By Lubomir Kavalek
Monday, August 3, 2009 9:29 AM
Gerald Frank Anderson (1898-1983) was a fine English problem composer. A fighter pilot in World War I, he later joined the British Foreign Office and served in various embassies throughout the world, including Washington, D.C. In 1946 in Lisbon, he played in a simultaneous exhibition against the world champion Alexander Alekhine that became known as Alekhine's last published game. In Anderson's composition from 1919 (White: Kc1,Ra4,Re1,Ba2,Bh8,P:b3.c2; Black: Ka1,Rb2,Nc3,P:e2), white mates in two moves. (Solution next week.)
Wonderful Chess Circus
Two Americans, Hikaru Nakamura and Vasik Rajlich, became world champions at the Chess Classic in Mainz, Germany, last week. They won their titles in Chess960, an adjusted version of Bobby Fischer's random chess, in which a computer reshuffles the pieces behind the pawns before the start of each game. (There are 960 positions possible, hence the name.) Nakamura won the Chess960 Rapid World Championship, smashing the Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian 3½-½ in the final. Rajlich won the Livingston Chess960 World Championship, a computer competition, after his program, Rybka, defeated Shredder by a score of 3-1. The Russian grandmaster Alexander Grischuk won the FiNet Open, a rapid Chess960 event, with 9½ points in 11 games, a half-point ahead of the American GM Gata Kamsky and former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan.
The Chess Classic is the brainchild of Hans Walter Schmitt, who perfected his vision, a combination of Chess960 and Rapid tournaments, over the period of several years. He sometimes moonlights as a manager of the world champion Vishy Anand. The Indian grandmaster came to Mainz this year to defend his title in the Grenkeleasing Rapid World Championship, but was knocked out in the preliminaries. Aronian became the new titleholder, winning the final match against the Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, with the score 3-1. Clearly, the most popular event of the chess festival is the Ordix Open, a rapid competition serving as a qualifier for the next year's Grenkeleasing championship. It attracted nearly 700 players, including 67 grandmasters. GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan won it with a 10-1 score.
Storming the French
In the following game, played in the Ordix Open, the Czech grandmaster David Navara defeats former top Armenian grandmaster Rafael Vaganian. Navara decides to test a powerful pawn sacrifice in the Tarrasch variation of the French defense. It was introduced into tournament play more than 60 years ago by the Australian Cecil Purdy, the first correspondence world champion, and it still carries plenty of punch today. Vaganian's problems began after he lost the battle of the only open file and allowed the Czech GM to claim victory with neat tactical play.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.c3 Nc6 7.Bd3 Qb6 8.0-0!? (A promising pawn sacrifice that became fashionable after the game Korchnoi-Udovcic, Leningrad 1967.) 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Qxd4 11.Nf3 Qb6 12.Qc2 (Purdy's choice. 12.Qa4 Qb4 13.Qc2 was also played in the past, but there is no need to improve the position of the black queen.) 12...h6 13.Bd2 (White finished his development and is prepared to seize the c-file with his heavy pieces. Some players prefer 13.Bf4.) 13...Nc5?! (Walking into a dangerous pin. Exchanging the bishops with 13...Bb4, leads to the weakening of the dark squares after 14.Bxb4 Qxb4 15.a3 Qe7 16.Rac1 0-0 17.Qc7! with an unpleasant grip.)
14.Be3! (Threatening to win outright with 15.Rac1. Black must do something about the pin.) 14...Qb4 (Another way to break the pin is 14...Qa5?!, but after 15.b4! Qxb4 16.Rab1 Nxd3!? 17.Rxb4 Nxb4 white's material advantage should tell in the long run. The game Zapolskis-Jorgensen, Dos Hermanas 2004, continued 14...Bd7 15.Rac1 Rc8 16.Qd2 Qd8 17.Bb1 Be7 18.Nd4 a6 19.f4! and after 19...f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Bg6+ Kf8 22.Rxc5 Rxc5 23.Nxe6+ Bxe6 24.Bxc5+ Be7 25.Bxe7+ Qxe7 26.f5 Bf7 27.Rc1 Qd7 28.Qf4 Bxg6 29.fxg6+ Ke8 30.Qe3+ Qe7 31.Rc8+ black resigned.)
15.Be2 Bd7 16.Rfc1 Rc8 17.Nd4 Qa5 (After 17...Na4, the queen sacrifice 18.Qxc8+! leads to a powerful attack after 18...Bxc8 19.Rxc8+ Kd7 20.Rac1 Nc5 21.Ra8! with fairy-tale variations such as 21...Qxb2 22.Nb3! Qxe2 23.Bxc5 Qxa2 24.Bb6! Bd6 25.Rxa7 with white's advantage or 21...a6 22.b3! f5 23.a3! Qxa3 24.Bb5+ Ke7 25.Nxf5+ Kf7 26.Be8+ Kg8 27.Ne7+! Bxe7 28.Bg6+ Bf8 29.Rxf8+! Kxf8 30.Bxc5+ and white wins.) 18.a3 Qd8 19.Bb5! (Threatening to win with 20.b4.) 19...Ra8 (Abandoning the c-file leads to problems.) 20.b4 Na6? (A blunder, but after 20...Bxb5 21.Nxb5 a6 22.Nd4 Ne4 23.f3 Ng5 24.Qc7 Rb8 25.Nb3 Be7 26.Ba7 white should win.)
21.Nxe6! fxe6 22.Bxa6 b6 (A sad admission. White mates after 22...bxa6 23.Qg6+ Ke7 24.Bc5 mate.) 23.Qg6+ Ke7 24.Rc3 Qe8 25.Qg4 Kf7 26.Bd3 Kg8 27.Bg6 Qd8 28.Rac1 (Black can hardly move.) 28...a5 29.b5 (Another winning line is 29.Rc7, for example after 29...axb4 white deflects the black queen from the pawn on e6 with 30.Rxd7! Qxd7 31.Rc7! Rxa3 32.g3, since 32...Qxc7 allows 33.Qxe6+ and white mates; or after 29...Bc5 30.Qf3 Be8 31.Bf7+ Kh7 32.Qg4 Rf8 33.Bxh6! white mates soon.) 29...Bc5 30.Bxc5 bxc5 31.Rxc5 Qe7 32.b6 Rb8 33.b7 Qf8 (33...Rxb7 is met by 34.Rc8+!) 34.Rc7 Black resigned.
Yang Dai Triumphs
Virginia's Young Dai of Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria won the Suzan Polgar National Invitational with a perfect 6-0 score. The championship competition among 60 high school girls from 44 states finished Friday in Lubbock, Tex. For her victory, Yang Dei was awarded a four-year scholarship at the Texas Tech University.
Solution to Last Week's Puzzle
July 27: White wins by Hendrikh Kasparyan (White: Kg2,Qc4,Ra1,Ra3; Black: Kh8,Qe7,Rf7,Rf8): 1.Rh3+! Rh7 (On 1...Kg8 2.Rg1! wins.) 2.Qc3+! Kg8 (On 2...Qg7+ 3.Qxg7+ Kxg7 4.Ra7+ wins.) 3.Rg3+ Rg7 4.Qb3+! Qf7 (On 4...Rff7 5.Ra8+ Kh7 6.Qb1+ wins.) 5.Ra7! Qxb3 6.Rgxg7+ Kh8 7.Rh7+ Kg8 8.Rag7 mates.