Monday, February 25, 2008

Capelle La Grande

The Capelle La Grande tournament had the next NZ GM Puchen Wang (goto for info on how to help with this process) participating,

the final standings can be found here

Perhaps not an outstanding result for Puchen but he is showing that a GM title is not so far out of his grasp. Below is one of his games that I have decided to annotate.

Wang,P (2383) - Hebden,M (2530) [A48]24e Open de Cappelle la Grande Cappelle la Grande, France (2), 17.02.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.e3? A passive move which is popular at club level, you would be lucky to find a GM playing this and with good reason. Black has now equalised on move 3 with Wang's talent he should be scoulded for playing such an opening.

3...Bg7 4.Bd3 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.Nbd2 Nbd7 7.e4 There goes the wasted tempo

7...e5 8.c3 b6 [8...Re8 A more classical approach by black 9.Re1 Nf8 10.Nf1 c6 11.Ng3 Qc7 12.h3 Bd7 13.Be3 Rad8 14.Qc2 c5 15.d5 Rc8 16.Nd2 h5 17.c4 N8h7 18.Be2 Rf8 19.Rab1 Ne8 20.b4 h4 21.Ngf1 f5 22.f3 cxb4 23.Rxb4 b6 24.Rbb1 Qd8 25.a4 Nef6 26.Bd3 Nh5 27.Qa2 Ng5 28.Qa3 Nf7 29.Rec1 Nf4 30.Bxf4 exf4 31.Re1 Re8 32.Rbc1 Bd4+ 33.Kh2 Qf6 34.Rc2 Bc5 35.Qa1 Ne5 36.Nb3 Qg5 37.Nxc5 Rxc5 38.Rd1 Nxd3 39.Rxd3 fxe4 40.fxe4 Rxe4 41.Nd2 Re3 42.Rxe3 fxe3 43.Nf3 Qf4+ 44.Kg1 Bxh3 45.gxh3 Qxf3 46.Rg2 Kh7 47.Qd4 Qxh3 48.Qf6 Qf5 49.Qxh4+ Kg7 50.Qe7+ Qf7 51.Qxd6 Rxc4 52.Qe5+ Qf6 53.Qxe3 Qd4 54.Re2 Rxa4 0-1 Bohanan,E-Lombardy,W/Ventura 1971/EXT 98 (54)]

9.Re1 a5!? An interesting idea, black starts a possible flank attack and also if white ever pushes his pawn to d5 then c5 will be a nice square for the knight because a b4 is not a threat. 10.Nf1 Bb7 11.Ng3 Re8

12.d5?! Inconsistant and really just giving black something to attack. [12.Qc2 h6 13.Be3 Perhaps this is more in keeping with white's strategy started on move 3]
12...c6 13.c4 Nc5 14.dxc6 Bxc6 15.Bc2 With such heavy pressure on white's e-pawn he is limited in what he can do the d5 square cannot be held because white is lagging in development. 15...Qc7 16.Nd2 h5 A dummee move with no real substance trying to induce a kingside weakness but Puchen is not so obliging. [16...a4 17.f3 b5 18.cxb5 Bxb5 Black is clearly better. 17.f3 b5 Black is trying to take over the whole board with pawn moves but this is just a little too optimistic. A concentratoin of force in one area of the board is very effective in destroying your opponent. Black's space advantage should be used by his pieces [17...h4 18.Ne2 h3] 18.Ne2 bxc4 19.Nxc4 d5 20.exd5 Nxd5 [20...Bxd5 21.Nd2 Rad8 22.Nc3 Bc4 White is nearly falling off the board I challenge you to find a move that doesn't lose.]
21.Bg5 e4?! Black has a better combination by taking advantage of white's awkward pieces placed on the c-file. [21...Nb4 22.Ng3 Ne6 23.Be3 Rad8 24.Qc1 Bd5 25.b3 Bxc4 26.bxc4 e4 27.Bxe4 f5 28.Bd5 Bxa1 29.Qxa1 Nxd5 30.cxd5 Rxd5]
22.Nd4 Bxd4+ 23.Qxd4 Ne6 24.Qd2 Nxg5 25.Qxg5 Nb4 26.Rac1

Nxc2? [26...Nxa2 Black wins a pawn and keeps his positional edge.]
27.Rxc2 exf3 28.Ne5 Qa7+ 29.Rf2 fxg2 30.Rc1 Rxe5?! White was threatening a perpetual by Nxg6 but this is not the way to avoid the draw. [30...Be4!]
31.Qxe5 The rest of the game shows Puchen's defensive skills. Infact white has better winning chances if black overpresses in his desperate attack.
31...Re8 32.Qf4 Bd5 33.Qd2 Ba8 34.Re1 Rxe1+ 35.Qxe1 Bd5 36.Qe5 Qc5 37.Qc3 Qe7 38.Qd2 Qe5 39.Re2 Qf5 40.Re1 Bxa2 41.Qxg2 Bd5 42.Qg3 Bc6 43.h4 a4 44.Re2 Qd5 45.Qf4 Qd1+ 46.Kf2 Qh1 47.Rd2 Qg2+ 48.Ke3 Qg1+ 49.Qf2 Qc1 50.Qf6 Bb5 51.Qg5 Bc4 52.Kd4 Be6 53.Qf4 Kg7 54.Ke3 Qg1+ 55.Qf2 Qh1 56.Qg3 Bg4 57.Kd4 Qc1 58.Qc3 Qe1 59.Kc5+ Kh7 60.Qf6 Qxd2

Friday, February 22, 2008

Aeroflot Open

The standings of the top of the A group

The final Round (9) is underway right now and the critical game must be young Ian Nepomniachtchi playing white against Andrei Volokitin, a draw would guarantee him at least a share of first place,his main rivals Dreev and Motylev are matched togeather for the final round.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Surprisingly the Linares tournament has been action packed. After 5 rounds there are nearly as many decisive games as there was in 2007!

Round 6 starts tomorrow 10:30 am New Zealand time.


Veselin Topalov v Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian v Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov v Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk v Alexei Shirov

BOP Rapid

Tomorrow is the Bay of Plenty 25' + 5" Rapid in Tauranga. New Zealand's 1st ever and longest running 25'+5". Venue: Hillier Center, 31 Gloucester Rd (Girven Road end), Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga. 6 round swiss-system, with a time control of 25 minutes each plus an increment of 5 seconds per move. Entry fee $30 for adults, $20 for juniors. Prizefund: minimum $700. Arbiter: Hilton Bennett. Enquiries: Organiser Caleb Wright, 027 339 3151, email
More info goto

Monday, February 18, 2008

Kasparov Detained

Kasparov is once again in trouble with the law perhaps unfairly in either case he deserves to be jailed for giving up chess for politics!

Friday, February 15, 2008

115th Congress Review

Chandler,M - Croad,N [B13]New Zealand Championship Auckland (5.3), 18.01.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 dxc4 It would not be surprising if croad had this line prepared specifically. Other options are 6...e6; 6...Be6; 6...Qa5
7.d5 7.Bxf6 exf6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Bxc4 Nxc4 10.Qa4+ Bd7 11.Qxc4 Rc8 12.Qe4+ Qe7 13.Qxe7+ Bxe7 14.Nge2 0-0 15.0-0 Rfd8 16.Rad1 Bd6 17.Rd2 f5 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Nd4 a6 20.Nce2 g6 21.g3 Ba4 22.b3 Bd7 23.Kg2 Be8 24.f4 Bb4 25.Rc2 Rxc2 26.Nxc2 Bc5 27.Kf3 b5 28.b4 Bb6 29.Ne3 Ke7 30.Nc1 Kd6 31.Nb3 Rc8 32.Rd3 Bd7 33.Nd4 Re8 34.Ndc2 Bc8 35.a4 Bd7 36.a5 Ba7 37.Nd4 Re4 38.Nec2 Be8 39.g4 Bd7 40.g5 Re8 41.Kg3 Rc8 42.Rd2 Rc3+ 43.Nf3 Bc8 44.Kg2 Bb7 45.Ne5 Bxd5+ 46.Kf1 ½-½ Cornford,L-Fairhurst,W/82nd NZ Chp, Dunedin 1975
7...Na5! The knight on the side of the board is doing an effective job holding onto black's extra pawn and forces white to give up his bishop pair for it. Another way to play is 7...Ne5 8.Qd4 h6 9.Bh4 Ng6 10.Bg3 e6 11.d6 Ne7 12.Rd1 Ned5 13.Qe5 Nd7 14.Qe2 Nxc3 15.bxc3 g6?! 16.Be5 Nxe5 17.Qxe5 Rg8 18.Bxc4 Bg7 19.Bb5+ Bd7 20.Bxd7+ Qxd7 21.Qe3 Qc6 22.Ne2 b6 23.0-0 0-0-0 24.c4 Kb7 25.Nd4 Bxd4 26.Rxd4 Rd7 27.Qxh6 e5 28.Rd5 Re8 29.Qd2 Re6 30.c5 bxc5 31.Rb1+ Ka8 32.Qb2 Re8 33.Rxe5 Red8 34.Qc3 Rxd6 35.Rf1 c4 36.Re7 f6 37.Qe3 R6d7 38.Rxd7 Qxd7 39.Qf3+ Qd5 1-0 Anand,V-Seirawan,Y/Amsterdam 1992/
8.Nf3 h6!? 8...e6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Bxc4 Nxc4 11.Qa4+ Bd7 12.Qxc4 Rc8 13.Qh4 f5 14.Qd4 Rg8 15.0-0 Bc5 16.Qf4 Qf6 17.Ne5 Bd6 18.Nxd7 Kxd7 19.dxe6+ fxe6 20.Rad1 Rc6 21.Nb5 e5 22.Qa4 Ra6 23.Qb3 Qe6 24.Rd5 Rb6 25.Rfd1 Ke7 26.Qh3 Rd8 27.Qxh7+ Kf8 28.h4 Rd7 29.Qh8+ Kf7 30.h5 a6 31.Nxd6+ Rbxd6 32.Rxd6 Rxd6 33.Qh7+ Ke8 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qxf5 Qd1+ 36.Kh2 Qd4 37.g3 Qd2 38.Qxe5+ Kf7 39.Qf4+ 1-0 Grabarczyk,B-Czakon,J/Lubniewice POL 2005/
9.Bxf6 Practically forced if white wishes to gain back the pawn, for example. 9.Be3 e6 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.Nd4 Bd7
9...exf6 10.Bxc4 Nxc4 11.Qa4+ Bd7 12.Qxc4 Bd6 12...Qe7+!? 13.Kf1 Qb4 14.Qe2+ Be7 15.Re1 Kf8= Not an easy position to play.
13.0-0 0-0 14.Ne4 Bf5 15.Rfe1 Re8 16.Nxd6 Qxd6

Black has finished development and succeeded in equalising, the game now focusses around the d5 pawn... strength or weakness. It must be said that if black was to win this pawn the game would still be a draw because of his wrecked K-side pawn structure, from my point of view to play a position with no real winning chances is always difficult.
17.h3 Red8?! Black plays a very tempting move but one which has drawback's. The rook is now passively placed and I see no reason to remove it from e8. Better is 17...a6 Qb3 can now be met with b5
18.Qb3 Rd7 19.Rad1 Rc8 20.Qe3 Rc5 Black has achieved his setup (starting with 17...Re8) with regards to grabbing the pawn on d5.
21.Nh4 Bg6? Black misses the fact that white has a forced combination after this to force the pawn forward. 21...Bc2 and 22...f5 practically force the draw. Active defense must be preferred, Croad must enjoy defending because he hasn't played a single attacking move! [21...Bc2! 22.Rd2 f5 23.Ng6!? If white wishes to play for a win this may be best, if a little risky. 23...Kh7 (23...Qxg6 24.Qxc5; 23...fxg6 24.Qe8+ Kh7 25.Re6+-) 24.Nf4 Rc4 25.Rd4 Rxd4 26.Qxd4 Be4 Even now it is hard for white to get an uneven position and black should draw without difficulty.
22.Nxg6 White now force's his d pawn forward one square making it more visually powerful. 22...fxg6 23.Qe8+ Kh7 24.Re6 Qc7 25.d6 Qc6 26.Re7 Rxe7? Black had a better try. 26...Rc1! 27.Qxd7 (27.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 28.Kh2 Qf4+=) 27...Rxd1+ 28.Kh2 Qxd6+ 29.Qxd6 Rxd6 30.Rxb7 a5 whhite still has a slight edge] 27.Qxc6! [27.Qxe7?! Rd5 28.Rxd5 Qc1+ 29.Rd1 Qxd1+ 30.Kh2 Qd4!= Black will force perpetual!]
27...bxc6 28.dxe7 Re5 29.Rd7 a5 30.Ra7 Kg8 31.Rxa5 Rxe7 32.Kf1

So white has transformed his d-pawn into the destruction of black's pawn structure. The main weakness being the lonesome c6 pawn versus the connected a and b pawns. The passed a pawn is the most dangerous.
32...Kf7 33.Ra6 Rc7? Black should not defend a horrible pawn in such a way when he has a chance to get active . [33...c5 A) 34.Rc6 Ra7 Black will manage to get either the a or b pawn for his c. 35.Rxc5 Rxa2 36.Rc7+ Kf8 37.Rb7 (37.b4 Rb2 38.Rb7 g5 39.b5 f5 40.g4 g6 41.b6 Ke8 42.Rb8+ Kd7 43.b7 Kc7 44.Rh8 fxg4 45.hxg4 Rxb7 46.Rxh6 Rb6=) 37...g5 38.Ke2 f5 39.Kd3 g4 40.hxg4 fxg4 41.Ke4 h5 42.Kf4 Ra5 43.b4 g5+ 44.Ke4 Ra2 45.Kf5 Rxf2+ 46.Kxg5 Rxg2 47.Kxh5 g3 48.Kg4 Ke8 49.Kf3 Rb2 50.Kxg3 Kd8 51.Kf3 Kc8 52.Rb5 Kc7 53.Ke3 Kc6 54.Rb8 Kc7 55.Rb5 Kc6=; B) 34.b3 34...g5 35.Rc6 Ra7 36.a4 Rb7 37.Rxc5 Rxb3=]
34.b4! Locking in the pawn weakness and the rook to the defence of it.
34...Ke7 35.Ke2 Rb7 36.a3 Kd6 37.Kd3 Rb5?! Black now decides it is time to play more actively in defence and as Murphy's Law would have it... 37...Kd5 was a stiffer defensive try. 38.Kc3 g5 39.a4 h5 40.Ra8 Rd7 41.a5 White will win with best play but black can resist for a while at least.
38.Ra7 Rd5+ 39.Kc3 Rg5 40.g4 h5 41.Ra5! Forcing a won K+P ending.
41...c5 [41...Rxa5 42.bxa5 Kc5 43.a4 hxg4 (43...Kd6 44.a6 Kc7 45.a5 Kb8 46.Kb4 Ka7 47.Kc5 Kxa6 48.Kxc6) 44.hxg4 g5 45.Kd3 g6 46.Ke4 Kd6 47.a6 Kc7 48.a5 Kb8 49.Kd4 Ka7 50.Kc5 Kxa6 51.Kxc6 f5 52.Kd6+-]
42.Rxc5 Rxc5+ 43.bxc5+ Kxc5 44.a4 h4 45.f4 f5 46.g5 Kb6 47.Kb4 Ka6 48.Kc5 Ka5 49.Kd6 Kxa4 50.Ke6 Kb4 51.Kf7 Kc4 52.Kxg7 Kd4 53.Kxg6 Ke4 54.Kh5 Kd5

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Linares the strongest tournament of the year begins tomorrow. Unlike the Corus festival this is a small round robin event, because of this the players take short draws alot of the time with a +2 score sometimes good enough to win first place. Hopefully this year we will have more fighting chess, players like Radjabov, Carlson, Ivanchuk, Topalov, Shirov, are not likely to disappoint.

Players list
GM Viswanathan Anand 2799
GM Veselin Topalov 2780
GM Alexei Shirov 2755
GM Peter Leko 2753
GM Vassily Ivanchuk 2751
GM Levon Aronian 2739
GM Teymour Radjabov 2735
GM Magnus Carlsen 2733

Friday, February 8, 2008

Palmerston North Club News

The Palmerston North Club opens on the 14th of February. For more information Contact club president Dennis Davey phone (06) 353 0193 or Club Captain Stewart Holdaway phone 027 329 4399 or just post a comment on this blog and I will help.
The trophy pictured was Palmerston North's
big achievment in 2007 beating the Wanganui Club in an interclub event.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Kasparov Return's

Gary Kasparov has thrown politics aside and will return to the board! Well perhaps, it is not as dramatic as that, but he will be giving a simul on the 30th of March details to be found here

115th Congress Review

Round 4 was a sad 16 move draw for the future NZ champ, but a good result for Watson.

Watson,B - Chandler,M [A05]New Zealand Championship Auckland (4.2), 17.01.2008

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.c4 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.d4 Nf6 [6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Ndb4 8.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 9.Kxd1 Nxc6 10.Nc3 Bd7 11.Be3 0-0-0 12.Ke1 e5 13.Rc1 Kb8 14.f4 f5 15.fxe5 Nxe5 16.Bf4 Re8 17.Rd1 Bc6 18.Bxc6 bxc6 19.Rd7 g5 20.Bxe5+ Rxe5 21.Rf1 Bb4 22.Rf7 Rhe8 23.Rf2 Ra5 24.Kf1 Ree5 25.Rxh7 g4 26.Rf7 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Rxa2 28.R7xf5 Raxe2 29.Rf8+ Re8 30.Rxe8+ Rxe8 31.Rf4 Rg8 32.Ke2 ½-½ Kramnik,V-Kasparov,G/Frankfurt GER 2000/]
7.e3 [7.Qa4 Bd7 8.dxc5 e5 9.0-0 Bxc5 10.Nc3 h6 11.Nd2 0-0 12.Nde4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Be6 14.Rd1 Qf6 15.Be3 Bd4 16.Bxd4 exd4 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.Qxd5 Rae8 19.Rd2 Re7 20.Rad1 Rfe8 21.Qc4 Na5 22.Qd3 Qb6 23.Rc1 Nc6 24.a3 Re5 25.b4 R8e6 26.Rc4 g6 27.Kf1 Qa6 28.Bxc6 Rxc6 29.Rxd4 Rc1+ 30.Kg2 Qc6+ 31.Qf3 Rc3 32.R2d3 Rxd3 33.exd3 Re1 34.Qxc6 bxc6 35.a4 Rb1 36.Kf3 Kf8 37.Rc4 Ke8 38.Rxc6 Rxb4 39.Ra6 Rb7 40.g4 Rb4 41.h3 h5 42.gxh5 gxh5 43.Rxa7 Rh4 44.a5 Rxh3+ 45.Ke4 Rh1 46.a6 Ra1 47.Kf5 h4 48.Kg4 Ra4+ 49.f4 Kd8 50.d4 Ke8 51.Kxh4 1-0 Andersson,U-Portisch,L/Reggio Emilia 1985/]
7...e6 8.0-0 Be7 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.b3 [11.Bd2 Bd7 12.Nc3 Ke7 13.Rac1 Bb6 14.Rfd1 Rhd8 15.Na4 Ne4 16.Nxb6 axb6 17.a3 Nxd2 18.Nxd2 Be8 19.Nb1 Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 Rc8 21.Nc3 Na5 22.Bf1 Nc4 23.Bxc4 Rxc4 24.Rd4 Rc5 25.f3 Bc6 26.Kf2 b5 27.e4 Rh5 28.h4 h6 29.Rd1 Rc5 30.Ke3 f5 31.exf5 Rxf5 32.Ne4 Rf8 33.Rd4 Ra8 34.Nc3 e5 35.Rg4 Kf7 36.Rb4 Rf8 37.Nxb5 Kg6 38.f4 exf4+ 39.gxf4 Kh5 40.Nd4 Kxh4 ½-½ Andersson,U-Portisch,L/Tilburg 1984/]
11...Ke7 12.Ba3 Bxa3 13.Nxa3 Nd5 14.Nc4 f6 15.Rac1 Bd7 16.Nd4 Nxd4

Friday, February 1, 2008

2008 Gibtelecom Chess Festival

In a striking come back Nakamura defeated Bu in a playoff match to take first place at the 2008 Gibtelecom Chess Festival. After taking a beating from our aussie friend IM Zhoa Zong-Yuan (who now apparently has achieved his last GM norm and will soon be Australia‘s third GM). Nakamura swept aside everyone who dared cross his path. Bu looked to have the tournament wrapped up after 8 rounds having only dropped ½ a point but a loss to Efimenko in round 9 and a draw in round 10 gave Nakamura his chance who won both his games to catch up.
The format for the tie was 2 blitz games at 10 10 and a 3rd Armageddon game of 5m v 4m if needed. Nakamura blitz skills have famously been honed at ICC and he has the highest rating of all time on this site somewhere around 3700. Both games were of course Slav openings Nakamura Won the first so the pressure was on Bu in the Second. Bu had his chances but Nakamura was able to hold out and even win the last game.
The kiwi flag was flying by the efforts of A. Compton who finished on 5/10.