Mamedyarov Surges As Tata Steel Goes Sesame Street
LET’S PLAY CHESS By Edgar De Castro
Azeri Shakriyar Mamedyarov rallied from an inferior game to grab the lead after six rounds of the 80th Wijk aan Zee masters in the Netherlands.
In posting his second straight win and third overall, the world No. 2 scored a spectacular 4.5 points, his best start in nearly two years at a major.
Now if he can only set himself up for a good run in the next seven rounds.
American Wesley So, the defending champion, Vishy Anand of India and local bet Anish Giri were tied for second at 4.0 apiece.
Top-seeded Magnus Carlsen of Norway and No. 5 seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, closed the round with 3.5 each.
Other scores read British Gawain Jones and Russians Peter Svidler, Sergey Kariakin and Maxim Matlakov, 3.0, Chinese Wei Yi, 2.5, Fabiano Caruana (USA), 2.0, Baskaran Adhiban (India) and Hou Yifan (China), 1.0.
The prestigious event ushers in chess activities for the calendar year.
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Below is a fine positional win by the 23-year-old young Dutch hope.
Wijk aan Zee 2018
W) A. Giri (NED)
B) V. Kramnik (RUS)
1. c4 e6
2. Nc3 Bb4
2…d5 3. d4 Nf6 transposes into a regular Queen’s Gambit.
3. Qb3 …
3. d4 Nf6 leads to the Nimzo Indian.
After 3…c5 4. Nb5 Nc6 5. Nd6ch Kf8 6. Nf3 Qe7 7. Nxc8 Rxc8 8. e3 e5, the game is probably equal. Svidler-Carlsen, Rd. 6, same tournament. Black’s last signals that an irregular line may be on the agenda.
4. Nf3 c5
5. d4 Nf6
6. dxc5 Na6
7. Be3 Ne4
8. g3 Naxc5
9. Qc2 Bxc3ch
9…Nxc3 10. bxc3 Qc7 11. Bg2 d6 12. 0-0 Bd7 leads to a balance middle game.
10. bxc3 b6
11. Bg2 Bb7
12. O-O O-O
A difficult position. The isolated and doubled pawns are liabilities on the one hand, for they might become weak, but assets on the other, as they strike into enemy territory for a superiority in controlled space. Chances are about even for the time being.
13. Rfd1 Qe7
14. a4 d6
15. a5 f5
16. axb6 axb6
17. Nd4 Nf6
18. Bxb7 Nxb7
19. Rxa8 Rxa8
20. Nb5 Rc8?!
Unnecessarily abandoning the a file. 20…Nd7 is considered best by the engine, with these possibilities, 21. Qd2 Ne5 22. Nxd6 Qxd6 23. Qxd6 Nxd6 24. Rxd6 Nxc4 25. Rxe6 Rc8 26. Re7 Kf8 27. Rb7 Nxe3 28. fxe3 Rxc3 and Black probably holds.
21. Qa2 d5
22. Bg5 Rxc4
23. Qa8ch Kf7
Or 23…Nd8 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Rxd5 exd5 26. Qxd5ch Qe6 27. Qxd8ch Kg7 28. Nc7 Rxc7 29. Qxc7ch Kg6 30. Kf1 and White emerged a pawn up.
24. Ra1 Na5
25. Qb8 Rc6
26. Nd4 Rxc3?!
26…Rd6 should have been tried.
27. Qxb6 Nc4
28. Qb8 Nd7?
This loses right off, but Black’s game is already difficult, according to the engine. For instance 28…Ra3 (or 28…Kg6 29. Ra7) 29. Rb1 Kg6 30. Rb7 Qe8 31. Qc7 Nh5 32. Be7 Ra8 33. Nxe6 and White picks up a pawn.
29. Bxe7 Nxb8
30. Bb4! …
Trapping the Rook, and the rest is an easy win for White.
31. Ra7ch Kg8
32. Bxc3 exd4
33. Bxd4 Nc6
34. Rxg7ch Kf8
35. Bf6 1-0
Solution to last week’s puzzle:
White to move and win.
white=Kh2, Qb8, Rh8, Pd7, Pf2, Pg4, Ph3
black=Kg6, Qf1, Rf4, Pf7, Pg5, Pg7
1. Rh6ch! Kxh6
Or 1…gxh6 2. Qg8ch Kf6 3. d8Qch Ke6 4. Qge8 mate.
2. Qh8ch Kg6
3. Qh5ch Kf6
4. d8Qch Ke6
5. Qb6ch Kd7
6. Qb7ch Kd6
7. Qxg5 1:0
If 7…Rxf2ch (7…Qxf2ch 3. Qg2) 7…Kg3 Qg1ch 8. Kh4 and wins.
The Philippine Star
Updated January 21, 2018 – 12:00am
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