Malcolm Pein on…Artemiev’s Flair


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Malcolm Pein shines the spotlight on Vladislav Artemiev’s Flair in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column.

There are currently so many different formats for chess events that it is not so easy to work out who the favourites for success may be. Vladislav Artemiev, the young Russian star, is clearly a particular potent force at fast, online chess.

A match victory against World Championship Candidate and Chessable author Anish Giri is extremely noteworthy.

Malcolm Pein on…Artemiev’s Flair

Two Candidates were defeated in the early rounds of the Speed Chess Championship as rising Polish star Jan-Krzysztof Duda overcame world number two Fabiano Caruana 17-9, and Vladislav Artemiev got the better of Anish Giri 15.5-11.5.

Very fast time limits are not Caruana’s forte, and although he started with three wins in the five-minute section, he lost the next four. The match was still competitive until Duda won the Bullet Chess, played with one minute and a one-second increment, 8-1.

Artemiev was actually a slight favourite before the match as he plays more often online. Giri moved up the Fantasy competition run around the event as he actually predicted that his opponent would win the match by precisely four points. Artemiev started with a stylish win.

Artemiev in Action

V. Artemiev – A. Giri

Slav Defence 5+1

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qc2 g6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bf4 Nc6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.e3 0–0 9.Be2 Bf5 10.Qb3 Na5 11.Qb4 a6 (The space gained by the pawn advance proves to be less important than the consequent weakening. 11…Ne4 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.0–0 Nxc3 14.Rxc3 Rxc3 is pretty close to equal) 12.0–0 Rc8 13.Rfc1 b5 14.Ne5 (The white queen leads the knight a merry dance after 14.a4 Nc6 15.Qb3 Na5 16.Qa3 Nc4 17.Qb4! when the a6–pawn is weak. Note how the Bf4 prevents Black countering with Rb8) 14…Nc6? (14…Nh5!? 15.Bg5!? f6 16.a4 leads to chaos, but Black had to try this) 15.Nxc6 Rxc6 16.a4!

Artemiev - Giri

White has achieved his strategic objective. Black’s queenside dissolves and the a-pawn is impossible to defend in the long run. Worse still, White emerges with complete control of the key squares on the queenside where White’s bishops dominate. Black’s bishops, while developed on sensible squares, are just spectators) 16…bxa4 17.Nxa4 a5 18.Qb7 Rxc1+ 19.Rxc1 Ne4 20.Bc7 Qa8 21.Qxa8 Rxa8 22.Nb6 Ra7 23.Nxd5 Bf8 24.f3 Nd2 25.Nb6 Rb7 26.g4! Bb1 27.Rc6 Ra7 28.Bf4 f6

Test Your Strength

Artemiev Winning PositionHow did Artemiev win more material?

Highlight the text below this line to reveal the answer.

29.e4 Nxe4 (The knight is trapped. If 29…Nb3 30.Bc4+ Kg7 31.Bxb3) 30.fxe4 Bxe4 31.Rc8 Rb7 32.Bh6 1–0

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