My nostalgic article about a king hunt I played as a 10-year old and the effect it had on my future playing style (http://matthewsadler.me.uk/chess-for-life/when-we-were-young/) inspired my “Chess for Life” co-author Natasha Regan to dig up an old photo and one of her key chess moments.
The photo was taken when Natasha was 12, playing against 80-year old Edward Ruddle who was Gerrards Cross chess club’s oldest member. It made me think of our interview with our “Chess for Life” role model Ingrid Lauterbach in which Ingrid said that “you can really play chess at all ages. Chess is something that unites people across borders and ages!” We totally agree!
The game is an exciting Morra Gambit win against FM Chris Duncan in 1994. Winning such games is often enough to bind you to an opening for years. In fact, Natasha liked the opening so much, she wrote a book on it!
Regan,Natasha – Duncan,Christopher
Lloyds Bank 1994
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0–0 a6 8.Qe2 Bd7 9.Rd1 Be7 10.Bf4 e5 11.Be3 Nf6 12.Rd2 h6 13.Rad1
A typical Morra position. Although White doesn’t have a clear plan to exploit her lead in development, it isn’t clear how Black can make use of his extra pawn either. In the following period of manoeuvring, Black plays a little loosely which White exploits with some scary knight play.
13…Qc7 14.Bd5 Nb4 15.Bb3 0–0 16.Nh4 Be6 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.a3 Nc6 19.Qc4 Kf7 20.Nf5 Rfd8 21.Nd5
21…exd5 22.exd5 b5 23.Qxc6 Qxc6
Very risky. Black is hoping to round up the advanced c-pawn later.
24.dxc6 Ne8 25.Bb6 Rdc8 26.c7 Ke6 27.Nxe7 Kxe7 28.Rc2 Kd7 29.Rdc1 a5 30.b4 axb4 31.axb4 Ra6 32.Ba5 Nf6 33.Rc3 Ke6 34.Kf1 Ne4 35.Rd3 Kd7
The decisive error. Both sides were keeping each other in balance up til now, but this move drops at least a pawn
The game lasts quite a while still, but the result is never in doubt.
38.Rg3 g5 39.Rh3 Rh8 40.Rb1 Kxc7 41.Rxb5 h5 42.Rf3 Kc6 43.Rb6+ Kd5 44.Ra3 Ra8 45.a6 Ra7 46.Ke2 Ke6 47.Ra5 Kd7 48.Rb8 Ke6 49.Rh8 h4 50.Rh6+ Kd5 51.Rg6 Kc6 52.Rxg5 Kb6 53.Ra3 Nxa6 54.Rg4 Rh7 55.Rh3 Nc5 56.Rhxh4 Rd7 57.Rh8 Ne6 58.Rc8 Nd4+ 59.Kd3 d5 60.Rxd4 exd4 61.Kxd4 Rg7 62.g3 Rf7 63.f4 Rh7 64.Kxd5 Rxh2 65.Rc3 Kb5 66.Rb3+ Ka4 67.Rf3