Monday 19 August 2019

Chess

Alexander Baburin

Two top chess tournaments took place recently. Magnus Carlsen won a small rapid chess tournament in Scotland. Quite surprisingly, 3.5 points in 6 games was enough for him to take a clear first.

Ding Liren and Sergey Karjakin tied for second on 3 points, while Vishy Anand came last with 2.5 points.

Meanwhile, in Moscow Ian Nepomniachtchi won the first leg of the FIDE Grand Prix. In the final of this knockout tournament, he defeated Alexander Grischuk 2.5-1.5.

The two winners of the overall Grand Prix will get places in the Candidates' tournament and both Nepomniachtchi and Grischuk are in a good position now to fight for those two spots.

The ability to anticipate your opponent's plans and threats is a very important quality in chess, as it helps to disarm those threats in time. In the following game - taken from a recent tournament held in Hungary - Black was totally oblivious to what his opponent had in mind... until the moment that it was too late!

Gschnitzer - Pasztor

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6

3.Nf3 f5 4.g3 Nf6

5.d4 e4 6.Nh4 d6

7.Bg5 Be7 8.e3 0-0

9.Be2 Bd7 10.Ng2 a5

11.Nf4 a4 12.h4 a3

13.Rb1 axb2 14.Rxb2 b6?!

Black should have opted for 14...Na5.

15.c5! bxc5? 16.Bc4+ Kh8? (D)

16...Rf7 had to be played, as now White wins the game with a series of sacrifices:

17.Ng6+! hxg6 18.h5 Kh7

19.Nd5 Ng4 20.Nf4 gxh5

21.Qxg4! 1-0

Sunday Independent

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