Raymond Keene

Adams Avalanche

Adams Avalanche
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Mickey Adams won the British Championship, which finished last week in Torquay, for the seventh time. Leading scores (out of nine) were as follows: 1. Adams 7½; 2. Howell 7; 3= Haria and Palliser 6½; 5= Gordon, Tan and Houska 6. Jovanka Houska has now won the British Women’s Championship a record nine times.

The key element in Adams’s success was his deadly ability to score with the white pieces, racking up five wins from five games as White. This week, an excursion around the Adams Avalanche.

Adams-Gordon: British Championship, Torquay 2019 (see diagram 1)

Black is relying on the pin along the a4-e8 diagonal to regain his pawn but he is in for a nasty surprise. 15 b6! Nxa4 16 Rxa4 Bxa4 17 Qxa4 White’s sacrifice of the exchange is overwhelming. He has a monster passed b-pawn and his knights utterly dominate the light squares. 17 ... f6 17 ... Nf6 is met by 18 Bg5, maintaining light square control. 18 Nd2 Rf7 19 Nc4 Qd7 20 Qxd7 Rxd7 21 Be3 f5 22 f3 Black has no counterplay whatsoever. 22 ... Bf6 23 Rb1 Bd8 24 Na5 Rb8 25 Nc6 Rbb7 26 Na5 Rb8 27 Nc6 Rbb7 28 a4 Kf7 29 a5 Nf6 30 Ndb4 Black resigns White will win the a-pawn and his passed pawns will be decisive.

Adams-Pert: British Championship, Torquay 2019 (see diagram 2)

White’s next establishes a crushing pin from which Black never really escapes. 21 Bd6 Qe8 22 Rfe1 Rf7 23 Bxg6 hxg6 24 Qe5 Kf8 25 Qxd4 Kg8 26 Qe5 Kf8 27 Re3 Black is embarrassingly impotent in the face of the e-file pin. 27 ... a5 28 Rae1 Ra7 29 Qg5 Qd8 30 Qh4 Ke8 31 Bxe7 Black resigns

Adams-Ashton: British Championship, Torquay 2019 (see diagram 3)

Here 32 ... Kh7 keeps the black disadvantage to a minimum. Instead he was too anxious to chase the white queen. 32 ... Rd6 33 Qe8+ Kh7 34 Qe4 Qxe4 35 Rxe4 Now the black queenside pawns are terribly vulnerable. 35 ... Rd7 36 Rc4 Kg6 37 Rc5 Black resigns