Malcolm Pein’s Daily Telegraph chess column concludes his coverage of David Howell’s Hastings success.
A few days ago we learned how Grandmaster Howell held the lead after the first day of the event. However, he still had to play the great Michael Adams on the second day.
Malcolm presents the key game and gives readers the opportunity to find what both players missed in a tricky position.
Malcolm Pein on…Howell’s Hastings Heart
Overnight leader David Howell maintained his fine form on the second day to win the Caplin Hastings All-Play-All. Howell began on Sunday by defeating Michael Adams in round 7, and effectively secured victory in the ninth round by outplaying nearest pursuer Luke McShane.
Hailing from Seaford in East Sussex and a former member of Hastings Chess Club, Howell was in many ways a fitting winning of this year’s famous Hastings tournament.
Final scores: 1 David Howell 9/11; 2 Luke McShane 7.5; 3 Michael Adams 7. Twelve players.
D. Howell – M. Adams
Catalan Opening 15+10
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.0-0 Nc6 5.d4 e6 6.c4 dxc4 7.dxc5 Qxd1 8.Rxd1 Bxc5 9.Nbd2 c3 10.bxc3 0-0 11.Nb3 Be7 12.c4 Bd7 13.Bb2 Rfd8 14.Nfd4 Rac8 15.Nb5 (White’s superior activity more than compensates for his split queenside pawns) 15…b6 16.Nd6 Bxd6 17.Rxd6 Be8 18.Rd3 Rxd3 19.exd3 Nb4 20.Bf1 Ba4 21.f3! (Prophylaxis. 21.d4 Ne4! supplies counterplay) 21…Nd7 22.d4 f6 (Here and on the next move, 22…Nb8! would have regrouped, intending N8c6 and Rd8) 23.f4 Kf7 24.Nd2! Bc2 25.a3 Nc6 26.Kf2 Na5 27.Rc1 Ba4 28.Ne4 Rc7?
Test Your Strength
(With everything under control, Howell now continued to head forwards, but what tactical opportunity did he miss?) 29.Bc3 Nb7 30.Bb4 Nb8 31.Nd6+ Nxd6 32.Bxd6 Rc8 33.c5! (The passed pawn allied to the two bishops enables White to press) 33…Nc6 34.Ke3 Ne7 35.g4 Bb3?
Missing a trick. 36.Bxe7! Kxe7 37.cxb6! Rxc1 38.b7 Rxf1 39.b8Q (On such an open board, the extra queen will prove too strong and Howell now wrapped matters up without any difficulty) 39…Bd5 40.Qxa7+ Kf8 41.f5! Rf3+ 42.Ke2 Rh3 43.Qb8+ Ke7 44.Qc7+ Ke8 45.Qxg7 Rxh2+ 46.Ke1 Rh1+ 47.Kd2 Rh2+ 48.Kc3 Rh3+ 49.Kb4 Rb3+ 50.Ka4 Rb7 51.Qxf6 Kd7 52.fxe6+ Bxe6 53.Qe5 Bb3+ 54.Ka5 Bc4 55.a4 Bd3 56.d5 Rb3 57.Qe6+ Kd8 58.Qg8+ Kd7 59.Qe6+ Kd8 60.d6 Rb7 61.Qd5 Ra7+ 62.Kb6 Ra6+ 63.Kb7 Rxa4 64.Qg5+ Kd7 65.Qe7# 1-0
Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.
29.Nc3! Bc6 (or 29…Bb3 30.Nb5) 30.f5! exploits Black’s awkwardly- placed pieces, and if 30…exf5 31.d5 Bb7 32.Nb5 Rc5 33.Bd4.