Saturday 20 July 2019

The Irish chess calendar is full of interesting tournaments which are coming up soon. The biggest of them are the Bunratty Chess Festival (February 22-24), the Galway Chess Congress (March 22-24) and the Irish International Open (April 17-22), which will take place in Gonzaga College. Check out www.icu.ie for more details.

Alexander Baburin

The Irish chess calendar is full of interesting tournaments which are coming up soon. The biggest of them are the Bunratty Chess Festival (February 22-24), the Galway Chess Congress (March 22-24) and the Irish International Open (April 17-22), which will take place in Gonzaga College. Check out www.icu.ie for more details.

Developing pieces is the main imperative in the opening, and pawn grabbing is probably the main reason why even strong players stray from the right path. In the following game from the recent Gibraltar Masters Open an experienced Dutch IM suffered a quick defeat when he went for a measly pawn:

Santos Ruiz - Wemmers

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6

3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 b6

5.e4 c5 6.d5 Qe7

7.Nge2 exd5 8.exd5 0-0

9.Bg5!? Ba6?

This is a serious error of judgment as this bishop was actually better off on c8. The c4-pawn isn't worth the time spent on winning it. Black should have played 9...d6 10.0-0-0 h6 11.Bh4 Nbd7 12.Ng3 Qe5, with mutual chances.

10.0-0-0 Bxc4?

Black would also struggle after 10...h6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Ne4 Qe7 13.g4! d6 14.N2g3, but that's what he had to settle for.

11.Ng3 Bxf1 12.Nf5! Qd8 (D)

13.Ne4!

White would also have the upper hand after 13.Rhxf1 d6 14.Ne4 Nbd7, but he found an even better line of play.

13...Ba6 14.Bxf6 gxf6

15.Qb3 Kh8 16.Ned6 1-0

Black's forces are completely paralysed, so his resignation does not seem premature.

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