Chess - The Scotsman 28/07/12
The Scottish Open Championship ended earlier this month in a triumph for Glasgow-based Danish grandmaster Jacob Aagaard.
Five players finished on 7/9 but Aagaard was the only Scottish resident among them, so he took the Scottish title. Now the British Championship is under way and will conclude on Saturday.
Curiously, this year the Scottish Championship had more grandmasters taking part than the British Championship has managed to attract.
Scotland’s best hope for the British title this year is GM Matthew Turner, who recently switched federations from his native England because he was unhappy with some of the English federation’s policies. Turner is a welcome addition to Chess Scotland as he is not only a strong player but also generous with his free time in coaching Scottish juniors.
Turner has a particular gift for creating complexity on the chessboard, as in the following recent game from the British league against Ireland’s most promising junior player.
White: R. Griffiths; Black: M. Turner. Opening: Queen’s Gambit Declined.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Be7 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bf4 c6 6 Qc2 White prevents the c8-bishop reaching its natural home on f5. In fact, the first half of the game focuses on this bishop’s fate. 6...g6 7 e3 Bf5 8 Qd2 Nf6 9 f3 Threatening to harass the bishop with g2-g4. 9...Nbd7 More common is 9...h5, stopping White’s plan, but Turner shows there is nothing to worry about. 10 g4 Be6 11 Nh3 Consistently chasing the bishop, with Ng5 as a threat.
White is going to achieve his aims, and not enjoy the result. 11 h4 was more reliable, intending to meet 11...h5 with 12 g5. 11...h5 12 Ng5 Nf8 13 Be2?
In the complications it was not easy to see that this surrenders control of the e4-square. It was essential to remove the bishop at once. After 13 Nxe6 Nxe6 14 g5 Nd7 15 h4 Nxf4 16 exf4 Black has the better structure but White still has fighting chances. 13...hxg4 14 Nxe6 Nxe6 15 fxg4 Now it is obvious e4 is a huge weakness and Turner immediately sets out to remove its remaining defender. 15...Bb4! 16 0–0 Ne4 17
Qc2 Nxf4 18 exf4 Instead 18 Rxf4
would have lost more slowly. 18...Bxc3 19 bxc3 Rxh2!
White resigned as after 20 Kxh2 Qh4+ 21 Kg2 Qg3+ 22 Kh1 Black quickly mates with ...Rh8 after 22...0–0–0 or even moving the king to e7 or d7.
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