Eugen's blog

GM Korchnoi teaches tactics

Do you remember that feeling your position is ripe for a nice combination? I took the challenge to solve the position GM Korchnoi built up nicely against the young GM Shaked; my first reaction was to sac the Queen, then stepped back to a more down to Earth approach of a Rxg7 sac, followed by winning black's Queen with a Bxd4 fork. Of course I did not spend nearly enough time to really understand the position; however GM Korchnoi's masterful combination is on a different level. Replay and learn from it! I did

[Event "Cannes Generations"][Site "Cannes FRA"][Date "1998.02.27"][Round "7"][White "Korchnoi, Viktor"][Black "Shaked, Tal"][WhiteElo "2625"][BlackElo "2535"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2r1r2k/6bp/pqb5/1p1p1Q2/3n4/1P2N3/PB3PB1/1K1R2R1 w - - 0 1"][ECO "E10"]1.Rxd4! {If you do not have the right idea, this is not easy to see. Instinctively Rxg7 was my choice} Bxd4 2.Qf6+!! {Here is a spectacular Queen sac any solid player might sense it being possible. Personally I was looking at Qxh7 as a way to go. Now it is easy to see what this is all about} Bxf6 3.Bxf6+ Kg8 4.Bxd5+ Kf8 5.Rg8#

Rooks on open lines

Finishing a game in style is everyone's dream. Alisa (team USA) got to do that by using 2 open files leading to the opposing King and the very nice cooperation of all white pieces during the final attack. Klaudia's pieces (team POL) were powerless as beside the open lines dominance by white, black's Bishop was no match for white's Knight. In general a Knight on the rim is dim, but things improve dramatically when the attack goes along that rim!

[Event "Women's World Teams 2015"][Site "Chengdu CHN"][Date "2015.04.20"][Round "2.4"][White "Melekhina, Alisa"][Black "Kulon, Klaudia"][WhiteElo "2235"][BlackElo "2310"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "3rr1k1/5q2/ppp1b3/2p1p3/P1P1P1pN/1P2Q1P1/2P3K1/R6R w - - 0 32"][ECO "B31"]32. Raf1 {The last needed attacker arrives} Qd7 33. Qg5+ Qg7 34. Ng6 Rd2+ 35. Kg1 $1 {White goes for mate, not material advantage} (35. Qxd2 Qxg6 36. Qh6 {white is clearly winning} ( 36. Rh6 $1)) 35... Rdd8 36. Rh8+ $1 {A thunderous move ending the game in spectacular fashion} Qxh8 37. Ne7+ Kh7 38. Qg6#

GM Hansen attacks

The Canadian GM Eric Hansen has been playing very good for a while now. The following deadly attack he unleashed against his opponent, must produce a powerful impression on the public. There was simply nothing black could do to stop it!

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2015"][Site "Reykjavik"][Date "2015.03.11"][Round "2"][White "Hansen, Eric"][Black "Tjomsland, Stig"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "3r1r1k/1p1qnp1p/pbppn1p1/4pN2/P3P3/2PP1Q1P/1PB2PP1/2BRR1K1 w - - 0 21"][ECO "C65"]21.d4!! gxf5 22.exf5 Nxd4 23.cxd4 Bxd4 24.f6 Ng6 25.Qh5 d5 26.Rxd4 exd4 27.Re7 Rg8 28.Rxd7 Rxd7 29.Bxg6

My best games (1)

GM Pascal Charbonneau was the reigning Canadian chess Champion back in 2006 and he did a tour of Canada together with IM Irina Krush (USA) to promote chess in a few Canadian cities from East to West. They stopped in Vancouver on June 10th, 2006 and both played at UBC in simuls (Irina in the morning, Pascal in the afternoon) against quite a few of us. I have rediscovered the records of my games with them. Here you can enjoy my victory versus Irina, one of the only 2 losses she recorded that day, with my original comments. Enjoy!

 [Event "Simul, Canadian Tour"] [Site "Vancouver, BC"] [Date "2006.06.10"] [White "Krush, Irina"] [Black "Demian, Valer-Eugen"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D36"] [WhiteElo "2437"] [BlackElo "2220"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qc2 h6 9. Bh4 Nbd7 10. Nf3 Re8 11. O-O Ne4 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Rae1 Ndf6 14. Ne5 {Strangely enough the same opening has been played identically a few boards to my left by Louie Jiang, a very promising local junior. Louie however lost in the endgame} Nxc3 15. bxc3 Ng4 {I cannot let Ne5 reign like that in the center} 16. Nxg4 Bxg4 17. f3 Be6 18. e4 dxe4 19. fxe4 Rad8 {White has a strong center which has not advanced yet. I decided on counter attacking "a2"} 20. Rf4 $6 {Not sure what was the idea behind this move} Qa3 21. Rf2 b5 22. Rb1 {Preventing b5-b4 and a weakening of the center} a6 {The threat was d4-d5 followed Bd3xb5 and e4xd5} 23. Qd2 a5 24. Bc2 $6 {The beginning of a dubious attacking plan on the Kingside. Black has enough tempi to gain material and come back to defend its King} Bxa2 25. Rbf1 Bc4 26. e5 Bxf1 27. Rxf1 Rxe5 {White's attack should involve a Bishop sacrifice on g6 and in that case the existence of a White pawn on "e5" makes a big difference. I decided to eliminate it at all costs} 28. Qd3 g6 29. Qf3 Re7 30. Qxc6 Rd6 $1 {No more sacrifices are possible now} 31. Qxb5 Kg7 {Putting the King on a dark square and working on the idea to exchange White's Rook. White's back rank becomes very weak once Rf1 disappears off the board} 32. Bb3 Rf6 33. Rb1 (33. Rxf6 Kxf6 {is hopeless}) 33... Qb2 $3 34. Bc4 (34. Rxb2 $4 Re1+ 35. Qf1 Rexf1#) 34... Qf2+

Dubai Open 2015, round 3

FM Saeed (UAE) was the hero again when he beat a second GM in this tournament, Milos Perunovic (SRB). He played the same Queen's pawn game as in round 1, except this time he went for quick exchanges from opening all the way to a complex Rooks and pawns endgame, having 2 connected pawns on the Queen side. His technique was very good and managed to simplify the position into a won endgame. Who says one cannot play for a win against GMs rated 2600+? Enjoy the game!

[Event "17th Dubai Chess Open"][Site "Dubai"][Date "2015.04.08"][Round "3.27"][White "Saeed, Ishaq"][Black "Perunovic, Milos"][Result "1-0"][WhiteElo "2200"][BlackElo "2632"][ECO "E10"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 a6 5. c5 b6 6. cxb6 c5 7. Nc3 Nbd7 8. Na4 cxd4 9. Qb3 Rb8 10. Nxd4 Bb7 {That is one way of staying away from home preparation in the opening} 11. Bd2 Ne4 12. Bb4 Nec5 13. Nxc5 Nxc5 14. Bxc5 Bxc5 15. Bxa6 Bxa6 16. Qa4+ Qd7 17. Qxa6 e5 18. Qa7 Bd6 19. Qxd7+ Kxd7 20. Nb5 Rxb6 21. Nxd6 Kxd6 22. b3 {A series of exchanges took the game from the opening into a complex endgame without any stop in the middle game} Ra8 23. Kd2 Rba6 24. a4 Rb8 25. Rhb1 Rb4 26. Ra3 d4 27. exd4 exd4 28. a5 Ra7 29. Kd3 Kd5 {Desperately trying to hold the position} 30. a6 Rb6 31. Rba1 Rb4 32. Ra5+ Kc6 33. R1a3 Kb6 34. R5a4 Kb5 35. Rxb4+ Kxb4 36. Ra1 Kxb3 37. Kxd4 Kb4 38. Kd5 Kb5 39. Rb1+ Ka5 {It is all over. Here the game ended. It could have continued a bit longer with} 40. Kc5 Kxa6 41. Ra1+ Kb7 42. Rxa7 Kxa7 43. Kd6 {Now we have a simple win for white here}