When Ray Robson plays well, he can take his opponents apart, even with Black, as in the following game.
Robson is a very interesting player. He is inconsistent, but every now and then he outplays a very strong opponent with Black, and he makes it look like a piece of cake. This was one of those games. Robson’s opponent is Alexander Shabalov, a four-time United States Champion.
Shabalov, A. vs. Robson, R.
PRO League Pacific 2017 |chess.com INT |Round 4 |01 Feb 2017 |ECO: A03 |0-1
1. f4d52. Nf3c53. g3g64. Bg2Bg75. d3Nf66. O-OO-OWhite's opening choice is definitely unusual -- he has a reverse Leningrad Dutch, but up a tempo. 7. Qe1Playing in the style of the old main line, but again, with colors reversed.
( 7. c3In the corresponding position with the Black pieces, this move and Nc6 (Nc3 in this case) are more often played nowadays. 7... Nc68. Na3 )
( 7. Nc3d48. Na4Nbd7!This might be a reason to avoid Nc3. The Black knight is not yet on c6 and can come to d7 to defend the pawn. ...9. c4 )
7... d48. Na3
( 8. e4According to my understanding of the Dutch setup, White is supposed to play this move, but in this particular position, it is tougher because Black could play: 8... dxe39. Bxe3Ng4!When White's pieces would be a bit uncoordinated because he has not yet played c3. In order to avoid giving up the bishop pair he must play: 10. Bc1But Black would then have a good position. )
8... Nc69. Bd2
( 9. e4?!Again, White cannot play this because of: 9... dxe310. Bxe3Ng4!11. Bxc5b6 )
( 9. c3I'd prefer this move, but it's not necessarily better than the move played in the game. )
9... Be610. c3Qd7!Strong play from Robson. He doesn't exchange the center pawns; he prefers to maintain the tension. 11. Nc2Rab812. cxd4?White blinks first. This move makes no sense to me.
( 12. a3This move looks strongest, followed by b4 and White can try to undermine the center from the side, though I still would prefer Black's position. )
12... cxd413. b4b514. a4?This seems to be a blunder. 14... bxa415. Na3
( 15. Rxa4Bb3And White loses material. )
15... a6!Simple and strong; it stops b5. 16. Nc4Bxc4!17. dxc4Ne4!Black's pieces now develop rapidly. 18. Rxa4Material is equal, but White is really suffering after: 18... Nc3!19. Qa1
( 19. Rxa6Nxb4This move would also have given Black a large advantage. )
( 19. Bxc3dxc3Black would have a powerful passed pawn on c3 and White would still have to lose material on b4. 20. Qb1Nd4!21. Rxa6c2And Black will win. )
19... Nxb4!Black does not even bother winning the exchange.
( 19... Nxa420. Qxa4Black would still have a decisive edge, but the move played in the game was definitely cleaner, faster, and more efficient. )
20. Bxc3dxc321. Ne5Bxe522. fxe5Nc2White resigned as he cannot save the rook on a4.
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, has his own site, and is also on Facebook.
November 16, 2017 – The 2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series continued today in Palma de Mallorca with its final, fourth tournament, which will last well until the two winners are announced on November 25.
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
World’s best chess players, bankers, diplomats, watchmakers and businessmen came together to celebrate the opening of the FIDE World Chess Geneva Grand Prix at the Four Seasons Hotel. Geneva is now looking forward to 9 days of intense chess battles which will possibly determine a winner of the series.