Kim Steven Yap

Chess Piece
Bobby Ang

Posted on July 11, 2014

2014 Asian Club Cup
Danat Hotel, Al Ain, UAE
June 21-28, 2014

Final Standings (match points basis)

1. India PSPB, 13/14

2. Philippines Tagaytay Chess Club, 11/14

3. Kazakhstan Tokkata, 10/14

4. China Shanghai Chess Club, 7/14

5. UAE Al Ain Chess Club, 5/14

6. Australia Western Sydney, 4/14

7. Iraq Communication Sport Club, 4/14

8. Bangladesh Navy Chess Club, 2/14

Time Control: 90 minutes play to finish with 30 second increment added after every move starting move 1.

IM Kim Steven Yap put up quite a show in the Asian Club Cup. He won five games drew one and lost one for 5.5/7. Among his victims were three GMs: Krishnan Sasikiran (rated 2669), Reefat Bin-Sattar (2449) and Petr Kostenko (2484). At the rate Kim was going he would have easily gotten a GM norm -- too bad the minimum number of games for a norm is 9.

In the first round he gave notice by bringing down the highest rated player in the tournament. Watch.

* * *

Yap, Kim Steven (2419) -- Sasikiran, Krishnan (2669) [B30]
Asian Club Cup (1.2), 21.06.2014

1.e4 c5 2.b3

Once again the Tagle Variation. I have been thinking about the name -- if they started calling this the “Spassky” Variation I wouldn’t feel so bad as the former world champion is the top player who has played it the most.

2...Nc6 3.Bb2 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bb5

Spassky prefers 6.Bc4 here. Maybe he was hoping for 6...Nb6 when 7.e6!? would be quite disconcerting.

6...Bd7 7.exd6 e6 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.d4 Bxd6 10.0-0 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Qc7

Sasikiran has emerged from the opening with no problems.

12.Bxc6 bxc6

[12...Bxh2+ 13.Kh1 bxc6 14.g3 Bxg3 15.fxg3 Qxg3 16.Nf3 can only be used in a blitz game]

13.h3 0-0 14.Qf3 Bh2+ 15.Kh1 Be5 16.Rad1 a6 17.Qd3 Rfd8 18.Nf3 Be8 19.Qc4 Bd6 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.Qxe4 Qe7 22.Rfe1 Bc5 23.Qg4 f6 24.Nd4 Bxd4 25.Rxd4 Rxd4

[25...e5 26.f4!]

26.Qxd4 Kf7?

He should have played 26...e5

27.Qe4! h6 28.Re3 Rd8 <D>

Position after 28...Rd8

It is already too late for 28...e5 29.Qh7 (threatening f2-f4 and Rg3) 29...Rd8 30.Rg3 Qf8 31.Bxe5!; Black should have reconciled himself to the loss of the e6-pawn with 28...Kg8. Now we have a nice finish.

29.Bxf6! gxf6

[29...Qxf6 30.Rf3; 29...Kxf6 30.Rf3+ Kg5 31.Qg4#]

30.Qh7+ Kf8 31.Qh8+ Kf7 32.Rg3 1-0

Back in the late ’90s and early 2000’s Kazakhstan had a solid core of grandmasters who successfully represented their country in various team tournaments. There was Serik Temirbaev, Evgeny Vladimirov, Murtas Kazhgaleyev, Ruslan Irzhanov, Pavel Kotsur and Petr Kostenko. Later on they were joined by Darmen Sadvakasov, who won the 1998 World Junior Championship. Sadvakasov was a house on fire and he even won matches against Viktor Korchnoi in 2003 by the score 5-3 and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in 2004 by the score 4.5-3.5.

Evgeny Vladimirov is a former coach of Garry Kasparov -- he was the one who Garry accused of selling out opening secrets to Karpov during their 1986 world championship match. I am merely stating that as a matter of record -- personally I find it hard to believe. As Vladimirov himself told me, Kasparov lost three straight games in the middle of the match and had to blame someone for it.

Anyway, quite a strong team. Unfortunately, of that core only Kazhgaleyev, Kotsur and Kostenko still play regularly and no other player has come up to take the cudgels for Kazakhstan. A great pity.

But enough talk! Kim Steven Yap used an “old opening” and drubbed Kostenko in Dubai.

* * *

Yap, Kim Steven (2419) -- Kostenko, Petr (2484) [C54]
Asian Club Cup Danat Hotel, Al Ain (7.1), 28.06.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4

When was the last time you saw the main line Giuoco Piano? As all of you know this is the oldest of all openings.

5...exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2

All of our beginner’s books on openings give 7.Nc3 as the mainline. One of these days I will write about the latest theory on it.


In Starting Out Open Games GM Glenn Flear recommends 7...Nxe4!? After 8.Bxb4 Nxb4 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 10.Qb3+ and now

1) Black can either go for dull equality with 10...Kf8 11.Qxb4+ Qe7 12.Qxe7+ Kxe7 13.0-0 Re8 14.Re1 Kf8 15.Na3 and now 15...c6! 16.Ne5 d5, or

2) inject some action (and risks) with 10...d5!? 11.Ne5+ Ke6 12.Qxb4 c5!? (12...Qf8 is comfortable for Black) 13.Qb5!? a6 14.Qe2 cxd4 15.Nf3 Re8 16.0-0 with both winning and losing chances for both sides, E.Lie-M.Thinius, Gausdal 2003 1/2 42.

8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.0-0

[10.Qb3 is also possible but if Black wants a draw he can play 10...Na5 11.Qa4+ Nc6 12.Qb3 etc...]

10...0-0 11.Ne5!?

Did Kim actually prepare this move for Kostenko? Here is a bit of history.

The 3rd world champion Jose Raul Capablanca made his international debut in February 1911 by winning the historical super-GM tournament in San Sebastian. All the top players in the world were present except for Emanuel Lasker.

At the beginning of the tournament Ossip Bernstein and Aron Nimzowitsch objected to Capablanca’s presence because he had not fulfilled the entry condition of winning at least third prize in two master tournaments. To make a long story short Capablanca beat them both in the tournament took first place with a score of six wins, one loss (to the great Akiba Rubinstein) and seven draws, ahead of Akiba Rubinstein, Milan Vidmar, Marshall, Carl Schlechter and Siegbert Tarrasch, etc.

After that shocking victory Capablanca lingered on in Europe and gave a lot of simultaneous exhibition. In Hamburg 1911 he faced 4 strong players and actually lost three games and drew only one. It seems that two of them had prepared something “special” for Capa, 11.Ne5!? The great Cuban did not give it much thought and replied ...


Way back in 1912 Richard Reti showed how to play this with Black, improved even further by Oleg Korneev. This is very interesting: 11...Nxe5 12.dxe5 Nf4 (with the threat of either ...Qg5 or ...Bh3) 13.Nf3 Bg4:

1) Exchanging queens is not so appetizing. 14.Qxd8 Raxd8 15.Ng5 (where else? 15.Ne1 Rd2 is obviously bad) 15...h6 16.f3 Bf5 17.Ne4 Ng6 18.Ng3 Be6 19.Bxe6 fxe6 White’s pawn on e5 will not be easy to hold;

2) So White played 14.Qb3 b5! (14...Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Qd4 16.b3 Rae8 17.Rad1 Qxe5 18.Qxb7 Re7 19.Qxa7 c5 20.Rd7 Qe4 21.f3 Qc2 0-1 (21) Pesitz-Reti,R Temesvar 1912) 15.Rfd1 (Obviously unsatisfactory are both 15.Bxb5 Rb8; and 15.Qxb5 Bxf3) 15...Qc8 16.Bf1 Qf5 17.Rd2 a6 18.Re1 c5 19.Qe3 Nh3+! 20.Kh1 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Ng5 Black has strong pressure with no material investment. Karpatchev,A (2459)-Korneev,O (2559) Arco 2003 0-1 45.

12.Nb3 Nxb3

Against Van Groningen Capablanca continued 12...Nc6 and then came 13.Nxf7! Bg4 14.Bxd5 Bxd1 15.Nxd8+ Kh8 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Bxc6 Bxb3 18.Bxa8 and now he had to resign 1-0 Van Groningen,S-Capablanca,J Hamburg sim 1911.

13.Bxd5 Nxa1 14.Bxf7+! Kh8 15.Qh5 g6

His other game in the simul continued 15...Bf5 16.Qxf5 Qf6 17.Ng6+ Qxg6 18.Bxg6 Rxf5 19.Bxf5 g6 20.Be4 1-0 Kluxen,W-Capablanca,J Hamburg 1911. What a disaster!

16.Nxg6+ Kg7 17.Nxf8 Qxf8 18.Bc4 Qf5

[18...Bf5 19.Rxa1 Qf6 20.Rd1 might put up a better fight, but c’mon, Black’s king is exposed with White’s pieces all in action and White is a pawn up]

19.Qd1 b5?


20.Qd4+ Qf6 21.Qd5 c6 22.Qg8+ Kh6 23.Bd3 Qg7 24.Qd8 Qxg2+ 25.Kxg2 Bh3+ 26.Kxh3 Rxd8 27.Be4 Rd2 28.Rxa1 Rxf2 29.b4 Rb2 30.a3 Rb3+ 31.Kg4 Rc3 32.Rd1 Kg7 33.Kf5

Kim still wants to mate Black, and he actually succeeds.

33...c5 34.Rd7+ Kf8 35.Kf6 Ke8 36.Bc6 cxb4 37.Rd6+ 1-0

I will show you another game of Kim Steven Yap on Friday. Wesley’s performance in Edmonton will follow.

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