Golders Green Open, August 2014
White to play
JMGB v Chris Rice, Golders Green Open (3), August 2014
A BORP? decision for me here. How to recapture on c5?
Take with the rook then try to swap the a and b pawns to play against c6 or take with the b-pawn and play against b7? Both options seemed plausible to me at first glance. Fortunately I had some help when making the decision.
When thinking about my move I remembered the Larsen-Donner Master Game rook ending (SMA#21) and realised that taking with the pawn would give me a similar queenside pawn configuration. I also recalled Keith Arkell’s minority attack rook and pawn position from the British Championships when he won by opening the king’s wing and attacking Black from the side. Best of all there is a detailed chapter on minority attack endgames in Hawkins’ From Amateur to IM, a book I’d bought a year or so ago.
White to play
Larsen - Donner, Master Game series 6
Unfortunately I had not the slightest clue how Larsen had gone about winning his game with Donner. Still less did I know how the kingside pawns got hoovered in the first place.
The only thing that I could remember about Arkell-Shaw was that Black had gone for that set up where you voluntarily play ... b7-b5 accepting a horrible backward pawn on c6 in the hope/expectation that of a successful defence of a single weakness.
And that chapter in Hawkins? Do I need to say that I hadn’t actually read it?
I can’t help but feel that there might be a lesson to be learned in there somewhere. If only I could work out what it is.