Rd 1 Spanish Tch
The first round got underway at the City Hall. Excellent conditions of play overall–lighting especially. Despite there being numerous spectators, the noise level was very silent. Water was provided, and the arbiters did an excellent job taking care of every detail.
Gros losing to Sestao was something of a surprise, both teams being in contention for first place. However, as one can see from the cross table below, the tournament is so tough that it is difficult to believe that a single match loss is enough to count you out. Gros lost on boards 4 and 5. The tournament rules insist that two of every team line-up be Spanish players, and coincidene had it that both Spanish players on Gros lost.
My own game agaist the indian Negi was a bit of bad luck as my opponent played more poker than chess. First he unnecessarily sacrificed his h-pawn for little more than some small positional compensation and then he later unsoundly sacrifced a piece when he had just minutes on his clock–no doubt unhappy with his situation. His luck was that I refused the offer!
POSITION AFTER 34 MOVES
Here White has some more activity than Black and this should be enough compensation for his pawn. The Rubinstein Variation of the Tchigorin Spanish is a solid line that has a good reputation . Black digs in and creates a formidable barrier that practice has shown White can not simply beat down. This game was the first time that I had played the Black side–normally I find myself White here.
Here I intend to exchange the Knight on f5 only when I am read to do so, and with the piece of my own choosing. Probably not wanting to reach time control (move 40) simply a pawn down, Negi thought a while and used up most of his remaining time to play a somewhat speculative–if not outright dubious– idea
I had only expected 36.g5!?, though after 36…h6! White’s attack soon comes to a halt. Here I had just minutes left and decided to trust Negi that I should not take the Bishop and played the solid 36…Rb7, which is good enough to keep my game together. HOWEVER, computer analysis shows that Black should simply take the Bishop and WIN! Infact, it is hard to see what attracted Negi to playing this whole line….INANYCASE, I even managed to lose the game when I did not find the best defence after the time control. To be fair, my opponent showed good technique and showed some class in the final stage of the game.
ERIC HANSEN won a very tense game against Spanish IM Manuel Candelário and by move 21 had a crushing advantage:
Here Eric found the super-strong 22.Nc5!However, because Eric had used up most of his time up to this point, he did not find the most precise way to win and even played weakly and gave his opponent chances! Infact, Eric was later lost at several points, but readers who play over the game will witness one of the wildest games that one can imagine…in the end Eric managed to outfox his opponent and score the whole point.
HERE ARE TODAY’S PAIRINGS:
THERE IS AN International womens tournament going on at the same time and taking place in the same hall. Below is a position that grabbed my attention and I think the readers will enjoy:
Position after White’s 28th move (28.Rd5), attacking the Queen and Knight on f5. Clearly White is LOST, but she is still kicking and making it difficult for her Lithuanian adversary to make progress. HERE , after a little thought, Black found a brilliant way to immediately decide the game. Do you see the idea?