Chess - The Scotsman 12/07/2012

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Thursday’s puzzle...

How does White win?

BY definition, the chess brilliancy does not need to be a perfect game, it may not be even sound, but it should include a moment when something astonishing, beautiful and inspiring happens.

According to the Oxford Companion to Chess, the first Brilliancy Prize was awarded in 1876 to England’s Henry Bird (for his victory against Ireland’s James Mason) by the owner of New York’s Café International, where a major tournament was being held. There followed the Best Game prize in 1889, won by another Englishman, Isidor Gunsberg, and again featuring the hapless Mason.

Such awards soon became a tradition, and they were often bestowed by private patrons of the game. The 119th Scottish Championship & International Open at the Trades Hall in Glasgow has a best game prize, sponsored by the eretired Scottish judge, Lord Kirkwood, who in the 1950s played living legend Viktor Korchnoi on top board for Scotland against the USSR during a World Students’ Team Championship.

Judging the prize will be GM Matthew Turner – and one of the candidates on his shortlist must be GM Jacob Aagaard’s slaying of the Sicilian Dragon in today’s game, as the former Scottish and British champion joins the group of six co-leaders at the top, on 3.5/4.

Leader board: 1-6. GM J Aagaard (Denmark), GM I Hera (Hungary), IM B Thorfinnsson (Iceland), GM D Sengupta (India), IM V Barnaure (Romania) and IM A Das (India), 3.5/4; a half point behind is a 16-strong chasing pack including former champions Roddy McKay, Colin McNab, Douglas Bryson and Andrew Greet.

J Aagaard - N Sverrisson

Scottish International Open, (3)

Sicilian Dragon

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6 6 Be3 Bg7 7 f3 0–0 8 Qd2 Nc6 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 h4 h5 11 0–0–0 Rc8 12 Bb3 Ne5 13 Bg5 Rc5 14 Kb1 a5 15 a4 Qc8 16 g4 hxg4 17 h5 Nxh5 18 Bh6 Nxf3 19 Nxf3 gxf3 20 Nd5 Rxd5 21 Bxd5 Bh3 22 Rdg1 Kh7 23 Bxg7 Kxg7 24 Qg5 Rh8 25 Qxe7 Qd7 26 Rxg6+! Kxg6 27 Rg1+ Kh7 28 Qg5 Bg2 29 Qxh5+ Kg7 30 Qxf3 Kf8 31 Qxg2 1–0