SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
POSITION AFTER 25 MOVES:
im Winter, William
From the 1935 Hastings International. The position is characterized by opposite-side castling and a mutual fight for the initiative. White has succeeded in orchestrating events to his favour with the open b-file and control of the long diagonal. Black , for his part, has seemingly defended his King sufficiently and is now seeking to exchange Queens, greatly reducing White’s attacking ambitions.
Winter’s last move (24…Qf4) appears to force White to agree to an exchange of Queens…
26. Rc5! Kb8
Obviously the Rook could not be taken as the Knight needs to defend the Queen. Nor will 25…Rc7 do as the b7 pawn falls with check. Never the less, this last variation is Black’s only chance to resist a few more moves.
NOW COMES THE COUP DE GRACE
An elegant and silent killer! Only now does Winter realize that 27…QxQ (check) loses the house to 28.Bg2!! (counter-check!) And 27…RxB gets mated (!) after 28.RxR KxR 29.Qg2! (surprise!)
William Winter (1898-1955) was arguably the best English player of his generation. He is no relation to ChessHistory’s Winter–whom, as far as I know, might have already by now copyrighted poor William’s name!
According to chessgames.com:
He was the nephew of Sir James M. Barrie (the creator of Peter Pan). Awarded the IM title in 1950 he was British Champion in 1935 and 1936. He was also London Champion in 1926, 1928-29, 1932, 1939 and 1947. He played on 4 English Olympiad teams during 1930-35 and worked as a chess journalist for the ‘Manchester Guardian’ and the ‘Daily Worker’.
He pursued a radical political career (he was a communist-ed.) at one stage which led to a 6 month prison sentence for sedition.
He had a number of fine victories over some great players e.g. David Bronstein, Aron Nimzowitsch and Milan Vidmar, but a bohemian lifestyle and fondness for drink limited his possibilities. He passed away in London in 1955.
To this let me add that Winter was also an excellent author, having written–amongst others–”Kings of Chess” which is one of my all time favourite books!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS