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Hastings Chess Congress 2010-11 (3)

Hastings Round 3 Report

FM Steve Giddins takes at look at Round 3 of the Hastings Masters 2010-11.

Sex, Lies and Audio Chess Tape

I am delighted to report that my appeal for suggested titles for Chessplayers' Film Club has produced a bumper response. No sooner had I myself come up with Dr Strangemove and Pawn Free, not to mention the well-known story of the latest computer chess program, Deep Throat (which, as everybody knows, was a pawn film...), than my inbox clicked, to reveal a selection from our Chief Arbiter, Alex McFarlane. His offerings included Alice in Blunderland, the chess organiser's appeal for a free venue, Any Hall, and the tragic tale of the demise of an analogue chess clock, Gone with the Wind (think about it!). IM Tom Rendle, rather than thinking about his position, spent his time between moves coming up with Lasker the Mohicans and Svidler on the Roof, whilst his fellow IM Jack Rudd offered, among others, Goodfellows. Ian Cooper sent me a selection, the choicest of which was Bad Day at Black Rook, whilst Dan Scoones came up with several excellent suggestions, including The Byrne Ultimatum, Korchnoi's Complaint, Who's Afraid of Patrick Woolf? and the ingenious Shipov Fools.

My appeal also brought an unexpected e-mail from IM Angus Dunnington. Nowadays, Angus has become one of the growing band of chessplayers, who have defected to the world of online poker, and I had not heard from him for some years, but it is clear that he still keeps a weather eye out for what is happening in the chess world. Angus' proposals included Raiders of the Lost Arkell, Schiller's List, Citizen Kan, Judgement and Planning at Nuremburg, and the rather controversial The Best Years of Our Life - Wasted!

However, the prize for quantity, at least, goes to my predecessor as BCM editor, John Saunders. As regular Chessbase readers will know, John was once acclaimed (if that is the word) by Frederic Friedel for having produced the worst pun in the history of chess and he has not disappointed this time round either. Amongst the better of the several dozen items he sent are The Manchurian Candidate Master, Fanny and CHO'D Alexander, Blazing Sadlers, When Harry Pillsbury Met Salwe, Free Willy Watson, and Karyakin up the Khyber.  He also found my personal Holy Grail, Bring Me the Head of Silvino Garcia, but the star  turn of all has to be the brilliant Crouch 'n Tiger, Hillarp Persson. My thanks to one and all!

After that digression, any discussion of chess seems rather anti-climactic, but round three of the 2010/11 Hastings Masters once again produced some highly entertaining chess, and also some huge battles. Typical of the fighting spirit was the game Kotronias-Bellin, in which the players fought for some seven and a half hours, for the great majority of which the English IM was on the defensive, but he hung on and claimed a thoroughly merited half point. At the top, two players emerged with 100% scores, David Howell and Hastings regular, Valeriy Neverov. David showed his expertise in IQP positions, by outplaying his opponent on the black side of the same variation he had used as White the day before, whilst Neverov beat Richard Bates in a hard-fought King's Indian. Most of the top games were dour struggles, but Gormally reached 2.5 / 3 in double-quick time, after his Austrian opponent played a highly risky line of the Dutch.

.Gormally,Daniel (2480) - Druckenthaner,Andreas (2301) [A80]

Hastings Masters (3.7), 30.12.2010

1 d4 f5 2 Bg5 h6 3 Bh4 c5 An attempt at larceny. Black hopes to trap the bishop on h4 with g5 and f4, in more favourable circumstances than usual, as now he can flick in Qa5+ and thereby free the d8 square as a flight for his king. However, as Gormally shows, this is an extremely risky strategy against active play by White. 4 e4 Qb6 Here, for example, 4 ..Qa5+ 5 Nd2 g5 fails to 6 Qh5+ Kd8 7 Bxg5. 5 exf5 d5 6 Nf3 Bxf5 Having said A (ie. 4...Qb6), Black probably had to say B, and take on b2, although that also looks very dangerous. After the text, he is blown away very quickly. 7 Nc3 Qe6+ 8 Be2 Nc6 9 dxc5 0-0-0 10 Nd4 Nxd4 11 Qxd4 Nf6 12 0-0-0 a6 13 Bf3 g5 14 Rhe1 Qc6 15 Bg3

Black has no defence at all to threats such as Qe5, Na4, etc. 1-0

Technique and grinding were very much the order of the day, with relatively few publishable games at the top. However, lower own, there were a few touches of brilliance. Amongst the 22 nations represented at this year's event are several lady players from Indonesia, and one of them, Gerhana Chkatrina, produced a lovely finish against David Spence:

Here, Black crowned her material and positional domination with 32...Rf2! 33 Rxf2 exf2+ 34 Qxf2 Bd4! and White resigned, in view of 35 Rxd4 Re1+!. As Jack Rudd pointed out, this combination is strongly reminiscent of the finish in the famous brilliancy R Byrne - Fischer, US Championship 1963-4.

The most imaginative game of the day came down on board 39, where Juergen Kaufeld sacrificed a rook in adventurous style, and proceeded to carry out a fine sacrificial attack:

Kaufeld,Juergen (2270) - Gibbs,Dominic V (1941) [B12]

Hastings Masters  (3.39), 30.12.2010

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 h4 h5 5 Bg5 Qb6 6 Bd3!? Bxd3 7 Qxd3 Qxb2 8 e6! Qxa1 9 Qb3

As Jack Rudd commented to me at this point, "I don't know what's going on in this position, but I like it!". 9...Qxd4 The most critical move is probably 9 ..b6 but after 10 Ne2 White has good compensation, with the enemy queen entombed on a1.  10 Be3 Qe5 11 Qxb7 fxe6 12 Nf3 Qd6 13 Ng5 Nh6 14 Bc5!?

14...Qd8 14...Qe5+ 15 Kd1 also leaves White with a big attack. 15 Qxa8 Nd7 16 Qxc6 Now White's material deficit is a mere pawn, and he clearly has much more than adequate compensation. 16...Qa5+ 17 Nd2 Qxc5 18 Qa8+ Nb8 19 Qxb8+ Kd7 20 0-0

The attack is overwhelming. 20...Qc7 21 Qb5+ Qc6 22 Qa5 a6 23 Ndf3 Qb5 24 Ne5+ Kc8 25 Qc3+ Kb8 26 a4 Qb6 27 a5 1-0

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