Chris Ross describes Graham Lilley’s last round win to clinch the trophy.

Tenacious. Courageous. Ingenious.

The only three adjectives that spring to mind when reviewing this masterpiece by Graham Lilley.

I have to admit, that I had the pleasure of viewing the game, especially towards its latter stages when all the arbitors and a few spectators were hanging around the board poised for a phenomenal climax to an awe-inspiring game.

Lilley, standing on 3.5/4, recognizing that I, who stood on 3/4, was grinding poor old Rob Van Aurich down, strove for the win without abandon, took no fear, took no caution and against a strong tactical opponent, proceeded, not only to outwit him in the strategically complex position, but unraveled a labyrinth of complexities that only a computer could muddle it's way through, and all accomplished with a matter of minutes, putting his opponent under tremendous time pressure to complete the game.

There can be no greater tribute to Lilley’s play than to publish such a fine specimen of a fearless encounter, and all achieved under strain of poor health, last round grand-prix symptoms and the prospect of a long exhaustive journey to come.

The tension, the excitement and the enthrallment that Lilley caused by this piece can not be described sufficiently and spectacle he certainly obtained and was duly rewarded by the trophy of the B.C.A. A.G.M. tournament winner for the 9th conqueror over the two decades.

Notes are mostly by Graham himself, although game contributions are supplemented by myself.

[Event "B.C.A. A.G.M. 2004"]

[Site "Derby, ENG"]

[Date "2004.03.21"]

[Round "5.1"]

[White "Lilley, Graham"]

[Black "Cumbers, Paul"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "A70"]

[Annotator "Fritz 8 (10s)"]

[PlyCount "107"]

[EventDate "2004.03.21"]

{A70: Modern Benoni}

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 c5

(Heading for a Benko, Modern Benoni or Kings Indian Benoni,)

3. d5

(If white wants to play the opening quietly he can play 3. Nf3, but Iwanted a sharp fight to the death.)

3... e6

4. Nc3 exd5

5. cxd5

(So we have the ultra sharp Modern Benoni, even if it is not that modern today. I play a line which attempts to keep control but it doesn't work.)

5... d6

6. e4 g6

7. h3

(Preventing the Bg4 lines.)

7... Bg7

8. Nf3 o-o

9. Bd3

(Over protecting e4,)

9... Nh5

(I have never seen this idea before, the idea is to prevent Bf4 and in some lines play f5. I wasn't quite sure how to proceed.)

10. o-o a6

11. a4 Nd7

12. Be3

{12. Bg5 Bf6 13. Be3 Ne5 14. Be2 Nxf3+ 15. Bxf3 Ng7 16. Qd2 Rb8

17. Rab1 b5 18. b4 c4 19. axb5 axb5 20. Ra1 Be5 21. Ra5 Bxh3 22. Nxb5 c3

23. Nxc3 Rxb4 24. Ra2 Bd7 25. Ne2 Rc4 26. Qd3 Rb4 27. Qd2 Qb8 28. Ba7

Gonzalez Garcia,J-Borocz,I/HUN 1998/EXT 2000/1/2-1/2 (53)

12. Bg5 Bf6 13. Be3 Qe7 14. Rc1 Rb8 15. Qd2 Re8 16. Rfe1 b5 17. axb5 axb5

18. Nxb5 Ba6 19. Qa5 Rb6 20. e5 dxe5 21. Bxc5 Nxc5 22. Qxb6 Nxd3 23. Qxa6

Nxc1 24. Rxc1 e4 25. d6 Qd8 26. Nfd4 e3 27. fxe3 Bg5 28. Re1

Volkmann,F-Palkovi,J/Hartberg 1991/EXT 97/0-1 (33)})

12. Bg5 Bf6 13. Be3 Ng7 14. Re1 g5 15. Qd2 h6 16. a5 Rb8 17. Na4 Re8 18.

Rab1 c4 19. Bc2 c3 20. Qd3 Nf8 21. Ba7 Ra8 22. Bb6 Qe7 23. bxc3 Nh5 24.

e5 Bxe5 25. Nxe5 dxe5 26. Bc5 Qf6 Damljanovic,B-Knezevic,B/Nis 1994/EXT

97/1-0 (45)}

12... Ne5

13. Nxe5 Bxe5

14. f4 Bg7

{14... Bd4 15. Bxd4 cxd4 16. Ne2 Nf6 17. Qd2 Re8 18. Ng3 Bd7 19. Qb4 Nxd5

20. exd5 Re3 21. Rf3 Rxf3 22. gxf3 Qh4 23. Kf2 Qxf4 24. Re1 Bxh3 25. Re4

Qc1 26. Qxd4 Rc8 27. Re1 Qd2+ 28. Re2 Qd1 29. Ne4

Dautov,R-Cherniak,L/Leningrad 1989/TD/1-0 (30)}

15. Qf3 Qa5

(Not seeing Blacks idea of giving up his wonderful Bishop just to win a pawn.)

16. Rae1 Bxc3

17. bxc3 Qxc3

18. Bb1 Bd7

19. g4

(this move is double edged weakening my Kingb ut at the same time attacking Black's.)

19... Ng7

20. Rc1 Qf6

(Black can win another pawn on the queenside with Qa3 but all white's pieces are pointing towards Black's King and he wisely declines it.)

21. a5

(Fixing the Black

Queenside pawns which makes the extra pawn not worth a great deal.)

21... h5

(Black starts to attack White on the Kingside in order not to get slowly crushed on the dark squares.)

22. g5 Qd8

23. Bd2 f6

24 gxf6 Qxf6

25. Qg3

(I could play Qg2 straight away but I wanted to take the h4 square away from the Black Queen.)

25... h4

26 Qg2 Nh5

27. Bc3 Qf7

28. f5 Ng3

29. Rf4 g5

30. Rg4 Kh7

31. Bd2

(If 31 Rxg5 Rg8 and it is White's King which is in trouble.)

31... Rg8

32 Bxg5 Qh5

(Black's last move is an ingenious way to save the pawn on h4. if 33. Rxh4 Qxh4 34. Bxh4 Ne2+ wins for Black.)

33. Qd2 Rxg5

(The exchange sacrifice is the only way to save the Queen.)

34. Rxg5 Qf3

35. Kh2

(Stopping the threat to win my Queen with Qh1+)

35... Rg8

36. Rxg8 Kxg8

37. . Re1

{37. e5 dxe5 38. Qg5+ Kf7 39. Qg6+ Kf8 40. Qf6+ Ke8

41. Qxe5+ Kf7 42. Qe1 is much better for white.)

37... Kf7

38. Bc2 Bb5

39. Qg2

(Stopping Nf1+)

39... Qf4

40. Bd1

(Missing the discovered check but I was lucky that the Black Knight could not hit any White piece when playing the discovered check.)

40.... Ne2+

{40... Bf1 [would have given Black a clear advantage] 41. Rxf1 Nxf1+

(41... Qxf1 42. Qxf1 Nxf1+ 43. Kg1) 42. Kg1 Ng3}

41. Kh1 Ng3+

(Round about here Black offered a draw which I refused, I am the exchange up for nothing an Black only has a couple of minutes to finish the game and I have forty or fifty minutes.)

42. Kg1 Bd3

43. Qf3 Qd2

44. Qe3 Qxe3+

(if black plays 44... Qxa5 then

45. e5 Nxf5 46. e6+ Kf6 47. Qf2 and the pass pawn on e6 is very dangerous.)

45. Rxe3 Bxe4

46. Kf2 Bxd5

(if Bxf5 47. Rb3 Bc8 48. Bg4.)

47 Rd3 Ne4+

48 Ke3 Nf6

49. Bf3 Bxf3

50. .Kxf3 d5

51. Kf4 c4

52. Ra3 Ne4

53. Ke5 c3

54. Ra2

(and Black lost on time. Though, winning on time is not very satisfactory, the position is won for white on the board, though I doubt that I would had found the right route at the time through being very tired. Nd2, Nf6 is too passive and would be followed by 55 Rc2, 55 Kxd5 Nb3, if Kf6 56 Kd4, 56 Ke5 c2 57 Rxc2 Nxa5 58 Rc7ch. (White has mating threats, while at the same time pushing his f pawn through. So a game with many interesting points but not sound enough to be a really good game.)

54... 1-0

Chris Ross











B.C.A. A.G.M.


B.C.A. 2002