Malcolm Pein on…Richard Rapport’s Success


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In today’s Daily Telegraph chess column, Malcolm Pein highlights Grandmaster Richard Rapport’s success at a strong online tournament.

Rapport’s style of play is lively and appealing to spectators. When it works, it works very well!

There is also a puzzle on which to test your strength.

Malcolm Pein on…Richard Rapport’s Success

Richard Rapport won the 11th Hainan Danzhou Super-GM tournament played online at The eight-player double round-robin included the four leading Chinese players and four GMs in the world’s top 25, including four of the eight players in the unfinished Candidates tournament; Ding Liren, Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri and Wang Hao.

Rapport defeated Ding in round one and never looked back, emerging as the only unbeaten player.

Yu Yangyi – R. Rapport

Nimzo Indian 15+10

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd2 e5 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 e4 9.Nd2 e3 (Rapport never turns down a chance to unbalance the game) 10.fxe3 0–0 11.h3 (White is justifiably concerned about Ng4, but this creates a serious weakness. 11.e4 c5 12.g3 was the way to challenge Black’s idea) 11…Nh5! 12.0–0–0 Ng3 13.Rg1 f5! (Threatening to lock the door with Nd7–f6 when White will struggle to develop)

Richard Rapport Game

14.e4 Qg5! 15.exf5 Nf6! 16.e4 Nfxe4 17.Bd3 Nf2 18.Rde1 Nxd3+ 19.Qxd3 Bxf5 (The light squares are fatally weak and White’s king will always be unsafe. There is never time for b2–b3 and Kc1–b2) 20.Qe3 Qg6 21.Qf3 Rae8 (White’s queen is so short of squares she has to embark on a fatal pawn grab. If 22.b3 Bxh3 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Kb2 Ne2 25.Re1 Bxg2) 22.Qd5+ Kh8 23.Qxb7 Ne2+ 24.Rxe2 Rxe2 25.Qxc7 Qg3 (Threat Re1+ 25…Bb1 also wins)

Richard Rapport Winning

26.Nf3 Qf4+ 27.Nd2 Qe3 0–1

Test Your Strength

Giri - Wei Yi

Giri-Wei Yi

Black is winning, easily but how did he win material immediately?

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

45…Rxb2 46.Rxb2 Qc1+ 47.Qe1 Qxb2 0-1

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