1962: Secret weapon

Game Gray, DJP - Mutkin, HG, Cambridge vs.  Oxford, 1962

Chess Notes

Exeter player leads Cambridge team in University Match.  

DJP Gray, of Exeter School and St John's College Cambridge, has become one of the celebrated few who have had the honour of playing at board one in the annual Varsity match.  This year's drawn contest was his third appearance and he made his total score 21/2 points with the following lively draw against the rival President, H.G. Mutkin, of Wadham, who played an unusual type of Sicilian Defence... — J.E. Jones

Sicilian Defence, Lowenthal Variation

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 a6

The Lowenthal Variation, still a good "secret weapon" despite — or perhaps because of — the rise of the Kalashnikov line with 5...d6.

6. Nd6+ Bxd6 7. Qxd6 Qf6


8. Qd1

This undeveloping retreat looks odd, but there is no obvious way to keep it in play with advantage.

8... Qg6 9. f3 Nge7 10. Nc3 O-O 11. Be3 d6 12. Qd2 f5 13. Bc4+ Kh8 14. O-O-O b5 15. exf5 Bxf5 16. Bd5


White has occupied the d5 square in textbook style but Black has some promising ideas on the wings. However, this apparently staid move also hides a threat to the d-Pawn. Black may have missed the threat or decided to let it go in favour of the complications which now ensue.

16... Rac8 17. g4 Bd7 18. Be4 Qf7 19. Qxd6 Be6 20. Bb6 b4 21. Nd5 Rfd8 22. Bxd8 Rxd8 23. Qc5 Bxd5 24. Bxd5 Rxd5 25. Rxd5 Qxd5 26. Qxd5 Nxd5


Whew! After all the fireworks an unbalanced endgame has arisen with rough material equality. White must have felt encouraged by the fact that the minor pieces he was facing were a pair of Knights.

27. Rd1 Nd4 28. Rd3 g6 29. c3 Ne2+ 30. Kc2 Nef4 31. Rd2 a5 32. cxb4 Nxb4+ 33. Kb3 Ne6 34. Ka4 Nc6 35. a3 Nc5+ 36. Kb5 Nb3 37. Rd5 Nbd4+ 38. Kc5


The Knights have got organised and have patched up a defence, and although White can now think about getting a Queen's-side passed Pawn Black can consider sacrificing one Knight for it and eating King's-side Pawns with the other.


[Notes by DR]

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