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Archive for July, 2018

World Seniors’ News (21.07.2018.) 995

While the World Cup was on, the World Seniors’ Team Championship was being played out in Dresden. There were 67 teams of 5 in the 50+ section and 61 in the older group, and there were 3 England teams in each section with several local players involved.

The 50+ World Champions were the USA, whom England beat in their individual encounter, only to lose to Germany in the last round, and having to settle for Silver. However, Keith Arkell won the Gold medal for the best performance by a Board 5 player. A member of the England 3 team was Steve Homer who finished on 5/9 points, an excellent result in that company. His highpoint was this game against a Russian Woman Grandmaster.

White: Stephen Homer. Black: Elena Fatalibekova.

Sicilian Defence – Sveshnikov Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 With 3 pieces bearing down on d6, Black has to respond with a counter-threat. 7…e5 The signature move of the Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian Defence, devised by the Russian, Evgeny Sveshnikov, who was also playing in the tournament, and walking past the game from time to time, to see how his compatriot was dealing with his pet opening, which made both players somewhat nervous. 8.Bg5 a6 9.Na3 b5 Threatening to fork the knights. 10.Nd5 Be7 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.c4! In post-game analysis, White learned that this intuitive move was, in fact, vital if White is to get good play. 12…b4 13.Nc2 Now White’s forward knight is very strongly placed, while Black is denied playing …d4 which often frees up Black’s position. 13…a5 14.Be2 Bg5 15.0–0 0–0 16.Qd3 Be6 17.Rad1 f5 18.Bf3 f4 19.a3 bxa3 20.Nxa3 It’s important to activate the knight a.s.a.p. 20…Nd4 21.Nb5 Bxd5 22.Nxd4 exd4 23.exd5 This skirmish leaves Black’s central pawns blocked and the e-file available to White. 23…Bf6 24.Rfe1 Qb6 25.Re6 a4 26.Be4 h6 27.Qh3 White is now dominating the white squares with great attacking potential. 27…Qb3 28.Qg4 f3 29.Re1 g5 30.Qf5 Threatening mate and winning the bishop. 30…Ra7 31.Rxf6 Rxf6 32.Qxf6 Qxb2 33.Bd3 Freeing up his rook and providing a defence against a possible back rank mate. 33…Qb8 34.Qg6+ Kf8 35.Re6 Now everything can pile in. 35…Rg7 36.Qxh6 Kg8 37.Qh5 1-0 Resigns, as there is a forced mate in 7  e.g. 37…Rd7 38.Rh6 Rb7 39.Rh8+ Kg7 Grab the queen – or is there something better? With all of White’s pieces coordinating beautifully, there surely is. e.g. 40.Qh6+ Kf7 41.Qg6+ Ke7 42.Qe6#.

Interestingly, Elena is the daughter of Olga Rubtsova (1909 – 1994), who became the 4th Womens World Champion in 1956, and was unique in being the only player, male or female, to become World Champion at both over-the-board and correspondence chess. All of which adds a little bit of icing on Stephen’s  already very sweet  cake.

Last week’s 2-mover, was solved by 1.Bg6!

In this position from 1991, Evgeny Sveshnikov (W) mated in 3 moves.

White to play and win

British Championships Approaching

The British Championships start in a fortnight in Kingston-Upon-Hull’s City Hall, as part of their UK City of Culture activities (2017-2020).  Generous support and sponsorship has attracted a healthy entry of 750+ and rising every day. The Championship section of 57 includes 15 GMs and 25 others with a Masters title, and there are 20 other sections available to enter. Check out the ECF website for latest developments.

Cornishman Michael Adams has returned to the fray after missing out last year. At Bournemouth in 2016 he became Champion with the unsurpassed score of 10/11, and in this company will need to be at his very best again to repeat that.

At Bournemouth, the last round pairing was most unusual, almost bizarre. For the final round, Adams should have been paired against one of his closest rivals, but he’d already played all of them, whereas another player, almost 500 rating points lower, had done exceedingly well up to that point and was the only realistic opponent. However, the almost surreal nature of the situation may have got to him, as Adams showed what he can do, given half a chance.

White: M. Brown (2252). Black: M. Adams (2727)

Scotch Game  [C45]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 White decides to go for the open Scotch Game, which can lead to complicated positions with lots of activity. exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 White is bound to want to be as aggressive as possible Nb6 9.Nc3 Qe6 10.Qe4? White’s queen now plays little significant part in the game. g6 11.Bd3 Bg7 12.f4 0–0 13.0–0 f5 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Bd2 d5 16.Qe2 If 16.cxd5 Bf5 17.Qf3 Qd4+ and White would be under severe pressure. 16…Ba6 17.Rae1 Bxc4 18.Bxc4 Nxc4 19.Bc1 a5 20.Qc2 Rae8 Black’s development is now complete, but White’s queen seems to want to run away and hide. 21.Qa4 Qd4+ 22.Kh1 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Qf2 24.Rg1 It’s too late for the queen to be effective. e.g. 24.Qd1 Nxb2 25.Bxb2 Qxb2 26.Ne2. 24…Bd4 25.Rd1 Re8 26.h3 Re1+ 27.Kh2 Qg1+ 28.Kg3 Ne3 0-1. If 29.Rd2, Black has the choice of 29…h5 or Nf1+ winning more material. A ruthless display by Adams.

Last week’s game was finished off even more ruthlessly by 13 year old Nadia Jaufarally, thus:-

16.Nh6+ Sacrificing a piece with check in order to retain the initiative 16…gxh6 17.Bc4+ Kh8 Now throw in the queen & rook for good measure. 18.Qxe8+ Nxe8 19.Rxe8+ Bf8 Blocking the check with a piece already under attack – feels like a good idea. 20.Rxf8+ Nxf8 21.Be5# Oh dear – the bishops apply the coup de grace. 1–0

In 1910 Alain White published The White Rooks, a collection of 100 positions in which White had only rooks to help administer a swift mate, from which I’ve selected several in recent weeks. The year before, he’d published Knights & Bishops, a collection in which White has no queen or rook, but only the minor pieces in which to finish Black off in short time. This is a 2-mover from that book.

White to mate in 2


NB: A = Grades are current standard-play rounded to nearest 5.

B = No. of minutes on clock for each player

A B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 total
1 Braun 200 10 .…X ……… ……… ……… ……… ……… ……… .1.…… ..1.…… ……… ……… ……… ……… 2
2 Abbott, 185 10 X
3 Wensley 175 15 X
4 Shaw 175 15 X
5 Murray 145 30 X
6 Dean 140 35 X
7 Adams 130 40 X
8 Selley 130 40 0 X 0 0 0
9 Jones 130 40 0 1 X 00 1 2
10 Belt 115 45 1 11 X 0 3
11 Blake 100 55 X
12 Newcombe 95 55 X
13 Grist 85 60 0 1 X 1