SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
This year’s Olympiad is being run as an 11 round swiss. Four rounds have been played thus far, and 7 teams are tied at the top–each having won 4 straight matches– as we can see from the above chart of the first 60 places. Ofcourse, it is way too early to make any predictions (for that we must wait until the second half), but we must mention that 2 Russian teams are amongst these top places. The young Viet Nam team merits mention also, as it is one of the dark horses in this year’s event.
Canada is currently in 48th position, tomorrow having to meet a higher rated team-Denmark.
A view of the playing hall
”How do you say ‘draw!?’ in chinese?”
”What have I done?”
Smile, you are on camera!
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov hard at work getting re-elected
”It is the same ending as Lasker vs Rubinstein, St. Petersburg 1909…”
Photos from the organizer’s site. There are many more, plus videos. Check it out!
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 14th MOVE (14…d5)
GM HOWEL (England)
IM ERDOGDU (Turkey) Elo 2450
White’s Queen sortie to f3 was ill advised. On the last move Black was tempted to take the Knight on f5, since recapturing it with the Queen loses to …Nh4! trapping the Queen (there are no retreat squares!). However, Black rightly rejected it because after recapturing on f5 with the pawn the game would simply be unclear.
Now a Lasker would probably admit the error of his ways and retreat his Knight to g3, with just a slightly inferior game. However, GM Erdogdu completely lost his mind and captured the pawn on d5:
15. ed5?? Bxf5! 16.Qxf5?? Nh4!
The Queen is lost! White immediately resigned, deservingly winning 1st Prize for Blunder of the Day.
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 18th MOVE
GM CAMPOS MORENO,JAVIER. Elo: 2500
One of those boring positions: symmetrical pawn structure, only one open file and likely exchange of all of the Rooks in the near future, etc. In anycase, being bored is little reason to lose in just a few moves! Black did so with style:
18…Ne4?? 19.NxN de4 Black no doubt anticipated White taking the Rook on c8. A surprise awaits him:
20. Rc7! Ouch!!
Black loses a piece in every variation. He resigned immediately. A worthy winner of 2nd prize of ‘Blunder of the Day.”
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 19th MOVE (19.Bh6)
GM A. KOVACEVIC (Serbia) Elo: 2582
GM TKACHIEV (France)
Here Black should probably take the Bishop on h6 and then play …Nf6 with a normal game. True-the advance of the h-pawns has weakened the King position somewhat-but Black is not in any danger at all.
Instead, probably feeling that any move is adequate, Black immediately blundered and lost a pawn!
19…Nf8? 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Bxh5!!
Black can not take the Bishop because White wins by direct attack with 22. Nf5ch! and 23.Nd5! followed by the Queen entering. Black woke up at this point and started playing well. However, a pawn is a pawn and Tkachiev scored the point on move 63.
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 27th MOVE
CM PACE COLIN Elo: 2100
GM ZHU CHEN Elo: 2480; Qatar
(Former World Woman Champion)
Black is a bit more active and also has some tactics on the Kingside. But it is hard to make progress since White’s position is quite solid. Never the less, post mortem analysis showed that Black should press with 27…Qh5!? when White must find the only good move 28.Be2 (playing g4 provokes a winning sacrifice on g4). Then after 28…Na4 and 29…b5!? Black has some practical chances.
However, being such an underdog (more than 300 points lower rated than Zhu Chen), and having a forced draw at his disposal, Black decided to cash in and take the half point:
Now if White takes the Bishop, Black has a perpetual check beginning with …Qh5ch. Unbelievably, Zhu Chen —thinking that she could try for more— refused the peace offering and lost in one move!
28.Kf2?? Which was immediately met by the stunning 28… Rxf3ch!! Ouch!
If now 29. Kg1 Rxg3ch! mates. Or 29.Ke2 Bg4 (amongst others!) forces resignation. Zhu took the Rook
White resigns. It is mate next move!
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 19th MOVE
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
A wild, crazy and open struggle up to now where both sides did not bother to castle. It is White to play, and there is a way to press home his advantage. The f7 square is the theme, a la Paul Morphy!
Vajda played 20.Rxe7ch! BxR 21.Nf6ch!!
It is mate next move no matter how Black plays…
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 19th MOVE
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
All of Black’s pieces are aimed towards the White King. Especially, the 2 strong Black Bishops are to play a powerful role in any such attack.
Black played 19…Rxe4! 20. QxR Nxd4!!
Clearly White can not take the Bishop and must retreat the Queen. He chose 21.Qe3!?
There followed 21…Nf3ch 22. Rxf3!?
and now Black wins material with 22…Bc5! 23.Nd4 Qh8! White resigned.
MOST BARBARIC FINISH
WARNING: The following is cruel and sadistic. You would never see this on Polgar’s blog!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 19th MOVE (19.Qxc6)
Black has built up a strong attacking position and after White’s last move Black decided to sound the charge!
19…Bxa2ch! White can not take because of the undefended Rook on e1. 20.Kc1 forced 20…f3ch!
The White King is trapped in the cross fire! If now 21.Kd1? Black mates in 2 with 21…Rxd3ch and 22…Bb3 mate.
21.Re3 Rxe3! Ouch!
Much more brutal than simply taking the exchange!
22. fe3 Be3ch 23.Kd1
23…RxBch! No mercy! 24.Ke1!? best chance
White could not take the Rook because of forced mate after 24…Bb3ch and 25…Qa1ch etc
24…Rd1ch!! Cruel and sadistic!
After the forced 25.Kxd1 Qd8ch!! Black wins all of White’s pieces and still gives mate! So White resigned immediately! A wonderful display of brutal savagery! Who says chess is for children?
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED IN COMING HOURS
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS