Kavalek in Huffington: September Chess – part two

10/13/2013 – In part one Huffington Post columnist GM Lubomir Kavalek annotated two games from the 2013 Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis. In part two he looks at other notable September 2013 events: You Yifan's regaining of the women's world championship title and the FIDE Grand Prix events in Prague/Novy Bor and Paris. As always you can enjoy his analysis of key games.

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September Chess

By GM Lubomir Kavalek

September was a great month for chess.

The world's top-rated chess player Magnus Carlsen played his first official tournament in America (part one of this article described that event), his last event before the world championship match against the titleholder Vishy Anand in November. The Chinese GM Hou Yifan regained the women's world title. The FIDE Grand Prix winner Veselin Topalov relaxed in the Czech town of Novy Bor while the last GP event in Paris spilled into October with a nice but sad victory for Fabiano Caruana.

Hou Yifan regains the world title

With three wins and three draws, the Chinese GM Hou Yifan matched Carlsen's result from Saint Louis after six games of the Women's World Championship 10-game match against the Ukrainian title holder Anna Ushenina in Taizhou, China. Hou regained the title by winning Game 7, scoring overall 5.5-1.5.

At the age of 12, Hou dreamt of overtaking the all-time best woman Judit Polgar. In 2010, Hou became the youngest women's world champion at the age of 16. She defended the crown next year against Humpy Koneru of India. In 2012 she was knocked out in the second round of the Women's championship, but became a challenger by winning the 2011-2012 FIDE Women's Grand Prix. Now at 19, she is a university student and her ambitions are more modest. She prefers to by happy and healthy.

Parisien blues

Nakamura went straight from Saint Louis to Paris to participate in the last FIDE Grand Prix tournament. Things were looking up for him when he met Fabiano Caruana, one of two players with a chance to qualify for the 2014 Candidates by winning the event alone.

[Event "FIDE GP Paris"] [Site "Paris"] [Date "2013.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D70"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2779"] [Annotator "Kavalek,Lubomir"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1br2k1/1ppqppbp/pn4P1/8/3nP3/2N1BP2/PP1Q2P1/2KR1BNR b - - 0 14"] [PlyCount "6"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "FRA"] {Nakamura just took the pawn on g6. Caruana had two ways of recapturing it and he chose the wrong one.} 14... hxg6 $2 {A losing blunder.} ({Black is forced to recapture with} 14... fxg6 {to be able to protect the h7 pawn after} 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Qh6 e5 {with an edge.}) 15. Bxd4 $1 Qxd4 {It really doesn't matter what Caruana plays.} ({Black loses a piece after} 15... Bxd4 16. Qh6 Qd6 17. Rxd4 Qxd4 18. Qh7+ Kf8 19. Qh8+ Qxh8 20. Rxh8+ Kg7 21. Rxd8 {and white should win.}) 16. Qe1 {The skewer wins material and the game is over.} ({ Hikaru could have also played} 16. Qf4 e5 17. Rxd4 {wins}) 16... Qxd1+ 17. Nxd1 {Having a queen for a rook, white is winning. Caruana dragged the game out till move 34 before he resigned.} 1-0

The loss must have been devastating for Caruana. Nakamura, on the other hand, moved to the lead by adding a win against Vassily Ivanchuk, who overstepped time in a roughly equal position. Hikaru could win it all, I thought, but there was one problem: his opponent was the 45-year-old Boris Gelfand, the 2012 world championship challenger. He was Nakamura's "angstgegner" and no matter what Hikaru did against the Israeli GM, it usually turned out badly. Yet again, he could not overcome the psychological barrier.

There was an additional twist: Hikaru has never beaten Gelfand with the white pieces in a major tournament and it was his seventh loss in Paris.

The win helped Gelfand to share first place with Caruana with 7/11. Nakamura and Etienne Bacrot finished a half point behind the winner.
Caruana almost made it to the Candidates, but he needed to win it alone. The Azerbaijani GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov clinched the last spot instead.

The winner of the FIDE Grand Prix Veselin Topalov went to Novy Bor, a Czech town of glass artists, to play a six game match against Viktor Laznicka. It was an equal fight at first, but the Czech GM lost due to his habit - the time trouble.

Topalov won 4-2 and took home a nice glass trophy. Laznicka's downfall began in the following position:

[Event "?"] [Site "Novy Bor "] [Date "2013.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Laznicka, Viktor"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2769"] [Annotator "Kavalek,Lubomir"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5rk1/6p1/1BbRp1qp/P1P5/4p3/5P2/2Q3PP/6K1 b - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "11"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 31... Qg5 $1 {A nice piece sacrifice. The queen goes out of the pin and protects the square d8, not allowing white to exchange the rooks.} ({After} 31... Qf6 {computers suggest that white can hold with} 32. Qe2 $5 (32. Rxc6 $2 exf3 33. gxf3 Qxf3 $19) 32... exf3 (32... Bd5 33. c6 exf3 34. gxf3 Qg5+ 35. Qg2 $11) 33. gxf3 Bd5 34. c6 $11) 32. Rxc6 $2 {Greed loses. Laznicka pegged his rook and bishop behind the c-pawn and they can't help the white king. Instead of taking the bishop, white could have rescued the game with a timely deflection:} (32. h4 $1 {for example} Qf6 (32... Qe3+ 33. Qf2 $11) (32... Qxh4 33. Qf2 $11) 33. Qb3 (33. fxe4 $2 Qf1+ 34. Kh2 Rf4 $1 $19) 33... exf3 34. gxf3 $1 Qxh4 35. Rxc6 Qg3+ 36. Kh1 Rf6 37. Qd3 Rg6 38. Qxg6 Qxg6 39. Rc8+ Kf7 40. c6 {and black has only perpetual check, not more. The c-pawn is too strong.}) 32... exf3 $19 33. g3 (33. Rxe6 f2+ 34. Kf1 (34. Qxf2 Rxf2 35. Kxf2 Qf5+ $19) 34... Qxg2+ 35. Kxg2 f1=Q+ $19) 33... Qe5 $5 {An unpleasant move in white's time trouble, although black had other ways to succeed:} (33... Qf6 $1 34. Rd6 f2+ 35. Kf1 Qf3 36. Rd1 Qh1+ 37. Ke2 f1=Q+ 38. Rxf1 Rxf1 {wins.}) (33... Qe3+ $1 34. Qf2 (34. Kf1 f2 35. Qb1 Qf3 $19) 34... Qc1+ 35. Qf1 f2+ 36. Kg2 Qe3 37. Rc7 Qe4+ 38. Kh3 Rf5 39. g4 h5 {wins.}) 34. Qf2 (34. Qd2 Qa1+ 35. Kf2 Qh1 $19) 34... Qa1+ 35. Qf1 Qd4+ 36. Kh1 (36. Qf2 Qd1+ 37. Qf1 f2+ (37... f2+ 38. Kg2 Qf3+ 39. Kh3 Qxc6 $19) 38. Kg2 Qd5+ {wins.}) 36... f2 (36... f2 37. h3 Qd5+ 38. Kh2 Qxc6 {wins.}) 0-1

Images by Anastasiya Karlovich from Taizhou, Alina l'Ami from Paris and Vladimir Jagr from Novy Bor

Original column hereCopyright Huffington Post


The Huffington Post is an American news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington and others, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and liberal/progressive alternative to conservative news websites. It offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy. It is a top destination for news, blogs, and original content. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. According to Nielsen NetRatings, the site has around 13 million unique visitors per month (number for March 2010); according to Google Analytics the number is 22 million uniques per month.


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