Charity Cup: Van Foreest almost perfect on day 3

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/22/2022 – With three rounds to go, Le Quang Liem is still the sole leader of the preliminaries at the Charity Cup. The Vietnamese stands three points ahead of second-placed Magnus Carlsen and has already secured a spot in the knockout stage. On day 3, Jorden van Foreest was the highest scorer, as he collected three wins and a draw. Moreover, the Dutchman had a superior position in the one game he drew, against Carlsen. | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit – Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

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Le continues to lead

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022Despite losing his unbeaten streak in round 12, when he lost with black against Ding Liren, Le Quang Liem continues to have a commanding lead at the second event of this year’s Champions Chess Tour. The Vietnamese currently stands three points ahead of second-placed Magnus Carlsen on a remarkable 27/36 score, and has already secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the online event.

With Carlsen also in the safe zone regarding qualification to the knockout stage, the fourth day of action will see eleven players fighting for the remaining six spots in the quarterfinals.

For Jorden van Foreest and Ding Liren, currently ranked third and fourth in the standings, keeping things under control should be enough to make it past the preliminaries, while for the likes of Praggnanandhaa, David Navara and David Anton, it will be necessary to take some risks if they want to climb to the top half of the standings table.

Given the scoring system, which grants 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw, Eric Hansen and Pentala Harikrishna still have outside chances of reaching the knockout.

Charity Chess Cup 2022

Van Foreest’s streak

Dutch number 2 Jorden van Foreest had a fantastic performance on day 3. The winner of the 2021 Tata Steel Masters scored three wins and a draw, and could have easily finished the day with a perfect score had he managed to convert a superior position into a win in his round-10 game against Magnus Carlsen.

The 22-year-old kicked off the day with a victory over world number 3 Ding Liren.

 

Although Black’s position looks menacing at first sight, it is White who is winning here. Van Foreest found the elegant 25.Rfe1, creating a difficult-to-eradicate threat of Nf6+, with a discovered attack against the rook on e8.

Ding tried to defend with 25...Rhe6, but after 26.Nd4 Re5 27.f4, he decided to resign the game.

 

Black is already down material, and there is no good way to avoid losing an exchange — 27...R5e7 fails to 28.Nf6+ gxf6 29.Rxe7, as the white queen controls the e7-square from a3.

 

Ju checkmates Duda

Three players have struggled the most at the single round-robin qualifier: Lei Tingjie, Gawain Jones and Ju Wenjun. In fact, Lei and Ju had only collected 2 points in the first eight rounds of the event. For Ju, however, things took a turn for the better on the third day of action, as she managed to defeat Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Eric Hansen.

Facing Duda with the black pieces in round 10, the current women’s world champion was even allowed to show checkmate on the (digital) board.

 

White’s passers look dangerous, but Black’s attack with her major pieces is in fact unstoppable. There followed 54...Qf4, threatening the deadly ...Rg2. Duda tried 55.Re4, but soon realized that after 55...Qd2 there is no way to prevent mate.

 

56.Qxf3 Rg1#. The Chinese star showed a timid smile after checkmating the winner of the 2021 World Cup.

 

Navara’s tricky king

Sharp middlegame positions are certainly entertaining, but finding the correct king move in a tricky pawn endgame is also part of what makes chess such a fascinating game. Can you find the correct way to continue with White in the following position?

 

Facing David Navara, Lei Tingjie opted for 44.Kb4 and went on to lose the game, as the Czech grandmaster showcased excellent technique to prove why Lei’s choice was a mistake.

As endgame expert Karsten Müller shows in his analysis below, 44.Kc5, 44.Kc3 and 44.h4 all would have drawn for White!

 

Standings after round 12 (win = 3pts, draw = 1 pt)

 

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.

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