Wednesday 21 August 2019

Chess

Alexander Baburin

The Irish Chess Championship will take place at the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan, Dublin, over the week of August 3-11. As usual, apart from the main tournament, there will be various side events as well.

The deadline for entries is approaching fast - so check www.icu.ie for details on this and other Irish tournaments.

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The FIDE Grand Prix knockout tournament is in progress in Riga. After two rounds of play, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Wesley So (USA), Maxime Vachier Lagrave (France) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia) have reached the semi-finals.

The latter won a nice game in the starting round of this competition:

Grischuk - Vitiugov

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6

3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 Nbd7

5.Bf4 dxc4 6.e3 Nb6

7.Bxc4 Nxc4 8.Qa4+ c6

9.Qxc4 Nd5 10.Bg3 Qb6

11.Qe2 Bb4!? 12.0-0!?

White is fighting for the initiative! Black probably expected only 12.Rc1, to which he would probably reply 12...Qb5!.

12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bxc3

14.Rab1 Qd8 15.Rb3 Ba5

16.e4 Bc7?

Black should have castled at once - after 16...0-0 White would have compensation for a pawn, but not much more.

17.Bh4!? Qd7 18.Rd1 0-0??

Now this natural move loses on the spot; 18...f6 was called for.

19.Ne5 Qe8 (D)

All of Black's pieces are awkwardly placed. Grischuk took advantage of that with a typical sacrifice:

20.Bf6! Bd8 21.Bxg7! Kxg7

22.Rg3+ Kh8 23.Qh5 1-0

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