The Philippine Star

Russian paces Euro chess


Russia’s Ernesto Inarkiev defeated topseeded David Navarra of the Czech Republic to move into the lead after eight rounds at the European Individual Championsh­ip in Gjakova, Republic of Kosovo.

Inarkiev, the No. 12 seed, had seven points entering the final three rounds of the tournament which selects qualifiers for the next World Cup. He was half-a-point ahead of second-seeded Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland.

Wojtaszek, Anand’s second in the 2014 world championsh­ip match, was in a group of three players in a tie for second at 6.5 points apiece.

Unseeded Igor Kovalenko of Latvia and Russian Alexey Goganov were tied with Wojtaszek after posting contrastin­g victories.

More than 100 GMs from 39 countries are entered in the 11-round Swiss System championsh­ip.

2016 European Individual Championsh­ip W) D. Navarra (CZE) 2730 B) E. Inarkiev (RUS) 2668 Nimzo-Indian Defense 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 ...

A move recommende­d by the great Polish GM Akiba Rubinstein (1880-1961). White achieves, without the slightest risk, a sound position and could quickly get an advantage should Black play inaccurate­ly. 4... 0-0 5. Bd3 d5

The system of developmen­t chosen by Black is one of the strongest and leads to equality. 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Ne2 ...

Rubinstein’s well-known idea. White protects c3 then forces the exchange of his opponent’s dark-squared Bishop without having the drawback of capturing with the b-pawn. 7... Re8, 8. 0-0 Bf8, 9. Bd2 b6, 10. Nf4 Bb7, 11. Qf6 a6!?

An interestin­g idea which plans to support the light-squared Bishop. 12. Rad1 Ra7 13. Bc2 c5 The thematic break here. 14. dxc5 ...

White decides to play against Black’s center pawns which is hardly commendabl­e. 14. Rfe1 is perhaps a safer alternativ­e. 14... bxc5 15. Qh3 g6 16. Nce2 Bc6 17. Bc3 Nbd7 18. Bb3 Qa8

A difficult position. The hanging pawns as usual are liabilitie­s on the one hand, for they might become weak, but assets on the other as they strike into enemy territory for superiorit­y in controlled space. At least for the time being, chances are about even. 19. g4? ...

White simply loses the thread. Either 19. Rd2 or 19. Rc1 is better. The text leads to a serious weakening of the Kingside. 19... Ne5!

The refutation of White’s last move. The weaknesses along the a8-h1 diagonal will be difficult to defend. 20. g5?? ....

Another poor move which loses material without compensati­on. The only move to avoid quick disaster according to the engine is 20. Bxe5 and after 20...Rxe5 21. Qg3 Ne4 22. Qg2 with some hope of survival. 20... d4!

Opening up the center and activating his pieces. Now White finds it hard to find a satisfacto­ry reply. 21. f3 dxc3, 22. gxf6 c4, 23. Bc2 Nxf3ch, 24. Kf2 cxb2?!

The computer gives 24. Rxe3! which is decisive. 25. Qg3 Qb8?!

25... Bc5! is stronger according to the engine. Black is under extreme time pressure here which explains the inaccuraci­es in his last two moves. Anyhow, Black is winning and White’s further resistance makes no difference to the eventual outcome.

26. Nc3 Ne5; 27. h4 Rd7, 28. h5 Qd8, 29. hxg6 fxg6, 30. Rxd7 Qxd7, 31. Kg1 Kf7, 32. Ne4 Bh6, 33. Qh4 Bxe4, 34. Bxe4 Qg4ch, 35. Qxg4 Nxg4, 36. Bd5ch Kxf6, 37. Nxg6ch Kg5 0:1

Solution to last week’s puzzle: Black to move and win. White=Kg1, Qc3, Re1, Pa2, Pb3, Pc2, Pf2, Pg2, Ph3 Black=Kg8, Qf6, Re5, Pa7, Pb6, Pc5, Pd5, Pg7, Ph5 1... Re2! 0:1 If 2...Qxf6 Rxe1ch and wins, or 2. Qa1 Qxf2ch and mates.

 ?? ?? Black to move and win.
Black to move and win.
 ?? ??

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