SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
“Strong coffee, much strong coffee, is what awakens me. Coffee gives me warmth, waking, an unusual force and a pain that is not without very great pleasure.”
It has been a relatively good week , chess-wise, for my fellow Canadians. Youngsters Aman Hambleton and Eric Hansen achieved top-10 positions in the Open in Mexico while 61-year old Leon Piasetski also got a top-10 position in the World Senior Championship in Greece. Congrats!
Great photo! I love it…
An excellent 8th place!
Sixty-one year old im Leon Piasetski was close to a GM norm, scoring 3 wins, 3 draws and one loss against titled players. Since his retirement several years ago, Leon has been quite active, participating in numerous international events all around the world. It seems that the ex-Montrealer only needs to be a bit more consistent and then Canada may very well have yet one more grandmaster!
TIMES ARE A CHANGING…
Canada has some really good talent right now amongst the under-25 crowd. Raja Panjwani (who is studying in Oxford right now) as well as Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton (both of whom have temporarily stopped their university studies to concentrate on chess) are capable of changing the map of Canadian chess. Eric already has the gm-title and Aman’s latest result might very well count as a first gm-norm. And Raja’s play this past summer has convinced me that he is very close to gm-strength…if not already one. Raja has already defeated about 20 gms in over the board play!
Aman Hambleton was born in 1992.
Top 15 places in the Open section of the Mexico tournament.
Aman scored an undefeated 7 points in 9 games, including 4 points out of 6 against grandmasters! Normally this is good enough for a gm-norm, but Aman’s performance rating was some 4 points shy of the necessary 2600. If FIDE wants to be a hard ass, then the title-commission can deny the result for grandmaster norm considerations.
(PostScript: I have since been informed that for norm considerations it is possible to consider the first round opponent as a 2200 rated player, thus bringing up the performance average to slightly above 2600.)
gm Martinez Duany
White stands much better here. Most of Black’s army is concentrated on the Queenside, leaving his King with only minimal protection. The exchange sacrifice on f6 must be an important motif here…the problem is to find the most precise way to do it.
Aman played creatively with 26. Ne6!? Bxe6 27. Rxf6! , but still needed some help from his opponent to score the whole point. You can follow the game continuation below.
HOWEVER, there is a way to knock out Black where there will be no need for further help from Black. It is very pretty:
26. cxb5! axb5 ( even worse is 26… c4 27. Qe3! axb5 28. Rxf6! winning outright after 39… Kxf6 29. Qf3 Kg7 30. Rf1 Kg8 31. Nf7 etc.) 27. Rxf6! Kxf6 28. Bxb5 Rf8 (28… Bd7 29. Qf2 Kg7 30. Qf7 mates) 29. Rf1 Kg7 30. Rxf8 Kxf8 31. Qf2 Kg7 (31… Ke7 32. Bc6)
mating by force
Grandmaster-elect Eric Hansen was also born in 1992.
Eric’s performance was a bit off, but his final score was equal to Aman’s. Had Eric not lost a completely won game against Capo Vidal (see yesterday’s blog) then he could have finished in second place.
The following is a typical example of Eric’s play. Strong opening preparation combined with a good eye for tactical opportunities to turn the game into his favour. His opponent never had a chance…
fm Dominguez Aguilar
gm Hansen, Eric
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN BY FORCE!
A COFFEE CUP THAT YOU CAN EAT!
”This is such a cool idea. This cookie cup was the creation of a Venezuelan designer named Enrique Luis Sardi which was made for Lavazza, the famous Italian coffee company. It’s so ingenius – he made it using a cookie for the outside and a special patented sugar icing on the inside. Dual purpose – it creates an insulator for the cookie and add sweetness to the coffee!”