Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2016 - BC Championship

The first edition of this important tournament saw some very eager participants fighting for the 1st place bringing them the BC title and qualification to the continental final in St. Louis. I have selected an interesting position from each round and put together a nice and very representative chess selection of 5 replayable puzzles. It provides a glimpse of where we are at and how much we still need to go as players, teachers and coaches. Enjoy the selection!

[Event "SPFGI BC 2016"][Site "Burnaby"][Date "2016.04.03"][Round "1"][White "Van, Anna"][Black "Ruan, Coco"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "4rrk1/2q4p/1p2b1p1/pP1pNpb1/P1nP4/8/3N1PPP/B1RQR1K1 b - - 0 1"]{Coco, one of our club representatives, held her own quite well when facing her more experienced opponent and here she had a very good chance to get ahead}1...Bxd2 2.Qxd2 Nxd2?! {Not the best}  (2...Qxe5!? 3.Rxc4 Qxe1+ 4.Qxe1 dxc4 {of course it is hard to expect girls to play so wild}) 3.Rxc7 Nb3?? {Coco did not realize this traps her Knight} 4.Bc3 {white won with ease from here on} 1-0<br />
[Event "SPFGI BC 2016"][Site "Burnaby"][Date "2016.04.03"][Round "2"][White "Yang, Bo Wen (Angelina)"][Black "Seyfi, Agata"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "6k1/p1R2p1p/b5p1/3rp3/8/1P2K1N1/P4PPP/8 b - - 0 1"]1...f5 {The obvious threat is f5-f4+ and fork; however black had a much nastier surprise if white was not careful} 2.Ne2?? {Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees...} Rd3# 0-1<br />
[Event "SPFGI BC 2016"][Site "Burnaby"][Date "2016.04.03"][Round "3"][White "Bains, Shya"][Black "Shan, Lyvia"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "rq6/pp6/2n1k1p1/5b2/2Npn2r/P2R4/1PP2PP1/5RK1 w - - 0 1"]{Two girls at their first official tournament learned a few important lessons along the way} 1.Rf3?? {Lesson = long moves are always deadly} Qh2# 0-1<br />
[Event "SPFGI BC 2016"][Site "Burnaby"][Date "2016.04.03"][Round "4"][White "Van, Anna"][Black "Seyfi, Agata"][Result "1/2-1/2"][SetUp "1"][FEN "8/p6p/5K2/6P1/6k1/8/P7/8 w - - 0 1"]{This was an important game for both players} 1.g6 hxg6 2.Kxg6 Kf4 {this looks like a simple draw if white knows the simple strategy it needs to apply: go directly to the a1-corner} 3.Kf6 Ke4 4.Ke6 Kd4 5.Kd6 Kc4 6.Kc6 {white seems not to know the strategy required here and now black has an incredible chance to score an important win} a5 7.a3?? Kb3?? {Oh my! That misses the win}  (7...a4! {black wins the a3-pawn and promotes because the white King is too far}) 8.Kb6 Ka4?? {Oh my! This misses the win again} (8...a4 {the same comment: black wins the a3-pawn and promotes because the white King is too far}) 9.Ka6 {now we have a draw, result not helping either player} 1/2-1/2<br />
[Event "SPFGI BC 2016"][Site "Burnaby"][Date "2016.04.03"][Round "5"][White "Tian, Shi Yuan (Sherry)"][Black "Van, Anna"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "5k2/1p5p/1p2P3/5p2/1PK5/P6P/6P1/8 b - - 0 1"]{Our Champion annotates the endgame which brought her the title. "This position is winning for white in many ways: 1) White has a better King position 2) Black has too many weak pawns 3) White has a strong passed pawn that black needs to stop and capture before doing anything else. This takes time thought 4) Once the double b-pawns are gone, white will be ahead of the race to Queen (promote) because black's isolated pawns will take an extreme amount of time to become passed themselves"}1...Ke7 2.Kd5 Ke8 {at least black knows how to hold the opposition} 3.Kd6 Kd8 4.e7+ Ke8 5.Kc7 Kxe7 6.Kxb6 Ke6 7.Kxb7 {this is now an easy win for white. White needs 5 moves to promote, while black needs no less than 8}