SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
And fuck the lemons!
MOROZEVICH PULLS AHEAD (AGAIN!)
POSITION AFTER 7.Qa4-ch
What to do against the Grunfeld Defence? Seventy-five years of theory and praxis has established the Grunfeld to be a sound and dynamic choice against 1.d4 Certainly it is out of the question that someone will ever find a refutation. So how should one counter the Grunfeld?
Modern masters answer this with as equal pragamtism as the Grunfeld players themselves: variety! Sometimes you play the fianchetto line, sometimes you play the Bf4(g5) line, sometimes you play the exchange variation. In other words, you don’t let your opponent know exactly which way you will play, and in this manner he must be prepared for everything. At times, that can be tiring…
The result: a good modern master can expect to achieve something like 65% life-time score against the Grunfeld. Karpov , against Kasparov’s Grunfeld, scored almost 60%. Not every Grunfeld player is as good as Kasparov…
They played 30 published games with the Grunfeld. Karpov won 7, lost 2 and drew 21. But between 1986 and 1990–when Karpov was still super strong– Karpov had won 6 and lost only 1. The draws never counted in world championship matches, so one must ask if Kasparov was really successful or not with the Grunfeld!
Yesterday Morozevich played the rarely played 7.Qa4-ch variation (above). Rare, yes, but well-known names such as Carlsen, Kramnik, Ponomariov, Korchnoi, Kasparov, Ftacnik and Guervich have played it from time to time. The move is no better than anything else, but sometimes it can catch your opponent sleeping.
Which was not the case with the Cuban star Dominguez. He actually played what is considered one of the best lines. It was , infact, Morozevich who played a theoretical innovation (12.Bg5, instead of the known 12.Be3).
But the Cuban at once chose the wrong plan , placing his Rooks on e8 and b8, and later breaking ( prematurely?!) with e6. Soon he found himself with all of his Rooks enprise:
Here Morozevich did not take the Rook on b8, which is also strong, but instead played the winning 19.Qa4!, which creates threats of Bxf7-ch as well as RxN in some lines. The Cuban soon found himself a piece down for nothing. It is remarkable that he played on as long as he did….
”SMALL” CHESS TACTIC:
Position after 20 moves from yesterday’s round at the Kostic Memorial in Serbia. Black has an extra pawn, but–curiously, can not keep it for long. There is a way for White to regain it and at the same time create dangerous (but not winning!) threats.
WHAT IS WHITE’S BEST CONTINUATION?———————————————
TODAY’S WINNING BEACH BUM!
(For my Ottawa Chess Club fans!)
USHENINA TAKES LEAD IN WORLD CUP FINAL!
A bad day at the office for the Bulgarian superstar Stefanova
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 15th MOVE (15…e5):
Black has played her hand a bit loosely and her last move creates a crisis. Even though this has all been played before, it is very suspicious and risky to play in such an important encounter. Perhaps the entire plan connected to …e5 and …f5 has to be re-thought.
No doubt the ex-world champion expected this. If now Stefanova replies 16…Qe7? then17.Bxd5! is then crushing, as 17…PxB? 18.Nxd5 hits the Queen and threatens a deadly discovered check)
BLACK’S REPLY IS MORE OR LESS FORCED:
Unfortunately for Black, all of the tactics work for White, who risks nothing at all!
17…cxd5 18.Bxd5+ Kh8 19.Ne6!
If now 19… Qe7?! then 20.c6! bxc6 21.Bb4 Qf6 22.Rxc6 is known to be crushing, as in Braun vs Laznicka 2008.
The only hope for salvation (and a slim hope it is) is to take the Knight with the Knight. After 20…NxN 21.Bxb7 Rb8 22.c6 Qe5!? White must still find some good moves.
INSTEAD, PROBABLY DEPRESSED, STEFANOVA JUST FOLDS:
20…Qxf8?! 21.Bxb7 Rb8 22.c6 Nc5 23.Qb6! Nxb7 24.Qa7! Be5?! 25.c7!
And Ushenina had no trouble winning the game