Jon Speelman's Agony Column #26

by Jonathan Speelman
11/2/2016 – This week's games are by Samiha Sharmin Shimmi from Bangladesh. Samiha began to play chess at the age of 13. She graduated in Computer Science and Engineering, but also took part in important tournaments. Now she works as a Software Engineer and takes part in chess competitions occasionally – like playing in the national women's championship since 2002, finishing sixth this year. Jon Speelman comments on an Agony and an Ecstasy game by Samiha.

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Jon Speelman's Agony Column #26

Samiha writes: "My parents took me to the chess federation and they were always supportive. But they wanted me to play chess without hampering my academic career. In our country one cannot take chess as a profession. So I studied hard and completed my graduation in Computer Science and Engineering. Besides that when I had time I used to participate in important tournaments. Now I work as a Software Engineer at a Bank and take part in chess competitions occasionally.

Samiha has been playing in the national women's championship since 2002 and just a few weeks ago was sixth in this year's championship. In 2013, at the "Bangladesh Games" she won a silver medal playing for the Bangladesh Navy team and a bronze medal in the individual rapidplay. While in 2014, she became champion in the first women's rapid chess championship of Bangladesh.

Consonant with the rapid chess success, she has a fluid intuitive style. In the first "Agony" game this led to disaster when an intuitive sacrifice turned out to be quite wrong. In the second "Ecstasy" she was under the cosh but kept on fighting and turned it round into a surprise victory. I've added my comments (JS) to her own annotations.

[Event "IWICA 35th National Women's Chess Champ"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.10.03"] [Round "?"] [White "Samiha Sharmin, Shimmi"] [Black "Rani Hamid"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "1861"] [BlackElo "1976"] [Annotator "Speelman,Jonathan"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2015.07.13"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 d6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bc4 {[#] JS This unusual move claims that the bishop is misplaced on d7, since it hampers ...d5} Nd4 7. O-O b5 8. Nxd4 bxc4 (8... cxd4 9. Nxb5 Qb6 10. a4 {is nice for White}) 9. Nf3 Qb6 (9... Ne7) 10. Kh1 Bc8 (10... Be7 11. Qe2 Nf6) 11. d3 {JS Damaging the pawn structure to get developed. Instead} (11. b3 Ba6 (11... Qa6 12. bxc4 Qxc4 13. Rb1) (11... cxb3 12. axb3 Be7) 12. bxc4 Bxc4 13. d3 Ba6 14. Rb1 {JS was a simple way to gain at least some advantage.}) 11... cxd3 12. cxd3 Ne7 13. f5 Nc6 14. Ng5 (14. fxe6 fxe6 (14... Bxe6 15. Ng5) 15. Ng5 {transposes}) 14... Ne5 15. fxe6 fxe6 (15... Bxe6 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Be3 {JS and White will play d4}) 16. Bf4 Qd8 {[#] Black has lost a huge amount of time and White now has to decide how to cash in.} 17. Nb5 (17. Qb3 {would have overloaded Black} Qb6 { is the best chance, but after} (17... Qe7 18. Nb5 Rb8 (18... h6 19. Bxe5) 19. Bxe5 dxe5 20. Qa4 Bd7 21. Nc7+ Kd8 22. Qa5 Kc8 23. Rf7 Qd6 (23... Qxg5 24. Nxe6 ) 24. Ncxe6) (17... Bd7 18. Nxe6 c4 19. Nxd8 cxb3 20. Bxe5 Kxd8 21. Bd4) 18. Bxe5 Qxb3 19. axb3 dxe5 20. Nb5 Rb8 21. Nc7+ Kd7 22. Rxa7 Be7 23. Rf7 {White should win.}) 17... h6 {[#]} 18. Nxe6 $2 {JS The sort of move that your hand wants to make, but there were several much better ideas.} (18. Bxe5 hxg5 (18... Qxg5 $2 19. Qf3) 19. Rxf8+ Kxf8 (19... Rxf8 20. Nxd6+) 20. Nxd6 Kg8 {gives White a huge advantage with terrific minor pieces, though she has had to sacrifice the exchange.}) (18. Qa4 $1 Bd7 (18... Qd7 19. Nxe6) 19. Nxe6 Bxe6 20. Nxd6+ Ke7 21. Bxe5 {is murder}) (18. Qh5+ g6 19. Qh3 $1 Qd7 20. Bxe5 dxe5 21. a4 a6 22. Nf7 axb5 23. Nxh8 {is certainly winning}) ({Even the miserable} 18. Nh3 {keeps a nice advantage, but you'd never play it.}) 18... Bxe6 19. Bxe5 (19. d4 cxd4 (19... a6 $1 20. dxe5 axb5 (20... dxe5 21. Qh5+ Ke7 22. Qxe5 axb5 23. Rad1 Qc8 24. Bxh6 Rxh6 25. Qd6+) 21. exd6 {White has compensation for the piece.}) 20. Bxe5 (20. Rc1) 20... dxe5 21. Rc1) 19... dxe5 20. Qh5+ (20. Qa4 Bd7 21. Qa6) 20... Kd7 21. Qxe5 {[#]} Qb8 $1 {JS Refuting White's play.} 22. Qxb8 Rxb8 23. Na3 Rxb2 24. Nc4 Bxc4 25. dxc4 Ke6 26. Rad1 Be7 27. a4 Rhb8 28. h3 R8b4 29. e5 Rxc4 30. Rfe1 Rcc2 0-1

[Event "Golden Chess Club rating Rajshahi"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.05.06"] [Round "9"] [White "Mohammad Manik"] [Black "Samiha Sharmin Shimmi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "1964"] [BlackElo "1858"] [Annotator "Speelman,Jonathan"] [PlyCount "134"] [EventDate "2015.05.03"] [SourceDate "2015.07.13"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. c4 $5 {JS Rather an odd move} Qe4+ $5 (3... Qe6+ 4. Be2 c5) (3... Qa5) 4. Be2 $5 (4. Qe2 {JS avoids losing a pawn, but is hardly inspiring. So White sacrifices for the initiative.}) 4... Qxg2 5. Bf3 Qg6 6. Nc3 {[#]} c6 (6... e5 $1 7. Nd5 $6 Bd6 8. c5 c6 {JS this line given by Shamiha is very good for Black. 6...e5 is psychologically difficult since Black looks loose. But it gets some control of the centre, whereas as played White got good compensation with central control and a lead in development.}) 7. d4 Nf6 8. Nge2 h5 {Preparing ...Bg4 but weakening g5. Later this pawn drops off.} ( 8... Qf5 9. Ng3 Qh3) (8... h6 {makes room for the queen while not weakening g5. }) (8... Bg4 9. Rg1 Qf5 10. Bxg4 Nxg4 11. Qb3 b6 12. Bf4) 9. h3 e6 (9... Nbd7 10. Nf4 Qf5) 10. a3 Be7 11. Be3 O-O 12. Nf4 Qf5 13. Nxh5 Nxh5 14. Bxh5 Nd7 15. Be2 Nf6 16. Bd3 Qh5 17. Be2 Qf5 18. Qd2 {[#] JS My engine still seems to like Black, but with the g-file to play on I'd be encouraged as White. .} b6 19. O-O-O Bb7 20. Rdg1 Rfd8 21. Qe1 c5 22. Rg5 Qh7 23. Rhg1 Bf8 (23... g6 {JS seems to be playable} 24. dxc5 (24. Bd3 cxd4 25. Rxg6+ fxg6 26. Rxg6+ Qxg6 27. Bxg6 dxc3) 24... Ne4 25. Nxe4 Bxe4 26. cxb6 axb6 27. Qc3) 24. dxc5 Rd7 (24... bxc5) 25. Bd1 Qd3 $2 (25... bxc5 26. Bxc5 Bxc5 27. Rxc5 (27. Rxg7+ $2 Qxg7 28. Rxg7+ Kxg7 {JS Black has a material advantage and the king will be perfectly safe on ther black squares.}) 27... Qh4 28. Qe3 {White must be at least a bit better.}) 26. Be2 (26. Bc2 $1 Qxc4 27. R1g4 $1 Nxg4 28. Rxg4 Qa6 29. Ra4 bxc5 30. Rxa6 Bxa6 {JS This computer line given by Samiha is clearly winning}) 26... Qh7 27. R1g3 {[#]} Ne4 $2 (27... bxc5 {JS would still have been unclear. If} 28. Bd1 Qh4 29. Bc2 Qxc4 30. Qg1 g6 {JS and the engine laughs at me and tells me that Black is winning}) 28. Nxe4 Qxe4 29. Qc3 f5 $6 (29... g6 30. Bf3 Rd3 31. Qc2 Rxe3 32. Bxe4 Re1+ 33. Kd2 Bxe4 34. Qb3 Rb1 35. cxb6 Rd8+ 36. Ke2 axb6 {JS Of course this should be winning for White, but in practice it could still go wrong, especially if he was short of time.}) 30. Bf3 Qh4 (30... Qxf3 31. Rxf3 Bxf3 32. cxb6) 31. c6 Bxc6 32. Bxc6 Rc7 33. Bxa8 (33. f4 Rac8 34. Qf6 Rf7 35. Qxe6 {also won outright.}) 33... Rxc4 34. f4 (34. Kd2 Rxc3 35. Kxc3 Qa4) ( 34. Bd2 Rxc3+ 35. Bxc3 Qf4+ 36. Kb1 Qxf2 37. Bxg7) 34... Rxc3+ 35. bxc3 e5 36. Bd5+ Kh8 {[#]} 37. Bf7 $4 {JS winning the queen but allowing the game to continue} (37. Rxf5 Be7 (37... Qxg3 38. Rh5#) 38. Rxe5 {was completely over since if} Qxg3 39. Rh5#) 37... exf4 38. Rh5+ Qxh5 39. Bxh5 Bxa3+ 40. Kc2 fxg3 { [#]JS Black is now fighting hard. From the chaos I imagined that this must have been at the end of a massive mutual time scramble. But when I consulted Samiha, after checking her notes she replied: "I was in time pressure but my opponent was making quick moves! Since no more time was added after move 40, I played the remaining game under huge time pressure. My opponent had enough time, but he was not using it due to my time pressure." This blitzing is a bad mistake but quite a common occurrence when people get over stressed by the opponent's time trouble.} 41. Bf3 Bd6 42. c4 Kh7 43. Kb3 Bc7 44. Ka4 a6 45. Kb3 Kg6 46. h4 Kf7 47. Bd4 g6 48. Kc2 Bd8 49. Kb3 Bc7 50. Kc2 Bd8 51. Be3 {[#] JS In this very difficult ending, material is round about equal. But it's very hard to get your bearings. Black probably ought to improve her king so as to control the c-pawn if she plays ...b5.} b5 (51... Ke6 52. Bc6 b5 53. c5 Bxh4 54. Bb7 Bd8 55. Bf4 g5 56. Bxg3 f4 57. Bf2 a5 {I'd be uneasy as Black here, but perhaps I'm being neurotic.}) 52. c5 Bxh4 $2 (52... Bc7 {was necessary}) 53. Bf4 Bd8 54. Bxg3 Ke6 55. Kb3 (55. Bb7 $1 g5 56. Bb8) 55... g5 56. Bb8 f4 57. c6 Kf5 58. c7 Bxc7 59. Bxc7 g4 {[#] The two bishops should now win...} 60. Bg2 $2 {Allowing the pawns to advance} (60. Bb7 $1 {keeps control}) 60... f3 61. Bf1 Ke4 62. Kb4 $2 {The wrong direction} (62. Kc2 b4 63. Kd2 b3 64. Bxa6 b2 65. Bd3+ Kd4 66. Bg3) 62... Ke3 63. Bg3 f2 {Black is now holding.} 64. Ka5 $4 (64. Bg2 Ke2 65. Ka5 f1=Q 66. Bxf1+ Kxf1 67. Be5 Kf2 68. Kxa6 b4 69. Ka5 b3 70. Ka4 $11) 64... Kf3 65. Bd6 g3 66. Bxg3 Kxg3 67. Kxa6 b4 {[#] JS After an absolute roller coaster ride Samiha emerged victorious.} 0-1

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Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.
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psamant psamant 11/3/2016 10:14
Nice... these are the games we amateurs play. Feels good to have such a game appear in an article with GM comments. Absolute roller coaster rides!
vinniethepooh vinniethepooh 11/3/2016 05:26
woah! i just didnt realise samiha was playing black in the second game!
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