Raymond Keene

Cut of their jib

Entries are now being invited to what I believe to be the world’s finest open tournament held at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar over January and February next year. I attend as often as I can and the atmosphere and general camaraderie exceed anything I have experienced elsewhere. Brian Callaghan, the spiritus rector of the tournament, thoroughly deserves his recent OBE for services to chess and tourism on The Rock.

Here is a fine win from a previous event. The tournament website for further information is www.gibraltarchesscongress.com

Adams–Vallejo Pons; Gibtelecom Masters, Playoff Caleta 2010; French Defence

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 c5 4 Ngf3 Nf6 5 e5 Nfd7 6 c3 Nc6 7 Bd3 Qb6 8 0-0 a5 Black could also play 8 … cxd4 9 cxd4 Nxd4 10 Nxd4 Qxd4 11 Nf3 when White has excellent compensation for the pawn. However, this might have been superior to the text which seems to have little influence on matters and also weakens the square b5 for future occupation by a white piece. 9 a4 Be7 10 dxc5 Qc7 To me this looks like an over-refinement which leaves White in possession of a dangerous mass of queenside pawns. The simple recapture 10 … Nxc5 is in order here. 11 Nb3 Ndxe5 12 Nxe5 Qxe5 13 f4 Qc7 14 Be3 g6 An alarming weakening of his kingside dark squares but he was clearly worried about White playing f5 in the immediate future. 15 Qe1 Bd7 16 Kh1 h5 17 Nd4 Nxd4 18 Bxd4 0-0 (diagram 1) Black’s position is already critical but this gives White a clear target for his attack.

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