SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The International University Sports Federation (FISU) holds World University Championships in a number of disciplines, among them– since 1990– chess. FISU grants the right to hold the championship to an organizer in a country whose University Sports Federation is a member of FISU. FISU has awarded the championship for 2010 to the Swiss University Sports Federation (SHSV) to be held in Zurich.
According to the regulations of FISU, the World University Chess Championship is held in two individual tournaments for men and women, lasting for nine to eleven rounds in seven days. Based on the results of the individual competitions a team ranking is also computed. World University Championships in Switzerland regularly attract numerous entries; up to 150 competitors from 25 countries are expected. They will be accompanied by approximately 30 delegates and coaches.
The Swiss University Sports Federation (SHSV) coordinates university sports in Switzerland. One of its members is the Academic Sport Federation Zurich (ASVZ) which has a chess section in the Academic Chess Club Réti (ASK Réti). The ASK Réti was founded in 1961 and is one of the largest chess clubs in Zurich. New members are predominantly recruited among the students, teachers, researchers and staff of these institutions.
Under the auspices and with support of the SHSV and the ASVZ the ASK Réti has taken responsibility for organizing the World University Chess Championship 2010.
The men’s competition is stronger than ever, featuring 10 grandmasters and 15 international masters. The big favourite is 23-year-old Wang Yue from China. With an Elo rating of 2732 points . The second ranked player is Igor Lysyj, with an Elo of 2638. The mens tournament has 57 players, and the female section has 37 players, including 5 WGMs and 9 WIMs. The time control is 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move.
Canadian IM Raja Panjwani is participating.
STANDINGS AFTER 3 ROUNDS
SELECTION OF POSITIONS AND GAMES
FROM ROUND 1
This is the position after White’s 29th move. White has sacrificed (unwisely) a piece and has placed his hopes on his distant passed pawn. Maybe this is something you can venture against a mortal, but against a solid 2700-plus GM you can leave nothing to chance! WHAT IS BLACK’S MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO WIN?
FROM ROUND 2
GM Wang Yue played an absolutely brilliant game against IM Oliver Kurmann !
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 26th MOVE:
You are going to like this! White has an obvious positional advantage (more space, nice squares and more active pieces) but Black seems to have everything under control, atleast for the moment and his position is looks solid enough. However, Wang is a super-class player and in this game he proves it by demonstrating how to win a won game.
27. Naxc5 !!
The idea of this sacrifice is to open the position for the advance of White’s d-pawn. Curiously, the advance of this pawn is decisive.
27… dxc5 28. d6!
White is threatening to take the Rook on g8. If now 28… Rg7 then 29. e5! sets White’s centre pawns in motion. So Black’s next move is more or less forced….
Even stronger than advancing the e-pawn. White simply threatens to take the Rook…
If Black can get a breather then he will be able to pick off the White d-pawn. Unfortunately…it is White’s move!
30. Nxd7! Removing the blockader of the d-pawn 30… Qxd7
31. Bxb5! Rxb5
We all know that the Queen is a poor blockader. Black was probably hoping for 32.QxR QxQ 33.d7, when Black can hold on with 33…Be7! But Wang has something up his sleeve. Can you see it? White to move and win!
32. Ra7 !!
Beautiful! The White pawn advances after Black takes the Rook and can not be stopped from promoting. Notice that the Black Rook will not be able to return to b8 because of the White Bishop on h2.
FROM ROUND 3
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 22nd MOVE:
Once more the hero is a passed pawn! This position is very complex, but White has a significant advantage. CAN YOU GUESS WHAT MOVE WHITE PLAYED?
Raja is playing some nice chess in recent times. Today he defeated a friend and student of mine (Joao Costa, Portugal) in a complex and very interesting game where Joao missed a chance to keep the game messy and was quickly beaten.