SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The late grandmaster Tony Miles (1955-2001) was arguably the greatest chess player to have emerged from the British Isles since Staunton. Naturally ,Nigel Short and Mickey Adams might want to vigorously dispute this , but there is no doubt that Miles’ tournament successes between 1977 and 1986 have never been equalled.
What was the secret to Miles’ success? It was his ambitious drive to win even with the Black pieces. Miles was not one to play it safe and limit his horizon by making draws with the Black pieces. He was only too willing to mix it up and fight for the initiative. For this reason, no other English grandmaster can boast such a score with the Black side!
Pins and needles! Veteran GM Bent Larsen has been completely outplayed by the 23 year old Miles and finds himself with all of his pieces on cumbersome squares at the 25th move. Everything seems pinned or out of play. How does Miles deliver the knockout blow? Good luck!
The Lucerne Olympiad, 1982. Top board Tony Miles finds himself paired against the Dutch number 1, Jan Timman. Below is the position after White’s 20th move. All of Miles’ pieces are developed and well placed. The position begs to explode. How did Miles exploit his opportunity? Good luck!
One of the most famous games of the 20th century is surely Miles’ win with the Black pieces over World Champion Anatoly Karpov in 1980. There is a funny story to it: up to that time Karpov was winning tournament after tournament and even Miles could not defend against Karpov when he had the Black pieces. Faced with the prospect of having to play Karpov with the Black pieces in Skara, Tony decided that he had nothing to lose: he was going to ‘invent’ a completely new opening against the world champion. His choice of 1…a6 !? might have been totally laughable but for the fact that Miles actually won the game!!
This is probably the most published game of the last 50 years…enjoy!