A premature peace

by Jonathan Speelman
7/7/2019 – Jon starts the second half of the year with an Agony column submission from a Palestinian chess coach from Bethlehem. | Send in your own games! Jon can always use more material from readers. If your games are selected for the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

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Speelman's Agony #101

This week's game is by Fadi Qassis a Palestinian chess coach from Bethlehem who writes:

Chess is something I'm addicted to (LOL). I've been a club player and a chess coach since 2011. All of my students are 5-14 years old. I teach at schools and at social centers. I love the game and I love what I do, dealing with kids is tough and needs to be learned for years and you never finish, I'm still learning up till now.

An organizer of local tournaments, Fadi started playing in a club in 2004 and was 7th in the Palestinian Open championship in Yakun 2016. He sent me just a single game, but he certainly ran the full gamut of emotions during it, gaining an advantage which later became a winning ending but then agreeing a draw in a won position — about the worst thing that can happen in a game apart from resigning when you're winning.

 

The Baffling 2.b3 Sicilian

Make life difficult for the Sicilian! 2.b3 is a thoroughly venomous but still solid kind of "Anti-Sicilian". No matter what setup black chooses, the bishop on b2 will always be unpleasant for him.

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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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