SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Arguably the strongest open tournament of the year began today in Moscow. The Aeroflot Open has several sections; the top section having a minimum cut-off rating of 2550! Many of the world’s elite players are participating. The tournament promises to have many surprises.
I will analyze several of the key games played in this tournament in the coming week. For today, I present the following pretty finish. Enjoy!
Rakhmanov, Ale – Nepomniachtchi, I
9- 2-2010. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cb a6 5. b6 e6 6. Nc3 ed 7. Nxd5 Nxd5 8. Qxd5 Nc6 9. e4 Be7 10. Bc4 O-O 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Bd2 Rxb6 13. Bc3 Nb4 14. Qd2 Bb7 15. O-O-O Bxe4 16. Qxd7 Bg5 17. Nxg5 Qxg5 18. Rd2 Bg6 19. Re1 Rbb8 20. g3 Qh5 21. a3 Rbc8 22. f4 Qf3 23. Qd6 Rce8 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. ab cb
Black has been outplayed and is now fishing in muddy waters, hoping that his opponent will become confused and make a mistake. (A reasonable strategy in a lost position) Black must have been expecting White to take the pawn on b4, but a rude surprise awaits him instead…
26. Qe5!! Ouch!!
This KILLER stroke not only threatens mate on g7, but also attacks the Black Rook. Black can not take the Queen because of a check on d8. Black has little better than to throw in the following spite check
26…Qh1 27. Rd1 Rxe5 28. Bxe5! Simplest and very pretty!
Now if the Black Queen retreats to a8 (stopping the mate on d8), White has the prosaic 29. Bc7!, which will leave White a piece up for nothing. Black throws in the towel.