Blog entries

GM Hou Yifan and open lines

Submitted by eugen on Tue, 05/12/2015 - 13:42
Attacking the King successfully remains the most attractive part of chess. GM Hou Yifan takes advantage of the open f-file and poor placement of black's Bishops pair while it gets the black King and the full point. Enjoy!
[Event "Nakhchivan Open 2015"][Site "Nakhchivan AZE"][Date "2015.05.02"][Round "1.3"][White "Hou, Yifan"][Black "Aghayev, Nijat"][WhiteElo "2686"][BlackElo "2393"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "1r6/4r2k/bb1pNqpp/p1pP4/1p2P2P/4Q1P1/PPR3BK/3R4 w - - 6 29"][ECO "C25"] 29. Rf2 Qe5 30. Nf8+ {first try to get to the King} Kg7 31. Ne6+ Kh7 32. Rf4 {second try targetting the g6-pawn} Rbb7 33. h5 Rg7 {there's not a lot left to defend the King} (33...g5 34.Rf5 Qh8 35.e5 dxe5 36.Qe4 Qg8 37.Rf7+ Kh8 38.Qxe5+ Qg7 39.Qxg7#)(33...Qxh5+ 34.Rh4 c4 35.Qc1 {the h6-pawn is doomed}) 34. hxg6+ {the final assault} Rxg6 35. Nf8+ Kg7 36. Nxg6 Kxg6 37. Rf5 Qe8 38. Qf4 Qe7 39. e5 {the last needed move to open up black's position} dxe5 40. Rxe5

World Champion destroys top opposition

Submitted by eugen on Wed, 05/06/2015 - 12:57
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

Submitted by eugen on Tue, 04/28/2015 - 13:38
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

Submitted by eugen on Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:15
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

Submitted by eugen on Mon, 04/13/2015 - 00:53
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)

Submitted by eugen on Fri, 04/10/2015 - 23:18
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

Submitted by eugen on Thu, 04/09/2015 - 15:44
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}

Dubai Open 2015, round 1

Submitted by eugen on Tue, 04/07/2015 - 14:05
The most spectacular attacking game of the round saw FM Saeed (UAE) beating convincingly GM Safarli (AZE). Enjoy the game and carefully observe how persistence and desire to win on the white side triumphed in the end. [Event "Dubai Open 2015"][Site "Dubai"][Date "2015.04.06"][Round "1.9"][White "Saeed, Ishaq"][Black "Safarli, Eltaj"][Result "1-0"][WhiteElo "2200"][BlackElo "2637"][ECO "E10"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 c5 5. a3 cxd4 6. exd4 Be7 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Bf4 Nc6 9. Rc1 Ne4 10. Bd3 Nxc3 11. Rxc3 Bf6 12. h4 !? {The opening was not eventful and one expected white to castle here; instead white shows its aggressive side} h6 13. Bb1 Re8 14. Ne5 dxc4 15. Qh5 ! {Who needs castling when the attack develops so nicely?} Bxe5 16. dxe5 Qd4 17. Rf3 Qxb2 18. O-O {Finally it is done! I like white's chances here with all pieces pointing at the black's castle} Nd4 19. Bxh6 !! {Spectacular} Nxf3+ 20. gxf3 Kf8 21. Bxg7+ {Why play boring, right?} (21. Be3) Kxg7 22. Qg5+ Kf8 23. Rd1 ?! {The engines show this to lead to equality. The correct way is} (23. Qh6+ Ke7 24. Qf6+ Kd7 25. Qxf7+ Kc6 26. Qxe8+) {1-0} Qb3 24. Qh6+ {This begins the search for the winning setup for white; probably it saved reflection time as well} Ke7 25. Qg5+ Kf8 26. Qh6+ Ke7 27. Qf6+ Kf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Qf6+ Kf8 30. Rf1 Qb6 31. Bg6 Qc7 32. h5 ! {It is over now} Kg8 33. Bc2 Qd8 34. Qh6 f5 35. exf6 Re7 36. Kh1

US Championship 2015, round 5

Submitted by eugen on Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:26
The following position arose after an edge of your seat game with sacrifices, blunders, come backs and time pressure; both players went for the win and one (black) got rewarded when white went for the natural hiding of its King after being attacked for most of the game. [Event "U.S. Championship 2015"][Site "Saint Louis"][Date "2015.04.05"][Round "5"][White "Holt, Conrad"][Black "Troff, Kayden W"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2r2k2/3R1P1p/1q4p1/8/8/1B2n1P1/P2Q2KP/8 w - - 1 43"][ECO "D83"]43. Kh3 $4 {GM Friedel "this loses in an amazing fashion"} (43. Kf3 {GM Friedel suggests this instead, but how many would play it in reality?}) 43... g5 $1 {all is now nicely lined up for black} 44. Rd6 (44. Qd6+ Qxd6 45. Rxd6 g4+ 46. Kh4 Nf5+ {0-1}) 44... g4+ 45. Kh4 Nf5+ 46. Kg5 Qxd6 {black is up a rook.} 47. Qb2 Nd4 48. Kxg4 Rc5 {"This is the end" Jim Morrison}

Women WCh 2015 - Final (3-4)

Submitted by eugen on Sun, 04/05/2015 - 15:23
There are 2 games available; please select them from the drop down menu over the chessboard!
Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) is the 15th Women World Champion; congratulations! She defended her 1 point lead from game 2 with two highly combative draws in games 3 and 4. Natalija fought very hard to win a game: a) Game 3: the madness started with 12.e4 ... and lasted pretty much the whole game; still black held on with 3 pawns for a piece b) Game 4: black tried to take advantage of the aggressive play on the King side by white with 15.f4... and 19.g4 ...; however black did not seem to have enough firepower left and after 39.Re7 ... I believe white was better. Mariya sacrificed a piece for a couple of pawns with 41.Bxf7+ ... followed by an exchange sacrifice with 49.Kd5 ... Once that happened, the material advantage black had (Rook for 2 pawns) was just symbolic [Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.04.04"][Round "36.1"][White "Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)"][Black "Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)"][Result "1/2-1/2"][ECO "D45"]1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Be2 a6 11. Ng5 Qc7 12. e4 Bxh2+ 13. Kh1 c5 14. e5 cxd4 15. exf6 Nxf6 16. f4 Bg3 17. Qd3 dxc3 18. Qxg3 h6 19. Nh3 Ne4 20. Qe1 Bb7 21. Bf3 cxb2 22. Bxb2 Qc2 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24. Rf2 Qd3 25. Kh2 Rfd8 26. Rc1 Rac8 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. a3 Bd5 29. Rd2 Qg6 30. Qe5 f6 31. Qe3 Rc4 32. Rf2 Qf5 33. Bc3 Ra4 34. Bd2 a5 35. Qc5 Qd3 36. Bc1 Qc4 37. Qxc4 Rxc4 38. Bb2 b4 39. axb4 Rxb4 40. Bc3 Rb5 41. Rd2 a4 42. Bb2 Rb3 43. f5 a3 44. Bd4 Rb4 45. Nf4 a2 46. Nxd5 Rxd4 47. Nxf6+ gxf6 48. Rxa2 e5 49. Ra8+ Kf7 50. Ra7+ Ke8 51. Ra6 Ke7 52. Ra7+ Rd7 53. Ra6 Kf7 54. Kg3 Kg7 55. Kg4 Re7 56. Ra3 Kh7 57. Ra6 e4 58. Ra2 e3 59. Re2 Rg7+ 60. Kh4 Rg8 61. g4 Re8 62. Kg3 h5 63. gxh5 Kh6 64. Kf4 Re5 65. Rxe3 Rxe3 66. Kxe3 Kxh5 67. Kf4 1/2-1/2 [Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.04.05"][Round "37.1"][White "Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)"][Black "Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)"][Result "1/2-1/2"][ECO "C47"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bc5 6. Be3 Bb4 7. Bd3 Ne5 8. O-O O-O 9. Nd5 Nxd5 10. exd5 Re8 11. Be2 Bf8 12. Qd2 d6 13. h3 h6 14. Rae1 a6 15. f4 Nd7 16. Bf3 Nc5 17. Bf2 Rxe1 18. Rxe1 Bd7 19. g4 Be7 20. Kg2 Bh4 21. Bxh4 Qxh4 22. Qf2 Qf6 23. Kg3 a5 24. Qd2 g5 25. Bg2 b5 26. b3 Qg6 27. a3 gxf4+ 28. Qxf4 b4 29. axb4 axb4 30. Qd2 h5 31. Bf3 hxg4 32. hxg4 Rf8 33. Nc6 Bxc6 34. dxc6 Ne6 35. Qxb4 Qxc2 36. Qc4 Qb2 37. Bd5 Ng5 38. Qf4 Qg7 39. Re7 Ra8 40. Qe3 Qh6 41. Bxf7+ Nxf7 42. Qxh6 Nxh6 43. Rxc7 Nf7 44. b4 Ne5 45. b5 Rb8 46. Rb7 Rc8 47. Kf4 Nd3+ 48. Ke4 Nc5+ 49. Kd5 Nxb7 50. cxb7 Rd8 51. b6 Kf7 52. Kc6 Ke7 53. Kc7 Rd7+ 54. Kc6 Rd8 55. Kc7 Rd7+ 56. Kc6 Rd8