Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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
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.
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.
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
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 :)
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)
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.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
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
Friday, July 3, 2009
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±
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...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.
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.
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.
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!
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
J. McDonald 2080
M. King 1963
J. Davis 1939