Sunday, August 31, 2008

Queenstown Chess Classic 09

Grandmaster Vladimir Potkin 2629

Vladimir Potkin is the latest GM confirmed for the exciting Quenstown tournament and is now currently the top seed and first player rated over 2600 in the event.

GM Vladimir Potkin of Russia
July 2001 was ranked 18th on best junior list Internationally
Highest Rating 2629
Current Rating 2629
Birth Year 1982

Moiseenko,A (2627) - Potkin,V (2522) [D45]EU-ch 4th Istanbul (2), 31.05.2003
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4 Bb4 8.Bd2 Qe7 9.Rg1 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Ne4 11.Bd3 Nxc3 12.Qxc3 dxc4 13.Bxc4 0-0 14.h4 c5 15.g5 cxd4 16.Qxd4 Rd8 17.0-0-0 b5 18.Bxb5 Bb7 19.Qd6 Rac8+ 20.Kb1 Be4+ 21.Ka1 Rc1+ 22.Rxc1 Qxd6 23.Rgd1 Qb6 24.Rxd7 Bxf3 25.Rxd8+ Qxd8 26.Ba6 Bc6 27.b4 Qd6 28.f4 g6 29.b5 Bd5 30.h5 gxh5 31.f5 Qe5+ 0-1

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chess Olympiad Dresden08

The Chess Olympiad in Dresden running from the 12th to the 25th promises to a very exciting event with many of the top players in the world including the current world champion, whoever that may be after Anand- Kramnik match in October.
Russia has the highest team elo average of 2750, New Zealand also has a strong team including it's only GM to date Murray Chandler.

November 12 Opening Ceremony 8 pm
November 12 Arbiters Meeting 10 pm
November 12 Ranking of Teams 11 pm
November 13 Captains Meeting 9 am
November 13 Publication of TeamPairings for Round 1 9.45 am
November 13 Submission of Round Team List for Round 1 10.15 am
November 13 Publication of Individual Pairings for Round 1 11.45 am
November 13 Round 1 3 pm
November 14 Round 2 3 pm
November 15 Round 3 3 pm
November 16 Round 4 3 pm
November 17 Round 5 3 pm
November 18 Free Day
November 19 Round 6 3 pm
November 20 Round 7 3 pm
November 21 Round 8 3 pm
November 22 Round 9 3 pm
November 23 Round 10 3 pm
November 24 Free Day
November 25 Round 11 (Last) 10 am
How does Vassily Ivanchuk get ready for the Chess Olympiad?
Vassily: I will analyse games of Anand, Kramnik and other board one players who will come into considerations, I don’t think there will be a great difference to how my colleagues prepare.
An issue that caught my interest also when talking to your elite colleagues: How strong could a team of excellent grandmasters be if they would all practice together?
Vassiliy: That might be true, but consider that, by the end of the day, we all are still competitors.
How will you perform in Dresden?
Vassily: We will fight, we will be strong and we can win if we are on the ball. We did it 2004!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Palmerston North Qualifying Tournament

After 4 round's M. King (yes that's me writing about myself?!) is leading the event wi th a perfect score followed closely by S. Holdaway, S. Taylor and J. Kim on 3. The top seed and current Palmerston North Champion is alone in fifth place on 2.5 and even has chances to miss qualification if he loses his last round game!
J. Kim curently in 2nd equal has made promising progress and is clearly one of Palmerston North's most gifted juniors.

Davis,J 1967- King,M 1853 [E85]Palmerston North Qualifying Tournament (4.1), 21.08.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 a6
The main line is 7...c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.Rd1 (9.0-0-0 a6 10.Kb1 b5 11.Nc1 exd4 12.Bxd4 b4 13.Na4 c5 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Qxd6 Be7 16.Qg3 Bh4 17.Qh3 Be7 18.Qg3 Bh4 19.Qh3 ½-½ Kramnik,V-Kasparov,G/Linares 1993/ ) 9...a6 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.b3 b5 12.cxb5 axb5 13.Qxd6 Nfd7 14.f4 b4 15.Nb1 Ng4 16.Bd4 Bxd4 17.Qxd4 Rxa2 18.h3 c5 19.Qg1 Ngf6 20.e5 Ne4 21.h4 c4 22.Nc1 c3 23.Nxa2 c2 24.Qd4 cxd1Q+ 25.Kxd1 Ndc5 26.Qxd8 Rxd8+ 27.Kc2 Nf2 0-1 Karpov,A-Kasparov,G/Linares 1993/
8.Qd2 Nbd7
8...Bd7 9.d5 Ne8 10.g4 h6 11.h4 Kh7 12.Ng3 c5 13.Bd3 Qa5 14.Qe2 Rh8 15.a3 Qd8 16.b4 b6 17.Qb2 Bc8 18.Ke2 Nd7 19.Rag1 Rb8 20.b5 a5 21.Kd1 Kg8 22.Qd2 Nf8 23.Kc2 f6 24.g5 fxg5 25.hxg5 h5 26.Nf5 Kf7 27.Nh4 Qe7 28.Qh2 Nc7 29.Rf1 Ke8 30.f4 exf4 31.Bxf4 Kd7 32.Bxd6 1-0 Capablanca,J-Menchik,V/Moscow 1935/HCL (32)]
9.g4 exd4 10.Nxd4 Ne5 11.Be2

Black tries to slow down white's attack by closing down the h-file, best was to go for the counter offensive with 11...c5 I was put off this move because of the hole it leaves on d5 and the weak d6 pawn but black is able to prove with 11....c5 that white has weaknesses of his own to worry about.
11...c5 12.Nc2 (12.Nb3 Be6 13.g5 Ne8 14.Nd5 b5÷ Black is atleast equal)
12...Be6 13.0-0-0 (13.b3 Nfd7 14.0-0-0 b5 White's position is now over extended for example 15.Qxd6 bxc4 16.f4 cxb3 17.axb3 Nxg4 18.e5 Qh4-+)
13...Nxc4 14.Bxc4 Bxc4 15.Qxd6 Qxd6 16.Rxd6 This is a possible line 16...Rac8 17.h4 h5 18.g5 Ne8]
12.gxh5 Nxh5 13.0-0-0 Bd7 14.Rdg1
Better is 14.Bg5! Bf6 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.f4 Nc6 17.h4 White's attack is crushing here.
One of the common break through ideas trying to expose white's King.

Openig up the Queen side is suicide as can be seen from the following analysis.
15 cxb5 axb5 16.Ndxb5 Bxb5 17.Nxb5 Rxa2 18.f4
A) 18...Nc6 19.Bxh5 Qa8!! Black is winning with a sudden attack helped from afar by black's strong g7 bishop.
A1) 20.Qd5 Rxb2 21.Na7 Nb4 22.Qxa8 Rxa8 23.Bf3 c5 24.e5 Nd3+ 25.Kd1 Rxa7-+;
A2) 20.Nxc7 Qa4 21.Qc2 Bxb2+ 22.Kd1 Ra1+ 23.Kd2 Qa5+ 24.Ke2 Qxh5+ 25.Kd2 Rxg1 26.Rxg1 Nd4! 27.Qxb2 (27.Bxd4 Bxd4 28.Rg5 Qf3-+) 27...Qe2+;
A3) 20.Nc3 Ra1+ 21.Kc2 Nb4+ 22.Kb3 Rxg1 23.Rxg1 Rb8-+;
A4) 20.Bf3 White cannot hold onto the piece because black's mating attack will cost white his queen. 20...Ra1+ 21.Kc2 Qa4+-+; B) 18...Nxf4 ]
15...Nxc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.f5
White's attack looks visually menacing but in fact black is not even worse in this position.
17...c5 18.Nf3 Qa5?!
18...Bc6 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Qe2 Black has a pawn but his king must always be looked after (20.Rxg6? Rxf3) 20...Bxc3 21.Qxc4+ Kg7 22.Qxc3+ Qf6
19.fxg6 fxg6?
19...Bxc3 20.gxf7+ Kxf7 21.bxc3 Bc6 White only has a slight edge according to my computer but what human would play in such a way.
20.Qd5+ Kh8 21.Nh4-+ And I am sure this is only one of many winning moves
20...Be8 21.Qd5+?!
21.Rxd6 Rxf3 22.Qd5+ Kh7 23.Qxa8 Rxe3 24.Qxe8 Rxc3+ 25.Kb1!+-

21...Bf7 22.Qxh5
Better is 22.Rxg7+ Nxg7 23.Qxd6 Rfe8 24.Ng5 Be6 25.Rg1 Qd8 26.Qe5+-
22...Bxg6 23.Qxg6 Rxf3 24.Rg1 Ra7 25.Qe8+
25.Bh6 Rxc3+ 26.bxc3 (26.Kb1 Qa4 27.bxc3 Rb7+ 28.Ka1 Qc2 29.Qe6+ White must force a perpetual.) 26...Qxc3+ 27.Kd1 Qa1+ 28.Ke2 Qb2+ 29.Bd2 Re7
25...Rf8 26.Qe6+ Rff7 27.Bh6 Kh7 28.Bxg7?!
Trading pieces just releases the tension and make's black's defensive task easier. Better is 28.Qg6+ Kh8 29.Qxd6
28...Rxg7 29.Qf5+ Kh8 30.Qf8+ Kh7 31.Rxg7+ Rxg7 32.Qxd6 Rg1+ 33.Nd1 Qe1

Perhaps over confident with his 100% tournament record at the club this year white makes a bad decision, Davis had to force a draw with his numerous check's starting with 34.Qd7+=
34...Qe3+ 35.Kb1 Qd3+
With the Queens off black is winning easily.
36.Qxd3+ cxd3 37.Kc1 Rg2 38.b3 Rxa2 39.Kb1 Rxh2 40.Nb2 Rh1+ 41.Ka2 d2

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tal Memorial

The Tal Memorial is currently underway with many top players participating.
Check out Kamsky's 21st move against Mamedyarov a true Tal like sacrifice.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Palmy Championship Qualifying Tournament

There are two rounds left to play and with the top 6 going on to fight in the A grade there is still plenty of players who have this chance.


M. King 3/3
J.Davis 2.5/3
S. Taylor 2/3
J. Van Vuuren 2/3
D. Davey 2/3
J. Kim 2/3
J. Young 1/3
R. Kim 1/3
T. Kim 1/3
F. Visser .5/3
David 0/3
Jason 0/3

Wanganui Championship


John McDonald 3/3
Chris Burns 3/4
Preince Vetharaniam 1.5/3
Justin Davis 1.5/3
James Stewart 1/4
Mathew King 0/3

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wanganui Championship

The Wanganui Championship is just about at the half way stage and leading with a perfect score is John McDonald. Full standings to follow.

John McDonald has kindly annotated his latest victory from the Championship

Wanganui Championship 11.08.2008, Round 4
Chris Burns 2039 - John McDonald 2064

Sokolsky Opening
I have played 1...e5 against Chris before, but thought he was probably better prepared with this line. An aggressive line from Tawbeh-Soloman, Novi Sad Ol, 1990, went 1...e5 2.Bb2 f6 3.e4!? Bxb4 4.Bc4 Ne7 5.Qh5+ Ng6 6.f4 exf4 7.Nf3 Qe7 8.Bb3 Nc6 9.Nc3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 d6 11.Nh4 Bd7! with advantage to Black. Although, I think Chris would simply have played 3.a3. Also, after 1...e5 2.Bb2 Black can play for quick development with 2...Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.c4 0-0 5.Nf3 Re8 6.a3 Ba5 7.e3 d5 8.cxd5 Nc6 Afifi-Hakki, Cairo 1997.
2.Bb2 Nf6 3.a3 d5 4.e3 Nbd7 5.c4 dxc4
Otherwise White can play for a bind with 6.c5 and 7.d4
6.Bxc4 c5 7.bxc5 Qa5!? 8.Nf3 Qxc5 9.Qe2 Be7 10.0-0
Another possibility was 10.a4 Qa5 10...0-011.d4 Qh5With White's bishop on c4 and the queen on e2 Black's queen is curiously safe here, for now.
White correctly veis for the centre!
12...Nb6 13.Bd3 Rd8 14.Nc3 Bd7 15.h3 Qa5
Now that my queen had visited both sides of the pond I decided there was more breathing space on the other side! Here it also exerts pressure on the a3 pawn.

It seems difficult to find a concrete plan here. 16.e5 concedes the d5/f4 squares to one of Black'sknights, so perhaps 16.Rfd1 continuing to build pressure in the centre first was better.
16...Be8 17.Qe3 Rac8
Here I felt I'd achieved a good sense of harmony with my pieces and rooks on the open and semi-open files.
18.Rfc1 h6 19.Ne2 Na4 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.Bc1 Nc3
Here, I'm not sure if 21...Qe1+ leads to anything substantial, as White will soon play Rb1 and Bd2.
22.Bd2 Nxe2+ 23.Qxe2 Qa4 24.Be3 b5!
And now ...Bxa3 followed by ...b4 is a possibility.
25.Qb2 a6 26.Bd2 Bd8 27.Qb4 Bb6
It would be wrong to take play 27...Qxb4 as 28.axb4 frees up White's position and the rook wins a6. If 28...Bb6 then 29.Nf3 is a big plus for White.
Here my opponent is down to 14 minutes left on his clock. This is bad because, although White wins the a6-pawn, the loss of his central d4 pawn will collapse his centre and any advantage there. Betterwas 28.Nf3 first.
28...bxa4 29.Nf3
If 29.Bxa6 then ...Bxd4 30.Bxc8 Bxa1 and the e4 pawn falls.

And now there are serious cracks emerging in the White position, with the e4 pawn now out on a limb and Black's rook threatening to enter. If White pushes with 30.e5 Black will have two pleasant choices of 30...Nd5 or 30...Bxd3 keeping the bishop pair.
30.Bxb5 axb5 31.e5 Ne4 32.Rb1?
White is down to 5 minutes left. But 32.Rc1 may be OK. 32...Rc4 33.Rxc4 bxc4 gives Black a worrysome passed pawn.
32...Nxd2 33.Nxd2 Bxd4
Black's bishop and rook will now dominate in the race to win pawns.
34.Rxb5 Rc2 35.Ne4? Re2 36.Nd6?? Re1+ resigns

British Championship

Stuart Conquest British Champion 2008

IM Jovanka Houska British Ladies Champion 2008 and also English Ladies Champion 2008.
Full results goto

Friday, August 1, 2008

British Championship

The British Championship is currently underway and as many players involved have a kiwi connection we must follow the results with interest. Top Seed Gawain Jones is my pick to win the event his sharp play and energy should be too much, his round 4 game particularly impressed me .
British Championship Results & Pairings

Championship Crosstable

British Chess Championships 2008
Venue: St George's Hall, Liverpool
Date: 28 Jul 08 to 08 Aug 08
Controller: Mr Alex McFarlane & Ms Lara Barnes
Timings: First 40 moves in 120 mins. Next 20 moves in 60 mins. 30 mins to completion.

Round: 6 pairings
Bd White Result Black --No--
1 Jones, Gawain C....... 2549 (4) ..... Gormally, Daniel...... 2504 (4) 1 9
2 Conquest, Stuart...... 2536 (4) ..... Davies, Nigel R....... 2478 (4) 3 12
3 Trent, Lawrence....... 2470 (4) ..... Hebden, Mark.......... 2520 (4) 13 5
4 Horner, Jeff.......... 2372 (3½) ..... Lalic, Bogdan......... 2533 (3½) 21 4
5 Gordon, Stephen....... 2508 (3½) ..... Hawkins, Jonathan..... 2232 (3½) 7 40
6 Kolbus, Dietmar....... 2393 (3½) ..... Arkell, Keith C....... 2506 (3½) 20 8
7 Rendle, Thomas........ 2363 (3) ..... Ledger, Andrew........ 2423 (3½) 24 17
8 Berry, Stephen H...... 2363 (3) ..... Pert, Nicholas........ 2547 (3) 25 2
9 Quillan, Gary......... 2339 (3) ..... Haslinger, Stewart G.. 2511 (3) 28 6
10 Lalic, Susan.......... 2344 (3) ..... Williams, Simon K..... 2496 (3) 27 10
11 Flear, Glenn C........ 2493 (3) ..... Ledger, Dave.......... 2260 (3) 11 31
12 Hanley, James L....... 2243 (3) ..... Pert, Richard......... 2468 (3) 37 14
13 Houska, Jovanka....... 2405 (3) ..... Addison, Bret C....... 2244 (3) 18 36
14 Ynojosa, Felix Jose... 2101 (3) ..... Buckley, Graeme....... 2401 (3) 57 19
15 Grigoryan-Lyell, Meri... 2053 (3) ..... Knott, Simon J B..... 2365 (3) 61 23
16 Briscoe, Christopher.. 2232 (2½) ..... Greet, Andrew N....... 2453 (2½) 39 15
17 Eggleston, David J.... 2372 (2½) ..... Jackson, Oliver....... 2221 (2½) 22 42
18 Rudd, Jack............ 2345 (2½) ..... Rayner, Francis....... 2207 (2½) 26 43
19 Williamson, Roger G... 2169 (2½) ..... Barrett, Stephen J.... 2251 (2½) 50 33
20 Auckland, Elliott..... 1990 (2½) ..... Lyell, Mark........... 2232 (2½) 68 38
21 Storey, Charles....... 2268 (2) ..... James, David J........ 2177 (2) 30 48
22 Zhou, Yang-Fan........ 2259 (2) ..... Gregory, Stephen J.... 2177 (2) 32 49
23 Kett, Tim............. 2247 (2) ..... Ledger, Stephen....... 2138 (2) 34 52
24 Cox, Tristan.......... 2144 (2) ..... Tiruchirapalli, Venkatar 2247 (2) 51 35
25 James, Russell........ 2225 (2) ..... Shaw, Peter........... 2127 (2) 41 54
26 Townsend, Paul........ 2204 (2) ..... Coathup, Roger H...... 2105 (2) 44 56
27 Yeo, Michael J........ 2110 (2) ..... Surtees, Mike......... 2182 (2) 55 46
28 Sen, Subin............ 2050 (1½) ..... Mason, Don............ 2268 (1½) 62 29
29 Goodger, Martyn....... 2187 (1½) ..... Waters, Clive L....... 2096 (1½) 45 58
30 Gavriel, Tryfon C..... 2180 (1½) ..... Woods, Connor......... 1934 (1½) 47 69
31 Dilleigh, Stephen P... 2131 (1½) ..... Garnett, John S....... 2030 (1½) 53 65
32 Russell, Christopher.. 2036 (1½) ..... Elwin, Adrian......... 2022 (1) 64 66
33 McCullough, Simon L... 1910 (1) ..... Gibson, Christopher A. 2003 (1) 70 67
34 Davis, Lee.......... 2071 (0) ..... Coates, David H....... 2037 (1) 59 63