SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Every year those nations that have common Spanish or Portuguese roots participate in the IberoAmericano
Championshp. The tournament has become a very strong event that includes the best players from Cuba, South and Central America, Mexico ,Spain and Portugal. This year the event was held in Quito, Ecuador and the format was unusual: there were preliminaries and then 4 final sections, with the top section seeing Spain’s up and coming superstar Ivan Salgado
take first place after a dramatic last round victory over Granda.
The start of the final game. Spain’s chess president Javier Ochoa watches.The decisive game of the championship was in the last round, which saw Ivan paired with White against gm Julio Granda. Granda played the Black side of a Spanish and did not want to take any chances, playing solidly. If Granda could draw the game, then Salgado would finish in 2nd place and Granda would win the Championship!
HOWEVER, Granda slipped up when , perhaps over confident, he allowed one too many White piece around his King. Salgado did not let the opportunity go to waste:
POSITION AFTER 27 MOVES:
It is a curious thing about White’s light-square Bishop in the Spanish opening: even though it seems to play no active role for most of the game, it often scores the winning goal! Here White’s Bishop on b3–seemingly dead– will actually win the game!
How, you ask? Just watch and learn!
A brilliant and beautifully calculated conception that works like a charm! In principle, Black should never allow so many pieces aimed at his King: those that seem to do nothing are often useful to sacrifice to rip open and weaken the monarch’s defences…and the others do the rest of the work!
For the sake of dotting all the ‘i’s and crossing all the ‘t’s, Black can not take the Bishop on b3 here: 28… Nxb3 29. N3xe5! Qe6 30. Nxh8! wins easily enough.
28…Kxf7 29. Bxf6!
Removing a key defender. Note that Black can not play 29… Qxf6? because after 30. Ng5 Ke7 31. Rf3 White’s attack is unstoppable. There followed:
29…Bxf6 30. Qxh7
If now 30… Ke6 then 31. Red3 Re7 32. Qxg6 is not pleasant; or 30…Bg7? 31.Ng5 and 32.Rf3 is immediately decisive. 30… Kf8
It looks as though White is just a piece down for nothing!
A very difficult move to forsee! The threat of mate forces Black’s hand, while the Rook on e3 suddenly comes into play
31…Bxh4 32. Rf3 Bf6
There was no use in trying to slow the attack by interposing with the Queen on f6: White simply would take the Queen with check , then take the Bishop on d7 (!) and follow it up with c5! (opening the diagonal for the Bishop), winning easily enough.
Even so, after the text move, Black seems to have everything under control! And don’t forget that Black is 2 pieces up….
Brilliant! There is no need to say more…
33…Nxd7 forced 34. c5!!
The long dormant Bishop awakes and Black can no longer escape his fate…Granda tries his best for a couple more moves, but the battle is already decided.
34… Re6 35. Bd5! Qa6 36. c6!
Nobody likes to resign a Rook and a piece ahead, but Granda’s decision is sound and probably best! To avoid the immediate mate, he must play 36…Qxc6, but after 37. BxQ RxB 38.Qh8! followed by taking the Rook on a8 it is White who is a mile ahead in material!
A beautifully executed attack by Salgado!