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39th Olympaid – Adams 1-0 Carlsen (09.10.10.)

The Devon Team RapidPlay was held at the Newton Abbot Club on Sunday resulting in a win for the home club’s 1st team. Prizes for the best score by an adult went to Jack Rudd of Barnstaple (6/6) and the junior prize went to Alex Billings (4½/6) of Torquay Boys G. S. Ten teams competed. Full details and pictures can be found on the website.

The 39th Olympiad held over the last 2 weeks in Siberia was won by Ukraine ahead of Russia I with Israel in 3rd place. Of the 149 competing teams England came 24th, Scotland and Ireland were 83rd and 88th respectively, while Wales came 122nd.

World No. 1 player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway had an indifferent tournament by his standards, which started with this loss to Michael Adams in Rd. 3.

White: M. Adams (2728). Black: M. Carlsen (2826).

Robatsch Defence 

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5 4.Be2 d6 5.Nf3 Adams must have considered  5.Bxh5 gxh5 6.Qxh5 dxe5 7.Qxe5 Rg8 8.Qe4 but having one’s queen left in the centre of the board prey to all the enemy pieces was not worth the pawn. 5…Nc6 6.exd6 exd6 7.d5 Ne7 8.c4 Bg7 9.Nc3 0–0 10.0–0 Bg4 11.Re1 Re8 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nf6 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.Rc1 Ne5 16.b3 a6 17.g3 Nf5 18.Bg2 g5 19.Bxe5 Bxe5 20.Ne4 Ng7 21.Qd2 h6 every K-side pawn move weakens the King’s defences. 22.f4 but White is not afraid do likewise and take the risk. 22…gxf4 23.gxf4 the g-file is now open with the Kings at each end, and Adams exploits the situation brilliantly. 23…Bf6 24.Kh2 Nh5 25.Rg1 Kh7 26.Rcf1 Rg8 27.Qe2 forcing the knight to move and preparing his next threat. 27…Ng7 28.Qd3 Kh8 Black is now on the back foot. 29.Bf3 b5 30.Bd1 clearing lines for the rook pair and switching to c2 30…bxc4 31.bxc4 Bh4 32.Bc2 f5 33.Rg6 White can ignore the threat to his knight by threatening mate, and forcing 33…Kh7 34.Rfg1 Qe7 If Black had now taken the knight 34…fxe4 35.Qxe4 and mate is inevitable. 35.Ng3 Bxg3+ 36.Qxg3 Qf7 37.Bd1 the final nail in the coffin, joining the attack and stopping a niggling check on e2 later. 37…Rae8 38.Rxh6+ resigns, for if 38…Kxh6 39.Qg5+ Kh7 40.Qh4+ Nh5 41.Bxh5 and Black must lose his Queen.

Last week’s “lovely little lightweight” by Mansfield was solved by the unlikely-looking 1.Ba1! that leaves Black with no saving moves.

This week’s position is the end of a game between Colin McNab and Jim Sherwin (Black). White is faced with the threat of dxe1=Q+, but how concerned should he be? Does he have sufficiently powerful counter- threats?

White to play and win.

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