Max Euwe Matches – Giri beats Short, draws match

5/17/2010 – The Max Euwe Veteran-Youth match challenge finished , and can be considered an unequivocal success. Five young Dutch talents had the opportunity to butt heads with experienced grandmasters in serious four-game matches, a rare opportunity to learn and gain experience. Four were beaten by the GMs, 15-year-old Dutch Champion Anish Giri, scored a remarkable 2-2 draw. Final report.

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Max Euwe Matches in Amsterdam

From Thursday, May 13, to Sunday, May 16, the Max Euwe Center in Amsterdam staged five matches for talented young Dutch players.

Results of round four

Anish Giri
1-0
Nigel Short
Robin van Kampen
0-1
Lubomir Ftacnik
Benjamin Bok
½-½
Yasser Seirawan
Lisa Schut
½-½
Sebastian Siebrecht
Anne Haast
0-1
Dennis de Vreugt

The top billed match was of course between British GM Nigel Short and the 2009 Dutch Champion, 15-year-old GM Anish Giri. Though Short had the clear Elo edge with 2684 Elo and a 50-point advantage, one also had to wonder how valid Giri's rating is at this point considering his youth and meteoric rise over the last few years. Short began well, and came close to winning the second game and then actually won the third, essentially 'stamping his authority' on the match – or so it seemed. The fourth game took a very different direction and Giri played an extremely unpleasant exchange sac that left Nigel short of ideas (pun intended).


Anish trying to remember the theory after Nigel Short has sprung the Chigorin Defence on him

Giri,A (2642) - Short,N (2685) [D02]
Max Euwe Match Amsterdam NED (4), 16.05.2010

1.d4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 Bg4 4.cxd5 Bxf3 5.gxf3 Qxd5 6.e3 e5 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Bd2 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nf6 10.c4 Qd6 11.d5 Ne7 12.Rb1 b6 13.Bb4 c5 14.dxc6 Qxd1+ 15.Rxd1 Nxc6 16.Ba3 Rd8 17.Bd6?

The question mark is by Anish Giri, who tells us that he awarded it because the move turns a position from strategically winning to very, very complicated. "To be honest I played it, then went for a stroll thinking that I already won, but when I came back, I saw Black could play Nd4 and almost cried. But still, this way, the whole world must think that I am so cool because I had this whole Rxd4 thing in mind." 17...Nd4! 18.c5 bxc5 19.Rxd4!? An excellent practical exchange sac, for which White will obtain an extremely unpleasant bind, tying down Black. Whether or not it is winning is another story altogether, but there is no question who has the harder position to play. 19...cxd4 20.Bb5+ Nd7 21.Rg1. In order to survive, Black has two approaches: 1: find a way to free himself from the bind, and with some luck, his material advantage can swing the game in his favor, or 2: if there is no miracle escape, then try to give back the material at an opportune moment, and recover a comfortable balance. 21...a6 22.Ba4 g6 23.Ke2 f6 24.Rc1 dxe3 25.fxe3 h5 26.Rc7 Rh7 27.Kd3 Re7. An offer to return the material and try to free himself. 28.Ke4. But Giri is having none of it, and pursues his plan. 28...Kf7?! As ugly as it might appear, Black had to reconsider giving the exchange back as this move amounts to a tempo loss and gives White's king further time to penetrate into the position. 29.Bxe7 Kxe7 30.Kd5 f5 31.Rxd7+ Rxd7+ 32.Bxd7 Kxd7 33.Kxe5 Ke7 34.h4 g5 35.Kxf5 gxh4 36.Kf4 Kf6 37.e4 a5 38.a4 Kg6 39.Ke3 Kg5 40.Kf2 Kf4 41.Kg2 1-0.


Anish Giri discussing his victory over Nigel Short to the public at the Max Euwe Center

Addendum: on the round three game in which Nigel Short beat Anish Giri, Anatoly Guaniezo of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia wrote: " Grandmaster Nigel Short was amazing ever since his early youth. His kind of chess is classical and entertaining – classical in the sense of its simple clarity and directness. In his games with grandmaster Anish Giri he shows no doubts about his theories, even using an opening that is known to be refuted. I understand his chess, what he means, what he want to show the world: that he is still a unique player among the elite. I know age matters in chess, but in game three Short vs Giri he shows his maturity against youth! Its not enough that you have a high rating in able to beat an experience and tough player. More power to Nigel Short! I celebrate your win against GM Giri."

The other matches went the way of experience, with victories of GM Lubomir Ftacnik over Robin van Kampen with a score of 3-1, and GM Yasser Seirawan over Benjamin Bok by 2.5-1.5. Though both two ladies, Lisa Schut and Anne Haast also lost their respective encounters, Lisa losing to Sebastian Siebrecht by 2.5-1.5, and Anne Haast to Dennis de Vreugt by 4-0, it is well worth noting that not only did Lisa avenge her first loss to Siebrecht in the second round, but she was also completely winning in the fourth, and could easily have tied her match had she brought in the full point.


Lisa Schut and Sebastian Siebrecht under the watchful eyes of Dr. Max Euwe

A warm congratulations nonetheless to all participants, and to the organizers and sponsors for the wonderful initiative.

Final scores

Nigel Short
2.0-2.0
Anish Giri
Lubomir Ftacnik
3.0-1.0
Robin van Kampen
Yasser Seirawan
2.5-1.5
Benjamin Bok
Sebastian Siebrecht
2.5-1.5
Lisa Schut
Dennis de Vreugt
4.0-0.0
Anne Haast


The players: Lisa Schut, Sebastian Siebrecht, Robin van Kampen, Anish Giri, Lubomir Ftacnik,
Nigel Short, Anne Haast, Dennis de Vreugt, Benjamin Bok, Yasser Seirawan.

Photos by René Olthof


Links

The games are were broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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