And the winner is …

Congratulations to Peter Tart for winning Crowthorne Chess Club’s first online tournament.

It was a 5-minute event in the “Arena” format hosted on lichess, with the first few opening moves being predetermined (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3).

As the lockdown continues, we expect to have similar events from time to time.

Themed mini-tournament

A reminder we have a Crowthorne Chess online Club night tonight (April 29), and we will be having a fixed opening mini rapid tournament on chess.com. If you don’t have a chess.com account you’ll need to have one in order to join in. If you have to sign up, please consider doing so nicely in advance, as these things can take longer than anticipated.

The fixed opening is a Nimzo-Indian: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3

Please refer to Jonathan’s email for the meeting details.

From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 8

Another snappy finish, this one is of 2005 vintage. White is better here – black is somewhat cramped and his king is short of defenders – but can you spot the quickest and prettiest finish?
Click the “?” below the diagram to check your answer, or just to play through the variations.

White to play and win.

Online meeting tomorrow

Don’t forget that Crowthorne Chess Club will be meeting online again tomorrow (15th April), as usual in these unusual times.

Please see Jonathan’s email, sent today, for the meeting details (which change from week to week).

This one is really nice

A quick break from the Crowthorne vaults to show a nice finish by world champion Magnus Carlsen which was played on Tuesday. In the following position, Black has a nice combination which either wins a ton of material, or forces mate. Can you spot the continuation? Have a go, and click the “?” or one of the buttons below the board to check your answer.

Black to play and win:

This game was played in the Banter Blitz Cup, an online blitz tournament run by the chess24 website. Each player had 3 minutes per game, and this game was game 8 of a match where Magnus beat his 2675 rated opponent 9-0!

On seeing that his opponent had allowed 23 …Rxe5 (by playing 23 d4) Carlsen commented “This one is really nice”.

From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 7

This time it was the turn of a Crowthorne player to be on the receiving end of a smart tactic. In the following position, from a match against Sandhurst, white has a pleasant advantage with his passed d-pawn and active pieces. He also has a move which wins outright – can you see it?
White to play an win

From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 6

In this game, from one of Colin’s in 2018, there is one move which forces a win – can you find it?
White to play and win.

From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 5

Black is a pawn down but can pick up the exchange at will. It’s unclear if that results in a winning position, but if it does Black will certainly have to work hard to convert. There’s a much cleaner line which wins on the spot.

Black to play and win.

From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 4

Here’s another quick finish by Mark. In the following position Black has Bishop+Knight for Rook+2 pawns. White’s King is a little more open than perhaps he would have wished, but it is not obvious that he is in great danger yet.

Mark found the only line to force a win – can you?
Click the buttons below the board, or the “?”, to see the solution. Black to play and win.

From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 3

Colin has also been rummaging around the vaults, and he has found this position. it arose in his game against Sarah Hegarty in a match Crowthorne v Sandhurst, played in 2011.

White was rather outplayed in the opening, and is an exchange and pawn down. He does have some compensation in that Black is missing her fianchettoed bishop and the knights are rather offside. Even so, Black would have been better had she not played 20 …fxe4 on here previous move (much better was 20 …Nf6 although this was not an obvious move to find).

How can white play to save the game?