How to beat a GM

The 16 years old IM Benjamin Glendura (HUN) showed us recently how to beat a great GM and former World Champion like Anand. It is no secret a strong knowledge of endgames gives you an advantage; is it enough though? Benjamin was put on the spot by Anand when the GM chose the King and pawns endgame instead of a Bishop versus Knight one to finish their game. He succeeded with flying colors! I find the resulting endgame very educational and inspirational. It gives us hope to beat stronger players and even GMs if we can master the endgames. Now you know the secret too; easy peasy, eh? :-)

The complete game analysis is done here:

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2016"][Site "Gibraltar"][Date "2016.01.26"][Round "7.14"][White "Glendura, Benjamin"][Black "Anand, Viswanathan"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "8/1p1k1pp1/pb6/2NK3p/8/1P5P/P4PP1/8 b - - 0 36"][ECO "D45"]{Anand is the only one knowing why he decided to play this exchange} 36... Bxc5 {a possible explanation is he thought the King and pawns endgame gave him more chances to save the game} ({Andre Schulz, Chessbase wrote after the game}36...Kc7 37.Ne4 Kd7 38.Nd6 Bxf2 39.Nxb7 {is very unpleasant for Black}) 37.Kxc5 {Andre Schulz, Chessbase: "however, the pawn-ending is also lost for Black"} 37... Kc7 {The key position! Black could hold on if the f7- and b6- pawns together with their King could lock down and not move anymore. That means black needs enough tempo moves, as well as to stop the white pawns from challenging b6 and f7. There is no chance on the Queen side since white has minimum 4 possible pawn moves. On the King side both players have 5 possible pawn moves now, so probably these ones will cancel each other out. The verdict: white has sufficient pawn moves available on the Queen side to break down the defence and win} 38.h4 Kd7 {loses faster by about 4 moves} ({Example of how the King side settles and the Queen side collapses:} 38...g6 39.g3 f6 40.f3 g5 41.f4 gxh4 42.gxh4 Kd7 43.Kb6 1-0) 39.Kb6 Kc8 40.b4 {begins to use the available pawn moves to tighten the noose and break the opposition} Kb8 41.f3 Kc8 42.g4 hxg4 43.fxg4 Kb8 44.h5 f6 {forced or white wins with 45. g5 followed by 46. h6} 45.a4 Kc8 ({In case of} 45... Ka8 46.Kc7 {would win the King side pawns and the game}) 46.Ka7 Kc7 47.b5 a5 ({hoping for a last minute mistake} 47... a5 48.b6+?? Kc6 0-1) 48.Ka8

In Memoriam WGM Elisabeta Polihroniade (Romania)

WGM Polihroniade (Lili for her close friends) has passed away on Jan 23rd, 2016 at the respectable age of 80. She was, is and will remain forever one of the greatest chess promoters Romania has gifted the World with. During her impressive career as a chess player she won 7 national titles and represented Romania in 10 Olympiads. She was also a highly respected International Arbiter. During her latter years she put all her energy into promoting chess for children and chess in schools. Romania's chess roots have received back invaluable guidance and wisdom from one of the country chess icons. May you rest in peace Lili! You will live forever in our minds; when we say chess, we remember your legacy too. This is arguably one of the most memorable wins (personal selection) of her chess career.

[Event "Cup World (open)"][Site "Palma de Majorca (Spain)"][Date "1989.??.??"][White "Elisabeta Polihroniade"][Black "Leonid A Shamkovich"][Result "1-0"][ECO "B43"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.f4 Nc6 7.Be2 d6 8.Be3 Nf6 9.Qd2 Be7 10.O-O-O O-O 11.g4 {So far a Sicilian Kan line still played today} d5 {this has not been played anymore since 2004; however at the time this move was supposed to equalize} 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 exd5 {the Isolated Queen Pawn or IQP should help in the middle game if the files and diagonals around it are clear and controlled by the attacking side; in my opinion black does not have it here and stands worst} 14.Nb3 Bd6 15.Kb1 Ne7 {black is looking for a better position for its pieces and needs to defend the IQP. It is not good; better was 15... Re8 or 15... a5} 16.h4 h5 17.Rhg1 hxg4 18.Bxg4 Bxg4 19.Rxg4 {white is in attacking position first and it does not look too complicated to put it together: doubling the Rooks along the g-file, Bd4 and pushing the h4-pawn is quite simple to see} Nf5 20.Rdg1 Rfe8? {I believe black is already lost here} (20...Kh8 21.Qd3 g6 22.Bd4+ Nxd4 23.Qxd4+ Kh7 24.h5 g5 25.Rxg5) 21.Nd4 Qd7 22.Nxf5 Qxf5 23.Rxg7+ Kf8 24.R7g5 Qe4 25.f5 (25.Bd4 f6 26.Rg8+ Ke7 27.Rxe8+ Rxe8 28.Re1) Ke7 26.f6+ Ke6 (26...Kd7 27.Rxd5 Qxe3 28.Rxd6+ Kc7 29.Rd7+ Kb8 30.Qxe3 Rxe3 31.Rxf7) 27.R5g4 (27.Re1) 27...Qf3 28.Bd4 (28.Rd4) 28...Kd7 29.Rg7 Re2 30.Qa5 Qe4 31.Bc3 {the game ended here with white's win; however it is not clear what happens after: 31... Qxc2+ 32.Ka1 Kc6 {threatens a nasty b7-b6, trapping Qa5} 33.Bd4 Bc7 34.Qc3+ Qxc3 35.Bxc3 {it is hard to believe black could have reached this position...}

Golden Knights team match 1, 2015

At the end of 2015 we organized our first team match in club history. Dheera (club champion) and Yakov (rookie champion) led the teams formed as follows:
Team Yakov (white): Cody, Coco, Terry, Uros, Ethan, Benjamin, Daniel, Aaron, Shya
Team Dheera (black) : Jalen, Bradley, Andrew, Ronald, Deryk, Eugene, Enoch, Lyvia
Each team had to discuss their moves and designate a team member to make them official. The game was quite interesting as you can see below. Enjoy!

[Event "Golden Knights team match"][Site "Burnaby, BC, Canada"][Date "2015.12.10"][White "Team Yakov"][Black "Team Dheera"][Result "1-0"][ECO "A22"] 1. c4 {Benjamin} e5 {Lyvia} 2. Nc3 {Ethan} Nf6 {Andrew} 3. b3 {Aaron} Bb4 {Enoch} 4. Bb2 {Shya} Nc6 {Eugene} 5. Nd5 {Uros} d6 {Dheera} 6. a3 {Coco} Bc5 {Ronald} 7. b4 {Terry} Bd4 {Bradley} 8.Bxd4 {Yakov} Nxd4 {Jalen} 9. e3 {Cody} Nc6 {Deryk} 10. Bd3 {Daniel} Be6 {Lyvia} 11. e4 {Shya} O-O {Enoch} 12. Nf3 {Coco} Bg4 {Andrew} 13. h3 {Terry} Bxf3 {Ronald} 14. Qxf3 {Aaron} Nd4 {Eugene} 15. Nxf6+ {Daniel} Qxf6 {Dheera} 16. Qxf6 {Ethan} gxf6 {Bradley} 17. O-O-O {Benjamin} a5 {Deryk} 18. b5 {Yakov} c6 {Andrew} 19. a4 {Terry} cxb5 {Jalen} 20. axb5 {Uros} Rfc8 {Lyvia} 21. Kb2 {Cody} Kf8 {Dheera} 22. Rhf1 {Daniel} Ke7 {Enoch} 23. Ka3 {Terry} Ke6 {Deryk} 24. f4 {Shya} Rc5 {Eugene} 25. f5+ {Uros} Kd7 {Eugene} 26. g4 {Coco} Rh8 {Jalen} 27. Rg1 {Ethan} h5 {Andrew} 28. g5 {Benjamin} Nf3 {Bradley} 29. Rg3 {Shya} Nxg5 {Deryk} 30. h4 {Aaron} Nxe4 {Dheera}  31. Bxe4 {Cody}  Rxc4 {Jalen} 32. Bxb7 {Terry} Rxh4 {Lyvia} 33. Bc6+ {Ethan} Kc7 {Andrew} 34. Rc1 {Shya} Kb6 {Enoch} 35. Bd7 {Cody} Rd4 {Eugene} 36. Rc6+ {Coco} Kb7 {Bradley} 37. Rgc3 {Uros} Rxd2 {Dheera} 38. Rc7+ {Benjamin} Kb8 {Jalen} 39. b6 {Daniel} Rg8 {Bradley} 40. b7 {Aaron} Rgg2 {Andrew} 41. Rc8+ {Terry} Kxb7 {Deryk} 42. Rb3+ {Ethan} Ka7 {Eugene} 43. Rc7+ {Uros}