Malcolm Pein on…chess24 Horseplay


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Malcolm Pein continues to investigate Dodgy goings-on in today’s Daily Telegraph column, as he examines the chess24 horseplay.

Malcolm Pein on…chess24 Horseplay

More fun and games from the second Mr Dodgy Invitational on Chess 24, in which a 16-player star-studded field went at it for little more than a picture of a Scottish chess player on a horse.

It’s a measure of the esteem in which Mr Dodgy is held that the field comprised: Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk, Daniil Dubov, Peter Svidler, Laurent Fressinet, Simon Williams, Peter-Heine Nielsen, Santosh Vidit, Pepe Cuenca, Nils Grandelius, Alexei Shirov, David Navara, Baskaran Adhiban, Jorden van Foreest, David Howell and Baadur Jobava.

A crisp positional game from the tournament winner, who defeated the Spanish GM Pepe Cuenca, known for his quick-fire commentary, in the first round.

P. Cuenca – A. Giri
English Opening 5+0

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 e4 4.Ng5 c6!? (4…b5!? was tried in the 1960s and 70s by GM Juan Bellon Lopez) 5.d3 (5.Ngxe4 Nxe4 6.Nxe4 d5 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Nc3 d4 9.Ne4 Nc6 gives Black lots of play, but 5.Ngxe4 Nxe4 6.Nxe4 d5 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Ng3 looks like a sterner test) 5…exd3 6.Qxd3 d5 7.e4?! (7.cxd5 cxd5 8.e4 h6! 9.Nf3 dxe4 is already a bit better for Black) 7…h6 8.Nf3 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Qe7! 10.Nfd2 Bf5 11.f3 Na6! 12.Be2 Bxe4 (12…Rd8! was even stronger) 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Qxe4 15.fxe4 Bb4+ 16.Bd2 0–0–0 17.0–0–0 Bxd2+ 18.Rxd2 Nc5

P. Cuenca – A. Giri

19.Bf3?! Nd3+ 20.Kb1 Ne5 (c4 is attacked and the knight dominates the bishop) 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.b3 Rd2 23.Rc1 Nxf3 24.gxf3 Rxh2 25.Rg1 g6 26.Rg3 Rf2 0–1

D. Dubov – A. Giri
Sicilian Najdorf

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e5 7.Nf3 Be7 (7…h6 8.g3 Be7 9.Bg2 0–0 10.0–0 Be6 11.Nh4 was followed by an equine invasion of f5 and White won quickly in a game both sides will be examining in detail before November, Carlsen- Nepomniachtchi, Chess24, 2021) 8.g3 0–0 9.Bg2 Nc6 (The knight usually goes to d7 in the Najdorf. Black wants to cover f5) 10.0–0 Bd7 11.Nh4 Nd4 12.Be3 Ng4 13.Bxd4 Bxh4 14.gxh4 Qxh4 15.h3 exd4 16.Qxd4 Nf6 17.Qxd6 Bxh3?? (17…Bc6 18.Qg3 Qxg3 19.fxg3 Rfe8 20.Nd5 with advantage.)

Test Your Strength

chess24 Horseplay: D. Dubov – A. Giri

Now it’s White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

18.Qh2 Rad8 19.Qxh3 Qxh3 20.Bxh3 Rd2 21.Rac1 Re8 22.Rfd1 1–0

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