Short and sweet

Chess Piece
Bobby Ang

Posted on April 28, 2015

Before we look at the superGM tournament in Shamkir and Wesley So’s great debut, let us get some regional events out of the way.

Shortly after the Zone 3.3 Championship in Ho Chi Minh City won by GM Le Quang Liem, the Vietnamese Chess Federation hosted another international tournament named after its sponsor, the HDBank.

Eighty players from 13 countries participated in the 9-round Swiss tournament. Among them were 20 grandmasters and 19 international masters. Once again it was GM Le Quang Liem who took the winner’s trophy and top prize of $12,000.

* * *
5th HD Bank Cup International
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
March 17-22, 2015

Final Top Standings

1. GM Le Quang Liem VIE 2676, 7.5/9

2. GM Zhang Zhong SIN 2614, 7.0/9

3-6. GM Li Chao CHN 2721, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truongson VIE 2659, IM Haridas Pascua PHI 2423, GM John Paul Gomez PHI 2524, 6.5/9

Total of 80 participants

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

Haridas Pascua got his second GM result in this tournament. Another similar result but bringing his rating up to 2500 (at least) will get him the full International Grandmaster title.

Filipino GM Ino Sadorra’s slump continued with four wins, three losses and two draws, but he had the consolation of playing this flashy mating attack.

* * *
Nguyen, Anh Khoi (2239) -- Sadorra, Julio Catalino (2548) [D45]
Ho Chi Minh City HD Bank op 5th Ho Chi Minh City (1), 17.03.2015

Thrity -- year-old FM Nguyen Anh Kho is considered one of Vietnam’s rising stars. Back in 2012 he won the World Under -- 10 Youth Championship with a fantastic score of 11/11. GM Adrian Mikhalchishin, one of the top trainers in the world, singled out this youngster as a name to watch.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.b3 0 -- 0 8.Be2 Qe7 9.0 -- 0 b6 10.Bb2 Bb7 11.Rad1 Rfe8 12.Rfe1 Rad8 13.Bf1

Surprisingly, this unambitious move scores well for White as opposed to the more aggressive alternatives 13.Bd3 and 13.e4.


This is how Anand played against Van Wely in Wijk aan Zee.


Van Wely continued 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nd4 dxc4! 16.Nf5 Qe6 17.Nxd6 Rxd6 18.bxc4 Rxd1 19.Nxd1 c5 Black had good activity for his pieces and is at least equal. Van Wely, L (2641)-Anand, V (2790) Wijk aan Zee 2010 1/2 39.

14...e4! 15.dxc6

Anh Khoi probably noticed that 15.Nh4 is met by 15...Bxh2+ 16.Kxh2 Ng4+ 17.Kh3 Ndf6 and his King is in a very dangerous place. Black’s threat is ...Bc8 followed by a discovered attack.

15...exf3! 16.cxb7 Bxh2+!

And just like that Black has a winning attack.

17.Kxh2 Qd6+!

[17...Ng4+ 18.Kg3 Qg5 19.Kxf3 allows the White king to escape]


Both 18.Kg1 and 18.Kh1 are met by ...Ng4 followed by mate.


With the deadly threat of ...Rh5 checkmate.

19.dxe5 Qe6+ 20.Kh2 Qxe5+ 21.Kh3

[21.Kg1 Ng4]

21...Qh5+ 22.Kg3 Qg4+ 23.Kh2 Qh4+ 24.Kg1 Ng4 0 -- 1

Mate can no longer be prevented.

* * *
15th Bangkok Chess Club Open
Dusit Thani, Pattaya
April 12-19, 2015

Final Top Standings
(everybody is a GM)

1-3. GM Nigel Short ENG 2678, GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly IND 2619, GM Kamil Dragun POL 2576, 7.5/9

4. GM Wang Hao CHN 2713 7.0/9

5-18. GM Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2696, GM Jozsef Horvath HUN 2522, GM Oliver Barbosa PHI 2489, IM Diptayan Ghosh IND 2512, GM Jan Gustafsson GER 2639, GM Chakkravarthy Deepan IND 2475, IM Lyna Narayanan Sunilduth IND 2464, GM John Paul Gomez PHI 2520, IM Sharma Himanshu IND 2416, IM Max Illingworth AUS 2489, IM S. Dhopade Swapnil IND 2446, GM Allan Stig Rasmussen DEN 2507, IM P. Karthikeyan IND 2443, 6.5/9

Total Participants: 150 players

Time Control: 90 minutes for the 1st 40 moves, then 30 minutes play-to-finish, with 30 seconds added after every move starting move 1.

Former World Championship Candidate Nigel Short of England won his second Thai Open title (1st time was in 2012) with a closing 4.5 points from his final 5 rounds. He had been upset by Oliver Barbosa in the 4th round and had to really exert himself to catch up with the front-running Wang Hao.

The following game created quite a sensation -- it was won in less than 20 moves by an Australian FM against GM John Paul Gomez, who is almost 300 points higher-rated. It comes with a lesson all of us should learn:

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You’ve got to read Chess Piece!

* * *
Puccini, Jack (2241) -- Gomez, John Paul (2524) [B21]
15th BCC Open 2015 Pattaya THA (2.8), 13.04.2015

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6

Many years ago the following plan, called the “Siberian Defense”, was touted as the refutation of the Morra Gambit. After 5...e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.0 -- 0 Nf6 8.Qe2 Ng4 9.h3?? Nd4! wins. If you are playing Black you should try it -- many people fall for this trick.

However, an antidote for White has been discovered to meet this threat: 5...e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.0 -- 0 Nf6 8.Nb5! (instead of 8.Qe2) 8...Qb8 9.e5! Nxe5?! (9...a6 should be considered) 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Re1 Qc5 12.Bf1 Black is dangerously behind in development and White’s threat of Be3 together with Rc1 and Nc7+ is not easy to meet. For example: 12...Nd5 13.Bg5! a6 (13...f6 14.Rc1 Qe7 15.Bf4! Nxf4 16.Nc7+ Kf7 17.Nxa8 Qd8 18.Qd4 Nd5 19.Bc4 Bb4 20.Red1 Nb6 21.Bxe6+ Kxe6 22.Nc7+ 1 -- 0 Esserman-Braylovsky, New York (rapid) 2003.) 14.Rc1 Qb6 15.Qxd5 axb5 16.Bxb5 (threat is Rxc8!) 16...Bd6 17.Rxe6+! 1 -- 0 Esserman-Chandran, Sturbridge 2010. The finish will be 17...fxe6 18.Qxe6+ Kf8 19.Qf5+ Ke8 20.Rxc8+! Rxc8 21.Bxd7#.

6.Bc4 a6

After the brief backgrounder I just gave you this move is completely understandable -- Black wants to avoid any possible Nb5 + e4 -- e5 combo.

7.0 -- 0 Nge7

As explained by Mar Esserman in his book on the Morra, with this move Black intends to establish a firm grip on the central dark squares with ...Ng6, then finish his development smoothly after ...Be7, ...0 -- 0, ...b5, ...Bb7 and ...d6. White’s standard e4 -- e5 thrust also becomes impotent, as intead of the pawn badgering the knight on f6, a knight on g6 will pester it.


This is the correct reply to Black’s plan. Esserman: To complete the ...Ne7 -- g6 slog, Black must brave either 8...f6 or 8...h6, producing subtle weaknesses surrounding his kingside complex. Or the queen can nobly take matters into her own hands with 8...Qc7, although on that square her struggles have already been well documented. White can then either slowly build up the pressure with 9.Rc1, or frenetically continue the chase with 9.Nd5!


A sample attack: 8...Qc7 9.Qe2 (9.Nd5!?) 9...Ne5 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.f4 Qc5+ 12.Kh1 b5 13.Bb3 h6 14.Bh4 Bb7 15.Rac1 Qb6 16.f5 Bc6 17.Qh5 g6 18.fxg6 Nxg6 19.Rxf7 Kxf7 20.Rf1+ Kg7 21.Rf6 Rh7 22.Rxg6+ Kh8 23.Bf6+ 1 -- 0 (23) Rasmussen, P (2250)-Peschardt, S (2220) Copenhagen 1995.

9.Be3 b5 10.Bb3 Ng6 <D>

Last Sept. 19, I showed BW readers the Lauridsen-Ni Hua game, which ended in a complete massacre for the Chinese GM even if he was rated more than 430 points above the Danish FM. The continuation was 10...Bb7 11.Nd5!? exd5 12.exd5 Na5?! 13.d6 Nc4? 14.Rc1 Nf5 15.Re1! Ncxe3 16.Nh4! (Completely unexpected and decisive) 16...Be7 17.Rxe3 Nxh4 (17...Nxe3 18.Qh5+ forces mate) 18.Rxe7+ Qxe7 19.dxe7 Nf5 20.Bd5 Bc6 21.Rxc6 1 -- 0 Lauridsen,J (2244)-Ni Hua (2674) Montpellier FRA 2014. GM John Paul falls for a similar combination. I am afraid he is guilty of not reading my column.

Position after 10...Ng6

11.Nd5! Rb8

A game Esserman vs. Loek Van Wely is very similar. Aside from the insertion of the moves 11...Rb8 12.Rc1 the moves are almost the same: 11...exd5 12.exd5 Nce5 13.d6! Bb7 14.Nxe5 fxe5 15.f4 Qf6 16.fxe5 Qxe5 17.Bg5 Be7 18.Bf7+ Kd8 19.dxe7+ Nxe7 20.Qd2 Kc8 21.Rac1+ Nc6 22.Rfd1 Qf5 23.Bf4 Qxf7 24.Qd6 Kd8 25.Rxc6 Bxc6 26.Qxc6 1 -- 0 Esserman-Van Wely, US Open Orlando 2011. The finish will be 26...Ra7 27.Bg5+ Ke8 28.Qc8#

12.Rc1 exd5 13.exd5 Nce5 14.d6 Bb7 15.Nxe5 fxe5

[15...Nxe5 16.f4 Ng6 17.Re1 is even worse]

16.f4 Qh4

[16...exf4 17.Qe1! Bxd6 18.Bxf4+ Be7 19.Bc7 Qc8 20.Bf7+ Kf8 21.Bd6! the end]

17.fxe5 Bxg2

[17...Nxe5 18.Rf4 Qd8 19.Qh5+ etc]

18.Bf7+ Kd8 19.Qd2 1 -- 0

Aside from Bg5+ White is also threatening Qa5+ and mate.

Bobby Ang is a founding member of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and its first Executive Director. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he taught accounting in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for 25 years and is currently Chief Audit Executive of the Equicom Group of Companies.