Malcolm Pein on…A Prodigious Town


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Malcolm Pein returns to the subject of Mr. Dodgy in today’s Daily Telegraph column and, if I were the latter, I would probably be worried by now…

Malcolm Pein on…A Prodigious Town

It will come as no surprise to his legions of Internet fans that Mr Dodgy resides in a town with a serious chess pedigree. Skellefteå, in Sweden, was the venue of the PCA World Cup in 1989, which was won by no less then Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. The ‘2Ks’ were both unbeaten on 9.5/15, Nigel Short scored 8.5 and John Nunn 7.5.

Mr. Dodgy remained anonymous, amusing the chess world with his gifs, memes and gentle teasing of the world’s best players, until he revealed himself to be Michael Duke, a Scottish chess player.

This is the only game Nigel Short ever played with the King’s Indian Defense at the top level. He once said something to the effect that if White achieves his strategic objectives in this opening, he may win a pawn on the queenside, but if Black achieves his, he delivers mate.

The King’s Indian Defense in Action

V. Salov – N. Short
World Cup (5), Skellefteå 1989

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 a5 10.a3 Nd7 11.Rb1 f5 12.b4 Kh8 13.Qc2 Ng8 14.Bb2 Ngf6 15.Rbc1 f4 (White sacrifices a pawn to open lines on the queenside and succeeds in delaying Black’s kingside advance) 16.c5 dxc5 17.bxc5 Nxc5 18.Nb5 Nfd7 19.Nf3 b6 20.a4 Ba6 21.Ba3 Bf6 22.Rcd1 (22.Rfd1 makes more sense to me) 22…g5 23.h3 Rg8 24.Nh2 Bg7 25.Bc4 Bf8 26.d6 Bxb5 27.dxc7 Qxc7 28.Bxb5 (After 28.axb5 Rg7 Black is very solid and keeps his extra pawn, although White has light-square control and the safer king. If 29.Bd5 Rc8) 28…Nf6 29.Bb2 g4 30.hxg4 (30.Nxg4 was strong because if 30…Nxg4 31.hxg4 Bd6 32.Qd2 Rad8 33.Qxd6 Rxd6 34. Bxe5+)

30…Bd6 31.f3? (Weakening the dark squares. The tournament bulletin gave 31.Rxd6! as winning, but this is far from the case. After 31…Qxd6 32.Rd1 Qe7 33.Qc3 Rae8 34.Bxe8 Rxe8 35.Qc2 White is somewhat better, but the game continues)

Salov – Short Skellefteå 1989

31…Rac8 32.Qe2 Ne6 33.Rc1 Bc5+ 34.Kh1 Rg6 35.Qc4 Qd6 (35…Nd4!) 36.Rfd1 Nd4 37.Bxd4 exd4 38.Rxd4 Qe7 39.Qc3 Qg7? 40.Rdd1 (40.Rcd1! Rh6?? 41.Rd8+ Ng8 (41…Rxd8 42.Rxd8+ Bf8 (42…Ng8 is today’s puzzle) 43.Qa3) 42.Qxg7+ Kxg7 43.R1d7+) 40…Rh6 41.Rd4 Rxh2+ 42.Kxh2 Qh6+ 0-1 If 43.Kg1 Bxd4+ 44.Qxd4 Rxc1+.

Test Your Strength

V. Salov – N. Short Variation; White to Play and Win

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

43.Bc4! Qxc3 44.Rxg8#


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