John Henderson's Round 5 Report on Friday 4th August
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN
WHATS the best way to prepare for a game on one of the top boards in a major championship with £10,000 first prize at stake?
Do you a) adopt the Bogdan Lalic anorak approach and spend the whole night - and the best part of the early morning - hunched over a laptop computer studying ChessBase, b) take the sensible Jon Speelman approach which is to finish off your Times crossword at a leisurely pace, have a nightcap and retire for an early night, or do you c) go on a night on the razzle at a nightclub in Weston-Super-Mare, get rat-arsed and end up having to ask the milkman if he could help you with getting the key in the door?
Daniel Gormally and Simon Williams
If your answer to a and b is yes, please get a life now. If you answered yes to c, then hey, welcome to the club! The boys are hitting town! Feed up with the quiet and idyllic lifestyle in the Somerset town of Street, IMs Danny Gormally and Simon Williams decided that a Jolly Boys Outing to a nightclub in Weston-Super-Mare was the order of the day, returning home at 4.00am, was the best way to better prepare them for life on the top boards and the live coverage the next day.
Now, the only reason I know that they returned at 4.00am was the fact that they also managed to persuade our invaluable webmaster, Alexis Harakis, to go on the fact-finding tour with them. And, inevitably, with all the style and grace of a wounded elephant falling down a flight of stairs with a tray of glasses, he woke me up at this ungodly hour as he shouted his goodbye lads!
Looking decidedly gingerish around the gills the next day as the round started, I suppose in reality for Simon Williams was that there was no proper way to prepare for Jon Speelman, and indeed the policy paid off with a comfortable draw.
Someone else whose back in town is none other than the redoubtable Julian Hodgson who, along with his executive chair, is making a comeback in the tournament after this win which catapulted him back onto the stage.
James Vigus and Julian Hodgson
Vigus,J - Hodgson,J [A45]
1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5!?! Either a very brave or a foolish choice against Hodgson, the man who originally put the Romp into the Trompowsky! In a state of shock a few minutes after facing 2 Bg5!, Julian went up to his wife, Lizette, and said "I just don't believe it - I'm facing the 'Tromp'!" However the alliance of Hodgson and the Tromp has over the years been the perfect marriage on the chessboard. Even Julian would have to agree that his character is not ideally suited to the forensic study of opening theory and, consequently, he under-performed in the international arena for many years. In the 1980s when Julian, Mark Hebden and Joe Gallagher, were playing in a tournament in Spain, they found themselves preparing a defence to Bellon's favourite opening system at the time, 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5. After studying many variations, Julian decided that that was just the opening for him as it solved, to a large extent, his problem with the white pieces. It enabled him to reach the complex strategically positions that he revels in, without having to worry about being caught out by the latest novelty. 2 ..c5 We'll, I'm glad that confirms that 2 ..c5 is, as widely believed, to be the best reply. 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 5 Qc1
5 Nd2!? Hodgson himself believes this to be one of the few situations in the Tromp where it is relatively safe for Black to capture the b-pawn. He may be right, but White does get some imitative in return for the pawn and, in any case, the position is so messy that the game is likely to be decided before the pawn becomes extremely relevant. 5 ..f5 6 e3 This is White's most solid set-up; by placing his pawns on e3 and c3 he limits the scope of the dark-squared bishop, while Black's own pawn on f5 does a fine job of restricting his light squared bishop. 6 ..Bg7 7 c3 d6 8 Ne2 Nd7 With the White knight heading for f4, Black will feel safer with his own knight on f6 covering h5. 9 Nf4 Nf6 10 Bc4 Bd7 11 a4 With the bishop on c4, its especially important to hinder ..b7-b5. 11 ..00 12 00 Kh8! Hodgson plans to utilise the open g-file to devastating effect. 13 Re1 Rg8 14 Qc2 Rae8 15 a5 Qd8 16 Qb3 Qc8 17 Qd1 Bh6 18 Na3 Rg4 19 g3 Reg8 20 Be2 Bxf4!
21 Bxg4 Bxg3 22 hxg3 Rxg4 23 f3? Nerves seem to have got the better of Vigus, who buckles under the pressure. However, the defence is not so easy in the long-run: 23 Qf3 e5! 24 c4 (24 dxe6 fxe6!) 24 ..Ne4 25 Kg2 Nd2!; 23 Kg2 e5! (23 ..Nxd5? 24 f3!) 24 dxe6 (24 c4 Ne4 25 Qe2 Qg8 26 Rg1 f4) 24 ..Bc6+ 25 Kf1 Qxe6 23 ..Rxg3+ 24 Kf2 Qg8 25 Rg1 Nh5 Hodgson also contemplated 25 ..Rxg1 26 Qxg1 Qxg1+ 27 Rxg1 Nxd5 but decided against because of the fact that his king was cut-off on h8. 26 b4 f4 27 exf4 cxb4 28 Qd4+ f6 29 cxb4 Bh3 30 Ke2?
Hodgson believed that Vigus should have gone for the a7-pawn, and he'd basically analysed the following: 30 Qxa7 Bg2 31 Qe3 Bxf3 32 Qxe7 (32 Rac1 Bg2 33 Qd2 Qg4!) 32 ..Rg2+ 33 Rxg2 Qxg2+ 34 Ke1 Qg1+ 35 Kd2 Qd4+ 36 Kc2 Be4+ 37 Kb3 Bxd5+! and now he can take the rook on a1 as there's no mate on f8 because of ..Bg8! 30 ..Bg2 31 a6 bxa6 32 Nc4 Rxf3 33 Ne3 33 Nd2 Nxf4+! (33 ..Ng3+ 34 Kd1 Nf5 35 Qe4 Ne3+ 36 Kc1 Rf1+ 37 Nxf1 Qc8+ 38 Kb2 Bxe4 39 Nxe3 Qb7 40 Kc3 Bxd5) 34 Kd1 Qg3! 35 Nxf3 Bxf3+ 36 Kc1 Ne2+ 37 Kb2 Qh2! 38 Qd2 Qe5+ 39 Ka3 Nxg1 40 Rxg1 Qxd5 and Black's got a dominating position. 33 ..Nxf4+ 34 Kd1 Rf2 35 Ke1 Qg3 36 Nf5 Re2+ 37 Kd1 Qb3+ 38 Kc1 Qc2# 01
Championship veteran Norman Stephenson definitely belongs to the Jon Speelman school of Times crossword, hot chocolate and early night for all the good it did him in this game against the young Irish IM, Brian Kelly!
Stephenson,N - Kelly,B [D45]
1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Qc2 Bd6 7 Be2
7 e4!? dxe4 (7 ..e5!? Kasparov's choice against Karpov in the 1984/5 World championships match.) 8 Nxe4 Nxe4 9 Qxe4 A) 9 ..c5!? 10 Bg5 Be7 11 Bxe7 Qa5+ 12 Ke2! An excellent innovation from Ivan Sokolov, which puts the ball back into Black' court. Black had no problem in equalising after 12 Nd2 Kxe7 13 000 cxd4 14 Nf3 Nf6 15 Qxd4 Rd8 16 Qxd8+ Qxd8 17 Rxd8 Kxd8 18 Ne5 Ke7 19 g3 Nd7 20 Nd3 b6 21 Bg2 Rb8 22 Kc2 Bb7 23 Bxb7 Rxb7 Sadler-Flear, Lloyds Bank 1993. 12 ..Kxe7 13 g3 Nf6 14 Qe5! b6 15 Bg2 Rd8 16 Nd2! Ba6 17 Bxa8 Rxa8 18 Qc7+ Kf8 19 dxc5 Ne8 20 Qf4 Qxc5 21 Rhd1 Nf6 22 Rac1 Kg8 23 Nb3 Qb4 24 Kf1± I Sokolov-Ribli, Bosnia 1998. However, the big mainline involves a spectacular queen sacrifice from White!; B) 9 ..e5 10 dxe5 00 11 exd6 Re8 12 Qxe8+ Qxe8+ 13 Be3 Nf6 14 000 Bf5 15 Bd3 Bxd3 16 Rxd3 Qe6 17 b3 with an unclear position that in praxis tends to favour White as Black has to be very, very accurate now. And, as they would say in America at this moment, We now have a word from our sponsors..., you can find more on this interesting variation against the Semi-Slav in a new Gambit book called The Meran System, by the Danish IM Steffen Pedersen, at www.chesscenter.com/book.html
However, heres another interesting idea from Scottish IM, Douglas Bryson, who has found a good antidote to the legions of Colle System players. Following his advice, Ive started playing the following system as Black, 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 e3 Nbd7 4 Bd3 c5 5 c3 Qc7 6 Nbd2 e5!? The point being that by playing an insipid system like the Colle, White doesnt want to become embroiled in a theoretical battle. But, with Brysons cunning suggestion, weve transposed into a mainline Meran Variation of the Semi-Slav, with colours reversed and crucially, no loss of tempo!
Ill go as far as to say Ive managed to get the big mainline from this system over the board much to the confusion of the White player -with 7 dxe5 Nxe5 8 Nxe5 Qxe5 9 e4 dxe4 10 00 exd3 11 Re1 Qxe1+ 12 Qxe1+ Be6. Definitely food for thought there from Mr Bryson!
7 ..00 8 00 Re8 The alternatives are 8 ..b6 ; 8 ..Qe7 9 Rd1 Qe7 10 h3!? A prophylaxis move, preparing the e4 push. The immediate 10 e4 is not recommended: 10 e4 dxe4 11 Nxe4 Nxe4 12 Qxe4 e5! 13 Bg5 Qf8 14 Bd3 f5! 15 Qh4 (15 Qxf5?? Nf6! Huebner-Kasparov, Cologne TV match 1992!) 15 ..e4 16 c5 exd3! 17 cxd6 Qxd6 18 Rxd3 Re4 intending ..Nd7-f8, Be6-d5 with advantage. 10 ..a6 Similarly 10 ..h6 preventing Ng5, is more usual but the text is a favourite of Brian Kelly's, which he's used over the years to good effect, including a draw against Lubo Ljubojevic at the Elista Olympiad 1998. 11 a3 11 a4 b6 12 a5 b5 13 e4 Nxe4 14 Nxe4 dxe4 15 Qxe4 Nf6 16 Qc2 bxc4 17 Ne5 c5 18 Bf3 Bb7 19 Bxb7 Qxb7 20 Nxc4 Bf8 21 Nb6 Rad8 22 Be3 cxd4 23 Bxd4 Qe4 24 Qc4 h6 25 b3 Rd6 26 Bxf6 Qxc4 27 bxc4 gxf6 28 Nd7 Rd8 29 Nxf6+ Kg7 30 Rxd6 Bxd6 31 Ne4 Be5 32 Re1 Rd4 33 Nc5 Bd6 34 Nxa6 Rxc4 35 Rb1 Ra4 36 Nb8 ½½ Ljubojevic,L-Kelly,B/Elista 1998/CBM 66 ext (36) 11 ..dxc4 12 Bxc4 b5 13 Ba2 c5 14 dxc5 Bxc5 15 b4 Ba7 16 Ne4 Bb7 17 Nxf6+
17 Nd6 Bxf3 18 gxf3 Red8 19 Bb2 Nb6, intending ..Nfd5, indirectly hitting the d6-knight, followed by ..Rac8 when the knight moves, giving Black a good game with his dominance of the c and d-files. 17 ..Nxf6 18 Bb2 Rac8 19 Qe2 Nd5 20 Rac1 Red8 21 Rxc8 Rxc8 22 Qd2 White's looking relieve some of the pressure on his position by exchange down to the ending by swapping rooks on the c-file. 22 ..h6 23 Rc1 Rd8! 24 Qc2? 24 Rd1 Bb6! A drastic mistake. Instead, Black had a small edge with. 24 ..Nxe3 25 fxe3 Bxe3+ 26 Kf1 Bxf3 27 gxf3 Qg5 01
ANDYS BITS N PIECES
Well Mark Hebden joined the boys on the night out but, now getting on a bit in age (certainly past the first time-control!), he decided to call it a night after the pubs closed and didnt accept the kind invitation to the nightclub! The result? See for yourself!
Summerscale,A - Hebden,M [E99]
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 00 6 Be2 e5 7 00 Nc6 8 d5 Ne7 9 Ne1
The Mar del Plata Variation, one of the most heavily analysed lines of the King's Indian. 9 ..Nd7 10 Be3 The most uncompromising move. White allows Black to gain a tempo with ...f5-f4 in return for the opportunity to post this Bishop actively. Summerscale and Hebden often debate this line and an interesting game is guaranteed. 10 ..f5 11 f3 f4 12 Bf2 g5 13 a4
A Korchnoi contribution. White's move has several points, not the least of which is a4-a5 and Na4 followed by c4-c5, cxd6 and Nb6. We'll see this carried out in the game. White may run his pawn to a6 if allowed. He may play his Rook to a3, defending laterally along the third rank. He prepares Nb5, attacking a7. This combination of small things has give Black a big headache over the last ten years 13 ..a6! Clever, stopping Nb5 and putting a brake on a5-a6. The only drawback is that the b6 square might become exposed. 14 a5 Rf6 15 Na4 RR 15 g4 fxg3 16 hxg3 h5 17 Ng2 Rh6 18 Ne3 Nf6 19 Kg2 Bd7 20 b4 Qe8 21 c5 Qg6 22 cxd6 cxd6 23 Nc4 g4 24 Nb6 gxf3+ 25 Bxf3 Rf8 26 Nxd7 Nxd7 27 Rh1 Nf6 28 Qe2 h4 29 Rh3 Rc8 30 Qd2 hxg3 ½½ Shirov,A-Tkachiev,V/Biel 1995/CBM 49 (30); RR 15 Nd3 Rh6 16 c5 Nf6 17 cxd6 cxd6 18 Na4 Qe8 19 Nb6 Qh5 20 h4 Rb8 21 Qc2 g4 22 fxg4 Bxg4 23 Bxg4 Nxg4 24 Qc7 Re8 25 Qd7 Bf6 26 Rfe1 Rf8 27 Kf1 Bxh4 28 Bxh4 Ne3+ 29 Kf2 Qxh4+ 30 Ke2 Qg5 31 Kd2 Rh2 32 Kc3 Rxg2 33 Qxd6 Nc2 34 Nd7 Rc8+ 35 Kb3 Nxa1+ 36 Rxa1 Kg7 37 N7xe5 Rg3 38 Ka2 Rf8 39 Nc5 10 Comp Junior-Avrukh,B/Tel Aviv 1999/CBM 70 ext (39)
15 ..Rh6 16 c5!N Apparently a novelty and it looks like a good one. Everything hinges on whether White can parry Black's upcoming Kingside attack, before cashing in on the Queenside, where all the advantages are his. RR 16 Nd3 Nf6 (RR 16 ..Qe8 17 Be1 Ng6 18 Nf2 Nf6 19 c5 Nh4 20 cxd6 cxd6 21 h3 Qh5 22 Ng4 Nxg2 23 Nxh6+ Bxh6 24 Kxg2 Bxh3+ 25 Kg1 Bxf1 26 Bxf1 g4 27 Bg2 Kh8 28 Rc1 Rg8 29 Rc3 gxf3 30 Qxf3 Ng4 31 Qh3 Qg6 32 Nb6 Ne3 33 Rxe3 fxe3 34 Nc4 Qxe4 35 Nxd6 Qxd5 36 Nf7+ Qxf7 37 Qxh6 e2 38 Bf2 Qf3 01 Dzevlan,M-Ostergaard,D/Sollentuna 1995/EXT 97 (38)) 17 Be1 g4 18 fxg4 Nxe4 19 Qc2 Ng6 20 Nc3 Ng5 21 Nf2 Nh4 22 Nfe4 Nxe4 23 Nxe4 Rg6 24 h3 h5 25 g5 Nf5 26 Bf2 Rxg5 27 Nxg5 Qxg5 28 Ra3 Bd7 29 Bf3 Re8 30 Be4 Bh6 Hjartarson,J-Shaked,T/New York 1996/EXT 99/10 (58)
16 ..Qe8 17 Kh1 Qh5 18 Bg1 Nf6 Hebden continues his piece assault. Should White hesitate, the idea is ...Qh4 and ...Nh5-g3 mate! 19 Nd3?! It's extremely difficult to evaluate these positions without extensive analysis, but at the moment 19 cxd6! would appear to be good. The idea is direct-White comes into b6 and takes off the Bishop, denying Black the chance to sacrifice on h3. Hebden for his part probably intended ...Qh4 and ...Nh5. Let's take a look if this works: 19 ..cxd6 20 Nb6 Qh4 (20 ..Rb8 might be superior. White can then repel boarders by vacating the e1 square eg 21 Nxc8 Rxc8 22 Nd3! Qh4 23 Qe1 Rc2 24 Qxh4 Rxh4 25 Rfe1) 21 g3! The key move! A) 21 ..Qh3 22 g4! Rb8 23 Rc1?! (23 Nxc8! Rxc8 24 Rc1 Rxc1 25 Qxc1±) 23 ..Bxg4 24 fxg4 Nxe4 25 Rf3 Ng3+ 26 Rxg3 fxg3; B) 21 ..fxg3 22 Ng2± White is ready to take a Rook. 19 ..Nfxd5!!
What a move - a colossal shock for Aaron Summerscale. White cannot take eg 20 cxd5 Nf5+ 20 Qb3 Kh8! 21 cxd6 cxd6 22 Nb6 Nxb6 23 Qxb6 Qe8! Black has won a pawn. Hebden now shows his strongest quality-the ability to coordinate his pieces. 24 Nb4 d5 25 Qc7 d4! Shutting out the Bishop on g1. Black's advantage increases. 26 Rfc1 Bd7 Working with the help of the small tactic 27 Qxb7 Rb8 27 Nd5 Nxd5 28 exd5 Rb8 29 Bd3 Bf8 30 Be4 Bd6 31 Qb6 Qd8 32 Qb3 g4 Now that Black has his act together he can resume hostilities. This really is a very fine game by Mark Hebden. 33 fxg4 Bxg4 34 Rc2 Qg5 35 Rac1 Bf5 36 Qd3 Summerscale tries to maintain a blockade of e4 but with no central pawns to help him it's an impossible mission. 36 ..Rf8 37 Re1 Rhf6 38 Bf2 f3!
Fatally undermining White's position. 39 gxf3 Bxe4 40 Qxe4 Rf4 41 Rg1 Qh5 42 Qe2 Qxf3+ 43 Qxf3 Rxf3+ 44 Bg3 d3 45 Rc3 h5! 46 Kg2 h4 47 Bxh4 e4 48 Rd1 Rg8+ 49 Kh1 e3 50 Rcxd3 e2 This will win one of the games of the tournament, in fact, any tournament. A superb performance by Black. White must look to his laurels at move 19. 01