Thursday, April 24, 2008

April TNT Round 3

Looks like a round of upsets and semi-upsets - let's take a look.
Lots of very interesting games.
Play through the games with some playable variations here

Kernetsky - Mundwiler 0-1
Wow. These guys were playing book moves for many moves. 17. Qd3 may be a novelty, Qd2 is the most common move. White ended up playing Qd2 a few moves later. In the meantime, Black played Qd8 to e8 to d8.
Black gave up an important pawn with 27...Ne8 instead of Ne6.
30. Re6 suggests itself and looks absolutely crushing, but White played 30.Bc4 ? instead and the initiative instantly turns over to Black.
42.gh4 opens up too many lines against White's king - but White must have been feeling the pressure of time trouble as he lost on time a few moves later although he is lost anyway in the final position. There is no good way to prevent ...Kg3, Rh2 mate.

Jim Green - Liu 0-1

White plays a King's Indian Attack against the French - no doubt inspired by Fischer as I was.

I don't understand 17...Nxd3, cleaning up White's pawn structure, but perhaps Weixi just wanted to get on with cracking open the h file.

White gets passive and decides to try to defend the kingside instead of drumming up counterplay on the queenside starting with a4.

I going to speculate that White was in time trouble when he played 33.Rfg1 ??
33. Kc2 and Black still has work to do.

Lauritson - Wierda 0-1
This must be considered an upset.
Black's three knight moves to snap off the bad White bishop looks suspect to me, but I gave up the Benoni a long time ago, so what do I know. I guess it paid off as Black went on a dangerous looking pawn raid with the queen and got away with it ! The queen sits on b4 trapped, but White can't hit it ! Then the knight wreaks havoc on the c4 square ! Time to get desparado perhaps with 23. hxg7 hoping for Kxg7, then 24. Bh6+ Kg8 25. Qg5 (which later an engine told me is a mate in 11 !)
Nice game by John.

Silva - Rutter 0-1
Blair sent me email about some his thoughts on this game, so I will address them as well as what I find.
White's position is hanging by a thread after 29. Qc2 ?

Initially, I thought Black should have played 33...Nxg2 winning a piece and it should be over, but my engine tells me Blair's move is slightly better - White can't prevent the loss of the piece.

Silva tries the obvious 35. d7 and Black misses Red8!

The point is 36. dxc8(Q) Qh1+ 37. Ke2 Nf4#

But, Black played 35...Qh1+ and after 36. Ke2 almost all of Black's pieces are hanging in some manner. But Black has a few checks and exchanges with check and we end up with a material imbalance and unclear position.
Black tosses a piece with 43...Kf8? (Ne6 is solid)
White eventually improves to a winning endgame but doesn't play 54 Nd5+ which wins easily, instead stepping his king into the only harm that could befall him, a skewer winning the queen.

Aaron Green - Kris Gibson DRAW
The ever dangerous Gibson essays the Sicilian Pin variation against the highest rated member of the Green household.

I thought Black should have played 16...fe4 opening the f-file. Anyway, Black had a huge advantage and White decided to try 25. Qxc8 +, winning a bishop and two rooks for the queen.

After a number of forced exchanges, the following postition occurred with Black to play.

My engine finds
27...Qe4 ! which wins.

Rumple - Leor Wasserman 1-0
The game simplifies down to a tricky king and pawn ending. 36...g4 is apparently losing, but White returns the favour with 37. a5 when Black is winning. The last mistake is 39...Kf5 which takes the king out of the squares of the a and b pawns.

Evans - Greenberg 1-0
Deja vu all over again - Evans beats Greenberg again.
7...d5 must be played..if you can get d5 in safely in the Sicilian then do so. But Black equalizes early anyways. My engine finds the mysterious 17...Qg5, the point being after something like 18.Rhd1..Nd4 is a killer.
Harley later loses (or sacrifices) his e-pawn and follows up with 23. Bxa2 which reminded me of Spassky- Fischer Game 1 - 1972

Xue- Letain 1-0
I am not sure 12. O-O-O is correct , but White ends up with a powerful attack that smashes through.

Lawrence Klusa - Leah Green 1-0
Highly original opening. Black's queen goes on a fishing expedition, picks up a few pawns, but can't get back to defend the king. 26...f6? leaves the white squares very weak and it is quickly exploited.

Peter Martens - Mark Klusa 0-1
Black loses a pawn, but misses the win of a knight with 19...Qg5+
He gets it much later though after white loses his way.

Kalk -James Martens
Another original opening by Black. An Alekhine's defence goes out of book on move 3.

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