Archive for the ‘Fun Games’ Category

Where did the idea come from?

December 5th, 2014 1 comment

Ankit Rajpara, a young Indian grandmaster, won surprisingly against Arkadij Naiditsch in the first round of the big open in Qatar.

Early in the opening he came up with a funny manoeuvre in order to open the h-file. Later on he sacrificed a piece in order to penetrate in the self-same h-file and win the game.

Naiditsch (2719) – Rajpara (2494)
Doha 26.11.2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.0–0 Bg6 7.Nbd2 Nf5 8.c4 Be7 9.g4

9…Nh6 10.h3 Ng8 11.Ne1 h5 12.Ng2 hxg4 13.hxg4 dxc4 14.Nxc4 Be4 15.f3 Bd5 16.Nce3 c5 17.Nf4 Bc6 18.d5 exd5 19.Nfxd5 Bh4 20.Kg2 Bg3!?

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Basque – Scotland match

December 3rd, 2014 No comments

A Scottish team travelled to Basque country at the weekend for an exhibition match. Here’s my second game from the match. The opening is of some interest, as I achieved the (almost) impossible feat of improving on an Avrukh recommendation from Grandmaster Repertoire 2. True, Boris’s move gives a clear advantage, and the whole variation should obviously be avoided by Black, but it still feels like an achievement.

Andrew Greet (2442) – Inogo Argandone Riveiro (2415)
Basque – Scotland match (2), 29.11.2014

1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 0–0 6.0–0 c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 Qh5

Black has chosen a rather dubious variation.


As given by Boris. I could faintly recall his recommending this move instead of the more common 9.e5 dxe5 10.Nxe5, but did not remember any other details. Still, with a healthy space advantage and the queens off the board, the position is not difficult to handle.

9…Qxd1 10.Rxd1 Nbd7

Avrukh’s main line is 10…e5 11.d5 when White keeps a plus.


Seizing space in the centre. From a positional point of view this was an easy decision, but it was necessary to spend a bit of time calculating the consequences of Black’s next move.


This seems like a principled reaction, but it leads to far greater problems.

12.e5 cxd4 13.exf6 exf6

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Obvious Moves

November 20th, 2014 15 comments

The following position is from a game of mine at the 4ncl last Saturday.

J. Shaw – J. Pitcher, England 2014

I have played a few decent moves to reach this position. I sacrificed a pawn (possibly temporarily) to free my wonder bishops. But my queen is under attack. So what should I play?

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A Nice Tactic

November 13th, 2014 3 comments

Working on Boris Gelfand’s book Positional Decision Making in Chess, I came across a rather fascinating combination in one of the notes to his beautiful win against Grischuk in Beijing last year. The game deals a lot with changes in pawn structure, but at this point, White has won the strategic battle, fixing the f5-pawn as a weakness. But Black has tried to mess things up with 33…Nb5!?.

White to win

This one will take a while to solve, even for a GM!

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Playing 1.d4 according to Schandorff

November 11th, 2014 7 comments

First, a test position. Find the strongest continuation for White.

The solution can be found at move 24 of the game below.

Andrew Greet – Basil Laidlaw
Glasgow 2014

On encountering the Nimzo-Indian in this recent game, I decided to try out Lars Schandorff’s recommendation of 4.e3 followed by Ne2, even though I couldn’t remember too many of the fine details.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0–0 5.Ne2 c5 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Nxc3 cxd4 8.exd4 d5

I spent a few minutes here, as I couldn’t remember any exact moves from this position, but I knew there was a similar variation where Black exchanged on c3 and played …d5xc4, leading to an IQP position. Then I realized I was thinking of the following line: 4…c5 5.Ne2 cxd4 6.exd4 d5 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Nxc3 Now I remembered: Black usually exchanges with 8…dxc4 here, allowing a convenient 9.Bxc4 in one move. “There must be a reason why Black normally exchanges on c4 in that position”, I thought. Instead 8…0–0 would transpose to the game position. This led me to deduce that the best move must be:


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Whitsun Grandmasters

The winner of the Whitsun Grandmasters tournament in Copenhagen was Bulgarian GM Krasimir Rusev with 6½/9 .

Two Quality Chess authors took part: Axel Smith scored 50% in the GM-group, while Silas (Esben) Lund won the IM-group with 6/9.

Quality Chess sponsored a “Game of the Round” prize and a selection of the winning games can be played through below.

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Whitsun Grandmasters Rounds 2 and 3

Quality Chess, is sponsoring “Best game of the round” in the Whitsun Grandmasters in Copenhagen, with both players involved in the game getting a book prize. The games are selected by IA Peter Olsen.

In round 2 there were only three decisive games, all in the IM group. The best game of the round was a Sicilian game with a thematic Nd5-combination in an unusual way (because of the open f-file), and a good conversion to a full point.

Whitsun Grandmasters 2014, Round 2, 2014.06.04

White: Schou-Moldt, Thomas (2215)

Black: Nilsen, Joachim Birger (2334)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bg7 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nb3 Nf6 7. Be2 O-O 8.O-O d6 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Kh1 Rc8 11. f4 a6 12. Qd2

Bf3 is a more normal move here

12…Na5 13. Nxa5 Qxa5 14. Bd3 Rfd8

14… d5!? is an interesting possibility 15. exd5 Bxd5 16. f5 Bc6 17. Rae1 unclear

15. f5 Bc4 16. Rad1 b5 17. fxg6

Not the best move, but it’s a cunning one. Better is 17. Bxc4 bxc4 18. Qf2 With a  steady pressure

17… hxg6?!

17… fxg6 was necessary, but it’s not that obvious that hxg6 is inferior} 18. Bxc4+ bxc4 (18… Rxc4?? 19. e5!+-) 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Qd5+ Qxd5 21. Nxd5 Kg7 22. c3=

[fen size=”small”]2rr2k1/4ppb1/p2p1np1/qp4B1/2b1P3/2NB4/PPPQ2PP/3R1R1K w – – 0 18[/fen]

18. Nd5!

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Whitsun Grandmasters tournament

June 4th, 2014 1 comment

Quality Chess, is sponsoring “Best game of the round” in the Whitsun Grandmasters tournament in Copenhagen. Drop by the website to see live games.

In round one, there were a couple of candidate games (Bech Hansen – Carstensen and Hector – Aabling-Thomsen), but one game was shining just a little bit brighter:  GM Rusev – GM Brynell, where Rusev with a beautiful positional exchange sacrifice took control of the game, and after that just outplayed Brynell.

Whitsun Grandmasters 2014, Round 1, 2014.06.03

White: Rusev, Krasimir  (2540)

Black: Brynell, Stellan 2463)

Annotator: Schou-Moldt,Thomas

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O Be7 6. b3 O-O 7. Bb2 d5 8. e3
Nbd7 9. Qe2 a5 10. Nc3 a4

[fen size=”small”]r2q1rk1/1bpnbppp/1p2pn2/3p4/p1P5/1PN1PNP1/PB1PQPBP/R4RK1 w – – 0 11[/fen]

11. Nxa4! dxc4 12. Qxc4

With this strong positional exchange sacrifice, Rusev takes full control of the white squares.

12…Ba6 13. Qc2 Bxf1 14. Rxf1 c5 15. Ne5 Rc8?!

Black was better off giving back the exchange immediately. Now the white bishop on g2 becomes a monster and the knights becomes very dominating.

15… Nxe5 16. Bxa8 Qxa8 17. Bxe5 Nd7 18. Ba1 b5 19. Nc3 Ne5=

16. Nc6 Qe8 17. Na7 Rb8 18. Nc6 Rc8 19. Na7 Rb8 20. Nc3! Ne5 21. Ncb5

The white pieces are completely dominating the board.

21…Ng6 22. h4 h5 23. a4 Ng4 24. d4 f5 25. Qc4

The game is now practically over, there are simply too many weaknesses in the black position and the white pieces are working perfectly together.

25…Qf7 26. Nc6 cxd4 27. Nbxd4 N6e5 28. Qxe6 Nxc6 29.Qxf7+ Kxf7 30. Nxc6 Rbc8 31. Bd5+ Ke8 32. Bxg7 Rf7 33. Bd4 Rh7 34. Bxb6 Rh6 35.Nxe7 Kxe7 36. a5 Rc2 37. b4 Nf6 38. Bf3 Ne4 39. Bxe4 fxe4 40. Bd4 Ra2 41. Ra1 Rxa1+ 42. Bxa1 Rc6 43. Bd4 Kd7 44. Kg2 Kc7 45. b5 Rc2 46. a6 1-0

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