The “Chinese” Championship

The WWCC started at the beginning of December in Antakya, Turkey. The sacral chess number of players-64 had to take part in the event, but two of them did not appear, and lost by forfeit.
The first round saw the first surprises. Some of the rating favourites were knocked down by lower rated opponents. The Russian chess authorities did a doubtful service to their best players by scheduling their national championship just a couple of weeks before the WWCC. Natalia Pogonina was one of the victims of this mental overload. However, the achievement of her opponent Baira Kovanova should not be underestimated.
The greatest surprise of that round was the departure of the European Champion Pia Cramling, who went down against the local Yildiz Betul.
The second round saw also a couple of major upsets, when another Russian player- Tatiana Kosintseva gave way to the Greek Y. Dembo, and unfortunately for me Antoaneta Stefanova had also to leave the stage. After winning her first game against the Chinese Qian Huang, she lost the second, as well as the tie-break. Even though I was not personally in Turkey with Ety, I kept holding my fingers crossed for her, and supported her as well as I could, but some times things just do not work.
The third round was significant as it determined that the chess world will have a new champion. Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia lost her title in a dramatical tie break against yet another player from China- Lufei Ruan.
In the quarter finals the remaining eight players met, and defined four semi-finalists. Curiously, all of them were from Asia, and three out of these four-Chinese! If you have a look at the pictures from the first round though you may discover how impressive the Chinese group of players/trainers/officials was. Nothing comes by chance in a sport like chess and the success of these two nations should not surprise anyone.
So far the elo favourite Humpy Koneru was winning her matches exceptionally in the normal time, and did not experience the joy of the rapid games. On the other pole was Ruan Lufei who won all her matches in the tie-break.
The top seeded Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru met in the first semi-final (like they did at the previous WWCC in Nalchik).Despite the fact that the Indian managed to avoid the rapid games again, she had to give way to her younger opponent, just like a couple of years ago in Russian republic. Decisive proved to be the first game in their mini-match:
Hou,Yifan (2591) - Koneru,Humpy (2600) [C67]
2010 WWCC Antakya (51.2), 16.12.2010

This is one of the worst possible scenarious for the second player in the Berlin. She is practically a pawn down on the king's flank, and in addition has weaknesses on the queen's wing, that might ba attacked by the white bishop. 31.Kf3 Bf8 32.g4 Hou opens the diagonal for her bishop. From h4 it will threaten to gain the black pawns on the queen's flank. The other plan is to prepare this advance with h2-h3 first, Kf3-e4, and after g3-g4 White will be threatening to open up the position with f4-f5. If Black swaps the h pawns, Hou can transfer her king to h3, and play with her bishop to h4, followed by Bf6, and Kh3-h4-g5. 32...Be7 Since the pawn endgames are almost always lost, Koneru has to wait patiently. For example: [32...hxg4+ 33.Kxg4 Bh6 34.Bf2 Ke8 35.Bg3 Bf8 36.h4 Kf7 37.h5 gxh5+ 38.Kxh5 Be7 39.Bh4 Bxh4 Otherwise Black loses the queen's side pawns, but now the extra pawn in the center decides. 40.Kxh4 Kg6 41.Kg4 c6

42.f5+! exf5+ 43.Kf4 And Black is in zugzwang. 43...b5 44.axb5 cxb5 45.cxb5 c4 46.bxc4 a4 47.b6 a3 48.b7 a2 49.b8Q a1Q 50.Qg8+ Kh6 51.Qg5+ Kh7 52.Kxf5 and wins.] 33.Kg3 c6 Black should better have avoided this move, as that tempo could be needed in the possible pawn endgame (reserve tempo). [33...h4+ 34.Kh3 followed by Be3-f2xh4 is hopeless for Black.] 34.Kh3 Bd8 35.Bf2 Bc7 36.Bh4 hxg4+ [36...Ke8 37.Bf6 hxg4+ 38.Kxg4 transposes to the game.] 37.Kxg4 Kg7 38.Bf6+ Kf7 39.Bh4 Kg7 40.Bf6+ Kf7 41.Kg5 Zugzwang. 41...b5 [41...Bb8 42.Bd8 Ba7 43.Bc7 Kg7 44.Bd6 Kf7 45.Kh6 and Black runs out of moves.] 42.Kh6 bxa4 43.bxa4 Bb6

44.Be7!? The pawns become more valuable in the endgame, and the young Chinese player realizes that the position had riped for this decisive breaking in. Moreover, the therapeftic measures do not work here: [44.h4 Bc7 45.h5? (However, White can achieve yet another zugzwang, and only then return to the plan with the bishop sacrifice here, to win the game)45... gxh5 46.Kxh5 Bb6 47.Kg5 Bc7 48.f5 Bb6 49.Kf4 Bc7 50.Ke4 Bb6 51.Bh4 Bc7 52.Bf2 Bb6 53.Be3 Ke7 and Black holds thanks to the blockade.] 44...Bc7?! [44...Kxe7 45.Kxg6 Bd8 46.h4 Kf8 47.h5 Kg8 48.h6 Bh4 49.h7+ Kh8 50.Kf7 Kxh7 (50...Bg3 51.Kxe6 Bxf4 52.Kf6 Kxh7 53.e6 White will win back the bishop, as well as the rest of the black pawns.) 51.Kxe6 Kg7 52.Kd7 Kf8 53.f5 Bg3 54.e6 Bh4 55.Kxc6

After writing the annotations for this game I discovered that Black could have saved herself here with the move 55...Kg7!!. I only analysed- 55...Ke7 (55...Be7 56.Kb5) 56.Kxc5 Bg5 (56...Kf6 57.Kd6 Kxf5 58.c5 and White promotes one of the pawns.) 57.Kb5 and the white pawns prevail over the bishop.; 44...Ba7 45.Bd8 will lose even faster.] 45.Bxc5 Hou not only won a pawn, but also activated her bishop. There is one more weakness remaining in the Black's camp, and this proves decisive. 45...Bd8 46.Bf2 Be7 47.c5 Bf8+ 48.Kg5 Be7+ 49.Kg4 Ke8 50.Be1 Bxc5 51.Bxa5 Be7 52.Kf3 Kd7 53.Ke4 c5 54.Kd3 Kc6 55.Kc4 Bh4 56.Bd2 Bf2 57.h3 [57.a5 with the idea to deflect the king would have won immediately, for example: 57...Bg1 (57...Kb7 58.Kb5) 58.h4 Bf2 59.a6 Bxh4 60.a7 Kb7 61.a8Q+ Kxa8 62.Kxc5 Be7+ 63.Kc6] 57...Bg1 58.Bc1 Bf2 59.Bd2 Bg1 60.Kd3 Bf2 61.Be3 Be1 62.Kc4 Bb4 63.Bf2 Kb6 64.Be3 Kc6 65.Bg1 Kb6 66.Bf2 Kc6 67.Bh4 Bd2 68.Bg5 Be1 69.Be7 Bf2 70.a5 Be3 71.Bg5 Bf2 72.h4 Bg3 73.a6 Bf2

74.h5! gxh5 75.f5 exf5 76.e6 Bg3 77.e7 Kd7 78.a7 1–0
Ruan Lufei is the other finalist after winning yet another rapid tiebreak against the compatriot Zhao Xue


Chess Mentor Course 2

My second chess mentor course features the situation in which the knight prevails against the other light piece-the bishop. Here is a recent sample:

Li Chao (2613) - Barua,Dibyendu (2479)
Doeberl Cup Canberra AUS (5), 03.04.2010

One of the most unpleasant endgames for the bishop is the so called "French" one- a position that usually arises after the same defense. Even if there are pawns left only on one side of the board, the defender is in great danger for the various zugzwangs that can arise, and the lack of space. The bishop also is not much of a help in the defense. 40.Nc8+ White first gains some space. 40...Kf8 41.Kd8 Bc6 42.Nd6 Ba4

43.c4! Although the exchanges usually favour the defender here this one is perfectly justified, as White needs the e4 square for his knight. 43...dxc4 44.Nxc4 Bb5 45.Nd6 Bc6

Covering both e4 and e8, but the next moves forces a zugzwang. 46.h4! Ba4 47.Ne4 Bb5 48.Nf6 Ba4 Black cannot allow the opponent's king come closer. [48...Kg7 49.Ke7 with the threats Nf6-e4 (e8)-d6 and wins all the pawns. 49...Bc6 50.Ng4 and Nh6xf7 to follow.] 49.Nxh7+ Kg7 50.Nf6 Kf8 White won a pawn, and now needed only to discover the beautiful breakthrough idea in the pawn endgame. The win is: 51.Kc7?! [51.Nd7+! Kg8 a) 51...Kg7 changes nothing. 52.Nb6 Bb5 53.Ke7; b) 51...Bxd7 52.Kxd7 Kg8 53.Ke8! Kg7 54.Ke7 Kg8

55.h5!! (55.f5 gxf5) 55...gxh5 56.f5 exf5 57.g6 fxg6 58.Kd7 h4 59.e6 h3 60.e7 h2 61.e8Q+ check!; 52.Nb6 Bb5 53.Ke7 Bd3 54.Nc8 Kg7 55.Nd6 Be2 56.Nxf7] 51...Ke7 52.Ne4 Bc2 53.Nd6 Ba4 54.Nc8+ Ke8 55.Kd6 Bb5 56.Nb6 Kd8 57.Kc5 Be2 58.Na4 Bf3 59.Nc3 Ke7 60.Nb5 Kd7 61.Nd6 Ke7 62.Kb6 Bd1 63.Kc7 Ba4 64.Ne4 Bc2 65.Nf6 Bd1 66.Kc6 Be2 67.Kc5 Bd1 68.Kd4 Bf3 69.Ke3 Bd1 70.Nh7 Bh5 71.Kf2 Bd1 72.Kg3 Be2 73.Kg2 Bd1 74.Kf2 Bg4 75.Kg3 Bd1 76.Nf6 Be2

77.h5 gxh5 78.Kh4 Bd1 79.Nxh5 Be2 80.Ng3 Bf3 81.Nf1 Be2 82.Ne3 Kf8 83.Kg3 Bd3 84.Kf2 Kg7 85.Ke1 Kg6 86.Kd2 Bb5 87.Kc3 Kh5 88.Kd4 Kh4 89.Kc5 Ba6 1/2


Bent the Great 2

I continue to present the most memorable games of my most favourable chess player ever with his own invaluable remarks. Today's game is against another remarkable person, the Dutch GM Donner:
Larsen,Bent - Donner,Jan Hein [A00]
Hoogovens Beverwijk, 1960
[Bent Larsen]
1.g3 e5 2.Bg2 d5 3.Nf3 Bd6 4.0–0 Ne7 5.c4

(?) In this position not very effective. Better was: [5.d3 followed by Nb1–d2 and e2-e4.] 5...c6 6.d3 0–0 7.Nbd2 Nd7 8.e4 dxe4 Deserved attention: [8...d4 with the idea to meet: 9.Nh4 Nc5 10.Qe2 g5! White should better play 9.Qd1–e2 immediately.] 9.Nxe4 Bc7 10.b3 [10.d4 exd4 11.Qxd4 Ne5 is good for Black.] 10...Re8 11.Bb2 Nf5 12.Re1 I have caught a cold, and the thinking machine was working on slow motion. On this not really ingenious move was spent more than half an hour! 12...Nf8 13.Qd2 f6 14.Rad1 As I got afraid not to fail into time trouble, I started playing quickly. However, if I did not want to make the move 14.d4 I should have better opted for 14.b4. 14...Ne6 15.b4 a5 16.b5 Bb6 [16...cxb5!? was a serious alternative.] 17.bxc6 bxc6 18.Qc1 a4 19.c5 Ba5 20.Bc3 Re7 21.Bxa5 Rxa5 22.Nfd2 Ned4 23.Nc4 Raa7 24.f4

Black can defenetely be proud with his knight on d4, but the unnecessary care about it will lead them to a wrong way. In general their position should not be overestimated, white knights are full of life...
Donner had to take on f4 but he decided to keep the pawn on e5 as a solid stronghold for the knight. Later though he received almost nothing from it.
The finish of this game belongs to my most favourable memories.
24...Be6? 25.fxe5 fxe5 26.Kh1 I need to pay the fightful knight at least some respect. Now it cannot give check. 26...Bd5 27.Rf1 Re6 28.Rf2 Rf7 29.Rdf1

White is improving. I am almost taking control over the f file, and the weak pawn on e5 is a problem for Black. They also need to do something against the threat Ne4-g5. 29...Bxc4 30.dxc4 Nh6 31.Rxf7 Nxf7 32.Qd1!

A very strong move. Black needs to protect the a pawn, and White will turn his pieces to the king's flank then. 32...Qa5 33.Qh5 Qc7 34.Bh3 Rh6?? The rook is excluded from the game. Also bad was: [34...Re8 due to- 35.Ng5; However, Black should have tried: 34...Re7 Black is in difficult situation, but not yet lost.] 35.Qg4 Rg6 36.Qd1 Qa7 37.Qb1! Ng5 38.Qb6! Qa8 [38...Qxb6 39.cxb6 will obviously give White a passed pawn that will win the game.] 39.Nxg5 Rxg5 40.Qc7 h6 41.Rb1

Here the game was adjourned. [41.Rb1 Black sealed the move: 41...Kh7 after which (No better is: 41...Qa6 42.Bf1!) 42.Bg2 wins easily. But what I really wanted to do about the game was to ask: "What was the black knight on d4 doing?"] 1–0


Classifying Chess Players with Fuzzy Clustering Analysis in Fuzzy Data Using Eco Codes

Recently, a friend of mine from Turkey who is writing his Ph. D. on a chess theme asked me how many types of players chess people are? Since I did not know what precisely to asnwer, I decided to publish his study, so that anyone who is interested in this subject can answer him, and discuss the topic. Here it comes:

From Necati Alp ERİLLİ1
1Statistics Dep. / Faculty of Science / 19 May Univ. / Samsun

E-mail address: aerilli@omu.edu.tr

ABSTRACT – Chess is the most popular brain game in the world. Since it has been playing for centuries, we have usually met the same questions typically: “Who is the strongest player in the world?, Can you beat me?, What’s your style?” It is hard to answer these types of questions which need objectivity. Every chess game has an ECO code. These codes help players for preparing to opponents or improving themselves. We classify chess players according to their styles by using ECO codes. These codes are named by A to E capitals and numbers from 00 to 99. In general there are 500 different types of chess openings. Some openings are aggressive and some are defensive. These codes are in crisp data form but results can be in crisp or fuzzy data form. By using fuzzy clustering analysis we can classify players into 3 groups. They are; aggressive player, defensive player or positional player. Results have been tested on some strong players and some amateur players. All these show that we can use fuzzy systems in these complicated problems.

Keywords: Fuzzy Clustering, ECO Codes, Chess, Fuzzy Data

Chess is the most popular brain game in the world. It is a board game played between two players. It is played on a chessboard, which is a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. At the start, each player controls sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way to remove or defend it from attack on the next move.
In recent years chess became more popular than previous centuries by the help of FIDE (World Chess Federation), chess lessons in schools and World Championship games. Chess not only develops memory, logical thinking, capability but also improves concentration and teaches independence [1]. Chess has long been considered a way for children to increase their mental prowess, concentration, memory and analytical skills. To anyone who has known the game, it comes as no surprise that these assumptions were actually proven in several studies on how chess can improve the grades of students [2].
The main problem for chess players is their graduates. For ranking players a mathematical system called ELO has been introduced by Hungarian Mathematician Dr. Arpat Elo. It has been using since 1970. World Chess Federation expresses ELO list in every three months. By this list, players listed in order to their elo points in tournaments. Players can learn their world ranking or country rankings through this list.
Another point for chess players is their positions among all of the players. It is hard to make a decision for players which category they in. Good player or bad player or defensive players etc. are all linguistic expressions. All they are subjective and can be change for everyone.
In this article we try to classify players whether they are defensive player, aggressive player or positional player. The names are co-decision thanks to chess players around us.
We utilize from ECO codes to classify players. Every chess game has an opening code called ECO code. Every move has a typical task for openings. Some openings ended 6 or 7 moves and some openings ended 20 or 25 moves. Some of them called openings and some of them called defence for names in private. ECO codes are named by A to E capitals and numbers from 00 to 99. In general there are 500 different types of chess openings. These codes are in crisp data form. But we use them as fuzzy data for estimation.
We classify players looking to their game scores and game ECO codes. After a game finishes player can take 1 point for victory, 0,5 point for draw and 0 point for loss. By using these codes and scores which had been taken in games, we can put them in to classes which we determine at the beginning.
With the help of Fuzzy clustering analysis we can classify players into groups which we determined in the beginning.. It is one of the common technique in statistical classification methods.
Cluster analysis is a method for clustering a data set into groups of similar objects. It is an approach to unsupervised learning and also one of the major techniques in pattern recognition [3]. Hard clustering methods allow each point of the data set to exactly one cluster. Zadeh [6] proposed fuzzy sets that can use for the idea of partial membership described by a membership function. After that many fuzzy clustering methods have been studied [4,5,7,8,14].

Fuzzy Cluster Analysis of Crisp Data
This approach comes into the picture as an appropriate method when the clusters cannot be separated from each other distinctly or when some units are uncertain about membership. Fuzzy clusters are functions modifying each unit between 0 and 1 which is defined as the membership of the unit in the cluster. The units which are very similar to each other hold their places in the same cluster according to their membership degree.
Similar to other clustering methods, fuzzy clustering is based on distance measurements as well. The structure of the cluster and the algorithm used to specify which of these distance criteria will be used. Some of the convenient characteristics of fuzzy clustering can be given as follows [10]:
i. It provides membership values which are convenient to comment on.
ii. It is flexible on the usage of distance.
iii. When some of the membership values are known, they can be combined with numeric optimization.
The advantage of fuzzy clustering over classical clustering methods is that it provides more detailed information on the data. On the other hand, it has disadvantages as well. Since there will be too much output when there are too many individuals and clusters, it is difficult to summarize and classify the data. Moreover, fuzzy clustering algorithms, which are used when there is uncertainty, are generally complicated [13].
In fuzzy clustering literature, the fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering algorithm is the most well-known and frequently used method. FCM is a method of clustering which allows one piece of data to belong to two or more clusters. This method which is developed by Dunn [9] and improved by Bezdek [11], is frequently used in pattern recognition. It uses Euclidean distance between variables and cluster centers:
d_ik=d(x_i,v_k )=[∑_(j=1)^p▒(x_ji-v_jk )^2 ]^(1/2)
It is based on minimization of the following objective function:

J(u,v)=∑_(j=1)^n▒〖∑_(k=1)^c▒〖u_jk〗^m ‖x_ji-v_jk ‖^2 〗
Here; m is any real number greater than 1, u_jk is the degree of membership of x_i in the cluster j, x_i is the i’th of d-dimensional measured data, v_j is the d-dimension center of the cluster, and ||*|| is any norm expressing the similarity between any measured data and the center.
Fuzzy partitioning is carried out through an iterative optimization of the objective function shown above, with the update of membership u_ik ;

u_ik=[∑_(j=1)^c▒(〖d_ji〗^ /〖d_jk〗^ )^(2/(m-1)) ]^(-1)


and the cluster centers v_jk by:

v_jk=(∑_(j=1)^n▒〖u_jk^m x_ik 〗)/(∑_(j=1)^n▒u_jk^m )

1≤j≤c , 1≤i≤n
Equations (3) and (4) constitute an iterative optimization procedure. The goal is to iteratively improve sequence of sets of fuzzy clusters until no further improvement in J_m is possible.
The FCM algorithm is executed in the following steps:
Step 1: Initialize the following values: Number of cluster c, value of fuzziness m, termination criterion (threshold) ε and membership matrice U. Here, ε takes degree between 0 and 1.
Step 2: Calculate the fuzzy cluster centroid v_jk for i=1,2,…,c using (4).
Step 3: Employ (3) to update fuzzy membership u_ik.
Step 4: If the improvement in J_m is less than a certain threshold (ε), than halt; otherwise go to step 2.

Fuzzy Cluster Analysis of Fuzzy Data
Cluster analysis constitutes the first statistical area that lent itself to a fuzzy treatment. The fundamental justification lies in the recognition of the vague nature of the cluster assignment task. For this reason, in the last 3 decades, many fuzzy clustering models for crisp data have been suggested as we mentioned.
The fuzzy clustering of fuzzy data has been studied by different authors [20]. Sato and Sato [12] suggest a fuzzy clustering procedure for interactive fuzzy vectors. Yang and Ko [15] proposed clustering model called “Double fuzzy K-numbers clustering model” which deals with a single fuzzy variable on l units. “Fuzzy K-means clustering model for conical fuzzy vectors” proposed by Yang and Liu [16] is applicable to multi-dimensional fuzzy variables observed on l units. Yang et al. [17] proposed a clustering model called “Fuzzy K-means clustering model for mixed data” to classify mixed data like symbolic data or LR-II type data. Hung and Yang [18] proposed a clustering model called “Alternative double fuzzy K-means clustering model” to classify units. Authors used an exponential type distance for LR fuzzy numbers based on the idea of Wu and Yang [19] and discussed the robustness of this distance.

This clustering model proposed by Yang and Ko [15]. It is assumed that the membership function of the fuzzy variable belongs to LR family and the univariate fuzzy data are represented by W_i=〖(m_(W_i ),α_(W_i ),β_(W_i ))〗_LR . Here m is called the mean value of W_i and α and β are called the left and right spreads, respectively.
The authors suggested a distance measure each pair of fuzzy numbers X_jand W_i as follows.
d_LR^2 (X_j,W_i )=1/3 {〖(m_(X_j ) 〖-m〗_(W_i ))〗^2+〖((m_(X_j ) 〖-α〗_(X_j ) )-(m_(W_i ) 〖-α〗_(W_i ) ))〗^2+〖((m_(X_j ) 〖+β〗_(X_j ) )-(m_(W_i ) 〖+β〗_(W_i ) ))〗^2 } (4)

Objective function is given as follows:
J_FCN (μ,W)=∑_(j=1)^n▒∑_(i=1)^c▒〖μ_i^m (X_j ) d_LR^2 (X_j,W_i ) 〗


Here m>1 is the index of fuzziness and μ=(μ_1,…,μ_c) is a fuzzy c-partition and W_i=〖(m_(W_i ),α_(W_i ),β_(W_i ))〗_LR are fuzzy c-numbers of LR-type. The necessary conditions for minimize (μ,W) of J_FCN are the following update equations:
m_(W_i )=(∑_(j=1)^n▒〖μ_i^m (X_j )[3m_(X_j )+(α_(W_i )-α_(X_j ))+(β_(X_j )-β_(W_i ))〗)/(3∑_(j=1)^n▒〖μ_i^m (X_j)〗)
i=1,…,c (


α_(W_i )=(∑_(j=1)^n▒〖μ_i^m (X_j )[m_(W_i )-m_(X_j )+α_(X_j )]〗)/(l∑_(j=1)^n▒〖μ_i^m (X_j)〗)

i=1,…,c (


β_(W_i )=(∑_(j=1)^n▒〖μ_i^m (X_j )[m_(X_j ) 〖-m〗_(W_i )+β_(X_j )]〗)/(r∑_(j=1)^n▒〖μ_i^m (X_j)〗)

i=1,…,c (


μ_i^m (X_j )=〖[1/(d_LR^2 (X_j,W_i ) )]〗^(1/(m-1))/(∑_(k=1)^c▒〖[1/(d_LR^2 (X_j,W_k ) )]〗^(1/(m-1)) )

i=1,…,c ; j=1,…,n (9)

By using DFKC we try to classify chess players in to clusters according to their style.
There are lots of chess styles according to chess players from amateur to top players. There can be many answers for the question of chess style. We simply categorized players in to 3 clusters: Defensive players, Aggressive players and positional players. Defensive players generally use defensive openings in which colour they are. Their scores depend on their defensive power during games. Aggressive player use sharp opening both in white and black. They use open openings for winning the game immediately. Positional players use the openings according to their opponents. Sometimes they use sharp openings sometimes they use defensive openings to hold the game in safe.
The authorities categorized chess openings in to 6 sub categories. This classification is not official but many people accept that in general use. We can classify openings in to 6 clusters: Open (Starts with 1.e4 e5), Closed (Starts with 1.d4 d5), Semi-Open (1.e4 (without e5)), Hint Systems (1.d4 Nf6), Wing Systems (Generally starts with a, b, c or f pawns) and Other openings (Not grouped to previous ones).
As we stated every chess game has an Eco code. This simple code gives information for the opening. In which category it belongs, its name and its sub-level.
For example B20 to B99 named as Sicilian Defence. But in detail B33 named as Sveshnikov Variation, B44 Taimanov System and B50 Kopec Variation etc.
Numerical Example
Our first player is former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. Results have been taken from his best games in his career [21]. Firstly Kasparov’s results had listed according to their Eco codes. Then every sub-Eco code counted as a fuzzy number. For example A0 counted as LR-type fuzzy number (2.33, 1.33, 0.01). Here numbers are mean, left spread and right spread respectively. Every player has games both white and black. So we calculated results for white and black separately. For example Kasparov’s results in white for A and B openings are given below:
Table 1-Fuzzy Numbers for Kasparov in A and B Op.
Mean Left Right Mean Left Right
A0 2,33 1,33 0,01 B0 3 0,01 0,01
A1 2,6 0,8 0,01 B1 2,5 1 0,01
A2 2,28 0,85 0,14 B2 NAN NAN NAN
A3 2,5 1 0,01 B3 2,36 0,91 0,91
A4 3 0,01 0,01 B4 2,36 0,91 0,91
A5 2,33 1,33 0,01 B5 2 2 0,01
A6 3 0,01 0,01 B6 2,28 0,28 0,28
A7 3 0,01 0,01 B7 2,66 0,66 0,01
A8 2 2 0,01 B8 2,63 0,72 0,01
A9 3 0,01 0,01 B9 2,42 1,14 0,01

Figure 1-Seperation draw for Whites’ results

If we look to the figure 1, we can see cluster number is one for white results. Similarly black results are nearly same either. There is only one outliner in the figure but that opening played only 2 times. It isn’t necessary to take it calculate for clustering.

Figure 2-Three style for a particular criterion
We know that fuzzy sets are suited to describing ambiguity and imprecision in natural language and we may thus define these terms using triangular fuzzy numbers as follows:
X_Defensive=(0;0;1,5);〖 X〗_Positional=(1,5;1,5;1,5) X_Aggressive=(3;1,5;0)
These representations are shown in figure 2.
According to Kasparov’s games results, nearly every opening scores gets between 2 and 3. His average in white pieces (2,43; 0,71; 0,06) and in black pieces (2,42; 0,81 ;0,21). His scores generally equal to aggressive in all openings. As a result we can surely say that Garry Kasparov is an aggressive player both in white and black pieces.
Top players of the world chess are belong to aggressive class. This score are expected as well. New world chess champion V.Anand’s average is (2,41; 0,7 ;0,06) in white and (2,4; 0,99 ;0,06) in black or former world champion A.Karpov’s average is (2,426; 0,77 ;0,05) in white and (2,39; 0,88 ;0,066) in black. We can say both are aggressive during their careers.
Here are my scores from my career. I played 397 games which added to official tournaments. Results showed that I am aggressive player with white pieces and positional player with black pieces. In general I am between aggressive and positional player but nearest to aggressive side. But as addition i have to say that my opponents averages not same like top players as well.

Table 2-My scores to opening clusters
Bird Positional Aggressive Sokolsky
English Aggressive Aggressive Queen-Indian
Queen Pawn Aggressive Positional Budapest
Holland Positional Defensive Pirc
Alekhine Defensive Positional Sicilian
Pirc Positional Aggressive French
Scilian Positional Positional Two Knight
French Aggressive Aggressive Queen Pawn
Philidor Aggressive Positional Gruenfeld
Petroff Aggressive Positional King-Indian
Ponziani Aggressive Positional Spanish
Two Knight Aggressive
Spanish Positional
Queen Gambit Aggressive
Queen-Indian Aggressive

My mean values are for white (2,24; 0,87; 0,78) and for black (1,91; 1,01; 1,28).

There are a lot of methods for fuzzy clustering in fuzzy data. Chess games or chess data never used in this kind of papers. We try to show that these type of irregular data can be used in clustering algorithms. Uses of these kind of data showed that, we can use much linguistic expressions in clustering methods.

[1] Dr. Robert C.Ferguson. Teacher’s Guide: Research and Benefits of Chess. (2006). (www.quadcitychess.com)
[2] Dean J. Ippolito. The benefits of chess in education. (2006). Benefits of chess for children. (www.deanofchess.com/benefits.htm)
[3] Rencher A.C.,(2002). Methods of Multivariate Analysis, John Wiley&Sons Inc.,UK.
[4] Bezdek, J.C., (1981). Pattern Recognition with Fuzzy Objective Function Algorithms. Plenum Press, New York.
[5] Dave, R.N., (1992). Generalized Fuzzy C-Shells Clustering and Detection of Circular and Elliptical Boundaries. Pattern Recognition 25 (7), 713-721.
[6] Zadeh, L.A., (1965). Fuzzy Sets, Inf. Control 8, 338-353.
[7] Gath, I., Geva A.B., (1989). Unsupervised Optimal Fuzzy Clustering. IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Machine Intell. 11, 773-781.
[8] Höppner, F., Klawonn, F., Kruse R., Runkler, T., (1999). Fuzzy Cluster Analysis: Methods for Classification Data Analysis and Image Recognition. Wiley, New York.
[9] Dunn J.C., (1974). A Fuzzy Relative of the ISODATA Process its Use in Detecting Compact Well-Separated Clusters, J. Cybernet. 3, 32-57.
[10] Naes T., Mevik T.H., (1999). The Flexibility of Fuzzy Clustering Illustred By Examples, Journal Of Chemo Metrics.
[11] Bezdek, J.C., (1981). Pattern Recognition with Fuzzy Objective Function Algorithms. Plenum Press, New York.
[12] Sato and Sato (1995). Fuzzy clustering model for fuzzy data. Proceedings of IEEE.2123-2128.
[13] Oliveira J.V., Pedrycz W., (2007). Advances In Fuzzy Clustering And Its Applications, John Wiley &Sons Inc. Pub.,West Sussex, England.
[14] Fukuyama Y., Sugeno M., (1989). A New Method Of Choosing The Number Of Clusters For The Fuzzy C-Means Method, Proceedings Of 5th Fuzzy Systems Symposium, pp 247-250.
[15] Yang M.S.and Ko C.H.(1996) on a class of fuzzy c-numbers clustering procedures for fuzzy data. Fuzzy sets and systems,84,49-60.
[16] Yang M.S. and Liu H.H.(1999). Fuzzy clustering procedures for conical fuzzy vector data. Fuzzy sets and systems, 106, 189-200.
[17] Hwang P.Y. and Chen D.H.(2004) Fuzzy clustering algorithms for mixed data feature variables, fuzzy sets and systems,141,301-317.
[18] Hung W.L. And Yang M.S.(2005). Fuzzy clustering on LR type fuzzy numbers with an application in Taiwanese tea evalution. Fuzzy sets and systmes, 150,561-577.
[19] Wu K.L. and Yang M.S. (2002) alternative c-means clustering algorithms. Pattern recognition, 35, 2267-2278.
[20] Oliveira J.V. and Pedrycz W., Advances in fuzzy clustering and its applications (2007). John Wiley & Sons Ltd.,West Sussex,England.
[21] Sahovski Informator 76, VI-IX (1999).


Amazing Resourcefulness

One Bulgarian GM won a silver medal on his board at the ECC in Plovdiv. He managed to win a couple of difficult games against players rated over 2650 as black. Although his result was in some way a piece of luck, it should not be underestimated. After all, luck should be searched, chased and only then deserved. Have a look at this remarkable game to see what I mean:
Naiditsch,Arkadji (2674) - Nikolov,Momchil (2549) [B42]
EU Plovdiv 2010 (4), 20.10.2010
[Momchil Nikolov]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0–0 Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Nf3 0–0 11.Rd1 Nc6 12.Bc2 Ng4 13.Ne1?!

13...f5?! [13...Nge5! 14.f4 Nd7 15.Nf3 Na5! 16.Bd3 Nb6! (16...b6=) 17.c5! dxc5 18.Be3 Nd7! 19.Rac1 c4 20.Bb1 b5 with good play] 14.h3 Nf6?! [14...Nge5 15.f4 Nf7 16.Nf3 Bd7=] 15.Nf3 Ne5 [15...fxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Ne5 is better for White] 16.Nxe5 dxe5 17.b3! Rf7 18.Ba3 Bf8 [18...Qa5 19.Na4 Bd7 20.b4 Qc7 21.Nc5±] 19.Bxf8 Rxf8 20.Qd2 Bd7 21.Qd6 Qxd6? [21...Rac8! 22.Rd3 a) 22.f4 exf4 23.e5 Nd5! This was the move that I missed while calculating the option: (21...Tac8!)- 24.Nxd5 (24.Qxc7 Rxc7 25.Nxd5 exd5 26.Rxd5 Re8) 24...exd5 25.Qxd5+ Rf7= 26.e6 Qb6+; b) 22.Rd2 b5!; 22...b5! 23.exf5 Qxd6 24.Rxd6 gxf5 25.Rxa6 bxc4 26.b4 Ra8=] 22.Rxd6 Kf7?! [22...Rad8? 23.Rad1 f4 (23...Kf7 24.f4!+-) 24.Na4+-; 22...Rae8!? 23.f4 Bc8! 24.fxe5 Nd7 25.Na4 Nxe5 26.Nb6±] 23.f4! Bc6 The only move 24.fxe5 Nd7 25.Re1 f4 26.Nd5! [26.Ne2 g5 27.Nd4 Nxe5 28.Nxe6 (28.Rxe6 Rae8±) 28...Rg8±] 26...f3!? [The alternatives do not leave Black any chances: 26...g5 27.Nc7 Nxe5 28.Rxe6 (28.Nxa8 Rxa8±) 28...Rae8 29.Rh6+-; 26...Nxe5 27.Nxf4 Bd7 28.c5! Rad8 (28...Ke7 29.Nd5+!+-) 29.Nd3+-] 27.Nc7 [27.gxf3?! Nxe5 28.Kg2 Rfd8 29.Rxd8 Rxd8 30.Kg3 g5 is just marginally better for the first player; 27.Rd1!+-] 27...Nxe5 28.Rxe6?! [28.Red1!+-; 28.Nxa8? f2+! 29.Kxf2 Ke7+ 30.Ke3 Kxd6 31.Rd1+ Kc5 32.Nc7 Rf6 33.Rd8 Bd7 is only slightly better for White] 28...Rad8!!

The best practical chance! In return for the sacrificed piece I limit all the white pieces, deprive the white king of pawn cover, get control over the second rank, and will have a strong passed pawn on f3. [28...Rae8!? 29.Rxe8 Bxe8 30.Rd1 fxg2 31.Kxg2 Ke7±; 28...Nd7? 29.Rf1! (29.Rxc6! Rac8 30.Rd1!+-; 29.Rd1!+-) ] 29.Rxe5 Rd2 30.Rc1 [Deserved attention: 30.gxf3!? Rxc2 31.Rd1 Rxa2 32.Ne6 Re8 33.Rd6± However, for a human being it is too difficult to leave the control over the second rank for a mere pawn.] 30...Rxg2+ 31.Kh1 Only move as: [31.Kf1? Bd7!–+] 31...Kf6!

There is noone else left on the board, and His Majesty rushes in for the g3 square, to attack. This is an idea without which 28...Tad8!! would not be possible.32.Re6+! [32.Ra5?! Rd2!! (During the game I was counting on the move: 32...b6! but after the subtle: 33.Rf1! Black can hardly save himself. The other continuations are not dangerous, for example: a) 33.Nd5+ Kg5 34.Nxb6+ (34.Rxa6 Kh4=) 34...Kh4 35.Bd3 Rd2 36.Bf1 Rf4 (36...Bxe4 37.Re5 Bf5 with an attack) 37.b4 Rxe4 38.Nd5 Kg3 39.Ra3 Bxd5 40.cxd5 Rxb4 41.Kg1 Rbb2 42.Rcc3 Rf2 43.Rc1 Rbd2 and only Black can play for a win; b) 33.Ra3 Rd2! 34.Bb1 Ke5! 35.Nd5 Bd7 with a clear edge; c) 33.Rxa6 Kg5! 34.Ne6+ Kh4 35.Nxf8 (35.Ra7 Kg3 36.Rg1 Kf2=) 35...Kg3 36.Rg1 Kf2=; 33...Rxc2 34.Rxf3+ Kg7 35.Ne6+ (35.Rxf8 Kxf8 36.Rxa6 Bxe4+ 37.Kg1) 35...Kh6 36.Rxf8 bxa5 37.Nc5 Re2 38.Kg1 a4 39.Rf2 Re1+ 40.Rf1 Re2 41.Rf6 Bxe4! 42.Nxe4! (42.Re6 Rxa2! 43.Rxe4 a3=) 42...Rxe4 43.Rxa6 axb3 44.axb3 Kg5!± And with correct play Black can escape, for instance: 45.c5 Re3 46.b4 Rb3 47.Rb6 Kf4 48.Rb7 Kf3 +/=) 33.Bb1 b6! (33...Rf7!?) 34.Nd5+ a) 34.Rxa6 Ke5! with devastating attack, here is a sample line: (34...Bd7!?) 35.Nd5 Bd7 36.Nxb6 Bxh3 37.Ra5+ Kf4 38.Rd5 Rxd5 39.cxd5 Kg3 40.Rc3 Bg2+ 41.Kg1 Rf4–+; b) 34.Ra3 Ke5-/+; 34...Kg5 35.Rxa6 (35.Nxb6+ Kh4-/+) 35...Bd7!? (35...f2 36.Rf1 Bd7 37.Kh2 Kh4 38.Ra7 Rf3=) 36.Ra7 Bxh3 and the attack is too strong.; 32.Rc5? Ke7 33.Nd5+ Kd6 34.Ra5 Rxc2 35.Rxc2 f2 36.Rc1 f1Q+ 37.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 38.Kg2 Re1=] 32...Kg5 33.Rg1! [The other moves lead to a draw: 33.Rxc6? bxc6 34.Ne6+ Kh4 35.Nxf8 Kg3 36.Rg1 Kf2=; 33.Re7? Kh4 34.Rg1 Kg3 35.Rxh7 Kf2=; 33.Bd3?! Kf4 34.Bf1 Rxa2 with unclear play] 33...Rxg1+!? [After: 33...Rf7 34.Rxg2+ fxg2+ 35.Kxg2 Rxc7 36.Kg3 Rd7 37.h4+ Kh6 38.Rf6± Black's position remains difficult. The move in the text is the best chance for Black.] 34.Kxg1 f2+ 35.Kf1 Bd7! 36.e5? This move lets the win slip away. [Hardly better was: 36.Bd1? Rf7! 37.Bg4 h5 38.Re5+ Kf4 39.Be6! Re7!=; The win is simple, and surprising: 36.Re5+!

36...Kh4 37.Ne6 Re8 38.Kxf2 Rxe6 39.Rxe6 Bxe6 40.e5! Bxh3 41.Be4 b6 42.b4 h5 43.c5 bxc5 44.bxc5 Bc8 45.c6 Kg4 46.Ke3+-] 36...Kh4! 37.Be4 [37.Rf6? Rxf6 38.exf6 Kg3–+] 37...Kg3 38.Bxb7?? But this move loses. [The only move was: 38.Bg2 Rf4 39.Rd6 Bf5! 40.Ne6 again the only move as (40.e6? Rf3!–+) 40...Rf3! 41.Nc5! Re3 42.Rd1! Bc2 43.e6 b6 44.Ne4+ Bxe4 45.Bxe4 Rxe4 46.Rd3+ Kh4= with a draw.] 38...Rf4–+

39.Bd5 [39.Bg2 Rd4 40.Rd6 Rxd6 41.exd6 Bf5–+] 39...Rd4 [39...Rf5!–+] 40.Rf6 [40.Ke2 Rf4 (40...Bxe6 41.Nxe6 Rxd5 42.cxd5 Kg2 43.Nf4+ Kg1–+) 41.Kf1 Rf5–+] 40...Rd1+ 41.Ke2 Re1+ 42.Kd2 Bf5 0–1


Free Chess Analyses from an International Master Released!

Bulgarian International Master Kalin Karakehajov had recently published a big part his analyses online. The analyses are very deep and beautiful. I am publishing probably the sharpest and most intriguing of them:
Two knights 4.Ng5 - For white [C57]
[Kalin Karakehayov]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5

[5...Nxd5?! 6.d4! Bb4+! a) 6...Nxd4 7.c3! f6 (7...h6 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.cxd4; 7...b5 8.Bxd5 Qxd5 9.f3) 8.Ne4! Bf5 (8...Bg4 9.f3 Ne3 10.Bxe3 Nxf3+ 11.Kf2 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Ng5 13.Nxg5 Bxd1 14.Nf7; 8...b5 9.Bxd5 Qxd5 10.f3 f5 11.Ng3; 8...Nb6 9.cxd4 Nxc4 10.Qa4+) 9.f3 Bxe4! (9...b5 10.Bxd5 Qxd5 11.cxd4; 9...Nb6 10.cxd4 Nxc4 11.Qa4+) 10.fxe4 Nb6 11.cxd4 Bb4+! 12.Ke2!! (12.Nc3 Qxd4 13.Be2 Qxe4 14.0–0 Qd4+ 15.Qxd4 exd4 16.Nb5 0–0–0 17.Bf4 Nd5І) 12...Nxc4 13.Qa4+ c6 (13...Qd7 14.Qxb4 Qg4+ 15.Kf2 Qh4+ (15...Nd6 16.Nc3) 16.Kf3 Qh5+ (16...Nd6 17.Nc3) 17.Kg3 Nd6 (17...Qg6+ 18.Kf2) 18.Nc3) 14.Qxb4 Qxd4 15.Nc3 b5! (15...Nd6 16.Qxd4 exd4 17.Rd1! c5 18.Bf4!) 16.Rd1 a5 17.Qb3 a4 (17...Qc5 18.a4 b4 19.Nb1 Rd8 (19...Ke7 20.Na3! Nxa3 21.Rxa3!) 20.Rxd8+ Kxd8 21.Nd2 Nd6 22.Qd3) 18.Qc2 Qc5 (18...Qb6 19.b3 axb3 20.Qxb3 0–0 (20...Qb7 21.a4 Qf7 22.Qb4!; 20...Qa6 21.Qb4!) 21.a4+-) 19.Rb1! 0–0 (19...Qb4 20.b3 axb3 21.Qxb3; 19...Ra5 20.b4 axb3 21.Qd3!; 19...b4 20.Nxa4 Qb5 21.Qd3!) 20.Nxa4! Rxa4 (20...bxa4 21.b3 axb3 22.axb3 Rfb8 23.Bd2+-) 21.b3 Ra6 22.bxc4 Rfa8 (22...Ra4 23.Be3 Qxc4+ (23...Rxc4 24.Qb3 Qe7 25.Rbc1) 24.Qxc4+ Rxc4 25.Rbc1) 23.a3 Ra4 24.Rb4! Rxb4 25.axb4 Qxb4 26.cxb5 cxb5 27.Be3+-; b) 6...Qd6 7.0–0 Be6 (7...Nxd4 8.c3) 8.Nxe6 fxe6 (8...Qxe6 9.dxe5) 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bxd5 exd5 11.Bf4 0–0–0 12.Re1 Re8 13.Nc3±; c) 6...exd4 7.0–0! Be6 c1) 7...f6? 8.Re1+ Be7 (8...Ne5 9.Nf3 Be7 10.Nxe5 fxe5 11.Qh5+ Kf8 12.Rxe5 c6 13.Bxd5 cxd5 14.Qf3+ Bf6 15.Bg5) 9.Nc3!! dxc3 c11) 9...fxg5 10.Nxd5+-; c12) 9...Nxc3 10.Qh5+ g6 (10...Kd7? 11.Be6+ Kd6 12.Nf7#) 11.Bf7+ Kd7 12.Qh3+ Kd6 (12...f5 13.Ne6) 13.Ne6 Ne2+ (13...Ne5 14.bxc3; 13...Bxe6 14.Qxe6+ Kc5 15.bxc3) 14.Rxe2 Bxe6 (14...Ne5 15.Qa3+) 15.Rxe6+ Kc5 16.Qa3++-; c13) 9...Ncb4 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Qh5+ g6 12.Qh6 fxg5 13.Qg7+-; 10.Bxd5 fxg5 11.Bxg5 cxb2 (11...Kf8 12.Qf3+ Bf6 13.Rad1! Nd4 (13...Bd7 14.Bc4!+-) 14.Rxd4 c6 15.Rf4) 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 (12...Kf7 13.Bd5+) 13.Qxd8+ Kxd8 14.Bxe7+ Ke8 15.Ba3+ Kf7 16.Re7+! Kf6 17.Rb1+-; c2) 7...h6 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Qf6 10.Bxd5+±; c3) 7...Be7 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke8 (9...Ke6 10.Qe4+) 10.Bxd5±; 8.Re1 Qd6 (8...Qd7 9.Nxf7 Kxf7 10.Qf3+ Kg8 11.Rxe6 Ncb4 (11...Rd8 12.Qe4!! h6 13.Bf4 Na5 14.Bxd5 Qxd5 15.Bxc7 Rd7 16.Bxa5 Qxa5 17.Re8+-) 12.Re4±) 9.Nxf7! Kxf7 10.Qf3+ Ke7™ 11.Bxd5 Ne5 12.Bg5+ Kd7 (12...Ke8 13.Qe4 Bxd5 14.Qxe5+±) 13.Bxe6+ Qxe6 14.Qe4 Re8 15.Qxd4+ Bd6 16.Nd2±; d) 6...Be7 7.Nxf7! Kxf7 8.Qf3+ Ke6 9.Nc3 Ncb4 (9...Nxd4 10.Bxd5+ Kd6 11.Qd3 c6 12.Be4±) 10.Qe4! c6 11.a3 Na6 (11...b5 12.Bb3 Qa5 13.Bd2+-; 11...Qa5 12.Bd2 Kd7 13.dxe5) 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Qxe5+ Kf7 (13...Kd7?? 14.Bb5#) 14.Bxd5+ Kf8 15.Bf4! Bf6 16.Qe4±; 7.c3 Be7 8.Nxf7! Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Qe4!

10...Bf8! a) 10...Rf8 11.f4 h5 a1) 11...Qd7 12.fxe5 Rf5 13.Be2 g6 (13...h5? 14.Bxh5) 14.Bg4 Kf7 15.Bxf5 gxf5 16.Qf3±; a2) 11...b5 12.Bxb5 Bb7 13.fxe5+-; a3) 11...g6 12.0–0 Qd7 13.fxe5 Rf5 14.Qg4+-; 12.fxe5 Rf5 13.Bd3 Kf7 14.Qe2 g6 15.Bxf5 Bxf5 16.0–0±; b) 10...g5 11.Nd2! Rf8 (11...Bf6 12.Nf3 Rg8 13.dxe5 Nxe5 (13...Bxe5 14.Bxg5 Rxg5 15.Bxd5++-) 14.Nd4++-) 12.Nf3 Rxf3 (12...Rf5 13.g4 Rxf3 14.Qxf3 Na5 15.Qf5+ Kd6 16.Qxe5+ Kc6 17.Bd3 Bxg4 b1) 17...Bf6 18.Qe4 Qe7 (18...b5 19.b4!+-) 19.Qxe7 Bxe7 20.b4±; b2) 17...b5 18.Qe2 a6 19.Bxh7±; 18.c4 Nxc4 19.Bxc4 Bf3 20.Rg1±) 13.gxf3! b5 (13...Qd6 14.h4! Nxd4 15.hxg5+-) 14.Bxb5 Bb7 15.Bxc6 Bxc6 16.c4 Nb4 17.d5+ Nxd5 18.cxd5+ Qxd5 19.Qg4+ Kf7 20.Bxg5 Qxf3 21.Rg1 Rg8 22.Qxf3+ Bxf3 23.Rg3±; c) 10...Qd6? 11.f4 Na5 12.dxe5; d) 10...b5 11.Bxb5 Bb7 12.f4 a6 (12...Kf7 13.fxe5 a6 14.0–0+ Ke8 15.Ba4+-) 13.Bxc6 Bxc6 14.fxe5 Rf8 (14...Kf7 15.c4 Nb4 16.d5±) 15.Qg4+ Kf7 16.0–0+ Ke8 (16...Kg8? 17.Qe6+) 17.Rxf8+ Kxf8 18.Qf5+ Ke8 19.Qxh7±; 11.f4 Nce7 12.fxe5 c6 13.0–0 Kd7! (13...h5 14.Bb3 b5 15.Bg5 Kd7 16.Nd2±) 14.Be2! Ke8! (14...Kc7 15.c4 Nb4 (15...Nb6? 16.e6+-) 16.e6 b6 17.a3 Na6 18.Bf4+ Kb7 19.Rd1 Qe8 20.d5 Nc5 21.Qe5 Ng6 22.Qc7+ Ka6 23.Bd2!+-) 15.c4 Nb6!N a) 15...Nb4 16.a3 Na6 17.Nc3 Be6 18.Bg5±; b) 15...Nc7 16.Be3! g6 (16...Be6 17.Nc3 Qd7 18.Rad1±) 17.Nc3 Bf5 18.Qh4; 16.Be3 Be6 17.b3© In case of g6, Be3-g5-f6 with a difficult position for black...; 5...Nb4?! 6.d6! Nbd5 a) 6...Qxd6?! 7.Bxf7+ Ke7 8.Bb3±; b) 6...Nfd5?! 7.d4! Qxd6 b1) 7...Bf5? 8.Bxd5 Nxc2+ (8...Nxd5 9.Qf3 Be6 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.Qh5++-) 9.Kf1 Qxd6 (9...Nxa1 10.Nxf7 Qd7 11.Nc3+-) 10.Nc3 Nxa1 11.Nxf7 Qa6+ 12.Kg1+-; b2) 7...h6 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.a3±; b3) 7...Bxd6? 8.a3+-; 8.c3 Nc6 b1) 8...h6 9.Nf3 e4 10.Ne5 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 (11...Qxc6? 12.Qb3+-) 12.0–0±; b2) 8...f6 9.Ne4 Qc6 10.Na3 Nxc3 (10...Bd7 11.cxb4 Bxb4+ 12.Nd2 Nf4 (12...Bxa3 13.Qb3! Nf4 14.d5±) 13.d5) 11.Nxc3 Qxg2 12.Rf1±; 9.0–0! Be6™ 10.dxe5 Nxe5 (10...Qd7 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Qe2±) 11.Nxe6 fxe6 (11...Nxc4 12.Qxd5! Qxe6 13.Qxb7+-) 12.Bxd5 exd5 13.Bf4 0–0–0 14.Qh5 g5™ 15.Bxg5! Be7 16.Bf4! Bf6 17.Nd2 Rde8 18.Rfe1! Bg7! 19.Rad1 Qg6 20.Qxg6 Nxg6 21.Be3±; 7.dxc7 Qxc7 8.d3 Bc5 a) 8...h6?! 9.Ne4 Bg4 (9...Nxe4 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Qxd7 12.dxe4±) 10.f3 Bd7 11.0–0±; b) 8...Bg4 9.f3 Bd7 10.Ne4 Be7 (10...b5 11.Bb3 Be7 12.Nxf6+ Nxf6 13.Nc3±) 11.Nxf6+ Nxf6 12.Nc3 0–0 13.Qe2 Bc5 14.Be3±; c) 8...Bd6!? 9.Ne4 Nxe4 (9...0–0 10.Nxd6 Qxd6 11.0–0±) 10.Bb5+ Ke7! (10...Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Qxd7 12.dxe4 Nf6 13.Nc3 Bb4 14.Qxd7+ Kxd7 15.Bd2±) 11.dxe4 Qa5+ 12.Qd2 Qxb5 (12...Qxd2+ 13.Bxd2!± Nf4 (13...Nb4 14.Bxb4 Bxb4+ 15.c3 Bc5 16.Bc4±) 14.Bf1!±) 13.exd5І; 9.Ne4 Nxe4 (9...0–0 10.Nbc3±; 9...Bg4 10.Nxf6+ Nxf6 11.f3 Bd7 12.Nc3±) 10.dxe4 Nf6! a) 10...Nf4 11.Bxf4 exf4 12.Bb5+±; b) 10...Nb6 11.Bb5+ Bd7 (11...Ke7 12.0–0±) 12.Bxd7+±; c) 10...Bb4+ 11.c3 Qxc4 12.Qxd5 Qxd5 13.exd5 Bd6 14.Be3±; d) 10...Nb4 11.a3; 11.Bb5+ Ke7! (11...Bd7 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Qxd7+ Kxd7 14.f3±) 12.0–0! Nxe4 a) 12...Rd8 13.Qf3±; b) 12...a6 13.Bd3 Bg4 14.Qe1±; c) 12...Bg4 13.Qd3 a6 (13...Be6 14.Qf3 Rhd8 15.Bg5±) 14.Bc4 Rhd8 15.Bd5±; 13.Qf3! Nd6! a) 13...Nf6 14.Bg5±; b) 13...f5!? 14.Bd3 Qc6! b1) 14...Nd6 15.Qg3 Kf6 16.Nc3 Be6 17.Re1 Bd4 18.Ne2 Bc5 (18...Bb6 19.Nf4!+-) 19.b4 Bb6 20.Nf4!+-; b2) 14...Rf8 15.Bxe4 fxe4 16.Bg5+ Ke8 17.Qxe4 Bf5 18.Qe2±; b3) 14...Nxf2 15.Rxf2 e4 (15...Qb6 16.Nc3 Bxf2+ 17.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 18.Kxf2 h6 19.Be3 Be6 20.g4! g6 21.Re1! b6 22.Bf4! e4™ 23.Ba6±) 16.Bg5+ Ke8 17.Bb5+ Bd7 b31) 17...Kf8 18.Qe2 Qb6 (18...a6 19.Ba4 Qb6 20.Bb3 Bd7 21.Nc3 Bxf2+ 22.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2±) 19.Nc3 Bxf2+ (19...a6 20.Nxe4!+-) 20.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 21.Kxf2±; b32) 17...Kf7 18.Qh5+ g6 19.Qe2±; 18.Qxf5 Bxf2+

19.Kf1!! Bxb5+ 20.Qxb5+±; 15.Be3 Bd6 16.Bxe4 Qxe4 17.Qxe4 fxe4 18.Nc3 Bf5 19.Rad1І; 14.Nc3 Be6 15.Bd3І; 5...Nd4 6.c3 b5 (6...Nf5 7.0–0 h6 (7...Nxd5 8.Re1І; 7...Bd6 8.d4І) 8.Nf3 e4 9.Ne5 Bd6 10.d4 0–0 (10...exd3 11.Nxd3 0–0 12.Bf4І) 11.f3І) 7.Bf1 is covered below] 6.Bf1! Nd4 [6...h6 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.dxc6 Bc5 a) 8...Qd6 9.Bxb5 Qd5 10.Bf1 Bc5 11.Nc3 Qxc6 12.Bc4+±; b) 8...Qd5 9.Qf3 Qc5 (9...e4 10.Qb3; 9...Qxf3 10.gxf3 a6 11.Nc3±) 10.Nc3 Bg4 (10...b4 11.Ne4 Qd4 (11...Qxc2 12.Bd3; 11...Qd5 12.Bd3) 12.Nxf6 gxf6 13.Be2+-) 11.Qe3 a6 (11...Qxc6 12.f3 Bc5 13.Bxb5 Qd6 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Be6 16.Bc4+-) 12.Qxc5 Bxc5 13.Be2±; 9.Be2 Ne4 a) 9...e4 10.0–0±; b) 9...Qd5 10.0–0 Qxc6 11.d3 Rd8 (11...Bb7 12.Bf3 e4 13.dxe4 Rad8 14.Qe2±) 12.Nc3±; 10.0–0 Bxf2+ a) 10...Qf6 11.Qe1; b) 10...Rf8 11.Nc3 Nxf2 (11...Nxc3 12.dxc3; 11...Bxf2+ 12.Kh1+-) 12.Ne4 Kg8 13.Nxf2 Qf6 14.d4 Bxd4 15.Kh1 Bxf2 16.Be3 Rd8 (16...Qh4 17.Qd5+ Kh8 (17...Kh7 18.Bd3+) 18.Qc5) 17.Qb1 Bxe3 18.Rxf6 gxf6 19.Qe1+-; c) 10...Nxf2 11.d4 Bxd4 12.Rxf2+ Bxf2+ 13.Kxf2+-; d) 10...Qh4 11.Qe1; 11.Rxf2+ Nxf2 12.Qf1! Rf8 13.Qxf2+ Kg8 14.Qe3 Qh4 15.Bf3 Bg4 (15...Qf6 16.Qe2+-) 16.Bd5+ Kh8 17.d3 Be2 (17...Rad8 18.Be4+-) 18.Qxe2 Qd4+ 19.Kh1 Qxd5 (19...Rf2 20.Qe1 Raf8 21.Bf3+-) 20.Nc3 Qxc6 21.Be3+-; 6...Nxd5?! 7.Bxb5 Bb7 8.d4!±; 6...Bg4?! 7.f3 Nxd5 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.fxg4 Nf4 10.Nc3±; 6...Qxd5?! 7.Nc3±] 7.c3 Nxd5 [7...Nf5?! 8.Bxb5+ Bd7 9.Qe2] 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Kd8 [9...Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Kxd7 11.0–0 Nf4 (11...Bd6 12.d3; 11...exd4 12.d3 Qf6 13.Qg4+ Kc6 14.Nd2±) 12.g3 Qg6!? a) 12...Nd3 13.Qf3; b) 12...Nh3+ 13.Kg2 Nf4+ 14.Kh1 Nd3? 15.Qf3+-; c) 12...exd4 13.d3 Bd6 (13...Nh3+ 14.Kg2 Qf5 15.Qa4+ Kc8 (15...Ke7 16.Qc6) 16.Qe8+ Kb7 17.Qe4+ Qxe4+ 18.dxe4+-) 14.Bxf4 Bxf4 15.Qa4+±; 13.d3!? Nxd3 14.dxe5 Bc5 15.Nc3 Kc8 (15...Rhd8 16.Bg5!) 16.Qe2 Re8 17.Be3 Bxe3 (17...Rxe5? 18.Rad1 Bxe3 19.fxe3 Nc5 20.Qc4+-) 18.fxe3!± The knight can't hold d3 and white is much better] 10.0–0 Bb7 [10...Nf4 11.Bc6! Rb8 a) 11...e4 12.Bxe4 Bg4 13.Bf3 h5 (13...Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Rb8 15.d3 Bd6 16.Nc3±) 14.d3 Bd6 15.Nc3±; b) 11...Bg4 12.Bf3 Bxf3 b1) 12...f5? 13.dxe5 Nxg2 14.d4 Nf4 15.Bxg4 fxg4 16.Qb3 Rc8 17.Qe3 Nh3+ 18.Qxh3 Qxc1 19.Rxc1 gxh3 20.Nc3+-; b2) 12...h5 13.dxe5 Qxe5 14.d4 Qf5 15.Nd2 Bd6 16.Re1 (16.h3? Nxh3+ 17.gxh3 Qf4ч) 16...Nd3 17.Re2 Nf4 18.Re4±; 13.Qxf3 Rb8 14.dxe5 Qxe5 15.Nc3 Bd6 16.g3 Ne6 17.d3±; 12.dxe5 Nd3!? (12...Bg4 13.Bf3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Qxe5 15.Nc3 Bd6 16.g3!±; 12...Bd7 13.Be4 Qxe5 14.Nc3 Bd6 15.g3!±; 12...Rb6 13.Be4 Qxe5 14.Nc3 Bd6 15.g3) 13.Be4! Ba6

(13...Nxc1 14.d4 Rxb2 15.Qxc1 Qxc1 16.Rxc1±; 13...Bh3? 14.Qc2 Nf4 15.d4; 13...Bg4 14.Qc2 Nxc1 15.Rxc1 Qxe5 16.d4) 14.Re1!! Nxe1 a) 14...Qf4 15.Bxd3 Bxd3 16.Re3 Qf5 17.Nc3 Bc5 18.Rf3 Qg6 (18...Qd7 19.Qa4+-) 19.Rg3 Qf5 20.Qf3+-; b) 14...Bc5? 15.Bxd3 Bxd3 16.Qf3+-; 15.d4 Qh4 16.Qxe1± Rb4?! 17.Nc3 Rxd4? 18.Be3+-; 10...exd4!? 11.Bc6 Rb8 12.d3 Nf4 (12...Qf5!? 13.Re1 Bd6 14.Nd2 Rb6 15.Bxd5 Qxd5 16.Nc4І) 13.Na3! Bxa3 a) 13...Rb6 14.Qf3 Qf6 (14...Nh3+ 15.Qxh3 Qc5 16.Qh4+ Be7 17.Qe4 Rxc6 18.b4 f5 19.Qf3 Qb6 20.Nc4 Rxc4 21.dxc4±; 14...Qg6 15.Qxf4 Rxc6 16.Nc4; 14...Bd6 15.Nc4!) 15.Bxf4 Qxc6 (15...Rxc6 16.Qd5++-) 16.Qg3±; b) 13...Nh3+ 14.Kh1 Qf6 15.Qf3 Rb6 16.Qd5+ Qd6 17.Ba8; c) 13...Bg4 14.Qc2 Bd6 15.Re1; 14.bxa3 Bg4 15.Qc2‚; 10...Rb8 11.Bc6 exd4 (11...Nb4 12.d3 Qg4 13.Bf3 Qxd4 14.Nc3±; 11...Nf4 12.dxe5 is already covered) 12.d3 is already covered; 10...Bg4 11.Be2 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 exd4 13.d3 Qf5 14.Nd2±] 11.Qf3 Rb8 [11...exd4!? 12.d3 Qe5 a) 12...Qf6 13.Qg4! Bc8 14.Qh5 Qf5 (14...Qe6 15.Qh4+ Be7 16.Qxd4 Bf6 17.Qc5; 14...Nf4 15.Bxf4 Qxf4 16.Qd5+ Bd6 17.g3 Qf5 18.Qxa8 Qxb5 19.Na3±; 14...Ne7 15.Bc4!) 15.Qh4+ Be7 16.Qxd4 Bf6 17.Qe4 Rb8 18.Na3; b) 12...Nf4 13.Bxf4 Qxb5 14.Qg3 Qd7 b1) 14...Qb6 15.Nd2; b2) 14...c5 15.Na3 Qc6 16.Rfe1! Qg6 (16...h5 17.Bd2 Qc7 18.Qg5+ f6 19.Qg6) 17.Bg5+ f6 (17...Kd7 18.Nb5 Rc8 19.Nxa7 Ra8 20.Nb5 Rc8 21.a4±) 18.Nb5 Rc8 19.Nd6 Rc7 (19...fxg5 20.Nxb7+ Kd7 21.b4+-) 20.Nxb7+ Rxb7 21.Qf3 Qf7 22.Bd2+-; b3) 14...Rc8 15.Nd2 f6 16.Rac1 Qd7 17.Ne4±; 15.Nd2 f6 16.Rac1 Rc8 17.Ne4±; c) 12...Qg6 13.Bc4 Qc6 (13...c6 14.Nd2) 14.Nd2; 13.Nd2 Bd6 (13...a6 14.Nc4 Qf6 (14...Qe6 15.Ba4 Rb8 (15...Be7 16.Na5±) 16.Bg5+ f6 17.Rfe1 Ne3 18.Qg3 fxg5 (18...Bb4 19.Bf4) 19.fxe3±) 15.Qg4! Qe6 (15...Bc8 16.Qh5 Qe6™ 17.Ne5 g6 (17...Nf6 18.Nxf7+ Ke7 19.Qf3) 18.Qh4+ Be7 19.Nc6+ Kd7 20.Nxe7+ axb5 21.Qxd4 Bb7 22.Bg5!±) 16.Bg5+ Be7 17.Bxe7+ Nxe7 (17...Qxe7? 18.Na5+-) 18.Qxd4+ Qd5 19.Qxd5+ Nxd5 20.Ba4 Nf4 21.Ne5±) 14.g3 Qf6 a) 14...Be7 15.Nb3! Rb8 16.Na5!; b) 14...a6 15.Nc4 Qf6 (15...Qe6 16.Na5 axb5 17.Nxb7+ Kd7 18.Nxd6±) 16.Qg4! Bc8 17.Qh5 Ne7 (17...Qe6 18.Bc6 Nf6 19.Bg5 Be7 20.Bxf6 Qxc6 21.Bxg7+-) 18.Bg5 Qg6 19.Bxe7+ Kxe7 (19...Bxe7? 20.Qd5+) 20.Qh4+ Qf6 21.Qe4+ Be6 22.Nxd6 axb5 (22...Kxd6 23.Qc6+ Ke7 24.Qc5+! Kd8 25.Rac1+-) 23.Nxb5+-; c) 14...Nb6 15.Qxb7 Qxb5 16.Qf3±; d) 14...Rb8 15.Nc4 Qf6 d1) 15...Nb4 16.Nxe5 Bxf3 17.Nxf7+ Ke7 18.Bc4±; d2) 15...Qe6 16.Na5! Be7 (16...Ba8 17.Bc6±) 17.Nxb7+ Rxb7 18.Bc4 c6 19.Bd2±; d3) 15...Nc3 16.Nxe5 Bxf3 17.Nxf7+ Ke7 18.bxc3 Kxf7 19.Bc4+ Kf6 20.cxd4±; 16.Qxf6+ Nxf6 17.Nxd6 cxd6 18.Bf4І Bd5 19.a4 Nd7 20.Bxd6 Rb6 21.Bf4 a6 22.Bxd7 Kxd7 23.Be5; 15.Qg4 Nb6! a) 15...Bc8 16.Qe4 Bb7 (16...Nb6 17.Nf3) 17.Nf3 h6 18.Nxd4 Bc5 19.Qf5 Qxf5 20.Nxf5±; b) 15...c6 16.Ne4 h5™ 17.Qd1 Qg6 b1) 17...Qe6 18.Bc4 Be7 19.Re1 Qf5 (19...h4 20.Nc5 Qc8 21.Nxb7+ Qxb7 22.g4 Qd7 23.Qf3±) 20.Qb3 Bc8 (20...Rb8 21.Qa4) 21.Qa4 Nb6?! 22.Qxc6 Bd7 23.Nd6+-; b2) 17...Qe7 18.Bc4; b3) 17...Qe5 18.Bc4 Be7 19.Re1±; 18.Bg5+ Be7 19.Bxe7+ Nxe7 20.Bc4±; c) 15...Qe6 16.Qxg7 Be5 17.Qg5+ f6 (17...Bf6 18.Qh6±) 18.Qh4! Nf4 19.Ne4 Ne2+ 20.Kg2 Nxc1 21.Raxc1 Rb8 22.Bc4 Qf5 (22...Qe7 23.Kg1) 23.b3±; 16.Ne4 h5! a) 16...Qe5 17.Bg5+ Be7 (17...f6 18.Bf4 Qxb5 19.Qxg7 Re8 20.Nxd6 cxd6 21.Qxf6++-) 18.Bxe7+ Kxe7 (18...Qxe7? 19.Qxg7) 19.Rfc1!! (19.Rac1 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 Qxe4 21.dxe4 a6 22.Rxc7+ Kd8 23.Rb7 axb5 24.Rxb6 Re8І) 19...Bxe4 (19...Kf8 20.Bc6±; 19...h5 20.Qh4+ f6 21.Bc6 Bxc6 22.Rxc6 g5 23.Qh3±) 20.Qxe4 Qxe4 21.dxe4±; b) 16...Qg6 17.Qxg6 hxg6 18.Bg5+ Be7 (18...Kc8 19.Nxd6+ cxd6 20.Rac1+ Kb8 21.Bf4+-; 18...f6 19.Nxf6±) 19.Bxe7+ Kxe7 20.Rac1 Rhc8 b1) 20...Bxe4 21.Rfe1!±; b2) 20...Rac8 21.Rfe1 Kd8 (21...Kf8? 22.Nd6+-) 22.Ng5 Bd5 23.Bc6 Rf8 24.a3 Bxc6 25.Rxc6 Kd7 26.Rec1+-; b3) 20...Kd8 21.Ng5 Rf8 22.Bc4±; 21.Rfe1 Kf8 22.Bc6 Bxc6 23.Rxc6±; 17.Qg5 Qxg5 18.Bxg5+ f6! (18...Be7 19.Bxe7+ Kxe7 20.Rac1 Kd8 (20...Rhc8 21.Rfe1 Kf8 22.b3±) 21.Ng5 Rf8 (21...Bd5 22.Bc6+-) 22.Bc4±) 19.Nxf6 c6 (19...Be7 20.Ne4) 20.Nd5+ Kd7 21.Nxb6+ axb6 22.Bc4І; 11...Bd6 12.d3; 11...a6 12.Bc4 e4 (12...exd4 13.Re1!) 13.Qxe4 Bd6 14.Nc3 Re8 15.Qf3 Qf4 (15...Qh4 16.g3) 16.Qh3 Qxd4 (16...Nf6 17.d3 Qxd4 18.Bxf7 Re7 19.Bc4 h6 20.Nd1! Qg4 21.Qxg4 Nxg4 22.Ne3±) 17.Bxd5 Bxd5 18.Nxd5 Qxd5 19.Qxh7 Kd7 20.Qh3+ f5 21.Qc3±; 11...e4 12.Qxe4 Bd6 13.Re1 c6 (13...Qe7 14.d3) 14.Bf1 Kd7 (14...f5 15.Qc2±; 14...Bc8 15.Qc2±) 15.Qf3±] 12.dxe5 Nb4 [12...Nf4 13.Qg3 Qxe5 (13...Qxg3 14.hxg3 Ne6 15.Nc3±) 14.d4 Nh3+ (14...Qxb5 15.Bxf4+-) 15.Qxh3 Qxb5 16.Nc3±; 12...Qxe5 13.d4±; 12...Ne3 13.Qh3 Qxg2+ 14.Qxg2 Nxg2 (14...Bxg2? 15.fxe3 Bxf1 16.Bxf1+-) 15.d4 Nh4 (15...Be7 16.f4 Nh4 17.Be2±; 15...f6 16.f4 Nh4 17.Be2± c5? 18.d5!) 16.Bg5+ Be7 17.Bxh4 Bxh4 18.Nc3±] 13.d4! Qg6 [13...Qxg2+ 14.Kxg2 Bxf3+ 15.Kxf3 Rxb5 16.Nc3+-; 13...Qxe5 14.dxe5 Bxf3 15.Nc3+-; 13...Bxf3? 14.Bxg5++-] 14.d5! Bxd5 15.Rd1 Rxb5 16.Nc3 Qc6 [16...Ke8 17.Nxd5 Qc6 18.e6; 16...Kc8!? 17.Nxd5 Qc6 18.Qf5+ Qe6 19.Qxe6+ fxe6 20.Nxb4 Bxb4 21.Be3±] 17.Qf5!! Be7 [17...Ke8 18.Qc8+ Ke7 19.Nxb5 Qxb5 20.Bg5+ f6 21.exf6+ Kf7 (21...gxf6 22.Qxc7++-) 22.fxg7+-; 17...Ra5 18.Bg5+ Be7 19.a3 h6 (19...f6 20.Rac1+-) 20.Rab1!

20...hxg5 (20...Na2 21.Nxd5 Rxd5 22.Qxf7+-) 21.axb4 Bxb4 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.Qe4+-; 17...h6 18.a3 Ra5 19.Be3 g6 (19...Qd7 20.Qb1! c6 21.axb4 Rxa1 22.Qxa1 Bxb4 23.Nxd5 cxd5 24.Qa2 Ke7 25.Rxd5+-; 19...Qe6 20.Qb1!+-; 19...Be7 20.axb4 Rxa1 21.Rxa1 Be6 22.Qd3++-) 20.Qf4 g5 21.Qxf7 Kc8 22.Qf5+ Qe6 (22...Be6 23.Qf6+-) 23.Qxe6+ Bxe6 24.axb4 Bxb4 25.Bxa7 Rxa1 26.Rxa1 Rd8 27.Be3+-; 17...g6 18.Bg5+ Be7 19.Bxe7+ Kxe7 20.Qf6+ Qxf6 21.exf6+ Kxf6 22.Nxb5+-] 18.Nxb5 Qxb5 19.a3 g6! [19...Na6 20.Qxf7 c6 21.Qxg7 Re8 (21...Rf8 22.Bg5) 22.b4!+-] 20.Qf4 Na6 [20...Nc2? 21.Qe4+-] 21.Qd4 c6 22.Qxa7±

More of this excellent stuff you can find on chessbase format here: http://online-chess.eu/


A Moment of Overload

The ability to spot the moment for a combination is a great gift that should be trained constantly. After all no one will approach us during a game to announce that we have to look for a combination at this precise moment. Contrary to practicing from a book, we need to feel that something is wrong the opponent’s camp, and just after that to try and calculate our killer move till the end. Here is a recent sample of how White felt a moment of overload:
Lajthajm,B (2493) - Kojovic,D (2381)
3rd Open Paracin SRB (5), 13.07.2010

One should have great tactical view to discover the flaws in Black's set up. Those are: the fact that almost all his pieces are protected from the light squares, which may mean that black queen and some other piece can be overloaded and the active white knights ready to deliver deadly double attacks. Lajthajm found a marvelous decision: 27.Rxg6!! Nd4 Black declined the offer, but this is hopeless. The main line of the combination runs after: [27...Kxg6

28.Rxc6+! Much better than the immediate: (28.Qg4+ Kh7 29.Rxc6 Nf6 30.Nxf6+ Rxf6 31.Qe4+ Qf5 where White is still better, but Black can hold.) 28...Qxc6 If Black ignores the rook: (28...Kh7 he can insist: 29.Rxc7!) 29.Qg4+ Kh7 Unfortunately for Black he cannot save the knight with: (29...Kf7 30.Qxf5+ Nf6 31.Nxe5+) 30.Qxf5+ Qg6

(30...Kh8 31.Qxh5 is prosaic win for the first player.) 31.Neg5+ hxg5 32.Nxg5+ Kh6 33.Nf7+ Kh7 34.Qxg6+ Kxg6 35.Nxd8+-

; 27...Rxf3 the desperado try cannot save the materal neither- 28.Qxf3 Kxg6 29.Rg1+] 28.Nxd4 exd4 29.Rcc6 Qf7 30.Qg2 Nf4 31.Bxf4 Rxf4 32.Qg3 Rf8 33.Kg2 Qe7 34.h5 R4f5

35.Rxc7 1–0


Bent the Great

One of the most colourful personalities in the chess world ever passed away not long time ago. Bent Larsen, the giant of positional chess, one of the most honest annotators had a profound influence in my chess development. I doubt that I would have made it to the GM title without his book “50 Selected Games”. At first I wanted to annotate some of his games, but then I found this being pointless. The great man has still things to tell us, so why not learn these lessons from his own moves and words:
Larsen,Bent - Gligoric,Svetozar [A05]
Vinkovci Vinkovci (12), 18.10.1970
[Bent Larsen]
1.g3 g6 2.Bg2 Bg7 3.e4 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0–0 Nf6 6.d3 0–0 7.Re1 d6 8.Nbd2 Rb8 9.a4 There are two more plans that deserve attention here- preparation of the b2-b4 advance or d3-d4. The position of Nc4 has only aestetical value. 9...b6 10.Nc4 Bb7

"I will write about this tournament an article in which there will be only one diagram. Now you will see the most amazing move of tournament, but not a bad one at all!" Petrosian. 11.h4!? A difficult, but profitable decision. [11.e5 was the most natural move, with great danger of exchanges and draw.] 11...Qc7 White's idea is seen in the line: [11...d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.h5 with initiative.] 12.Bd2 Rbd8 13.Qc1 d5 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.exd5 Nxd5 16.Bh6 Rfe8 After the game people were suggesting: [16...f6 to which I would have replied- 17.h5] 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.h5 Nf6 19.h6+ Kg8 20.Qf4 Nh5 [20...Qg4 was losing at least a pawn after: 21.Rxe7!; Bad for Black is: 20...Qf5 21.Qxf5 gxf5 22.Ng5!] 21.Qd2 f6?

22.a5! This move is especially unpleasant precisely now, when the black knight on h5 is inactive, and the set-up with e7-e5 and Nc6-d4 is not yet dangerous for White. 22...b5 23.a6 Ba8 24.Na5 e5 25.Qc3 Black underestimated this move. Now White has an advantage in all the lines. 25...Nd4 26.Nb7! Bxb7 27.axb7 Qxb7 28.Nxd4 cxd4 29.Bxb7 dxc3 30.bxc3 Re7 31.Rxa7 Kf8 32.Rb1 f5 33.Rxb5 Nf6 34.Ra8 Rxa8 35.Bxa8 Ng4 36.Rb8+ Kf7 After: [36...Re8 37.Rxe8+ Kxe8 38.Bd5 Nxh6 39.f3!

39...g5 40.Kf2 g4 41.f4 White is winning easily, as the black knight is locked.] 37.Bd5+ Kf6 38.c4 e4! The last try. 39.Rf8+! Ke5 This might seem a bit unexpected, but after: [39...Kg5 the king is too far away from c file, and analyses show easy road to the win: 40.dxe4 fxe4 41.c5 e3 42.fxe3 Rxe3 43.c4!] 40.dxe4 fxe4 41.Bxe4 Nxh6 42.Bd3 Nf7 43.Rg8 Nd6 The sealed move. In my home analyses I found win in all lines: 44.Ra8 Nb7 [44...Rc7 45.Ra5+ Kf6 46.Ra6 Ke7 47.Ra4 Kf6 48.f3 Rc6 49.Kf2 h6 50.c5!

with the following subtlety: 50...Rxc5 (50...Nf7 51.Be4 Rxc5 52.Ra6+) 51.Ra6 Rd5 52.Be4 Rd4 53.c3 and wins.] 45.Ra7 Kd6 46.f3 Nc5 47.Rxe7 Kxe7 48.Kf2 Kf6 49.Ke3 h5 50.Kd4 Ne6+ 51.Kd5 g5 52.Kd6 h4 53.gxh4 gxh4 54.Bf1 Ng5 55.c5 Nf7+ 56.Kd5 Ke7 57.f4 Nh6 58.Bh3

58...Ng8 59.c6 Nf6+ 60.Ke5 Ne8 61.f5 1–0


Plovdiv Again

ECC in Plovdiv had started with a small crisis when the NATO soldiers decided that the dates of the tournament are perfectly suitable for them too to occupy the building. One problem is that Novotel has a contract with the NATO forces that gives them the possibility to use it any day they want. The other problem is that the American soldiers does not want anyone else on the floor where they have people, no matter if the floor is full or not. These things caused some inconvenience with the accommodation of the players. Still, place for those rated over 2700 for the open event, and over 2500 in the ladies part was duly reserved.

The freshly elected presidents Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Silvio Danailov presented at the opening ceremony. The ECU President also made the symbolic first moves on both the male and female boards at the start of the tournament.
The colour of Europe meets in Plovdiv in the open section. Except for those who participate now in Nanjing all the best players are practically here.

The top seeded Levon Aronian shines so far in the event with a rating performance of 3000 elo points. His Mika Yerevan (practically the Armenian national team) will try to overcome the one point deficit in a direct encounter against the leaders- Economist Saratov, who had won all their matches so far. The latter also has a top scorer- Alexander Moiseenko, who has 4.5/5, but the truth is that both teams has practically no weak point, and the match will be decided on very minuscule nuances. Some more top scorers include Alexander Grishchuk 4/4 and Vladimir Malakhov 4.5/5.
The female tournament is extremely strong, too. The ladies from AVS, led by Antoaneta Sefanova are leading in the female part. However, four teams are pursuing them a point behind. Nothing will be clear there until the very last game. Koneru, Atalik, Zaiatz and Galojan are the top scorers after the fifth round.

As a tradition the nations are of no big meaning here. We can see players from China, India and USA taking part in the European event, and this is normal. We can also observe couples playing in the same teams, or in two different teams. The Zhigalko brothers for example play for two different teams-one leads a team from home country Belarus, and the other one strengthens an Ukrainian one.
One of our journalists even joked that there are some illegal Bulgarians here-those who do not represent our country.
I am one of those, as I play for my Belgium team. We also have a couple of German players (one of them is surprisingly fluent in Russian, too), and a Dutch guy (also illegal I might add). And there are teams who have player only from different countries. Just have a look at the team Werder Bremen- the apotheoses of internationality.

As my Belgium teammates have never been yet in Bulgaria, we went to a typical Bulgarian restaurant. Vesloto selo (The “Jolly Village”) was especially good for this reason. The food starts with our typical rakia (not to be confused with the Turkish raki, ours is made by fruits and does not smell like anise!), then follows the rich meat main course. In the meanwhile the entertaining program have started, which includes various Balkan rhythms- Greek, Serbian, Gypsies, Oriental. It all ends with the traditional Bulgarian dance-horo, which my teammates learn with surprising speed.
The preparation was a huge success, and next day we comfortably lose 6-0.

(Pictures Claude Bikady, Evtim Stefanov)


Positional Sac in the Trompy

Ety's best achievement in Ulanbaatar was the following game:
Stefanova Antoaneta - Kosintseva Tatiana [D00]
Ulaanbaatar GP Mongolia
[Dejan Bojkov]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 A time for a change. In their previous encounter just a month ago in Jermuk the players tested the main lines of the Ragozin. However, Tatiana is definetely well prepared against the Trompy, too. 2...d5 3.e3 g6 4.Bxf6 exf6 5.Ne2 Bd6 6.g3 c6 7.Bg2

7...f5! A good idea. Black was less precise in the following game: [7...Nd7 8.b3 f5 9.c4 Nf6 10.Nbc3 Be6 11.c5 and White achieved harmony in his development and initiative on the queen's flank. 11...Bc7 12.b4 a6 13.a4 0–0 14.0–0 g5 15.b5 Qd7 16.Qd3 Kg7 17.f4! Laznicka,V (2617)-Mamedov,N (2614)/Benasque ESP 2009/The Week in Chess 766 (42) with pleasant advantage for White who won later.] 8.b3 Be6 Now Black forces her opponent to lose some time before advancing the c pawn. 9.Qd3 Nd7 10.Nd2 Nf6 11.c4 Ne4 12.c5 Bc7 13.b4 h5 Both players wait with the kingside castling. 14.Nf3 Qf6 15.h4 Qg7 The trick: [15...a5 16.b5 (16.0–0 axb4 17.Rfb1 Ba5 18.a3 is also good for White.) 16...Nxc5 does not really work as the c6 pawn is hanging: 17.Qc2 Ne4 18.bxc6 b6 19.0–0 0–0 20.Rab1±] 16.0–0 Now when h5-h4 is stopped White can finally castle. She has though to hurry with her play on the queen's flank. 16...f6 17.b5 g5 Kosintseva straightforwardly follows her plan. However, a little profilaxis might be better here: [17...Bc8 18.Rab1 0–0 19.Rb2 (19.Nf4 does not prevent g6-g5, as the knight might be trapped after: 19...g5 20.Nxh5? Qf7 traps the knight) 19...g5 with sharp play where both sides have their share of chances.] 18.bxc6 bxc6 19.Qa6 Bd7 20.Rab1 0–0

21.Rb7! A nice positional sacrifice. Ety will gain control over the light squares thanks to the invested exchange. 21...Bc8 22.Rfb1 Worse is: [22.hxg5 Rb8 23.Rfb1 Qd7 24.gxf6 Bd8! However, objectevely best seemed to be:; 22.Qxc6 Bxb7 23.Qxb7 Rfd8 24.hxg5 fxg5 25.Qc6 with full compensation for the exchange.] 22...Bxb7 There is nothing wrong with this move, but White's task would have been much more complicated after: [22...Qd7! with the idea to exchange both the white rooks. Play may continue: 23.hxg5 (23.Rxc7?! Qxc7 24.Qa3 Rb8µ) 23...Rb8 and now the highly entertaining sacrifice: 24.gxf6!

In the line: (24.Qxa7?! Bxb7 25.Rxb7 Rxb7 26.Qxb7 Rb8 27.Qa7 (27.Qa6 fxg5) 27...Rb1+ 28.Bf1 Nxg5 29.Nh4 White seems in control, but there is a tactical stroke: 29...Nh3+ 30.Kg2 Nxf2!) 24...Bd8 25.Rxb8 Bxa6 26.Ne5 Qc7 27.Nf4! Better than: (27.f7+ Rxf7 (27...Kg7 28.Nf4 Ng5 29.Nxh5+ Kh6 30.Nf4ч) 28.Nxf7 Kxf7 29.Nf4 Bb5!µ) 27...Bc8 (27...Rxf6 28.Ra8 Kh7 Here: (28...Bb5? loses to: 29.Rxb5 cxb5 30.Bxe4 dxe4 31.Nd5+-) 29.Rbb8 Bb7 30.Rxd8 Bxa8 31.Rd7+ Qxd7 32.Nxd7 Rf7 33.Ne5±) 28.f7+ Rxf7 29.Nxf7 Kxf7 30.Ra8

and it is difficult to judge who is better, but obviously White should have at least enough for her sacrificed piece.] 23.Rxb7 Qd7 24.hxg5! Ety looks for juicy squares for her knights. 24...Nxg5 The only move, as Black's position crumbles after: [24...fxg5 25.Ne5 Qg7 26.Qxc6+-] 25.Nh4 [25.Nxg5 is enough only for a draw, as after: 25...fxg5 26.Bxd5+ cxd5 27.Qg6+ Qg7 28.Qxg7+ Kxg7 29.Rxc7+ Black can harass the active rook- 29...Rf7=; 25.Nf4!? though deserved serious attention: 25...Rab8 only move (25...Rfb8? 26.Nxg5 fxg5 27.Nxd5! cxd5 28.Qg6+ Kf8 29.Qh6+ Qg7 (29...Ke8 30.c6 Qe7 31.Rxc7 Qxc7 32.Qh8+ Ke7 33.Qg7+ Kd6 34.Qf6#) 30.Qxg7+ Kxg7 31.Rxc7+ Kf6 32.Bxd5+-) 26.Nh4 (26.Nxh5 Rxb7 27.Qxb7 Kf7 28.Nh4 also gives great compensation to White.) 26...Rxb7 27.Qxb7 Rb8 28.Qxa7 Rb1+ 29.Kh2 (29.Bf1 Qc8 30.Nxh5 Ne4) 29...Ne4 30.Bxe4 fxe4 31.Kg2 and I would love to have White here.(31.Nxh5? Bxg3+) ] 25...Rfb8 26.Nf4 White is better, although the computer claims that the position is equal (it already sees the only salvation that Black has though). However, for a human being defending both the king and all the pawn weaknesses without having any active plan is a painful task. Moreover, if both the humans are in time trouble this task becomes impossible for the defender. Tatiana soon erred. 26...Rxb7 27.Qxb7 Rb8 28.Qxa7 Ne4 29.Bh3 Rb1+? The rook had to stay on the eight rank in order to protect the king. [29...Qc8! with the idea: 30.Bxf5 (30.Nxf5 Qb7 31.Ne7+ Kf8 32.Qxb7 Rxb7 33.Nxc6 Bxf4 34.gxf4 Rb1+ 35.Kg2 Rb2) 30...Ra8!

was Black's only chance. After: 31.Bxc8 Rxa7 32.Bd7!? Bxf4 33.Bxc6 Nxg3 34.Bxd5+ Kh7 35.Ng2 Bc7 36.fxg3 Bxg3 the position is approximately ballanced.] 30.Kg2 Rb2 31.Bxf5 Qg7 [31...Rxf2+ 32.Kg1 Qd8 33.Bxe4 and wins.] 32.Nxh5 Rxf2+ 33.Kg1 Qh6 34.Qa8+ Qf8 35.Be6+ 1–0


Three Weeks in Mongolia (for NIC)

We work with Ety since October 2009. My contract obligations included the tournaments from the Women Grand Prix series. These tournaments were created only a couple of years ago in attempt to lift the image of the women chess all over the world. The initial idea was that they are rapid events, but later it grew in something more substantial. The stakes in this circuit are high. The overall winner of the event receives the right to play a match against the World Champion who must be defined at the end of this year in Turkey. Therefore almost all the best women players take part in the event. In the strength of the players the tournaments can be compared to the super male round-robins, such as Linares and Wijk an Zee. A fact that was not seen lately in the women chess world. It is not a secret that most of the ladies compete in usual opens, and the one in Gibraltar for example brings together the cream of the female elite with the attractive prize fund and the opportunity to win prices in both men and women sections.
The Grand Prix series consist of six tournaments (Istanbul (Turkey), Nanjing (China), Nalchik (Russia), Jermuk (Armenia), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Santiago (Chile), and each player can compete in maximum four of them. The best three are counted for the overall standings. Each host country has the right of a participant in the series.
Speaking of the world championship system we never have clearance. Of lately the Russian chess federation came with a new proposal that adds two more players in the fight for the title-the current World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and the last spot is left free for the top rated female player.
In my personal opinion the Mongolian Grand Prix was the strongest of them all. Four former World Champions took part in the event, as well as the top three rated players (we if of course exclude J. Polgar).
The further expansion of the chess popularity is very welcomed. Mongolia is relatively new destination on the chess map, although as a former communist country largely influenced by USSR our sport is very popular there. We lived in the closed area Ikh Tenger which is the president’s complex.
In the day of the opening ceremony the new Chess Academy was opened by Kirsan Ilymzhinov himself. The FIDE president had a very busy schedule due to his elections campaign but nevertheless found time to open the tournament, just like he did in Jermuk. In the center of the town, in front of the monument of Mongolian’s most famous personality-Chingiz Khan the ladies picked their numbers in alphabetical order of names. Curiously, those who started first were picking up the small numbers and the more white pieces.
The ladies play the way with the Sofia rules and they cannot agree short draws. This probably is not needed as they all are proved fighters and like to play till the end. The chief adviser for the draw offers in the event was the legendary Nana Aleksandria from Georgia and her opponent for the World Championship in 1981 Maia Chiburdanidze was participating in the competition.
The initial rounds define the roles in a tournament, and show who will play the role of an underdog, and who will compete for the top places.
Ety started with two draws, and the second one was especially unpleasant as she spoiled huge advantage in her time trouble against Maia Chiburdanidze. In the next eight rounds though, she would take no prisoners, scoring six wins against two losses.
As the tournament equator was reaching the column was led by the Chinese Zhao Xue. Her wins though were not very impressive; one could find many twists in her games, and decisive changes in the evaluation of the positions. Her game against Zhu Chen was especially significant in that sense. First White was completely winning, and then came a huge blunder and it was Black who was winning. Finally the game reached the position on the diagram:
Zhu Chen - Zhao Xue
Ulaanbaatar GP Mongolia

Without spending more than a second on her next move the former women champion played: 64.Kb8?? Instead the precise [64.Ka8!= would save the day- 64...Qe8+ 65.Kb7 Qe4+ 66.Kb8 Qb1+ 67.Ka7 Qa2+ 68.Kb8 Qh2 69.Ka8] and resigned after: 64...Kc5 65.Ka8 Qd7 66.Kb8 Kb6 0–1

The logic of the events was telling that Zhao should not keep the lead. Indeed in the very next round she was technically outplayed by Tatiana Kosintseva. The Russian player had no other alternative in this tournament but first place, as due to the engagements with her Russian club for ECC in Ohrid 2009 she could play only three Grand Prix tournaments. Tatiana was playing in her usual solid manner, but in the very next round she was stopped by Ety.
This was a period when the leaders were constantly changing their places and none could really predict the overall winner. Ety was replaced in the lead by top seed Humpy Koneru, then the Indian lost to Zhao, and this finally gave a chance to Hou Yifan to grab the lead after her postponed win against Zhu Chen. The young Chinese had a critical moment in round eight when she had to visit the hospital due to health problems. Luckily for her this round was the one before the second free day, and her opponent generously agreed for a postponement. How Hou won this important game you can see with her own notes.
Most of the participants had problems with the food throughout the whole event. I do not why it was happening like that-normally it was delicious, and I cannot call it exotic, but it was obviously the overall change that mattered.
As in a good movie the tournament winner had to be decided in the final round. Hou Yifan was leading with a half point advance in front of Ety, but we had the white pieces. An unpleasant change in the program spoilt a bit the tournament finish when the players were asked to play at 10.00 a.m. The organizers insisted on this hour as it would give them a chance for a comfortable closing ceremony at the theater, and as there were public speeches scheduled for later in the evening, the closing should take place at five p.m. in fact the organizer’s second proposal was that the games start at 9.00 a.m...For an owl like Ety such a change had a huge psychological impact. We tried to protest, taking on the account the fact that for such a change there should be the signature of the FIDE president, but the FIDE official could not contact him. There was only one critical moment in the game, but it could have changed the name of the winner.
Stefanova,A (2560) - Hou Yifan (2577) [A14]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (11), 11.08.2010

After a stubborn and careful defense Hou Yifan decided to activate her knight with:28...Nb5? But this moves blunders a whole pawn. However Ety also missed the chance- 29.e4? The simple: [29.Bxf6 wins a pawn as the line 29…Rxf6? 30.Rc2 loses even more material. Now the position is balanced again and draw was agreed after sixty moves.] 1/2
Thus the young Chinese remained the only undefeated player, and deservedly won the tournament. The tradition that in each tournament from the series there is a new winner was kept. Stefanova finished clear second, and there was a tie for the third place with Kosintseva, Zhao and Koneru to finish in this order.
We arrived a couple days before the start of the event, and had some time to visit the local attractions- the Gandantegchenling Monastery and the Migjed Janraisig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, the symbols of the Mongolians-the bell tents (called yurts) in some of which there are still people living. That was all the fun as during the tournament I lived like a hermit and worked in the hotel. The first free day could be a change as there were meetings with the sponsors organized, but the door-knob of my room decided to take a day off, and I was left locked inside for some hours. The previous day I asked Ety if she would like to go to these meetings or she would rather prefer to stay and have some rest to which she replied: “We are all complaining for the lack of sponsors, but when a time comes for a single sign of respect everyone tries to cover himself. I have my obligations to these people, and I need to go.” However when in the second free day the organizers made a large entertaining program with museums, horse riding and archering she preferred to skip the attractions and have some rest for the decisive rounds.
A quick look at the overall standings of the Grand Prix events reveals that the leader now is Hou Yifan with one first, one second, and one shared second places or total of 410 points. However, she already accomplished her tournaments and has to wait and see if some of her two closest rivals Nana Dzagnidze or Humpy Koneru might catch up with her. The final stage is scheduled in Chile, but the earthquakes might hinder the organizational process. There are rumours already that the tournament will be postponed, or even cancelled.
In any case for the good of the women chess I hope that these Grand Prix series will continue in the future.


Belogradchik Rocks (Pictures-Eddie)

When this May while playing the Bulgarian teams Eddie told me that he is organizing an amateur tournament at the beginning of September in Belogradchik, I found the idea fabulous. This was the first time that such an event would take place in Bulgaria, and the things that he told me about the organization convinced me that it is worth the efforts. I met him in…Milano, Italy when he came for a tournament from France where his future wife was studying. Nowadays Evtim Stefanov is the president of the Bulgarian team champion- Nayden Voynov-Vidin, and organizer of the First Blakan Amateur Tournament in Belogradchik.
This small town is chosen for a host city for a good reason. It is located near the capital Sofia, and is exuberant in natural wonders, the most famous one being the Belogradchik Rocks with their weird forms and shapes. The rock figures are approximately 200 meters tall, and there are altogether three groups. The central and biggest one of them is right next to Belogradchik.

A total of 110 players took part in the event, from fifteen different countries, and almost all continents. The tournament became huge success, and we are starting head over feet with the final standings:
The winner of the festival with total 7.5 points was Naiden Dobrev from Dobrich. He is a young player, and started viciously not to let any chance for his closest pursuers- Yanko Panayotov (second) and Momchil Todorov (third) (all from Bulgaria). Dimitar Krastanov was ranked fourth and became a champion among the players without FIDE rating. Best rating performance was delivered by Velizar Sofranov, who managed to make 7 points thanks to excellent play and the training of the Grandmaster team. The winners received a total of 15 000lv /about 7500euro/ of total 18 prizes. Not a bad price fund at all, it can easily compete with any open event.
The mayor of Belogradchik, Mr. Emil Tsankov personally awarded the winners of the festival with the medal of honour of Municipality Belogradchik and invited all the players to visit again the next year tournament in mid August 2011 for its second edition.
However, this was not all that the tournament can be proud of. Many beside activities took place. There was a voting for a queen of the event, which was won by Simoneta Ivanova. She is only 13 from Pleven and already chess queen of the first Balkan amateur chess festival. She was elected by the participants in the tournament. Two more chess ladies received gifts from Municipality Belogradchik and Chess Club Naiden Voinov. These are Tsveta Galunova from Veliko Tarnovo and Silvia-Raluca Sgircea from Dobreta Turnu Severin, Romania. At the ceremony Saturday evening at a glass of wine the manager of hotel “Skalite” presented the festival queen with a body peeling spa therapy with chocolate and honey.
On Friday night 54 players entered a blitz battle in 9 rounds. After a tense fight Bogidar Ivanov won the tournament with 7 wins and 2 draws. Dejan Dimitrov (former chess trainer, and sports journalist at the moment) finished second and the leader in the main tournament Naiden Dobrev ended third.

Additionally a team blitz took place. The winners were Plamen Vasilev and Dimitar Pashev from Bulgaria. Second finished the Macedonians Vladimirov and Semshiu and enjoyed a professional massage in spa hotel Skalite for both of them and Hristo Velchev and Tsvetelin Stoev finished third and rolled downhill in a big zorbing ball.

The activities included lessons with GMs. Some of the participants profited from their work with GM Delchev, GM Iotov and FM Velchev. All these title-holders are members of the Nayden Voinov team that won the Bulgarian championship this year. Those masters were analysing the best games of the festival in the evenings with tons of humor and intelligence. The participants could also take part in the analyses, and gave their opinion. Those lectures were completely free of charge. Furthermore, there were private or group lessons for those willing to take part.
Four excursions were organized for the players. They visited “Kaleto”, the Magura cave, “Baba Vida” fortress and to ride a buggy in the famous Belogradchik rocks.
The second edition of the festival is scheduled for August 2011. We will be happy to see more people joining it.