How many surprises and tough battles! Round 3 of the European Union championship in Arvier saw a lot of unexpected results on top boards. Some of the main favourites of the competition drew their games against lower rated opponents: Swedish GM Evgenij Agrest, home players GM Michele Godena, IM Fabiano Caruana and IM Daniele Vocaturo, Croatian GM Miso Cebalo and French IM Vladimir Okhotnik shared the point against Cristina Foisor from Romania, Pierluigi Piscopo and Andrea Cocchi from Italy, Spanish wGM Monica Calzetta, Italian FM Folco Castaldo and Belgian FM Friedrich Norbert respectively. And French GM Eric Prie even lost to young Italian FM Denis Rombaldoni, who now share the lead on 3/3 with Serbian GM Nikola Sedlak, Slovakian GM Thomas Likavsky and Italian IMs Carlo D’Amore, Sabino Brunello and Giulio Borgo. What a fight! Top boards of round 4: Sedlak-Brunello; Borgo-Likavsky; D’Amore-Rombaldoni. Official site with live games: www.scacchivda.com.
And what’s about the “Gorenje” tournament in Valjevo? Players and organizers probably red or heard of my complaints about early draws :-)... So we have four decisive games in round 5: Suat Atalik scored his first win ever against Predrag Nikolic; Michael Roiz tactically outplayed Mihajlo Stojanovic and Anatolij Karpov forced Viorel Iordachescu to give up after the threats on the back-rank. These three players extended their lead on 3.5 points; Ivan Ivanisevic (draw after 62 moves with Kiril Georgiev) and Branko Damljanovic (who played a perfect rook endgame to beat Pavasovic) are half a point behind. Official site: www.chessdom.com.
And now here is a nice win by Italian IM Carlo D'Amore in Arvier.
D'Amore,C. (2476) - Daulyte,D. (2224) [C55], Arvier 17.6.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 h6 5.c3 d6 6.Bb3 g6 7.Nbd2 Bg7 8.Nf1 0–0
A rare move. Black usually starts a central counter-attack by 8...d5 ; a common continuation is 9.Qe2 Be6 10.Ng3 and Black has completely equal chances after both 10...Qe7 (Gipslis-Eingorn, Tallinn 1980) and 10...0–0 (Ara. Minasian-Sorokoin, Ubeda 1999).
This way White prevents ...d5.
This should be a new move at this point, but not in such a variation. The game Saren-Tyni, Finland 1994, continued 9...Re8 10.0–0 Be6 11.Bxe6 Rxe6 12.c4 Nb8 13.b4 a5 14.bxa5 Rxa5 15.Bd2 Ra8 16.a4 Nbd7 17.Qc2 Nc5 18.Rfb1 Nfd7 and a draw was agreed here (1/2–1/2).
White doesn't hesitate and starts the attack on the "h" file...
Why not 10...Be6 ? 10...h5, to prevent 11.h5, was also to be considered.
In accordance to the previous move.
11...g5 was probably more cautious.
Black had no better defensive chances. If 12...Nf4 then 13.g3 Ne6 (13...Nh3 14.Ng4 h5 15.Nxg6 Qd8 16.Nxf8 Bxg4 17.f3 Qf6 18.Qe2 Qxf3 19.Qxf3 Bxf3 20.Rf1 Bg2 21.Rxf7+-) 14.Nhf5 Qd8 (14...gxf5 15.Nxf5 Qf6 16.Bxh6 Bxh6 17.Rxh6 Qg5 18.Rh4 Qg6 19.Rg4 Ng5 20.f4+-) 15.Nxh6+ Bxh6 16.Rxh6 Kg7 17.Nf5+ Kg8 (17...gxf5 18.Qh5 Rh8 19.exf5+-) 18.Rh1 and White has a decisive attack.
13.Bxe6 Qxe6 14.Nhf5 Ne7 15.Rxh5!?
An interesting attempt to prove Black's defensive skill. White has not many pieces to attack his opponent's king at the moment, but they will soon come into action... Daulyte has to be very careful!
15...gxh5 16.Qxh5 Kh7
After 16...Rfe8?! 17.Ng4! Qg6 18.Nxg7 Kxg7 19.Bxh6+ Kg8 20.Qxg6+ fxg6 21.Nf6+ Kf7 22.Nxe8 Rxe8 23.Ke2 White is a pawn up in a better endgame, but Black should probably have some chances to get a draw.
17.Nxe7 Qxe7 18.Nd5 Qd8 19.Ke2 Qc8?
A bad inaccuracy. Black misses his only chance to fight for a draw: 19...f5! 20.exf5 (20.Bxh6 Bxh6 21.Rh1 Rf6 22.Qh4 Re6 23.Qh5 Rf6 24.Qh4=) 20...Qe8 21.Qg4 (21.Qxe8 Raxe8 22.Nxc7 Rc8 23.Nb5 d5=) 21...Qf7 22.f6 Bxf6 23.Bxh6 Bg7 24.Qxg7+ Qxg7 25.Bxg7 Rf7! (25...Kxg7 26.Nxc7 Rac8 27.Ne6++-) 26.Bf6 c6 27.Rh1+ Kg6 28.Bxe5 Re8 29.Ne3 Rxe5 with a drawish endgame.
A strong move!
20...f5 21.Rh1 fxe4??
Losing on the spot. 21...Qe6 was forced, even if after 22.Nxc7 Qg6 23.Qxg6+ Kxg6 24.Nxa8 Rxa8 (or 24...hxg5 25.Nc7 a6 26.Nd5 Rf7 27.a4) 25.Be7 fxe4 26.dxe4 Bf8 27.Bh4 White would have excellent winning chances anyway.
22.Bxh6 exd3+ 23.Ke1 Qf5
The last mistake in a desperate position.
White mates by force in a few moves, so Black resigned.