Sants tournament Rd 3
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Round three took place Sunday afternoon. Already some upsets are appearing. The number one seed-Nisipeanu–had to be content with a draw against much lower rated gm Pogorelov.
I very much like the way board number two ended:
POSITION AFTER 23 MOVES:
Black played an inferior line of the Benoni, one that had been refuted some 25 years ago or so…perhaps Black was not aware of it. Gajewski played very precisely (and easily) and now has a crushing position.
It may appear that Black has some counterplay on the Kingside, but this is just optical. NOW White finds a very nice way to end the game!
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
Very pretty! The idea is to clear the way for the d-pawn to advance, allowing the Queen to enter Black’s Kingside. Now objectively best is 24… Na6 though after 25. Nxh6 Bxh6 26. d6 Kh8 27. d7 the result will be the same as in the game continuation.
25. d6! Kf8
It is forced mate in 8 moves!
My own game against a talented youngster from Colombia–Rios Cristhian–was a tough struggle where–at times– I was not sure if my position was not worse. In any case, I did my best to find some counterplay and in the end I was able to win an interesting game.
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 26th MOVE (26.Rd2):
The Black Queen does not have a lot of choice! The White pieces–especially the Bishops–rake the center of the board and it seems that Black might have to sacrifice her Queen just to be able to avoid losing her!
I played the only good move I could find:
and somehow I managed to even get the upper hand!