Zurich: Simul Exhibition

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/6/2014 – As part of the festivities of Zurich 2014 the World Women's Chess Champion Hou Yifan was invited to play a simultaneous exhibition against the strongest Swiss junior players. This proved to not be an easy task as the Chinese player's opponent's average rating was well over 2150 and the clocks were running on every board. One player was even very close to winning...

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The «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» will be the first encounter between the newly crowned World Champion, Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, and the former title holder, India’s Viswanathan Anand after their recent match in Chennai. From Wednesday, 29 January to Tuesday, 4 February 2014, they will compete in the 3rd Zurich Chess Challenge along with four other great chess stars: Levon Aronian (Armenia), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Fabiano Caruana (Italy) and Boris Gelfand (Israel).

Hou Yifan Simultaneous Exhibition

On February 1st the reigning Women's World Champion Hou Yifan gave a clock simul to six talented Swiss junior players as part of the festivities of Zurich 2014.

The simul was especially taxing as it was a clock simul and Hou Yifan was not playing White in every board, as is sometimes common in simultaneous exhibitions. Her opposition ranged from 2091 (lowest rated) up to 2319, which is a fair opponent already in a normal game!

The simul took place in the "Zunfthaus zur Saffran" on the banks of the Limmat River

Originally a merchant house for textiles and spices, it today provides festive halls for social function.

Playing black in a simul is not easy at all -
especially when your opponent is nearly 2200!

Against Pomini Aurelien, 2181 - one of the two draws of the simul

The toughest game was against Lars Rindlisbacher, 2319:

[Event "Uhrensimultan"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.02.01"] [Round "?"] [White "GM Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Rindlisbacher, Lars"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C00"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2319"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2014.02.02"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 {The KIA (King's Indian Attack) setups are usually more viable against the e6 Sicilian as opposed to others as Black will probably not fianchetto.} Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. Qe2 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O b6 8. e5 Nd7 9. c4 {a typical idea in these structures. Pushing d4 weakens e4 severely, while leaving the pawn on d5 might make it a target.} d4 10. Re1 Bb7 11. h4 h6 12. h5 Qc7 13. Na3 $2 {playing for the b4 break is hard to justify in this structure. More natural was to put the bishop on f4 and then the knight on e4.} a6 14. Nc2 b5 15. b3 b4 $5 {This seals the knight out of play, but it also prevents Black's counterplay on the queenside. He has made the wise decision of not castling however, and he will soon run to that flank to avoid sacrifices on h6.} 16. Bf4 a5 17. Nh2 O-O-O 18. Ng4 Bg5 19. Bc1 $1 (19. Bxg5 hxg5 {is very dangerous for White as defending h5 is impossible.}) 19... Bxc1 20. Raxc1 g6 $6 (20... Rde8 $1 {followed by f5 would have already given Black a serious advantage in the center.}) 21. hxg6 fxg6 22. f4 $2 {relatively careless.} (22. Nf6 Ndxe5 $2 (22... Ncxe5 23. Nxd7 Nxd7 24. Bxb7+ Qxb7 25. Qxe6 $14) (22... g5 23. Nxd7 Qxd7 {would have left both sides with chances.}) 23. f4 $16) 22... g5 23. fxg5 hxg5 {White's king is starting to feel uncomfortable, but more importantly e5 is dying.} 24. Qe4 Rdf8 $1 {The rook will swing to f5.} 25. a3 Kb8 {not bad, but Black could already go for the kill} (25... Rf5 $1 26. axb4 axb4 27. Rf1 Ncxe5 $19) (25... a4 $5 {very messy but worth a look.} 26. axb4 (26. bxa4 b3 {and the knight on c2 is trapped!}) 26... axb3 27. b5 Ne7 28. Qxb7+ Qxb7 29. Bxb7+ Kxb7 30. Na3 Rf3 $19 {White's position is collapsing.}) 26. axb4 Ncxe5 $2 {not bad but why make the game so messy? Simply retaking on b4 was good enough.} (26... axb4 27. Ra1 Rf5 $19) 27. Qxb7+ Qxb7 28. Bxb7 Nxg4 29. Bg2 Nde5 30. Re4 axb4 $2 (30... Nxd3 31. Ra1 Ndf2 32. Rxg4 Nxg4 33. bxa5 e5 $19) 31. Ra1 Kc7 32. Ra7+ Kb6 33. Re7 Rh6 34. Ne1 Rf5 35. Nc2 Nh2 36. Ne1 g4 $2 {The final awkward move after which it is really difficult to win.} (36... Nef3+ 37. Nxf3 Nxf3+ 38. Bxf3 Rxf3 39. R4xe6+ Rxe6 40. Rxe6+ Kc7 $19 {and White will lose important pawns.}) 37. Rf4 Rxf4 38. gxf4 Nhf3+ 39. Bxf3 Nxf3+ 40. Nxf3 gxf3 41. Kf2 Kc6 42. Kxf3 Rh3+ 43. Ke2 {Black has nothing in this rook endgame.} Kd6 44. Ra7 Re3+ 45. Kd2 Rf3 46. Ra6+ Kd7 47. Ra5 Kd6 48. Ra6+ Kd7 49. Ra5 Kd6 1/2-1/2

Yifan had a serious time advantage in all games

One of the spectators on the wall of the Zunfthaus

Despite the difficulty level of the event she was able to pull through and win four games and draw two, not a bad score at all.

Replay simul games

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

Cristian Chirila - Guest Commentator

Former World u-16 Champion and currently a grandmaster finishing his studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, Cristian is an ambitious chess player. Find out more about Cristian, including his chess lesson services, biography and games here.

Maria Emelianova - Photographer

Maria Emelianova is 26 years old, born in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Women FIDE Master, with a 2113 Elo rating. After finishing school Maria moved to Moscow to study at the university, so chess was forgotten for some time. She worked for about a year with Alexander Roshal in the chess magazine "64". Her carrier as a chess photographer started at the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk. "It was just a hobby, but somehow became an interesting job," says Maria, who works with a Canon 1DX. "Now I am finishing my studies at two universities in Moscow, and am looking forward to a future in the big world of chess."

Schedule and Pairings

The event is a six player round robin, with a rate of play of 40 moves in 120 minutes, then 20 moves in 60 minutes and the rest of game in 15 minutes, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61. Special rule: in case of a draw before move 40, an additional rapid game will be played (which does not count for the overall result).

Wed. January 29: 19:00  Opening Ceremony & Blitz
Thu. January 30: 15:00  Round 1
Fri. January 31: 15:00  Round 2
Sat. February 01: 15:00  Round 3
Sun. February 02: 15:00  Round 4
Mon. February 03: 15:00  Round 5
Tue. February 04: 13:00  Rapid Tournament 19:00  Closing Ceremony
  • The blitz will be used to determine the colors
  • The classical time control gives two points to wins, one for draws and none for losses
  • The rapid time control gives one point to wins, half to draws and none for losses

The winner will be the one who scores the most points between the classical tournament and the rapid.

Schedule of Commentary

Date   English German
30.01.2014 Round 1 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
31.01.2014 Round 2 Daniel King Oliver Reeh
01.02.2014 Round 3 Alejandro Ramirez Klaus Bischoff
02.02.2014 Round 4 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
03.02.2014 Round 5 Alejandro Ramirez Klaus Bischoff

Schedule and results

Round 1 – January 30, 15:00h
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
1-0
Gelfand, Boris 2777
Aronian, Levon 2812
1-0
Anand, Vishy 2773
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
Round 2 – January 31, 15:00h
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2812
Gelfand, Boris 2777
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
Anand, Vishy 2773
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
Round 3 – February 01, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
½-½
Anand, Vishy 2773
Aronian, Levon 2812
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2777
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
0-1
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
Round 4 – February 02, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2777
0-1
Anand, Vishy 2773
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
1-0
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
Aronian, Levon 2812
1-0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
Round 5 – February 03, 15:00h
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
½-½
Anand, Vishy 2773
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2812
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2777

Rapid Schedule

Round 1
Gelfand, Boris 2777
0-1
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
Anand, Vishy 2773
0-1
Aronian, Levon 2812
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
1-0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
Round 2
Aronian, Levon 2812
1-0
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2777
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
1-0
Anand, Vishy 2773
Round 3
Anand, Vishy 2773
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
Gelfand, Boris 2777
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2812
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
Round 4
Anand, Vishy 2773
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2777
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
1-0
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2812
Round 5
Carlsen, Magnus 2872
½-½
Anand, Vishy 2773
Aronian, Levon 2812
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2782
Gelfand, Boris 2777
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2789

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Zurich 2014

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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