Sunday, September 28, 2008


The following position is taken from the game H.Bennett- P.Stuart Round 2 of the George Trundle IM Norm Qualifying tournament.

White to move and......

George Trundle NZ Masters Tournament

IM norm chances are availabe at this strong tournament which is currently underway, all results and games can be found here.
N. Croad has made an excellent start with 2/2.

Croad,N (2290) - Toth,A (2401) [E81]2008 George Trundle NZ Masters (2.1), 28.09.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3
The Saemisch variation of the King's Indian Defence. Many years ago this was considered almost the refutation of the KID but nowadays things are not so simple. Black seems to be able to achieve good counterplay and many top GM's today prefer the classical variation.
5...0-0 6.Bg5
With this move white stops e5 makes black's K-side expansion more problematic.
6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Bd3
A rare line more popular is
8.Qd2 exd5 9.cxd5 a6 10.a4 h6 11.Be3 h5 12.Nge2 Nbd7 13.Nc1 Ne5 14.Be2 Nh7 15.0-0 f5 16.f4 Nf7 17.e5 dxe5 18.Bxc5 exf4 19.Nd3 g5 20.Bxf8 Qxf8 21.Bxh5 Nd6 22.Rae1 Bd4+ 23.Kh1 Nc4 24.Qe2 Ne3 25.Nxf4 gxf4 26.Rxf4 Ba7 27.Qf3 Nf6 28.Qg3+ Neg4 29.Bxg4 Nxg4 30.d6 Bc5 31.Ne4 Bd4 32.Ng5 Bg7 33.Re7 b5 34.Qb3+ 1-0 Moiseenko,A-Hebden,M/Port Erin 2007

8.Nge2 exd5 9.Nxd5!? Be6 10.Nec3 Nc6 11.Qd2
A) 11...Nd4 Knaak 12.Bd3 (12.0-0-0 a6 13.h4‚) 12...a6 13.0-0 b5÷ Gulko-Agzamov/URS/1966; B) 11...h6?! 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Qxh6± Ne5 15.h4 Nxc4 16.0-0-0 Rad8 17.Bxc4 Bxc4 18.h5 Qg7 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Qh2 Rf6 21.e5 Rff8 22.exd6 Rd7 23.Qh4 Bf7 24.Qg5 b6 25.Rh6 Be8 26.Rdh1 Rf5 27.Qe3 1-0 Christiansen,L-Polgar,J/Munich 1991
8...exd5 9.cxd5 Nbd7 10.Nh3 Ne5 11.Nf2
White is playing extreme solidly and all his pieces seem to be based around the controling the e4 square.
Taking the bishop which seems like a blocked in piece is a long term idea of when the position opens up and pawns are traded black's bishop pair will play their part.
12.Qxd3 a6
12...h6 13.Bh4 (13.Bf4 Nh5 14.Be3 Re8) 13...Qb6 14.0-0 Nh5 15.Na4 Qb4
13.0-0 h6 14.Be3 Re8 15.Rab1
15.Rae1 seems more logical
15...Nd7 16.f4

f5 is not bad but i think it leads black down the wrong track as he must play accurately from now on with such a King position.
16...b5! 17.b4 cxb4 18.Rxb4 a5 19.Rxb5 ( best is probably 19.Rbb1 b4 20.Nb5 Ba6 21.a4 Nb6 22.Qb3 Bxb5 23.axb5) 19...Ba6 It is not clear white will get enough compensation for the exchange.
17.exf5 gxf5 18.b4 b6
better seems 18...b5 19.bxc5 Nxc5 20.Qd2 Qf6 21.Rfc1
19.Rfe1 Nf6
20.Ne2 Nh5
20...c4!? 21.Qd2 Bb7 22.Bd4 Qd7 23.Nc3 b5
21.Bd2 Bd7 22.Ng3 Nxg3 23.Qxg3
Black's King protection is now a bit compromised the position is still roughly balanced. White ideally should swap off black's best piece being the bishop on g7 and find a good outpost for his knight.
23...Qf6 24.Rec1 Bb5?!
The problem for black is he must find difficult moves where white's moves are alot easier to find. 24...cxb4!? 25.Bxb4 Rac8 26.Qa3 Bb5 27.Bxd6 Rxc1+ 28.Rxc1 Qd4 29.Be5 Bxe5 30.fxe5 Qxe5 31.h3 Qxd5
25.bxc5 bxc5 26.a4 Bxa4 27.Rb7 Re2?
Better is 27...Rab8 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Bc3 Qf7 30.Bxg7 Qxg7 31.Qd3 Qb2 White's pressure has subsided somewhat and black should try and consolidate more to make proper use of his extra pawn.

When black played Re2 he no doubt overlooked this strong rejoinder because without it white is in trouble but after Ng4 black is in serious difficulties.
28...Qd4+ does not save black because 29.Be3 Rxe3 30.Nxe3 Re8 31.Kh1 Rxe3 32.Rxg7+ Qxg7 33.Qxe3
29.Bc3 Qxc3
29...Qf5 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 31.Rxg4 Qxd5 32.Rg6+- Black's King is in serious danger.
30.Rxc3 Bd4+ 31.Kf1 Rae8 32.Rd3 Kh8
32...Rf2+ 33.Qxf2 Bxf2 34.Kxf2 Black could try and struggle on the exchange down but ultimately white's material advantage should prove too much.
The bishop on d4 was the glue holding black's position togeather without it his position now falls to pieces.
33...cxd4 34.Qxg4 R2e7 35.Rxe7 Rxe7 36.Qc8+ Kg7 37.Qxa6 Bd1 38.Qd3 Bh5 39.Qxd4+ Kf7 40.Qh8 Black resigns 1-0

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Burnham Cup Match

The Second leg of the Palmerston North Vs Wanganui Burnham Cup Match is due to take place on October 25th. The Venue will be the Evelyn Rawlins room at Square Edge Palmerston North. Games will be a time limit of 60 minutes each accross 10 boards and are scheduled to start at 10am and 1pm.
Wanganui currently leads the match 12.5 to 7.5 and to ensure Palmy keeps the trophy we need to crush Wanganui, so anyone wishing to play for Palmy should contact Club Captain Stewart Holdaway on 0273294399.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Rook Ending

Somehow I reached this position in the Blitz finish against IM R. Dive
The position is Black to move with 16 seconds ticking down and white has 7 seconds left on his clock with 5 seconds added after every move. Even though I lost this game it was probably the highlight of the tournament for me Just to reach an endgame against one of NZ's strongest is an achievement in itself, and next time I will be more prepared for an ending of this type.

What is your evaluation?


During the game I avoided checking this way thinking I would just push white's king to a better square but this is not the case and harassing the King is one of the best ways to ensure the draw. [1...Kf8 I remember playing this during the game and losing after some more moves]

2.Kf3 Ra3+ 3.Kf4

[3.Kg4 Ra4+ 4.Kxh3 Re4 5.Rg2+ Kh6 6.Rg8 Rxe5 7.Kg4 Re1 8.Kf4 Kh7 9.Rg2 Kh6]

3...Ra4+ 4.Kg5 Re4

[4...Ra3 5.Kg4 Ra4+ 6.Kg5 Ra3 7.Kh4 Re3 8.Kg5 Rxe5 9.Rxh3 f6+]

5.f6+ Kg8 6.Rxh3

[6.Kf5 Rh4 7.Kg5 (7.e6 fxe6+ 8.Kxe6 Kf8=; 7.Rh1 h2 8.Kg5 Rh3 9.Kg4 Rh6=) 7...Re4=]

6...Rxe5+ 7.Kf4 Re1 8.Rg3+ Kh7 9.Kf5 Ra1 10.Rg7+ Kh6 11.Rxf7 Rf1+ 12.Ke6 Re1+ 13.Kd6 Kg6 14.Rf8 Rd1+ =

And we have reached a position similar to the Philidor where white has nowhere to run from the check's and his rook is also unfortunately placed in front of his pawn. So the position is drawn.

A Rook Ending

Smith,R (2310) - Solomon,K (2215) [A29]Elista, 33rd Olympiad Elista (13.2), 12.10.1998

42.h4?! h5 43.Kf3 g6 44.Rd2 Ke6 45.Rb2 Kf6 46.Rb6+ Kf7 47.Rd6 Ra2 48.Rd4 Kf6 49.Rb4 Ke6 50.e4 fxe4+ 51.Rxe4+ Kf5 52.Rb4 Ra3+ 53.Kg2 Ra5 54.Rf4+ Ke6 55.Rf3 Ra4 56.Rb3 Kf5 57.Rb5+ Kf6 58.Rd5 Ra3 59.Kf1 Ra2 60.Ke1 Ke6 61.Rd2 Ra4 62.Ke2 Ra5 63.Rd3 Kf5 64.Rf3+ Ke5 65.Rf8 Ra2+ 66.Kf3 Ra3+ 67.Kg2 Ke6 68.Rf3 Ra2 69.Rc3 Ra5 70.Kf3 Kf5 71.Ke2 Ra2+ 72.Ke3 Ra5 73.f3 Ke5 74.g4 hxg4 75.fxg4 Ra4 76.Kf3 Kf6 77.Rc6+ Kg7 78.Re6 Kf7 79.Re4 Ra5 80.Kf4 Kf6 81.Rb4 Ra6 82.g5+ Ke6 83.Kg4 Ra1 84.Rf4 Ke7 85.Rf6 Ra4+ 86.Rf4 Ra1 87.Rb4 Kf7 88.Kf4 Ra5 89.Ke4 Kg7 90.Rb7+ Kg8 91.Rd7 Ra4+ 92.Ke5 Rxh4 93.Kf6 Ra4 94.Kxg6 Ra6+ 95.Kh5 Rb6 96.Re7 Ra6 97.Kg4 Ra5 98.Kf4 Rb5 99.Re6 Kg7 100.Kg4 Rb1 101.Ra6

According to Fundamental Chess Endings by K. Mueller and F Lamprecht they had this to say on the ending of R+4 pawns v R+3Pawns.

"This is one of the best known problems in endgame theory: is the attacker winning? Theoretically the answer is no, but in practice it is not at all easy to defend. First of all it must be stressed that just waiting passively is not sufficient."

"With the defender's h pawn on the fourth rank the attacker's success rate drops alot."

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Rook Ending

The following position is taken from the game I had against the legendary IM R Dive at the recent Kapiti Rapid.
Is it possible to hold as black or does white have a winning advantage?
White to move

The game continued 38.Re2
White has a extra pawn that is doubled. His isolated h-pawn is a source of counter play for black. Black has a tough defensive task especially in a blitz finish. The following variations is what I would consider sample lines to atleast try and shed some light on the position.
One good way to test endgame positions is to play against a computer as both colours using the endgame as the starting point.
Interesting for white is 38.e5 Rb3+ 39.Kg4 Kg7 (39...h5+? 40.Kg5 Rxh3 41.f5 gxf5 42.Kf6 Rh2 43.Ra8+ Kh7 44.Kxf7 Rg2 45.e6 Rg7+ 46.Kf6 Rg6+ 47.Kxf5 Rg7 48.Kf6 Rg6+ 49.Ke5 Rg7 50.Kd6+-) 40.Ra7 Rb2 41.Kg3 (41.f3 Rg2+ 42.Kh4 h6 Black keeps his rook on the g-file and white is unable to make progress.) 41...h6 42.h4 (42.e6? Re2 43.e7 Kf6=) 42...Re2 43.f3 Kf8 44.Rd7 Kg7 45.h5 (45.Rd5 Re1 46.f5 gxf5 47.Kf4 Rh1 The importance of playing h6 blocking white's King off from making any real progress can be seen here. 48.Kxf5 Rxh4 49.f4 Rh5+= Black's defence task has eased and the position is probably drawn. ) 45...gxh5 46.Rd5 f6! 47.Rd7+ Kf8 48.exf6 Re6 49.f5 Rxf6=
38.Kg3 Kg7 39.Ra6 Rc5 40.f3 h6 41.Rd6 Rc1 42.Rd5 Rg1+ 43.Kf2 Rh1 44.Kg2 Re1 45.f5 Kf6 46.h4 Re2+ 47.Kg3 Re1 48.fxg6 fxg6 White has undoubled his pawns but his winning chances have not increased. 49.Ra5 Rc1 50.f4 Rg1+ 51.Kf2 Rg4 52.Ra6+ White does have still practical chances to win so of course why not torture black further. With best play the position is drawn.
The game continued
38...f5!? 39.e5 Kf7 40.Ra2 Rb7 41.h4
A) 41...Ke7?! Black has to be careful not to walk too far away from his pawns as can be shown from the following variation. 42.Kg3 Rb3+ 43.f3 Rb7 44.Ra6 Rd7 45.h5 gxh5(45..Kf7 46.e6++/-) 45...Kf8 46.Kh4 Rd8 47.Kg5 h4 48.Kxf5 h3 49.Rh6 Rh8 50.Ke4+-
B) 41...Rd7 Black can just sit and wait. 42.Ra6 Rb7 43.Kg3 Rc7 44.h5 Rb7 45.Kh4 When white starts to get his King inot the position only then does black worry about active counterplay. 45...Rb1 46.Rf6+ Kg7 47.hxg6 hxg6 48.Kg3 (48.Kg5 Rg1+ 49.Kh4 Rg4+=) 48...Rb3+ 49.f3 Rb1 50.Rd6 Kf7 51.Rd7+ Ke6 52.Rg7 Kd5 53.Rg8 (53.Rxg6 Rg1+ 54.Kh4 Rxg6) 53...Ra1 54.Kh3 Rh1+ 55.Kg2 Rh4 56.Kg3 Rh6 57.Kf2 Black has defensive resources but they are not at all easy to find and white can torture black for a long time if he also plays accurately.
39.Kg4 h5+ ?!
39...f5+! 40.exf5 Rxf5 Black's life would be much easier now that white has 3 isolated pawns.
40.Kg3 Kf6 41.Rc2
Here is where I stopped recording the moves, but thanks to pictures availabe at I was able to reconstruct another interesting Rook ending.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kapiti Rapid

Final Standings

1st IM R. Dive 6/6

2nd FM N. Croad 5/6

IM A. Ker 4.5

D. Baider 4.5

C. Burns 4.5

Z. Rajcsanyi 4.5

M. Sims 4.5

M. Van Der Horn 4

M. Nyberg 4

M. Hill 4

B. Nijman 4

B.Forster 4

R. Jackson 4

A.Aldridge 4

D. Paul 4 B Grade Winner

J. Davis 3.5

S. Holdaway 3.5 2nd= B Grade

L. Farrington 3.5 2nd= B Grade

A.Ansell 3.5 2nd= B Grade

A. Brockway 3.5 2nd= B Grade

G. Simonyi 3

M. King 3

R. Townsend 3

R.Seabrook 3

M. Du Plesis 3

M. O'rorke 3

D. Chen 3

M. Howe 3

Y. Imtiaz 3

H. Wylde 3

T. Sullivan 3

D. Capper 2.5

A. McGowan 2.5

N. Du Plessis 2.5

C. Backhouse 2.5

D. Wu 2.5

R. Lee 2.5

A. Reweti 2

R. Hill 2

D. Simonyi 2

B. Drinkwater 2

J. Brearten 2

P. Pahalawata 2

J. Wu 2

M. Marshall 2

H. Shierlaw 1

M. Wang 1

J. Carruth 1

C. Paul 1

The C Grade Winners and Junior Prize are still to be noted on list.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Womens World Chess Champion

Alexandra Kostenuik rolled over her final opponent Hou Yifan to take the title winning the final match 2.5 to 1.5.

Kosteniuk,A (2510) - Hou Yifan (2557) [B45]WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (6.4), 17.09.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 Be7 8.0-0 a6 9.a4 0-0 10.f4 Qc7 11.Kh1 Bd7 12.Nb3 b6 13.Qe1 Bc8 14.Qg3 Bb7 15.f5 Kh8 16.Rad1 Rae8 17.fxe6 fxe6 18.Qh3 Bd8 19.Nd4 Nxd4 20.Rxd4 e5 21.Rc4 Qb8 22.Rd1 b5 23.axb5 axb5 24.Nxb5 Nxe4 25.Bd3 Nf6 26.Rh4 e4 27.Be2 Bc8 28.Qg3 Ba6 29.c4 Bxb5 30.cxb5 Bb6 31.Bf4 Qa7 32.Bxd6 Bf2 33.Qf4 Nd5 34.Qc1 Rc8 35.Qd2 Rfd8 36.Rxh7+ Kxh7 37.Qxd5 Qe3 38.Bg4 Ra8 39.Qe6 Kh8 40.Qe7 Qh6 41.h3 Qg6 42.Qe5 Bb6 43.Bh5 Qh6 44.Bg4 e3 45.Qe4 Qf6 46.Rd5 Ra1+ 47.Kh2 Qxd6+ 48.Rxd6 Bc7 49.Qf5 Bxd6+ 50.g3 Kg8 51.Qd5+ Kf8 52.Qf5+ Ke7 53.Qe6+ Kf8 54.Qf5+ Kg8 55.Qd5+ Kf8 56.Qf5+


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

World Chess Championship

Klaus Bischoff is one of the stars confirmed for Queenstown 09, he will also be one of the commentators during the World Championship in Bonn. This interview is taken from

What fascinates you personally about chess?
Chess is simply a wonderful game. Luring an opponent onto unknown territory, then outplaying him – that will never lose its fascination for me.

What do you consider to be your greatest success in chess?
Winning the Silver Medal with the German Team at the Chess Olympics in Istanbul in 2000 was a really great experience!

What do you think: Why is chess so popular and is experiencing a persistent boom world-wide?
Our good old chess is extremely well suited for the modern internet. Any enthusiast anywhere in the world may participate “live”.

In your opinion, which was the most interesting game/duel in chess history?
I think the world championship match in Baguio City in 1978 between Karpov and Kortschnoi was incredibly exciting. First Kortschnoi’s brilliant pursuit race, then Karpov’s cold-blooded counterattack, that was really quite something. This was the first world championship match where I was more or less able to understand the moves. At that time I was only 17 years old.

The match between Kramnik and Anand is not only one of the most outstanding duels in chess history, but also a contest between the two best players of our time. Who will, in your opinion, win, and why?
Naturally both are able to win the match. Otherwise no one would be interested in the outcome. I am looking forward to many fascinating games! If one of the contestants plays better and does not ”only“ launch well-aimed assaults at his opponent I shall be happy about his victory, from the bottom of my heart.

What effect can this Championship have on the chess world in future?
2008 is a great year for chess. The World Championship in Bonn and the Olympics in Dresden are wonderful opportunities for changing the image of chess in Germany in a positive way. Should this happen world-wide – all the better!

As far as chess history is concerned, for whom is, in your opinion, this match of greater importance – Anand or Kramnik?
For the winner.

Friday, September 12, 2008

King and Pawn Endgame

Black to move.
What is your evaluation of this position


The UK's first chessboxing event was held recently in London's East End. The full article can be viewed here

Perhaps NZCF should organise its own version of chessboxing with a possible match-up of IM Anthony Ker verse Shane Cameron!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kapiti Rapid Chess Tournament

The Kapiti Rapid will begin in 11 days on a Sunday. It is usually a popular event with many top players attending.

September 21st 2008 - Kapiti Chess Club Rapidplay, Paraparaumu.
Venue: Community Centre, 15 Ngahina Street, Paraparaumu. 6 round open swiss-system, with a time control of 25 minutes each plus an increment of 5 seconds per move.
Entry fee $35; juniors $15. Players must be NZCF-registered. Prizefund: a minimum of $1000. Schedule: begins 9:00am. Contact: Guy Burns, tel. (04) 904 2002, e-mail This event is a Millennium Hotels Grand Prix class 2 event.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palmerston North Qualifying Tournament

Final Standings

1st. M. King 5/5
2nd. S.Taylor 4/5
3rd. J.Davis 3.5/5
4th= S.Holdaway 3/5
7th J. Van Vuuren 2.5/5
8th= T. Lee 2/5
F. Visser
11th. J. Young 1/5
12th D. Kweon 0/5

These were the only players to complete all five rounds

The A Grade who will playing for the Ian Barker Memorial Cup are as Follows

J. Davis 1967
M.King 1853
S.Taylor 1605
S. Holdaway 1580
J. Kim 1358
D. Davey 1309