Monday, 30 August 2010

Miskolc 2010: Peter Leko vs Boris Gelfand in Miskolc, Hungary_Games 5 and 6

GM Boris Gelfand leads after winning Game 5 in a Petroff.

Here are the Games 5 and 6 with GM annotations courtesy of GM Berkes and GM Meszaros:

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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Miskolc 2010: Peter Leko vs Boris Gelfand in Miskolc, Hungary

From Chessbase:
This Rapid Chess event is taking place in the National Theater, 1 Déryné str, Miskolc from August 25–29, 2010. The number one Hungarian grandmaster, Peter Leko takes up a duel of eight games against the top Israeli GM and World Cup winner Boris Gelfand. The games are being played at a rate of 25 minutes for all moves plus an increment of ten seconds per moves.
Peter Leko has been doing this every year since 2005 when he played English GM Michael Adams. Then it was GM Anatoly Karpov, GM Vladimir Kramnik, GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Viswanathan Anand from 2006-2009.

Here are the first 4 games with GM annotations courtesy of GM Berkes and GM Meszaros:

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Friday, 27 August 2010

Spanish Chess League CECLUB Honor Division

From Chessbase:
The Spanish Chess League CECLUB Honor Division is underway in Sestao, Vizcaya, 23rd-28th August 2010. It is a 6-round event with 10 teams. The first 4 rounds are a Swiss, with the final two rounds to decide the final places.

There are nine players rated 2700 or higher (Shirov, Ponomariov, Navara, Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Bacrot, Gashimov, Almasi, and Jobava), as well as 30 more rated at least 2600, such as Kasimdzhanov, Caruana, Vallejo Pons, Short, Rublevsky, and Le Quang to name a few.
Here three games (annotations courtesy of Chessbase):

Saturday, 21 August 2010

NH Chess Tournament

From the NH Chess Tournament here is a surprising easy win for US GM Hikaru Nakamura and there is a twist to the whole story. I will let GM Ian Rogers (courtesy of Chess Life Online) explain:

Nakamura,Hi (2729) - Van Wely,L (2677)
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (7), 2010.08.19
Opening: Sicilian Najdorf

Losing a game in 17 moves is bad enough, but worse was to come for van Wely when the editor of New in Chess, Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, showed van Wely a copy of his article in the as yet unpublished issue of New in Chess.

In it van Wely states "Not 12...Nd7 because of 13.Nd5! Qc5 14.Nb3! Qc6 15.Na5 Qc5 16.Nxb7 and Black loses." Never would a player have received less satisfaction from having their analysis proved correct.

After the game, which lasted less than one and a half hours, both players appeared somewhat shell-shocked. They stood outside the press room discussing how such an error could be possible and whether the line was playable at all.

"My memory started to go when I was 25," admitted van Wely, perhaps giving Nakamura pause to think that he might only have a few more years left to get to the top.
In GM Rogers' notes there is the reference to the earlier game between Smith,Bryan (2468) and Laznicka,Viktor (2636). Brian Smith turned up at Chess
Life Online and posted this comment:
Can we chess players please make a pact to let my poor game with Laznicka go to rest? You know, like a wounded horse - maybe it is better to just shoot it, that might be more merciful, right?

Please, couldn't someone point out that I was just up a rook in a completely won position that Laznicka would have simply resigned if there were even a somewhat normal amount of time on the clock. As it were, each of us had 15 seconds or so for five moves, which should have been perfectly sufficient as well, but I guess nerves (and a gigantic crowd around the board) interferred. Not to mention the fact that my final blunder was made on move 41 (!) after the time control was reached and I was winning again, because i wanted to make one more move "to make sure". Ironically, I did not even make that move fast enough! Instead, the correct move would have forced resignation...So please stop revisiting my pain.

I have no idea why this silly game was picked up by all commentators - after all, Laznicka played many good games in the World open, surely this was his worst. It is also one of the most silly games I have ever played. Besides that the opening is simply aweful, white can win in multiple ways which various commentators have pointed out and even I saw during the game (although was unable to come to a good decision because of extreme tiredness due to playing another tournament just before the world open). So why Van Wely repeated it is actually baffling. Thanks!

Bryan Smith
For readers enjoyment (and education) here is the Smith-Laznicka game annotated by GM Lubomir Kavalek (courtesy of the Huffington Post):

Friday, 20 August 2010

NH Chess Tournament_Videos

Here are the Game of the Day from ICC Chess:

Caruana-Van Wely (commentator: GM Joel Benjamin)

Van Wely-Nakamura (commentator: GM Joel Benjamin)

Giri-Ljubojevic (commentator: GM Alex Yermolinski)

Match Efimenko-Naiditsch

Match of the classic chess Mukachevo, August 12 - 18, 2010
The chess match between Grandmasters Zahar EFIMENKO (Ukraine) and Arkadij NAIDITSCH (Germany) was organised by Universal Event Promotion and the Mukachevo Chess Club 32x64 in Mukachevo, Ukraine on 12-18 August 2010.

The best player of Germany, Naiditsch, achieved a victory against the Ukrainian national team player, Efimenko, by a narrow margin: 3,5 points to 2,5 points. Naiditsch won the second game of the match, while five other games were drawn.

Annotated games courtesy of Chessbase and GM Mikhail Golubev:

Monday, 16 August 2010

2010 Ryde-Eastwood Chess Club Bobby Fischer Cup

Message from President, Les Mikolajczyk:

The Bobby Fischer Cup starts this Wednesday, if you want to compete be there by 7.30

It is a rapid play tournament and there are 3 games each Wednesday.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

How to Play the Alekhine's Defense, Four Pawns Attack [B03]

Head over to ChessCafe to read Abby Marshall's The Openings Explained Column with this month's opening being the Alekhine's Defense, Four Pawns Attack [B03].

But here are the annotated illustrated games for you to replay [annotations by Abby Marshall courtesy of ChessCafe]:

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Friday, 6 August 2010

97th British Championships and "Mickey" Adams

The 97th British Championships is currently going on at the Sports Centre, University of Kent Canterbury, CT2 7NL finishing tomorrow, Saturday 7 August. The Championship is notable for two things: 1) The return to tournament play of GM Michael Adams, England's present top chessplayer (except for one brief period when Nigel Short overtook him at the end of last year); 2) The same GM Michael Adams "running away" with the title of British Champion, securing the title with one round to spare 9/10 (+7 =2 0-).

Puzzles from GM Adams play:

Round 5

Why is 23 Nxf7 a blunder? Do you see how it leads to a forced mate some moves later?

Round 7

White just played 29 Rd1. What do you play as Black to win?

Instructive games from GM Adams play:

Round 1
How to crush the King's Gambit!

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Round 2
How to play the Caro-Kann Advanced Variation

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Round 8
According to GM Kevin Spraggett:
This round saw a tough fight! The experienced Conquest dug in deep with his CaroKann and built up a solid ''come and get me'' fortress. Adams was up to the challenge! He used the e5-square as a manoeuvring pivot for his two Knights and probed Conquest's position time and time again. Then before Conquest knew what had happened, he lost his e6-pawn! A very instructive game and one of the best from the championship!
Play and learn.

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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

2010 Ryde-Eastwood Chess Lightning Competition

Message from the Prez:


Our Clubs Lightning Competition starts on Wednesday the 4th of August, if you want to be in it be there at 7.30. The finals will be played on the following Wednesday.

Puzzles from 43rd Biel International Chess Festival

2010 Biel Puzzle 1

Black just played 1...c4. What would you play with White?

2010 Biel Puzzle 2

Black just played 1...g6. What would you play with White?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Biel 43rd International Chess Festival_Final

To round up the exciting finish to the 43rd Biel Chess Festival and the premier event, the Young GMs tournament. As I predicted for Rd 9 (last round), Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son vs Anmisg Giri would turn out to be pivotal. Both the leaders, Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, took easy draws to set up a playoff. But that allowed Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son to catch them by defeating Anish Giri. And that he did.
From a quiet King’s Indian Attack, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son slowly outplayed Anish Giri, who might regret his 17th move (e.g. 17…Rfe8 looks close to equal). After a forced sequence of moves an ending was reached where White had more than enough compensation for the pawn. (Chessvibes)
Position reached after 28 Rxb7. Can you as White win this? (Replay the game below to find out how.)

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This means and by virtue of a better Sonneborn-Berger points on tiebreak, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son went straight into the final playoff whilst Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had to face each other first in semi-finals play-off. Both won their rapid games with the white pieces setting up an Armageddon-type final where White (Maxime) has to win and Black (Fabiano) only has to draw to proceed to the final play-off. The Goddess smiled her favours on Fabiano as Maxime blundered away a promising position.

So it was a Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son vs Fabiano Caruana in the final playoff and again, the Goddess smiled a second time. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son with the Black pieces gave away a possibly winning endgame two pawns up. Black just played 60...b4-b3. Can you win this as Black?

Now replay the game and spot where Black gave away the win.

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Fabiano did not make any mistake in his game with the Black pieces and managed to convert a Knight endgame with an extra pawn into a win. In the following position, what would you play? What was White's mistake? Can you see how Black might be able to win a pawn? As Black, can you convert the winning Knight endgame with the extra pawn? (Replay the game below to find out how.)

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So we have it, the 43rd Biel International Chess Festival Young GM Tournament Champion is GM Fabiano Caruana.

Dare I predict that this group of young GMs will continue their rivalry for many years to come? However, note that a number of other very promising young GMs are missing from the tournament, mainly from Russia and the Ukraine.

On a down note, the high number of draws have drawn very adverse comments from chess players/fans worldwide. I think that was a disappointment. My explanation is chess burnout. These young GMs are just playing way too much chess, they have not accumulated enough experience to play diverse openings and middlegames thereby allowing their opponents to "prepare" for them. Remembering Botvinnik's comments in his book, he strongly suggest taking rest time of up to 3 months or more (?) in between tournaments.

You can replay games and read the report by Chessvibes here; report by Chessbase here and here.

BTW, in the Main Tournament, South Australian Andrew Saint came equal second with 7/9, see here.