Thursday, December 11, 2008

GM Eduardas Rozentalis

Grandmaster Rozentalis has played many of the top chess players in the world and is still an active chess professional. He will be one of the top seeds for the Queenstown chess classic in January.
I have taken some segments from an interview the full interview is here
Grandmaster Eduardas Rozentalis, born on 1963 in Vilnius, is International master since 1987, International Grandmaster since 1991, and for many years the highest rated Lithuanian on the FIDE list. In addition, he has won Lithuanian Champion on 1981 and 2001 and another 25 international tournaments in different countries.
He defended Lithuanian colors on seven Chess Olympiads and five European Team Championships.
Current Rating : 2577

Chessdom: What is your most memorable game?
Eduardas Rozentalis: Probably my game against Ivanchuk from Manila Olympiad 1992. It was a first Olympiad for myself and my country, very inspiring event. It was a memorable victory against such a strong player in spite of the existence of one moment when my play could have been refuted.

Ivanchuk,V (2720) - Rozentalis,E (2585) [C43]Manila ol (Men) Manila, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.0-0 Qh4 8.c4 0-0-0 9.c5 g6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.Ne2 Rhe8 12.a4 Ng5 13.Ra3 h6 14.Bc2 Rxe2! 15.Qxe2 Ne6 16.Qd1 Nxd4 17.Bb1 Bg4 18.f3 Bf5 19.Be3 Bxb1 20.Bf2 Qf4 21.Qxb1 Nc6 22.Rd1 a5 23.Qd3 Qc4 24.Rd2 Nb4 25.Qf1 h5 26.g3 Qxf1+ 27.Kxf1 d4 28.Ke2 Rd5 29.h3 Rxc5 30.g4 Re5+ 31.Kd1 c5 32.Re2 Rxe2 33.Kxe2 c4
For those with chessbase just highlight the game and then hit ctrl c then open a new game board click your mouse in the notation area and hit ctrl v and the game will be loaded ready for easy viewing.

The follwoing position is from Rozentalis - Shirov Keres mem rapid 2004
White to move and win.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A look back

Holdaway,S (1580) - King,M (1823) [A00]Palmerston North Club Championship (8.2), 13.11.2008

The tournament situation at the point of this game was looking good for me, if I could win this game then I was practically assured of winning the club championship because of the tie break system used. In case of a tie whoever finished higher in the qualifying tournament would win and as I had won this event my final game with the top seed J. Davis 2019 would not matter for the tournament standings.

Stewart is well known to play the Grob at Club and Correspondence level.
1...d5 2.Bg2 c6
The solid approach. Black wants to grab the center.
3.h3 e5 4.d3 Bd6 5.Nc3 Ne7 6.e4

6... Nd7?!
This knight should not be developed so soon, d4 was simply better. I was hoping my opponent would take on d5 twice and be worse. Hope chess is never a good idea simply play the best move.
6...d4 7.Nce2 Ng6 8.Nf3 0-0 9.0-0 Be6 10.Ng3 Nd7 11.Nf5 Black has a central space advantage and nice development but white has a good square on f5 and possible attacking opportunities on the K-side.
7.exd5 cxd5 8.Nge2
8.Nxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxd5 Qa5+ Winning the piece but white is not so obliging
8...Nb6 9.f4!

White is playing in unusual fashion Stewart has a good feeling for Grob positions.
With the g pawn sticking out on g4 the knight is better placed on g6 than f6
10.0-0 exf4
Better is 10...0-0 11.f5 I was cncerned with this possibility but a deeper look and I would have realised white's K-side pawn's are not advancing so easily. 11...Nh4 12.Bh1 Re8³ 13.Qe1 Bc5+ 14.Kh2 Be7]
11.Nxf4 Nxf4 12.Bxf4 0-0
My main plan for this game was just to play good solid moves takes my chances where I can and slowly try and grind my opponent down.
13.Qd2 Be6 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.Qf4 Qc5+
Trading queens must be avoided
16.Rf2 Rad8 17.Raf1

17... d4?
The reason for the ? is also to do with the fact I hadn't analysed the coming complications correctly and I shouldnt have been in a hurry to play such a forcing move giving up a key square on e4.
17...f6 and white's heavy pieces are simply blunted
18.Ne4 Qe7 19.Qg5!
White is playing good solid moves and putting me in an awkward position at the time I was impatient at not having an advantage yet and this impatience affected my play a bit, remembering winning this game and I would practicallly have won the tournament.
At the time I thought I was forced to trade queens because of Nf6+ possibilities, but this is not the case.
19...Qc7?! 20.Nf6+ Kh8 21.Qh4 White's attack is not dangerous for a pc but a human like me has issues allowing this but i also didnt realise how bad things were after Qxg5. 21...h6 22.g5 Qe5 23.Ne4 (23.gxh6 gxf6) 23...Nd5 24.gxh6 g6;
19...Rfe8 20.Qxe7 Rxe7 21.Ng5 h6 22.Nxe6 fxe6=
20.Nxg5 Bd5?!
In my attempts to avoid the drawn KP ending after 20...Nd5 and not realising how good 20...Na4 was I play purposely to lose a pawn just to be able to continue the game! A decision that is very double edged.
20...Na4! I dismissed Na4 too quickly thinking such a move just seemed ridiculious but it is the best move. 21.b3 Nc3 22.Bxb7 h6 23.Nxe6 fxe6 the position is equal but atleast their is still a game going.
20...Nd5 21.Be4! g6 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Rxf8+ Rxf8 24.Rxf8+ Kxf8 25.Bxd5 exd5 26.g5 Ke7 27.Kf2 Ke6 28.h4 Ke5 29.Kf3 Kf5 30.Kg3 b5 31.a3 a5 32.Kf3 Ke6 33.Kf4 Kd6 34.Kg4 Ke6 35.h5 a4= Nobody can make progress.
21.Bxd5 Nxd5 22.Rxf7 Rxf7 23.Nxf7
Better is 23.Rxf7 h6 24.Rxg7+ Kxg7 25.Ne6+ A tactic missed by both during the game.
23...Rc8 24.Rf2 Ne3 25.Nd6 Rc6?!
25...Rxc2 26.Rxc2 Nxc2 27.Nxb7 Kf7 Again I want to keep material on as I am hoping my opponent will go wrong soon but playing hope chess is never good.
This throws away all white's advantage.
26.Nxb7 Nxc2 27.Nd8 Rc8 28.Re2 And white is still a healthy pawn up.
26...Nxc4 27.dxc4 Rxc4 28.Rd2

28... Rc6?
This is a bad decision, instead of activating white's rook just to activate my own I should have marched my King towards the d pawn and then activate my rook.
28...Kf7 29.b3 Rc3 30.Rxd4 Ke6 31.Ra4 a6 32.Rb4 b5 33.a4 Rxh3 34.axb5 axb5 35.Rxb5 Rg3+ 36.Kf2 Rc3 = with some play left
29.Rxd4 Rxc2 30.Rd8+ Kf7 31.Rd7+ Kg6
better is 31...Kf6
32.Rxb7 a5 33.Ra7
33.a4 Rc4 34.b3 Rc3 and white has good winning chances
33...Rxb2 34.Rxa5 h6 35.a4 Ra2
At this point I still hadn't realised my opponent wasn't going to make a blunder, the position is now simple enough that even if a blunder comes it won't be decisive. Infact I am just worse with a real chance of blundering myself and losing!
36.Kf1 Rh2 37.Rh5 Ra2 38.a5 Kf7 39.Rb5 Ke6 40.Rb6+ Kd5 41.a6 Kc5 42.Rg6 Kd4 42...Kd5 43.h4 Ke5 44.h5 Ke4 45.Ke1 Ke3 46.Kd1 Kd3 47.Kc1 Kc3 48.Kb1 Ra4 49.Rxg7 Rxa6 43.Rxg7 Rxa6 44.Re7
A great psychological blow my king is now cut but I am still living in denial hoping my one pawn will give me a chance to win.
better is 44...h5
45.Kf2 Kd5 46.Kg3 Kd6 47.Re2 h5
I now realise, realistically too late, any winning chances are now completely gone and I must struggle on and try not to lose.
48.Kh4 hxg4 49.hxg4
Both players are now heading under 5 mins. I am just playing instantly trying to put my opponent under time pressure and hoping for swindles. Further research is needed to find out exactly where the rook endgame is won and lost for me but J. Davis has written a good article here ( ) based around this type of endgame.
49...Rh6+ 50.Kg5 Rh1
Stewart pointed out after the game it's the grob pawn trying to queen!
51.Kg6 Rg1 52.g5 Kd7 53.Rf2 Ke7 54.Rf5 Ke6 55.Rf6+ Ke7 56.Kh6 Rg2 57.Rb6 Rh2+ 58.Kg7 Rg2 59.g6 Rg1 60.Rb7+ Ke8 61.Kh7 Rh1+ 62.Kg8 Rg1 63.Rg7 Rg2 64.Kh8 Rg1 65.Rg8+ Ke7 66.Kg7 Rg2 67.Rb8 Rg1 68.Rb7+ Ke8 69.Rf7 Rg2 70.Rf6 Ke7 71.Rf7+ Ke8 72.Rf8+ Ke7 73.Rf7+
With less than 30 seconds on his clock white repeats the position giving me a lucky escape. The game was well played by my opponent and I am sure if we ended up in this endgame now he would win it easily. Stewart had a good philosophy throughout the game of simplifying the position which worked perfectly against my impatient play.
By drawing this game it gave Justin Davis the chance to win the championship if he could beat me in the final game making the finish of the tournament all the more interesting.

Palmerston North Club Championship

B Grade Final Standings

1st J. Van Vuuren 8/10
2nd F. Visser 7/10
3rd J. Young 5/10
4th R. Kim 4.5/5
5th T. Kim 3.5/5
6th D. Kweon 2/10

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is Chucky on Drugs?

Details here at
In all seriousness Vassily Ivanchuk is one of the greatest players in the history of chess.

UDT Invitatitional

Puchen Wang finished the tournament on 4.5/9 cementing his rating at the strong IM level but not really getting GM norm chances. The winner of the tournament was Julio Becerra who finished on 6.5/9(to be confirmed).
Photo: John Jacobs making the ceremonial move in Ramirez-Wang in round 1 (Wang lost).

Wang,P (2450) - Stopa,J (2461) [C76]UTD Invitational Rnd 2

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.0-0 g6 7.d4 Bg7 8.Bg5 f6 9.Be3 Nge7 10.Nbd2 Qc8 11.Bb3 Nd8 12.Rc1 Ne6 13.d5 Nd8 14.c4 b6 15.a3 a5 16.Ba4 Bxa4 17.Qxa4+ Qd7 18.Qxd7+ Kxd7 19.b4 axb4 20.axb4 f5 21.c5 bxc5 22.bxc5 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Nxd5 24.cxd6 cxd6 25.Rfd1 Ra5 26.Bc5! Bh6 27.Rb1 Ke6 28.Bxd6 Nc6 29.Nc5+ Rxc5 30.Bxc5 Rb8 31.Rxb8 Nxb8 32.Re1 Nd7 33.Ba3 Kf5 34.Bb2 Bg7 35.g3 g5 36.Kg2 Bf6 37.Nd2 h5 38.Ne4 Be7 39.Nd2 Bf6 40.Nc4 Nb4 41.Rd1 Nb8 42.Rd6 N8c6 43.Ne3+ Kg6 44.Bc3 Kf7 45.h3 Be7 46.Rh6 Bf6 47.Rh7+ Kg6 48.Rb7 Nd3 49.Rb6 Ne7 50.Rd6