Saturday, March 3, 2012

Queenstown Chess Classic 2012

The Queenstown chess classic was again a great success thanks must go out to Grandmaster Murray Chandler for sponsoring a great event. All info can be found here including photo's and video clips.
The New Zealand championship was hotly contested coming into the last round. FM Michael Steadman and IM Paul Garbett were tied on 5.5 each but Paul had a lower rated opponent and Michael had a strong IM to deal with. IM Dive, FM Lukey
and FM Smith were half a point behind and looking to win their games. Unfortunately for Garbett he surprisingly lost his last round game and Steadman won! Capping off a great final two rounds beating a GM in round 8 along with the following win FM Michael Steadman was a deserving Champion for the his first.

Steadman,M (2275) - Van Riemsdijk,H (2401) [A58]Queenstown Classic Queenstown, New Zealand (9.8), 23.01.2012

1.d4 c5 2.d5 Nf6 3.c4 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.Nf3 d6 8.g3

So we have a Benko gambit where white has decided to take the pawn and why not when a win would guarantee a tie at minimum for the New Zealand championship. The other main line is..
8.e4 Bxf1 9.Kxf1 Nbd7 10.g3 Bg7 11.Kg2 0-0 12.h3 Qb6 (12...Nb6 13.Re1 Nfd7 14.Bf4 Qb8 15.Qe2 Na4 16.Nxa4 Rxa4 17.e5 Nb6 18.b3 Rxf4 19.gxf4 Nxd5 20.Qc4 e6 21.Rad1 dxe5 22.fxe5 Qa8 23.Qxc5 Nf4+ 24.Kg3 Nh5+ 25.Kg2 Nf4+ 26.Kg3 ½-½ Karpov,A-Adianto,U/Cap d'Agde 2002/) 13.Re1 Rfb8 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Rxe5 Qb7 17.Qf3 h6 18.Re2 Rd8 19.Be3 Nd7 20.Rd1 Ra6 21.Bf4 g5 22.Bc1 Ne5 23.Qe4 c4 24.Kh2 Qd7 25.f4 f5 26.Qe3 Nd3 27.fxg5 h5 28.Qf3 h4 29.gxh4 Bxc3 30.bxc3 Qxd5 31.Qxd5+ Rxd5 32.Rxe7 Rxa2+ 33.Kg3 Ra1 34.h5 f4+ 35.Kh4 Raa5 36.h6 Rxg5 37.Bxf4 Rh5+ 38.Kg3 Rhf5 39.Rb1 Ra8 40.h7+ Kh8 41.Be3 Rd5 42.Bd4+ Rxd4 43.cxd4 c3 44.Rc7 Rd8 45.Rxc3 Rxd4 46.Rd1 Nf4 47.Rxd4 Ne2+ 48.Kf3 Nxd4+ 49.Ke4 Ne6 50.Kf5 1-0 Gabrielian,A-Bologan,V/Aix-les-Bains FRA 2011/
8...Bg7 9.Bg2 Nbd7 10.0-0
10.Rb1 This is a popular variation among the top players with white doing well at the moment. 10...0-0 11.0-0 Qa5 12.Qc2 (12.Bd2 Ng4 13.Qc2 Nge5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.b3 Qa3 16.Bc1 Qa5 17.Bd2 Qa3 18.Bc1 Qa5 19.a4 Nf3+ 20.Bxf3 Qxc3 21.Qa2 Qa5 22.Bg5 Ra7 23.Rfc1 Rb8 24.Bd2 Qd8 25.b4 cxb4 26.Rxb4 Rxb4 27.Bxb4 Bb5 28.a5 Rc7 29.Rxc7 Qxc7 30.Bd2 Bd4 31.Qb3 Ba6 32.Kg2 Kg7 33.Qb4 Qc5 34.e3 Ba1 35.Qxc5 dxc5 36.Bd1 Kf6 37.f4 e5 38.Kf2 Ke7 39.Be2 c4 40.Bb4+ Kd7 41.Kf3 Kc7 42.g4 Kb7 43.f5 Bb5 44.Ke4 Ka6 45.h4 Bb2 46.h5 Ba1 47.h6 Bb2 48.Bd6 Kxa5 49.Bxe5 gxf5+ 50.gxf5 Bxe5 51.Kxe5 c3 52.Bd1 Kb4 53.Kd4 f6 54.Bc2 Be8 55.e4 Bb5 56.d6 Bc6 57.e5 fxe5+ 58.Kxe5 Ba4 59.f6 1-0 Wang Yue-Bologan,V/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2010/) 12...Nb6 13.Rd1 Nfd7 14.Bd2 Nc4 15.Be1 Rfb8 16.Qc1 Nde5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.h3 Bc8 19.b3 c4 20.f4 Nd7 21.Qe3 cxb3 22.axb3 Qd8 23.Na4 Nf6 24.Bf2 Bf5 25.Rbc1 Rb4 26.g4 Bd7 27.Rc6 Rab8 28.Rd3 Bxc6 29.dxc6 Qc7 30.Be1 R4b5 31.Nc3 Ra5 32.g5 Nh5 33.Nd5 Rxd5 34.Bxd5 e6 35.Bf3 Rb5 36.Bc3 e5 37.fxe5 Bxe5 38.Bxe5 Rxe5 39.Qd2 Qa7+ 40.Kg2 Qe7 41.h4 d5 42.b4 Qd6 43.b5 Re6 44.Bxh5 gxh5 45.Rxd5 Rxe2+ 46.Qxe2 Qxd5+ 47.Kg3 Qd6+ 48.Kf3 Qd5+ 49.Kf4 Qd6+ 50.Ke4 Qe6+ 51.Kd3 1-0 Korobov,A-Caruana,F/Moscow RUS 2012/
Not a common move. White has many choices such as 11.Qc2,h3,Re1,Bf4,Rb1
11...Ne8 12.Nc2 Nc7 13.Ne3
13.Bd2 Nb6 14.b4 Bc4 15.bxc5 Nbxd5 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.cxd6 Qxd6 18.Bf4 e5 19.Bg5 Qe6 20.Nb4 Bxg2 21.Kxg2 Qf5 22.Qd2 h6 23.Be3 Rfd8 24.Qc2 Qxc2 25.Nxc2 Nd5 26.a3 Rdc8 27.Rfd1 Nc3 28.Rd7 Nxe2 29.Nb4 Nd4 30.Nd5 Rc2 31.a4 Nf5 32.Ne7+ Nxe7 33.Rxe7 e4 34.Ra3 Bf8 35.a5 Bxe7 36.Ra4 Bc5 0-1 Moulain,J-Mensch,E/France 1996
13...Nb5 14.Bd2 Nd4 15.Re1
White's piece construction looks akward but it is solid for the moment.

15...Qc7 16.b3

Black's pawn sac in the Benko gambit is based on positional grounds. Black will place his heavy pieces on the open a and b file's and along with the bishop at g7 and black's knight's hovering around
squares like e5 and possible c5 after a pawn push the pressure on white's queenside is quite hard to deal with.
16...Rfb8 17.Rb1 Nb6 18.h3 Bc8 19.Nc2 Bd7 20.Ne3
White's play is drifting 20.e3 Nb5 21.Nxb5 Bxb5 22.a4 Bd3 23.a5 Nd7 24.e4 c4 25.b4!?
21.Kh2 h5 22.Nf1?!
Even though it may feel ridiculous having moved back and forth already,the knight move back to c2 is better. 22.Nc2 c4 23.Nb4=
23.e3 Nb5 24.Ne4 

Black underestimates white's temporary pawn sac. Better is 24...Rxa2 25.Nxf6+ exf6 26.Ra1 Qa6 27.e4 And black has more than equalised.
25.a4 Nc7 26.Bc3!
Protecting the pawn doesn't work 26.Nc3?! c4 27.bxc4 Nxc4 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Ne2 Nb2 30.Qc2 Bxa4 31.Qe4
26...Nbxd5 27.Bxg7 Kxg7 28.Nxd6!
Now black's strong bishop which he tried to save being traded with 24.... Bg7 has left the board, and he is still a pawn down.
28...exd6 29.Bxd5 Nxd5 30.Qxd5 Ra6 31.h4

The key point to this position seems to be the weak hanging pawn's at d6 and e5.
White's knight on f1 has some nice squares to work with to attack these pawns and help with the advance of white's queenside pawn's
31...Be6 32.Qd3 Rb4 33.Nd2 Qa8?!
Better is 33...Rab6
White hits on the winning plan of pushing a pawn to e5 a typical motif in the Benko. 34.Qc3+ Kg8 35.e4 Qb7 36.e5 d5 37.Qxc5 Rc6 38.Qe3 Qc7
34...Kg8 35.Qc3 Rab6
 35...Qb7 Transposing to the variation above was black's best.
 Suddenly black's position is under some strain
 36...Rc6 37.exd6 Rxd6 38.Nf3 Qc6 39.Rb2 Rd5 40.Rd2 (40.Ne5 Qd6 41.Nc4 Qb8 42.Rxe6 fxe6 43.Qe3 Qe8 44.a5²) 40...Qa8 41.Rde2 Rf5 42.Ng5 Qd5 43.Nxe6 fxe6 44.a5 Rxb3 45.Qc2 Rbf3 46.a6±
37.Rbc1 Qb8? 38.exd6?!
 38.Nc4! Rxb3 (38...Rb7 39.Nxd6 Rd7 40.Nxf5 gxf5 41.Qf3 Rxb3 42.Qxf5 Rd8 43.Rxc5 Rb2 44.e6 It is mate soon to follow.) 39.Qa5 Rc6 40.exd6 Rc8 41.Re7 Rd3 42.Qe1 Qb3 43.a5 Rd4 44.Re8+ Rxe8 45.Qxe8+ Kg7 46.Qe5+ Kg8 47.Ne3 Qa2 48.Kg1 Qe6 49.Rxc5 Qxe5 50.Rxe5 Be6 51.a6 Rxd6 52.Ra5+- 38...Rxd6 39.Re3 Be6?
40.Ne4 Rdd4 41.Nxc5 Bd5 42.Kg1 Qc8 43.Kf1 Bc4+

The position has become extremely tense. White is two pawns up and is now winning. Black has started a tactical sequence going for his best chance to complicate matters.
Throwing away the New Zealand championship in one move. Remembering at move 40 each player gets an extra 60 minutes this is quite an unbelievable mistake. A typical one for a last round of a tournament when so much is at stake. 44.bxc4!Winning is simply taking the piece but the point of this move is
not so
easy to see. 44...Qxc5 (44...Rbxc4 45.Qxc4+-) 45.Re8+ Kh7 46.Rc8!+-
 Letting white off the hook. 44...Rxd3 45.Rxd3 Bxd3+-+ And white must lose a piece. 46.Kg1 Qxc3 47.Rxc3 White doe have two pawns for the piece but they are too weak to cause any problems for black 47...Be4 48.a5 Bb7 49.Kf1 Rb5 50.Ke2 Rxa5-+
45.Ke1 Ba6 46.Rd1 Qd7?
The final mistake.
46...Qg2= 47.Qc5 Qh1+ 48.Kd2 Qb7 49.Kc1 (49.Ke1 Qh1+ 50.Kd2 Qb7=) 49...Rbc4+ 50.bxc4 Rxc4+ 51.Qxc4 Bxc4 52.Nb2 Be6 53.Rdd3=
Basically trading two rooks for the queen where white's 2 extra pawns will be a simple win. 47.Qxb4 Rxb4 48.Nxb4 Qa7 49.Nxa6 Qxa6

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