In the 1960′s the Melbourne Chess Club occupied a small premises in Finders Lane in the city. It was very much an old-world gentleman’s club with old books, leather armchairs, crusty old men and lots of smoke! In 1965 my school chess team played one of our Interschool matches in the MCC as it was a “central venue” and we were playing a team from the other side of town.
I have only dim recollections of that day. I can remember Kon Raipalis being there (he virtually lived at the chess club) and someone came up to me and said, “you see that guy with a beard in the corner, that’s the Australian Champion, Doug Hamilton!”
Last week-end, some 45 years later, I popped in to have a look at the Vic. Open Chess Championship being played at the Box Hill Chess Club in Canterbury and was warmly greeted by club stalwarts Gerrit Hartland and Trevor Stanning. There, still sitting in the corner, was Doug Hamilton happily taking on players one fifth his age and doing quite well.
Doug has always been a good tactician and in the following position from his game against Dragicevic he has just played 1.Nf3 attacking the “e” pawn. Now Black could player either 1…Nd7 or 1…Bd6 to protect the pawn but instead he sets a trap for his opponent with 1…Nf4. Todays puzzle is what was the trap and how did Doug refute it?
[fen caption="What should White play after 1...Nf4?"]r4r1k/1bq1bp1p/ppp1nnp1/4p3/P3P3/2N2NQP/BPP2PP1/2BRR1K1 w q – 0 1[/fen]