Chess Olympiad, Round 4
Interesting matches and several interesting games. Nine teams went in with 3/3, only 2 teams came out with 4/4 – Germany 1 and Russia. Carlsen won, after a terrible late blunder from Adams, to level the match for Norway against England. All games in Ukraine – Armenia match ended in a draw, but there was plenty of fight. Ivanchuk and Aronian took it till there were only Kings left in the board. Russia beat India narrowly – Harikrishna was left on the losers side despite a brilliant win over Svidler. One of the frustrations of the new match scoring is that 1.5 amounts to nothing in a 1.5-2.5 defeat, unless tie breakers are required to decide final positions. US lost to Azerbaijan – both Kamsky and Nakamura went down to defeat. Nakamura tried hard to hold the opposite color bishop ending, but Mamedyarov prevailed. Kamsky and Nakamura have to fire for US’s fortunes to improve.
Harikrishna played a beautiful game, that culminated in a wonderful sacrificial attack against Russian champion Peter Svidler.
Accepting the sacrifice leads to a colorful defeat.
25…fxe6 26.Bxe6+ Kh8 27.Qf3
with the threat of queen invasion via h3.
25…Rab8 26.Qf3 Nc4 27.Re7 1-0
The final position – guarding f7 with Rf8 leads to loss of material after Rc7.
This theme of a rook leaving a file and shortly thereafter, a pawn that this rook “guarded” being attacked mercilessly by an opponent’s piece is not that uncommon. Here is one from Bobby Fischer’s My sixty memorable games (which, by the way, has been recently reprinted with algebraic notation)
In a classic choice of wrong rook, Byre decided to put his f rook to the d file, leaving f2 vulnerable.
15…Nxf2! 16.Kxf2 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Nxe3 18.Qd2 Nxg2 19.Kxg2 d4 20.Nxd4 Bb7+ 21.Kf1 Qd7 0-1
Byrne resigned leaving Fischer bitterly disappointed. He had hoped for this finish –
22.Qf2 Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Re1+!! 24.Rxe1 Bxd4
Fischer won a brilliancy prize for this game, played in 1963-64 US Championship.