Malcolm Pein on…The Tour Striking Gold


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The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour online at Chess24 has struck gold with a new sponsor backing the seventh leg, the Goldmoney Asian Rapid.The event has a $100,000 (£71,000) prize pot. The Tour climaxes with a face to face competition in San Francisco in September.

The 16 players make up the most interesting and varied field in the Tour so far and includes young Indian stars Arjun Erigaisi and D Gukesh, who secured spots from an Indian qualifier and Gelfand Challenge respectively.

China’s Hou Yifan, by far the strongest active female player, has come out of semi-retirement during lockdown and her match with the world champion and current Tour leader Magnus Carlsen will be of great interest.

Every time someone took the lead of the Gelfand Challenge, the pressure became too much to bear and they faltered. Gukesh made a late run.

D. Gukesh – A. Liang
English Defence 10+5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb7 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 e5 8.Nf3 exd4 9.Bc4 d3 10.Qb3 Qe7 (10…Qf6! 11.Bg5 Qg6 looks playable) 11.Ng5 Nd7 12.Bxf7+ Kd8 13.Be3 h6? (After 13…Nc5 14.Bxc5 Qxg5! is actually good for Black and 13…Nc5 14.Ne6+ Qxe6 15.Bxe6 Nxb3 16.axb3 Bxe4 17.f3 Bg6 is a mess although White is better after 18.Bd5! c6! 19.Bxc6 Rc8 20.Bd5 Rxc3 21.Rxa7 Bb4 22.Kf2) 14.Bd5 Kc8? (14…Nc5! 15.Bxc5 Qxg5 16.Bxb7 Bxc5 17.Bxa8 Bxf2+ 18.Kxf2 Qd2+ 19.Kg3 Qg5+ draws and after 18.Kd1 Qxg2 White must force a draw with 19.Qd5+ Ke7 20.Qe5+ Kd8 21.Qd5+) 15.Nf7 (15.Ne6 followed by 0–0 and Rd1 is very good) 15…Rh7 16.Rd1 Nf6? (16…g5! hits the knight and the game reels on) 17.Be6+ Kb8

D. Gukesh – A. Liang

18.e5 Bc8 (After 18…Ne4 19.Rxd3 Rd1-d8+ comes and oblivion) 19.Bxc8 Kxc8 20.exf6 gxf6 21.Qd5 Rb8 22.Qf5+ 1–0

N. Abdusattorov – P. Shuvalova
Ruy Lopez Exchange 10+5

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0–0 Qf6 6.d4 exd4 7.Bg5 Qg6 8.Qxd4 Be6 9.Rd1 Bd6 10.Nbd2 f6 11.Bh4 0–0–0 ??

Test Your Strength

N. Abdusattorov – P. Shuvalova

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this to reveal the answer.

12.Qa7 Ne7 13.e5 fxe5 14.Nc4 Bd5 15.Ncxe5 Bxe5 16.Qa8+ Kd7 17.Nxe5+ 1–0

Play Through the Game

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