SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Armenia scored 2:2 versus the Ukraine yesterday to win the World Team Championships held in Ningbo, China. China finished 2nd, showing that the balance of power in the chess world is already changing.
Perhaps the shocker of the round (if not the tournament) was India’s win over heavy favourites Russia, by a score of 2.5 to 1.5. The result , however, did not have much impact in the final standings for the Indian men but dented Russia’s chances of a bronze medal which would have been for the taking in case of an opposite result.
Ganguly’s win over Peter Svidler was a flashy affair, though probably not 100% science and mathematics. Ganguly seemed to play the opening a bit too loosely, castled Queenside and then started a sacrificial attack. Svidler erred in the defence at the critical point, and went down in flames. Proving , once more, that fortune favours the brave.
POSITION AFTER 14 MOVES:
GM GANGULYBlack has complete control over the light squares (d5, g4, f5, e6) and will soon begin to take the initiative. Ganguly decides to play poker: part bluff, part for the team.
White tries to regain control of the light squares, but it costs material to do so.
15… Nxf5 16. Rxf5 !
It is necessary to say ‘B’ after saying ‘A’….Black’s next is forced since taking with the Queen would give White an obvious advantage after 17.Nxd6
16… gf 17. Ng3
The Black Kingside pawns are in disarray. Here Svidler mixed up his move order. Correct was the more precise 17… f4! with good practical chances. Wrong would be now 18. Bh7 (18. Bxf4 Qg4 19. Ne2 Nxf4 20. Nxf4 de) 18… Kh8 19. Qd3 Qg4 etc.
Later analysis uncovered a probable win for White: 18.Bf5!! PxB 19.Qe2 (Qd3 amounst to the same thing) 19…Nf4! 20.Qxe3 Nxg2! 21.Qd3 Nf4 22. Qd2!! and White’s attack is very strong.
17… Nxe3?! 18. Qxe3 f4
Svidler must have completely overlooked Ganguly’s next manoeuvre
19. Bh7! Kh8 20. Qd3 !!
And that is that! The threat of Bg8 and Qh7 can not long be prevented. Svidler played on for a few more desperate moves and then thru in the towel. MORAL: control your light squares!