2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival

 

Round 3 Report

 

John Saunders reports: The weather finally brightened and we were treated to brilliant sunshine - the beautiful winter weather for which Gibraltar is justly famous. But would the chess be able to match that scintillating light?

 

Truth to tell, quite a number of the top games ended in draws, but the game between Nigel Short and Tatiana Kosintseva stood out. This was partly because, as always, Nigel came into the commentary room after his game to give a blow by blow account of what happened. His opponent Tatiana also joined us.

 


Nigel Short - 3/3

 

Round 3
Short,Nigel (2658) - Kosintseva,Tatiana (2570)
QGD Ragozin
1.d4 "I'm old enough to play 1 d4! When I was a teenager, I told myself I would start playing 1 d4 when I was thirty but it didn't happen. It has now happened in my forties." (Nigel Short, in the commentary room) 1...Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Qb3 "What Capablanca used to play," said Nigel after the game. "It reduces Black's options. I've actually done a lot of work on this. I'm not really an amateur as I claim!" 7...c5 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 c4 10.Qe3+ Qe7 11.Qxe7+ Kxe7 12.a4 h6 Nigel told us he had written in his opening preparation notes that this was not the most precise move. 13.Bc1! This move tournament commentator Simon Williams craftily made use of in one of his key encounters in the team blitz event later the same evening! 13...a5 Black hopes to target the a4 pawn with Nb6 and Bd7. 14.b3 A novelty by Nigel, who told us his 'Greek neighbour' Stelios Halkias had played it. 14...cxb3 15.Nd2 b6 15...Nb6 is better here, was Nigel's verdict. 16.Ba3+ Kd8 17.e3 Ba6 18.Bxa6 Rxa6 19.Rb1 "I thought I played very well in this game, he said immodestly," joked Nigel. The problem is Black's queenside pawn structure and the weak d-pawn. 19...Ra8 20.Rxb3 Rc8 21.f3 Re8 22.Ke2 Rc6 23.Rc1 Rxc1 24.Bxc1 Re6 24...Nh5!? might be better, thought Nigel, with the idea of ...f5. 25.Kd3 Ne8 26.e4 26.Nb1 f5 again restrains the e4 push. 26...Nc7 27.Ba3 Rc6 27...b5 28.axb5 Rb6 and simply 29.exd5 Rxb5 30.Rxb5 Nxb5 31.Bc5 is much better for White. 28.Nb1 On its way to b5. 28...dxe4+ 29.fxe4 Rf6 30.Rb2 30.Nc3 Rf2 31.Rb2 Rxb2 32.Bxb2 is an unpleasant endgame for Black but Nigel thought he had the better rook in the position, so kept it on. 30...Rf1 31.Nc3 Ne6 32.Bd6 f6 33.Rc2 Protecting the knight and preparing to enter with the king. 33...Re1 34.Bg3 Ra1 35.Kc4

 

 

Nigel thought Black was just lost here. 35...Nc7 36.Bxc7+ Kxc7 37.Kd5 Nf8 38.Nb5+ Kd8 39.Rc7 Rxa4 40.Rxg7 Ra2 40...Rb4 might have been better, to tempt White into the blunder 41.Na7?? Rxd4+! but Nigel was ready for that. 41.Kd6 Re2 42.Rb7 Kc8 43.Rxb6 1–0

 

Emanuel Berg versus Victoria Cmilyte was an engrossing game. The consensus in the commentary room was that 22 Qe4 was much better than Rxf8ch. After that the Swede’s position slowly went downhill and eventually the strong female grandmaster from Lithuania joined Nigel in the lead with 3/3. Though he lost, Emanuel sportingly visited the commentary room to share some thoughts about the game.

 


Victoria Cmilyte - 3/3

 

Two others have reached maximum points, Nadezhda Kosintseva, sister of Tatiana, and Deep Sengupta of India. Deep tied for first place in the Hastings Masters very recently. Whilst musing on topics for this bulletin, I asked co-reporter Stewart Reuben whether he thought the Indian grandmaster might perhaps have been named in honour of the IBM computer which famously defeated Garry Kasparov in a match some years. Stewart refuted my fanciful notion by pointing out that Deep Sengupta would have been eight years old at the time of the match. I fear he is right though I confess to being a trifle disappointed.

 


Nadezhda Kosintseva - 3/3

 

Anyway, returning to the subject, there are two men and two women in the lead. The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress has the deliberate policy of encouraging leading women to take part here. There is no doubt this has had a positive effect on the number of strong women players worldwide. Incidentally, those of us Brits who have been away from our newspapers and TV screens for a few days have only just become aware that there has been a big scandal in the UK about well-known TV football commentators who have made disparaging remarks about female officials involved in their sport, resulting in them being sacked. Of course, we chess commentators would never do such a thoughtless and insensitive thing (he wrote, fingering his one-year contract nervously). Perhaps the muddied oafs and blinkered pundits of the round-ball game can learn something from the world of chess, where women have acted as chief arbiters at Olympiads and nobody thinks it remotely unusual.

 


Deep Sengupta - 3/3

 

WOMEN TO THE FORE

 

It was a particularly good day for the women players. As well as Victoria Cmilyte’s and Nadezhda Kosintseva’s wins against higher-rated GMs, Irina Krush beat former world championship finalist Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Nana Dzagnidze beat Juan-Manuel Bellón and Monica Calzetta beat Jean-Pierre Le Roux - which was incidentally Monica’s second GM scalp and Jean-Pierre’s second disaster against a lower-rated opponent. It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, with former women’s world champion Antoaneta Stefanova falling victim to a much lower rated amateur player, Francisco Javier García Jiménez of Spain. Regrettably most of the women’s wins were rather long and technical, whereas this Spanish amateur’s win against Antoaneta was brisk and entertaining. We cannot resist appending the moves.

 

Round 3
García Jiménez,Francisco Javier (2274) - Stefanova,Antoaneta (2546)
Closed Sicilian
1.e4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.d3 Rb8 6.Be3 d6 7.Qd2 b5 8.Nge2 b4 9.Nd1 Qb6 10.0–0 e6 11.a3 a5 12.axb4 axb4 13.h3 h6 14.c3 Nge7 15.Re1 Na5 16.Nc1 Nec6 17.f4 0–0 18.f5 Risky but the big plus point is that White is attacking the place where the black king lives. 18...exf5 19.Bxh6 c4+ 20.d4 bxc3 21.bxc3 Bxh6 22.Qxh6 Nxd4 Who could resist? 23.cxd4 Qxd4+ 24.Ne3 Qxa1?? There was still a chance for Black to see the error of her ways and play 24...f4! when 25.Rxa5 Qd2! 26.Rh5! Qxe1+ 27.Nf1 gxh5 leads to a draw by perpetual check. 25.Nd5! Threatening mate with Ne7. 25...Qe5

 

 

25...Re8 fails to 26.e5! and suddenly the unstoppable threat is Nf6 mate. 26.exf5!! Having just given up one rook, White now gives up a second rook, this time with check. 26...Qxe1+ 27.Kh2 f6 27...Qe5 28.f6! wins. 28.Qxg6+ Kh8 29.Nxf6 Rxf6 There is nothing else. 30.Qxf6+ Kh7 31.Qg6+ Kh8 32.Qh6+ 1–0 32...Kg8 33.Bd5+ is a killer.

Tonight the teams of four blitz championship took place. Congress Director GM Stuart Conquest said that he could not remember any event elsewhere that attracts so many leading players in the evening after a hard day’s chess. The winners (sporting a bizarre team name of interest only to themselves) were GMs Berg, Jones, Williams and IM Jack Rudd. They were not the strongest team on paper (which was GMs Bologan, Onischuk, Zhukova and IM Gaponenko). So the English contingent can already celebrate a triumph at the congress - well, very nearly - I make it 2.25 cheers for England and of course 0.75 of a cheer for Sweden. Check that on a calculator if you don’t believe me.

 

Tournament Leaders on 3/3: Nigel Short (England), Nadezhda Kosintseva (Russia), Victoria Cmilyte (Lithuania), Deep Sengupta (India).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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