[Event "Kent County CA-32 Premier"] [Site "Margate"] [Date "1939.04.14"] [Round "3"] [White "Flohr, Salo"] [Black "Wheatcroft, George Shorrock"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E01"] [Annotator "MJDonnelly"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "1939.04.12"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2017"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2016.10.25"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2016.10.25"] [SourceQuality "1"] {[%evp 0,49,30,26,29,-7,5,-25,-14,-20,5,5,17,12,38,38,13,0,6,-4,48,25,24,16,8, 4,3,-33,-1,13,15,23,15,1,12,-11,22,34,44,-14,148,163,191,190,151,147,535,506, 695,739,796,1039]} {Wheatcroft, the player of the Black pieces in this game did not have an easy time at Margate but was not a professional player. He was a very good player having made several respectable mid-table appearances in the finals of the British Championships and represented England in the 1937 Stockholm Olympiad. He also quite probably has other things on his mind as the start of WW2 was just months away and he did not have the luxury of , say Capablanca, who could escape to the relative safety of Cuba and the USA. In WW2 he served with distinction in the Royal Service Corps and achieved the high rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. As an Oxford graduate he was actually a solicitor for some time but later become a Professor of Law and helped formulate some of England's key laws in later years. Flohr needs little introduction. He had drawn a match with Botvinnik a few years earlier and was soon considered a World Championship candidate. Winner of many pre-WW2 strong events he was in the top few of the World's best players in the 1930s.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 {The Catalan-in keeping with Flohr's sophisticated style.} d5 4. Bg2 c6 5. Qc2 ({White avoids the sharp and highly complex variations that can occur after} 5. Nf3 dxc4 {nowadays played by many 2700 Elo rated players.}) 5... Nbd7 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Nbd2 Re8 (8... Qe7 9. b3 b6 10. Bb2 Bb7 11. e4 {was the earlier game Flohr-Thomas, Hastings 1937/38, when White is a little better.}) 9. b3 Qc7 {As in the game against Capablanca also played at this event, Wheatcroft plays the initial stages of the opening very well, but on c7 the queen is slightly misplaced being prone to cxd5. Now} (9... e5 {immediately gives Black a very playable game despite ending up with an isolated pawn on d5} 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Bb2 Nc6 {is level, one example being Bareev-Anand, Interzonal Biel 1993.}) 10. Bb2 b6 (10... Nf8 { is too passive to be good and after} 11. e4 dxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Qxe4 { White has a large advantage as in, for example, Taylor-Watkins, Dyfed open 2019.}) 11. Rac1 Bb7 {Arranging his pieces well Black has obtained a fair position and more or less solved the probem of the queen's bishop.} 12. Qb1 { Keeping open the option of e4, and adding to the threat of cxd5, White begins to probe the Black position.} (12. e4 {has also been played here but if Black is careful he is OK after} dxe4 13. Ng5 c5 ({or even just} 13... e3) 14. Ngxe4 (14. Ndxe4 {is similar.}) 14... Nxe4 15. Nxe4 $11) 12... Rad8 13. Ne1 Qb8 ( 13... e5 {is , of course, poor here due to} 14. cxd5) 14. Nd3 c5 (14... e5 { may also be considered with a reasonable game although once again Black ends up with an IQP on d5:} 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Bxe5 18. Nf3 Bxb2 19. Qxb2) 15. cxd5 exd5 16. e3 Ne4 {Black is perfectly fine here.} 17. Nf3 f5 { But this is a little loosening hence the move} (17... Qa8 {which overprotects c6, d5 and e4 gives Black a level game.}) 18. Rfd1 g5 {Again ambitious-Black is playing the position like a Dutch defence even though the Black queen on b8 cannot so readily join the attack, its normally on g6 or h5 in the Dutch, unless Black can sacrifice on g3.} 19. Ba1 {A very subtle move which gives the queen access to b2 , from where it can defend f2 and at the same time increase the pressure on the long diagonal.} cxd4 $2 {Opening the long diagonal is fatal. Black may as well have continued with his aggressive king-side play with } (19... Re6 20. dxc5 bxc5 21. Qb2 Rf6 {even though his position is just about hanging together and White is much better-the move Black plays loses very quickly.}) 20. Nxd4 f4 (20... Ba3 {is no problem at all for White since after} 21. Rc2 Rf8 {to defend f5} 22. b4 {traps the bishop and if Black plays} a5 23. Qb3 Bxb4 24. Nxb4 axb4 25. Nxf5 Rxf5 26. Bxe4 {and Black's game collapses as d5 falls.}) 21. exf4 gxf4 22. Qb2 fxg3 {At first sight this looks promising but White finishes crisply exploiting the weak black squares leading to the Black king.} 23. Nc6 gxh2+ 24. Kh1 Be5 25. Ndxe5 (25. Ndxe5 {wins outright since if} Bxc6 26. Nxc6 {leaves the queen under attack and mate on g7 on the cards and} Nxf2+ {, whilst getting 3 pawns for the piece, doesn't delay White much after} 27. Qxf2 Qd6 28. Bxd5+) 1-0