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A Recurring Mistake by committed by Super-GMs

November 29th, 2019 4 comments

Our friend Renier returns with annotations of a recent game. You can see the game here or you can download it with this link.

David Navara – Robert Ris

European Club Cup 14.11.2019

Renier Castellanos

Trust, but verify A common tradition in chess is to copy our colleagues whenever they play a new idea in certain opening. In the recent Chess.com FIDE Grand Swiss we witnessed a funny situation when Alexei Shirov, playing next to Sergey Karjakin decided to follow Karjakin’s novelty in a well-known position of the Sicilian Four Knights. A peculiar situation but not new to me. Few years back I was playing in the Ortisei (Italy) Open when a something similar happened. Nisipeanu played a new (strong idea) in a popular variation and the opponent of a friend of mine started following the Grandmaster’s moves. They were playing very far from the top board but it turns out that there were large screens with the top games in the playing hall. She got up and asked the arbiter to do something about it but it was too late. Something to think about. Back to our main game, the real story behind this comedy is that Karjakin had totally forgotten his game against Yu Yangyi from played in Baku in 2015 and played the wrong move order leading to a lost position. Karjakin managed to get away and win any anyway but Shirov was held to a draw, both were lucky as they could have been severely punished. One would think that this tragicomic incident ends here but it gets better. In the recently finished European Club Ch. David Navara also played Karjakin’s novelty, was he unaware? One thing is certain, his opponent Robert Ris a strong IM and respected theoretician was well informed and ready to serve justice in this line.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nxc6 6.Ndb5 is also a move here and black has now the option of playing 6…d6 inviting the Sveshnikov or the more fashionable line: 6…Bc5!? 7.Bf4 0–0 8.Bc7 Qe7 9.Bd6 Bxd6 10.Qxd6 Qd8 surprisingly this is back in tournament practice with not bad results for black at all.

6…bxc6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Ne4 Qc7 9.f4 Qb6 10.c4 Bb4+ 11.Ke2 f5 12.exf6 Nxf6 13.Be3 Qd8 14.Nd6+ Bxd6 15.Qxd6 Bb7 So far we have been following a rather forced line of the Four Knights

16.g4 16.Rd1 Is right and it’s what John Shaw recommends in the book Playing 1.e4 Sicilian Mainlines 16…Rc8 17.g4 c5 18.Rg1 Rf8 19.f5 (19.g5 also looks promising and it’s Shaw’s mainline.) 19…Qb6 20.fxe6 dxe6 21.g5 Nd5 22.Qxb6 Nxb6 23.Ke1 Nd7 24.Be2 Ke7 25.Rd3 Be4 26.Ra3 Rc7 27.Kd2 e5 28.Rf1 Rb8 29.Kc3 Rb6 30.Rd1 Rbc6 31.Bg4 Nb6 32.Ra5 g6 33.b3 Bf5 34.Be2 Nd7 35.a3 Be6 36.h4 Bf7 37.Bf3 Rb6 38.Rxd7+ Kxd7 39.Bxc5 e4 40.Bg4+ 1–0 Karjakin – Yu Yangui, Baku 2015

16…c5! Simple, logical, and strong. Black takes over the initiative

17.Rg1 Ne4 18.Qd3 An improvement over Karjakin’s and Shirov’s 18.Qe5 However, statistically white has better chances with 18.Qe5

18.Qe5 Qh4? (18…0–0! and it’s just game over, the white king will not survive long in the centre. For instance 19.Bg2 d6 20.Qxe6+ Kh8 and black will play either Rf6 or Qb6 followed by Rae8 with winning positions in both cases.) 19.Bg2 Qxg4+ And now the two games diverged.

20.Kd3 Nf2+ 21.Bxf2 Bxg2 22.Bxc5 Rc8 23.Rae1 Kf7 24.Re2 Qf3+ 25.Be3 d6 26.Qd4 e5 27.Qxa7+ Ke6 28.Rgxg2 Rxc4 29.Kxc4 Rc8+ 30.Kb4 Qe4+ 31.Bd4 1–0 Karjakin – Dreev, Douglas 2019

20.Bf3 Nc3+ 21.Kd3 Qxf3 22.Kxc3 Rg8 23.Rg3 Qc6 24.Bxc5 0–0–0 25.Bd6 Ba6 26.b3 Kb7 27.Rd1 Rc8 28.Rxg7 Rxg7 29.Qxg7 Bxc4 30.Kb2 Be2 31.Re1 Qxd6 32.Rxe2 Qd1 33.Qg2+ Rc6 34.a4 Qd4+ 35.Ka2 Qxf4 36.Qg7 Rd6 37.Qxh7 Rd1 38.Qh5 Qd4 39.Rb2 e5 40.h4 Rd2 41.Rxd2 Qxd2+ 42.Ka3 Qc1+ 43.Ka2 Qc2+ 44.Ka3 Qc1+ 1/2–1/2 Shirov – Yu Yangyi, Douglas ENG 2019.

18…Qh4!

18…Qf6 also looks strong

19.Rd1??

A natural blunder. Let’s pay attention to the nature of this move, white threatens to take on d7 with check but the rook on d1 also takes away the square d1 leaving the king stuck on e2.

19.Bg2 is the only way to stay in the game 19…Qxh2! 20.Kd1 Nf2+ 21.Bxf2 Bxg2 with a complex middlegame, I suspect white can survive, but that’s the only thing he can hope for

19…0–0!–+

20.h3 On 20.Qxd7 Anything wins 20…Qxh2+ 21.Ke1 Qh4+ 22.Ke2 Rab8 the attack goes on, …Bd5 is a neat threat.

20.Rg2 d5 also winning for black.

20.Bg2 Rxf4! similar to the game

20…Rxf4 21.Qb3 Rf2+ 22.Bxf2 Qxf2+ 23.Kd3 Qxg1 24.Qxb7 Rf8 A win is a win but black could have finished it off in a glorious, unforgettable way.

24…Qg3+! 25.Kxe4 (25.Kc2 Qh2+ 26.Kd3 Nf2+) 25…Rf8! is mate in three moves Rf4,Rf5,Qe5 no matter what. Deserves a diagram 26.Qxd7 Rf4+ 27.Ke5 Rf5+ 28.Kxe6 Qe5#

25.Qxe4 Rxf1 26.Rxf1 Qxf1+ 27.Kc2 Qxh3 28.Qa8+ Kf7 29.Qxa7 Qg2+ 30.Kb3 Qf3+ 31.Ka4 Qc6+ 32.Ka5 e5 33.Qb8 d6 34.Qd8? 34.Qa7+ apparently was more resistant. Not easy for black after this 34…Kf6! (34…Kg6 35.Qe7 and draw is the most likely result) 35.b4!? cxb4 (35…e4 36.b5) 36.Qf2+ Ke6 37.Kxb4 white is still worse, game goes on

34…h6 35.a3 e4 36.b4 cxb4 37.axb4 e3 38.b5 Qe8 39.Qh4 Qe5 40.Ka6 e2 41.Qe1 Ke7 42.b6 Kd7 43.c5 Kc6 44.Qb1 e1Q 45.Qb5+ Kd5 46.c6+ Ke6 47.Qb3+ Qd5 48.Qc2 Qee4 49.Qxe4+ Qxe4 50.Kb7 Kd5 51.c7 Kc5+ 52.Ka7 Qc6

0–1

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Pawn Play in Wijk aan Zee

January 16th, 2019 53 comments

Jorden van Foreest – Viswanathan Anand
Tata Steel Masters, 12.01.2019

With Sam Shankland playing in the elite Tata Steel event (and currently sitting on a respectable 2/4 with four draws), we can’t help but pay attention to some of the pivotal pawn moves being made in the tournament. When you see games at this level being won and lost due to good and bad pawn play, it makes you appreciate even more what a vital topic this is. Take the following example:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.c3 Qc7 6.h3 g6 7.Nf3 Bf5 8.Ne5 Nc6 9.Bf4 Qb6 10.Bxf5 gxf5 11.Nd3 e6 12.Nd2 Rg8 13.0–0 0–0–0 14.a4 Ne4 15.Rc1 Bd6 16.Bxd6 Nxd6 17.b4 Kb8 18.Qe2 Qc7 19.Qe3 Ne7
Black has a comfortable game but there was no need for White to self-destruct with his next move:

20.f3??
Van Foreest must have thought he could withstand the pressure along the g-file, but in reality this is much too weakening, as Anand expertly shows.

Read more…
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Remembering Playing 1.e4

December 6th, 2018 13 comments

If you want to know your opening repertoire well, you need time to memorise it. Some of it will make a lot of sense and some of it will be concrete, but counter-intuitive. Sometimes a line a tempo down is no worse, for example.

I just played a blitz game where I successfully remembered all of John’s analysis on the Alekhine, but ran out of time… As online blitz games have no relevance for the real world, I am still pleased by being able to get all the way to +-. After this I missed mate in four and lost on time in a totally winning position. But who cares…

The main reason I remembered the line, was because of an attractive shot in this position (did not really happen). Often these types of anchors and little nuggets of information helps us remember what comes before.

White to play. What is the strongest continuation?

Find the game here.

Umnov studies

August 17th, 2017 3 comments

Our friend and my compatriot Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen won a composition tournament in front of the two modern giants of chess competition, Afek and Pervakov. On request, he has written a small report for our blog, which I have decided to attach in a PDF.

But I wanted to give the readers a chance to solve some of the studies on their own. First of all, here is Steffen’s study.

White to play and win

Read more…

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Fun chess in Glasgow on Sunday 6th August

August 4th, 2017 4 comments

There will be an informal, combined rapid/blitz match taking place this Sunday 6th August in Glasgow, starting just after 3pm and finishing at roughly 6pm.

Six leading Scottish players (GM Jacob Aagaard, IM Andrew Greet, FM Alan Tate, FM Neil Berry, IM Steve Mannion and our newest FM and Scottish Champion, Murad Abdulla) will be taking on six strong GMs/IMs who are all here for a training camp hosted by Jacob.

Spectators are welcome to drop in, enjoy watching some entertaining chess, and have a few laughs. The venue is All Bar One at 56-72 St Vincent Street in Glasgow’s city centre, where we have been granted the use of the entire upstairs area.

The foreign players are GM Sam Shankland (US), GM Mads Andersen (DK), GM Swapnil Dhopade (IND), IM Johan Salomon (NOR), IM Tania Sachdev (IND) and IM Sam Collins (IRE).

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Dundee 150 – Andrew wins

July 24th, 2017 2 comments

Congratulations to Quality Chess’s own IM Andrew Greet, who was first outright in the Dundee 150 international tournament. His 6/9 gained plenty of rating points, but was not quite enough for a GM norm. GM Colin McNab started well, but sadly faded to finish on 3/9. Full results here.

Congratulations also to 16-year-old Murad Abdulla who became Scottish Champion and looks to have gained enough in rating to become an FM. This makes Murad the second-youngest-ever Scottish Champion – GM Paul Motwani was also 16 when he first won, but a few months younger.

The Scottish Championship was held as part of an Open, so I will complete my congratulations by saying GM Andrei Maksimenko of Ukraine won the Open, but was of course not eligible to be Scottish Champion. Full results here.

Update: Dundee Chess Club have very helpfully put a link to a report that was broadcast on the Scottish TV programme ‘STV News’. It’s just 2 minutes and worth a watch. Spoiler: as Colin is on-screen, the reporter says: “If this was football, you’d be watching the equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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Dundee 2017

July 14th, 2017 7 comments

In 1867, Dundee in Scotland hosted a tournament that featured elite players such as Steinitz and Blackburne. One hundred years later, in 1967, the centenary event included Larsen and Gligoric. Now in 2017, it’s 150 years after the original event, and Dundee is again hosting an international tournament.

You can check out the full line up at the following link, but I will highlight the participation of two of the Quality Chess team: GM Colin McNab and IM Andrew Greet. And right now in Round 1 they are playing each other. Live coverage here.

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Nuking the Najdorf with Negi

October 20th, 2016 25 comments

Anton Visser – Anthony Waller
Correspondence, 2015-16

We always enjoy hearing success stories from our readers. One such message came in last week from Anton Visser, who tested Parimarjan Negi’s repertoire against the Najdorf in a correspondence game. Anton’s verdict on Negi’s analysis is that it was “better than the computer my opponent used.” Here is the game:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Ne4 h6 13.Bh4 Qxa2 14.Rd1 Qd5 15.Qe3 Qxe5 16.Be2 Bc5 17.Bg3 Bxd4 18.Rxd4 Qa5+ 19.Rd2 0–0 20.Bd6 Rd8
We are deep into one of the crazy main lines of the Poisoned Pawn. Parimarjan (or “Pari”, as we call him) analyses it in Chapter 15 of 1.e4 vs the Sicilian I.

Read more…

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