier; Scotch Game. 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 eld4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nxc6 bxc6 6 e5 Qe7 7 Qe2 Nd5 8 c4 Nb6 The alternative here is 8 . . . Ba6 when two K-K encounters have seen 9 b3. For example 9 . . . g6 10 f4 f6 11 Ba3 Qf7 12 Qd2 Nb6 13 c5 Bxfl 14 cxb6 axb6 15 e6 dxe6 16 Bxf8 Kasparov — Karpov, Interpolis 1991. Or 9. . . 0-0-0 10 g3 Re8 11 Bb2 f6 12 Bg2 fxe5 13 0-0 h5 140d2 was Kasparov — Karpov, world championship (Game 14) 1990. 9 Nd2 Bb7 10 b3 0-0-0 11 Bb2 c5 12 0-0-0 d6 Black has chosen an interesting way of combating White's opening. In exchange for weak pawns he gains free play for his bishops and major pieces. The Cinderella at Black's ball, though, is the knight on b6 which is very short of perspectives at the moment. 13 exd6 Qxd6 14 Qg4+ This could be the start of a faulty plan. An interesting alternative is 14 g3 Bxhl 15 Bh3+ Kb8 16 Rxhl 0c6 17 Rgl with the plan of realigning White's king's bishop and queen along the vulnerable hl-a8 diagonal towards the black king. This idea may possibly form the basis for future theoretical investigation. 14 . . . Kb8 15 Be2 h5 16 Qf5 Qh6 17 B13 After this White's pieces get into a tangle. Chandler suggested as a possible improvement 17 f4 Bd6 18 g3 Bx111 19 Rxhl, but he rejected it because Black can force a trade of queens with either 19. . . Qg6 or 19 . . . Qe6. After, for example, 19 . . 0g6 20 Qxg6 fxg6 21 Ne4 White should have more than sufficient compensation to avoid losing. 17 . . . Bc8 An extremely strong move. The surrender of control to White's queen and bishop over the hl-a8 diagonal is purely decep- tive since Black has complete command of the a8 and b7 squares. Meanwhile White's pieces are about to be driven from pillar to post. 18 Qe4 This attack is illusory and temporary. 18 . . . f5 Position after 19. . . g5!!

19 Qe3 g5!!(Diagram) A brilliant idea. Not only do the black pawns continue to crowd White's pieces out of the game, Black also offers a sacrifice which can hardly be accepted. After 20 Bxh8 Qxh8 White is exposed to withering fire in the long dark-squared diagonal. 20 Qe5 8d6 21 Qf6 g4 22 Be2 If White trades queens to try to break the pin against his knight on d2, Black still retains a huge advantage, for example 22 Qxh6 Rxh6 23 Be2 Bf4 24 Kc2 Rhd6 25 Bc3 Bb7 with many threats. 22. . . Qf4 Now Black's pieces pour in for the decisive attack. 2313 Rhe8 24 0d3 Qe3 25 Bc2 Bf4 26 Qc3 Qf2 The threats are overwhelming . . . Qxg2, . . .Re2, . . . Be5. White can think of nothing better than to surrender his queen for inadequate compensa- tion. 27 g3 Be5 28 Qxe5 Rxe5 29 BxeS gxf3 30 Rhfl Qe2 31 Bf4 If 31 Nxf3 Rxdl + wins a piece. 31 . . . 12 White resigns.

Shirov — Agdestein: Foreign & Colonial Hast- ings Premier; Scotch Game.

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5 5 Be3 Qf6 6 c3 Nge7 7 Bc4 b6 Speelman's innovation from his game against Chandler in round two. 8 0-0 Bb7 9 b4 A sharp gambit, reminiscent of the Evans Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4) which Shirov must have prepared in the interval since round one. Instead, Chandler- Speelman had continued 9 f4 0-0-0 10 e5 0h6 and Black had no problems. 9. . . Nxd4 10 cxd4 Bxb4 11 a3 Knocking the black bishop offside and also preparing to develop White's rook via a2. 11 . . . Ba5 12 d5 A robust move which locks Black's minor pieces out of play. Black cannot reply 12 . . . Qxal on account of 13 Bd4 trap- Position after 13 f4?

ping Black's queen. 12 . . . 0-0 13 f4? (Dia- gram) White overestimates his chances. In his eagerness to create a phalanx of central pawns with which to bludgeon Black into submission White overlooks that the tactical defences of his rook on al are no longer operative. The correct move would have been 13 Bd4. 13. . . b5 A cunning riposte for Black has an alternative in

13 . . . Qxal 14 Bd4 Qxd4+ 15 Qxd4 b5 when the threat of . . . Bb6 means that Black will end up with rook and two bishops against White's queen and should therefore win. Agdestein's choice is also of course very strong. 14 e5 Ostensibly forcing but in fact forced. If instead 14 Bxb5 Qxal safely wins a rook or 14 Bb3 Qxal

15 Bd4 Qxd4+ 16 Qxd4 Bb6. Finally if 14 Bd4 Bb6 15 e5 Qh6 and, whatever White does, his d5 pawn must fall leaving him hopelessly behind on compensation. 14 . . . Qh6 15 Bb3 Trying to cling to his pawn on d5. 15, . . Nf5 Now all is clear. If 16 Bc5 d6 or 16 Bel Bb6+ 17 Khl Ng3 mate. 16 1312 Qxf4 White's pawns fall like rotten apples. 17 Qd3 Qxe5 18 Ra2 Nd6 19 Re2 Qg5 White resigns. Three pawns down with Black threatening. . . Bb6 to drain his position of its ultimate vestiges of vitality,White's case is hopeless. A sensational miniature.