Chess Piece

22nd European Team Championship
Batumi, Georgia
Oct. 24 — Nov. 2, 2019

Final Top Standings
(in match points)

1. Russia, 15/18. bd01 GM (Grandmaster) Dmitry Andreikin 2741, 5.5/8, bd02 GM Nikita Vitiugov 2732, 4.5/7, bd03 GM Kirill Aleksenko 2674, 4.5/8, bd04 GM Maxim Matlakov 2716, 2.5/6, bd05 GM Daniil Dubov 2699, 5.5/7.

2. Ukraine, 14/18. bd01 Vassily Ivanchuk2686, 5.5/9, bd092 GM Yuriy Kuzubov 2636, 4/6, bd03 GM Andrei Volokitin 2627, 4.5/7, bd04 GM Alexander Moiseenko 2635, 2.5/6, bd05 GM Vladimir Onischuk 2616, 6/8.

3. England, 14/18. bd01 GM Michael Adams 2694, 5.5/9, bd092 GM Luke McShane 2682, 5/8, bd03 GM David Howell 2694, 5/9, bd04 GM Gawain Jones 2688, 5.5/8, bd05 GM Nicholas Pert 2557, 1.5/2.

4. Armenia, 13/18

5. Croatia, 12/18

6–10. Azerbaijan, Spain, Germany, France, Czech Republic, 11/18

Total of 40 participants: 140 GM, 41 IM (International Master), 14 FM

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

Best Rating Performances:

GM Dmitry Andreikin RUS 2741, Rp (rating performance) 2817

GM Ferenc Berkes HUN 2667, Rp 2844

GM Daniil Dubov RUS 2699, Rp 2805

Flashback to the 1963–1964 USA Championship. Bobby Fischer won all of his games (11 out of 11, many of them in brilliant fashion) to win the title. The 2nd placer was Larry Evans, a full 3.5 points behind at 7.5/11

Bobby Fischer recounted in “My 60 Memorable Games:” “Motivated by my lopsided result (11-0!), Dr. Kmoch congratulated Evans (the runner up) on ‘winning’ the tournament … and then he congratulated me on ‘winning the exhibition.’

I feel the same way about the European Team Championship which just concluded two weeks ago. Russia dominated by winning both the men’s and women’s divisions, but it was their 23-year old reserve player GM Daniil Dubov (born April 18, 1996) who caught the imagination of the chess-loving public as he unleashed mayhem on the board every time he came to play. He finished with 5.5/7 and a performance rating of 2805, incidentally winning gold medal on board 4.

Let us see what everybody was so excited about.

Dubov, Daniil (2699) — Svane, Rasmus (2592) [D37]
22nd EU-chT Open 2019 Batumi (7.4), 31.10.2019

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 b6 7.Qc2 Ba6 8.0–0–0!?

If you weren’t Dubov perhaps you’d play 8.Ne5 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Bxc4 10.Nxc4 Nd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.0–0 with a “normal” game. Inarkiev, E. (2693)-Kryvoruchko, Y. (2669) Mali Losinj 2019 1/2 36.

8…dxc4 9.Ng5

The idea is to play d4–d5 since the black knight on f6 cannot move because of mate on h7.


In return Black threatens …Nb4.

10.a3! g6! 11.h4 Bd6

Not 11…h5? 12.Nxe6! fxe6 13.Qxg6+ Kh8 14.Qh6+ Kg8 15.d5! exd5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.Qg6+ Kh8 18.Qxh5+ Kg8 19.Rh3 with the heavy artillery moving in Black cannot survive this.

12.g3! Qe7 13.h5! e5

[13…Nxh5 14.Rxh5 gxh5 15.Qxh7#]

14.hxg6 hxg6

[14…exf4 15.gxf7+ Rxf7 (15…Kg7 16.Rxh7+ Nxh7 17.Qxh7+ Kf6 18.Qh6+ Kf5 19.Bh3#) 16.Nxf7 Qxf7 17.gxf4 Black’s king is too exposed]

15.Bg2 exf4

[15…Bb7 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.Bxd5]


Well, nothing wrong with restoring the material balance, but there was a brilliant move available here: 16.gxf4!! and now, with the center pawns stable, White can take his time to double or triple major pieces on the h-file. Here is how it could go: 16…Bb7 17.Nd5! Nxd5 18.Bxd5 (threatening Qxg6 mate) 18…Qf6 19.Nh7 Qg7 20.Rdg1 Qxh7 (there is nothing else) 21.Qxg6+! Qxg6 22.Rxg6#

16…fxg3 17.Kb1!

White needs his white-squared bishop for the attack. Exchanging it for the rook with 17.Bxa8 is not a good decision as after 17… Rxa8 18.Nge4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 Bb7 white’s attack is ended and Black’s two bishops will come into their own.

17…Rad8 18.f4 Bc8!

Opening the possibility of a future …Bf5.

19.Rde1 Kg7 20.Nd5 Nxd5! 21.Rh7+! Kg8 22.Rxf7! Rxf7 23.Qxg6+ Kf8!

Now …Bf5+ is a real possibility. But not 23…Rg7? 24.Bxd5+ Kf8 (24…Kh8 25.Rh1+) 25.Nh7+ Rxh7 26.Qg8#

24.Qh6+ Rg7!

[24…Kg8 25.Bxd5]

25.Bxd5 Ke8 26.Qh5+ Kd7

One more move Black will play …c6 and his king is no longer in any danger.

27.Qh3+ Ke8 28.Qh5+ Kd7

Dubov had four minutes left on his clock so some onlookers thought that he would go for the draw by perpetual check, but no.

29.Be6+! Kc6? <D>

Position after 29…Kc6

It was either give up his queen or take his chances with the king out in the open. However, there is now a forced mate in 14. Hard to see, but it is there.

30.Qf3+ Kb5 31.Bxc4+! Ka5

[31…Kxc4 32.Qc6+ Kb3 (32…Bc5 33.Rc1+ Kb3 (33…Kd3 34.Rc3+ Ke2 35.Qg2+ Ke1 36.Rc1#) 34.Rc3#) 33.Qc2#]

32.Qd5+ Bc5

[32…c5 33.b4+ Ka4 34.Kb2 (idea is Qc6+ followed by mate 34…Bb7 35.Bb3+ Kb5 36.a4+ Kxb4 37.Qc4+ Ka5 38.Qb5#]

33.b4+ Ka4 34.Qg2! Bxb4

[34…Kxa3 35.Qb2+ Ka4 36.Qb3#]

35.Qc6+ Kxa3 36.Bb3!

An only move, everything else loses. Dubov found this with 10 seconds left on his clock. On the other hand if 36.Qg2? Bd2! 37.Qxd2 Qb4+ it is Black who wins.


[36…Kxb3 37.Qc2+ Ka3 38.Qa2#; 36…Bf5+ 37.e4]

37.Qc1+ Kxb3 38.Qc2+ Ka3 39.Qa2# 1–0

Here is Dubov’s game from the 1st round, a portent of things to come.

Bjerre, Jonas Buhl (2506) — Dubov, Daniil (2699) [C88]
22nd EU-chT Open 2019 Batumi (1.4), 24.10.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.a4

This is the most popular Anti-Marshall system. Our BW readers know that 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 is the Marshall Attack. It is generally agreed that Black gets good piece play which he can translate into promising long-term compensation.


Wow! Despite White’s Anti-Marshall move Black still plays the Marshall. How come no one has ever thought of this before? Usually Black’s move here is 8…b4, 8…Rb8, or 8…Bb7.


I predict we will soon see White try 9.axb5 dxe4 10.bxc6 exf3 11.Qxf3 e4 12.Qe2 Bd6 13.h3 looks like Black has enough compensation for the pawn.

9…Na5 10.Nxe5 Nxb3 11.cxb3 Bb7 12.Nc6 Bxc6! 13.dxc6 Bc5 14.d3 Bxf2+! 15.Kxf2 Qd4+ 16.Be3?

[16.Kg3 seems to be the only move here, although after 16…Rae8 17.Rf1 Black can force a draw if he wants: 17…Qd6+ 18.Kf2 Qd4+]

16…Ng4+ 17.Kf3 Nxe3 18.Rxe3 Rae8 19.Re2 Qf6+ 20.Kg3 g5!

Threatening …Qf4+

21.Rf2 Qd6+ 22.Kh3 Qh6+ 23.Kg4 f5+ 0–1

With all this hullaballoo about Fischer Random chess and the avoidance of of opening theory it seems that GM Daniil Dubov is inspired to show us all that there is still a lot of scope in classical chess for original ideas, creative attacks and exciting battles. All that is required is a desire to fight.

So that’s that on the chess exhibition GM Dubov gave during the European Championship. On Tuesday we will see how the rest of the teams did.


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.