FIDE World Cup 2017 | Wesley So (USA) finally defeats Jobava, enters quarterfinals in World Chess Cup

Wesley: So far, so good


LET’S PLAY CHESS By Edgar De Castro  (The Philippine Star) |
Updated September 17, 2017 – 12:00am


The quarterfinals of the World Chess Cup in Tbilisi, will be in its final stages, as we go to press. Armenian star Levon Aronian, seeded fifth, registered the only win of the day, trouncing 29th seed Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in just 24 moves of a Catalan Opening, while other matches – No. 26 Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia) vs No. 2 Wesley So (USA), No. 16 Peter Svidler (Russia) against No. 8 Maxime Vachier – Lagrave (France) and No. 51 Richard Rapport (Hungary) vs 11th seed Ding Liren (China), all ended in draws.

Meanwhile, players and fans have been divided on whether there’s an opening for new faces to challenge the established elite. With seven of the top 10 seeds (No. 1 Carlsen, No. 3 Caruana, No. 4 Kramnik, No. 6 Mamedyarov, No. 7 Nakamura, No. 9 Grischuk and No. 10 Anand), gone, there’s hope.  Led by 21-year-old Rapport, Fedoseev, 22, Liren 25 and a host of others, these young 20 something generation of challengers has injected a dose of excitement at the ongoing World Cup.

So’s fourth win in Tbilisi is a brilliant refutation of White’s faulty handling of the opening. He caps his performance with a beautiful exchange sacrifice on the 24th move.


FIDE World Cup 2017

W) F. Vallejo Pons (Spain)

B) W. So (USA)

Caro-Kann Defense

1. e4           c6

The Caro-Kann was first introduced into tournament play in 1885 by Austrian master Marcus Kann, who pioneered and studied the defense with British master Horatio Caro. Nowadays the Caro-Kann is one of Black’s important systems of defense against 1. e2-e4 opening.

2. d4          d5

3. e5           …

This, the Advanced Variation, leads to more complicated type of struggle, than other lines owing to its aggressive outlook and attacking possibilities.

3…             Bf5

4. g4          …

Of the alternatives, 4. Nc3, known as the Bayonet Attack, is more popular. The game leads to equality after 4…e6 5. g4 Bg6 6. Nge2 c5 7. h4 h6 8. Be3 Qb6 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. 0-0-0 h5; 4. Bd3 Bxd3 5. Qxd3 e6 6. Nc3 Qb6 7. Nge2 Qa6 is equal as well; 4. h4 h5 5. c4 is unclear.

4…             Be4

After 4…Bd7 5. c4 e6 6. Nc3 c5!? the game hangs in the balance.

5. f3           Bg6

6. h4          h5

7. e6?                           …

The start of White’s trouble. Safer is 7. Ne2 and after 7…hxg4 8. hxg4 e6 the game is probably even, according to the engine. The text exposes White’s Kingside to Black’s pieces.

7…             Qd6!

Exploiting his opponent’s weak Kingside.

8. exf7ch                      Bxf7

9. Be3                          …

After 9. Qe2 hxg4 10. fxg4 Nf6, Black has a clear advantage.=computer.

9…             hxg4

10. fxg4                       Nf6

11. Nc3                        Qe6

12. Kd2?                      …

In a difficult position, a slip comes easily, and this one is fatal. After 12. Qe2 Nxg4 13. Bg5 Nd7, White is a pawn down, but the game continues.=Engine.

12…           Nxg4

13. Bg5?                      …

Desperation. 13. Rh3 is necessary.

13…           Nf2

14. Qf3               Nxh1

White loses the exchange without compensation.

15. Qxh1                      Qd6

16. Bh3                        e6

17. Rf1                         Be7

18. Bf4                         Qb4

19. Ne2                        Nd7

Now White is almost out of playable moves.

20. a3                          Qxb2

21. Rb1                        Qxa3

22. Rxb7                      Qa6

23. Qb1                        Rxh4

24. Bf1                         Rxf4!

Resignation is honorable at this point, as after the text, White faces too much danger for his poorly protected King.

25. Nxf4                       Qa5

26. Qe1                        Bg5

27. Qg3                        Bh6

28. Bd3                        O-O-O!

Note the logic in Black’s move. Not a single tempo is wasted.

29. Rb3                        e5

30. dxe5                       d4 0-1


Solution to last week’s puzzle:

Black to move and win.

white=Kh4, Qf7, Pf4, Pg3, Ph3

black=Kh7, Qe4, Pe2, Pf5, Pg7, Ph6

1…             Qxf4ch!


2. Qg6ch! and draws since

2…Kxg6 is stalemate, while 2…Kg8 3. Qe8ch Kh7 4. Qg6ch leads to perpetual check.

2. gxf4       …

2. Kh5 Qg5 mate.

2…             e1=Qch

3. Kh5        Qe2ch

4. Kh4        Qf2ch

5. Kh5        Qf3ch

6. Kh4         Qxf4ch

7. Kh5        Qg5 mate.

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