Gibraltar: Forty somethings on the rampage

1/30/2013 – In our previous reports we extolled the performance of mainly young players at the Tradewise Chess Festival. Today John Saunders concentrates on players over forty, like Georgiev, Short and Adams, who are still amply able beat up youngsters. After nine rounds of play three players share the lead with 7.5 points each, followed by seven with 7.0 points. Report and analysis.

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Forty somethings on the rampage

By John Saunders

The story as we left it... Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and Nikita Vitiugov were the last remaining players on a 100% score, so were fated to meet in the sixth round. It was a keenly contested encounter, with Le Quang Liem pressing for a win, first with an extra pawn and later, more improbably, with rook and knight against rook. Of course it was a draw, opening up the possibility of them being joined in the lead by others.

The next two boards promised much, indeed delivered much (in terms of entertaining chess) but failed to produce a decisive result. Vassily Ivanchuk (above) and Vladislav Tkachiev, both on 4.5/5, drew a tough game where the naturalised Frenchman held a pawn advantage for much of the game but was unable to capitalise on it in the face of some stout play from the mercurial Ukrainian, who managed to reach an opposite-coloured bishop endgame which meandered on unproductively for some time before Tkachiev decided enough was enough.

David Navara (above) let a pawn go for some active piece play against Gawain Jones. This was good enough to get him upgraded from a pawn deficit to a pawn advantage but Jones obtained two good bishops in exchange. A very interesting knight versus bishop but, again, a draw resulted.

I’ve got Yu, babe

We’ve seen a lot of wins from the Carlsen generation in this tournament, but the older players can still play a bit and hit back with a vengeance in this round, as amply demonstrated by two-times Gibraltar winner Kiril Georgiev (picture above) from Bulgaria, who caught Yu Yangyi in a deadly snare. This win took Georgiev into a three-way tie for the lead on 5.5/6. Once again, the run-up to the time control was crucial, and this is when the Chinese teenager cracked under pressure and lost. (This reporter is desperately hoping Yu makes a speedy return to the leader board as he has stockpiled several more ‘Yu’ puns to deploy in future reports.)

[Event "Tradewise Gibratar Chess Festival 2013 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.01.27"] [Round "6.4"] [White "Georgiev, Kiril"] [Black "Yu, Yangyi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2643"] [BlackElo "2688"] [Annotator "Saunders,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r7/5k2/3P2p1/p1p2p2/Pp4p1/1P3qP1/3Q3P/4R1K1 b - - 0 40"] [PlyCount "8"] [EventDate "2013.01.22"] {Your computer will blithely tell you that this position is level but what it omits to say is that is extremely difficult for a human to figure out the complications...} 40... Rd8 $2 ({The one and only defensive move is} 40... Re8 $1 {and it still needs to be followed up with rigid accuracy:} 41. d7 Rxe1+ $1 42. Qxe1 Qa8 $1 {and now Black is through to calmer waters. But the business of finding three 'only moves' in a row would tax even a GM.}) 41. Qh6 $1 Re8 { Black probably thought he was getting out from under here but the Bulgarian veteran has a killer move on the way...} 42. Qh7+ Kf6 43. Qe7+ $3 {The only move to win.} Rxe7 44. dxe7 {There is nothing to be done about the pawn queening.} 1-0

Oh Mickey, you're so fine

I hesitate slightly to include Mickey Adams amongst the ‘oldies but goldies’ who beat up younger players in this round, as he still looks absurdly young to my eyes. But the fact remains he also has passed the age of 40. Mickey is renowned for his calm positional style of play, but he is as aggressive and attacking as the next man when the situation demands it. Nana Dzagnidze was unlucky enough to find him in a more overtly violent frame of mind this round. That said, he followed up his piece sacrifice by tying up Nana Dzagnidze’s pieces in knots in typical Mickey fashion, rather than doing anything so vulgar as delivering checkmate. A very stylish game by the English number one.

[Event "Tradewise Gibratar Chess Festival 2013 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.01.27"] [Round "6.6"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2555"] [BlackElo "2725"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2013.01.22"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 c5 6. d5 exd5 7. Nh4 g6 8. Nc3 Bg7 9. O-O d6 10. Bg5 Qd7 11. cxd5 h6 12. Bd2 b5 13. a3 O-O 14. e4 Na6 15. Qb3 Nc7 16. Rfe1 a5 17. Qa2 Rfe8 18. a4 b4 19. Nd1 Re7 20. f4 Rae8 21. Nf2 {[diag]} Nfxd5 $1 22. exd5 ({The computer suggests} 22. Rad1 {but after} Nf6 {Black is just a pawn up. Nana decides to test Mickey's combination but so much the worse for her.}) 22... Re2 $1 {The problem is that the d2 bishop is embarrassed...} 23. Rxe2 Rxe2 24. Rd1 Bd4 {... and so is the f2 knight.} 25. Be1 Qe8 26. Nf3 Qe3 27. Qb1 Rxb2 28. Qc1 Qxc1 $1 {The absence of queens in no way lessens the potency of the black pieces.} 29. Rxc1 Be3 30. Rd1 c4 {A position for Benoni players to relish, as the black pawns bear down on the queenside. It's getting desperate now and White tries a risky trick.} 31. Ne5 $5 dxe5 32. d6 Bxg2 $1 {Nerves of steel.} 33. f5 (33. d7 Ne6 34. d8=Q+ Nxd8 35. Rxd8+ Kh7 36. Kxg2 c3 {and the c-pawn is just too fast.}) 33... Bb7 34. d7 Bg5 35. d8=Q+ Bxd8 36. Rxd8+ Kg7 37. Rd7 Rb1 38. Kf1 c3 39. f6+ (39. Rxc7 Ba6+ 40. Kg2 Rxe1 {and the black pawns win the game.}) 39... Kxf6 40. Ng4+ Kg5 41. Nxe5 c2 0-1

Nigel Short’s reaction to his second round defeat has been impressive. Four straight wins! His sixth round game bore testament to the former world championship runner-up’s grit and determination. Facing a tough Polish GM who had matched him blow for blow, he dreamt up a tremendous bishop for two pawns sacrifice that your analysis engine of choice will disdain – wrongly. This is practical, risk-taking tournament chess at its finest, with a player stamping his will on the game in order to gain the desired result.

[Event "Tradewise Gibratar Chess Festival 2013 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.01.27"] [Round "6.9"] [White "Jakubiec, Artur"] [Black "Short, Nigel D"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B47"] [WhiteElo "2518"] [BlackElo "2690"] [Annotator "Saunders,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/1Q1b2p1/5pkp/1P2p1n1/4P3/2BP2Pq/8/1KN5 b - - 0 50"] [PlyCount "27"] [EventDate "2013.01.22"] 50... Bxb5 $3 {Black gambles on his kingside pawns being able to advance quickly and White's awkwardly placed minor pieces not being able to mobilise as effectively.} 51. Qxb5 Qxg3 52. Qe8+ Nf7 53. Qd7 Qf3 54. Kc2 h5 55. Be1 Ng5 56. Qa7 Qg4 57. Qf2 Nf3 58. Nb3 (58. Qg3 Qxg3 59. Bxg3 h4 60. Bf2 Kg5 61. Ne2 h3 62. Ng3 h2 {and the black king will advance and shepherd home the h-pawn.}) 58... h4 59. Nd2 Nd4+ {The knight is beautifully placed here.} 60. Kb2 h3 { Around here, your analysis engine may be waking up to the fact that White has a very tough defensive task ahead of him. Doubtless so was White himself, but it may already be too late.} 61. Nf1 Qd1 $1 {A brilliant switch to queenside action, which is surprisingly hard to defend against.} 62. Nh2 (62. Qd2 Qb3+ 63. Kc1 Qa3+ 64. Kb1 Qa4 {keeps White tied up, e.g.} 65. Bg3 $2 Qb5+ 66. Ka2 Qb3+ {and Nc2+ is a killer.}) 62... Qb3+ 63. Kc1 Qxd3 {Black's smaller force totally dominates White's pieces and Black will soon have four connected passed poawns. A truly remarkable finish.} 0-1

Top rankings after round nine

Rk.
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts.
 TB1 
Rp
rtg+/-
1
GM
Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2694
7.5
2850
2839
17.5
2
GM
Vachier-Lagrave M. FRA 2711
7.5
2805
2792
10.4
3
GM
Short Nigel D ENG 2690
7.5
2738
2721
6.7
4
GM
Le Quang Liem VIE 2705
7.0
2795
2785
10.9
5
GM
Adams Michael ENG 2725
7.0
2760
2748
4.6
6
GM
Navara David CZE 2710
7.0
2753
2744
5.5
7
GM
Georgiev Kiril BUL 2643
7.0
2752
2745
13.2
8
GM
Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2758
7.0
2750
2705
1.2
9
GM
Sandipan Chanda IND 2590
7.0
2725
2721
16.1
10
GM
Zhao Xue CHN 2554
7.0
2611
2610
8.2
11
GM
Kamsky Gata USA 2740
6.5
2703
2667
-1.2
12
GM
Yu Yangyi CHN 2688
6.5
2700
2691
3.1
13
GM
Jones Gawain C B ENG 2632
6.5
2698
2692
9.9
14
GM
Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2606
6.5
2673
2669
9.8
15
IM
Oparin Grigoriy RUS 2478
6.5
2634
2633
21.1
16
GM
Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2723
6.5
2630
2618
-8.0
17
GM
Felgaer Ruben ARG 2557
6.5
2625
2625
9.9
18
GM
Fridman Daniel GER 2667
6.5
2618
2608
-3.4
19
IM
Ibarra Jose Carlos ESP 2538
6.5
2594
2594
8.2
20
GM
Gordon Stephen J ENG 2533
6.5
2544
2544
3.0
21
GM
Cramling Pia SWE 2518
6.5
2533
2522
4.6
22
GM
Gallagher Joseph G. SUI 2499
6.5
2528
2528
6.1
23
GM
Iturrizaga Eduardo VEN 2650
6.0
2649
2641
1.2
24
GM
Tkachiev Vladislav FRA 2650
6.0
2644
2636
1.2
25
GM
Ehlvest Jaan USA 2603
6.0
2637
2633
5.6
26
GM
Al-Sayed Mohammed QAT 2507
6.0
2595
2595
12.1
27
GM
Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2516
6.0
2592
2592
10.3
28
GM
Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2555
6.0
2586
2585
5.0
29
GM
Shirov Alexei LAT 2708
6.0
2585
2575
-11.5
30
GM
Muzychuk Anna SLO 2582
6.0
2565
2562
-0.6
31
GM
Jakubiec Artur POL 2518
6.0
2556
2556
6.1
32
IM
Larino Nieto David ESP 2497
6.0
2555
2546
9.1
33
IM
Docx Stefan BEL 2426
6.0
2549
2548
15.6
34
IM
Gunina Valentina RUS 2490
6.0
2546
2546
8.3
35
GM
Kanep Meelis EST 2512
6.0
2534
2534
3.7
36
IM
Kjartansson Gudmundur ISL 2408
6.0
2524
2524
14.8
37
GM
Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2469
6.0
2510
2508
6.1
38
WGM
Ju Wenjun CHN 2505
6.0
2509
2497
2.8
39
GM
Sutovsky Emil ISR 2684
6.0
2505
2482
-16.5
40
IM
Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2482
6.0
2500
2500
3.8
41
GM
Womacka Mathias GER 2442
6.0
2495
2495
7.5
42
GM
Bartel Mateusz POL 2629
6.0
2489
2482
-13.1
43
GM
Akesson Ralf SWE 2441
6.0
2471
2471
5.0
44
GM
Vazquez Igarza Renier ESP 2565
6.0
2466
2465
-8.1
45
IM
Tania Sachdev IND 2403
6.0
2458
2449
9.5
46
GM
Maze Sebastien FRA 2546
6.0
2452
2446
-8.8
47
FM
Kvisvik Brede NOR 2314
6.0
2417
2414
21.6
48
IM
Omar Noaman UAE 2314
6.0
2406
2406
18.0
49
IM
Kuipers Stefan NED 2431
6.0
2319
2272
-8.7

Top pairings for round ten

Sd.
Name
Rtg
Pts.
Pts.
Name
Rtg
Sd.
9
Vitiugov Nikita
2694
-
Vachier-Lagrave M
2711
5
6
Navara David
2710
7
-
Short Nigel D
2690
10
30
Zhao Xue
2554
7
-
7
Ivanchuk Vassily
2758
1
16
Georgiev Kiril
2643
7
-
7
Adams Michael
2725
3
8
Le Quang Liem
2705
7
-
7
Sandipan Chanda
2590
24
2
Kamsky Gata
2740
-
Ibarra Jose Carlos
2538
33
28
Felgaer Ruben
2557
-
Wojtaszek Radoslaw
2723
4
35
Cramling Pia
2518
-
Yu Yangyi
2688
11
34
Gordon Stephen J
2533
-
Fridman Daniel
2667
13
17
Jones Gawain C B
2632
-
Gallagher Joseph G.
2499
43
21
Salgado Lopez Ivan
2606
-
Oparin Grigoriy
2478
49

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