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World Champion destroys top opposition

The World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen has won another top level tournament "Gashimov Memorial" with an overwhelming 7 out of 9 score (no losses). In round 7 he took advantage of the material imbalance (Queen and pawn for Bishop and Rook) and forced GM Kramnik to resign when facing a sure checkmate. Enjoy!

[Event "Gashimov Memorial"][Site "Shamkir AZE"][Date "2015.04.24"][Round "7"][White "Carlsen, Magnus"][Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"][WhiteElo "2863"][BlackElo "2783"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "1Q6/5p1k/4bKpp/8/1P3PP1/7P/5r2/8 w - - 1 47"][ECO "C65"]{Annotator "GM Lubomir Kavalek/The Huffington Post"}47. f5 gxf5 ({After} 47... Bxf5 48. Qa7 $1 {the double-attack on the rook and the f7-pawn wins.}) 48. Qg3 $1 {Magnus chooses the faster win, finding another way to reach the square g7 with his queen.} (48. g5 {also wins:} Rg2 49. h4 hxg5 50. h5 {Renewing the threat 51.Qf8, White wins.} Kh6 51. Qh8#) 48... Rf1 49. g5 {Black can't cope with multiple mating threats.} (49. g5 h5 (49... f4 50. Qh4) (49... Rc1 50. gxh6) 50. g6+)

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+