Magazine article The Spectator

Consulting Partners

Magazine article The Spectator

Consulting Partners

Article excerpt

On 8 September, on the initiative of the energetic president of the English Chess Federation, TV 'egghead' C.J. De Mooi, the top two British grandmasters Mickey Adams and Nigel Short have agreed to play a consultation game at Simpson's-in-the-Strand.

This will be the prelude to an exclusive dinner to honour the memory of England's greatest player, Howard Staunton. A further aim will be to promulgate the campaign by former world champion Anatoly Karpov to become president of Fide, the World Chess Federation, and thus unseat the self-professed alien abductee Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who currently runs the world body, presumably from his personal UFO or local starbase. It all reminds me of the airborne Mekon of Mekonta in the Dan Dare comic strip, and the sooner Fide gets back down to earth the better.

Consultation games, very popular in the days of Staunton himself, were an invaluable way of giving enthusiasts a taste of working with a great master, thus observing his thought processes in action first-hand.

This week, a game and puzzle from Staunton's own consultation oeuvre.

Staunton/Owen-Lowenthal/Barnes: London 1856; Evans Gambit 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4 Bxb4 5 c3 Ba5 6 d4 exd4 7 0-0 d6 8 Qb3 Qf6 9 cxd4 It is now regarded as correct to play 9 e5 dxe5 10 Re1 - a variation which has been analysed practically to a mate for White. …

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