The British Chess Magazine is the oldest continuously published chess magazine in the world. Recently it has been boosted by the appointment as co-editor of the Belgrade journalist Milan Dinic, who cut his teeth on the news journal Svedok (Witness). The last issue contained an interview with the entertaining and controversial Nigel Short, as well as excellent comments on some of Short’s wins from Bunratty, where he won first prize with 6/6.
Short-Hunt; Bunratty Masters 2017;
Queen’s Gambit Declined
1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 Nf6 3 c4 e6 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bg5 Nbd7 6 e3 0-0 7 Bd3 b6 This is not good as the fianchetto of the queen’s bishop and ... Nbd7 do not work well together. 8 cxd5 exd5 9 0-0 Bb7 The bishop is passively placed here and White has a free hand to develop an initiative on the queenside. 10 Rc1 Re8 11 Qa4 a6 12 Bf5 g6 13 Bxd7 Nxd7 14 Bxe7 Qxe7 15 Rfd1 Nf6 15 ... c5 sets a trap but is a positional mistake. After 16 dxc5 bxc5 17 Qf4 (and not 17 Nxd5 Bxd5 18 Rxd5 Nb6) White has excellent play against the hanging pawns. 16 b4 White has the simple plan of a4 and b5, pinning down the c7-pawn. Black has no active prospects in return. 16 ... Rec8 17 Qb3 Qe6 18 a4 Ne8 19 Ne5 Nd6 20 Nd3 g5 20 ... Nc4 fails to 21 Nf4 Qd7 22 Ncxd5 and White wins a pawn (see diagram 1). 21 Re1 This takes advantage of Black’s last move. However, 21 Nc5! was objectively stronger. After 21 ... bxc5 22 bxc5 Rab8 23 cxd6 Qxd6 24 Qc2 White has a clear advantage. 21 ... Rab8 22 f3 Re8 23 b5 a5 24 Nf2 f5 25 Re2 Re7 26 Nd3 The knight is heading for e5 and Black cannot prevent this with 26 ... Nc4 because of 27 Rce1 when e4 follows with a decisive opening of the position. 26 ... Rf8 27 Ne5 Nf7 28 f4 Now White obtains a protected passed pawn on e5. 28 ... Nxe5 29 fxe5 Kg7 30 Rf2 Ref7 31 Ne2 (see diagram 2) A multipurpose move. It prevents ... f4, opens the c-file and the knight can also come to g3 if necessary. 31 ... h5 32 h4 Softening up the f4-square. 32 ... f4 A desperate attempt that quickly fails. 33 hxg5 fxe3 34 Rf6 Qg4 35 Qxe3 Black resigns
Next year is the 25th anniversary of the Bunratty tournament, a magnificent achievement for a weekend event which over the years has attracted champions such as Wesley So, Michael Adams, Nigel Short and Jon Speelman. I have been invited to deliver the regular tournament closing panegyric in 2018 and to assist in handing out the prizes — an offer, Deo volente, I am happy to accept.