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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