M Adams
J Edge

Halifax Open

We had arrived at the congress venue from York (where I was staying with a friend) rushed and late and I was hoping for a weak opponent. Looking at the draw I did not recognise the name 'Adams' as a local player but on arriving at the board, suddenly realised who it was.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 Sicilian Dragon - Might as well play attackingly 6. Bc4 Bg7 7. O-O White is playing a quiet line, not part of my book knowledge at least 7... O-O 8. h3 Nc6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Bb3 Qa5 11. Re1 last book move according to Fritz 11... b5 If either knight takes on b5, then Black can play Nxe4 12. a4 b4 13. Nd5 Rfe8 I was starting to think that I had survived the opening intact and could start messing about on the Q-side 14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. Bd4 Nxd5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 I played this retake quickly without thinking but allowing White to take on d5 leaves Black cramped and with the b-pawn vulnerable. Possibly better was 16 ... Ne3 and if 17. Qd4 then 17... Nxc2 18. Bxc2 e5 17. exd5 Bb7 18. Qd4+ Kg8 19. Re4 Whoops, I am losing a pawn 19... Rac8 20. Rae1 Qc5 I thought that this might hold it together as if White either exchanges Queens or takes on b4, then I can go after his d-pawn, but Whites next move starts a K-side attack into the bargain 21. Qd2 Rc7 22. Rxb4 Ba6 23. Rh4 h5 24. Qg5 Qa5 25. Ree4 Bc8 26. Rxh5 Bf5 27. Re3 Qd2 28. Rh4 so that Qh6 cannot be met by gxh5 28... Qc1+ 29. Kh2 Qxb2 30. Bc4 Qg7 31. Bb5 f6 got to defend the e-pawn 32. Qg3 Rb8 33. c4 Bc8? I was short of time, as usual, and thought that I was threating to trap the bishop with a6 but suddenly realised that this move lets Whites Bishop in to e8 to help Whites K-side attack 34. Rd4 Bb7 35. a5 a6 36. Ba4 f5 37. Rf4 Bc8 38. Qg5 Rb4 39. Be8 Rcxc4 Desperatately trying to break out of the incaceration 40. Rxe7 Rxf4 41. Rxg7+ Kxg7 42. Qxg6+ No way to stop the mate as after 42... Kh8 43. Bf7 threatens both Qg8++ and Qh6++. Still, I lasted more than 40 moves against a possible world champion. 1-0