Some players value the initiative above all else. In the following game, one of the world’s best shows how dangerous the initiative can be.
I’m only 25 years old, but somehow I feel like an old man when I see so many players who are younger than me with ratings in the high 2600s, and even beyond. So, for my own therapy, I have chosen a game where an “old” man (Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, who is 31) beats a young upstart, Vladislav Artemiev, an 18-year-old Russian.
Artemiev, V. vs. Mamedyarov, S.
32nd ECC Open 2016 |Novi Sad SRB |Round 2.1 |07 Nov 2016 |ECO: D03 |0-1
1. d4Nf62. Nf3g63. Bg5This is not the most ambitious setup against the King's Indian or Grunfeld Defenses, but it's not entirely toothless either. 3... Bg74. Nbd2O-O5. e3
( 5. e4d5!And Black attacks the center in the style of the Grunfeld. )
5... d5?!I don't love this move. Usually, Black waits for White to play c3 first. 6. Be2Nbd77. O-ORe88. c4!The point. White gets to play c4 in one move, not two. 8... c59. cxd5cxd410. e4
( 10. Nxd4This move looks simpler to me. 10... Nxd511. Rc1White's pieces are much more active in a symmetrical position. )
( 14. Qxe4Bf515. Qf4Qxd5Black already has two pawns for the piece that he sacrificed and they can advance very quickly. His threat to play g5 must also be respected, and after something like 16. Bg3e517. Qd2e4Black obviously has excellent compensation for being down a piece. )
14... Bf5!15. Bxe8Qxe816. Rfe1It looks like Black is out of gas. He only has one pawn for the exchange and the knight on e4 must retreat.
( 16. g4?Ng5! )
16... Qd7!But no! Mamedyarov has no intention of retreating. 17. Rxe4Qxd5White has a rook for only two pawns, but he is subject to all sorts of pins and Black's center pawns are very strong. 18. Rae1Rc819. Qd3
( 19. Rxd4!This bizarre move might have saved White's skin. 19... Bxd420. Qd2e521. Qxh6The position is unclear, but White looks okay. )
19... Bxe4!20. Rxe4
( 20. Qxe4Qxe421. Rxe4e5This is even worse. Black will soon play f5 and g5. )
20... e5Black's plan is strikingly simple. He occupies the center and he will then be ready to push f5. 21. Re1f5!22. Qb1d323. Nd2Rc224. Nf1Qd425. Ne3Rxb2Black wins a third pawn and he has a strong initiative. 26. Qa1f427. Ng4h5The knight is trapped, and despite all of Black's sacrifices, he ends up winning the game by having extra material. The rest requires no comment. 28. Nxe5Bxe529. Qc1d230. Qc8+Kh731. Rd1Rb1
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