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Chess

Class club

14 April 2018

9:00 AM

14 April 2018

9:00 AM

The annual Hamilton-Russell competition for London Clubs has been won by the Royal Automobile Club, with the Marylebone Cricket Club in close contention. On Tuesday 17 April, the awards ceremony will take place in the Mountbatten Room of the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, combined with the annual dinner for notables of the contesting teams. It is the premier annual social event of the London chess scene.
 
This week, a game won by Dominic Lawson from this year’s closely run event.
 
Lawson-Shankland: Hamilton-Russell Cup 2018; Scotch Gambit
 
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 c3 dxc3 5 Bc4 cxb2 This is certainly playable but capturing so many pawns is dangerous. 5 … d6 and 5 … Nf6 are safer lines. 6 Bxb2 Bb4+ 7 Nc3 Nf6 8 e5 Acting immediately in the centre. After 8 0-0 0-0 it is hard for White to generate much play for the pawn as 9 Nd5 is comfortably met by 9 … Be7. (see diagram 1) 8 … Ng4 This allows White to generate a useful initiative. Better is the natural central counter 8 … d5, which is based on the tactical point 9 exf6 Qxf6! when although Black is a piece down, he will regain it due to the double threats against the Bc4 and Nc3. The game Stein-Spassky, Tallinn 1959 continued 10 0-0 Bxc3 11 Bxc3 Qxc3 12 Qe2+ Be6 13 Bxd5 0-0 and was soon drawn. 9 0-0 0-0 Unsurprisingly, 9 … Ngxe5 is too greedy. After 10 Nxe5 Nxe5 11 Nd5! Nxc4 12 Bxg7! White wins. 10 Nd5 d6 11 Nxb4 Nxb4 12 exd6 Qxd6 12 … cxd6 is safer. 13 Qb3 13 … Be6 Black is anxious to complete development, but this is a losing blunder. 13 … c5 14 Rad1 Qb6 is playable for Black although after 15 Rfe1 White is very active. 14 Rad1 Bxc4 After 14 … Qb6 White can pick off one of the vulnerable knights with 15 Bxe6 fxe6 16 Rd4, creating a fork along the fourth rank. 15 Qxc4 Qh6 16 Qxg4 With a clear extra piece, White is winning easily. 16 … Nc6 17 Rd5 f5 18 Rxf5 Rxf5 19 Qxf5 Rf8 20 Qd5+ Kh8 21 Ng5 Nd8 22 Re1 c6 White now finishes in style (see diagram 2). 23 Nf7+! Nxf7 24 Qxf7 Rd8 24 … Rxf7 25 Re8+ mates, as does 24 … Rg8 25 Re8. 25 Qe8+ Rxe8 26 Rxe8 checkmate
 
Overall results from the Hamilton-Russell Cup 2017/18 were as follows:
 
1. Royal Automobile Club 14
2. Marylebone Cricket Club 13
3. Oxford & Cambridge Club 11
4. Oriental and East India Clubs 8
5. Athenaeum Club 7
6. Chelsea Arts Club 6
7. Reform Club 5
8. Hurlingham Club 4
9. National Liberal Club 4


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