Chess: How does White win?

Monday's chess...

IN opening theory, the rare Swiss Gambit (1 f4 f5 2 e4 fxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 g4) is an obscure and unsound offshoot of the Bird's Opening. In modern tournament parlance, we think of the "Swiss Gambit" as being the backdoor to the winner's circle.

It's the term coined for an early loss in a Swiss open that puts a player in the "losers' grouping", often being pitted against a lower-rated and lower-scoring opponents, while their top rivals slug it out against each other. The idea is to have momentum at the end with a surge of comeback wins by overpowering weaker opponents.

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This all goes to show that the popular Swiss-styled open tournaments – so called, according to The Oxford Companion to Chess, because it was suggested by Dr Julius Mller of Brugg, Switzerland, and first used at a Zurich tournament in 1895 – are far from perfect, but they are a necessity because they can cater for a large numbers of players over multiple rounds, thus making the whole economics of a chess tournament self-financing.

But there is one kind of Swiss tournament that is almost perfect at this time of the year, and that's the annual Biel Chess Festival, where the World No 1, Magnus Carlsen got off to a flying start in the ACCENTUS GM section by winning his first two games. The Norwegian ace was held to a draw though in round three by Russia's Alexander Morezevich, and – with the football-scoring system in play of three points for a win – he now leads on 7/9, two points clear of his Muscovite rival.

M Carlsen – A Shirov

44th Biel ACCENTUS GM, (2)

Semi-Slav, Meran

1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 Nf6 3 c4 c6 4 Nc3 e6 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Bd3 dxc4 7 Bxc4 b5 8 Bd3 Bb7 9 0–0 a6 10 e4 c5 11 d5 c4 12 Bc2 Qc7 13 Nd4 e5 14 Nf5 g6 15 Nh6 Nh5 16 g3 Bc5 17 Qf3 Rf8 18 Bd2 Bd4 19 b4 cxb3 20 Bxb3 Qd6 21 Rac1 Ng7 22 a4 f5 23 axb5 f4 24 Ne2 Bb6 25 bxa6 Bxa6 26 Bc4 g5 27 Bxa6 Rxa6 28 Rc8+ Bd8 29 Nf5 Nxf5 30 exf5 Nf6 31 Qd3! Ra7 32 Qb5+ Qd7 33 Rxd8+ 1–0