Lubomir Kavalek - Washington Post Chess Column 2006.pdf

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Los Angeles Times
CHESS Lubomir Kavalek
By LubomirKavalek
Monday,January 2,2006;C10
The year2005 ended and whata yearitwas!
Three Kings
Three world chess champions made the news away from the chessboard.Bobby Fischerflew from
Japan to Reykjavik,where he became an Icelandic citizen,and a quietone,leaving eruptions to local
volcanoes.Having second thoughts aboutbringing Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to FIDE in 1995,Anatoly
Karpov decided to run forthe FIDE presidency to dethrone him.Garry Kasparov retired from
professionalchess to enterRussian politics.Ironically,he was soon greeted by a chessboard,
smashed overhis head by a politicalopponent.
New Emperor
Veselin Topalovs rise to the top was the main achievementofthe year2005.He conquered the
world with fascinating play and greatfighting spirit.In March the Bulgarian grandmastershared first
place with Kasparov in Linares,Spain.In May he scored an amazing victory atthe M-TelMasters
double-round elite tournamentin his home capital,Sofia,despite being lastafterthe firsthalf.The
greatestsuccess ofhis careercame in Octoberatthe FIDE world championship where he outpaced
the competition and became the new world champion.
New FIDE Ratings
Kasparov has resided on top ofthe FIDE rating listforthe last20 years.This incredible featis
coming to an end.He is stillfirston the January 2006 list,buthis rating of2812 willbe retired in
April.Topalov leads the active players with 2801,followed by Vishy Anand,2792;PeterSvidler,
2765;Levon Aronian,2752;VladimirKramnik,2741;PeterLeko,2740;Vassily Ivanchuk,2729;
Boris Gelfand and Ruslan Ponomariov,2723;and AlexanderMorozevich 2721.The winneroflast
years World Cup,Aronian,made a significantleap ahead ofKramnik.
Incredible Machines
Computers were notparticularly nice to humans lastyear.In June,the remarkable machine Hydra
smashed the top English grandmaster,MichaelAdams,allowing one draw and winning five games.
In November,Hydra teamed up with the computerprograms Fritz and Juniorand defeated three
formerFIDE world champions,Ponomariov,AlexanderKhalifman and Rustam Kasimdzhanov,8-4.
Books ofthe Year
IgorKhmelnitskys "Chess Exam and Training Guide" won the 2005 Crameraward."Garry
Kasparov on Fischer:My GreatPredecessors,PartIV" won the 2005 British Chess Federation
Russian Championship
SergeiRublevsky performed superbly atthe Russian Superfinaland won the eventconvincingly last
week.He scored 7 1/2 points in 11 games,finishing a fullpointahead ofMorozevich and Dmitry
Jakovenko.Itwas the bestresultofRublevskys career.Kramnik,the classicalworld champion,
ended with only 50 percent.
UMBC atthe Top
The University ofMaryland Baltimore County (UMBC)dominated US.collegiate chess in 2005.In
April,the UMBC team won the Presidents Cup,the FinalFourofchess.LastFriday the school
triumphed atthe Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championship in Miami.Led by GM
AlexanderOnischuk,the winning team drew one and won five matches,finishing ahead ofits rivals,
two teams from the University ofTexas atDallas.Some ofthe UMBC students also competed for
the Baltimore Kingfishers,a team thatwon the 2005 US.Chess League competition played overthe
Eastern Open
GM AlexanderIvanov won the 32nd Eastern Open,played Dec.27-30 atthe Wyndham Washington
hotel.He overwhelmed the field,scoring 7 1/2 points in eightgames.Carlos Tovar-Diaz and
AlexanderIvanov and RobertWalkerwon the U2200 section with 6 1/2 points.Yakov Shlapentokh-
Rothman clinched the U1900 section with 7 points.The U1600 section wentto William Martin with
6 1/2 points.HenriMoon prevailed in the U1300 group with 7 points.The localSwiss event
attracted 185 players.
A Personal Note
Washington chess life willnotbe the same withoutthe writings ofJoseph McLellan,a formermusic
critic and chess writerforthe Washington Post,who died lastMonday atthe age of76.He loved
chess passionately and was always amazed by its beauty and amused by those who played it.He was
a keen observer,reporting on importantchess tournaments and matches with grace and elegance.
Creating powerfulimages and poetic metaphors,McLellan made chess accessible even to those who
did notplay it.He was a wonderfulwriter,editorand friend,always encouraging,kind and gentle.
As a romantic chess player,he loved games where spiritprevailed overmatter.He willbe missed.
Solutions to todays problem by S.Loyd (White:Kg3Rc2Rg7Bb1Bh8;Black:
Kd4P:d5d6g4):1Rb2 Ke3 2Re7 mate;or1 ...Kc4 2Rc7 mate;or1 ...Ke5 2Re7 mate.
¨ 2006 The Washington PostCompany
CHESS Lubomir Kavalek
By LubomirKavalek
Monday,January 9,2006;C10
VladimirKramniks withdrawalfrom the upcoming elite Corus tournamentin the Dutch town of
Wijk aan Zee is notencouraging news.He suffers from a rare form ofarthritis and needs treatment
thatmay lastseveralmonths.Itis a big blow to a brilliantcareerbecause Kramnik may notreturn to
the heights he once enjoyed.In 2000 he defeated Garry Kasparov in London and became the world
champion.Kramnik defended his title againstPeterLeko in 2004 with a 12-12 tie.Itwas difficultfor
him to replace a match strategy,where itis more importantnotto lose,with the bold play needed to
win tournaments.He tried very hard lastyearto make the transition,buthis results were mediocre.
Coming Back
In the 1990s,FIDE began experimenting with a Wimbledon-style knockoutworld championship,
turning serious chess into a lottery with plenty ofblitz games.In 2002,atthe age of18,Ruslan
Ponomariov ofUkraine became the youngestworld champion underthis format.His victory was
followed by a few lean years.He began playing wellagain lastyear,earning the No.10 spotin the
world on the FIDE rating list.
Atthe end ofDecember,Ponomariov won the traditionaltournamentin Pamplona,Spain,scoring
five points in seven games and ending a halfpointahead offormerworld juniorchampion Pentala
Harikrishna ofIndia and Ivan Cheparinov ofBulgaria.A greatexample ofPonomariovs matured
active positionalstyle is his victory overZviad Izoria ofGeorgia.With the help ofa pawn sacrifice,
Ponomariov dismantled the solid Caro-Kann defense and leftblack with a shattered pawn structure.
1e4c62d4d53Nc3dxe44Nxe4Bf5 (The classicalvariation ofthe Caro-Kann is popularamong
otherGeorgian players)5Ng3Bg66h4h67Nf3Nd78h5Bh79Bd3Bxd3 (The strategically
desired exchange ofthe bishops may turn into a tacticalnightmare on the weak lightsquares.Black
has to watch fora centralpawn break d4-d5 and piece sacrifices on the squares e6 orf7)10Qxd3e6
11Bf4Qa5+12Bd2Bb4 (This variation has become popularin recentyears)13c3Be714c4
Qa4?!(The mostsolid retreathere is 14Qc7,moving the queen closerto the action.Staying on the
a-file is dangerous.In the game Leko-Bareev,Dortmund 2002,black chose 14Qa6?!,preventing
long castling and the break d4-d5.Itcontinued 150-0 Ngf6 16Rfe1 0-0 17Nf5 Rfe8,and now
instead of18Nxe7+,Leko could have performed an astonishing combination,sacrificing three
pieces in a row:18Nxg7!Kxg7 19Rxe6!fxe6?!20Bxh6+!Kh8 21Bg7+!Kxg7 22Qg6+,followed
by 23Ng5 and white mates.White may even switch the move orderwith 18Rxe6!fxe6 19Nxg7!as
played lastOctoberin the Belgian team championship in the game Decoster-Tiggelman.
The defense 14Bb4 is notadequate.After15Ne4!Ngf6 16Nd6+ Ke7 17c5,the white knighton
d6 is annoying.The game Jakovenko-Antonio,Montreal2005,concluded with fireworks:17b6
180-0 bxc5 19Ne5!!Nxe5 20dxe5 Bxd2 21exf6+ gxf6 22Rad1 Bf4 23Nxf7!Kxf7 24Qg6+ and
black resigned,since 24Kf8 25Rd7 ends it)
15d5!(A powerfulpawn sacrifice,exposing the black king and the weaknesses ofthe lightsquares)
15cxd516cxd5Nc517Qe2exd5180-0Ne619Nf5!(Ponomariov sends his cavalry forward.The
strength ofthis advance is demonstrated in the following variation thatends in a smothered mate:
19Qg4? 20Qb5+ Kf8 21Ne5!Qxf5 22Nd7+ Ke8 23Nf6+ Kf8 24Qe8+!Rxe8 25Nd7 mate)
19Qa6 (Hoping to slow down whites attack by exchanging the queens,butwhite has enough
active pieces to cause problems forthe black king in the middle)20Qxa6bxa621Rac1Bf6
(Developing with 21Nf6 is metby 22Nxe7 Kxe7 23Bb4+ Ke8 24Rfe1,threatening 25Rc7)
22Bb4! (The threat23Nd6+ is unpleasantand white does nothave to protecthis b-pawn) 22Ne7
(After22Bxb2 23Nd6+ Kd7 24Rc2 a5 25Nxf7 axb4 26Rxb2!Rh7 27Rxb4,white has a
powerfulattack.And after22Rb8 23Nd6+ Kf8 24Rc8+ Rxc8 25Nxc8+ Be7 26Nxe7 Nxe7
27Rd1,white has tremendous pressure and blacks a-pawns are vulnerable)23Nd6+Kf824Nf5
(White prevented black from castling short.Black cantconnecthis rooks and the rook on h8 is out
ofplay)24a525Ba3g6? (Blacks position falls apartafterthis move,buteven the better25Ke8
does notsave him,forexample 26Bxe7 Bxe7 27Rfe1 Rd8 28N3d4!Nxd4 29Rxe7+ Kf8 30Rd7!
and white wins) 26hxg6fxg627Bxe7+Bxe7 (Whites nextmove ends blacks hopes)
28Rfe1!gxf529Rxe6 (The scattered black pawns are ripe to be picked up)29Bd830Rc5Kf7
31Rec6Bb632Rxd5Rhc833Ne5+Ke834Re6+Kf835Rxh6 (The pawn cleanup only begins and
after35Rc1+ 36Kh2 Bxf2 37Rd7!Kg8 38Rhh7,black gets mated soon)Blackresigned.
Solution to todays composition by Enrico Paoli(White:Kf1Bb2P:b4b6c4d6;Black:
Kc6Ra4P:c5):1b5+!Kxb6!(On 1Kxd6 2Be5+!wins)2Bf6 (Threatening 3d7)2Ra7 3Bd8+
Kb7 4d7 Kb8 5Bc7+!Kxc7 6b6+!wins.The Italian grandmasterPaoliwas a well-known
organizerof47 traditionaltournaments in Reggio Emillia.He died lastDecember,one month short
ofhis 98th birthday.
¨ 2006 The Washington PostCompany
CHESS Lubomir Kavalek
By LubomirKavalek
Monday,January 16,2006;C10
SergeiKarjakin became grandmasteratthe age of12 years 7 months,the youngestever.At15,the
Ukrainian prodigy is playing atthe prestigious Corus tournament,underway in the Dutch coastal
town ofWijk aan Zee.Karjakins countryman Vassily Ivanchuk won two games and is the sole
leaderafteryesterdays second round.
Karjakins arrivalamong the worlds elite did notgo smoothly.On Saturday he lostto the Indian
superstarVishy Anand,who used home preparation to foolthe youngsterin the NajdorfSicilian.Not
even strong computerprograms predicted Anands astonishing combination.
Nbd711g4b512g5b413Ne2Ne814f4a515f5a4!16Nbd4!? (16fxe6 axb3 17cxb3 fxe6
18Kb1 Qa5 19Nc1 Nc7 gives black controlofthe center)16...exd417Nxd4b3!18Kb1bxc2+
19Nxc2Bb320axb3axb321Na3Ne5 (Afterthe firstfireworks the materialis equal,butthe white
king is more vulnerable)22h4Ra5!(When this position occurred in the game Leko-Vallejo Pons
lastyearin Monte Carlo,white played 23Qe2,allowing 23 ...d5.Karjakin follows a computer
suggestion)23Qc3!?Qa8!24Bg2 (Itseems thatblacks pieces are stuck on the kingside,butAnand
waves a magic wand)
24...Nc7!!(An amazing two-piece sacrifice,giving black an irresistible attack.Even computer
programs were reluctantto endorse it.One ofthem came up with a differentknightsacrifice,24 ...
Nf6!? 25gxf6 Bxf6,with some dangerous threats)25Qxc7 (Accepting the knightis forced because
ofthe threat25 ...Nb5)25...Rc8!!26Qxe7Nc4!(Allblack pieces are aimed atthe white king)
27g6!? (Karjakin hopes to divertblacks pieces from the queenside attack.Afterthe passive 27Bc1
black plays 27 ...Qc6!and the white king is undermating attack,forexample 28Nxc4 Qxc4
29Rd2 Qc2+!30Rxc2 bxc2 mate;or28Rd2 Nxd2+ 29Bxd2 Qc2+!30Nxc2 bxc2+ 31Kc1 Ra1
mate)27...hxg6!(Making the square h7 available to his king)28fxg6Nxa3+ (Itwins,but
sacrificing the exchange 28 ...Rxa3!was also good,eg.29Qxf7+ Kh8 30bxa3 Nxa3+ 31Kb2
Nc4+ 32Kc3 Ne5+ winning the queen)29bxa3Rxa330gxf7+Kh731f8N+Rxf832Qxf8Ra1+
(The mostprecise way to win,although after32 ...Qxf8 33Rd2 Ra4!black plans the deadly
34Qa8 and atthe same time prevents 34Bd4? because of34Rxd4!35Rxd4 Qf2 and black
mates) 33Kb2Ra2+34Kc3 (After34Kb1 black simply plays 34Qxf8,attacking the bishop on g2
and after35Rd2 Qa8 36e5 Ra1+ 37Kb2 Qa3+ 38Kc3 b2+ wins)34Qa5+!(Anand sees mates)
35Kd3 (After35Kxb3 Qa4+ 36Kc3 Rc2+ 37Kd3 Qc4 mates)35Qb5+36Kd4Ra4+37Kc3
Qc4+ (After38Kd2 Ra2+ 39Ke1 Qe2 mates)Whiteresigned.
New Young Star
Parimarjan Negi,a 12-year-old Indian prodigy,follows Karjakins example in trying to become
anotherpreteen grandmaster.He made his firstgrandmasternorm atthe traditionalHastings
Congress this month,and his victory overthe experienced English grandmasterMark Hebden in the
Spanish shows thathis future could be bright.
1e4e52Nf3Nc63Bb5a64Ba4Nf650-0Be76Re1b57Bb30-08d4 (Avoiding the Marshall
Attack 8c3 d5 thatHebden likes to play)8d69c3Bg410d5Na511Bc2Qc812Nbd2!?
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