Jan-Krzysztof Duda wins the European Blitz Championship

by Klaus Besenthal
12/18/2021 – The European Blitz Championship took place on Friday in Katowice. Polish grandmaster and rating favourite Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the event after obtaining an 18/22 score. Duda finished a half point ahead of his compatriot Maciej Klekowski. Eight players scored 16½ points. | Photos: Official site

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European Blitz Chess Championship

Jan-Krzysztof Duda was the clear favourite to win the blitz championship in Katowice, and he was living up to the expectations throughout the day, getting a clear edge over the competitors going into the last round.

However, it was due to his defeat in the last round against Ilja Schneider that the Polish star only finished a half point ahead of second-placed Maciej Klekowski. Schneider, a 2-time German blitz champion, not only has outstanding skills in this discipline in general, but also has an unconventional arsenal of weapons in the opening phase.

Duda, Jan-Krzysztof (2756) - Schneider, Ilja (2486)
European Blitz Championship 2021 (22.1)
[Besenthal, Klaus-Günther]

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 f5 


This move is certainly not ‘playable’, but the decisive factor is whether the opponent succeeds in refuting its validity!

3.exf5 d5 4.Bb5 Bxf5 5.0-0

[The computers here gives 5.Ne5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Qe2 and White cannot tactically overpower the opponent, but obviously has a clear positional advantage.]

5...e6 6.Nc3 [And now White could for the last time go for 6.Nd4! gaining an advantage.]

6...Bd6 7.Re1 Nge7 


Now Black stands excellently.

8.Nd4? The manoeuvre came too late.

8...0-0 9.Nxf5 Nxf5 Black has a strong attack: the white king is unprotected and the white queenside is not yet developed.




[After the strongest move 10...Qh4! the position would have been all but lost for White.]

11.Qg4 Qf6 12.Rf1 Nd4 13.b3 Nxc2 14.Rb1 Nd4 15.Bb2 



[Black missed 15...Qh6! Besides mate on h2, there is also the threat of simply further strengthening the attack with Rf4 and Raf8.]

16.Qxf4 Bxf4 17.Rbd1 Bd6 18.Rfe1 e5 19.Na4 Nc2 20.Re2 Of course, Duda is still in a bad position, but he is no longer in acute danger.

20...Nb4?! However, this move is not particularly effective.


[Obvious was 20...e4]

21.Bxe5 Nxa2 22.Bxd6

[22.d4! was Duda’s best defensive try: he is a pawn down, but suddenly he has good control over what is happening on the board.]

22...cxd6 23.Re6 Rf6 24.Rxf6 gxf6 25.Kf1 Kf7 26.Ra1 Nb4 27.Nc3?!

[27.Nb6! Rb8 28.Rxa7+⩱]

27...a6 28.g3 c5 29.Ne2 Rb8 30.Nf4 d4 31.Ke2 d3+ 32.Kf3 d5 33.Rc1 Rb5 34.h4 Ke7 35.Re1+ Kf7 36.Re6 a5 37.Rd6 c4 38.bxc4 dxc4 39.Rd7+ Ke8 40.Rxh7 Nd5 


Now Duda has the upper hand!

[Consequent was 40...c3 41.dxc3 Re5! and, in a blitz game, White might now have given up his knight.]

41.Ne6? But it does not work that way.

[Gut war 41.Nxd5! Rxd5 42.Rc7]

41...a4? The right idea, but this was not the correct first move.


[41...c3! 42.dxc3 a4 results in the same position as in the game.]

42.Ra7? Now White is lost.

[After 42.Nc7+! Nxc7 43.Rxc7 White would have gained control over c3 again.]

42...c3 43.dxc3 d2 44.Ke2 Rb2 45.Nc7+ Nxc7 46.Rxc7 a3 47.h5 a2 48.Ra7 d1Q+ 49.Kxd1 Rb1+ 50.Ke2 a1Q 51.Rxa1 Rxa1 52.g4 Kf7 53.f3 Rc1 54.Kd2 Rh1 55.c4 Ke6 56.Kd3 Ke5 57.Ke3 Rc1 58.f4+ Ke6 59.Kd4 Rg1



A Black Repertoire against Offbeat Openings

Many club players have their favourite pet opening variations which aren’t necessarily main lines. It’s important to know how to handle these variations as your opponent will likely know his systems well. In this DVD, GM Nicholas Pert provides a detailed Black repertoire against many of these Offbeat Opening choices.

With more than 500 participants, let us hope that the strict sanitary measures were effective!

Final standings after 22 rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Duda Jan-Krzysztof 18,0 0,0
2 Klekowski Maciej 17,5 0,0
3 Demchenko Anton 16,5 0,0
4 Schneider Ilja 16,5 0,0
5 Tazbir Marcin 16,5 0,0
6 Teclaf Pawel 16,5 0,0
7 Bernadskiy Vitaliy 16,5 0,0
8 Keinanen Toivo 16,5 0,0
9 Dragnev Valentin 16,5 0,0
10 Balog Imre 16,5 0,0
11 Plat Vojtech 16,0 0,0
12 Kovalenko Igor 16,0 0,0
13 Kowalski Igor 16,0 0,0
14 Pultinevicius Paulius 16,0 0,0
15 Budrewicz Krzysztof 16,0 0,0
16 Bjerre Jonas 15,5 0,0
17 Danielyan Vahe 15,5 0,0
18 Janik Igor 15,5 0,0
19 Gdanski Jacek 15,5 0,0
20 Walter Szymon 15,5 0,0
21 Brodowski Piotr 15,5 0,0
22 Motylev Alexander 15,5 0,0
23 Mis Mieszko 15,5 0,0
24 Wieczorek Oskar 15,5 0,0
25 Kyc Jerzy 15,5 0,0
26 Ortega Ruiz Jose Miguel 15,5 0,0

...522 players

All available games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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