Raymond Keene

Phoenix arise

Every year I give many so-called simultaneous displays, usually for charity, where I take on 20 opponents at one and the same time. The only game I have lost this year in such events was a complicated battle during the Phoenix Legacy weekend in Dorset, organised by Rosie Barfoot, to raise awareness of the need for mental activity as one ages. Apart from the lecturers, Tony Buzan of Mind Mapping fame and Dominic O’Brien, the eight-times world memory champion, there was also an address by Leontxo Garcia of Spain’s leading newspaper El Pais, Madrid, who is an expert on the role of chess in combating Alzheimer’s. Notes based on the winner’s.

Keene-Pleasants: Kingston Maurwood College Simultaneous Display 2012; Modern Defence

1 d4 d6 2 e4 g6 3 c4 Bg7 4 Nc3 Nc6 5 d5 Nb8 6 Be3 Nf6 7 Be2 Nbd7 8 Nf3 e5 A bit committal, perhaps castling is best, though Black was very conscious that White had not yet committed to castling. 9 h3 0-0 10 g4 Nc5 11 Nd2 a5 12 Qc2 c6 13 g5 Ne8 14 h4 f5 15 f3 Rf7 16 b3 Nc7 17 a3 cxd5 18 cxd5 Rb8 19 a4 N7a6 20 Nb5 fxe4 21 fxe4 Qe7 22 0-0-0 Understandably, White wants to find somewhere safe for the king now that the f-file is open. However it’s not clear that it’s all that safe on the queenside. 22 … Bd7 Black now gains some important tempi to get organised. 23 Kb2 Rc8 24 Qb1 Nb4 25 Rc1 Rf4 (see diagram 1) Black is prepared to give up the exchange for excellent dark square control.

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