Chess24 Jan Gustafsson on Alpha Zero

Hastings Chess Congress 2010-11 (7)

Hastings Round 7 Report

Top seed Romain Edouard has moved into the lead on his own after an easy round 7 win. Steve Giddins reports.

Easy for Edouard

Top seed Romain Edouard of France took the sole lead in Round 7 of the 2010/11 Hastings Masters, after an unexpectedly easy win against young Indian talent, Rao Prasanna. Edouard commented afterwards that his opponent "had confused ideas from different variations", and the French GM soon netted a couple of pawns for no compensation:

Edouard,Romain (2620) - Prasanna,Rao (2400) [C78]

Hastings Masters  (7.1), 03.01.2011

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 b5 6 Bb3 Bc5 7 d3 d6 8 a4 Rb8 9 axb5 axb5 10 c3 Bb6?! This gives White a free hand to attack the b5-pawn. More usual is 10 ..0-0 11 d4 Bb6 when Black has more pressure against the white centre, as well as potential tactical tricks, such as meeting Nxb5 with Bxd4, etc. 11 h3 h6 12 Na3 Bd7 13 Nxb5 Na5 14 Ba4 0-0 15 b4 Nc6 16 Na3

In this particular version, Black has no visible compensation for his missing b-pawn. 16...Nh5? 17 Nc4 Qf6 18 Bxc6 Bxc6 19 Nfxe5 Simply helping himself to another pawn. Prasanna fights on, but the game is already over. 19 ..dxe5 20 Qxh5 Rfe8 21 Be3 Rbd8 22 Qe2 Bb5 23 Rfd1 Bxe3 24 Nxe3 Qg6 25 Nd5 Bd7 26 Nxc7 Bxh3 27 Qf3 Bg4 28 Qg3 Bxd1 29 Qxg6 fxg6 30 Nxe8 Bc2 31 Nc7 Rxd3 32 Nd5 Bb3 33 b5 Bxd5 34 exd5 Rxc3 35 b6 Rb3 36 d6 Kf7

37 Ra7+ Ke6 38 d7 1-0

On board 2, Istratescu and Kotronias had a long and extremely complicated battle, which eventually ended in favour of the former. Shyam and Howell fought down to bare kings before splitting the point, whilst Gormally beat Rendle on board 4. With the exception of Prasanna's loss, it was a good day for the Indian players, with Sengupta, Anwesh and Das all winning, to join the 5-point group. The last-named won a crushing King's Indian against Hanssen, which rather drastically illustrates the difference between good and bad bishops:

Hanssen,Gunnar Berg (2191) - Arghyadip,Das (2476) [E99]

Hastings Masters  (7.8), 03.01.2011

1 c4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 d4 0-0 6 Be2 e5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 d5 Ne7 9 Ne1 Nd7 10 f3 f5 11 Nd3 f4 12 g4 Bf6 13 Bd2 h5 14 h3 Bh4 15 Be1 Bxe1 16 Qxe1 g5 17 Rf2 Ng6 18 Rh2 Rf7 19 Qf2 Nf6 20 Ne1 Rh7

21 Rc1 Qe7 22 Bd1 Kg7 23 Rc2 Bd7 24 Kf1 b6 25 Qg1 Rah8 26 Rcf2 Rh6 27 Qh1 Kf8 28 Kg1 a6 29 Be2 Nh4 30 Kf1 Qh7 31 Kg1 Ke7 32 Nb1 Qg8 33 Nd2 Qb8 34 Ng2 Ng6 35 Ne1 b5 36 b3 Qa7

37 Bd1? hxg4 0-1

Ryan Rhys Griffiths put up another top-class result, by beating Alex Wohl with the black pieces. Griffiths now has an excellent chance of an IM norm, with just one point in the last two rounds probably sufficing. Richard Bates has also had an excellent tournament, and his game was a counterweight to the Das effort above, showing the seamier side of the King's Indian.

Bates,Richard (2382) - Sergienko,Vladislav (2133) [E62]

Hastings Masters  (7.11), 03.01.2011

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 0-0 5 0-0 d6 6 c4 Nc6 7 Nc3 Bf5 8 d5 Na5 9 Nd2 c5 10 e4 Bd7 11 a3 Ne8 12 Qc2 Rc8 13 Re1 a6 14 Bf1 b6 15 Rb1 e6 16 b3 Nc7 17 Bb2 e5 18 b4 Nb7 19 Nb3 f5 20 bxc5 Nxc5 21 Nxc5 bxc5

22 exf5 gxf5 23 Na4 Rb8 24 Bc3 Na8 25 Rxb8 Qxb8 26 f4 e4 27 Bxg7 Kxg7 28 Rb1 Qc7 29 Nb6 Kf7 30 Nxd7 Qxd7 31 Bh3 Qc8 32 Re1 Re8 33 Rxe4 Rxe4 34 Qxe4 fxe4 35 Bxc8 a5 36 Bd7 Nb6 37 Bb5 Kf6 38 Kf2 Kf5 39 Ke3 h6 40 h3 h5

41 a4 1-0

With two rounds to go, Edouard leads outright with 6/7. Istratescu, Howell, Shyam and Gormally have 5.5, with six more players behind them on 5. In today's top pairings, Edouard meets Istratescu, board two sees an all-English clash between Howell and Gormally, whilst on board three, Anwesh plays fellow Indian, Shyam.

Finally, for any competitors reading this, I should remind you that there is a £100 Brilliancy Prize, sponsored by Horntye Park management, for the Masters section. If you would like your game to be considered for the prize, please place a note in the box provided on the Control Desk, indicating the game in question, or e-mail me at

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