Training positions from the World Junior
Position after 26 moves. Round 12.
Ipatov was trailing Yu by half a point going into this round. He needed a win to keep his chances alive and then everything could be possible in the final 13th round. In the position above, however, things are not going so well for him. White has posted a dangerous Knight on g6 and has the Queen and Rook ready to exploit any opportunity that might arise.
Ipatov’s last move (26…Qd2) attacking the Pawn on b2 is more bluff than real. Here Wei should anchor his Knight with 27. h5!, creating a number of tactical threats and traps that Ipatov must avoid. For example, if now 27… Rd4? (or 27…Rd7?) 28. Qxe6+! forces mate: 28.. Rxe6 29. Rf8 Kh7 30. Rh8#. And risky would be 27…Qxb2?! as 28.Rd1! is nasty as White once more threatens some back-rank tricks.
Or should Black do nothing but pass his time, then White can make real progress exploiting another tactical feature in the position: for example, play Qf3 and then Rf7:
Now Rxg7+! will force mate!!
Analysis shows that Ipatov can keep things under control with precise play, starting with the clever 27…Bd4!? (planning to meet the plan of Qf3 and Rf7 with Qxb2! and then Bxe5), but even so, in praxis –especially with a fast time control–the attacker is always favoured. The Black King is not as safe as one might hope for…
INSTEAD, the young Wei missed the strength of 27.h5 and nervously played a weaker attacking attempt, giving Ipatov some chances:
A tricky move! Black is virtually forced to take the Rook (exposing his King to a discovered double check) as otherwise Wei intends Nf4 and Black’s Kingside pawns (e6 and h6 in particular) are all about to fall.
For the moment White has no decisive check: 28. Nf4+? Kh8! 29. exf6 could be met with 29… Rg8 30. Qh5 Qxf4 stopping the attack dead. WHITE PLAYED best:
Producing a fascinating position where White is threatening a number of mates! For exemple, 28… a5?? 29. Nf4+ Kf8 30. Qg7#; or 28…Kh7?? 29.Nf8+! and mate next move.
Here Ipatov can virtually force a draw with 28… Bxf2+!? 29. Rxf2 (29. Kh1 Kf7!) 29… Qd1+ 30. Qxd1 Rxd1 31. Kh2 when either 31…Rd7 or 31…Rf8 must be a drawn Rook and Pawn ending, as the reader can verify for himself. HOWEVER, the practical circumstances required Ipatov to win this game and so he played more riskily:
Black’s exclamation mark is for pure courage!
Here White makes a serious error. It is still not too late to force a draw starting with the precise 29. Nh8! Kxf6 30. Qf3+! and now 30…Kg7! 31.Qf7+ is a perpetual check. Note that 30… Ke5?? 31. Nf7 Kd4 32. Rd1 wins for White, and that 30…Ke7 !? 31. Ng6 Kd7 32. Rd1 Kc8 33. Rxd2 Rxd2 34. Qf7 Red8 (34… Bxf2 35. Kg2 Red8 36. Nf4) 35. Qxe6 Kb8 36. Kg2 Rxf2 37. Kh3 leads to a murky position that the computer engines evaluate as slightly better for Black but that I think might offer White better chances!
The Queen and Knight duo should never be underestimated…while the White King is quite safe.
This looks good at first sight, but has a flaw. Now Ipatov has a chance to win the game (!!) , though it is VERY difficult to find over the board:
29… Bxf2+! 30. Kh1 (30. Rxf2? Qd1+! wins safely; 30. Kg2? Bxg3+! is even worse) 30… Kxf6!!
The Black King is very safe and can escape up the board!
With the help of chess engines it can easily be established that Black wins after 31. Qg6+ (31. Nh3 Rg8 32. Qe4 Qd5) 31… Ke5! 32. Qh5+ Ke4! 33. Qg6+ Ke3! etc. Ofcourse, over the board this is VERY DIFFICULT to understand and figure out, but if Ipatov wanted to keep pace with Yu, then it was absolutely necessary to play like this.
INSTEAD, Ipatov returns the favour to Wei:
After this move Wei does not take any chances and forces a not so difficult to see draw:
30. Qg6+ Ke5 (30… Ke7 31. Qxe6+ Kf8 32. Qf6+ is a perpetual) 31. Qh5+ Ke4 (31… Kf6 32. Qg6+; 31… Kd6 32. Rd1 Qxd1 33. Qxd1+ Kc7 34. Qh5! might even be better for White) 32. Kg2! forced, but good enough for the drawIt is virtually impossible for either side to avoid the coming repetition of position.
32… e5!? 33. Qf3+ Kf5 34. Qh5+ Ke4 35. Qf3+ Kf5 36. Qh5+ Ke4
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 36th MOVE:
im Stukopin, Andrey (2522)
The last round featured a surprising upset as an untitled and little known Chinese player knocked out of contention the Russian star Stukopin, thereby himself finishing in the top-10! Here, in the position above, Black simply stands better: the pressure on g2 is palpable and leaves White with little to do other than wait for the axe to fall.
The corrrect way to proceed for Black is 36… b4! , forcing the Knight to retreta. 37. axb4 axb4 38. Na2! (38. Ne2? Qxg2+!; wins immediately, as does 38. Nd1 Nf3! 39. Qxg7+ (what else?) 39…Kxg7 40. gxf3+ Kh8! 41. Ng5 Rg8 42. Rdg2 Rxg5! etc ) 38… Nf3! 39. Nxb4 :
Black must be careful: the natural 39… Qe4? allows White to reverse roles: 40. Qxg7+! Kxg7 41. gxf3+ etc) Best now is 39…Qa4! 40. Qxg7+ (there is little choice) 40… Kxg7 41. gxf3+ Kh8! 42. Rg3 Qa1+ (42… Qxb4? 43. Rdg2 Rf8 44. Ng1 Rf7 45. Rh3+ Rh7 46. Rhg3 Rf7 47. Rh3) 43. Ng1 Rg8 44. Rh3+ Kg7 45. Rg2+ Kf8 46. Nd3 Qf1 with a relatively easy win.
HOWEVER, the Russian, anxious to get the game over as quickly as possible, hurried his move:
This move seems to win for Black!
Ouch!! This move must have escaped Stupokin’s attention. White threatens simply Ne7+ winning! For example, 37… Nxd2 38. Ne7+ Kf8 (38… Rxe7 39. dxe7 Ne4 40. Qg6 etc) 39. Qh8+ Kf7 40. Ng5+ Rxg5 41. Qf6+ Ke8 42. Nxc6 etc. 37… Nxg1 changes nothing
Wang,Yiye: a name to remember!
Realizing what a mess he had made of his position, the Russian must now sacrífice his Queen for insufficient compensation:
37… Qxd5! 38. Rxd5 Bxd5 [38… Nxg1 39. Kxg1 Bxd5 40. Ng5] 39. Ng5!
The unknown chinese player does not let his opponent out of his grip!