Archive for July, 2010

Newsletter 23rd July 2010 – Including 22 annotated games

July 26th, 2010 69 comments

Dear Quality Chess Reader,

We have now published two new books. GM Repertoire 6: The Sicilian Defence by GM Lubomir Ftacnik and The Quality Chess Puzzle Book by GM John Shaw.

GM Repertoire 6: The Sicilian Defence provides a sharp, complete repertoire for Black after 1.e4 c5.

The Quality Chess Puzzle Book offers 735 challenging puzzles to entertain and instruct the reader.

An innovation for this newsletter is a link to a ChessBase file with 22 games annotated by the Quality Chess team. In this case mainly GM Jacob Aagaard with a couple of contributions by GM John Shaw.

Quality Chess proudly sponsors chess events from time to time. Previously we have sponsored a rapid event in Edinburgh, the 2009 Scottish Championship, an IM-tournament in Edinburgh 2009, as well as the best game prizes at the Politiken Cup in 2006, 2009 and the forthcoming 2010 edition. We also recently sponsored the best game prizes in the 2010 Danish and Swedish Championships. The first 9 games in the file are all winners of a daily best game prize from the Swedish event. We have inserted an automatic question here and there to test those who are interested. Please enable your “Training Function” in order to allow yourself to be tested. There is also a position from our recent title Soviet Chess Strategy that also has a very nice puzzle, and quite a hard one.

Naturally we take an interest in how the lines suggested in our books fare after publication. A few of the other games are relevant to our opening books. One high-level example was Leko – Le Quang Liem from the elite Dortmund tournament. Black won after following for 12 moves the line recommended by GM Lars Schandorff in GM Repertoire 7: The Caro-Kann

Regards, Chief Editor John Shaw

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Quality Chess wins the Scottish Championship

July 19th, 2010 5 comments

The Scottish Championship concluded on Saturday in Hamilton. Our IM Andrew Greet was first on a very fine 7.5/9 while GM John Shaw (that would be me) finished a half point behind. So Andrew is Scottish Champion? Maybe. He was certainly awarded the trophy at the prize giving, but was he eligible? He is extremely English and has lived in Scotland for less than two years, so although he could play in the event (it was an international open) maybe the organisers gave him my nice shiny silver cup. The organisers are currently reading the rulebook rather closely…

The key game of the event was in Round 3 when Andrew Greet crushed me very efficiently. But let’s forget about that. In the previous round I won a sacrificial game against Andrew’s near namesake Andrew Green, so that’s the game to look at.

J. Shaw – A. Green, Scottish Championship 2010

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Nd2 Nd7 7.Ndf3 g6 8.Bc4 Bg7 9.0–0 0–0 10.Re1 Nxe5 11.dxe5

I thought 11.Nxe5 Be6 looked very solid for Black; in fact it turns out to be the main line.

11…Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 e6 14.a4 Qc7 15.Qe4 Rfd8 16.h4 Rd7 17.h5 Ne7

Perhaps 17…Qd8 to stop Bg5.

18.Bg5 c5 19.c3 Nc6 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Bf6 Na5


A rather obvious sac to analyse, but I took some time to convince myself that it was sound.

22…fxe6 23.Qxg6

The plan is a rook lift to e3 (or e4) and then turn right to the g- or h-file. It seems a little slow, but Black cannot arrange a defence.


Black had too many defensive tries for me to analyse them all before sacrificing. A couple of fun lines are:

23…Nb3 24.Re3!? Nxa1 25.Rh3 and White wins.

23…Nc6 24.Re3 Rf7 25.Rh3 Ne7 26.Rh8+! Kxh8 27.Qxf7 Bxf6 28.Qxf6+ Kh7 29.Qf7+ Kh8 30.c4! And Ra3-h3 is a good swinger.

24.Re3 Rf8 25.Rh3 Rc8

After 25…Rff7 I planned Bxg7 when Black cannot recapture due to mate on e8, but also good is 26.Qh7+ Kf8 27.Qh8+ Bxh8 28.Rxh8#.

26.Qh7+ Kf8 27.Rg3

Black resigned, as mate is unavoidable.

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