Chess - The Scotsman 18/03/13

Question: How does White win?

Like golf, the seniors tour in chess is fast becoming a growth industry; especially when you factor in the baby boomer generation having increased longevity and more leisure time, resulting in the game of chess for men over 60 (and woman over 50) becoming more popular.

And Scotland is enjoying its “senior moment” with many stars from the 1970s having maintained their playing strength with performances that outstrip junior and full Olympiad squads. Currently, the European Individual Senior Championships is taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and Scotland is represented by IM Craig Pritchett, FM Phil Giulian, Alastair White, Douglas McKerracher and Alan Borwell.

In past senior events, Craig Pritchett has been the star performer, but in Plovdiv, it’s Douglas McKerracher, who had a phenomenal start against a top-rated Russian troika. In the opening round, IM Vladimir Karasev, from today’s diagram, erred badly by playing 37 ..d5? only for McKerracher to pounce with 38 Bxc4! d4 39 Rdxd4 Rhd7 40 Be2 Kc5 41 Rxd7 Rxd7 42 Ke3 b5 43 Rd4 and White soon won.

Despite losing to top seed GM Evgeny Sveshnikov in round two, he soon recovered to beat FM Stanislav Zhelesny in today’s game for a flying start of 2/3 against the Russians. Craig Pritchett is also on top form again, on a score of 3/4, that includes a draw with the Russian second seed GM Evgeny Vasiukov, whom he beat during the 2011 European Senior Team Championship to win an individual gold medal.

D McKerracher - S Zhelesny

European Ind Senior Ch, (3)


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King’s Indian Attack

1 e4 c6 2 d3 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 d6 5 Nc3 Nf6 6 Nf3 0–0 7 0–0 Nbd7 8 h3 b5 9 a3 Bb7 10 Re1 a5 11 Bd2 Qc7 12 d4 b4 13 Na4 c5 14 e5 Nd5 15 e6 N7b6 16 exf7+ Rxf7 17 Nxb6 Nxb6 18 Ng5 Bxg2 19 Kxg2 Rff8 20 Ne6 Qb7+ 21 Kg1 Bxd4 22 Nxd4 cxd4 23 Bh6 e5 24 Bxf8 Rxf8 25 axb4 axb4 26 Qe2 Qf7 27 Ra6 Qc7 28 Rea1 d5 29 Ra7 Qb8 30 Re7 Re8 31 Raa7 Rxe7 32 Rxe7 Nc4 33 Qf3 1–0