With the election dominating the news, this week I focus on the strongest chess player to have entered Parliament. Marmaduke Wyvill was MP for Richmond Yorkshire, and he won the silver medal in the very first international tournament, which was organised by Howard Staunton to coincide with the Great Exhibition of London in 1851. Stylistically, Wyvill was a student of Staunton, and he favoured the king’s side bishop fianchetto and a delayed action to challenge the centre from the flanks. Notes based on those by Imre Konig in Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik (Hardinge Simpole).
Marmaduke Wyvill-Lowe: London 1851; English Opening
1 c4 e5 2 e3 c5 3 Nc3 Nc6 4 g3 Be7 5 Bg2 d6 6 d3 White is happy to allow Black to build up in the centre as he plans to counter with d4 at a later date. 6 ... Nf6 7 a3 Be6 8 Nge2 The modern approach here would be 8 Nd5, preventing Black’s next move. 8 ... d5 9 cxd5 Nxd5 Now Black has freed his game and stands well. 10 0-0 0-0 (see diagram 1) 11 Qc2 White must play patiently as 11 d4 cxd4 12 exd4 exd4 13 Nxd4 Nxd4 14 Qxd4 Bf6 is good for Black. 11 ... Nxc3 This helps White as it improves his pawn structure. 11 ... Rc8 was better. 12 bxc3 Bd5 13 e4 Be6 14 Be3 Now White can meet 14 ... c4 with 15 d4. 14 ... Qd7 15 f4 f5 This is a bad mistake after which White obtains the advantage. 15 ... Rfd8 is better when Black is certainly not worse. 16 fxe5 Nxe5 17 Nf4 Ng4 (see diagram 2) 18 Bd2 18 Nxe6 is very strong. 18 ... Nxe3 19 Nxf8 wins material and 18 ... Qxe6 19 Bf4 is simply very strong strategically. 18 ... c4 This is completely wrong. 18 ... fxe4 19 Nxe6 Qxe6 20 Bxe4 Kh8 keeps White’s advantage to a minimum. 19 d4 Bf7 Allowing White two connected passed pawns is fairly hopeless but it is too late for 19 ... fxe4 as after 20 Nxe6 Qxe6 21 Qxe4 Qxe4 22 Bxe4 Black will lose a pawn and the white bishops dominate. 20 e5 Rab8 21 h3 Nh6 22 d5 There is no answer to the advance of the white pawns. 22 ... Bc5+ 23 Kh1 Qe7 24 Rae1 Qg5 This loses material but it no longer makes any difference. 25 Ne6 Qe7 26 Bg5 Qe8 27 Nxc5 Qb5 28 Be7 Rfe8 29 Rb1 Qa5 30 Bd6 b6 31 Bxb8 Qxc5 32 Bd6 Qe3 33 e6 Bg6 34 Bf4 Qc5 35 Qd2 Kh8 36 Qd4 Qxd4 37 cxd4 Ng8 38 Rfc1 Nf6 39 Rxc4 Ne4 40 Rbc1 Kg8 41 Rc8 Black resigns
As I write, a powerful tournament is starting up in Stavanger, Norway. The line-up includes world champion Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand, as well as Wesley So, Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura. Next week I hope to bring you some of the best play from the earlier rounds.