Ris­ing stars light up Euro cham­pi­onship

The Washington Times Daily - - Life - DAVID R. SANDS

Cue the cho­rus of “Sunrise, Sunset.” In one more sign that kids grow up fast these days, 17-year-old prodigy GM Anish Giri had what for him rates as a novel ex­pe­ri­ence: los­ing to a younger player. At the 13th Euro­pean In­di­vid­ual Cham­pi­onship now un­der way in Plov­div, Bul­garia, the reign­ing Dutch na­tional champ fell to 15-year-old fel­low prodigy GM Ilya Nyzh­nyk from Ukraine. Some are al­ready billing the game, the first over-the-board clash of the two wun­derkinds, as a sneak pre­view of the 2020 world cham­pi­onship match.

In an Open Cata­lan (with a slew of tricky trans­po­si­tions), Nyzh­nyk as White wins back his gam­bited pawn, but Caruana ob­tains a per­fectly de­fen­si­ble po­si­tion, with some good squares for his knights as White strug­gles to get his bishop pair free. But the sense of lurk­ing dan­ger that usu­ally is so highly de­vel­oped in grand­mas­ters ut­terly fails Black here, as he badly un­der­es­ti­mates the power of White’s hpawn thrust.

Af­ter 20. h5 Nd3 (f5 21. exf6 Nxf6 22. Qh4 h6 seems per­fectly ad­e­quate) 21. h6 f5?! (and now safer would be 21. . . . g6 22. Bd2 Qe7 [not 22. . . . Nxb2? 23. Bxd5 Qxd5 24. Bb4 Ra8 25. Qf4 Qd7 26. Qf6 and wins], with an equal game) 22. exf6 Rxf6? (the last chance to main­tain equal­ity was 22. . . . Nxf6 23. Qg5 Nd5) 23. Bxd5! Rxf1+ (Qxd5?? 24. Qxg7 mate) 24. Kxf1 Qf7+ 25. Bf3! Nxc1 26. d5!, Black’s po­si­tion is sud­denly on the verge of col­lapse, as 26. . . . exd5 loses to 27. Kg2! (un­pin­ning the bishop) Nd3 28. Qc8+ Qf8 29. Bxd5+ Kh8 30. Qxf8 mate.

Grab­bing both a pawn and a strong ini­tia­tive, the young Ukrainian plays the fi­nale with im­pres­sive pre­ci­sion, not al­low­ing his higher-ranked op­po­nent any chance of sneak­ing back into the con­test: 26. . . . Nd3 27. dxe6 Qe7 28. Bd5! Kf8 (Nb4 29. e4 Qf6+ [Nxd5 30. exd5 Qf6+ 31. Qf4 Kf8 32. Qxf6+ gxf6 33. d6 is a won end­ing

He was one of those play­ers not well known on the in­ter­na­tional cir­cuit, but who was highly ap­pre­ci­ated in his na­tive land as a com­peti­tor, jour­nal­ist, or­ga­nizer and coach. Rus­sian GM Yuri Razu­vaev, who died last week af­ter a lengthy ill­ness at age 66, in­spired an im­pres­sive num­ber of tributes and eu­lo­gies from friends and com­pa­tri­ots for his many and var­ied con­tri­bu­tions to the game.

His coach­ing re­sume was par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, work­ing with a ros­ter of play­ers that in­cluded at var­i­ous times world cham­pi­ons Ana­toly Kar­pov and Vladimir Kram­nik and women’s ti­tle­holder Alexan­dra Koste­niuk, while man­ag­ing the jug­ger­naut Soviet teams that won gold at the Olympiad and Euro­pean team cham­pi­onships.

Rus­sian-born U.S. GM Boris Gulko, who left the old Soviet Union un­der not the hap­pi­est of cir­cum­stances, has writ­ten a fond and ad­mir­ing re­mem­brance of his old col­league for the Rus­sian Chess News web­site.

Razu­vaev was no slouch over the board, with no­table wins over play­ers such as Efim Geller, Nigel Short and (a very young) Garry Kas­parov. At a for White] 30. Qf4 Kf8 31. e7+ Kxe7 32. hxg7 Nxd5 [Qxg7 33. Qc7+ Kf6 34. Qd6+ Kg5 35. Qxb4] 33. g8=n+! Kf7 34. Nh6+ Ke7 35. exd5, and White emerges a piece ahead) 29. Qxg7+, and Black re­signed, as 29. . . . Ke8 (Qxg7 30. hxg7+ Kxg7 31. e7 and the pawn queens) 30. Be4 Qxe6 31. Qh8+ Ke7 32. Qxh7+ Kd6 33. Bxd3 cxd3 34. Qxd3+ is hope­less.

With seven rounds to go in Plov­div, English GM Gawain Jones and Ger­man GM Arkady Naid­itsch are part of a group of 10 play­ers all at 5-1 in the wide-open tour­na­ment. 1979 tour­na­ment in Dubna, Rus­sia, Razu­vaev (who won the event a year ear­lier) cap­tured the best game prize for his fine at­tack­ing win against Hun­gar­ian GM Ivan Farago.

As in the pre­vi­ous game, White in this QGD Semi-tar­rasch sig­nals his ag­gres­sive in­ten­tions with an h-pawn push against the Black king, and once again Black is not up to the de­fen­sive de­mands of the po­si­tion. Black’s 13. h4 Na5 14. Ng5 h6?! (bet­ter was 14. . . . g6 15. Bd2 Rc8) merely cre­ates a tar­get for White’s com­ing sac­ri­fices.

Razu­vaev doesn’t need to be in­vited twice, but his en­su­ing at­tack con­tains some sub­tle points: 16. Nh7! Re8 (Qc7!? 17. Bxh6 gxh6 18. Qxh6 f5 19. c4! Nxc4 20. Rxe6! Bxe6 21. Nxf8 Rxf8 22. Qxe6+ Kg7 23. Bxc4 is also strong for White) 17. Bxh6! (a fa­mil­iar idea in these po­si­tions, but White had to chart out the fol­low-up sac­ri­fice as well) gxh6 18. Qxh6 f5 19. Re3 Bxh4 (see di­a­gram), ap­par­ently stop­ping for the mo­ment the nasty rook check along the g-file.

But White has too much in­vested to back off now: 20. Rg3+!! Bxg3 21. Qg6+ Kh8 22. Nf6+ (the point of the rook sac­ri­fice, as now the Black bishop does not con­trol f6) Bh2+! (Qe7 23. Qh6+ and mate next) 23. Kh1!, sidestep­ping 23. Kxh2?? Qc7+ Nyzh­nyk Giri 1. d4 Nf6 16. e3 2. c4 e6 17. fxe5 3. Nf3 d5 18. Qg4 4. Nc3 c6 19. h4 5. g3 dxc4 20. h5 6. Bg2 b5 21. h6 7. Ne5 a6 22. exf6 8. a4 Bb7 23. Bxd5 9. 0-0 Be7 24. Kxf1 10. axb5 axb5 25. Bf3 11. Rxa8 Bxa826. d5 12. Nxb5 cxb527. dxe6 13. Bxa8 0-0 28. Bd5 14. Bg2 Nd5 29. Qxg7+ 15. f4 Bd6 Black re­signs Bxe5 Nc6 Qd7 Ncb4 Nd3 f5 Rxf6 Rxf1+ Qf7+ Nxc1 Nd3 Qe7 Kf8 Razu­vaev Farago 1. d4 d5 17. Bxh6 gxh6 2. c4 e6 18. Qxh6 f5 3. Nf3 Nf6 19. Re3 Bxh4 4. Nc3 c5 20. Rg3+ Bxg3 5. cxd5 Nxd5 21. Qg6+ Kh8 6. e3 Nc6 22. Nf6 Bh2+ 7. Bc4 cxd4 23. Kh1 Qxf6 8. exd4 Be7 24. Qxf6+ Kg8 9. 0-0 0-0 25. Kxh2 Rac8 10. Bd3 Nxc3 26. Rh1 Rc7 11. bxc 3b6 27. Qg6+ Kf8 12. Re1 Bb7 28. Kg1 Rf7 13. h4 Na5 29. Qg5 Rg7 14. Ng5 h6 30. Rh8+ Kf7 15. Qh5 Bd5 31. Qh5+ 16. Nh7 Re8 Black re­signs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.