Tuesday 6 December 2016

Scholastic chess is booming in Ireland - and therefore it's not surprising that no less than 18 Irish players took part in the recent World Junior Chess Championship in Greece.

Published 08/11/2015 | 02:30

Scholastic chess is booming in Ireland - and therefore it's not surprising that no less than 18 Irish players took part in the recent World Junior Chess Championship in Greece.

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Indian players dominated the event, winning 11 medals, five of them gold. Russia and the US each took four medals, but none were gold. Iran, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Germany, Greece, Uzbekistan and Vietnam won one gold medal each. Most Irish players scored close to 50pc - and all gained very valuable experience.

Alex Byrne had the best score, with 6 points out of 11 in the U14 tournament. The following interesting game was played in the U16 group.

Martirosyan - Stauskas

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6

3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7

5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5

7.Qc2 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Qd5?!

Black is trying to prevent e2-e4, but the usual move 8...c5 is more reliable.

9.g3 c5 10.Bg2 Be7

11.0-0 0-0 12.Rd1 cxd4

13.cxd4 Bf6?! 14.Bf4

Good control over the centre gives White a clear advantage.

14...Rc8 15.Qd3

Perhaps it was even better to play 15.Qxc8+ Bxc8 16.Ne5 Qb5 17.Bxa8.

15...Qe4 16.Qb5 Qd5

17.Qb2 Qd7 18.Ne5 Bxe5?

Opening the d-file is the last straw breaking Black's position. Black had to defend patiently with 18...Qe7.

19.dxe5 Qe7 (D)

Black was hoping to swap the light-squared bishops and then develop his knight, but White did not give him a chance to do so:

20.Bg5! Qc7

21.Bd8! Rxd8 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8

23.Bxb7 Nd7 24.Rd1 1-0

Sunday Independent

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