My final post from Round 1: other highlights. Being a local Ottawa boy for nearly 20 years now, I have to admit I was quite happy to see two, count'em, two upsets by local Experts over foreign GM's. Congrats to David Gordon and Mihnea Voloaca for their respective wins - and good luck tomorrow guys - it's not going to get any easier!
Gordon,D (2275) - GM Kunte,Abhijit (India): Trompovsky
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.Nd2 h6 4.Bxf6 Qxf6 5.c3 d5 6.Ngf3 c5 7.e4 cxd4 8.e5 Qd8 9.cxd4 Qb6 10.Qb3 Bb4 11.Qd3 Be7 12.Qb5+ Bd7 13.Qxb6 axb6 14.Bd3 Nc6 15.Ke2 g5 16.Nb3 g4 17.Ne1 f6 18.exf6 Bxf6 19.Nc2 Ke7 20.Rhe1 Kd6 21.a3 h5 22.Rad1 Ne7 23.Nc1 Nf5 24.Bxf5 exf5 25.f4 Rac8 26.Kd2 Rc4 27.b3 Rc7 28.Nd3 Rhc8 29.Rc1 Ra8 30.Ne5 Be6 31.a4 b5 (DIAGRAM)
White's opening did not lead to much, and 25...Rae8+ and 26...Re4, say, or ideas with ...h5-h4 look to give Black the better chances. Instead, after the text, Kunte must have simply overlooked Gordon's tricky tactic on move 32. White wins a pawn by force now, and leaves Black with a rather poor position which goes very quickly downhill. A one-move game some critics might say, but chess is after all very often about he who makes the SECOND-LAST mistake!
32...Rxc1 33.Nxb5+ Ke7 34.Rxc1 Rc8 35.Rxc8 Bxc8 36.Kc3 Be6 37.Kb4 Kd8 38.Kc5 Bg8 39.Kb6 h4 40.Kxb7 Bxe5 41.dxe5 d4 42.Nxd4 Bd5+ 43.Kb8 Bxg2 44.Nxf5 g3 45.hxg3 1–0
After 45...h3 46.g4! h2 47.Ng3 h1Q 48.Nxh1 Bxh1, White's five(!) pawns are more than a match for Black's only remaining piece.
GM Likavsky,Tomas (Slovakia) (2485) - Voloaca,M (2313): Semi-Slav, Meran
I am going to leave this game for the experts in this opening to debate. I am tired (1 am) and have 2 rounds to come up with scintillating wit and fabulous analysis tomorrow...the Tim Horton's coffeeshop near the hotel is open in the morning, right? And more importantly, they do have coffee (as in lots of it)? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........
Oh, right, anywho... I will say that I was impressed with the Black Queen's contortions and refusal to leave the board, and the vicious attack which eventually unraveled against White's King, while Black's blithely marched up to h4. Mihnea is a creative and resourceful player, and he demonstrated those abilities in spades in this game, regardless of how objectively imperfect it might be. I'm sure there were many alternatives for both sides, but do yourself a favour and play through the game as is - it is quite a treat!
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 e6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Bd3 dxc4 6.Bxc4 b5 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.0–0 a6 9.a4 b4 10.Qe2 c5 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Nbd2 Nbd7 13.Nb3 Bd6 14.Rd1 Qc7 15.Bd2 0–0 16.Rac1 Qb8 17.Na5 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Bxh2+ 19.Kg2 Bd6 20.Rc6 Ne5 21.Rxa6 Rxa6 22.Bxa6 Qa8 23.Nb7 Be7 24.Qb5 Nd5 25.Rc1 f5 26.f4 Ng4 27.Qc6 Kf7 28.Be2 Rb8 29.Ba6 h5 30.Na5 Qa7 31.Nc4 Nxf4+ 32.Kf1 Rd8 33.Be1 Nd3 34.Rc2 Nh2+ 35.Ke2 b3 36.Rd2 Nb4 37.Ne5+ Kf6 38.Nd7+ Rxd7 39.Qxd7 Qxa6+ 40.Qb5 Qa8 41.Rd7 Qf3+ 42.Kd2 Nd5 43.Qxb3 Bb4+ 44.Kc1 Bxe1 45.Qb7 Bxf2 46.Rf7+ Kg5 47.Rxg7+ Kh4 48.a5 Bxe3+ 49.Kc2 Bc5 50.Kb1 Qd1+ 51.Ka2 Nb4+ 52.Ka3 Nc2+ 53.Ka2 Qa1+ 54.Kb3 Nd4+ 55.Kc4 Qc1+ 0–1.
That's it for tonight folks...see u tomorrow!