Malcolm Pein on…Retaining the Lead


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Malcolm Pein continues his coverage of the Tata Steel Masters in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column, reporting on the art of retaining the lead in the tournament.

The game of the day shows the first win for Jorden van Foreest. Hmm…remember that name!

Malcolm Pein on…Retaining the Lead

Nils Grandelius retained the lead on 4/6 at Wijk aan Zee after a draw with Fabiano Caruana. The 27-year-old Swedish number one was one of Magnus Carlsen’s seconds for his 2018 world championship encounter with Caruana where the challenger employed the Sicilian Rossolimo, 1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 with white. In Grandelius-Caruana, the world number two switched sides and was soon fractionally better, but Grandelius held firm.

Carlsen remains in a six-strong chasing group on 3.5/6. The world champion drifted in the run up to the time control, allowing Jan-Krzysztof Duda to escape with a draw. Holland’s great hope, 21-year-old Jorden van Foreest, recorded his first win.

J. Van Foreest – D. Anton Guijarro
Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9.h3 h6 10.a4 Bd7 11.Bc2 b4 12.Nbd2 Re8 13.a5!? (A new try, fixing a6 as a target and enabling Ba4 in some lines) 13…Bf8 14.Re1 Rb8 15.d4 (The patient 15.Nc4 looks more to the point) 15…bxc3 16.bxc3 exd4 17.cxd4 Nb4! 18.Bb1 g6

Shades of Kasparov

J. Van Foreest – D. Anton Guijarro

(18…c5! supplies enough counterplay, and if 19.Bb2 Bb5 20.dxc5 dxc5. Garry Kasparov used to like a rook lift via a3 in similar positions) 19.Ra3 Bg7?! (Now White begins to take control. 19…c5 was still critical) 20.Nf1 Rb5 21.Ng3 Nh5?! (21…Nh7!? and Ng5 was a better way to suffer) 22.Nxh5 Rxh5 23.d5! (Cutting off the rook’s return to leave Black in serious trouble) 23…c5 24.Bf4 Bb2 25.Rae3 Qf6 26.Bg3 c4 27.Qe2 Bb5 28.e5! (The thematic breakthrough) 28…Bxe5 29.Nxe5 dxe5 30.Bxe5 Rexe5! (Black’s king would not have survived after 30…Qd8? 31.Bc3) 31.Rxe5 c3 32.Qe3 c2 33.Rxh5 (Van Foreest has it all worked out. 33…cxb1Q? 34.Rxb1 hits the knight on b4) 33…gxh5 34.Bxc2? (34.Qd2! Nd3 35.Bxc2 Nxe1 36.Qxe1 should be winning thanks to White’s extra passed d-pawn and safer king) 34…Nxc2 35.Qe5 Kg7 36.Re4

Test Your Strength

J. Van Foreest – D. Anton Guijarro Tata Steel

Now 36…Qxe5 37.Rxe5 Nd4 (37…Kg6? 38.d6 Nd4 39.Rxb5!! wins) 38.d6 Bc6 would have continued to resist, but might Black instead try to force a queen exchange on his terms with 36…Bd3?

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

No! 36…Bd3?? 37.Qg3+ 1-0

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