weekend, most of the country’s best
chess players will be in cerebral action
in Hinckley, Leicestershire – taking
part in rounds 7 and 8 of the Four
Nations Chess League.
1 will no doubt be handed a beating in
their meaningless (as far as the league
tables are concerned) encounter with
Guildford’s world-class line-up in round
7 – but then must recover quickly to
gain vital points against whoever they
are matched with, in round 8.
Grandmaster Peter Wells will be in
Leicestershire since he is certainly one
of the UK’s finest – though earlier this
month he was well beaten by Cumnor first
team’s Gareth Stevens. To be fair to
Peter, he was playing around 30 other
games at the same time in his annual
Witney simultaneous display.
Nevertheless, Gareth played a terrific
game – and it’s not every day a
grandmaster is downed by a player rated
ECF 142 – so here is the game.
Black: Gareth Stevens
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5
exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 Peter
has been giving an annual simultaneous
at the Witney club for several years now
and in the event four years ago in this
same position, he chose the aggressive
7.f4 against Dave Hackett.
Then, after the further moves 7...Bg7
8.Bb5+ Nbd7 9.e5 dxe5 10.fxe5 Nh5 11.e6
Qh4+ there was fire on board and Dave
used the complications to his favour to
beat the grandmaster. Perhaps Peter
remembered this game when choosing a
quieter 7th move this time.
7.h3 Bg7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.Bd3 a6
10.a4 Nbd7 11.Bf4 Qe7 12.0–0 h6 13.Re1
Nh5 14.Bh2 Ne5 15.Be2! Nd7 16.Nd2!
Nhf6 17.Nc4 Ne8 18.a5 Ne5 19.Nb6
Rb8 20.f4!? Nd7 21.Nc4 b5!? The
alternative, 21...Bxc3?, is as suspect
as it looks and after 22.bxc3 Qxe4
23.Bf1! Qf5 24.Rxe8! Rxe8 25.Nxd6 White
22.axb6 Bd4+ 23.Kh1 Nxb6 24.e5?!
Of course, had Peter noticed 24.Na5! Bd7
and then 25.e5! it would have taken him
about a second to realise that this was the right
24...Nxc4! 25.Bxc4 Rxb2
Well played by Gareth and now he has
26.Ne4 Rb6?! 27.Ra2 Bf5 28.Ng3
Ng7 29.Bd3?! Bxd3 30.Qxd3 Qb7! 31.Ne4
dxe5 32.fxe5 Nf5 33.d6 Kg7 34.Nf6?! c4!
A great move; sacrificing a pawn and the
support for his d4 bishop just to gain
control on b1.
35.Qxc4 Rb1 36.Qf1 Rb3!?
37.Qxa6? Missing the threat.
37.Ne4 was the move.
37...Rxh3! Suddenly the
threat of Ng3 checkmate is on the board
and White has no good way to stop it.
It only seems like five minutes –
actually it’s been four months –
since Magnus Carlsen defeated Vishy
Anand to become World Champion.
Already though ‘the candidates’ – the
best of the rest – are in competition to
decide who will challenge Magnus for his
title in November 2014. The Candidates
tournament is taking place in Khanty
Mansiysk in Russia.
The final round is played on March 30
and, of course, there will be live
coverage all over the Internet. The
games start around 10am UK time. Enjoy!
Original OT article here.