The Oxfordshire Chess Association holds its AGM this week. The big issue at the meeting will be the English Chess Federation’s recently published funding proposal. A universal membership scheme is advocated with three categories: gold, silver and bronze.

Basic — bronze — membership will cost players £12 per annum and suffices for league and county chess; but will not permit participation in congresses or Fide rated events. Silver membership (£18) will permit play in congresses; but gold (£27) will be needed to, for instance, play rated games in the 4NCL.

Whether the proposals are supported at the Oxfordshire AGM, and subsequently at the ECF AGM, or not — and nothing is certain at this stage — the loss of the Government grant for chess this year will have an impact. It’s likely that ECF fees, and consequently game fees and club subscriptions, will rise.

In the Fide World Cup which has been taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia, the crowd’s Favourite, Hungarian Judit Polgar made it all the way to the fifth round before falling to the eventual winner, cricket enthusiast Peter Svidler from Russia. Polgar has been the World’s best female for more than 20 years; but has only recently returned to top-flight competition. Her legendary fighting spirit and tactical prowess were seen to be undiminished during her epic round 4 match with the young Cuban, Leinier Dominguez-Perez. The match was all square till the eighth game — a blitz play-off — in which Polgar triumphed.

White: Leinier Dominguez-Perez Black: Judit Polgar 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bg5!? a6 8.Qd2 Two games earlier in their mini-match, Dominguez-Perez had tried 8.Qf3. Then, following 8...Be7 9.Qg3 d6 10.0–0–0 0–0 11.Kb1 Rd8 12.f4 Qc7 13.Bd3 b5 14.Qh4 h6 15.Bxh6 gxh6 16.Qxh6, he had agained a strong attack. Polgar had held on however and the Cuban probably felt it necessary to vary from that game before seeing Polgar's improvement.

8...Qc7 9.0–0–0 b5 10.f3 Be7 11.Kb1 0–0 The position resembles an English attack in the Najdorf. Polgar has wasted a move with her queen; but gained a move by omitting ...d6. 12.g4 Ne5 13.Bf4 b4 14.Ne2 Rd8 Clearly Judit intends ...d5. White's task: to meet this threat. 15.Ned4!? To meet 15...d5? with 16.Bxe5 Qxe5 17.Nc6 15…Bb7 16.Qe1?! Rac8 Judit gets her last piece into the action before making the big break.

17.h4 d5! 18.exd5 Rxd5 19.h5 Nxf3! A wonderful piece of calculation — especially since this was a blitz game.

20.Qg3 e5 Judit is in her element in positions like this.

21.Bg2 exf4! 22.Qxf3 Rxd4 23.Nxd4 There's nothing better since 23.Qxb7 Qxc2+ leads to mate.

23...Bxf3 24.Bxf3 The dust has cleared and White emerges with decisive material and positional advantage. Judit finishes off in clinical style.

24...Nd7 25.Rhe1 Bf6 26.Nc6 Ne5 27.Nxe5 Qxc2+ 28.Ka1 Bxe5 29.Rb1 f6 30.Be4 Qd2 31.Bf5 Bxb2+ 0–1