SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The Brazilian Chess Championship is currently taking place and almost all of Brazil’s best players are participating. Here is the link to the official website: http://www.fpx.com.br/2010/brasileiro/
The tournament is one of the strongest in Brazil’s history, with 6 GMs , of which 2 are rated more than 2600 and the rest all over 2500. Eight rounds have been played, with 3 more to go. Vescovi finds himself in first place followed by Fier a half point back. Everything is still possible and I expect an exciting finish!
Today’s round saw GM Rafael Leitao (number one rated in the tournament) win a great attacking game, which I give below. Leitao is probably not well known to my readers, but he is infact one of the strongest players of his generation. Born in 1979, Leitao won 3 world championships for his age group: U8, U12 and U18. He is currently participating in the World Correspondence Championship which began this past summer.
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 17th MOVE (17…Bf6):
GM EL DEBS
Black’s last move turns out to be a critical error in an otherwise sharp and complex positiion. Now Leitao embarks on a precisely calculated sacrificial attack against which Black can only survive move to move, hoping that White will let him off the hook.
18. Bxf7! ch Kxf7 19. Qb3 ch
The Black King is caught in the cross-fire of White’s pieces. The King can not now retreat because of the Knight fork on e6.19… e6
Black is up a piece, but his Queen side pieces are still in the box. White now continues the attack with great energy, constantly creating threats and driving the Black monarch into the open.
Black must play very precisely not to go down in smoke here! Completely wrong would now be 20… Bxh4 21. fxe6 Kg7 (21… Kg8 22. e7 Kh8 23. Rf8 Kg7 24. Ne6) 22. Rf7 etc.
Also losing, but not as easily, would be 20… Kg7 21. Bxf6 Kxf6 22. fxe6 Ke5 (diagram,right) 23. Qd1! Na6 24. Rf7 Qd8 25. Qf1 and Black gets matedTHAT LEAVES ONLY:20… g5!?
Black does his best to keep his head above water!
21. fxe6ch Kg6 [ If 21… Kg7 then 22. Bxg5! is crushing]
The Black King is exposed and invites a number of promising attacking continuations to White. Just as good as the game continuation would now be 22. Rxf6!?ch Kxf6 23. Rf1 Kg6 24. Bxg5 Kxg5 25. Qd1 etc and Black should not survive very long.
With the threat of e5 discovered check. Black’s only defence is to put a piece on e5. But which one offers the best chances of resistance? After 22… Be5!? 23. Bxg5! Kxg5 24. Qd2!ch Bf4
(24… Kg6 25. Nf5 Bg7 26. Nh4) 25. Rxf4!ch Qxf4 26. Nf3!ch
Black loses his Queen. So Black played the only other idea…
Leitao deserves credit for his powerful finish:
23. Rxf6!!ch Kxf6 [Worse is 23… Qxf6 24. e5!; or 23… Kg7 24. Rf5!] 24. Qf2!ch
24… Kg7 There is nothing else!
Now one way to win is 25. Qf7ch Kh8 26. Rxb7!. Leitao’s method is almost the same thing…
25. Rxb7! ch
There is no adequate defence. After 25… Bxb7 26. Qf7ch Kh6 27. Nf5ch Qxf5 28. exf5 White wins easily enough
25… Kh8 !?
26. Bg3! [1:0]
The Queen can not leave f6 unprotected. A great attacking finish!