Vladimir Kramnik finally won his rapid match against Hungarian Peter Leko (4.5-3.5) and I’m sure he is now ready to beat Armenian Levon Aronian too. It was a really tough battle for the World champion in Miskolc: he won games 3 and 5, then lost 6; in the 8th and last game Leko won the exchange, but Vlad easily found the way to get equal chances and a draw was soon agreed. Official site: http://www.lekokramnyik.hu/eng/.
Indian WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi is still leading in Cutro (Italy) with one round to go. After winning the first 4 games, she drew with GMs Drasko and Blagojevic and lost to GM Rotstein; today she finally won again, against GM Djuric: she has 6 points out of 8 and tomorrow she will face German IM Roder in the last round: I think (but am not sure) a draw is enough for her to get a GM norm. Official site: http://scacchicutro.no-ip.info.
I told you the chapter about “Immortals” has not ended yet… And here is a very nice game won by Filip Van Dorpe, a Belgian reader of Midaschess Corner. His “Immortal”. To be honest, he didn’t want me to publish that at first. He sent an e-mail to me, just asking for an opinion, and added: “No need to post this game at all! Really! It's probably of too low quality anyway (my opponent did a few really bad moves). Just saw your post on your blog and thought to myself: "yea, I have this 1 'immortal' game of my own”.
After watching the game, anyway, I asked him why not to share it with all other readers: he was rated 1500 when he played it, but I think this is a master-class victory! Congratulations, Filip! And now I call upon mr. Van Dorpe to speak :-)
“I am not a master, not even an expert. But I have one game I played a few years ago that will stay in my memory forever! :) It was a very important game for me. In our club championship we had three C-class divisions. The 3 winners of these 3 groups would play a finale match of 2 games round robin (one game with White and one with Black). This was the first game of that 3-winners match... (eventually I won that finals too :) hehe).
My opponent was rated about 200 points higher than me. This made the victory even sweeter :) And he resigned the finals immediatly after this game... :S He must have been in shock... Perhaps if you check this game with a computer, it may have many flaws... But for me some moves were really unforgettable! :) (like the manouvre Re1-Nbd2-Nf1-N1h2-Ng4; and overprotecting e5 with rook, two knights, and bishop... I bet Nimzo would have loved this ;) eheh). Also memorable is of course the move Nxe6 and the exchange sacrifice at the end that won his Queen :) Good memories... :D”.
Van Dorpe, F (1509) – Van Loocke, B (1750) [A05], Ghent – Belgium 13.07.2004
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d3 e6 6. e4 d5 7. e5 Nfd7 8. d4 c5 9. c3 Nc6 10. Re1 b5 11. h4 h6 12. Nbd2
This is a theoretical position, often arising from French defence – I mean the 1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 line.
Perhaps this move is a tempo waste. After 12…b4 13.Nf1 Ba6 14.N1h2 bxc3 15.bxc3 Qa5 16.Bd2 Qa3 17. h5 cxd4 18.cxd4 g5 19.Re3 Qe7 Black has nothing to be afraid of.
13. Nf1 c4?
And this is a mistake. Black must keep a tense situation in the center: by pushing this pawn he only helps his opponent in putting on an attack on the King side, having no counterplay in return for that.
14. Bf4 b4 15. Qd2 Kh7 16. N1h2 Rb8 17. Ng4 h5 18. Nf6+! Bxf6
The exchange sacrifice by 18…Nxf6 19.exf6 Bxf6 20.Bxb8 Qxb8 would have been an interesting alternative.
19. exf6 Rb7
Better is 19…Nxf6, even if after 20.Bd6! Bd7 (or 20…Kg7) 21.Qf4 White has more than a slight advantage.
Stronger was 20.Bh6, with the idea Bg7, Qh6 and then mate.
20...Rh8 21. Ng5+ Kg8 22. Nxe6!?
The more combinative continuation at this point, even if it doesn’t force anything. 22.Bh3 was a good alternative.
The last mistake: 22…Ncxe5 23.Ng5 bxc3 24.bxc3 Nf3+ 25.Bxf3 Nxf6 was a more stubborn defence.
23. Ng5 Nd7
The alternative 23…Be6 24.dxe5 bxc3 25.bxc3 was a bit better.
24. Re8+ Nf8 25. Rxc8 Rd7 26. Re1 Nd8 27. Re7 Qxf6 28. Rxd7 Nxd7 29. Bxd5
Black has no hope of surviving in this position.
The only move was 29…Kg7. Now Black loses his Queen.
30. Rxd8+! Qxd8 31. Bxf7+ Kg7 32. Ne6+ Kxf7 33. Nxd8+ Rxd8 34. Qf4+ Ke7 35. Qg5+ 1-0
“As I said: this might not be a brilliant game (maybe the opponent helped me too much!?) but historically this was an important game for me :) and an unforgettable one too! :))
Greets from Belgium,
Filip Van Dorpe”.
Well, Filip, don’t worry: this game is brilliant enough to be considered an “Immortal”. At least in my opinion :-). Thanks for sharing your memory! All readers who want their “Immortal” to be published on this Blog, or would just like to have my opinion, can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!