Al Ain: Nigalidze leads with 5.5/6

by Sagar Shah
12/24/2014 – He is the 28th seed, rated 2536, but he is on a rampage, beating three 2600+ GMs and conceding a single draw in six rounds of the Al Ain Chess Festival. Gaoiz Nigalidze has an amazing rating performance of 2889 and is already gaining 25 Elo points. Behind him are Yuriy Kryvoruchko, Vladimir Onischuk and Sergei Zhigalko with 5.0/6. Big pictorial report with game analysis.

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Gaoiz Nigalidze leads with 5.5/6

Report from Al Ain by Sagar Shah

150 players from 27 nations have converged in Al Ain to participate in the 3rd Al Ain Classic 2014. Amongst them are 43 grandmasters, 14 International Masters and nine woman grandmasters. At stake is the total prize fund of $50,000. UAE is known for conducting extremely strong events like the Dubai Open and the Abu Dhabhi Open. However, Al Ain Classic surpassed both of them by having the first prize of $11,000. (Dubai and Abu Dhabi both had $10,000 for the winner)

After six rounds of hard fought chess we have a highly unexpected sole leader in the event. He is the 28th seed and has been rampaging through the field.

Meet GM Gaoiz Nigalidze (2536), the 2013 Georgian champion

Gaoiz is currently on 5.5/6, a half point ahead of three players. He has beaten three GMs above 2600, and they include Alexander Areshchenko, Abhijeet Gupta and Yuriy Kuzubov. After six rounds he has an amazing rating performance of 2889 and is already gaining 25 Elo points.

Gaoiz looks very relaxed at the chess board

In the sixth round Nigalidze played a fighting game against Yuriy Kuzubov. The game is special because from the black side of the Najdorf, Gaoiz played a novelty in a position that had been reached already in 300 games before. And that too a piece sacrifice! As I watched the game I was curious to know whether he had prepared this move at home or was it over the board inspiration. At the dinner table the Georgian clarified that he came up with it after some thought on the board. Though objectively it was not the best move and not many players would be willing to try it again, it surely had a great surprise effect on Kuzubov, who was unable to solve the practical problems that he was presented with. Have a look at this pretty game.

[Event "Al Ain Classic 2014"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.12.23"] [Round "6"] [White "Kuzubov, Yuriy"] [Black "Nigalidze, Gaioz"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2536"] [BlackElo "2681"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "130"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] {The two players had previously met at the European Individual Championships in 2014 and Nigalidze had got the better of Kuzubov with the white pieces. The 2014 Ukrainian champion must have been itching for revenge.} 1. e4 {Kuzubov usually opens with 1.d4 but today decides to play 1.e4.} c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Be3 Be6 10. a4 Nbd7 11. a5 Rc8 12. Qd2 Qc7 13. Rfd1 {This opening position is very popular in the Najdorf. It has already been reached 300 times and the likes of Anand, Gelfand, Svidler, Mamedyarov have played it. But nobody could come up with the following bold sacrifice played by Gaoiz Nigalidze.} Nxe4 $5 {Objectively this is not so strong, but White has to defend with extreme care if he would like to retain an advantage. Not an easy task when you have been surprised in a position that you had previously studied well.} 14. Nxe4 Qxc2 15. Qxc2 Rxc2 { Black has two pawns for the piece, the b2 pawn is hanging and so is the knight on b3.} 16. Nc1 d5 17. Ng5 Bxg5 18. Bxg5 Rxb2 {Now Black has three pawns. But the extra pawn on the queenside doesn't really count, as the a5 pawn paralyses both the a6 and b7 pawns. So in effect it's only like being two pawns up. White should be better here.} 19. Be7 Rc8 20. Bd3 {Better was to tuck in the bishop on f1.} (20. Bf1 $1 $14) 20... Nc5 21. Bxc5 Rxc5 22. Bb1 (22. Bxa6 $5 { was a nice little tactical shot.} e4 (22... bxa6 23. Nd3 $18) 23. Bf1 $14) 22... Rcb5 {For the next few moves Gaoize tries to play around in the position trying to provoke mistakes from Kuzubov. The difficult part for White is that his minor pieces have no real weaknesses to attack nor any real outposts.} 23. Nd3 Re2 24. Kf1 Re4 25. Ne1 Reb4 26. f3 g5 27. Bd3 Rc5 28. Be2 e4 29. Rd2 f5 { [%csl Gd5,Ge4,Gf5,Gg5] The avalanche of pawns begins to descend on White. Already the position is much easier to play as Black, and he might well have the advantage.} 30. Rc2 Rxc2 31. Nxc2 Rb2 32. Nd4 Kf7 33. Ke1 Kf6 34. Kd1 Ke5 35. Kc1 Rb4 36. Nxe6 Kxe6 37. Kc2 $6 (37. fxe4 fxe4 38. Rb1 {offering the rooks for exchange is a logical idea.} Rxb1+ 39. Kxb1 {This endgame is objectively a draw. It is true that Black's task is much easier: White has to find the exact configuration of his pieces. But for a player of Kuzubov's standard this would not have been difficult.} Kd6 40. Kc2 Kc5 41. Kd2 d4 42. Bg4 h6 43. Bf5 e3+ 44. Kd3 b6 45. axb6 Kxb6 46. Kc2 Kc5 47. Bd3 a5 48. Kb3 g4 49. Ka4 Kb6 50. h3 gxh3 51. gxh3 h5 52. h4 Kc6 53. Kxa5 Kd5 54. Kb4 Ke5 55. Kc4 Kf4 56. Be2 Kg3 57. Bxh5 Kxh4 58. Kxd4 Kxh5 59. Kxe3 $11 {Not a forced line but you get an idea of how the play could have proceeded.}) 37... d4 38. g4 d3+ 39. Bxd3 exd3+ {This rook endgame now is extremely difficult for White to defend. He is a pawn down and the black rook is very active. Nigalidze plays the rest of the game to perfection.} 40. Kc3 Rf4 41. Rb1 Rxf3 42. Rxb7 Rh3 43. Rb6+ Ke5 44. gxf5 Kxf5 45. Rxa6 Rxh2 46. Kxd3 h5 47. Ra8 h4 48. Ke3 Kg4 49. a6 Ra2 50. a7 h3 51. Rd8 Rxa7 52. Kf2 Ra2+ 53. Kg1 Kg3 54. Rd3+ Kh4 55. Rd4+ g4 56. Rb4 Re2 57. Ra4 Kg3 58. Ra3+ Kf4 59. Ra4+ Kf3 60. Ra3+ Re3 61. Ra1 g3 62. Rf1+ Kg4 63. Rb1 h2+ 64. Kg2 Re2+ 65. Kh1 Kh3 {This game teaches us that even if your opening idea is not 100% sound, if you believe in it and try to follow up in the most accurate manner, it is possible to beat the strongest of oppositions.} 0-1

In the second place are Yuriy Kryvoruchko, Vladimir Onischuk and Sergei Zhigalko with 5.0/6

Untitled Document Rank after Round 6

Rk. SNo Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2  rtg+/-
1 28 GM Nigalidze Gaioz GEO 2536 5.5 20.5 18.50 24.8
2 3 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2672 5.0 22.0 17.75 5.2
3 16 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2614 5.0 20.5 17.00 9.0
4 1 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2688 5.0 20.5 16.50 8.5
5 13 GM Oleksienko Mikhailo UKR 2621 4.5 21.0 15.50 6.7
6 6 GM Petrosian Tigran L. ARM 2651 4.5 21.0 15.25 5.5
7 26 GM Sengupta Deep IND 2566 4.5 20.5 15.75 7.2
8 23 GM Kovchan Alexander UKR 2577 4.5 20.5 15.00 3.0
9 8 GM Shankland Samuel L USA 2642 4.5 20.5 14.50 2.3
10 19 GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2599 4.5 20.0 15.50 3.1
11 34 GM Grover Sahaj IND 2505 4.5 20.0 15.25 10.7
12 33 GM Abasov Nijat AZE 2509 4.5 20.0 14.00 15.1
13 12 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2625 4.5 19.5 14.00 0.6
14 4 GM Areshchenko Alexander UKR 2661 4.5 19.0 14.00 -0.9
15 43 GM Bakre Tejas IND 2454 4.5 19.0 13.75 9.1
16 14 GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij UKR 2618 4.5 18.5 16.25 -1.0
17 20 GM Gopal G.N. IND 2580 4.5 18.5 14.25 5.3
18 18 GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2599 4.5 18.5 14.25 1.0
19 27 GM Paichadze Luka GEO 2561 4.5 18.0 14.25 2.4
20 39 GM Arun Prasad S. IND 2482 4.5 17.0 12.00 7.5
21 29 GM Malakhatko Vadim BEL 2533 4.5 16.5 12.50 1.2
22 2 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2681 4.0 23.0 16.50 -2.7
23 31 GM Gasanov Eldar UKR 2526 4.0 20.0 13.25 2.4
24 21 GM Parligras Mircea-Emilian ROU 2580 4.0 19.5 13.75 -2.8
25 40 GM Babujian Levon ARM 2471 4.0 19.5 13.00 8.2
26 15 GM Pashikian Arman ARM 2617 4.0 18.5 13.25 -6.6
27 49 IM Karavade Eesha IND 2392 4.0 18.5 12.50 8.4
28 24 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2576 4.0 18.0 12.50 -3.2
29 35 IM Mammadov Zaur AZE 2505 4.0 18.0 11.50 1.1
30 57 IM Morchiashvili Bachana GEO 2337 4.0 18.0 11.00 8.2
31 38 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2484 4.0 17.5 12.50 -1.2
32 58   Mosadeghpour Masoud IRI 2337 4.0 17.5 11.50 5.0
33 11 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 2625 4.0 17.0 11.25 -8.8
34 36 GM Ankit R. Rajpara IND 2494 4.0 16.0 11.75 1.4
35 42 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V IND 2463 4.0 15.5 11.00 -6.1
36 96   Mohammed Tarig Elther SUD 2044 4.0 15.5 9.50 34.6

The American star Samuel Shankland was suffering from bad health and at one point was even thinking of withdrawing from the tournament. His health is better now and he played a nice miniature against GM Ulvi Bajarani.

[Event "Al Ain Classic 2014 -19-27 December"] [Site "Al Ain"] [Date "2014.12.21"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Shankland, Samuel L"] [Black "Bajarani, Ulvi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2642"] [BlackElo "2494"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "41"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [WhiteClock "1:07:45"] [BlackClock "1:12:25"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. Bd3 {It was earlier thought that this move was not possible because of the pawn fork with d5-d4. But White gets excellent compensation after d4 and it was proved in the game Karjakin vs Topalov 2013. Black players usually refrain from playing d4 and instead focus on completing the development.} Qb6 (10... d4 $6 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Ne4 $1 {[%cal Ge4c5,Ge4d6]} Qh4+ 13. Bf2 (13. g3 Nf3+ $19) 13... Qg4 14. Bxd4 Bxd4 15. Nd6+ $18 {was seen in Karjakin-Topalov in which the white player won a miniature.}) 11. Bf2 b4 12. Na4 Bxf2+ 13. Qxf2 Qxf2+ 14. Kxf2 {This is not a new position. This has already been played by many strong players, most notably by Karjakin against Carlsen, Potkin and So with a score of 2.0/3.} a5 (14... O-O {might well be the safer alternative.}) 15. Rac1 Bb7 16. c4 Ne7 (16... dxc4 17. Bxc4 $16) 17. cxd5 Bxd5 18. Bb5 {We are just out of the opening and Black is already struggling. He cannot castle and threats like Nb6 are in the air.} Rb8 19. Nd4 Kd8 20. Rhd1 Nb6 21. Nc5 $1 {And Black resigned. A very interesting position mainly because there is no defense against the mating threat of Nxe6!} (21. Nc5 Rc8 (21... Nf5 22. Nc6+ $18) (21... Ng6 22. Nc6+ $18) 22. Ndxe6+ fxe6 23. Nxe6# {is a very nice mate!}) 1-0

Usually chess authors of opening books do not play in many tournaments. But when they do, it is interesting to see if they are willing to play the opening they advocate in their books. One such person playing in this tournament is GM Viktor Moskalenko. He has written five books for New In Chess and one of them was on the Budapest Gambit. In round four when he met GM Abhijeet Gupta who always opens his game with 1.d4 it was fascinating to see this game unfold on the board.

[Event "Al Ain Classic 2014 -19-27 December"] [Site "Al Ain"] [Date "2014.12.21"] [Round "4.5"] [White "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Black "Moskalenko, Viktor"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A52"] [WhiteElo "2632"] [BlackElo "2528"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [WhiteClock "0:34:22"] [BlackClock "0:30:50"] {Viktor Moskalenko is a firm adherent of the Budapest Gambit and has written a book called the Fabulous Budapest which was released in 2007. Abhijeet Gupta who was white in this game is also quite well known as being a dangerous theoretician. Hence a battle between the two in the Budapest was bound to be pretty interesting.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Bf4 (4. Nf3 {is the other main line.}) 4... Nc6 5. Nf3 Bb4+ 6. Nbd2 {One of the safest lines at White's disposal. He does not need to know much theory and usually gets the advantage of the bishop pair.} Qe7 7. e3 (7. a3 {is what I like to play, but maybe it doesn't give White any advantage.} Ngxe5 8. Nxe5 (8. axb4 Nd3# {is something you want to avoid!}) 8... Nxe5 9. e3 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 $14 {/=.}) 7... Ngxe5 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. Be2 d6 (9... O-O {has been played more often, but according to Moskalenko d6 is more interesting.}) 10. O-O {In his book, Moskalenko analyses the game Ivanchuk-Epishin where the black player played 10. ..Bd7. Viktor in his notes said that he preferred 10...a5!? with some huge analysis. It is nice to see that he not only remembered what he had written but also believes in it.} a5 $5 11. Nb1 $5 {This has been played before in six games but never by a strong player. It is a very interesting idea of trying to relocate the knight to the active square on c3 from where it can jump to d5. This move has not been analyzed by Moskalenko in his book and so I assume that he was on his own from this point onwards.} Be6 12. a3 Bc5 13. Nc3 Nxc4 $6 { Taking up the challenge but it was not a great move.} (13... Bxc4 $2 {is obviously a blunder} 14. Bxc4 Nxc4 15. Qa4+ $18) (13... O-O $11 {would have been the safest and Black would have gained a very decent and playable position from the opening.}) 14. b4 $1 ({Nothing much is achieved by} 14. Bxc4 Bxc4 15. Qa4+ b5 16. Nxb5 Bxb5 17. Qxb5+ Qd7 $11) ({A much better try could have been} 14. Qa4+ Qd7 15. Nb5 c6 16. Bxc4 Bxc4 17. Nxd6+ Bxd6 18. Qxc4 Bxf4 19. Qxf4 O-O $14 {Maybe the position is equal but the fact that White has the move here gives him the edge to mobilise his pieces faster.}) 14... Bb6 (14... axb4 15. axb4 Rxa1 16. Qxa1 Bb6 (16... Bxb4 17. Qa8+ Qd8 18. Qa4+ $18) 17. Qa8+ Qd8 18. Qxb7 $16 {gives White a clear advantage.}) 15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. Qxd5 Ne5 17. Bb5+ (17. Qxb7 O-O 18. Qd5 $14 {Thanks to the bishop pair, White has a small advantage here.}) 17... Nd7 (17... c6 18. Bxe5 Qxe5 19. Bxc6+ bxc6 20. Qxc6+ Ke7 21. Qxb6 Rhb8 22. Qc7+ Kf8 23. Rab1 $16) 18. Qxb7 O-O 19. bxa5 Rxa5 { Knowing how the game continued it would be better to take here on a5 with the bishop. As you will notice now the rook on a5 is stuck on that square for the rest of the game.} (19... Bxa5) 20. a4 Nc5 21. Qc6 g5 $1 {Moskalenko plays this phase of the game pretty well.} 22. Bg3 Ne4 23. h3 Nxg3 24. fxg3 {Of course Black should have no problems here. Viktor was convinced of this fact and analyzed this position for quite some time after the game with Abhijeet.} Qe5 (24... Bxe3+ 25. Kh2 Bd4 26. Rae1 Be5 $15 {seemed like the best way to continue for Black.}) (24... Qxe3+ 25. Kh2 Bd4 26. Rf3 Qxf3 27. gxf3 Bxa1 28. Qxc7 Raa8 29. Qe7 h6 $14 {was one of the variations analysed after the game.}) 25. Kh2 h5 (25... Qc5 26. Qd7 $36) 26. e4 (26. Rad1 {with the threat of Rd5 was interesting.}) 26... Kg7 $6 (26... h4 {was the best, but White can maintain the balance with} 27. Ra3 $1) 27. Rad1 {Due to two inaccurate moves with h5?! and Kg7?! Black has given White a free hand on this position and has weakened his own king.} h4 28. Kh1 $1 Qxg3 29. Rd3 Qe5 30. Rd5 {In such opposite coloured bishops scenario it is well known that the side with the initiative is the one who is better and same is the case over here. White is clearly better here.} Qe7 31. Qc3+ Kg6 32. e5 $1 {Opening further lines towards the black king.} dxe5 33. Rxe5 (33. Qc6+ {was the fastest way to win.} f6 (33... Kg7 34. Rd7 Qc5 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Rxf7 $18) 34. Rd7 Qc5 35. Bd3+ $18) 33... Qd8 34. Bd3+ (34. Qc6+ $1 Kg7 35. Rd5 Qe7 36. Rd7 $18) 34... f5 35. Bb5 $6 (35. Rfxf5 Rxf5 36. Bxf5+ Kf7 37. Be6+ Kg6 38. Re1 {gives White a decisive attack with the three pieces.}) 35... Qd4 $2 {After this bad move, Gupta makes no mistake to finish off his opponent.} (35... Rf6 {was the best defense and would have given black some chances to survive.}) 36. Qc6+ Kg7 37. Re7+ Rf7 38. Rxf7+ Kxf7 39. Qe8+ Kg7 40. Qe7+ Kh6 41. Qe6+ (41. Qe6+ Kg7 42. Qxf5 $18 {A very interesting battle between two opening experts. A huge factor which contributed to Black's failure to defend was the misplacement of the rook on a5. Ever since it took the pawn on a5 on the 19th move it has been sitting there outside the game. After the round, Viktor knew he was fine and tried his best to defend the position in the analysis. Objectively he was right, but during the game he was unable to solve the various problems posed to him by Abhijeet.}) 1-0

Moskalenko lost the game but in the analysis he tried to defend his beloved opening. His position was fine but the offside rook on a5 was the main reason for his defeat. After presenting the above game, it would be only fair to show you a nice king manoeuvre by this great author in the next round.

[Event "Al Ain Classic 2014 -19-27 December"] [Site "Al Ain"] [Date "2014.12.22"] [Round "5.22"] [White "Moskalenko, Viktor"] [Black "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C47"] [WhiteElo "2528"] [BlackElo "2332"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/5p1k/r1p1bPp1/3pR2p/1p1P3P/1P6/P1R3P1/6K1 w - - 0 37"] [PlyCount "19"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [WhiteClock "0:31:02"] [BlackClock "0:17:48"] {White is completely winning and it would be pointless to analyze this game. There are many ways to win but Moskalenko chooses the prettiest, a theme that everyone should keep in mind: the king is a strong piece in the endgame.} 37. Kh2 Kg8 38. Kg3 Kf8 39. Kf4 Ke8 40. Kg5 Kd7 41. Kh6 Kd6 42. Kg7 {With six consecutive king moves, the white king who was doing nothing on g1 is activated in a decisive manner and ends the game! A nice king walk!} c5 43. Rxc5 Rxa2 44. Rb5 Rxg2 45. Rb6+ Kd7 46. Rbxe6 1-0

Soumya Swaminathan, who was the 2009 World Junior girls champion, had a depressing loss in one of her games. In a totally equal position she touched the wrong piece and lost a knight without any compensation.

[Event "Al Ain Classic 2014 -19-27 December"] [Site "Al Ain"] [Date "2014.12.22"] [Round "5.17"] [White "Mamedov, Rauf"] [Black "Soumya, Swaminathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2658"] [BlackElo "2330"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "31"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [WhiteClock "0:45:30"] [BlackClock "0:23:07"] 1. g3 Nf6 2. Bg2 d5 3. d3 g6 4. Nd2 Bg7 5. e4 dxe4 6. dxe4 e5 7. Ngf3 Nc6 8. O-O O-O 9. b3 Qe7 10. Qe2 Bg4 11. c3 Rfd8 12. h3 Bc8 13. b4 a6 14. a4 b6 15. Ba3 {Soumya, who is playing with the black pieces against a strong GM, has a completely acceptable position. In deep thought she calculated a few variations starting with 15... Qe8. When she was about to make her move, she unfortunately touched her bishop.} Bb7 $4 (15... Qe8 16. b5 axb5 17. axb5 Na5 $11 {Should be around equal.}) 16. b5 $18 {White wins a piece without any compensation and Soumya had to resign the game in a few moves.} 1-0

Soumya Swaminathan in an earlier game. Touching the wrong piece
happens rarely. But when it does, it gives you sleepless nights.

Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakhboot Al Nahyan, who is the Chairman of the Al Ain Chess
and Culture club, visited the tournament hall and was happy with the arrangements

A very nice part of the tournament is the participation of many strong women players. Here are portrait pictures of a few of them:

The reigning National champion of Azerbaijan: WGM Abdulla Khayala

The first WGM of India: Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman

WGM Maria Kursova, married to GM Arman Pashikian

The 2014 Kazakhstan women’s champion: WGM Nakhbayeva Guliskhan

Smiling and friendly arbiters

Yes it should, shouldn't it? The food in Al Ain is sumptuous...

... like this rice preparation called biryani.

A wide variety of fresh fruits

And the desserts are mouth-wateringly delicious!

The hotel has a spacious swimming pool…

… which the players, here Mikheil Mchedlishivili, Luka Paichadze, Akash Thakur and
Harshit Raja, use to rejuvenate themselves after the game

The tournament director, Tarek Al Taher, who is busy taking care
of all the minute details to make this tournament a grand success

GM Dmitry Komarov, analysing selected games for the viewers, with
Mehrdad Pahlevanzade. Have a look at two of the games commented by him.

Here is one more interesting position we missed in our previous report:

[Event "Al Ain Classic 2014 -19-27 December"] [Site "Al Ain"] [Date "2014.12.19"] [Round "1.23"] [White "Kovchan, Alexander"] [Black "Mohammed, Tarig Elther"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B42"] [WhiteElo "2577"] [BlackElo "2044"] [Annotator "Mokal,Prathamesh"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rn2rbk1/1bq2ppp/p1n5/3p4/R4P2/1NPBBN2/1P2Q1PP/R6K w - - 0 21"] [PlyCount "17"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [WhiteClock "0:19:17"] [BlackClock "0:00:38"] {On the other hand with the huge difference in rating, some strong players get an opportunity to display textbook examples. In this position, Black allows White to showcase one of the most popular tactics.} 21. Bxh7+ $1 {The Greek Gift Sacrifice as it is popularly known.} Kxh7 22. Ng5+ Kg8 23. Qh5 Bd6 24. Bb6 $1 {[%cal Ga1e1]} Qd7 (24... Qxb6 25. Qxf7+ $18) 25. Qh7+ Kf8 26. Qh8+ Ke7 27. Re1+ Kf6 28. Rxe8 Qf5 29. Qh5 1-0

Wishing all the readers of ChessBase a merry Christmas from Al Ain

All pictures by Amruta Mokal


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

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 12/25/2014 03:44
colourful tournament! excellent coverage!
karavamudan karavamudan 12/24/2014 12:39
whatever ... nothing can alter the fact that she is pretty and friendly
peter frost peter frost 12/24/2014 09:49
Thanks Sagar for the clarification. Yes, in that case, she had no choice but to move the bishop. I am relieved that I am not a cheat!
Sagar Shah Sagar Shah 12/24/2014 06:47
@ peter frost, she picked up the bishop.
peter frost peter frost 12/24/2014 06:40
Poor Soumya! However, my understanding of the laws of chess is that you only have to move the touched piece if it was touched with intention to move it. Sagar's report isn't quite clear on the precise details, but seems to imply that she just sort of accidentally brushed the bishop while reaching for her Queen? If I did that, I would proceed to move the I a cheat? It's different of course if she just got the variations in her head confused and purposefully touched the bishop with intent to move it. Then of course she must proceed to do just that. But the report doesn't seem to read that way. I hope someone with more knowledge than I have can clarify this, before I disgrace myself by cheating in a tournament game!