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Upsets in Chess | David beats Goliath - 2

Nov 21, 2014
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Hello everyone! This is IM Srinath Narayanan here.  In continuation of last week's David beats Goliath column, this week we look at another 9 year old scalping a grandmaster.



                                                       "Looks are deceptive"

Ibrayev, Nurlan(2407) - Hetul, Shah(1817) 0-1

New Delhi Parsvnath op 7th 2009.01.11

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5

The 'Chigorin' system of the Ruy Lopez. One of the classical openings.


The preservation of center is one of the main concepts in Ruy Lopez.

11... Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Bd7 ( Nc6 14.Nb3 a5 15.Be3 a4 16.Nbd2 is the mainline.)

14.Nf1 Rfc8 15.Ne3 Nc6 16.a3

Prevents intrusion on b4

16... Bf8 (16... Nxd4 17.Nxd4 exd4 18.Qxd4 d5! = is another interesting option, taking advantage of the c2 bishop hanging.)


BD_27015_260_0.pngDiagram #1


Can you find what the Grand Master missed?

( 17.dxe517... Nxe5 18.Bd2 +/= )

17... Nxd4

Well done if you got it right!

18.Nxd4 Qc3

BD_27015_260_1.pngDiagram #2


BD_27015_260_2.pngDiagram #3

( 19.Rb119... Qxd4 (19... exd4 20.Bb2) 20.Qf3 -/+ is just a pawn down for White, but he can still fight on for a draw.)

19... Qxa1 20.Qd2

Trying to trap the Queen. However, the Queen is hardly in any danger at all.

20... d5 21.b4 d4 22.Nd1 Rxc2!

BD_27015_260_3.pngDiagram #4


'When you have the advantage, you must always choose the simplest path to victory' is something the famous Russian coach Mark Dvoretsky has always stressed on.

23.Qxc2 Rc8 24.Qd2 ( 24.Qd3 Rxc1 25.Nxc1 Qxc1 -+ )

24... Nxe4 25.Qd3 Nd6

BD_27015_260_4.pngDiagram #5


Black has two dangerous central passed pawns, and much better pieces. The 2 rank difference between pawn and a knight, a motif seen often in my articles is also seen here.


BD_27015_260_5.pngDiagram #6


Black has two dangerous central passed pawns, and much better pieces. The 2 rank difference between pawn and a knight, a motif seen often in my articles is also seen here.

26... Qa2 27.f4 Qc4 28.Qb1 d3 29.Ne3 Qe4 30.Nc3 Qxf4 31.Ncd5 ( 31.Qxd3 doesn't offer any solace31... Bxh3! Decoy: h3 32.Ned5 ( 32.gxh3 Qg3+ 33.Kf1 Rc4 -+ )32... Qh4 -+ )

31... Qg3 32.Nf1 Qg6 33.Bxe5 Nc4 34.Nf4 Qb6+ 35.Kh1 Nxe5 36.Rxe5 Bd6 37.Re4 Bc6 38.Qc1 Qb7

BD_27015_260_6.pngDiagram #7


After this, the rest of the game doesn't require any commentary

39.Re1 Bxg2+ 40.Nxg2 Rxc1 41.Rxc1 Bf4 42.Rc3 d2 43.Rd3 h6 44.Kg1 Qb6+

A memorable victory for the 9 year old Hetul! 5 years ago victories by 9 year olds against Grandmasters was a lot less common than today. Anybody can defeat anyone from any position.

Lessons from the game:-

1. Play against opponent's pieces, not opponent.

2. When you've the better position, try to convert in the simplest way possible.

It's also interesting to note that in the 3 games in which grandmasters lost to 9 year olds, a player from Kazhakistan was involved in some way!

If you think that only ordinary grandmasters are vulnerable to not waking up early enough and playing at their full strength in the first round, well you are in for a surprise! Even the World Champion is not immune from this.  Scroll down and have a look!

Larsen Hagen, Brede Andre(2034) - Carlsen, Magnus(2710) 1/2-1/2

Arctic Chess Challenge 2007.08.04

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6

The Nadjorf Defense. This variation was the pet of both Fischer and Kasparov, two players who dominated the chess world in their days

6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Be7 8.Bg2

BD_27015_260_7.pngDiagram #8


The development of black's pieces now is in such a way that it'll target the e4 square. pawn advances to b5-b4, black's bishop is developed to b7 and the knight develops to d7, with possible plans to come to c5 although Nb6-c4 is also possible

8... Nbd7 9.O-O b5 10.h3 Bb7 11.g4

white intends to relocate the white knight to g3 to fortify e4. The e2 knight also has an eye on the lush fields of f5

11... b4

The drawback with this advance is that the b4 pawn becomes vulnerable to attacks later on

12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5

it's always a strategic triumph for Black in the sicilian defence when white captures with a pawn on d5. This is because, the d6 pawn, which is a backward pawn is usually one of the weaknesses in black's position. Taking on d5 with the pawn makes it a lot more difficult for white to attack now

13... O-O 14.Ng3 Re8 ( g6 15.Bh6 Re8 16.Qd2 a5 17.a3)

15.a3 a5 16.Be3 Qc7 17.Qd2 Nb6 18.b3

BD_27015_260_8.pngDiagram #9


As mentioned already, this is a typical motif to contain opponent's knight with our pawn

18... Bf8 19.Rfd1 bxa3?

BD_27015_260_9.pngDiagram #10


Now, Black will have a lot of problems defending the a5 pawn. It's possible that Black missed Qb4 or Rc1

20.Rxa3 a4 21.Qb4 Qxc2 22.Rc1 Qb2

It looks like black has saved his knight by holding the gun to the head of both the rooks. However, black has to part with either b6 or b7

23.Rca1 ( 23.Raa1! 23... Nxd5 (23... Bxd5 (23... axb3 24.Rab1 +- ) 24.Rab1 Qa2 25.Bxb6 Bxg2 26.Kxg2 +- ) 24.Qxb7 Nxe3 25.fxe3 Reb8 26.Qd5 +- )

23... Bxd5 24.Qxb6 Rab8 25.Qxb8

with this move, white ensures that it's almost impossible to win with black

25... Rxb8 26.Bxd5 axb3 27.Ra7 Qc2 28.Rc1 Qg6 29.Bxf7+ Qxf7 30.Rxf7 Kxf7 31.Rb1

The highly advanced b-paser and the d-paser ensure that black has adequate compensation for the piece deficit. White finds a suave way to exchange the dangerous pasers for a minor piece

31... b2 32.Bd2 d5 33.Bc3 Rc8 34.Bxb2 Rb8 35.Rd1 Rxb2 36.Rxd5 Ke6

Lessons from the game:-

1. Paying attention and learning about the pawn structures can help you in any position.

2. Training in tactics and calculation is like training in running.  It has to be constantly trained and will help you in every game.

So, if we're the stronger player, how do we avoid such mishaps? Here are a few tips I learnt from my experience which I hope, will prove useful for you!

1.Try to reach the tournament one day before the first round. It has been written that, the great Soviet ex-World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik used to arrive a week before an event to acclimatise. While not everyone can afford this, 1 day seems more reasonable

2.It's useful to get into the habit of not letting our chess decisions be influenced by external factors such as opponent's age,rating etc. even though the objective of each chess game is to win, the quality of our play should not be compromised because of our opponent.

3.It's very useful to get into the habit of just enjoying and trying to play good chess.  This'll ensure that our play is not overly affected by external factors such as opponent's rating, tournament situation, our rating, opponent's gestures etc.

If you've witnessed/experienced similar events, please do share them in the comments section below. Also please don't hesitate to tell us how we can get better! :)

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by yodhaa on Nov 14, 2014   1801   0
Upsets in Chess | David beats Goliath - 1
Hello everyone! This is IM Srinath Narayanan here, with another interesting column for you. It's the day before weekend, and on this pleasant Friday, I like to share Davi...

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