ARKELL'S ODYSSEY

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHESS GRANDMASTER

 

Keith Arkell in play v's Steve Dilleigh, Paignton 2012.

Photograph courtesy of Bob Jones.

 

 

 

(1) Arkell,Keith C - Hamdouchi,Hichem [A62]
French League Div 1, 1995
[K. Arkell]



1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.g3 Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 Na6 10.Nd2 Nc7 11.Nc4 Nfe8

11...b5 is considered dubious e.g. 12.Nxd6 Qxd6 13.Bf4 Qb6 14.d6 Ne6 15.Bxa8 Nxf4 16.gxf4 Bh3 17.Bg2 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Qc6+ 19.Kg1 b4 20.Na4 with the upper hand for White.

12.a4 b6 13.Qd2!

In the game against Suba given earlier, I preferred 13.Qc2 The text move may be stronger because after the c1 bishop is fianchettoed the queen slows down the Black plan of ...f5, f4.

13...Qd7!?
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13...Rb8 may be slightly stronger, as played for example, by Lautier (twice) against Sosonko in 1991.

14.b3 b5 15.axb5 Nxb5 16.Bb2 Nd4 17.Ra3 Rb8 18.Na5

I looked at 18.e3 but felt that Black was OK after 18...Nxb3 19.Qc2 Rb4.

18...Nc7 19.e3 Ndb5 20.Ra2 Nxc3 21.Bxc3 Bxc3 22.Qxc3

White has the advantage here with well-paced pieces and the possibility of a central pawn thrust.

22...Bb7 23.Rd1 a6 24.h4 Ba8 25.Rad2

Bearing down on d6 after a possible recapture on c6.

25...Rb6 26.h5 Qe7 27.Nc6 Bxc6 28.dxc6 Nb5

If he had defended passively with 28...Ne8 then 29.h6 would have tied him down completely while; 28...Rd8? loses to 29.h6 f6 30.Qxc5.

29.Qa1 Rd8 30.Bf3

My idea was to increase the pressure with Kg2 followed by Rh1.

30...f6

By probing the kingside I have extracted the concession which enables me to open up the other wing favourably.

31.b4! cxb4

The point is that 31...c4 is no longer possible in view of 32.Qa2 winning a pawn. If White can exchange his b-pawn for Black's c-pawn in the Benoni he has usually made good progress.

32.Qa5 Rdb8 33.Qxb4

I think I am now positionally winning: the c-pawn is a monster, my pieces are very active and Black has many pawn weaknesses.

33...Kg7 34.hxg6 hxg6 35.Rc2 Rc8 36.Kg2 Rbb8 37.Qa4 Nc7 38.Rcd2 Rd8 39.Qa3 Ne8 40.Qxa6

By gently probing I have rounded up his a-pawn. I now use my extra mobility to tie him down completely.

40...f5 41.Qa1+ Qf6 42.Qa7+ Qf7 43.Ra2 Rbc8 44.Qd4+ Qf6 45.Ra7+ Rc7 46.Rxc7+ Nxc7 47.Qb6 Qf7 48.Qb2+ Qf6 49.Qb7 Qf7 50.Ra1 Re8 51.Ra7 Re7 52.Qc8 d5 53.Rb7 Kf6 54.Qd8

My pieces have now reached their maximum capacity, and the position just requires a few delicate taps in the right places.

54...Ke5 55.Kg1!

With the simple idea of Bg2 followed by f4+ with heavy material gain.

55...g5 56.Bg2 g4 57.Ra7

Zugswang! Any move with his rook knight or pawns lose to 58.Rcc7, which leaves only the queen.

57...Qg7 58.Bxd5

After 58.Bxd5 Nxd5 59.Ra5 Qf7 60.Rxd5+ Qxd5 61.Qxe7+ Black's position is hopeless.

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