Win­ning in po­si­tional chess

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By EDGAR DE CAS­TRO

The Lon­don Chess Clas­sic, the fi­nal leg of the year-long Grand Chess Tour, be­gins on Dec. 11 at the Olympia Con- fer­ence Cen­ter in down­town Lon­don.

Amer­i­can Fabi­ano Caru­ana, the un­suc- cess­ful chal­lenger in the re­cent world cham­pi­onship match, head­lined the par­tic­i­pants that in­cluded com­pa­triot Hikaru Naka­mura, French­man Maxime Vachier La­grave and Levon Aro­nian of Ar­me­nia – all win­ners of pre­vi­ous GCT legs held in Brus­sels (Bel­gium), Paris (France) and St. Louis (USA).

For­mat will be two clas­si­cal knock­out games on Dec. 11 and 12, two rapid and four blitz games on Dec. 13, and two clas­si­cal, two rapid and four blitz games on Dec. 15, 16 and 17.

Semi­fi­nal matches pit Caru­ana against Naka­mura and Aro­nian vs Vachier La­grave, with the win­ners ad­vanc­ing to the fi­nals and the losers play­ing for third place. In Rus­sia, the 16-player knock­out Rus­sian Cup Fi­nals got un­der­way last Wed­nes­day in Khan­tyMan­siysk.

Round of 16 was com­pleted, and quar­ter­fi­nals game one be­tween Nikita Afarasiev vs Dmitry Kokarev, Kir­ill Alek­seenko vs Alexey Sarana, Dmitry Bo­harov vs David Par­avyan and Ar­tyom Ti­mofeeyev vs Alek­sey Sorokin, all ended in draws.

Matches were held in clas­si­cal 90 min­utes plus 30 sec­onds fol­lowed by 15+10 rapid and 5+3 blitz tiebreaks. Lovers of sub­tle po­si­tional chess will rel­ish the fol­low­ing game taken from the on­go­ing Rus­sian Cup Fi­nals. With very lit­tle to work with (as a cen­tral­ized Knight or two, and a half-open e file for a Rook or two), Black carves out a fine vic­tory.

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