Internet Chess club on Facebook Internet Chess club on Twitter Internet Chess club on Google+ Internet Chess club on YouTube Internet Chess club on LinkedIn Subscribe to Internet Chess Club RSS feed

England’s top team

IM Malcolm Pein IM Malcolm Pein
September 19, 2023


THE England Women’s team for the European Team Championships to be staged at Budva in Montenegro this November has been announced.
The squad is the strongest ever assembled since England’s women secured bronze medals at the European Team Championships in 1997 and 2001.

IM Jovanka Houska 2340;
IM Harriet Hunt 2316;
WIM Lan Yao 2315;
WGM Katarzyna Toma 2224;
FM Akshaya Kalaiyalahan 2168;
Captain GM Stuart Conquest.

At the last European Team championship, England were seeded 24th and finished 25th.
This year England are likely to be seeded 14th or 15th. Hunt played in both medal-winning teams.

Bobby Fischer popularised 6.Bc4 against the Sicilian Najdorf but, over time, defensive methods for Black were found.
One of these was to exchange the dangerous light bishop as soon as possible.

A Gara – H Hunt
European Women’s Team Ch. 1997
Sicilian Najdorf


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Nbd7 8.f4 Nc5 9.Qf3 Be7 10.f5 Bd7 11.Be3 Qc7 12.fxe6
(12.g4 h6 13.h4 is the way to play)
12...fxe6 13.0–0 Nxb3 14.cxb3 0–0 15.Qh3 Rae8!
(So that if 16.Nxe6 Qc8! wins the knight as Nc3–d5 is harmless with the bishop on e7 defended)
16.Rac1 Qa5 17.Qg3 (Now if 17.Nxe6 Qe5)
17...b5 (Black has the two bishops and better pawn structure)
18.e5 dxe5 19.Qxe5 Ng4 20.Qg3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 b4 22.Ne4 Qxa2 23.Rfd1 Qa5 (23...e5 24.Nc6 Bxc6 25.Rxc6 Rd8 exposing White’s back rank was even better) 24.Nf3 Rd8 25.Neg5 (25.Nd6!?)
25...Qf5 26.h3 Bc8! (A strong regrouping)
27.Ne4 Rxd1+ 28.Rxd1 Bb7 29.Re1 Bd5 (Black is winning, the b3 pawn will fall in an endgame)
30.Nd4 Qf4 31.Kh1

How did Black win a piece?

See the Answer

31...Qxe3 32.Rxe3 Rf4 0–1


J Houska – D Cordero
Women’s Olympiad Chennai 2022
Modern Benoni


1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nd2 Nbd7
8.e4 Bg7 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 a6 11.a4 b6 12.Nc4 Ne8 13.f4 Rb8 14.Be3 b5? 15.axb5 axb5 16.Na5 Rb6 17.Nc6 Rxc6 18.dxc6 Nb8 19.Bxb5 Nc7 20.Ba4 Qe7 21.Re1 Nba6 22.Qd2 Rd8 23.Bf2 Ne6 24.Nd5 Qf8

25.f5 Nec7 26.f6 Bh6 27.Qa5 Nxd5 28.exd5 Nb4 29.c7 Rd7 30.Bxd7 Bxd7 31.Re7 1–0

©Telegraph Media Group Limited 2023

View past articles