Published 1 September 2014

Barry Stone wins 2014 award

Andrew Farthing writes: This was not an easy decision. In the end, the key had to be in the word “enterprising”. In the end, I decided to award this year’s Woodcock Prize to Barry Stone (Malvern) for his brave — and so very nearly successful — effort to defeat his much stronger opponent. His attacking play and willingness to sacrifice material best fits the intent behind the award for enterprising play. Unusually, it is the loser of this game who was been entered for the prize (nominated by his opponent). Geoffrey commented: “I won, but Barry got within one move of beating me, and from where I was sitting, his effort seemed very enterprising, and certainly didn’t reflect the 69 point grading difference.”

Barry Stone - Geoffrey Herbert

2014 Malvern Club Championship. Queen's Gambit Declined
Commentry by Andrew Farthing

The first 20 moves are quiet, but White signals his aggressive intentions with the bold (if objectively questionable) 22.h4. Three moves later, White is probably losing, but he begins to point his pieces towards Black’s king. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 c5 5.Nf3 b6 6.b3 Bb7 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.0–0 Ne4 9.Bb2 Nd7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Nb5 Bf8 12.Ne1 a6 13.Nc3 Ndf6 14.Ne2 Bd6 15.f3 Ng5 16.Bf5 Qe7 17.Nc2 Qc7 18.Nf4 c4 19.Ba3 g6 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.Bg4 b5 22.h4 Nxg4 23.fxg4 Ne4 24.Ne2 Bc8 25.Rf4 h6 26.Qf1 Be6 27.Rd1 g5 28.Rxe4! (a brave move and objectively strongest, putting Black under pressure.) 29...dxe4 29.Qf6 Kd7 30.d5 Bxg4? (The pressure tells when Black misses the winning defence 31...Kc8.) 31.Qxf7+ Qe7 32.Qg6 Rac8 33.Rd2 c3 34.Rd4 Rhg8? (White also goes astray, but Black misses a key move, 34...Qh7! which should have won.) 35.Qxa6 (After 35.Qxa6, it’s equal but still complicated.) 35...Bxe2 36.d6 Qe5?? (36...Qe5?? should have been the losing move). 37.Qb7+ Ke6 38.Qe7+ Kf5

Stone-Herbert, 2014. Position after 38...Kf5

39.Qf7+ (Tragically for White, his efforts were not crowned with the success they deserved when he missed 39.g4+! Kxg4 40.Qxe5, with a decisive material advantage.) 39...Kg4 40.Qd7+ Kh5 41.Qf7+ Rg6 42.Rd5 Qf6 43.Rf5 Qxf7 44.Rxf7 Rxd6 45.hxg5 hxg5 46.Nd4 Rxd4 47.exd4 c2 0–1