- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 17, 2001

Tony Miles, the colorful British grandmaster who won the 1974 world junior title and has been a fixture on the international scene ever since, died suddenly Monday at age 46. A diabetic, Miles apparently passed away in his sleep at his home in his native Birmingham. The news sent a shock wave through the chess world, where Miles' efforts as a player, writer and pioneer of the postwar British chess renaissance made him a popular figure.
His trademark shock of long, thick red hair and his offbeat opening repertoire sometimes overshadowed Miles' considerable accomplishments at the chessboard.
When he qualified for the grandmaster title at a strong Soviet tournament in 1976, he became the first British grandmaster of the modern era, paving the way for a string of top-ranked British players, including John Nunn, Nigel Short, Jon Speelman and Michael Adams.
While never a contender for the world title, Miles had a fine tournament record and notched wins over such greats as Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Yefim Geller and Vassily Smyslov. Perhaps the quintessential Miles moment came when he defeated world champion Anatoly Karpov, then at the height of his powers, in a 1983 team event with the opening 1. e4 a6??!.
Miles' legacy includes a string of beautifully played games, marked by a fighting spirit and a refusal to settle for hackneyed or boring lines.
Miles' win over Soviet GM Alexander Belyavsky at a strong international tournament in Tilburg, Holland, in 1986 was typical of his enterprising style. The two former world junior champs mix it up enthusiastically before Belyavsky makes a fatal defensive slip.
In a Queen's Indian, Miles' 12. d5 Nc5 13. h4!? is an original way to hit back at Black's kingside expansion. The fight sharpens considerably when White sacrifices a piece with 16. Qxd3 e5!? (offering a dangerous pawn sacrifice) 17. Nxf5!? (accepting the challenge, even though the knight has no retreat) Bc8 18. f4!!?.
Miles apparently thought his opponent got good compensation on the prosaic 18. e4 Nd7 19. Qe2 Nc5 20. f4 gxf3 21. Rxf3, when the White bishop on g3 has no good prospects. Instead, with the game's 18Qxf5 19. e4 Qh5 20. fxe5 dxe5, Black is a piece to the good but his position is by no means easy to play.
White energetically opens a second front with 21. c5! Kd8 (Ba6 22. c4 Nd7 was worth a look here), and is rewarded when Belyavsky misses the best defense under the heavy White onslaught: 22. d6 Qe8? (c6! 23. Rad1 Nd7 24. Rf5 Qe8, and White still has to justify his piece sac) 23. dxc7+ Kxc7 (see diagram) 24. Qd5! (hitting a8 and f7) Nc6 25. Rf7+ Bd7 26. Raf1!. The White rook is headed for the sixth rank, where the weaknesses on d6 and c6 beckon. Black may already be lost.
The conclusion: 27 Kc8 (Ne7 28. Bxe5+ Kc8 29. Qa8 mate) 28. cxb6 (Bxe5! was perhaps a quicker win 28 Qxe5 [Nxe5 29. Qa8+ Kc7 30. Qxa7+ Kc8 31. Qa8+ Kc7 32. cxb6 mate] 29. Rxc6+! Bxc6 30. Qxe5, winning; but Miles' idea is also plenty strong) axb6 29. Qb5!.
The weak squares around the Black king now prove fatal: a) 29…Nb8 30. Bxe5! Qxe5 (Bxb5 31. Rc7 mate) 31. Qxe5 Rhe8 32. Qd5; b) 29 Nb4 30. Qc4+ Kb7 31. Qxb4 and wins; and c) 29…Rg8 30. Rxc6+! Bxc6 31. Qa6+ Kb8 32. Qa7+ Kc8 33. Rc7 mate.

IM Enrico Sevillano defeated FM Emory Tate in the sixth and final round to win the 73-player Northern Virginia Open, tournament director Mike Atkins reports.
Sevillano went 5 1/2-1/2 in the event, a half-point ahead of IM Larry Kaufman, FM Boris Privman, and NM Yevgeny Gershov. Privman had a chance to tie for first but was held to draw in the last round by IM Adrian Negulescu, who also drew with the tournament winner earlier in the event. Also worthy of mention was the fine performance of Class B player Andrew Samuelson, who beat two experts, drew Privman and lost only to Tate on his way to a 4-2 result and a major ratings bump.
Class winners included: Top expert Paul Yavari; Top Class A David Slack, Chris Sevilla, Thomas Rehle and Josh Specht; Top Class B Samuelson and David Paulina; Top Class C Frank Huber and Kebadu Belachew; Top Class D Wilfredo Acevedo; Top Unrated Chukwuma Obi; and Top Scholastic John Rouleau.
In the tournament-deciding game, Sevillano nullified Tate's powerful attacking play, almost effortlessly stealing the initiative as Black and controlling the tempo of the game.
White's early queenside demonstration (6. b4!? and 7.b5) leads nowhere, and by 11 Nf5 12. Nge2 d5, Black has solved all his opening problems and is ready to mix it up. White's 13. 0-0, securing his king, is understandable, but with 13 d4! 14. exd4 exd4 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. dxe4 d3! (Nd6 17. Nxd4 Nxe4 18. Bb2 and White is back in it), Black dictates the play for the rest of the contest.
Now 17. exf5? dxe2 wins for Black, but provocative would have been the pinning 17. Rad1!? dxe2 18. Rxd8 exf1=Q+ 19. Bxf1 Rxd8 20. exf5 Bxf5. The Black rooks has a lot of useful open lines here, but the four bishops and the material imbalance produce the kind of dynamic position in which Tate thrives.
Instead, with the forceful 19 Qa5 20. Bb4 Qxb5 21. Qxd3 a5!, Sevillano pressures White in so many places that material loss appears inevitable.
The exchange falls after 22. Bd6 (Bd2 Qxd3 23. Nxd3 Bb5 is no better for White) Qxd3 23. Nxd3 Bb5 24. Rfd1 (walking into the knight fork, but there was no better defense) Ne2+ 25. Kf1 Nc3.
Down the exchange, White desperately seeks complications, but Sevillano doesn't oblige: 28. Nc5 Bxe5! (the cleanest kill) 29. Nxb7 Nxd6 30. Nxd8 Rxd8 31. Rd5 Bc3. Down a full piece with no compensation, Tate resigned.

Tilburg Interpolis, Holland, 1986
1. d4Nf616. Qxd3e5
2. c4e617. Nxf5Bc8
3. Nf3b618. f4Qxf5
4. Nc3Bb419. e4Qh5
5. Bg5Bb720. fxe5dxe5
6. e3h621. c5Kd8
7. Bh4g522. d6Qe8
8. Bg3Ne423. dxc7+Kxc7
9. Qc2d624. Qd5Nc6
10. Bd3Bxc3+25. Rf7+Bd7
11. bxc3f526. Raf1Rd8
12. d5Nc527. R1f6Kc8
13. h4g428. cxb6axb6
14. Nd4Qf629. Qb5Black
15. 0-0Nxd3resigns

Northern Virginia Open, Alexandria, November 2001
1. c4e517. Nf4Nd4
2. g3Nc618. Rab1Bd7
3. Bg2g619. Qc4Qa5
4. Nc3Bg720. Bb4Qxb5
5. Qa4Nf621. Qxd3a5
6. b40-022. Bd6Qxd3
7. b5Nd423. Nxd3Bb5
8. Ba3Re824. Rfd1Ne2+
9. e3c625. Kf1Nc3
10. d3cxb526. Rxb5Nxb5
11. cxb5Nf527. e5Rad8
12. Nge2d528. Nc5Bxe5
13. 0-0d429. Nxb7Nxd6
14. exd4exd430. Nxd8Rxd8
15. Ne4Nxe431. Rd5Bc3
16. dxe4d3White resigns

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide