Malcolm Pein on…Chess

Table of Contents


We have a bumper edition of Malcolm Pein’s Daily Telegraph chess columns for you today, covering a whole range of subjects from the finer points of the King’s Indian Defense, the CSC Summer ChessFest and big game action from the world’s top tournaments.

KID Gloves

OCCASIONALLY a game has so many illustrative points, it has to be analysed. Black plays a model King’s Indian here, before going wrong and allowing his dark bishop, usually the pride and joy of the KID, to be emasculated by white pawns.

J. K. Duda – A. Korobov
GCT Rapid Zagreb

King’s Indian Saemisch 25+10

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Re8 (So that if 9.Bh6 Bh8 there are tactical points as well) 9.0–0–0 b5! 10.g4 (Not 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Nxb5 Rxa2) 10…Rb8 11.Bh6 Bh8 12.h4 e5 13.Be3 (13.d5 Nd4 14. Nxd4 exd4 15.Ne2 Bxg4 16.fxg4 Nxe4 17.Qf4 c5! 18.dxc6 bxc4 followed by Qb6 or Qa5 is crushing)

J. K. Duda – A. Korobov

13…Na5! 14.Ng3 exd4 15.Bxd4 c5 (If 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.Qxd6 Qxd6 18.Rxd6 Be5) 16.Bxc5 Bxg4! (Unpinning the d6 pawn, Re8 is looking quite useful now) 17.Qf4 b4 18.Nb1? (After 18.Rxd6 Qc7 19.Bxb4 Rxb4 20.fxg4 Rc8 White’s forces lack coordination and Black’s dark- squared bishop is potentially a monster; 18.Na4 Bd7 19.Rxd6 Qc7 20.h5! Bg7 looks good for Black) 18…Qc8! 19.fxg4 Qxc5 20.b3 Rbd8 (20…Nd7! eg 21.Qxd6 Qe3+ 22.Qd2 Qxg3 23.Qxd7 Nb7 and White’s king is too weak) 21.g5 d5!? (21…Nd7!) 22.gxf6 dxc4 23.Bxc4 Nxc4 24.bxc4 Qxc4+ 25.Kb2 b3?! 26.Nc3! bxa2 (Miraculously White has escaped and now 27.Rxd8 Qb4+ 28.Kc2 Rxd8 29.Nge2 is still unclear) 27.Nge2?

Test Your Strength

J. K. Duda – A. Korobov

Black to play and win

27…Rb8+? 28.Ka1 Rb6 (28…Qb4 29.Rd2! is the key difference) 29.e5 Qb3 30.Rd2 Rbe6?

J. K. Duda – A. Korobov

31.h5! Qb7 (If 31…Rxe5 32.Qxe5 Rxe5 33.Rd8+ wins) 32.Rhd1 Qc7 33.hxg6 hxg6 34.Rh1 Bxf6 35.exf6 Qxf4 36.Nxf4 Rxf6 37.Rdh2 1–0

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

27…Qb4+ 28.Ka1 Rxd1+ 29.Rxd1 Rb8 30.Qd2 Bxf6 wins, White will never escape the pin. If 27…Qb4+ 28.Kc2 Rc8 29.Rd3 Qa4+ 30.Kb2 a1Q+! 31.Rxa1 Rb8+


ChessFest took over Trafalgar Square recently. The outdoor festival is something I dreamed up during lockdown. The original plan was to have it as a commemoration of the 170th anniversary of the Immortal Game played during the first great international tournament in London, 1851. It was a casual game rather than a tournament game, but nevertheless its fame spread throughout the world as the greatest sacrificial attack ever seen.

The 170th anniversary of the game was June 21, 2021, and there will be a re-enactment of the game by 32 actors on a giant board in Trafalgar Square this afternoon. If you were not at the ChessFest, here’s the game.

A. Anderssen – L. Kieseritzky
Bishop’s Gambit

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 b5 (The Bryan Counter Gambit. Black diverts the bishop away from the sweet spot on f7) 5.Bxb5 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh6 7.d3 Nh5!? (Threat Ng3+) 8.Nh4 (8.Rg1!) 8…Qg5 9.Nf5 c6 10.g4 Nf6 11.Rg1!! cxb5? (Black should have left well alone and played 11…d5) 12.h4 Qg6 13.h5 Qg5 14.Qf3 (Black is in huge trouble, Bxf4 will trap his queen) 14…Ng8 15.Bxf4 Qf6 16.Nc3 Bc5 17.Nd5 Qxb2 18.Bd6 Bxg1? (If 18…Qxa1+ 19.Ke2 Qxg1 20.Nxg7+ Kd8 21.Bc7#. After 19…Qb2! 20.Bxc5 Qxc2+ 21.Kf1 Qxc5 22.Qf4 gives White a huge attack, which is at least enough for a draw)

A. Anderssen – L. Kieseritzky

19.e5!! Qxa1+ 20.Ke2 Na6 (Preventing Nxg7+ and Bc7#) 21.Nxg7+ Kd8

Test Your Strength

A. Anderssen – L. Kieseritzky

White to play and mate in two

After Garry Kasparov defeated Nigel Short 12.5–8.5 at the WCC in 1993, there were three exhibition games with openings chosen by the organisers. I remember when 4…b5 appeared on the board; Kasparov was not too pleased.

N. Short – G. Kasparov

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 b5 5.Bxb5 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh6 7.Nc3 g5 8.d4 Bb7 9.h4 Rg8 10.Kg1 gxh4 11.Rxh4 Qg6 12.Qe2 Nxe4 13.Rxf4 f5 14.Nh4 Qg3 15.Nxe4 1–0

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

22.Qf6+ Nxf6 23.Be7# 1–0

Jones on Song

BISCHWILLER dropped a draw to Clichy Échecs 92 and won their other 10 matches to triumph at the French Team Championship in Châlons-en-Champagne. Clichy finished third, with the silver medals going to fellow Parisian side, Asnières Le Grand Echiquier. Bischwiller were headed up by Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein and especially indebted to the performance of their boards two and three, Markus Ragger and Arkadij Naiditsch, who scored a whopping 8.5/11 and 8.5/10 respectively.

Gawain Jones, representing hosts Châlons, was the top performer on board four with 6.5/8. That included a couple of fine wins with his favourite King’s Indian Defence.

J. Song – G. Jones
Club 608 Paris vs Châlons

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nbd7 8.Re1 Re8 9.Bf1 a6!? 10.Rb1 (10.d5 is also logical, but 10…a5 11.b3 Nc5 12.Rb1 Bd7 13.a3 runs into 13…a4! 14.b4 Nb3 with good counterplay) 10…exd4 11.Nxd4 c6 12.Bf4 Ne5 13.h3 Nh5!? (Improving over his earlier 13…Be6 14.b3 c5 15.Nxe6 Rxe6 16.Qd2 Nc6 17.Bd3, with an edge for White in Wojtaszek-Jones, Bilbao 2014) 14.Bh2 (14.Be3!? b5 15.cxb5 axb5 16.a3 looks more critical) 14…Qf6 15.Nde2?! Bh6! (A notable concept, locking down the f4-square) 16.Ng3? (This knight should be on d4, not hemming in the bishop) 16…Nf4 17.Kh1 Be6 18.b3 b5! 19.cxb5 axb5 20.Qd4 b4 21.Na4 c5!

J. Song – G. Jones

(Black has all the play on both flanks and now 22.Qxd6 c4! 23.Qxb4 Ned3 would win the exchange for a start) 22.Qd1 Bd7 23.Nb6 Rxa2 24.Nxd7 Nxd7 25.Bb5 Nxg2! (Switching to a direct attack. 25…Nxh3! 26.gxh3 Qxf2 was also very strong, and if 27.Be2 Rd2 or 27.Re2 Qf3+ 28.Kg1 Be3+) 26.Bxd7 (26.Kxg2? Qxf2+ 27.Kh1 Qxh2#) 26…Nxe1 27.Nf5 Rxe4 28.Nxh6+ Kg7 29.Ng4 Rxg4! 30.Qxg4 Nd3 31.Rf1 Rxf2 32.Rg1 Qb2 33.Rg2 (33.Bxd6 brings about today’s puzzle) 33…Rf1+ 34.Bg1 Nf2+ 35.Rxf2 Qxf2 36.Qg2 Qxg2+ (Simple chess. The queenside majority assisted by Black’s active rook and king will prove far too strong) 37.Kxg2 Rb1 38.Ba4 Kf6! 39.Be3 Ke5 40.Kf3 c4! 41.Bf4+ Ke6 42.bxc4 b3 43.Ke2 b2 44.Bd2 Rc1 0-1

Test Your Strength

J. Song – G. Jones

How does Black win in style?

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

33…Rh2+! 34.Bxh2 Nf2+ 35.Kg2 Nxg4+ 36.Kf3 Qf2+! forces mate, as with 37.Kxg4 h5+ 38.Kg5 f6#

Haria Edged Out

RAVI Haria’s extraordinary fightback was in vain as he was eliminated by Etienne Bacrot in a tie-break at the FIDE World Cup. Haria lost the first game with white before winning on demand against the French number three with black in a superbly-played endgame. The match went to Rapid chess. Bacrot’s preparation secured an early repetition in game one. In the return, Haria forgot his own preparation and could not justify a pawn sacrifice Haria’s win was all the more remarkable because Bacrot tried to close the game down on move three by taking on d5 to create a symmetrical pawn structure.

E. Bacrot – R. Haria
French Exchange 25+10

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.0–0 Nbc6 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Nb5 f6 9.c3 Qd7 10.b4 (Discouraging Black from castling queenside) 10…0–0 11.Nxd6 Qxd6 12.a4 Rfe8 13.Ba3 Qd7 14.h3 Bf5 (After light bishops are exchanged, Black has a comfortable game) 15.Re1 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Ng6 17.b5 Na5 18.Nd2 Nf4 19.Qf3 g5 (Black has to try and complicate as he needs a win) 20.Bb4! Nc4 21.Nxc4 dxc4 22.Qxb7 Qd5! (Black’s knight cannot be challenged on d5 and its superiority over the bishop is pretty much full compensation for the pawn) 23.Qxd5+ Nxd5 24.Kf1 Kf7 25.Rxe8 Rxe8 26.Re1 Rd8 27.Rb1 (27.Bc5! Nxc3? (27…Ra8 28.Bb4!?) 28.Re7+) 27…Re8 28.g3 h5 29.Re1 Rd8 30.Re4 c6 31.bxc6 Rc8 32.h4 (It looks wrong to fix the kingside like this. 32.Ke2 Rxc6 33.Kd2 was OK) 32…g4 33.Re2 Rxc6 34.a5 a6 35.Rb2 Rc7 36.Bd6 Rd7 37.Bc5 (37.Bb4) 37…Nxc3 38.Rc2? (38.Rb6!)

E. Bacrot – R. Haria

38…Ne4! 39.Ke2 (39.Rxc4 Nd2+ picks up the rook) 39…c3 (The black king is ready to march in) 40.Ke3 f5 41.Rc1 Rb7 42.Bb6 Ke6 43.Kd3 Kd5 44.Kc2 f4! 0–1 Black’s rook goes to the kingside.

Black’s cavalry arrives too late.

B. Adhiban – N. Delgado Ramirez
Nimzo Indian Saemisch

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c6 7.e4 dxe4 8.fxe4 e5 9.Nf3 Qa5 10.Bd2 Nxe4 11.Bd3 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 exd4 13.0–0 0–0 14.Ng5 f5 15.c5 Kh8 16.Qe2 Nd7 17.Nxh7 dxc3 18.Qh5 Qxc5+ 19.Kh1 Kg8 20.Bxf5 Qd5 21.Ng5 Nf6

Test Your Strength

E. Bacrot – R. Haria

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

22.Qh7+!! 1–0 22…Nxh7 23.Bxh7+ Kh8 24.Rxf8+ Qg8 25.Rxg8#.

Caught out by Covid

IN A sign of the times, the game between Fabiano Caruana and Indonesian GM Susanta Megaranto was halted after 15 moves in the second round of the World Cup at Krasnaya Polyana, when the organisers received the latter’s positive Covid test result mid-game.

In an unprecedented move, but included in the rules of the event, Caruana was awarded a win, but had to isolate and take another test, while Megaranto was eliminated. For the record, here are the moves. The position was about equal:

F. Caruana – S. Megaranto
Giuoco Piano to Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 h6 5.c3 d6 6.Nbd2 g6 7.Nf1 Bg7 8.Ng3 Qe7 9.0–0 0–0 10.h3 Na5 11.Bb5 a6 12.Ba4 b5 13.Bc2 c5 14.d4 cxd4 15.cxd4 Bd7 1–0

Another Indonesian, IM Mohamad Ervan, tested positive, which gave his opponent, 16-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan, a 2-0 match victory.

There was another more high-profile casualty, as world number five and two-time World Cup winner Levon Aronian was forced to withdraw due to illness, and Australian GM Bobby Cheng received a free pass into the last 64.

Magnus Carlsen looked battle-ready and overcame GM Sasa Martinovic of Croatia 2-0, which included victory in an endgame that looked unwinnable.

GM Niaz Murshed, 55, who played here in the UK regularly in 1980s and 1990s, put up a great fight in round one against GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez before his Philidor Defence was bludgeoned by a modification to one of Alexey

Shirov’s ideas in the second Blitz game – Shirov used to dispense with formalities and preferred 5.g4!?.

N. Delgado Ramirez – N. Murshed
Philidor Defence 5+3

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nd7 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Ngf6 5.Rg1 c6 6.g4 h6 7.h4 g6 (7…exd4!? 8.Nxd4 Ne5) 8.Be3 h5 9.gxh5 Nxh5?! 10.Qd2 Be7 11.0–0–0 Qa5 ( Not 11…Bxh4 12.Nxh4 Qxh4 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Bg5 Qh2 15.Qd6) 12.Bc4 b5 13.Bb3 b4 14.Ne2 Qc7 15.Bg5 Bf8 16.c3 (16.Qxb4) 16…bxc3 17.Nxc3 Bg7 18.Kb1 exd4 19.Nxd4 Nc5 

N. Delgado Ramirez – N. Murshed

20.Ndb5! cxb5 21.Nxb5 Qb6 22.Nxd6+ Kf8

Test Your Strength

N. Delgado Ramirez – N. Murshed

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

23.Qd5 1–0 23.Nc4 and mate on d8 was also a winner.

Shrewd Krasenkow

AS THE third round of the FIDE World Cup began, with the field cut from the original 206 to 64, there were some notable absentees, most prominently Fabiano Caruana, who was eliminated by Kazakh Rinat Jumabayev.

Following a draw in the first game, the second seed embarked on a risky exchange sacrifice before appearing to miscalculate, and Jumabayev made no mistake after that.

The Kazakh number one impressed at the 2019 World Team Championship on home soil, when he defeated England’s number one Michael Adams and the Russian first board and former title contender Sergey Karjakin. Caruana’s rating fell below 2800 and his ranking from two to three.

It was nice to see a veteran cause an upset, as 57-year-old Michal Krasenkow of Poland downed the 2021 Candidate, Russian Kirill Alekseenko.

M. Krasenkow – K. Alekseenko
FIDE World Cup

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rc1 a5 10.a4 Re8 11.Na3 (Avoiding 11.Nc3 dxc4) 11…Bd6 12.Bf4! e5 (12…Bxf4 13.gxf4 enhances White’s central control) 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bxe5 15.cxd5 Nxd5 16.Nxe5 Rxe5
17.Nc4 Re8 (White is rather better developed and secures an initiative) 18.Rd1 Be6 19.e4 Nb4 20.Qc3 Qc7 21.Nd6 Re7 22.e5 Qb6 (22…Bd5 23.f4 f6 trying to simplify was a safer possibility) 23.Rd2 Nd5 24.Qc2 Rd7 25.Rad1 Rad8 26.Rd4! Nb4 27.Qc1 h6 28.Rh4 f6

M. Krasenkow – K. Alekseenko

31.Qxf6 Bb3 (Black is fine after 31…Rxd6! 32.exd6 Rxd6 33.Qg5+ Kf8 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qxa5) 32.Bh3! Rf8 (32…Bxd1?? 33.Be6+) 33.Be6+ Bxe6 34.Qxe6+ Kh8 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.Rd4 Nd5? (36…Rh7 37.Rg4+ Rg7 38.Rh4 Rh7 holds) 37.Qe6+! Kh8 (If 37…Rdf7 38.Rg4+ Kh8 39.Qh6+ Rh7 40.Qxf8# or 37…Rff7 38.Rg4+ Kf8 39.Qe8# or 37…Kg7 38.Rg4+)

Test Your Strength

M. Krasenkow – K. Alekseenko

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

38.Ne8! Qd8 (Or 38…Rxe8 39.Qxe8+ Kg7 40.Rg4+ Kh7 41.Qh5#) 39.Qh6+ Kg8 40.Rg4+ Kf7 41.Nd6+ 1-0 If 41…Rxd6 42.Rg7+ Ke8 43.Qh5+ Rf7 44.Qxf7#.

Big Names Out

TWO OF the world’s top 10 were eliminated from the World Cup in third round tie-breaks as the advance of the Uzbeks continued. The world number eight and 2020/21 Candidate Anish Giri was outplayed by 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the first Rapid game and could not win the return on demand with black.

Alireza Firouzja was another high-profile casualty. The 18-year-old Iranian prodigy, now a French citizen, went out in round two, beaten by an even younger Uzbek, Javokhir Sindarov, just 15.

Uzbek chess is on the rise thanks to massive government backing and, another of their GMs, 137th seed Jakhongir Vakhidov, defeated the world number 13 and ninth seed Leinier Dominguez of the USA in round two.

Shak Mamedyarov ranked world number six overpressed in the first Rapid game against former world under-16 champion Haik M. Martirosyan of Armenia and was completely lost in the early middlegame. Mamedyarov escaped into an endgame less a pawn and should have drawn, but was eventually ground down. Like Giri, Mamedyarov could not win the second Rapid game with black.

Two Frenchmen made it to the last 32; Etienne Bacrot was lucky to get past Egypt’s Bassem Amin, while Maxime Vachier-Lagrave needed this Armageddon victory to get past Russian David Paravyan.

M. Vachier-Lagrave – D. Paravyan
Sicilian Rossolimo
5 minutes vs 4 Black has draw odds

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Nf3 d5 7.Qe2 dxe4 (7…c4!?; 7…Nh6!?) 8.Nxe4 Nf6?! (8…Bg4!? 9.Nxc5 Qd5) 9.Nxc5 Qd6?! 10.d4 Nd7 11.Ne4! Qe6 12.0–0 0–0 13.Re1 Bb7 14.c3 a5 15.Ne5 (White is a pawn up with the better position and intends to take on d7 and play Ne4–c5) 15…Bxe5 16.fxe5 c5 17.Nxc5 (Or 17.Bh6 Rfe8 18.Ng5 Qd5 19.Rad1 c4 20.Nxf7) 17…Nxc5 18.dxc5 Rfd8 19.Be3 Qxe5 20.Qf2 Qc7 21.Bd4 f6 22.c6! Qxc6 (22…Bxc6 23.Bb6) 23.Rxe7 Re8?

M. Vachier-Lagrave – D. Paravyan

24.Rxb7! Qxb7 25.Qxf6 Re7 26.Qh8+ Kf7 27.Rf1+ Ke6 28.Re1+ Kd5 29.Rxe7 Qxe7 30.Qxa8+ Kc4 31.Qa6+ 1–0

Another game where Black exchanged the bishop on g7 and paid the penalty, Piorun-Ragger, round two.

Test Your Strength


White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

29.Qc7 1-0 If 29…Re8 30.Qe5.

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