Pictures Round 7

Queen for a Horse

Andreikin,Dmitry (2580) - Riazantsev,Alexander (2638) [B14]
9th European Individual Ch (m) round 7 Plovdiv BUL (7.23), 27.04.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.Bc4 0–0 10.0–0 Nce7 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.Qe4 Be7 13.Bd3 Nf6 14.Qh4 Bd7 15.Ne5 Bc6 16.Re1 g6 17.Bh6 Re8 18.Qf4 Bd6 19.Rad1 Bxe5 20.dxe5 Nh5 21.Qg4 Qa5 22.b4 Qxa2 23.Qg5 Rec8 24.Re3 Rd8

A nice queen sacrifice withdrew from my attention. Good thing is that I am regular "Chess Today" reader and my collegues showed me the game. 25.Qxh5 gxh5 [25...Rxd3 26.Rexd3 gxh5 27.Rd8+ Be8 28.Rxa8 Qa4 29.Rc1 f6 30.exf6 Kf7±] 26.Rg3+ Kh8 27.Bg5 Kg7 28.Bxd8+ [28.Be7+ Kh6 29.Bg5+ Kg7 30.Be7+ is only a draw.] 28...Kf8 29.Bf6 h4 [29...Qa4 30.Rc1 h4 31.Rg7 Qa3 32.Rd1 Qa4 33.Rb1 Rc8 34.Rxh7 Ke8 35.Rxh4² White's king is safer, and he has enough matherial for the queen. His further plan is simple-he will simply push the "h" pawn into queen. According to Alex Baburin all the three results are possible. But my opinion is that it is much easier to play this position as White.] 30.Rg7

30...Qb3? The crucial mistake. Now the rook will control the "d" line and Black's king will lack escape squares. [30...Qa4 31.Rb1 (31.Rd2?? Qa1+ 32.Bf1 Bb5–+) 31...Rc8 32.Rxh7 Ke8 33.Rxh4 would transpose into the previous line.] 31.Rd2 Qc3 32.Rxh7 Ke8 33.Rd1 Qd4 [33...Rc8 34.Bb5 Qxb4 35.Rh8+ Qf8 36.Rxf8+ Kxf8 37.Bxc6+-; 33...Bd5 does not help either- 34.Bb5+] 34.Rh8+ Kd7 35.Rxa8 Bd5 and not waiting for mate, Black resigned.[35...Bd5 36.Bb5+ Kc7 37.Bd8#] 1–0



Not Really an Improvement

Vokarev,Sergey (2502) - Tomashevsky,Evgeny (2658) [C68]
9th European Individual Ch (m) round 3 Plovdiv BUL (3.61), 23.04.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0–0 Qd6 6.Na3 Be6 7.Qe2 f6 8.Nc4 Qd7 9.Rd1 c5 10.c3 Qf7 11.b3 Qh5 Tomashevsky improves on his play: [11...Bd6 12.Nxd6+ cxd6 13.d4 Ne7 14.Ba3 b6 15.dxc5 dxc5 16.Rd6 Nc8 17.Rd2 0–0 18.b4 cxb4 19.Bxb4 Ne7 20.Qe3 b5 21.a4 bxa4 22.Rxa4 Rfc8 23.h3 Ng6 24.Ra1 Nf4 25.h4 Bc4 26.g3 Ne6 27.Rd6 h5 28.Nd2 Bb5 29.Nf1 Nd8 30.Qf3 a5 31.Rxa5 Rxa5 32.Bxa5 Nb7 33.Rd5 Bxf1 34.Kxf1 Nxa5 35.Rxa5 Qc4+ 36.Kg2 Qxc3 37.Qf5 Qc6 38.Rd5 Qe8 39.Rd6 Ra8 40.Rb6 Qf7 41.Rc6 Rf8 42.Rd6 g6 43.Qf3 Kg7 44.Qc3 Qb7 45.Qd3 Rf7 46.Qc4 Rc7 47.Qa4 Re7 48.Qc4 f5 49.Qc6 ½–½ Potkin,V (2547)-Tomashevsky,E (2595)/Sochi 2006/CBM 111 ext] 12.d4 0–0–0

13.Be3N [13.dxe5 Rxd1+ 14.Qxd1 fxe5 15.Ncxe5 Bd6 16.Bf4 Nf6 17.Nd3 Nxe4 18.Bxd6 Nxd6 ½–½ Reinderman,D (2493)-Romanishin,O (2552)/Gausdal 2006/CBM 111 ext] 13...exd4 14.cxd4 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Re8?!

[15...Bg4 is computer's suggestion. But then: ¹16.Ba7 After: (16.Rac1 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Qxf3 18.gxf3² White is slightly better.) 16...Bxf3 17.gxf3 b5 no human can play like this... 18.Rxd8+ Kxd8 19.Rd1+ Ke8] 16.Ba7! Nb6 is threatening. 16...Bxc4 17.Qxc4 Qb5 18.Qc2 Ba3 19.Nd2 Re6 20.Nc4 Bc5 21.a4 [21.a4 Qc6 22.Qd3 Ne7 23.Bxc5 Qxc5 24.Qd7+ wins a whole rook.] 1–0


Pictures Round 3

Superb Technique

Stefanova,Antoaneta (2538) - Zimina,Olga (2363) [D30]
9th European Individual Ch (w) round 3 Plovdiv BUL (3.11), 23.04.20081.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c6 4.Qc2 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.Qxc4 b5 8.Qc2 Bb7 9.e3 Nbd7 10.Nbd2 Rc8 11.Be2 a6 12.a4 Be7 13.0–0

13...b4N According to Eti this move is a novelty. She has experience in the position from her two encounters against top player Malakhov: [13...0–0 14.Rfd1 (14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Ne4 Be7 16.Nc5 Nxc5 17.dxc5 Qc7 18.Nd4 Rfd8 19.Bf3 Bf6 20.Rfd1 Rd7 21.b4 Rcd8 22.axb5 axb5 23.Qe4 g6 24.g3 Bg7 25.g4 Qc8 26.Kg2 Rd5 27.Rab1 Qc7 28.Qc2 R5d7 29.Nb3 Rxd1 30.Rxd1 Rxd1 31.Qxd1 Bc3 32.Qd6 Qxd6 33.cxd6 Bxb4 34.d7 Be7 35.Na5 Ba8 36.Bxc6 Bd8 37.Bxa8 ½–½ Stefanova,A (2489)-Malakhov,V (2682)/Solin 2006/CBM 116) 14...c5 15.d5 Nxd5 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.axb5 Nb4 18.Qc3 axb5 19.Bxb5 Nb6 20.Ra7 Rc7 21.e4 Nc8 22.Ra5 Nd6 23.Bd3 Nxd3 24.Qxd3 Rd8 25.e5 Ne4 26.Qe2 Rcd7 27.Raa1 Nxd2 28.Rxd2 Rxd2 29.Nxd2 Bxg2 30.Kxg2 Qg5+ 31.Kf1 Qxd2 32.Qxd2 Rxd2 33.Ra8+ Kh7 34.Rc8 Rd5 35.f4 g5 36.Rc7 Kg6 0–1 Stefanova,A (2494)-Malakhov,V (2670)/Benidorm 2005/CBM 109 ext] 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.Nb3² c5 16.Nxc5 [16.dxc5!? is probably more exact.] 16...Qc7 [16...Ne4!?] 17.Qd2 Bxc5 18.dxc5 Qxc5 19.Rfc1 Qe7 20.Rxc8+ Bxc8 21.Ne5± Bb7 22.a5 0–0 23.Nd3 b3

24.Qb4! The arising endgame is technically won-Black has too may weaknesses on the Queen's flank. 24...Qxb4 25.Nxb4 Ra8 26.Ra3 Rc8 27.f3 Rc5 28.e4 Excluding the bishop out of the game. Stefanova's technique is superb. 28...Nd7 29.Kf2 Kf8 30.Ke3 Rh5 31.Nxa6 Rxh2 32.Nc7 Rxg2 33.a6 Bc6 34.a7 Ke7 35.Rxb3 f5 36.Bb5 e5 37.exf5 1–0


Pictures Round 2

Opening Disater in Round 2

Colovic,Aleksandar (2493) - Ivanisevic,Ivan (2649) [C89]
European Individual Ch (m) round 2 Plovdiv BUL (2.74), 22.04.2008
[Bojkov, Dejan]1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.d4 exd4 10.e5 Ne4 11.cxd4 Na5 12.Bc2 f5 13.exf6 Bxf6 14.Nbd2?

Careless! Now motives from Russian Defense are working. [14.Nc3 Bb7 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Bxe4 Bxe4 17.Rxe4 Qd5 18.Rg4 c5 19.Bg5 h5 20.Rg3 Bxd4 21.Nxd4 Qxd4 22.Qxd4 cxd4 23.Rd3 Rf5 24.h4 Raf8 25.f3 Rd5 26.Rc1 Nc4 27.b3 Ne5 28.Rd2 a5 29.Rcd1 Nc6 30.Rc1 Ne5 31.Rcd1 ½–½ Cheparinov,I (2478)-Stojnev,M/Bankia 2003/EXT 2007] 14...Nxf2! The awkward position of the d2 knight decides the game. 15.Kxf2 Bxd4+ 16.Kf1 [16.Re3 Qh4+ 17.Ke2 Bg4 18.Nf1 Nc4 Black crashes through.] 16...Qh4 17.Ne4 [17.Re2 Qxh2 and Qg1 mate is coming] 17...dxe4 18.Qxd4
18...Rxf3+ 19.gxf3 Bh3+ 20.Ke2 exf3+ 21.Kd3 Bf5+ 22.Kc3 Qxe1+ 23.Bd2 Qe6 24.Bxf5 Qxf5 25.Bh6 b4+ 26.Kd2 Qf7 27.Rg1 g6 28.Rc1 c5 29.Rxc5 f2 30.Rc1 Nc6 31.Qc5 f1Q 32.Rxf1 Qxf1 33.Qd5+ Kh8 34.Be3 Qf6 0–1


Game of the Day Round 1

The game of the day, in my opinion was Sutovki’s win in a rare line of the French Defense. Former European Champion showed excellent preparation and most probably retired a whole line:
Sutovski,E - Vavrak,P [C06]
EICC Plovdiv, 21.04.2008
[Bojkov, Dejan]1.e4 Sutovski's superb preparation (or well known improvisation) makes this game the pearl of round one. 1...e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.0–0 a5 9.Re1 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qb6 11.Nb1 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 Qxd4 13.Nc3

13...Bc5 More common is: [13...Qb6 for example: 14.Qg4 Kf8 15.Nb5 Nc5 16.Be3 Bd7 17.Nd6N Bxd6 18.exd6 Qxd6 19.Qg3 with tremendous superiority on the dark squares...1–0 Rublevsky,S (2670)-Lputian,S (2638)/Poikovsky 2003/CBM 095/(26)] 14.Nb5 [14.Be3 is the alternative, but Sutovski is well prepared and goes for the principled line.] 14...Qxf2+ 15.Kh1 0–0 16.Bg5 White takes away the h4 square for the queen, while developing his pieces. 17.Re2 is a treat. 16...Bb4 Probably critical is: [16...h6 after which sample line goes: 17.Qh5 f5 only move (17...Qxb2 the queen lives the king and attack is unstoppable: 18.Rab1 Qxa2 19.Bxh6 something similar will happen in the game. 19...gxh6 20.Qxh6 f5 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.Qh7+ Kf8 23.Nc7 and mate is coming very soon.) 18.Bxh6 Be7 (18...gxh6 19.Qg6+ Kh8 20.Qxh6+ Kg8 21.Re2+-) 19.g3! Much stronger than :(19.Nc7 Qh4! Black should sacrifice some material to stop the attack. 20.Qg6 Qxh6 21.Qxh6 gxh6 22.Nxa8 Nc5 and Black is fine in the endgame. But could Vavrak know what will follow?) ] 17.Rf1!N

A novelty that might put this line into the archive. The stem game went: [17.Re3 there are altogether 5 games into this line in my megabase. 17...g6 18.Rf3 Qxb2 19.Bf4 Nc5 20.Bc2 Bd7 21.Nd6 Ba4 22.Bxa4 Nxa4 23.Rb3 Qf2 24.Rf3 Qb2 ½–½ Vuckovic,B (2427)-Solak,D (2515)/Belgrade 2000/CBM 076] 17...Qxb2 18.a3 Bc5 Probably slightly more stubborn is: [18...Nxe5 19.Rb1 Qa2 (19...Nxd3 20.Rxb2 Nxb2 21.Qb3 Nc4 22.axb4 and White is basically winning) 20.axb4 Nxd3 21.Qxd3± Black has four pawns for a minor piece, but his pieces all his pieces are misplaced.] 19.Bf4! Difficult move to find. The bishop is leaving voluntarily it's active position, but with cruel intentions... 19...Nxe5 20.Bxh7+ Lasker's idea back in life! 20...Kxh7 21.Qh5+ Kg8 22.Bxe5 Qxb5

White mates now, but nothing could be done already: [22...Qc2 23.Nc7 (23.Rfc1 Qf2 24.Rf1=) 23...Rb8 a) 23...f6 24.Rfc1 Qd3 25.Rc3 Qd2 26.Rxc5 fxe5 27.Nxa8+-; b) 23...Ra7 24.Bxg7! Kxg7

25.Ne8+!! Kg8 (25...Rxe8 26.Qxf7+ Kh8 27.Qxe8+ is mate in seven.) 26.Rf6 and Qg5 and Rh6 is coming.; 24.Rfc1 or: (24.Bxg7 Qh7 (24...Kxg7 25.Ne8+ is similar to the line above.) 25.Qxh7+ Kxh7 26.Bxf8 Bxf8 27.Rxf7+ which wins as well.) 24...Qh7 25.Qxh7+ Kxh7 26.Rxc5±] 23.Bxg7! f5 [23...Kxg7 24.Qg4+ Kh8 25.Rf3 is mate as well.] 24.Be5 Again the best move. Black is helpless. 24...Rd8 25.Rf3 Kf8 26.Rg3 1–0

Georg Meier's Interview Plovdiv

When did you start to play chess?
I learned the rules from my mother when I was 3-4 years old. But only when I was 9 we discovered that there are even clubs and tournaments...Then I started to play in child-tournaments, and just before turning 13 I played for the first time in an Open. For the standards of today’s generation of young GMs I had a very slow start as you can see.
Who was your first trainer?
In the beginning I almost exclusively worked with books until I had some lessons with GM Gutman in 2001.
Who gave you most on the road of your chess improvement?
This is clearly GM Vladimir Chuchelov, with whom I train since 2002.He accompanied me all the way from a 2140-player to GM-level!
I would also like to mention the books of Wassili Smyslov, which I studied a lot when I was young. They contributed much to the formation of my positional play. He is still one of my Chess-Idols.
You made a rapid grow in the last two years-became GM and improved your rating vastly. How did it happen?
The period you mention begun, when I finished school. Naturally in the last years of my studies I had too little time for chess. But once I finished school I had a strong desire to become at least a GM.I decided to postpone studying at a University and exclusively concentrate on chess. The first year was a bit difficult, with mixed results, but then my work started paying off and I made one GM-norm after another, increasing my rating in almost every tournament.
I am very critical of my play and very meticulous in analysis, an attitude that is certainly instrumental for my improvement.
You had great chances to become world youth champion the last year in Erevan (Armenia) but lost the final encounter against Ahmed Adly? What happened?
My memories about this tournament are still fresh as this was still my best result ever in a WC but also the greatest disappointment in my young career...
Such a 13-round tournament requires a great deal of energy. I had severe difficulties to sleep during the whole tournament and got ill from the food ,so that I was naturally very exhausted after just 10 rounds, as I was only playing on the top boards, getting the strongest opposition of all participants.
From experience I can tell that illness-if not too serious-isn’t preventing you from playing good chess. But once a certain point is reached the batteries are simply empty.
In a last-round game the main factor is usually how much energy is left, not the color or whom you are playing.
In the last game against Ahmed I played unusually slow and at some point I just collapsed from fatigue in an approximately equal position, which I normally wouldn’t lose.
The feelings after such a game cannot be described...
You are part of the second German team for the Olympiad in Dresden. Who else is in the team?
The other team members are our famous Arik Braun, who was U18 WC in 2006,
Falko Bindrich who is already GM at 17,
IM Sebastian Bogner and Niclas Huschenbeth.
What does your federation to prepare you for the Olympiad?
They cover the expenses for some important tournaments and about 3-4 times a year they organize training sessions for the youth team. The list of trainers included so far many famous names like Yusupov, Dorfman, Karsten Muller, and lately mainly Ribli, with whom I enjoy training the most. It is very special to work with players from the “golden era” of chess. Because they simply learned chess in the classical way, and often their love for the game can be felt when working with them, which always makes it a very pleasant and enriching experience for me.
As it is outstanding I have to mention Anatoly Karpov separately. The youth team also had some training sessions with him, and there can’t be anything better to understand strategic positions, than analyzing with this chess genius.
The support we are currently getting from our federation is exceptional, as it is a preparation for the Olympiad in our country. But unfortunately this will all stop after this major event.
Do you have a regular trainer?
Not anymore, as I still work with Chuchelov, but only very rarely compared to the first years of our collaboration.
I mainly work on my own, and whenever it is possible also with chess friends, which is of course more enjoyable.
Which languages do you speak?
Just some basic ones: German, French, English and Spanish
I want to learn more in the future, for instance, Russian.
Which sports do you practice?
Lately I don’t do anything regularly, which is a big mistake; certainly much more serious than not knowing some opening lines...
But for this summer I set myself some serious goals. When I am back home I will force myself to run every morning and do Yoga exercises.
I am convinced that this alone, will already improve my results a lot.
What is your favorite chess book(s) ever?
Endgame Virtuoso by Wassili Smyslov
What are your expectations about Plovdiv and Bulgaria?
It is my first visit to Bulgaria, and unfortunately I know little about your country. But I read that Plovdiv is a unique historic city and I hope that I will leave it with many nice memories!
What is your aim for the EICC?
I like to be one of the underdogs-which I certainly am, being seeded around nr.130- and to play without pressure. I will just try to play good chess and hope to be in good shape, and then there is certainly a chance to qualify for the World-Cup. Last year I was in a similar situation (even being seeded around nr.200...) and went down in the Qualification-Tie breaks only.
Tell us something more about the chess in Germany? German players are very disciplined and educated! What is the reason for this?
A lot is done for average club players, as there are many Open tournaments and especially the Chess Classics in Mainz which attract many amateurs and a lot of public interest.
On the other hand, for my current level, there are almost no tournaments in Germany where I can face stronger opponents, which is so important for further improvement.
That’s why except for the Bundesliga I rarely play in Germany...
Without exception all of the (native) German players go to high school until they are 18 or 19.Then they take some time for chess and start studying afterwards, when they only play chess occasionally, like a hobby. It is very rare that someone decides being chess professional permanently. This is quite understandable as with most normal jobs you earn much more money than with chess. Being chess professional is also regarded as something “very exotic” in German society.
I think it’s only possible to make a good living of chess in Germany if you’re either a very good coach or permanently 1st-2nd in the national rankings.
The ´German discipline´ comes from the German mentality; there is a very typical saying “In France people work in order to eat, in Germany they eat in order to work”
By the way, I like France very much :)
Do you have special programmes for developing chess at schools and army in Germany?
In the last years there is a lot of dynamism in chess-at-school programs and they become increasingly popular, partly also because German pupils had performed badly in the PISA tests, which started a big discussion in Germany how the education can be improved.
There is a program in the Army for Germany’s best sportsmen. After 2 months of formation they are exempt from further army services and get paid a monthly salary so that they can concentrate on their sports career. Chess is also included amongst these sports, but chess players can only stay 1 or 2 years in this program whilst professionals of other disciplines can stay in the program as long as they are among the best of the country.
At the moment Elisabeth Paehtz, Arik Braun and David Baramidze are in the army program.
Thanks a lot, Georg, and good luck in the tournament!


Opening Ceremony Plovdiv EICC

Opening ceremony took place today in Plovdiv. EICC starts tomorrow. One thing is sure-we are breaking the records by GMs participating in the tournament-more than 240. 10 EU champions will try to double their titles.
The question of participating nations is still open.
You can watch daily reports here!


Test Yorself 7

Unexpected Finish. White must save one of his knights and capture his opponent’s one. But how will this happen? 1.Nc5 [1.Kxb1? Kxb6 2.Nd6 Kc7=] 1...Kxb6 2.Na4+ Ka5 3.Nb2! Na3+ 4.Kb3 Nb5 The knight ran away… 5.Nc4# But the king was trapped! 1–0 Zahodiakin


Neuhausen Leader in Bundesliga Baden

Our match against Waldshut Tiengen appeared to be a tough one. Despite our rating superiority on most of the boards, we had to suffer almost until the end of the six-hour limit. First we managed to take the lead:
Bojkov,D - Schaufelberger,H
Bundesliga Baden Waldshut (8.3), 06.04.2008

My last move was Ng5-attacking the bishop and intending to weaken the opponent’s king. 16...Rce8 Black left the open file, but the point is that after the natural:[16...Rfe8? White wins by force: 17.Qh5 h6 18.Rxe6! fxe6 19.Qf7+ Kh8 20.Qxe8+! Rxe8 21.Nf7++-] Now after:17.Qd3 I was slightly better, and after a couple of more mistakes Black lost on move 24. Decisive proved to be the game: Mader, M - Duessel, U
Bundesliga Baden Waldshut (8.3), 06.04.2008

First Manuela felt into a hidden trap. In severe time-trouble she went for: 40.Rb7 Rc1+ 41.Kh2 and now comes the shock: Rh1+! 42.Kxh1 Qxc6+ 43.Kh2 Qxb7 Black won an important pawn, but his king is very poor and actually he does not have real chances for a win. Nevertheless pushing too hard was not a good idea, since Manuela first managed to win back the pawn, and after a further blunder to liquidate to a winning pawn endgame.
Finally we won this tough match with 5.5-2.5. The leader Baden Baden slipped against the team of Horben, and now is third. We need to win our last encounter to secure a promotion in upper division.