SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The pre-tournament favourite, Wang Yue
, won easily the 2011-12 edition of the Hastings International tournament with 7.5 points in 9 games. He lead from the beginning to the very end. The traditional English event took place between December 28 and January 5. The 24 year old chinese superstar is still developing as a player and it would not surprise me if he becomes a world championship contender sometime in the near future.
Wang’s style of play is like many of the other chinese grandmasters: based on a very profound knowledge of endgames and possessing tremendous patience and poise. However, he seems to have taken this endgame school a step further by developing a penchant for coming up with surprising tactical twists.
Witness Wang’s performance against the Ukranian gm Vovk:
POSITION AFTER 28 MOVES:
Black seems to have contained the Chinese star’s initiative and is about to play …Rc7 followed by a lot of wood chopping. However, Wang had a very unpleasant surprise waiting for his opponent:
29. c6! (threatening Bc5 winning the exchange) 29…b6 30.Ng5!
Ouch! Perhaps Vovk overlooked this. In anycase, the move is decisive. Not only does White now win a pawn, but he maintains the strong passed c-pawn. Black fought on bravely but could not keep up with Wang’s energetic play:
30…Rc-c7 31.Nxh7-ch Kg7 32.RxRe7 RxR 33.Rd7! Bd6 34.Ng5 Bb4
White now has a forced win
Black can not retreat to the back rank because of 36.Rd8! So he quietly played the feeble 35…f6
. Find out how Wang finished off the Ukranian star!