Snowdrops lead Old Hands by five points

12/8/2013 – After five rounds the score is 12.5-7.5 in favour of the female chess players, who have all scored better than their veteran male counterparts. The latter, with an average age of 71, are not in the best shape and feeling the heat from their young opponents, whose average age is 22. Especially Russian WGM Alina Kashlinskaya, 20, has scored 3.5/5 points. Second illustrated report.

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Snowdrops vs Old Hands 2013

The Snowdrops are represented by Lithuanian GM Viktorij Cmilyte (30, from Lithuania, rated 2506), IM Maria Muzychuk (21, Ukraine, 2491) WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (20, Russia, 2422) and WGM Nastassia Ziaziulkina (18, Belarus, 2350).

The "Old Hands" are GM Iossif Dorfman (61, France, 2580) GM Boris Gulko (66, USA, 2543), GM Borislav Ivkov (80, Serbia, 2408) GM Wolfgang Uhlmann (78, Germany, 2334).

The event is taking place at Hotel Zámecek in Podebrady, the rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves, 30 minutes for the rest, with an increament of 30 seconds per move.

Round four (reports by GM David Navara)

In our previous report the Snowdrops' team was leading the Oldhands by three points (7.5:4.5). In round four the legends had the white pieces on all boards and were expected to try and change the adverse course of the match.

The game Dorfman-Kashlinskaya followed a hot theoretical dispute. Czech grandmaster Smejkal revealed that the French GM had been preparing mainly for the King's Indian Defence, but Alina opted for 1...d5 and a razor sharp line of the Slav gambit resulted. Dorfman failed to recall the best continuation on move 16 and Black managed to equalize by means of active play (18...e5!). The result was a draw in 19 moves.

The game Ivkov-Muzychuk was rather calm: Black managed to execute the important push d6-d5 in the English Opening and equalize. Then she sharpened the position by means of a brave advance e5-e4. However, the subsequent complications resulted in a mass simplification and a subsequent draw agreement.

The encounter Gulko-Cmilyte was filled with interesting ideas. The American grandmaster opted for a fashionable 5.h4 line in the Gruenfeld Indian. This allowed him to bring the game to unexplored territory. Black sacrificed a pawn but did not receive sufficient compensation. White then returned material in order to achieve the advantage of a bishop pair. Still, the Lithuanian GM confirmed her strength and saved a dangerous position through by means of a precise play.

The encounter between Wolfgang Uhlmann and the Belarusian hope Nastassia Ziaziulkina was the longest one. The German grandmaster soon gained a bishop pair and gradually eliminated his opponent's lead in development. The subsequently transformation led into an endgame with a pair of rooks and opposite-squared bishops on the board. Uhlmann maintained a certain iniciative and increased it after some inaccuracies of his opponent. He could have played 42.Rb6, thus winning a pawn without allowing any counterplay. Later on his tiredness took it toll and White lost his advantage. Uhlmann rejected a draw offer in an equal position, then lost a pawn and finally also the game.

After the first half of the event the Snowdrops are leading with a score 10:6. It is remarkable that all female players have scored one win and three draws, which amounts to two and half points.

Round five

It was high time to erase the four point lead of the Snowdrops, but sadly GM Uhlmann is not in his best form. He had a really good position in the game with Alina Kashlinskaya, having apparently surprised her with his choice of opening.

[Event "Vrsanska Uhelna chess match 2013"] [Site "Podebrady"] [Date "2013.12.05"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Uhlmann, Wolfgang"] [Black "Kashlinskaya, Alina"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A13"] [PlyCount "38"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:28:31"] [BlackClock "0:23:57"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e3 c6 4. b3 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. Be2 Nbd7 8. O-O e5 9. cxd5 e4 10. Nd4 cxd5 11. Nf5 Be5 12. Ba3 Re8 13. d4 $2 {Suicidal!} ({ After} 13. Rc1 {White has a nice, playable position.}) 13... exd3 14. Qxd3 Qa5 15. Ne7+ Kh8 16. Nb5 $2 {This simply loses substantial material.} (16. Na4 { would allow White to fight on.}) 16... Bxa1 17. Rxa1 a6 18. Nd6 Rxe7 19. Nxc8 Qxa3 0-1

GM Boris Ivkov is on antibiotics, so he wasn’t in a good condition in his game against Victoria Cmylite. He choose a super strong Dutch Defence and the game ended after 16 moves in a position with lack of chances for both sides. Draw.

The game of Iossif Dorfman and Anastassiya Zjazjulkina was very sharp

[Event "Vrsanska Uhelna chess match 2013"] [Site "Podebrady"] [Date "2013.12.05"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Dorfman, Iossif"] [Black "Ziaziulkina, Nastassia"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D43"] [PlyCount "56"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:10:41"] [BlackClock "0:16:26"] 1. c4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. h4 $5 {This probably came as a surprise for Black.} (9. Be2 {is the main move in this position.}) 9... g4 10. Ne5 Bb7 11. Nxg4 Nxg4 12. Qxg4 Qxd4 13. Rd1 Qf6 14. e5 Qf5 15. Qd4 Be7 16. h5 c5 17. Qd2 Bc6 18. Be2 Qg5 19. Qc2 Nd7 20. Ne4 Qf5 21. Nd6+ Bxd6 22. Qxf5 exf5 23. Rxd6 Bb7 ({Black should have taken the pawn.} 23... Bxg2) 24. Bh4 Nf8 25. a4 (25. b3 $1 {This move, proposed by Petr Boleslav during the analysis of GM Ján Plachetka, gives White a substantial advantage.}) 25... a6 26. Rb6 Bd5 27. Rd6 Bb7 28. Rb6 {White has a better position, but the game is essentially drawn.} Bd5 1/2-1/2

Tournament commentator GM Ján Plachetka

In the game Boris Gulko vs Mariya Muzychuk White played a great game and had a better position. The draw agreement, when Gulko had a better position, with twenty minutes on his clock vs just five minutes for his opponent, can as an unpleasant surprise for the spectators. It is possible that GM Bulko overestimated the power of the black pawns, but still he should have continued.

US GM Boris Gulko missed a good chance to shorten the Snowdrops' lead

[Event "Vrsanska Uhelna chess match 2013"] [Site "Podebrady"] [Date "2013.12.05"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Gulko, Boris F"] [Black "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D10"] [Annotator "GM Robert Cvek"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:20:39"] [BlackClock "0:05:11"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 {This is a favorite move of GM Gulko. I remember his old games where he played exactly the same moves.} cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Bf5 6. Nc3 {In positions like this it seems to me that Black has no problems with compensation, but you need to know this and have to have the temperament to play such positions. That is not easy at all, especially for the aggressive Snowdrop.} e6 7. Qb3 Bb4 8. a3 $5 {GM Plachetka proposed this move during analysis, as a possible improvement for White, and that was exactly what happened.} Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 ({Taking back with the queen:} 9. Qxc3 {would just help Black, especially after} Rc8) 9... Qd7 10. Nf3 Nge7 11. a4 $1 {Nice strategic move. To be honest, after a first look at the position I thought that Black is okay. She would play 11...b6, then move her knight to a5 with a blockade. However the white bishops would be strong. That is an instructive strategic lesson.} b6 12. Ba6 $1 {Yes, he took control of the square c8, so the plan for Black is not that clear anymore.} O-O 13. O-O Na5 14. Qa2 Nec6 15. Nd2 Nb8 16. Bb5 Qb7 17. Rfe1 $1 {This is a nice move, with an idea of playing e4 after preparing f3. Now, we can see that the position of White is a bit better.} Rc8 18. Rac1 a6 19. Bf1 b5 20. Qb2 $6 (20. axb5 $1 {recommended by the GM Plachetka, is the key to lock in the advantage.} axb5 21. Qb2 Nc4 22. Nxc4 dxc4 23. f3 {with a better game.}) 20... bxa4 {The ending is better for the White, but it is still is not too clear.} 21. Qxb7 Nxb7 {The pawns on the a file are complicating life for White.} 22. c4 Nc6 23. Rc3 Nb4 $1 {The correct activity of the knight.} 24. Ra1 Bc2 $1 25. Rc1 ({It would be good to consider} 25. c5 {[%cal Gb7a5,Ga5c6] but Black has a nice square for the knight after 25...Na5 and 26...Nac6!}) 25... dxc4 $2 {Unnecessarily complicated. Black did not have too much time and she thought that the position was not too good for her. That is why she went for tactic complications. However, if she moved her bishop back she would be okay.} 26. R3xc2 Nxc2 27. Rxc2 Na5 28. Bd6 c3 29. Ne4 Nb3 30. g4 $1 {This is really good move - it creates space and also controls the square f5.} ({After} 30. g4 Rc6 31. Rxc3 Rac8 32. Bc5 {White has a clear advantage. But he offered a draw, which Black gladly accepted.}) 1/2-1/2

After five rounds the Snowdrops are leading by five points (12.5-7.5), with all four female players scoring better than their male counterparts:

The event ends on Sunday, with the eighth and final round. We will report on Monday.


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Topics Snowdrops
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