This year’s British Championships were, amongst other things, a showcase of young British talent. Bicester Club’s Marcus Harvey has had a fantastic year and seen his BCF grade rise over 30 points to 212 — but for once the 15-year-old was not the star junior performer. This honour went to the Richmond 16-year-old Yang-Fan Zhou who held Michael Adams to a draw in the last round and finished on a remarkable 7/11.

Peter Lalic, the 17-year-old son of Grandmaster Peter Lalic and International Master Susan Lalic, also impressed with 6.5/11. All three — Marcus, Yang-Fan and Peter — are already dangerous opponents even for grandmasters — but when Witney Club’s Peter Wells met Yang-Fan in round 9 of the British, it was the experienced grandmaster who triumphed. As I know well, by playing both 1.e4 and 1.d4, Peter makes himself a hard man to prepare against — and though he rarely ventures the Trompowsky opening these days, it’s still a dangerous weapon. Witness the following game where Yang-Fan’s badly placed pieces testify to its capacity to confuse. White: Peter Wells Black: Yang-Fan Zhou 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Peter, of course, is an expert on the Trompowsky, having written the deservedly popular Winning with the Trompowsky.

2...c5 3.Bxf6 gxf6 4.d5 Qb6 5.Qc1 f5 6.g3 Wells-Shirov, Gibraltar 2006, continued 6.c4 Bh6 7.e3 f4 8.exf4 Bxf4 9.Qxf4! Qxb2 10.Ne2 Qxa1 11.Nec3 Qb2 12.d6! Qc2 13.Qe3 and the great Latvian grandmaster Alexei Shirov resigned! The game Hodgson-Van der Wiel, Netherlands 1994, which was identical up to move 12, had appeared in Wells’ 2003 book — but Shirov clearly didn’t know it.

6...d6 7.Nd2 Nd7 8.Bg2 Bh6?! After Wells’ next, the bishop on h6 looks misplaced. Better was 8...Bg7 and then after 9.c3 we’re back on a well-trodden path.

9.e3 Qa5 10.Ngf3 c4!? 11.Nd4 Nb6 12.c3 e5!? Now 12...Nxd5 can be met with 13.b4! cxb3 14.axb3 winning a piece. White’s pieces now look very well co-ordinated and Black’s pawns look week. White threatens the simple 13.Qc2 targeting f5 so Black is forced into radical action.

13.dxe6 fxe6 14.a4! Menacing 15.Nb5 attacking the newly vulnerable d6 pawn.

14...Qc5 15.a5 Nd5 16.Qd1! Kf8 If 16...0–0 then simply 17.Qe2 bagging a pawn.

17.0–0 Now if 17.Qe2 Black can try to complicate with 17...e5 Peter realises that Black’s c4 pawn can be rounded up at his leisure so he plays it safe.

17...Nf6? Making room for ...d5 to defend c4 — but the cure is worse than the ailment since the knight retreat allows a terrible blow.

18.a6! Rb8 19.axb7 Bd7 20.Ra6 Qc7 21.Rc6! Qxb7 22.Rxd6 Qxb2 23.Nxf5! exf5 24.Rxf6+ Kg7 25.Nxc4! Qxc3 26.Qxd7+! Kxf6 27.Qd6+ 1-0. Black resigned since after 27...Kg7 28.Qe7+ Kg6 29.Ne5+ he’s forced to give up his queen to avoid mate.