October 23, 2004

Surprise!... Surprise!

 I don’t like chess playing computers! Period! They are so good now, that there is almost never a surprise when you are either playing against them or analyzing with them. To me the most exciting thing about chess is the intrigue, the mistakes, the bluffs, etc… Computers kill it all. In my opinion, the reason chess is loosing its marketability today is because leading grandmasters are too concerned about making “perfect” moves and are now playing “dry” computer-like chess.

So, in this and hopefully subsequent articles, you won’t see any computer analysis, but you will see some surprising news, unusual ideas and unexpected twists. Enjoy.

As always, you feedback is welcomed! Use this form

  1. Major chess events – Kramnik won the last round game in Brissago, Switzerland, and managed to tie the match and keep the title of Classical World Champion. Surprised? You haven’t heard about it? I am not surprised. The coverage wasn’t that superb. Check this site: http://www.worldchesschampionship.com/com/index.php
  1. Calvia, Spain – 36 Chess Olympiad is in progress. Who is in the first place after 8th round in men’s tournament? Russia…nope! Ukraine is leading, Russia is second - 3 points behind! Surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all Ukraine has the highest average team rating. Check this line up –
    1. Ponomaryov 2710
    2. Ivanchuk 2705
    3. Moisienko 2653 (Who?)
    4. Volokitin 2652 (Who?)
    5. Elyanov 2629 (Who?)
    6. Karjakin 2576

Website: http://www.36chessolympiad.com

  1. Here is interesting position with minimal material:

Sadovsky - Gurov, Donetsk, 2004


 Black to move. Can he win? What would you play?

When ready, check the answer below.






Answer: Black is winning. Three reasonable moves candidates 1…Be7, 1…Bf2 and 1…Ke5.

The game continued 1…Be7 2.g5 Bxg5! 3.Ph5! – Surprise! Black is left with the h-pawn and the “wrong” bishop, while White K can sneak into the corner. Draw!


Careful examination of starting position should lead to the following summary:

1.      Without trading the pawns White is simply lost. White’s threat is 2.g5 and then 3.h5.

2.      Black can stop White’s threat in two ways –

a.       By preventing attacking h-pawn via 1…Bf2. For example 2.h5 g5 3.Ke4 Bc5 4.h6 Bf8 5.h7 Bg7 6.Kf3 Ke5 7.Ke3 Bh8 8.Kf3 Kd4 etc…

b.      or  by blocking the path of White King to the corner via 1…Ke5 2.g5 Kf4! 3.h5 gxh 4.g6 Bf8 5.Ke2 Kg3 6.Kf1 Kh2 6.Kf2 h4 7.Kf1 h3 8.Kf2 Bg7 9.Kf1 Bd4 etc…


Thus both 1…Bf2 and 1…Ke5 win for Black. Surprised?


Good luck!

Igor Khmelnitsky

Copyright 2004


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