Malcolm Pein on…ChessFest 2021

ChessFest came to London town last Sunday with a day of chess based entertainment and fun for all the family. The festival was for every chess player, from expert, to those who may come to learn. The outdoor event took over Trafalgar Square for the day, with free chess lessons, simultaneous displays by Michael Adams and Gawain Jones, giant chess sets and over 100 tables for people to play on.

The theme of ChessFest was Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Lewis Carroll’s book is loosely based around a chess game in which Alice advances down the board to become a new queen and it is 150 years since publication.

A giant chess board was built in the square on which 32 actors in costume acted out a game based on Alice’s journey. The event was open to all and free, see

It is also just over 48 years since the attacking genius Leonid Stein died tragically young at the age of 38. Few demolished Tigran Petrosian in this fashion.

L. Stein – T. Petrosian
28th USSR Ch. Moscow 1961
French Winawer

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Nf5 8.Bd3 h5 9.Qf4 Nc6 (9…Qh4 10.Qxh4 Nxh4 11.Bg5! gives White an advantage) 10.Ne2 Nce7 11.Ng3! Ng6 12.Qd2 Bd7 13.Rb1 Rb8 14.0–0 c4 (Sensibly trying to close the position) 15.Be2 Nxg3

(If 15…h4 16.Nh5 Kf8 17.g4!; 15…Ba4 16.Nxh5) 16.fxg3! h4 (Not 16…Ba4 17.h4!) 17.Bg4 hxg3 18.hxg3 Qe7? (White is better after 18…Ba4!? 19.Qf2 0–0 20.Be3 – Euwe) 19.a4! Bxa4 20.Ra1 b5 21.Ba3 Qd7 

L. Stein - T. Petrosian 28th USSR Ch. Moscow 1961

22.Rf2! Rb7 23.Raf1 Qd8 (23…Nf8 24.Rxf7 Qxf7 25.Rxf7 Rxf7 26.Bxf8 and Bxe6 wins or 24.Qg5 is very strong) 24.Qd1 (24.Bc5 was more accurate when White breaks through as in the game) 24…Rh6 (24…b4 25.cxb4 Nf8 was the only way to fight on) 25.Bc1! Rh7

Test Your Strength

L. Stein - T. Petrosian White to Play and Win

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line Ito reveal the answer.

26.Bxe6! 1–0 In view of 26…fxe6 27.Qg4 followed by Qxg6+ or Rf8+ or 26…Nh8 27.Qf3!

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