Friday 23 August 2019


Alexander Baburin

during the Easter holidays 97 players from 19 countries took part in the Irish International Open at Gonzaga College. After 9 rounds Hungarian GM Robert Ruck (2512) emerged victorious with 7.5 points, winning the first prize of €2,250.

Grandmasters Burg (NED, 2519), Strikovic (SRB, 2493) and Hovhannisyan (BEL, 2461) tied for second on 7 points each.

IM David Fitzsimons had the best result among the Irish players, finishing on 6 points.

Today I would like to show a nice game from round 4 of this tournament, won by Croatian GM Ante Saric, who is a regular visitor to Irish chess tournaments.

Saric - Hovhannisyan

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6

3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5

5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3

7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+

9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0

11.Rc1 b6 12.Bd3 Bb7

13.0-0 Nd7 14.Qf4 Nf6

15.Rc3 Rc8 16.Ra3 a6?

Black should have played 16...a5. The difference is seen in the line 17.e5 Nh5 18.Qe3 f5 and Black does not have to worry about his a-pawn.

17.e5! Nd5? (D)

Black would also struggle after 17...Nh5 18.Qe3 but that was already the lesser evil.

There are no defenders around the black king, which allowed White to win with a classic 'Greek Gift' sacrifice:

18.Bxh7+! Kh8

Black is checkmated after 18...Kxh7 19.Ng5+ Kg6 20.Qe4+ Kxg5 21.Rg3+ Kh6 22.Rh3+ Kg5 23.Rh7!.

19.Qg3 g6 20.Ng5 Rc3

21.Qh4 1-0

Black resigned, not waiting for 21...Kg7 22.Bg8!.

Sunday Independent

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