CHESS

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Puzzles - Alexan­der Baburin

Some chess tour­na­ments have a very long his­tory. One of the best known is Tata Steel chess fes­ti­val in Wijk aan Zee in the Nether­lands. In its 81st edi­tion, which started yes­ter­day, the top play­ers, such as Carlsen, Mam­e­d­yarov and Ding Liren, will be com­pet­ing with the young stars such as Ne­pom­ni­achtchi, Duda and Fe­doseev.

Closer to home, sev­eral tour­na­ments fin­ished in Dublin last week­end. Rus­sian GM Glek Igor won a closed GMnorm tour­na­ment, scor­ing 6 points in 9 rounds. In the IM-norm tour­na­ment FM Michael De Verdier (Swe­den) and IM An­drew Greet (Scot­land) shared a vic­tory with 6.5 points each. In that group Ir­ish ju­nior play­ers Tom O’Gor­man and Henry Li scored 5.5 and 5 points re­spec­tively, gain­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence as well as rat­ing points. Luke Scott won the C-tour­na­ment with 7.5 points out of 9, and IM Alex Lopez won a blitz tour­na­ment with 9/11. Paul Wal­lace and Ger­ard MacEl­lig­ott tied for first in the Ir­ish Se­nior Cham­pi­onship, scor­ing 5.5 points in 7 rounds.

The fol­low­ing cu­ri­ous blun­der is from that tour­na­ment: White is win­ning and had he played 23.Rxc5, the game would not have lasted long. But when vic­tory is in sight, many play­ers lose the sense of dan­ger and make sloppy de­ci­sions. This is cer­tainly the case in point here: 23.Bxb7?? Bxb7 24.Rxb7?? Af­ter 24.Nxf5 White would be still OK, but FM Robin Moss fell vic­tim to a rare tac­ti­cal mo­tiff: 24...0–0–0+! 0–1 Moss – Cafolla

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