Rapid Chess in Elburg
Last Saturday I played the Dutch open rapid championship In Elburg, a small town in the region of Apeldoorn. In view of the strong field (8 GMs and 8 IMs among the 40 participants of the top group) ) and the modest prize-fund, my only concern prior to the tournament was to have some decent warming up for the highly competitive upcoming summer. I had a slow start losing already the first round and playing badly also the next one though I somehow managed to win. I had to recover quickly or else face disaster. I kept on playing rather dubious chess but I was fighting back in inferior positions and eventually scored with a bit of luck, 5/7 beating, among others, IM Bruno Carlier and GM Erik van den Doel and drawing with IM Sander van Eijk and GM Andrei Orlov. Sharing the 5th -8th places I even won a tiny prize; not too bad for one of the oldest participants in the entire field. The fresh champion is GM Roeland Pruijssers, who as a young talent used to frequent the chess school in his native city of Apeldoorn run by our webmaster Karel van Delft and where I was one of the trainers for many years. Roeland was the best among the four winners on 5.5/7. It was a well organized and smoothly run event. Here all results may be found:
The fourth round was a turning point for me:
Afek - Carlier
1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. h3 dxe4 6. Nxe4 Nf6 7. Nxf6 exf6 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Nd7 10. Re1 b5 11. Bb3 Nb6 12. Bf4 a5 13. a3 a4 14. Ba2 Nd5 15. Bg3 Bh6 16. Nd2 f5 17. Be5 Be6 18. c4 Nb6 19. c5 Nd5 20. Nf3 Re8 21. Bd6 f6 22. Qd3 Qd7 23. Re2 Bf7 24. Rae1 Rxe2 25. Rxe2 Re8 26. Ne1 Nf4 27. Bxf7 Kxf7 28. Bxf4 Bxf4 29. Nc2 Rxe2 30. Qxe2 Bc1 31. Nb4 Qxd4 32. Nxc6 Qxc5 33. Nd8 Kg8 34. Qe6 Kg7 35. Qf7 Kh6 36. Qxf6 f4 37. Ne6
Posted: June 12 - 2013
GM Alexander Huzman (photo Daniela Sedlakova)
Two weeks In Israel
Sorry not to be here for some time. A week ago I returned from two highly busy weeks in Israel and ever since I have been overloaded with urgent deadlines. In Israel I was mainly engaged with the rapid tournament that celebrated the 40 years of Beer-Sheba chess club under the leadership of Eliahu Levant. I acted there as the press officer and did my best to allow this special event maximal exposure in the media and online. You may read the story of this leading club and the anniversary tournamet here:
Beer-Sheba chess club-40
Beersheba or the “Capital of the Negev desert” of southern Israel as it often referred to, it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of approximately 200,000.
The municipal chess club of the city, the country’s largest one, is celebrating four decades of highly successful local and International activity.
The highlight of these festivities will be a strong rapid round-robin tournament starting next Sunday with the participation of eight local grandmasters and four European guest GMs to compete for a prize-fund of 20.000 US $. Here is the list of participants:
The Invisible Stalemate
My old friend, the Israeli chess writer and composer Amatzia Avni reacts on our recent item regarding the liberation day tournament. Watching my Rook ending against GM Alexandre Dgebuadze in Karel van Delft’s video he noticed a missed opportunity:
The game continued: 1…h5+ 2.Kf4 Rh3 3.Rb6+ Kg7 4.Rb7+?? Kh6 5.Rb6 Rxh4+ and Black soon won.
“Instead of 4. Rb7+?” wonders Amatzia “couldn’t white save the game by the familiar 4.Rb4! with the idea 4…Rxh4+ 5. Kg5! Rxb4 stalemate?” He could of course but this possibility even did not occur to him and in the heat of the game and the time pressure I also could not spot it despite a vague feeling of déjà vu.
This “trick” had been actually employed in tournament practice more than once. Van Perlo’s monumental “Endgame Tactics” quotes the following example played in 1963 in the Soviet Union:
My opponent may be excused for this oversight in the final stage of a rapid game. Nevertheless we quite often witness stalemate opportunities overlooked notably by grandmasters be it due to fatigue or the belief that such rarities are just fantasy fiction creatures to be found mainly in Endgame studies…
Posted: May 10 - 2013
A new issue of EG
We have received the April issue of the quarterly EG with a variety of instructive articles. The fourth Tata Steel Chess and Studies day is reported by the general editor Harold van der Heijden; Emil Vlasak tells us about the dramatic development s in the research of 7 men tablebase; Alain Pallier looks back to a big tourney of the past- La Strategie. Yours truly introduces two recent masterpieces employing mutual neat queen sacrifices; A wealth of recent awards and other regular columns: Spotlight –the analytical column of Jarl Ulrichsen, originals by Ed van Gevel and book reviews by John Roycroft.
One of this issue’s specialties is the award in the EG 2010-2011 tourney. Jarl Ulrichsen ‘s extensive and thorough judgment awards 16 of the 50 entries. I was fortunate to get all my 3 entries to the award: