Chess - The Scotsman 10/03/2012
LAST month Scottish chess found two new British champions – GM Colin McNab became British Solving Champion and Edinburgh University won the British Universities championship.
McNab’s achievement is remarkable as Britain is a powerhouse in the rarefied world of chess puzzle solving. In second and third in the championship were Jonathan Mestel and John Nunn, both former world champions in solving and, like McNab, grandmasters at regular chess.
In the universities championship Edinburgh was represented by Adam Bremner, Gabriel Petesch, Boris Mitrovic and Clement Sreeves. The strength in depth of this team is illustrated by the fact that boards 3 and 4, Mitrovic and Sreeves, both won prizes for the best score on their board. The following game from the championship shows Sreeves’s bold style – White defends well at first but is worn out by the never-ending barrage of threats.
White: B. Park; Black: C. Sreeves. Opening: Sicilian Dragon.
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6 6 Bc4 Bg7 7 Be3 0–0 8 Qd2 Ng4 9 Bg5 h6 10 Bh4 Nc6 11 Nb3 a6 12 0–0–0 b5 13 Bd5 Bd7 14 Ne2 Qb6 15 Ned4 Nge5 16 Bxc6 Nxc6 17 Nxc6 Bxc6 18 Bxe7 Rfe8 19 Bxd6 Bxe4 Black’s powerful bishops secure plenty of compensation for the sacrificed pawn. 20 f3 Bf5 21 Bc5 Qc7 22 Qd6 Re2 A completely sound queen sacrifice. 23 Rd2 White finds the only defence. Accepting the offer leads to mate after 23 Qxc7 Rxc2+ 24 Kb1 Rxb2+ and now either 25 Kc1 Rc2+ 26 Kb1 Rxc5+ 27 Rd3 Bxd3 or 25 Ka1 Rb1. 23...Qxd6 24 Bxd6 Rae8 25 Rhd1 Rxd2 26 Nxd2 Re2 27 g4 Be6 28 Ne4 Bxa2 Another confusing move for White to deal with. The simple 28...Re3 was a safe alternative. 29 b3 It seems the trapped bishop must be lost, but Sreeves has prepared many tricks. 29...a5 30 Ba3? White cracks under the pressure. 30 Rd5 was correct when 30...a4 is best with a likely draw, but Black could continue in trickster mode with 30...Bb1 as 31 Kxb1? Re1+ 32 Ka2 Ra1 is mate. 30...b4! 31 Bb2 White wants to exchange bishops, then play Kb2, but he has missed a clever refutation. 31...Bxb3! After any other move, Black is lost; now he wins. 32 Bxg7 32 cxb3 Bxb2+ is hopeless. 32...Rxc2+ 33 Kb1 Kxg7 Black’s two extra pawns cannot be stopped. 34 Rd3 a4 35 Nd2 Rc3 36 Rd4 Bc2+ 37 Kb2 a3+ 38 Ka2 Bd3 39 Ne4 Bc4+ 40 Kb1 a2+ 41 Kb2 Rc1 White resigned.
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