Hard life for superGMs

SuperGMs often have a really hard life in open tournaments. See, for example, the Norwegian “wunderkind” Magnus Carlsen: he has just won the Biel supertournament and he is the clear favorite of the 2007 Arctic Chess Challenge, which takes place in Tromsø (Norway) until Sunday 12, but he has only 3.5 points after 5 rounds, the same of his father Henrik, who is 621 rating points under him in the July Fide list. Magnus drew his first round game against an unknown compatriot, Brede Hagen (2034), against whom he was even slightly worse in the middlegame; then he shared the point with Danish FM Karsten Larsen (2325) in the third round and his position was almost lost at a certain point. In the fifth round he drew with his mentor Simen Agdestein, so that he is not even in the first ten positions at the moment. Official site of the tourney: http://www.arcticchess.org/engindex.htm.
And what’s about former world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov? The Uzbek player lost to French wGM Marie Sebag in the 4th round of the 11th Hogeschool Zeeland open, which takes place in Vlissingen (Holland) until Saturday 11; in the same tourney and round, German outsider and master Ilja Zaragatski beat Dutch GM Sergey Tiviakov. On the other hand, Italian fans can be proud of their #1 player: 15 y.o. GM Fabiano Caruana beat Zaragatski in the 5th round and Dutch GM Daniel Stellwagen in the 6th and is in sole lead with a perfect score: 6/6! Go Fabiano! Official site: http://www.hztoernooi.nl/index_en.html.
Do you remember the blitz tourney in Torre Boldone? Mida :-) won it with a 8.5/9 score (with one undeserved victory - on time - against a lower rated opponent in round 8); candidate masters Andrea Pirola and Stefano Ranfagni were placed second and third on 7.5 and 6.5 respectively. Thanks to “Heart feast” (“Festa del Cuore” in Italian) organizers for the beautiful prizes. Here are some photos from the tourney.

Ileana Meli (only female participant)
against Paolo Giardina from Pavia.

A decisive game: Ranfagni vs Mida

Andrea Pirola (left), 2nd placed

And the winner is... Mida :-)

At last I report the kilometrical (107 moves) and thrilling win by Caruana against Zaragatski in Vlissingen, with some annotations.

Caruana,F. (2549) - Zaragatski,I. (2480) [C04], Vlissingen 7.8.2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5
French defence is often a bad choice against Caruana... See, for example, his win against Neubauer in Szeged last May: http://midaschess.blogspot.com/2007/05/stubborn-resistance-and-awful-defence.html.
3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.Bd3
6.Nb3 and 6.Be2 are more popular variations.
Probably not the best continuation: 6...Nb4 7.Be2 c5 8.c3 Nc6 9.0–0 cxd4 10.cxd4 f6 is safer for Black.
A sharp line in pure Caruana's style.
Correct. After 7...fxg5 White got a huge advantage in Chiburdanidze-Zatulovskaya, Tbilisi 1976: 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Bxg6+ hxg6 10.Qxg6+ Ke7 11.Ne4! Bh6? (11...Ndxe5 is better, although after 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Qf6+ Kd7 14.Qxe5 Bb4+ 15.c3 Bd6 16.Nxd6 cxd6 17.Qxg5 White is better anyway) 12.Bxg5+ Bxg5 13.Qg7+ Ke8 14.Qxh8+ Nf8 15.Qh5+ Kd7 16.Nc5+ Ke7 17.Qxg5+ Kf7 18.Qf4+ Ke8 19.h4 etc. (1–0 at move 40).
8.dxe5 fxg5 9.Qh5+ g6
The immediate 9...Kd7 has also been played (with awful results for Black).
10.Bxg6+ Kd7 11.f4
The best. White opens the "f" file and (after 11...gxf4) will protect his "e5" pawn with the Queen.
11...gxf4 12.Bd3 Qe8
12...Nb4 is more common. After 13.0–0 Nxd3 14.cxd3 Qe8 Black has an almost equal game: he has the bishops pair and his King is safe, after all.
Probably a new move, although it is very natural. The game Ristic-Elbilia, France 1997, continued 13.Qg5 Be7 14.Qxf4 Rf8 15.Qa4 Qh5 16.Nf3 and now after 16...Kd8 Black would have a completely comfortable position.
13...Nb4 14.0–0 Nxd3 15.cxd3 b6 16.Rxf4 Ba6
The position now looks about equal, but Black must be careful, since White retains some attacking chances...
17.Rf6 Rg8
After 17...Bc5+ 18.Kh1 Be7 19.Nf3 c5! Black has nothing to be afraid of. The text move is not bad, anyway.
18.Nf3 Qh5 19.Bf4 Qg4 20.Bg3 Be7
20...Re8 intending ...Kc8 would probably be even better.
21.Qc2 Bb7
Obviously not 21...Bxf6?? , as 22.exf6 wins on the spot, due to the double treat Qxc7+ and Ne5+.
22.Rf7 was an interesting alternative.
22...c6 23.d4 h5
23...Raf8 was probably even better, while 23...Bxf6? is still bad: after 24.exf6 Qe4 (what else?) 25.Ne5+ Kc8 26.f7 Rf8 27.Qc3! c5 (Nxc6 is too strong) 28.Re1 Qxd4+ 29.Qxd4 cxd4 30.Rc1+ White wins easily.
24.Rf4 Qg6 25.Bh4 Raf8 26.Bf6
The best.
26...Qxc2 27.Rxc2 c5 28.Rf2 cxd4 29.Nxd4 Bc5 30.h3??
A careless move that should cost the game. 30.b4 Bxb4 31.Nxe6 Kxe6 32.Rxb4= was an alternative to be considered.
Giving the favor back! 30...Rxf6 wins on the spot: 31.exf6 (31.Rxf6 Bxd4 32.Rf7+ Kc8 33.Kh2 Bxf2 34.Rxf2 Rg5–+) 31...e5 32.Nb3 exf4 33.Nxc5+ bxc5 34.Rxf4 Ke6 and Black wins easily.
A nice counter-trick...
...but Black doesn't feel the danger! 31...Bxd4 32.Rxd4 Rfg8 33.Kh2 Ba6 was drawish.
That's obvious! Now White wins a piece and the game.
32...Ra3 33.Rxb4 Rxa2 34.Nd4
34.Rh4 was stronger.
34...Rxf2 35.Kxf2 Rc8 36.Rb3 Rc4 37.Ke3 Rc1 38.g4 hxg4 39.hxg4 Re1+ 40.Kf3 Rd1 41.Ke3 Re1+ 42.Kf3 Rd1 43.Nb5 d4+ 44.Ke2 Rg1 45.Nxa7
Why not 45.g5 ?
45...Rg2+ 46.Ke1 Rg1+ 47.Kd2 Rg2+ 48.Ke1 Rg1+ 49.Kf2 Rg2+ 50.Kf1 Rxg4 51.Rxb6 Bd5 52.Rb4 Re4 53.Nb5 d3 54.Rxe4 Bxe4 55.Nd4 Bd5 56.Ke1 Kc7 57.Kd2 Bc4 58.Be7 Kb7 59.Bb4 Kb6 60.Kc3 Bd5 61.Kxd3
Black could resign, but he probably wants to see if his opponent can win an endgame with only one extra-piece :-)
61...Kc7 62.Ke3 Kd7 63.Kf4 Ke8 64.Kg5 Kf7 65.Kh6 Bc4 66.Nf3 Bb3 67.Ng5+ Ke8 68.Kg7 Kd7 69.Kf6 Ba2 70.Ba3 Bb3 71.Nh7 Kc6 72.Nf8
The winning manoeuvre is now completed.
72...Kd5 73.Nxe6 Bc4 74.Nf4+ Ke4 75.Nh3 Bb3 76.Ng5+ Kd4 77.e6 Bxe6 78.Nxe6+
Will White be able to win a K+B+N vs K endgame?
78...Ke4 79.Bf8 Kd5 80.Ng5 Kd4 81.Ke6 Ke3 82.Ke5 Kd3 83.Kd5 Ke3 84.Bd6 Kd3 85.Be5 Ke3 86.Kc4 Ke2 87.Kc3 Ke3 88.Bg3 Ke2 89.Kd4 Kd2 90.Nf3+ Ke2 91.Nh2 Kd2 92.Bf4+ Ke2 93.Be3 Kd1 94.Kd3 Ke1 95.Bd4 Kd1 96.Nf3 Kc1 97.Nd2 Kd1 98.Bf2 Kc1 99.Nc4 Kd1 100.Nb2+ Kc1 101.Kc3 Kb1 102.Kb3 Kc1 103.Be3+ Kb1 104.Na4
104.Nc4 was one move quicker: 104...Ka1 105.Bf4 Kb1 106.Na3+ Ka1 107.Be5#
104...Ka1 105.Bc1 Kb1 106.Ba3 Ka1 107.Bb2+ 1–0
And finally Black resigned!


Ryan Emmett said...

Congratulations on your win, Mida!

rc said...

Good win. Never played to such extend yet :-)

Anonymous said...

Great to see you won that blitz tourney, Mida!! :))

You should play more! ;-)

Mida said...

Thanks everybody for your congratulations! But I was the top ranked player: I HAD to win the tourney... and it was harder than it looks!