Entertainment

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Chess

Alexander Baburin

The Glorney Gilbert International Tournament took place on July 21-24 in the Carrickdale Hotel and Spa in Co Louth. Six countries were represented, across four team events. France won the Glorney Cup (U18) for the third time in a row, England won the Gilbert (U18 girls) and Robinson Cups (U14), while the Dutch were first in the Stokes (U12) tournament. Ireland came third in the Gilbert tournament and fourth in the other three sections.

Less than a year ago Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was No 2 on the rating list, nearly catching up with Magnus Carlsen. Now the Azeri player is No 9 and the gap between him and the World Champion is almost 120 points.

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However, a few days ago Mamedyarov won the Riga leg of the FIDE Grand Prix, defeating Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 5-4 in a nerve-wracking final and boosting his chances to qualify for the next Candidates tournament.

The following endgame arose in game 8 of that match:

Mamedyarov - Vachier-Lagrave

White to play

Grandmaster Tartakower famously claimed that all rook endgames are drawn. Indeed, White would be OK after 61.Rd7! Rxf6 62.Kc3 Re6 63.Kd2 h4 64.Rd8!, but with little time on the clock even great players err!

61.Ra7? Rxf6 62.Kc3 Rd6!

Now the white king is too far away from the pawn.

63.Ra8 h4 64.Rg8+ Kf5

65.Rh8 Kg4 66.Rg8+ Kf3

67.Rh8 Kg3 68.Rg8+ Kh2

69.Rg4 h3 70.Rg8 Kh1

71.Rg7 h2 72.Rg8 Rd1

73.Kc2 Rg1 0-1

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