SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Today saw some interesting line-ups! All of the top rated players were in action today, including the number one rated player in the world Carlsen, and former world champions Topalov, Kramnik and Kasimdzhanov, amongst others. As the tournament proceeds we will see the weaker teams fall by the side as the best teams climb to the top places and then play against each other.
Below is a selection of interesting positions and instructive games. Enjoy!
GM Tomashevsky (born 1987). Elo: 2700-plus
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 22nd MOVE:
Black has been suffering since the opening, but seems to be hanging on –if only by a thread– against the young superstar Tomashevsky. Here White found a brutal shot that finishes the game. Do you see it?
Black found nothing better than to give up his Queen (23…Qxf7), and White mopped up easily.
GM Grischuk (born 1983) Elo: 2700-plus
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 34th MOVE:
A wild game all the way! Black has 2 pieces for a Rook, but White has dangerous passed pawns on the Kingside. But the key to the position is the difference in the security of the 2 Kings: White’s King is much more vulnerable. BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
If the Queen takes the Bishop then Black mates in 1 move with 35…Qc1. Or if the White King moves to c1, then 35…Qe1 mates. So White has no choice but to take the Bishop with his King:
35. KxB Qxe5ch! The whole point.
The next move Black will take the White Queen with his Rook , giving a decisive material advantage. White resigned.
GM Kamsky (born 1974) Elo: 2700-plus
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 30th MOVE:
Once more it is the difference in King position that decides the game. The Black King is pinned down by the White pawn on f6. While there may be a number of ways for Kamsky to win the game, the method he chooses is the most pleasing for the spectators!
31. Be6! The Bishop can not be taken because the White Queen will take the pawn on g6 and soon deliver mate. 31…Qb5 [ no better is 31… Qc7 32. Bb6!] 32. Rd7 [also winning is 32. Rxd3 exd3 33. Qd6 Kg8 34. Bxf7] 32… Ne5!? Black is doing the best he canWHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!33. Rxf7! A brilliant finish. 33…Nxf7 34. Qxg6!
Black resigns as it should soon be mate. The try 34…Qh5 loses the Queen to 35. Bh6!
GM Kasimdzhanov (born 1979) Former world championPOSITION AFTER BLACK’S 32nd MOVE:GM BLUVSHTEIN (CANADA)GM KASIMDZHANOV
A very important game for the theory of the Petroff Defence! White introduced a novelty in the opening (11.c5) and Mark soon found himself with an inferior position. After some slight inaccuracies , Kasimdzhanov found himself with a winning position, the passed d-pawn being decisive.
Realizing that there was no good way to prevent it from advancing and making a Queen, Mark bet everything on a clever trick. His last move was 32…Bd5!?: if White now impatiently advances his pawn Black can escape: 33. d7? Qe4 34. f3 Qe1 35. Kh2 Qg3 36. Kg1 Qe1 with a perpetual check!
White matches Mark’s ingenuity and does not fall into the trap! 33… Qe4!?
Mark has nothing better. Now comes the cruncher:34. Qg6!! Qxg6 35. Nxg6
Black resigns.[1:0] The White d-pawn can not be stopped.
GM Sergei Movsesian (born 1987) Elo: 2700-plus
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 29th MOVE (29…g6):
30. e5!! gxf5!?
Black thought he was doing ok after his last move. If now the White Knight moves away then Black will start to harvest the weak White pawns. However, Movsesian discovered a brilliant idea that should win atleast an exchange.
If instead 30… fxe5 31. Ng7! Rcxe7 (the other way gets mated!) 32. Nxe8 Rxe8 33. Rf7! e4 34. Rxh7 e3 35. Kf1 with good winning chances for White. 31. exf6 Ne4!?32. f7!
Now best seems 32… Rcxe7 33. fxe8=Q Rxe8 but after 34. Rd5 White should win. So Black decided to try to complicate a bit by allowing White to Queen a pawn.
32… Nxd6 ?! 33. f8=Q Rcxe7 and now 34.Qf6 would be the most accurate. Even so, White had no difficulties to win. Black resigned on the 50th move.
GM Kulaots (born 1976) Seven time champion of Estonia
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 19th MOVE:
I like this game! One of the best attacking games so far at this Olympiad. White has the more active position and attacking chances on the Kingside. However, Black’s position is quite solid and is very compact. Kulaots conceives of a very clever idea of offering a piece sacrifice in order to get the initiative:
20. Ne3!? Planning to jump into d5 20… f6 !?
At first sight it might appear that White had just blundered his Bishop on g5! Play now proceeds quickly:
21. Nd5! Bxd5 22. exd5 fxg5 23. hxg5 g6
24. f4! Kulaots creative idea
White intends to play f5 and bulldoze the Black pawns sheltering the King. Curiously, Black is almost helpless, since he has no counterplayThe extra piece does nothing
24… exf4 25. Qxf4 Bf8
Now begins the second wave of the attack
The Bishop can not be taken: 26… hxg6 27. Rh8 Kxh8 28. Qxf8 Kh7 29. Rh1#
26…Rd7 (forced) 27.Rdf1!
Now Black must have realized that he was lost: he must give back the material to avoid an immediate mate. In the meantime, Kulaots remains with a strong attack.
27… Nf6 28. Qxf6 Rg7
29. Bf5! Qe7 30. Be6 Kh8
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
31.Rxh7! It is forced mate
___________________________________________________________SOME WELL PLAYED GAMES
Here is a short selection of well played games that caught my eye this round. The first is a positional masterpiece by Kramnik, where he demonstrates how to manoeuvre against a solid but passive position. The next is a cute example of the power of a passed pawn on the 7th rank in the middlegame, and finally, the third is a game where Black seems to be almost equal, but White finds , time and again, resources to keep trying. Especially, Alekseev’s conduct of the attack is worth careful study.
GM Kramnik (born 1975) Former World Champion——————————————————
GM Wang Hao (1976) Elo 2700-plus
GM Alekseev (born 1985) Elo 2700-plus