Chess in the High Tatras (2/2)

10/30/2014 – In this second part, author Adam Jarmula recounts the quest for the elusive third IM norm for his son FM Lukasz Jarmula, while sharing the impressions of the High Tatras mountain range and the tournament. For anyone seeking to mix day-long excursions in nature, with a nice tournament in a convivial environment, the appeal it has on players is no surprise.

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Continued from part one...

By Adam Jarmula

The lush greenery of the mountain area

The top five boards in round six ended in draws, though they were hardly uneventful. The most significant was probably board five where FM Veleski sacrificed the central d-pawn in the Ruy Lopez and was building a king-side attack, yet IM Krnan's defense was well coordinated and after several trades the game simplified to an equal material rook-plus-minor-piece endgame. The players continued for another 50 moves, with the game ending in a perpetual check from white's queen, which stopped the advance of black's g-pawn supported by a rook.

Strbske Pleso in a more cloudy weather...

...and it was a cloudy day indeed.

The seventh round turned out to be unlucky for Lukasz, who lost his only game in the tournament, a „Black” encounter with FM Vojta. After a poor opening against FM Vojta, he found himself defending a drawish endgame a pawn down, but his opponent's insistence bore fruit and he succumbed. This was a hard blow as he was seeking his third IM norm, thus complicating his ambitions considerably.

Under pressure in round seven against FM Tomas Vojta

Generation gap on board five: IM Sergej Berezjuk against Szymon Gumularz. In the end,
White prevailed... Gens una sumus!

Round eight, the penultimate round, saw untitled Martin Pagerka become the sole leader of the tournament with 6.5/8 after defeating FM Zoltan Zambo in an Old Indian Defense on board one as White.

[Event "OPEN Tatry 2014"] [Site "Tatranske Zruby"] [Date "2014.10.04"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Pagerka, Martin"] [Black "Zambo, Zoltan"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2297"] [BlackElo "2382"] [Annotator "Jarmula,Pawel"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rr3nk1/2q1bppp/pp1p1n2/3Ppb2/P1P5/1NN1B2P/1P3PP1/R2QRBK1 w - - 0 17"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2014.09.28"] {After the opening, White is slightly better. A typical plan would be to play Ra2 (to protect the b pawn), then a5 and trying to push on the queenside. But the tournament winner came up with another idea:} 17. g4 $5 {Very strong move from a practical point of view!} Bd7 {Black was probably intending to play b5 in the future and to hold c6 square from the white knight invasion.} (17... Bg6 {A little better move, if White continues with the plan from the game, the possible continuation may be :} 18. f4 exf4 19. Bxf4 Re8 20. Nd4 N6d7 $1 {And that's the reason why bishop should stay on g6 instead of d7 ! The bishop goes to f6, the knight to e5 or c5, the second knight follows and Black is already slightly better.}) 18. f4 $5 exf4 19. Bxf4 Ng6 20. Bg3 Ne8 21. Nd4 {Taking this square was the intention of the last few moves.} Bh4 (21... Bf6 $1 22. Ne4 Be5 {and Black doesn't have any troubles.}) 22. Bxh4 Nxh4 23. Ne4 {Position looks better for White, but it's still not easy to do anything. Now Black has to decide : staying still and trying to hold, or doing something active. Of course in practical game the second option looks much more promising. So there are two choices : b5 and f5.} b5 $5 (23... f5 {was not a good option :} 24. gxf5 Nxf5 25. Nc6 $1 Bxc6 26. dxc6 Qxc6 27. Bg2 {Doesn't it look great for White?}) 24. axb5 ({White could have just taken a pawn another way :} 24. cxb5 axb5 25. Nxb5 {and I don't see enough compensation for Black here.}) 24... axb5 25. Rxa8 Rxa8 26. cxb5 Qb6 27. Kh1 Nc7 $2 {and that's definitely a mistake} ( 27... f5 {Now it's the right time to play that move !} 28. gxf5 Nxf5 29. Nxf5 Bxf5 {It's still not easy to break through Black's defense.}) 28. Nc6 $1 {with simple idea of taking d6 pawn} Bxc6 29. dxc6 Nxb5 $2 (29... d5 30. Ng5 h6 31. Nf3 Nxf3 32. Qxf3 Nxb5 33. Qxd5 {and White still should win, but Black at least can try to build some kind of barricade.}) 30. Qb3 {and black is losing} Qa5 31. Rd1 $1 (31. Nf6+ $2 gxf6 32. Re7 Rf8 33. Qxb5 {Just an interesting possibility, but not really good}) 31... Nc7 32. Nxd6 Ne6 33. Bc4 (33. Nxf7 Kxf7 34. Bc4 {was easily winning too}) 33... Qe5 34. Bxe6 fxe6 35. c7 Rf8 36. Qb8 $18 {With a completely won position. Black was hoping for a miracle to happen for the next 17 moves, but he finally gave up.} 1-0

Round eight also proved a moment of redemption for Lukasz as he played white against IM Richard Biolek.

[Event "OPEN Tatry 2014"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.10.04"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Jarmula, Lukasz"] [Black "Biolek, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2314"] [BlackElo "2432"] [Annotator "Jarmula,Lukasz"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2r2rk1/1b2bppp/pq2pn2/n2pN3/Pp1P1B2/3BP2P/1P1NQPP1/2R2RK1 b - - 0 16"] [PlyCount "46"] [TimeControl "600"] {During the game I thought I had only a slight edge here. But analysis led me to the conclusion that the position is more unpleasant for Black than it seems at first sight. Actually, there is only one move that offers him real counterchances!} 16... Bd6 $2 {0 This move is altogether bad due to White's response} (16... h6 {, to prevent the unpleasant Bg5 idea looks logical, but I found a very powerful idea for White here:} 17. h4 $3 {with the crushing idea of g4-g5!} (17. g4 {is less precise, bacause after} Nc6 {white doesn't have g4 square available for his knight}) 17... Nc6 (17... b3 18. g4 $1 {and Black is helpless:} Nc6 19. g5 hxg5 20. hxg5 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 Ne4 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. Qh5 Rxc1 24. Rxc1 Qd8 25. Kg2 Bxg5 26. Rh1 Bh6 (26... f6 27. Qh7+ Kf7 28. Nc4 $18) 27. Bxg7 $1 $18) ({The exchange of rooks doesn't help Black either:} 17... Rxc1 18. Rxc1 Rc8 19. Rxc8+ Bxc8 20. g4 $1 Nd7 21. g5 $1 Nxe5 22. dxe5 $1 $18) 18. Ng4 $1 b3 19. Bb1 Nxg4 {(forced, because of the Qd3 threat)} 20. Qxg4 f5 {(an undesirable, but forced weakening)} 21. Qg3 Rf6 22. Bd3 Qb4 23. Rc3 Na5 24. Rfc1 Rc6 25. Be2 $1 {and it's unlikely Black will survive White's onslaught, with Be5 and Bh5 to follow}) ({After} 16... Rxc1 17. Rxc1 Rc8 18. Rxc8+ Bxc8 {there follows} 19. Ndf3 h6 {(neccessary, defending against Ng5 threat)} (19... Ne4 {runs into} 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Ne5+ Kg8 (21... Ke8 22. Qh5+ Kd8 23. Qxh7 $18) 22. Qh5 Qd8 23. f3 $18) 20. Qc2 Qb7 (20... Bb7 { 0} 21. Bg6 $3 $18) 21. b3 Bd8 22. Nd2 {first taking the e4 square under control and intending to continue with g4, h4 and g5, whereas Black lacks any active counterplay, ex.} Be7 23. g4 Bd8 24. h4 Qc7 25. Qd1 Qc3 26. g5 Nd7 27. Ndf3 hxg5 28. hxg5 Nxb3 (28... Qxb3 29. Bc2 Qb2 30. g6 $18) 29. Kg2 $1 $18 { the finishing touch- the queen inevitably joins the attack via h1 square}) ( 16... b3 $1 {0 is the right move, intending to meet} 17. Bg5 {with} Qb4 {, holding the position togeteher. White certainly keeps some advantage, but Black has his counterchances, ex.} 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Nd7 Rxc1 20. Rxc1 Rc8 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 {and here white has two interesting knight moves, but neither of them fully convincing:} 23. Nb1 $5 (23. Nf1 $5 Nc4 24. Ng3 Qxa4 25. Nh5 f5 26. Bxc4 Qxc4 27. Qe1 Kf8 $1 {Black has to evacuate his king from the danger zone} 28. Qa5 Ke7 {the position remains quite unclear, ex.} 29. Qa3+ Kd7 30. Nf6+ Kc6 31. Nxh7 $6 f4 $1 {with adequate counterplay for Black}) 23... Qxa4 24. Qf3 Qc6 25. Nc3 f5 26. Qg3+ Kf8 27. Qh4 Nc4 28. Bxc4 Qxc4 29. Qxh7 a5 $1 {Black counters White's plan of pushing the h pawn with the idea of advancing his a pawn and it seems he is able to hold!}) 17. Bg5 $1 {After this move the game is essentialy over} Rxc1 18. Rxc1 Rc8 19. Rxc8+ Bxc8 20. Bxf6 gxf6 21. Qh5 fxe5 22. dxe5 Kf8 ({or} 22... Bb8 23. Qxh7+ Kf8 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qxc8 Bxe5 26. Bxa6 Bxb2 27. Bb5 Bc3 28. Nb1 Bg7 29. Qg8 Bf8 30. Qg5+ f6 31. Qh4 Qd6 32. Nd2 {and White is winning}) 23. exd6 Qxd6 24. Nf3 Qc7 25. Ng5 Nc6 26. Nxh7+ Ke7 27. Qg5+ Kd6 28. Nf6 Bd7 29. Qf4+ e5 30. Qh6 Qd8 31. Ne4+ Kc7 32. Qd6+ Kb6 33. a5+ Ka7 34. Nf6 e4 35. Be2 Qxa5 36. Nxd7 Kb7 37. Bxa6+ Kxa6 38. Qxc6+ Ka7 39. Nc5 1-0

White obtained a promising position in the Exchange Slav [see analysis]. The win against IM Biolek was particularly important for Lukasz, as besides improving his standing in the tournament, it also raised his rating performance to the point where a draw in the final round would most likely satisfy the rating requirement for the International Master norm.

Tournament top-seed IM Richard Biolek (left) had a tough time during the tournament. Though,
in this encounter with Jan Brhel in round seven he won comfortably.

Monument to the Slovak National Uprising during World War II

The final round began with a quick draw on board one between IM Czech and Pagerka, which satisfied the leader Pagerka who finished the tournament with 7.0/9 and favorable tie-breaks. On board two IM Krnan completed his hat trick by winning his third game in a row, joining the leaderboard with 7.0/9, and relegating to thirteenth place FM Zambor, who had led throughout most of the competition.

The round is underway

On board four Lukasz played black against IM Petran in the game which, if at least drawn, could gain him the third and final IM norm. However, being only half a point behind the leader and having good tie-breaks it was tempting to try to win the game and "earn" the podium in the final standings. As a result, Lukasz tried to take initiative in his hands and build an attack, which was skillfully refuted by his opponent, who after simplifications got a better rook plus same-colored bishops endgame. Thanks to Lukasz's stubborn defense and with some help from the opponent, the game finally reached an equal position in which the draw was agreed. This gave him a final rating performance of 2481 and earned him the third IM norm, along with the fifth place in the final tournament standings and a gain of 40 Elo points. Mission accomplished!

High Tatras are amazingly beautiful, aren't they?

Final standings

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
Fed
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
rtg+/-
1
18
 
Pagerka Martin
SVK
2297
7.0
49.5
52.6
2
8
IM
Langner Ladislav
CZE
2363
7.0
45.0
6.5
3
3
IM
Krňan Tomáš
CAN
2423
7.0
44.5
-2.0
4
6
FM
Vojta Tomáš
CZE
2373
6.5
48.5
8.2
5
14
FM
Jarmula Lukasz
POL
2314
6.5
48.0
40.2
6
4
IM
Jasný Stanislav
CZE
2409
6.5
48.0
7.0
7
7
IM
Berezjuk Sergej
CZE
2371
6.5
48.0
7.5
8
11
IM
Petrán Peter
SVK
2327
6.5
45.0
5.8
9
2
IM
Čech Pavel
CZE
2424
6.5
45.0
-3.9
10
16
 
Nayhebaver Martin
SVK
2301
6.5
44.5
20.2
11
44
 
Marek Matyas
CZE
2200
6.5
42.5
98.4
12
9
IM
Lanč Alois
SVK
2363
6.5
41.0
-7.3
13
22
FM
Zambor Norbert
SVK
2279
6.0
52.5
45.8
14
20
FM
Veleski Robert
MKD
2284
6.0
46.5
18.0
15
1
IM
Biolek Richard
CZE
2432
6.0
46.5
-7.9

The full results can be found on the tournament website: www.slovan-bratislava.com

Apart from FM Lukasz Jarmula (center), both the tournament winner Martin Pagerka (left) and the long-standing
leader FM Norbert Zambor (right) earned IM norms

The azure sky, granitic rocks, green grasses, bushes and trees

The author Adam Jarmula (right) and his son Lukasz Jarmula enjoying an excursion



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