Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Australasian Chess Match of the Decade

August 1st-6th 2009
Australasian Chess Match of the Decade: IM Puchen Wang v GM David Smerdon, Auckland.
Sponsored by Chess Enterprises New Zealand.
Venue: "Old Boys' Pavilion" at Auckland Grammar School in Mountain Road (off Khyber Pass). Six game match, one game a day, starting at 4pm. Spectators welcome.
You are also invited to attend an informal get-together to meet Puchen and David at the Copthorne Harbourcity Hotel Tactics Bar on Friday evening, July 31st between 6.00 and 8.00 pm. This will be a fundraising evening as well to support the Chess Friends Trust. Donations of support will be most welcome & proceeds passed on to the Trust to help support New Zealand chess development.
more info at

Thursday, July 16, 2009


After securing a 1 point lead midway through the tournament the American Nakamura looked set to be an easy winner. However Ponomariov was able to steadily catch up as Nakamura drew game after game with many being short draws, perhaps taking a leaf out of Kramnik's play book. After 9 rounds Ponomariov and Nakamura where tied so it came down to a blitz play-off which of course suited the blitz expert Nakamura.

The following position is from game one
Nakamura - Ponomariov white to move

White has just played g5 which black replied hxg5 the sharp eye of Nakamura had a surprise coming

33. Qxe5!

The game concluded


33...fxe5 34.Bh5+ leads to mate

34. Qg3 g4 35. Bxg4 Qc5 36.Bxe6+!


Nakamura was able to win the second blitz play-off game and claim outright first. Congratulations Hikaru. The 12th world champion Karpov had I would imagine the worst tournament of his life finishing on 1.5 out of 9. It is clear that even for a former World champion how much work is needed to stay at the top of the chess ladder. Karpov may even fall out of the top 100 after this result, But I am sure all of this will be forgotten if he beats Kasparov in their exhibition match in September.

Official website http://www.donostiachess.com/en/ where full results to the other tournaments running along side this are available.

Palmerston North Club Rapid Championship

Stephen Taylor Mathew King and Justin Davis tied on 5/6 to share first place.

After winning my first 5 games beating my main rival and securing first place I just wasn't up to the task in my last round . Full credit to Taylor for bringing intensitity and capatilising on my mistakes to get a share of first. I have to admit that losing to Stephen was tough to take, It was my first loss to someone lower rated than me since losing to James Stewart in Wanganui last year (although he is now higher rated than me on the latest NZCF rating's list.) But I learnt alot from that loss and will duely do the same with this one.
On a happier (atleast for me) note I am going to show my game with the top seed.
Davis,J 1881 - King,M 1758 [E92]Palmy Rapid Championship (4.1), 25.06.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.dxe5

This could be seen to rain on black's aggressive intentions, but not all people who play the King's Indian Defence are one dementional monster's craving a K-side attack at any cost.

7...dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Nd5

Not the most popular choice. A previous game of ours was agreed drawn on move 8 at white's suggestion in the Club Captain's verse Presidents team match in 2008. White is aiming for a solid position with (in theory) minmul losing chances.

9.Bg5 is a more popular option.

9...Nxd5 10.cxd5 c6

The center must be attacked before white is able to consolidate it.

11.Bc4 b5

This is what was analysed after our earlier game and we agreed black is doing fine.

12.Bb3 Bb7 13.Bg5 Rd7 14.0-0-0 cxd5 15.Bxd5 Bxd5 16.Rxd5

16.exd5 Rc7+ 17.Kb1 Nd7 18.Nd2 f5 19.f4 h6 20.Be7 exf4 21.Bd6 Rcc8 22.Bxf4 g5 23.Be3 f4 24.Bf2 Nf6 25.Nb3 Rd8 26.Rhe1 Rxd5 27.Rxd5 Nxd5 28.Nc5 a5 29.h4 gxh4 30.Bxh4 Ne3 31.Rg1 Nf5 32.Bf2 Re8 33.Nd3 Rd8 34.Kc2 Bd4 35.Rf1 Be3 36.Be1 Nd4+ 37.Kb1 Ne6 38.Kc2 Nd4+ 39.Kb1 Ne6 40.Kc2 b4 41.g3 Nd4+ 42.Kb1 f3 43.Ne5 Rc8 44.Bf2 Bxf2 45.Rxf2 Re8 46.Nd3 Re3 47.Rd2 Kg7 48.b3 Re2 49.Kc1 Rg2 50.Nf4 Rxd2 51.Kxd2 f2 0-1 Herraiz Hidalgo,H-Illescas Cordoba,M/Ayamonte 2002

16...Rxd5 17.exd5


This move was based on inferior thinking. I thought a bishop coming to e7 followed by the pawn supporting it with d6 was good for white. It turns out that white would be over extended and black would suffer no difficilties.

17...Nd7 18.Be7 Re8 19.d6 h6 20.Rd1 Rc8+ 21.Kb1 f5 22.Ne1 e4 23.Nc2 Kf7 24.Ne3 Ke6 25.f3 Be5

18.Be3 Nd7 19.Kb1!?

White will now have first show at the c-file


I decided to defer the pawn advance not convinced I was better and allowed white a chance to cause a permanent structural hit.

Better is of course 19...f5 20.Rc1 f4 21.Bc5 e4 22.Ng5 Nxc5 23.Rxc5 e3!? I just couldn't evaluate this in due time but black is doing well.

20.Bxb6 axb6 21.Rc1

Probably better is 21.Rd1 Kf7 22.Nd2 Ra4 23.Nf1 Ke7 24.Ne3= but white is still believing in his so called "colour advantage" . This is not a reference to ethnicity by the way :)

21...Rd8 22.Rc6?!

Justin still believes he holds the advantage and proudly emphasizes his rook controls the historicaly strong c-file (see the game Botvinnik - Alekhine AVRO Tournament Holland 1938. Annotated in My Great Predessors book volume 2 game 36)

22...Rxd5 23.Rxb6?

White misses black's next move but then to see such a move as powerful is not easy.


The knight's legs are cut from under him.


Slightly less losing maybe 24.Nh4 g5 25.Rb8+ Bf8 26.Re8 gxh4 27.Rxe4 h3! But with this move black is a piece ahead and will have targets in the form of white's affected K-side.

24...Rd1+ 25.Kc2 Rxe1 26.Kd2 Ra1!

Justin is a resourceful player in difficult positions and I must be vigilant with any counterplay white can generate. White's only real counterplay will be his queenside pawns hence why this is better than going after the k-side pawns. It is important not to relax even in a clearly winning position, the game must still be won. As after all black's extra bishop is yet to play an important role.

Still winning is 26...Rg1 27.Rxb5 Bh6+ 28.Ke2 Rxg2 29.Rb8+ Kf7 30.Rb7+ Ke6 31.Rxh7 Rxh2 32.b4 e3!

27.a3 Bh6+ 28.Ke2 Ra2 29.Rxb5 Bc1!

White now will not get even a single pawn for the piece and his only real source of counter play is eliminated. White play's on hoping to swindle black in the time scramble.

30.Rb8+ Kg7 31.Rb7+ Kh6 32.Kd1 Bxb2 33.a4 Bd4 34.Rb4 Bxf2 35.Rxe4 f5 36.Rc4 Ba7 37.Rh4+ Kg5 38.Rxh7 Rxa4 39.Ke2 Ra2+ 40.Kf3 Ra3+ 41.Ke2 Bc5 42.g3 Re3+ 43.Kf1 Kg4 44.Rh4+ Kg5 45.Rc4 Bd6 46.Kf2 Ra3 47.Kg2 Kf6 48.Rc6 Ke6 49.Rc2 Be5 50.Rc6+ Kd5 51.Rc2 Rb3 52.Kh1 Ra3 53.Rd2+ Ke6 54.Re2 g5 55.Rc2 g4 56.Rc6+ Kd5 57.Rc8 Ke4 58.Re8 Kf3!

Checkmate is coming.

59.h4 Bxg3


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kramnik Wins Dortmund

Kramnik's style of chess may not gain a huge fan base but he once again proved his critics wrong. In his first classical tournament this year he was able to achieve some important milestones. In round 4 he finally won a game with the black pieces against Naiditsch, his last one (in a classical time control) was way back in 2006 against Topalov in their World championship match. In round 8 Kramnik was able to crush top seed Magnus Carlsen who had been leading the tournament throughout. This win gave Kramnik the lead which was bolstered by a final round win to finish on +3 undefeated.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July NZCF Active Rating List

Palmerston North Players

Rank Name Standard rating Rapid rating

24. Charles Ker 2108 2002

55. Justin Davis 1970 1881

77. Mathew King 1889 1750

145. Jeremy Smith 1685* unr

184. Taylor Stephen 1605 1646

239. Dylan Chen 1477* 1493

Stewart Holdaway i 1645

Damon White unr 1533*

Kim, Teh Gyu unr 1473*

Ryan Hill unr 1463*

Matthew Howe unr 1453*

Savern Reweti unr 1407*

DanielYuan unr 1405 *

Michael Yuan unr 1386*

John Young unr 1386*

JuYoung Kim unr 1358*

Dennis Davey unr 1309

Terry Lee unr 908*

Ricky Kim unr 899*

i = inactive
unr= unrated

Friday, July 3, 2009

Oceania Zonal 2009

The recent Oceania Zonal come to a finish with (Aus) GM elect David Smerdon winning the Open section and (Aus) WIM Arianne Caoili winning the women's to each claim a spot in the coming World Cup. For the Kiwi contingent Sue Mararoa gained the Womens International Master title and Mike Steadman was finally able to clinch the Fide Master title.

The following game is from the last round of the Oceania Zonal.
Scott,R (2261) - Steadman,M (2262) [A40]2009 Oceanic Zonal Open Tweed Heads (9.6), 26.06.2009

Steadman had a rough start to the Zonal losing in round's 3 and 4 to lower ranked oponents. He was then able to win the next 4 games giving him a chance for a good finish, all that stood in his way was a former Kiwi now Aussie resident Ronald Scott. Scott on the other hand was having a great tournament and was coming off a win in round 7 against IM Rujevic and a draw in round 8 against IM West.

1...g6 2.c4
A critical last round game, both players need a win to claim the FM title.
2...Bg7 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.g3 b5

White is not willing to grab a pawn believing black's compensation to be sufficient.
6.cxb5 a6 7.bxa6 Qa5+ (7...Nf6 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Bg2 Bf5 10.0-0 Nxa6 11.Ne1 Qd7 12.e4 Bh3 13.Rb1 Rfb8 14.b3 Bxg2 15.Nxg2 Ng4 16.Bb2 Nc7 17.Qc2 Bd4 18.Kh1 Ne5 19.Qe2 Qc8 20.f4 Ng4 21.Qf3 Rb4 22.h3 Ne5 0-1 Nikolic,P-Topalov,V/Linares 1997/) 8.Bd2 Qxa6 9.Nc3 Nf6 10.e4 Qb6 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.a4 0-0 13.0-0 Bg4 14.Kg2 Na6 15.h3 Bc8 16.Re1 Nc7 17.Bc4 Ba6 18.b3 Nd7 19.a5 Qa7 20.Qc2 Rab8 21.Ra4 Rfe8 22.Bf4 Nb5 23.Nxb5 Bxb5 24.Ra2 Qc7 25.Bd2 Qa7 26.h4 Qa6 27.Bf4 Bxc4 28.Qxc4 Qa8 29.Ra4 Rb7 30.e5 dxe5 31.Bxe5 Nf6 32.a6 Rd7 33.Bxf6 Bxf6 34.Qxc5 Rxd5 35.Qc4 Rd4 36.Qb5 Rd5 37.Qc4 Rd4 38.Qb5 Rd5 39.Qe2 Rb8 40.Qe4 Rxb3 41.Rd1 e6 42.a7 Kg7 43.Nh2 Bd8 44.Kh3 h5 45.Nf1 Rb7 46.Rxd5 exd5 47.Qd4+ Kh7 48.Ra6 Rb1 49.Kg2 Rb5 50.Kh2 Be7 51.Ne3 Bc5 52.Qf6 Rb7 53.Nxd5 Rxa7 54.Nc7 Qg8 55.Rc6 Bf8 56.Qd4 Ra2 57.Kg2 Bg7 58.Qd5 Rb2 59.Rd6 Rb8 60.Rd7 Rf8 61.Qb3 Kh8 62.Qd5 Bf6 63.Qd6 Bg7 64.Nd5 Re8 65.Qf4 Re5 66.Nc7 Rf5 67.Qe4 Qb8 68.Qe8+ Qxe8 69.Nxe8 Bf8 70.Nd6 Bxd6 71.Rxd6 - Nikolic,P-Cheparinov,I/Amsterdam 2007/
6...a6 7.Bg2 Nd7 8.0-0 Nb6 9.e4 e6
A double edged move but Black has some problems developing his K-side.
9...Nf6 10.e5!?

This move allows black to break down white's center. Better is 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.cxb5 axb5 12.Qe2 b4 13.Rd1 White succeeds in keeping an edge. Black's king is still in the center and because of the coming e5 pawn push black will be hard pressed to hold his position togeather. black's best is probably 13...Ne7 (13...Bxa2?! 14.e5 d5 15.e6!) 14.e5 0-0 15.Ne4 Bc4 16.Qe1 Bd5 17.Nxd6 White has an edge but the position is still quite tricky.

Good for white is 13...Qc7 14.Ng5 Ne7 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Bh3 Qd7 17.Nb3±

10...Ne7 11.cxb5

11.e5 This doesn't work anymore 11...bxc4 12.Nxc4 Nxc4 13.Qxc4 exd5 14.Qf4 Nf5

11...exd5 12.exd5 0-0 13.Rd1 axb5 14.Qxb5 Bd7

Also good is 14...Nexd5 15.Ne4 f5 16.Nc3 Ba6 17.Qb3 Bc4 18.Qc2 Nb4 19.Qb1 Re8

15.Qd3 Ba4

15...c4 16.Qf1 Qc7 17.Ng5 Rfe8 White's pieces are unable to coordiante and the d5 pawn is falling.

16.Re1 Nexd5 17.a3 Qd7 18.Rb1 Bb5 19.Qc2 Rfe8 20.Ne4 f5 21.Neg5?

21.Nc3 had to be played


21...h6! 22.Nh3 g5 23.Rxe8+ Rxe8 The knights wil be forked.

22.Nxe1 Re8


The pressure of this game is clear. White now gives black a second chance to win a piece. 23.Bd2 is better where Black is still better but not winning.

23...h6 24.Nh3 g5 25.Bxg5 hxg5 26.Nhxg5 Re2 27.Qd1 Rxb2
Normally it is a good idea to trade pieces when you are up material but this is not always the case. 27...Bxb2 with Nc3 coming would put white on the run.
28.Rxb2 Bxb2 29.Nh4
The smoke has cleared a little and black has a bishop for a pawn. White's only chance is to create pressure against black's somewhat exposed King. White is however in a dead lost position. 29...Bd4
Safer is 29...Bc4 30.Qh5 Nf6 31.Qg6+ Qg7 32.Qxf5-+ and White's trick's are almost over

The pressure is now reaching critical mass and Steadman plays an inferior move, but in all fairness the position is still quite compliceted and black has some tricky threats to deal with.

Winning is 30...Qg7! Perhaps not played because of 31.Nxf5 But 31...Bxf2+! Leads to mate in 13! 32.Kxf2 Qb2+ 33.Ke1 Qc3+ 34.Kd1 (34.Kf2 Qd2+ 35.Kg1 Qe1+ 36.Bf1 Qxf1#) 34...Qa1+ 35.Kc2 Qa2+ 36.Kc1 Qxa3+ 37.Kd2 Qb2+ 38.Ke1 Qb4+ 39.Kd1 Qb1+ 40.Kd2 Nc4+ 41.Ke2 Nce3+ 42.Kf2 Qc2+ 43.Kg1 Qxg2#

31.Qg6+ Qg7 32.Qxf5
32.Qxg7+ Kxg7 33.Ne6+ Kg8 34.Nxf5 White has won another pawn but the position is now simplified and black should win without too much difficulty.
32...Bd7 33.Qf4 Be5
33...Ng4 34.Ne4 d5 35.h3 dxe4 36.hxg4 Qxg4 Is an easy win.
34.Qc1 Ng4 35.h3 Nh6 36.f4 Bd4+ 37.Kh2 Nf7 38.Ngf3 Bb2 39.Qe1 Qc3
39...Bxa3 40.Qb1 Bb4 41.Nf5 Qf6-+
40.Qe4 Qf6 41.Qb7 d5 42.Ng5 Bxa3?!
Black has enough material advantage now was the time for piece trades.
42...Nxg5 43.fxg5 Qe6 (43...Qxg5 44.Qxb6) 44.Nf5 Bxa3 45.Ne7+ Kg7
46.Nxd5 Nxd5 47.Qxd5 (47.Bxd5 Qxh3+-+) 47...Qxd5 48.Bxd5 Bb5 49.h4 c4 50.Be4 Be8 51.Kh3 c3 52.Bc2 Bg6 53.Bb3 Be7 54.Kg4 c2 55.Bxc2 Bxc2 56.h5 Bd1+ 57.Kh4 Kg8 58.g4 Kf7 59.Kh3 (59.h6 Kg6) 59...Bxg5-+
43.Bxd5 Nxd5 44.Qxd7 Ne7

Now the win for Black is no where is sight and more importantly White has taken the initiative and the change from a lost position to unclear has given white a confidence boost while Steadman must be wondering how his won game has turned into this.
45.Ne6 45...c4 46.g4 Ng6?
46...Bd6 47.Kg1 Qa1+ (47...Bxf4 48.Nxf4 Qxh4 49.Qe8+ Kg7 50.Nh5+ Kg6 51.Nf4+ Kf6 52.Nh5+ A draw again or black can risk it with 52...Ke5 53.Qxf7 Qe1+) 48.Kf2 Qb2+ 49.Kg3 Qc3+ 50.Kg2 Qd2+ 51.Kf1 Qc1+ (51...c3 52.Qe8+ Kh7 53.Qxf7+ Kh6 54.g5#) 52.Kg2 Qd2+ 53.Kf1 Qd3+ 54.Kf2 Kh7 55.Nf5 Black has a perpetual and at a glance I couldn't find anything better. With time I am sure better moves will be found.

47.Nxg6 Qxg6 48.Qc8+ Kh7


The table's have turned and white now has a definate advantage in his 3 connected passed pawns on the K-side. Black's c-pawn was not just a pawn it was an important source of diversion it was after all 3 squares away from becoming a Queen.

49...Bd6 50.Kg2 Qf6 51.Qe4+ Kg8 52.g5 Qb2+ 53.Kg3 Qb3+ 54.Kh4 Nh8 55.g6?! 55.Nd4 This should win. 55...Qf7 56.f5 Be7 57.Ne6 Qe8 58.Kg4 White must not rush the pawn advance, black is toast.

55...Be7+ 56.Kh5??
better is 56.Ng5 although most variations lead to a draw Bxg5+ 57.Kxg5 Qg3+ 58.Kf6 Qh4+ 59.Ke5 Qxh3 60.f5 Nxg6+ 61.fxg6 Qc3+ 62.Kf5=; 56.Kg4 Qd1+=



An epic battle where either side could have won. I imagine Scott will be devastated for a long time losing in such a way.
Congratulations to Michael Steadman on achieving the FM title and more importantly stopping another Australian getting one!

July FIDE Rating List

Country rank by average rating of top 10 players

Top Countries

1. Russia 191 GM's
2. Ukraine 72 GM's
3. Israel 42 GM's
4. China 25 GM's
5. Azerbaijan 17 GM's
6. United States of America 65 GM's
58. Australia 3 GM's
71. New Zealand 1 GM

Russia has a total of 1906 titled players compared to New Zealand's 28!

The Top 5 Players

1. GM V. Topalov (Bulgaria) 2813
2. World Champion V. Anand (India) 2788
3. GM M. Carlsen (Norwegian) 2772
4. GM L. Aronian (Armenia) 2768
5. GM D. Jakovenko (Russia) 2760

New Zealand's Top 5

1. GM M. Chandler 2518
2. IM P. Wang 2465
3. IM R. Dive 2371
4. FM R. Nokes 2327
5. IM A. Ker 2321

Local players

J. McDonald 2080
C.Burns 2054

Palmerston North
M. King 1963
J. Davis 1939

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oceania Zonal 2009

The Oceania Zonal begins soon with rounds 1 and 2 being played today. Lets hope the New Zealand contingent can inflict some suffering on our Australian counter parts and bring home some master titles and norms.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

10/10 Tournament game

Davis,Justin (1881) - Holdaway,Stewart (1641) [D07] Palmy Club 10/10 (5.1), 05.2009

It is important to realise this is a game where each side has only 10 minutes each for the entire game. So blitz rules apply. I will elaborate more on this in a following article.
1...d5 2.d4 Nc6 3.c4 Bg4
Stewart is playing his favourite Chigorin defence and white will stumble his way along a main line surprisingly.

4.e3 e5 5.Qb3 Bxf3 6.gxf3 exd4 7.cxd5 Ne5 8.exd4 Nd7 9.Nc3 Qe7+ 10.Be3 Qb4 11.Qc2 Ngf6 12.Bb5 Rd8 13.0-0-0 a6 14.Ba4 Be7 15.Rhg1 g6 16.Bh6 b5 17.Bb3 Nb6 18.Rge1 Kd7 19.Bf4 Rc8 20.a3 Qa5 21.Bg5 Ng8 22.Bxe7 Nxe7 23.Ne4 Rb8 24.Nf6+ Kd8 25.Rxe7 Kxe7 26.Qxc7+ Nd7 27.Qxa5 1-0 Steinitz,W-Chigorin,M/Havana 1889
4...Nf6 5.e3 e6 6.Be2
6.h3 Bh5 7.cxd5 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 exd5 9.Bd2 Bb4 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 Qe7 12.Rfd1 Rfd8 13.Rab1 Rab8 14.a3 Bxc3 15.Bxc3 Ne4 16.Be1 Re8 17.Rbc1 Qd6 18.Rc2 Re6 19.Rdc1 Rbe8 20.Qd1 Ng5 21.Bf5 Rf6 22.Qg4 Ne4 23.Bxe4 dxe4 24.Qg3 Qd7 25.b4 Rg6 26.Qh2 h6 27.b5 Ne7 28.Rxc7 Qxb5 29.Qe5 Qxe5 30.dxe5 Rb6 31.e6 fxe6 32.Bc3 a6 33.a4 Kf7 34.Bd4 Rb3 35.a5 Kg6 36.g4 Rb5 37.Rd7 e5 38.Bb6 Nc6 39.Rcd1 Re7 40.R7d6+ Kf7 41.h4 Re6 ½-½ Williams,S-Jones,G/Swansea 2006
6...Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nd2?!

An unnecessary move which gives black a chance to push for more than equality. Now this statement is true in theory but in a blitz game white is just taking the game in his prefered direction. Davis prefers positions with a clear strategic plan and does not like to have his King attacked. At the cost of development he has enabled a trade of pieces which simplifies the position. His center and King-side will now be more stable and he will be able to start his plan of Queen-side expansion. The benefit of a long term plan is extremely valuable.
9...Bxe2 10.Qxe2 b6?!
10...Qd7 Finishing development is more important than stopping a white pawn coming to c5. The reason c5 is not a threat is black can counter the pawn chain with an e5 break or simply b6 after the bishop has retreated. It is also important to realise that white is behind in development.
11.a3 Ne7 12.b4 c5
A double edged move which is not bad in itself but causes black to play on white's side of the board.
12...Ng6 13.c5 Be7 14.c6 a6 And white's queenside push is premature.
13.dxc5 bxc5 14.b5
White is continuing with his simple plan and now has a potential passed pawn on the Queen-side. 14...a6 15.a4 Bc7
15...axb5! This throws a spanner in the works. White would love to recapture with a pawn but it just doesn't work out very well.
16.axb5? Rxa1 and off goes the rook
16.cxb5 Qa5 17.Bb2 c4 18.Rfc1 Ng6 19.Nf3 Nd7 And black has an excellent outpost on d3 for a knight, the Queenside pawns are blocked and white has no clear way to make progress.
best is 16.Nxb5 Be5 17.Ra3 Atleast in this variation white has not given black some good piece play.
16.Ba3 Qd6 17.g3 Rfd8
Better is 17...Ba5 18.Rfc1 Bxc3 19.Rxc3 Rfc8
18.bxa6 Qe5?!

19... Rxa6?
Now black is losing a piece. And soon the game.
20.Nf3 Qh5 21.Nxc7 Qxh3?
Stewart makes a valiant effort to try a K-side attack but his material deficit is just too much.
22.Nxa6 Ng4 23.Rfb1 e5 24.Qf1 Qh6 25.Nxc5 e4 26.Qg2 exf3 27.Qxf3 Qh2+ 28.Kf1 Rd6 29.Qxg4?!
29.Rb8+ Nc8 30.Rxc8+ Rd8 31.Rxd8#
29...Rf6 30.Ra2 Qh1+ 31.Ke2 Qxb1 32.Rb2

Palmerston North Club Rapid Chess Championship

Thursday June 18 will be the start of the 6 round swiss Rapid Championship. The schedule is 2 rounds a night over 3 nights. The Palmy club is open every Thursday night at 7:30pm at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School on Ferguson Street.

Palmy Club 10/10

Results to be found at http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/ on the results page.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Waitakere Licensing Trust Open 2009

May 30-June 1 2009 - 32nd Waitakere Licensing Trust Open, Auckland
This tournament is shaping up to be quite a strong and popular event. Here is the link for entrie's so far with over 50 to date including GM Jones, IM Dive and FM Smith as the top seeds.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

RIP Richard Sutton 1938 - 2009

New Zealand chess has lost a great player.
A tribute article from the Otago Daily times is here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Palmy 60/60 game

Baker,J (unr) - King,M (1885) Palmy Club 60/60 (5.1), 30.04.2009

I finished the tournament on a perfect score but my last round opponent played a nice game to come within a whisker of beating me. John Baker had defeated 2nd seed Stephen Taylor earlier in the tournament and would no doubt have finished higher up in the standings if he didn't default round 4.

26.Bxh6! gxh6
Black could decline the sacrifice by 26...Qd6 27.Bf4 Qd7 and still have some compensation for the pawn deficit. Being the stronger player I thought the sacrifice must be accepted as a matter of honour. It must be refuted! Sometimes one's ego can blur the lines of common sense.
27.Qxh6 Qd6?
I would like to say I saw the whole Bf8 line and was not satisfied with a draw by repetition so decided to sac my Queen. Reality is I missed the fact the Queen covered the f4 square!
27...Bf8 28.Qf6 Qc7 29.Qg5+ Bg7 30.Nd5!? Qd6 31.Nf6+ Kf8 32.Nh7+ Kg8 33.Nf6+ Kf8 =
28.Rf4! Qxf4
Still losing but possible to play is 28...Rc5 as pointed out by Stewart after the game 29.Rcf1 Bg5 30.Rg4 Re5 31.Rxg5+ Rxg5 32.Qxg5+ Kf8 33.Qf6 Rd7 34.e5 Qc6 35.Bd5
29.Qxf4 Bd6 30.Qh6 Bf8 31.Qg5+ Bg7 32.Rf1 I should also mention that I am down to my last 7 minutes 15 behind my opponent and the time control is flat rate!

Right at the point where the final blow should be delt white has a brain explosion. Caught in my time pressure he is moving too quickly not thinking about his moves and ultimately gives me the chance I was praying for.
Winning is 33.Ne2! White doesn't have a mate but black is just lost suffering from an ultimately indefensible position.
33...axb5 34.Qh5
34.h4! And the march of the h-pawn up the board will ensure an edge for White still.
34...Rd7 35.Rf4?! Rc2 36.e5?? After playing 30 odd moves and gaining a winning position white throws it all away in the space of 3 moves!
36...Bxg2+ 37.Kg1 Ne2+
White's best is to give his queen for the knight or suffer heavy material losses with Kh2 so white resigned.

Palmy 60/60 Game

Taylor,S (1605) - Holdaway,S (1580) [B12]Palmy Club 60/60 (Round 3), 04.2009

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3?!

Richard Reti in the book Masters of the Chess board comments on this move best.
"Although white controls more territory, Black has the better bishop after the exchange on d3. As white is consequently inclined to be weak on white squares, correct play by his opponent will make it impossible for him to break through with f4-f5, which ordinarily be the form of attack indicated. It seems, therefore, that in this variation of the Caro Kann Black has rather the advantage."
Better is 4.Nf3 going for the short system or if you prefer the sharp stuff the complicated 4.Nc3 and 5.g4 is interesting.
4...Bxd3 5.Qxd3 e6 6.Nf3 Qb6
6...Nd7 and c5 was a little safer. The queen may become harassed later.
The rest of the game the notes are supplied by Stewart Holdaway taken from the weekly Palmerston North Club chess Magazine.
7...c5 8.b3 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Bc5 10.Qf4
Even better looks to be 10.Qg4 hitting the weak g7 square. 10...g6 11.c4 dxc4 12.bxc4 Looks good for white.
The position is now equal. My plan was pretty simple. Gang up on the e5 pawn.

11.Ba3 Ng6 12.Bxc5 Qxc5 13.Qd2 Qc7 14.Re1
14.c4 dxc4 15.Na3 0-0 (15...Nxe5?! 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.Nxc4) 16.Nxc4 Rd8=
14...Nc6 15.Qe2
15.c4 dxc4 16.Na3 Qd8 (16...Ngxe5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Nb5 and white is better) 17.Qxd8+ Rxd8 18.Nxc4 Ke7 gives black a slight advantage.
This was the position I had envisioned when I played 12...Qxc5. I thought Black must be slightly better because white has ti defend e5, is weak on the dark squares and Black will be able to put pressure on the c-file.

16.c4 dxc4 17.bxc4 Rfd8 gives black a slight edge.
16...Rfd8 17.Rac1
Stephen was critical of this move after the game and argued he should have played. 17.c4 then if 17...d4 18.Rad1. However c3 (stopping d4) is the best move when after 18...Qb6 black has a slight pull.
17...Rac8 18.c4 d4
I have finally got the passed pawn I wanted.
19.Qe4 Rd7 20.h4
I was expecting this as I thought it was the only way for White to get counter play. However, I didn't realise how strong it was.
Stopping all those nasty Ng5 ideas.
21.h5 Nge7 22.Nb1 Rcd8 23.Na3 a6 24.Nb1 Nf5 25.g4 Nfe7 26.Nbd2
26.Qd3 leaves black with only a small advantage.
I was convinced I wa winning now. But...
27.a3 Nd4 28.Kg2 Nec6
The losing mistake but black was already on top. Better is [29.g5 hxg5 30.Nxg5]
29...Rxd4 30.Qe3 Rxg4+ 31.Kh3 Rg5 32.f4 Rxh5+ 33.Kg4 Rf5 34.Rc3 Qe7 35.b4 g5! 36.fxg5 Rxg5+ 37.Kh3 Rh5+ 38.Kg2 Qh4 39.Rg1 Rg5+ 40.Kf1 Rxg1+ 41.Qxg1+ Qg5 42.Qf2 Nxe5 43.Ne4 Qf5 44.Nf6+ Kg7 45.Qxf5 exf5 46.Nh5+ Kg6 47.Nf4+ Kh7
White now oversteps the time limit

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Palmerston North Club 60/60 tournament

Final Standings

Mathew King 1885

JuYoung Kim 1358
Dennis Davey 1309

Stewart Holdaway 1580
Stephen Taylor 1605
Terry Lee 908
David Kweon unr

John Baker

Johan Van Vuuren
Ricky Kim
Dan Kim
Ryan Kim
Jay Lee

Frank Visser
John Kim (t)
John Kim (s)

Jacob King
Andrew Parker
Jake Kim
Jack Jung

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fourth FIDE Grand Prix

FIDE may be critised for many things but this tournament cannot be one of them. Even with top players as Carlsen and Adams pulling out we have a very hard fought and exciting tournament. With one round to go Aronian and Leko have a one point lead over the field and will face each other in the final round. I am unsure what would happen in a result of a tie for first but I believe it will have a major effect on whether Aronian or Leko choose to fight or just play safe.

Round 13 Pairings.

Ivanchuk Vassily-Kamsky Gata
Bacrot Etienne-Alekseev Evgeny
Svidler Peter-Grischuk Alexander
Gelfand Boris-Karjakin Sergey
Eljanov Pavel-Akopian Vladimir
Kasimdzhanov Rus.-Mamedyarov Shak.
Aronian Levon-Leko Peter

The games are due to start quite late NZ time around midnight so I imagine not many of us can follow them live.
Videos at www.chessvibes.com
Reports at www.chessbase.com
Official page http://nalchik2009.fide.com/

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oceania Zonal 20-26 June 2009

The Oceania Zonal held at the great location of the Gold Coast, is fast approaching. This is a great tournament to get master titles and the winner qualifies for the World Cup which is part of the World chess championship cycle. Each federation gets 1 player seeded into the tournament where all costs are covered for the tournament (atleast thats my understanding). IM Anthony Ker took this spot by winning the 2009 New Zealand closed championship at Queenstown, but by looking at the entries he has pulled out giving IM Paul Garbett the spot instead. I do notice that 3 other NZer's finished on the same score as Garbett at Queenstown so it must have been a close call.
Official site http://www.gardinerchess.com/oceaniazonal/oceaniazonal2009.htm

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sydney International Open

The Parramatta chess festival has come to a close with an exciting finish that left 4 players tied at the top on 7/9 Aus GM Johansen Darryl K Aus IM Xie George Wendi IND GM Kunte Abhijit and ENG GM Jones Gawain C B (although according to GM Ian Rogers here he is now living in NZ!).
GM Daryl Johansen was awarded the SIO title on tiebreak and the four players shared $10,000.
Full results here
Related links here
New Zealand's best performer was Hilton Bennett who I believe was the only NZ'er to have a positive performance.

Monday, April 13, 2009

North Island Championship

Congratulations to IM Russell Dive for winning the North Island Championship.

Russel Won his first 6 straight games beating his main rivals FM Bob Smith and Michael Steadman. Zhang was able to hold Dive to a draw in round 7 and in round 8 Goodhue was offered a half point present, ensuring first place.

The field had a reasonable 31 entries but was boosted by many strong players over 2000. 5 of the top 11 players in the country made it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

North Island Championship

Entries to date are

Neil Cruden
Simon Lyall
FM Bob Smith
WFM Viv Smith
Quentin Jones
Mike Steadman
Gary Judkins
Justin Davis
FM Stephen Lukey
Hans Gao
Bob Mitchell
Federico Roura
Alan Ansell
Mathew King
Ryan Lee
Winston Yao
Simon Ward
John McDonald
Hamish Shierlaw
Gavin Marner

It would also be a surprise not to see the top local Wellington players FM Croad, IM Dive, and current North Island champ IM Ker.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Auckland Weekender

The recent Auckland Weekender chess tournament was the first FIDE rated event if the year. Bob Smith won the event with 5/6. Full results are available here http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/results.html.

Wanganui (Don't get me started about the so called "incorrect spelling") resident and the highest FIDE rated local plaer John McDonald has provided his game against the tournament winner. Italics are my additions.

Smith,R (2323) - McDonald,J (2077) [A43]Auckland Chess Weekender, 03.2009

1.d4 Nf6
Bob later said he was expecting
1...d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 g6 4.g3 b5

Here, Bob sank into deep thought for around 20 minutes, perhaps wondering how to protect d5. 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.c4 Bg7 7.0-0 d6
7...0-0 8.Nfd2 a6 9.Nc3 d6 10.a4 b4 11.Nce4 Nbd7 12.Ra2 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Nf6 14.Nxf6+ exf6 ½-½ Romanishin,O-Gipslis,A/Dresden 1998
8.a4 bxc4 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Nd2
So White has managed to hold the d5 pawn, but he isn't out of the woods just yet.
10...Ba6 11.Nb5 Nbd7 12.Nxc4 Nb6 13.Nca3 Qd7 14.Rb1 Rab8 15.b3 Rfc8 16.Be3

16... Qb7
White had 15mins to make 40 moves, Black had 25mins.
16...Bb7!? 17.Nxa7 White's d pawn is not possible to defend and Nxa7 is forced to keep the material balance.
17...Re8 18.N7b5 Nbxd5 19.Bd2 Black's extra center pawn should guarantee an advantage. 17.Nc3 Qa8
Here my plan was to try to play Bb7 at some point but I couldnt quite wangle it.
18.a5 Nbd7 19.Bh3 Rc7 20.Qd2
7mins left
20...Ne5 21.f3 Rcb7 22.Qa2 Rc7 23.Rfd1 h5 24.Qd2 Rcb7
24...h4 looks interesting
25.Qa2 Rb4 26.Nc2 R4b7 27.Na3 Ne8 28.Bd2 Rc7


John finished a credible equal second.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Palmerston North Chess Club News

Thursday April 2nd is the Start date for the Palmy Club's Annual 60/60 tournament.
The club is open every Thursday at 7:30pm at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School on Ferguson Street. Contact Club President Dennis Davey (06) 353- 0193 or Club Captain Stewart Holdaway 027 329 4399 for more details.

Pictured is the Burnham Cup. Palmerston North has battled Wanganui two years running for the Cup and won on each occaison, will this year be a third?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The advantage of time

Post,M (2090) - King,M (1930) [A45]Queenstown chess classic (7.35), 21.01.2009

The position above is black to move. Black's queen is under attack and his pawn on d4 is also weak. Black is however better
The move I played in the game which gives white a chance to grab the pawn and have possible winning chances but after the better
Now White cannot take the pawn with the queen because the knight hangs but what happens if
Well this is the reason I titled this post the advantage of time. My initial analysis had the following forced line
22...Rad8 23.Rhd1 Rd7 24.Qb2 Red8 25.Ke3
The only move to keep the piece and I iniatially thought
25...Re8+ 26.Kf2 Red8 27.Ke3 Re8+ 28.Kf2 Red8 29.Ke3 Re8+
Is an easy draw and the best on offer for black, it turns out after a little more research into the position their is a nice shot with a very nice follow up.

I found this winning line 2 months after game.
26.Rxd4 Re8+! 27.Kf2 (If 27.Kd2 Qe6 28.Qc3 Qe2+ 29.Kc1 Rc8! wins the queen) 27...Rc8! 28.Kg3 (also losing is 28.Ke3 Rc2 29. Qb3 Qc7 the fork is unstoppable) Rc2 29.Qxc2 -/+ forcing white to give up his queen for whatever he can get.

13th World chess champion Gary Kasparov was a big fan of always going over old analysis because you never know what interestings things you may find with a fresh and deeper look.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Palmerston North Blitz Championship

Semi Finals
Best of 5

Mathew King 3 - Stewart Holdaway 2

Stephen Taylor 2.5 - Justin Davis 2.5

The match was tied after 5 games. According to the tie break rules set out Stephen chose the time of 5 - 3 and Justin chose colours and decided to be white. Black had draw odds. Davis won.

Best of 5

Justin Davis 3 - Mathew King 2

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March NZCF Active Rating list

The full list is here

Palmy players to make the list are

National rank Name Standardard rating Rapid rating

27th Ker, Charles M 2108 2002

55th Davis, Justin M 1968 1881

84th King, Mathew J 1885 1758

146th Smith, Jeremy A 1685 * unr

183th Taylor, Stephen 1605 1646

247th j Chen, Dylan 1477 * 1493

Holdaway, Stewart i 1641

White, Damon unr 1533*

j Kim, Teh gyu unr 1473*

j Hill, Ryan unr 1463*

j Howe, Matthew unr 1453*

Reweti , Savern unr 1407*

j Yuan, Daniel unr 1405*

j Yan, Michael unr 1386*

Young, John unr 1384*

j Kim, JuYoung unr 1358*

j Kim, Ricky unr 899*

j = junior
*= provisional
i= inactive

Palmerston North Blitz Championship

Pool A

Stephen Taylor - 4

Frank Visser - 3

John Kim - 2

Jacob King - 1

Jake Kim - 0

Pool B

Stewart Holdaway - 4

John Baker - 3.5

Ricky Kim - 2.5

John Kim - 1

John Baker and Ricky Kim played a sudden death match to decide the second placing. John won.

Pool C

Mathew King - 3

JuYoung Kim - 2

Terry Lee - 1

Ryan Km - 0

Pool D

Justin Davis - 3

Dennis Davey - 2

Andrew Parker - 1

Jack Jung - 0

Quarter Finals
Best of 3 match

S. Taylor 2 - D. Davey 0

S. Holdaway 2 - J. Kim 0

M. King 2 - J Baker 0

J. Davis 2 - F. Visser 0

Semi finals and finals to take place next week.

The semi final pairings are -

S. Taylor - J. Davis

M. King - S. Holdaway

Most semi finalist strolled through their games with a funny exception of Stewart Holdaway offering a draw in a lost position to the strong junior of the club Juyoung Kim. Kim however decided with 10 seconds left to stewarts 1 min plus that he should win and then duly lost on time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grischuk wins Linares

It seems to be the year for new faces winning super tournaments first at the Corus chess festival and now Alexander Grischuk wins Linares for the first time. He just finished ahead of Ivanchuk on tie-breaks by having more wins.
Final Standings

1. Grischuk, Alexander 8 RUS 2733

2. Ivanchuk, Vassily 8 UKR 2779

3. Carlsen, Magnus 7.5 NOR 2776

4. Anand, Viswanathan 7 IND 2791

5. Radjabov, Teimour 6.5 AZE 2761

6. Wang Yue 6.5 CHN 2739

7. Aronian, Levon 6.5 ARM 2750

8. Dominguez Perez, Leinier 6 CUB 2717
The event was a double round robin. The prize fund was 314,000 Euros, with the winner getting 100,000 Euros, followed by 75,000 and 50,000 Euros for second and third place.
World champion Anand didn't have a great tournament losing to Carlsen for the first time and finishing at just 50%. Carslen must also be a bit disappointed losing to Wang unneccessarily and stuffing up a win against Radjabov even though his 3rd place is still in the prizes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

North Island Championship 2008

With the North Island Championship not too far away I thought it might be interesting to look at game from last's year's tournament. Anthony Ker is the current NZ champion including Rapid and Lightning formats and is also the current North Island Champion. It would be interesting to note if anyone else in New Zealand's long chess history has had as many national titles at one time.

Stuart,P (1996) - Ker,A (2342) [A86]North Island Championship Tauranga (3.1), 16.07.2008

1.c4 g6 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nf3 e6 7.0-0 d6 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Bb2 c6 10.Qc2 Qe7 11.Rad1 e5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.e3 e4 14.Ne1 Ne5 15.f4 Neg4 16.Qe2 Be6 17.Nc2 Rfd8 18.Rxd8+ Rxd8 19.Rd1 c5 20.h3 Nh6 21.Kf2 Nf7 22.Rxd8+ Nxd8 23.Qd2 Nc6 24.Bf1

White's queen must be challenged. It cannot be allowed a dominating position pressuring down the only open file. One interesting aspect to note is for such a closed position only minor pieces will be left on the board after the coming exchange.
25.Qxd7 Nxd7 26.Na4 Bf8
With a closed position black can get away with this move for now abviously wishing to avoid exchanges.
27.Be2 Kf7 28.Nc3 Nf6
White has an outpost on d5 and black on d3. The position is very much equal.
29.Na4 h6 30.Ba3 b6 31.Bb2 g5 32.Nc3 Bg7 33.Kg2 g4 34.h4?!
Closing the position does not help white. Black has a possible square for his knight on h5 attacking a weak g3 pawn. Also hxg4 is no longer in the air where white could have split black's pawn's at a convienent moment or atleast tie white down to this idea.
On the other hand it does make black's life a little harder to get the break through needed for victory.
Possible is 34.Nb5 h5 35.Nc7 Bd7 36.Bc3 a6

Such a move is surprisingly inferior letting Ker increase his advantage.
35.Na4 Bxb2 36.Nxb2 Nb4 37.Nxb4 cxb4 38.Na4! Nc5 39.Nxc5 bxc5 40.Kf2 White has succeeded in blockading the postiion where black cannot make any progress. 40...Bd7 41.Ke1 Ke6 42.Kd2 a5 43.Bd1 Kd6 =
35...Nb4! 36.Nxb4 cxb4 37.Na4 Bxb2 38.Nxb2 Nc5
Black has a new outpost for his knight and white is in some difficulties
39.Na4 Nxa4 40.bxa4 Ke7-+ Black is winning a pawn and the game.
39...Ke7 40.Kd2 Kd6 41.Kc2

42... Bd7
It is still not so easy for black to create a winning breakthrough.
41...a6!? 42.Nd1 Bd7 43.Kb2 a5 44.a4 bxa3+ 45.Kxa3 Nd3 46.Bxd3 exd3 47.Kb2 a4 48.Nf2 d2 49.e4! Ke6 50.exf5+ Kxf5 51.Ka3 Bc6 52.bxa4 Bf3 53.Kb4 d1Q 54.Nxd1 Bxd1 55.Kb5 Ke4 56.Kxb6 Bxa4 57.c5 Bd7 58.Kc7 Bf5 59.c6 Kf3 60.Kd6 Kxg3 61.Ke5 Bd3 62.c7 Ba6 63.f5 Kh2 64.f6 g3 65.f7 g2 66.f8Q g1Q 67.Qxh6 And still black has no easy road to victory but this is far from forced.
42.Kd2 Ne6 43.Bd1 Kc5 44.Be2 a6 45.Nd1 Ng7 46.Nf2 Nh5 47.Nh1 a5 48.Kc2 a4 49.Kd2 Be6 50.Kc2
50.Bd1 axb3 51.axb3 b5 52.cxb5 Kxb5 53.Be2+ Kb6 54.Kc2 Nf6 55.Nf2 Nd7 56.Kb2 Nc5 57.Bd1 Nd3+ 58.Nxd3 exd3 59.Kc1
A very interesting decision. Black closes the position to keep a far advanced pawn on a3.Black may have ideas of a sacrifice on c4 to try and promote his far advanced a pawn to a queen.
51.Bf1 Nf6 52.Nf2 Ne8 53.Nd1 Nd6 54.Be2 Nb7 55.Bf1 Na5 56.Nf2 Bc8 57.Be2 h5
58.Bf1 Bb7 59.Be2 Nc6 60.Bf1

60... Nd4+!
Probably the only move to really try and complicate things the problem is it should still only be enough for a draw.
Another move that is not so forcing is 60...Ne7 but their is just no easy way through. 61.Bg2 Ba6 62.Bf1 b5 63.cxb5 Bxb5 64.Bxb5 Kxb5 65.Kd2 Kc6 66.Nd1 Nd5 67.Ke2 Nb6 68.Kd2 Nd7 69.Kc2 (69.Ke2 Nc5 70.Kd2 Nxb3+-+) 69...Nc5 70.Nf2 Kd5 71.Nd1 Nd3 72.Kd2 Kc5 73.Kc2 Ne1+ 74.Kd2 Nf3+ 75.Ke2 with a probable draw.
61.exd4+ Kxd4 62.Bg2! This move ensures white of the draw and black has to be careful not to over extend. 62...Ke3 (62...e3 63.Bxb7 exf2 64.Bg2 Ke3 65.Kd1 f1Q+ 66.Bxf1 Kf3 67.Kd2 Kxg3 68.Ke3 Kxh4 69.Kf2 g3+ 70.Kf3 Black is lost.) 63.Nd1+ Ke2 64.Kc1 Ke1 (64...Kd3? 65.Bf1+ Kd4 66.Kd2 Black is just a piece for a pawn down.) 65.Kc2 Ke2=
61...Nf3 62.Nd1 Ba6 63.Kc2
Better is 63.Nf2 Black is still hard pressed to make any progress. 63...b5 64.cxb5 Bxb5 65.Bxb5 Kxb5 66.Kd1 Kc5 67.Ke2
63...Nh2 64.Bg2?
The losing move.
64.Be2 This is still holding.
64...b5 65.Kd2?
After the better 65.cxb5 Bxb5 66.Nf2 Be2 67.Kd2 Bf3 68.Bxf3 gxf3 69.Ke1 Kb5 If white could pass he would draw but he is required to move under current FIDE laws so black wins.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Topalov to Face Anand

Game seven

Topalov,V (2796) - Kamsky,G (2725) [C07]World Chess Challenge Sofia BUL (7), 26.02.2009

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5
Topalov goes for the main line after avoiding it with 4.Ngf3 in game 5.
4...Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Re1 Be7 9.Nb3
Gelfand shows an interesting Q-sac in the following game 9.Ne4 Nxe4 10.Rxe4 Nc6 11.Nxd4 0-0 12.Bf4 Qc5 13.Nxc6 Qxc6 14.Bd3 b5 15.a4 a6 16.Re3 Bb7 17.Be4 Qxe4 18.Rxe4 Bxe4 19.Qe2 Bd5 20.h4 Rac8 21.axb5 axb5 22.Bg5 Bd6 23.Ra6 Bb8 24.Be7 Rfe8 25.Bd6 Red8 26.Bxb8 Rxb8 27.Ra3 Rb7 28.Rg3 f6 29.Rg4 Rc8 30.Rd4 Rbc7 31.Qxb5 Rxc2 32.b4 h6 33.Rg4 f5 34.Rg6 Kh7 35.h5 R2c7 36.Qd3 Rb7 37.Qg3 Rc1+ 38.Kh2 Rc4 39.b5 Rb4 40.Rxe6 Bxe6 41.Qg6 Drawn Kasparov,G-Gelfand,B/Astana 2001
9...Nc6 10.Nbxd4 Nxd4 11.Nxd4 0-0 12.c3 Bd7 13.Qf3 Qb6 14.Bb3 a5 15.Be3 Bc5 16.Rad1
A normal developing move that leads to wild complications.
16...a4 17.Bc2 Qxb2
Kamsky stubbornly grabs a pawn.

Topalov is willing and definately prepared to create complications even if it risks losing. Kamsky on the other hand needs a win and decides he must not shy away from complications even if he is black and it generally doens't suit his known style.
18...Bxd4 Trying to win the bishop on c2 will cost black too much. 19.Rxd4 Qxc2 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Rg4+ Kh8 22.Qxf6#
19.c4 Bxd4 20.Qd3
The mate threat must be dealt with.
20...f5 21.Qxd4 Qxc2 22.cxd5 Qxa2 23.Qb6
Right now black is two pawns up but Kamsky must give something back.
23.dxe6?! Bxe6 24.Rd2 Qc4 -+
Interesting is 23...Rae8! 24.d6 (24.Qxb7 Rf7 25.dxe6 Rxe6 Black is doing well) 24...Qc4 25.Be7 (25.Qxb7 Bc6) 25...Qc6 26.Qb4 (26.Qxc6 Bxc6 27.Bxf8 Kxf8 Black is better) 26...Qb5 White has a annoying wedge on d6 and e7 but black can give up the exchange being two pawns ahead and most likely have a better game.
24.dxe6 Bxe6 25.Qxe6+ Interesting is the piece sac. (25.Rxe6 Ra6!) 25...Qxe6 26.Rxe6 b5 27.Ra1 b4 28.Re3 h6 29.Be7 Rfb8 30.Rb3 Kf7 31.Bc5 Rb5 32.Be3= But still quite a risky line just for a draw.
Kamsky is running short of time once again.

The natural Ba4 gives white the advantage. Not only on position but now Kamsky is running to low on time. Topalov is a fantastic practical player but sometimes his moves can be refuted, of course not easily hence why Kamsky needs time to refute them and choosing when to sink into deep thought to do this is important and Kamsky was unable to solve this problem. Now the game is lost along with the match.
25...Kf7 Kamsky admitted he lost confidence and just couldnt make this move which leads to an edge for black. At the chessfm blog he was quoted as saying " I play like a 2200 player in time pressure."
26.Qxe6+ Kh8 27.Ra1 Qc4
Topalov has 30 plus minutes while Kamsky has dived to under 10
GM Marin from chessbase describes this move best. "Objectively speaking, it may be said that it leads White on the verge of defeat, but from psychologycal point of view it defines an approach that eventually won the game for White."
The safe option is 28.Rxa3
28...Bc2 29.Qd7 a2 30.d6 b5 31.Qb7 Reb8?!
31...b4 This is winning. 32.d7 Reb8 33.d8Q+ Rxd8 34.Bxd8 Rxd8 35.Qe7 Rc8 36.Rxa2 Qxa2 37.Qxb4

32... Rc8?!
32...Bd3! would avoid defeat.
33.Qxc4 Rxc4 34.d7 Bb1 35.Rd1 Kg8 36.d8Q+ Rxd8 37.Bxd8 Bc2 38.Rdc1 b4 39.Rxa2 b3 40.Ra8 Kf7 41.Rb8 Ke6 42.Re1+ Kd5 43.Be7 Ra4 44.Bf8 Ra7 45.h4

Topalov wins the match and is now scheduled to play Anand.

All in all an interesting and tense match. Kamsky had excellent chances but at critical points was bested by Topalov's great practical play and not his opening innovation's like was to be assumed.

One interesting point coming from Kamsky's interview on chessfm was during the match Kamsky's team would study everyday with water running music blearing and closed doors in case of their Hotel room being bugged!

Palmerston North Chess Club News

The next club night is the AGM. The Club is open every Thursday from 7:30pm at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School on Ferguson street. Contact Club President : Dennis Davey (06) 353 0193 or Club Captain : Stewart Holdaway 027 329 4399 for more information.

The Palmerston North Club Blitz Championship is due to be held on the 12th of March. All are welcome as this promises to be a fun event with a nice trophy up for grabs.

Past winners S. Holdaway in 2007 and J. Davis in 2008.