SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
From the 21st of this month to the 3rd of April, this 11 round swiss is certainly the strongest open tournament of the year! 393 players from 41 countries, also including five under the ECU flag, are taking participation. Among them is an impressive number of Grandmasters, 167, and 63 International Masters.
The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game (with 30 seconds per move, ofcourse). First prize is a cool 20k euros.
LIST OF TOP 49 RATED PLAYERS
The first round some really tough pairings already and many of the top seeded did not prevail. However, for some it was a piece of cake! Witness Rublevsky’s game below where his opponent gets caught in a known trap in the sharp Sicilian and even when he resigns (on move 20!) I can find not less than 6 other games in my database that arrived at the same position! Ofcourse, all of them lost for the Black pieces.
S.Rublevsky did not have to use more than his memory to win in Round 1
POSITION AFTER 14 MOVES:
Black had to play his King into the corner (14…Kh8!) on the last move in order to avoid what now happens. Theory has decided that White has a forced win from this position
15. Nd5! Bd8!? (The Knight should not be taken as the e-file is opened immediately with decisive win of material) 16.Nf5!!
Ouch!! The threat of taking on g7 now obliges Black to take the Knight on f5. The opening of the e-file is immediately decisive.
16…exf5 17. exf5! Ne5!?
Now it becomes brutal to watch Black squirm and get stepped on!
18.Rxe5!! Help! 18…dxe5 19. f6! g6 20. Ne7ch!Zude resigns. Black not just loses a lot of material, and he can not stop the attack for much longer. Moral of the story: study your openings!
GM Fedorchuk did not have more difficulty in winning his first round game against Petre when the latter also misplayed the opening. I don’t understand how strong players can NOT simply use the databases before hand to avoid such catastrophes!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 17th MOVE (17.Qh3)
Black has to play 17…f5!? and pray! Atleast he would be fighting. Instead, Black played 17…g6 ?? which loses in just one move! Do you see it?
The Bulgarian superstar Ivan Cheparinov (Topalov’s second) played a very speculative attack against his experienced opponent (Kadric), at one time he was 2 pieces down just to prevent the Black King from escaping from the centre!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 16th MOVE:
Here Black must play 16…h6! when White must still prove that he has anything close to near compensation for his investment. However, probably not fully prepared psychologically to have to play such a demanding game in the first round, Kadric played too passively: 16…Nb6?! and Cheparinov blew into him like a hurricane!
I really like the Bulgarian’s bed manners!
And finally, one more miniature before leaving you. This time Potkin demonstrated how to attack the King when he castles Queenside. The final position is very depressing, indeed!