In a game that had huge implications for first place of last month’s Millionaire Open, Dariusz Swiercz had the steadier nerves
I did not watch this game as I could not bear to walk into the main room to see the final after I had a rather poor event. It was certainly a big triumph for Dariusz Swiercz, a Polish grandmaster, and helped him turn the corner for good on his way to the title.
David Llada / Millionaire Open
Dariusz Swiercz during his critical game with Gawain Jones.
Jones, G. vs. Swiercz, D.
Millionaire Chess KO 2016 |Atlantic City USA |Round 2.1 |10 Oct 2016 |ECO: B51 |0-1
1. e4c52. Nf3d63. Bb5+Jones is well known to avoid the main lines of the Sicilian Defense when playing White. I have my doubts about this philosophy, but it did work this time. 3... Nd74. O-Oa65. Bd3Ngf66. c3b57. Bc2Bb78. Qe2
( 8. Re1This is the main move, but I actually prefer the move played by Jones. )
8... e69. d4Be710. Rd1Qb6
( 10... Qc7I always thought the queen belongs on c7 in these positions, as was seen in a classic game between Hou Yifan of China and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France. )
11. a4O-O12. Bg5Rfe8?The first mistake of the game.
( 12... h6 )
( 13. e5!This looks promising for White, since 13... Bxf3fails to 14. gxf3!and Black must lose material. )
13... cxd414. cxd4Rab8?!
( 14... h6I always want to play this move. The bishop seems well placed on g5 and now it can't hold its position. )
15. axb5axb516. Bd3!Bc617. Rac1White has a pleasant edge.
( 17. Nc2This also looks like a strong move. )
17... h618. Bf4Nf8
( 18... Bf8!I prefer this move the idea is to play e5 next. )
19. Bg3Nh520. Rxc6!Qxc621. Bxb5Rxb522. Nxb5Rb823. Nc3White has won a pawn. It can't go do much because of the pressure on the open b-file, but a pawn is a pawn. 23... Qb624. Rd2Ng625. Qd1Qb426. Rc2Nf627. h3Nh528. Bh2Nhf429. Qd2Qb330. Rc1Bg531. Nxg5hxg532. Bxf4Nxf433. Rb1Qc434. Rd1Qb335. h4?White becomes impatient, but he had better ways to proceed.
( 35. Qe1!The pawn on b2 is still immune. I think Black can probably draw, but White does keep the pawn. 35... Qxb2?36. Rb1 )
35... Qxb236. hxg5Qxd237. Rxd2Rb338. Nd1Kh7
( 38... d5!This was an easier route to achieve equality. )
( 39... Kg6Continuing with the same plan. Black wins the pawn to restore material equality and should be able to hold on for a draw. )
( 40. d5!This move was even stronger. Now either Ne3-f5 or d4 will be painful for Black. )
40... Ne641. Nf5Nxg542. Nxd6exd443. Rxd4Black is down a pawn down, but he should probably be able to hold the endgame. But when there is not much time on the clocks, no matter how lousy the position is, players should stay alert for winning possibilities if the opponent falters. 43... g644. Rd5Kh645. Ra5Rd346. e5f647. Nc4Rc348. Ne3f549. Ra6Kg750. Ra7+Kh651. Nd5Rc552. Nf6Rc453. Ng8+Kh554. Nf6+Kh655. f3Rb456. Kg3Rc457. Ng8+Kh558. Nf6+Kh659. Re7Ra460. Ng8+Kh561. Nf6+Kh662. e6Rd463. Ng8+Kh5Black defended poorly in time trouble, and White now has a huge advantage. But now he starts to lose control, presumably with his clock ticking down. 64. Nf6+
( 64. Rh7+Nxh765. e7And White should win. )
64... Kh665. Ng8+Kh566. Re8?White is still winning, but this is the first step in the wrong direction.
( 66. Rh7+!This was a much stronger move. )
66... f4+67. Kf2Rd2+68. Kg1?
( 68. Kf1And again White should win. )
68... Kh4!Just that quickly, Black has mating threats! Look at how far away White's pieces are from his king. 69. e7Kg370. Rd8?
( 70. Kf1!Rxg271. Nf6!And White survives by the skin of his teeth. )
70... Rxg2+71. Kf1Nxf3Mate is unavoidable. You don't see that every day! 72. Rd2Rxd273. e8=QRf2#
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.
FIDE and World Chess announces today that the 2018 World Chess Championship Match will take place in London in November 2018. The world’s most prestigious chess tournament is to be the climax of a season of high-profile activity to extend the sport’s appeal among global audiences – and make 2018 the Year of Chess in the UK.
After 9 days of intense chess battles at the last leg of the World Chess Grand Prix series 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, the two winners of the series were finally determined: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, overall 340 points in the series) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 336,4 points). They qualified for the Candidates Tournament – the next part of the World Chess Championship cycle, which leads up to the Championship match.
The sole leader of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix Levon Aronian made a quick draw with Evgeny Tomashevsky today, inviting the group of rivals to join him at the top. But same as in the previous rounds all games on the top boards finished peacefully and not a single player came close to catching up with him.
After seven rounds Aronian is in the lead with 4,5 points. A group of 8 players is half a point behind, including Vachier-Lagrave. In order to qualify for the Candidates, the Frenchman needs to win at least one more game. Boris Gelfand defeated Alexander Riazantsev, Pavel Eljanov won against Jon Ludvig Hammer, while Teimour Rajabov outplayed Li Chao. After the victory the Azerbaijani Grandmaster still hopes to qualify, but in that case has to win both games.
Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, made the first symbolic move to start the fourth round, which turned out to be the most exciting round of the tournament so far, with six decisive games out of nine.
In the Third Round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca games between the four leaders, Vachier-Lagrave-Aronian and Rajabov-Giri, finished in a draw. Peter Svidler joined the group of leaders by beating Jon-Ludvig Hammer in the third round.
The world’s best chess players and chess establishment came together in Bellver Castle to celebrate the opening of the final leg of the FIDE 2017 World Chess Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca – a prestigious qualifier for the World Chess Candidates Tournament.
Katerina Lagno, one of the strongest Russian women-grandmasters won the historic Moscow Blitz Tournament, beating her fellow Russian Olympic team members Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya.
After a draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimur Rajabov won the tournament. One of the strongest players, Rajabov had not won a major tournament lately, but has shown phenomenal form in Geneva and managed to overpower some of top world’s players