Tony Miles – unforgettable

April 23, 2016 Matthew Sadler 1 comment

My “Chess for Life” co-author Natasha pointed out to me that one of our role models and one of the greats of British Chess, GM Tony Miles, was born 61 years ago on this day. It seems incredible to think that Tony has already been dead for 15 years: you still see so many references to him and his games in chess books and magazines. Just as a little tribute, a game of Tony’s that I sat next to at the Isle of Man Open in 1995. James Howell was a strong English grandmaster: well-prepared and very serious in his approach. I still remember being shocked (and rather envious) at what Tony did to him with his patented 1…Nc6!


Howell,James C  – Miles,Anthony J

Isle of Man 1995


1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.dxe5 Nxe5 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bf4


Prepared specially for the occasion – I think that James said that Peter Leko had suggested it – and not a bad idea at all.



5…d6 6.Qd2 Nf6 7.0–0–0 Be6 8.Na4 Bb6 9.f3 0–0 10.a3



8.Na4 in combination with 7.0-0-0 feels strange for White: only Black is being helped by opening the a-file. And as you will see, the a3 pawn will also become a tempting target for Black!


10…Qe7 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.Ne2 Ng6 13.Kb1 d5 14.exd5 Nxd5 15.Qc1 b5



The floodgates are open! No stopping Tony now!


16.Bd2 b4 17.axb4 Nxb4 18.b3 Nxc2


The beginning of the end: Howell-Miles Isle of Man 1995
The beginning of the end: Howell-Miles Isle of Man 1995

19.Qxc2 Qa3 20.Qc3 Bxb3






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