The World Rapid and Blitz Championships for men and women gets underway on Tuesday, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a record-breaking US $2M total cash prize at stake in the five-day competition.
Dubbed the King Salman Chess Cup, both events (rapid, 30 minutes and blitz, five minutes) will be played Dec. 26-30 and offers a whopping US $1.5M for men and US $500,000 for women, evenly split in the two speed chess events.
Most of the world’s elite players, led by the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen, will compete in the Swiss system championships. Former world champion Vishy Anand, world cup winner Levon Aronian and world No. 3 Shakriyar Mamedyarov will also play.There will be free travel expenses and accommodations for qualified players.
It marks the first time that the kingdom will play host to a world chess championship, and allow women participants not to wear head coverings while playing.
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In the following game, Black selects a slightly inferior variation against the QGD. His risky opening line was not enough for White’s excellent strategy.
Russian Championship 2017
W) N. Vitiugov
B) V. Fedoseev
Queen’s Gambit Declined
1. d4 d5
2. c4 c6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. e3 a6
5. Nf3 Bf5
6. Qb3!? …
6. Be2 h6 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Qxd3 e6 9. 0-0 Bb4 10. Bd2 0-0 is about equal. Tomashevsky- Fedoseev, Rd. 2, same tournament. From what we have seen above, it seems Vitiugov has found some improvement for White.
The rook seems poorly posted here, but after 6…b5 7. c5 Nbd7 8. Nh4 Be6, White enjoys a space advantage. Computer.
7. Nh4 Bc8
8. Qc2 e6
9. Nf3 …
After 9. c5 Nbd7 10. Nf3 Be7 11. b4, White has a slight edge.Engine.
10. Bxc4 c5
11. dxc5 Bxc5
12. e4! …
This thematic pawn advance offers White some initiative and has a cramping effect on Black’s game.
13. O-O Nb4
14. Qe2 b5
15. a3 …
After 15. Bb3 0-0 16. e5 Nfd5 17. Rd1 Nxc3 18. bxc3 Nd5 chances are about even.
16. Ba2 O-O
16…e5 seems worth trying, although White retains the initiative after 17. Be3.
17. e5! Nd5
17…Nd7 18. Rd1 Bb6 19. Bf4 is also satisfactory for White.
18. Nxd5 exd5
19. Bb1 …
Sharper, according to the engine is 19. Qc2! and after 19…Qb6 20. Bb1 g6 21. Bh6, White wins material. E.g. 21… Bf5 (21…Re8 is met by 22. Rc1!) 22. Qd2 Be4 23. b4 Be7 24. Bxf8.
20. Qc2 f5?
Better chance of prolonging the game follows from 20…g6 21. Bh6 Be7 22. Bxf8 Bxf8.
21. exf6 g6
21…gxf6 is answered by 22. Bh6. and White wins the exchange.
22. Ba2 Bf5
23. Bxd5ch Kh8
24. Qe2 Rd7
White also wins after 24…Nd4
25. Nxd4 Bxd4 26. Bh6, etc.
25. Bxc6 Qxc6
26. Bh6 Bd3
27. Qe5 Bd6
Or 27…Rd5 28. Bxf8! Rxe5 29. Nxe5 and the Black Queen is hopeless against White’s three pieces.
28. Bg7ch 1-0
If 28…Kg8 29. Qe6ch Rdf7 30. Ne5 and White wins.
Solution to last week puzzle
White to play and win.
white=Kh6, Qb1, Rh5, Nc6, Nd1, Pf3, Pg3
black=Kf6, Qg8, Rd7, Rd5, Ne6, Pe5, Pf7, Pg6
1. Rf5ch! gxf5
2. Qxf5ch! Kxf5
3. Ne7ch 1:0
If 3…Rxe7 (3…Kf6 4. Nxg8ch Kf5 5. Nd3 mate) 4. Ne3ch Kf6 5. Nxd5ch Kf5 6. Nxe7ch Kf6 7. Nxg8ch Kf5 8. Ne7ch Kf6 9. Nd5ch Kf5 10. g4 mate.
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The Philippine Star
Updated December 24, 2017 – 12:00am
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