Gujrathi leads Prague International
LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro (The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2020 - 12:00am

In Prague, Czech Republic, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi scored two wins and one draw to move into the lead following third round play at the Prague International Festival.

The fifth-seeded Indian, who moved to world No. 21 in the latest live chess ratings, had 2.5 points overall, one half point better than Poland’s Jan-Kryzstof Duda, defending champion Nikita Vitiugov of Russia and teenager Alireza Firoujza, the 16-year-old former Iranian now living in France.

Other GMs on the table read Anton Guijarro David (Spain) and Nils Grandelius (Sweden), at 1.5 each, Pentala Harikrishna (India), Samuel Shankland (USA) and Markus Ragger (Austria), 1.0 apiece and local bet David Navara, 1.0.

The 10-player, Cat. 19, single round round robin event will run up to Feb. 22. Time control is 90 minutes in 40 moves plus 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30-second per move increment. 

*  * *

The following game sheds more light on the variation involved. Black introduces a daring opening novelty, still he achieves no particular advantage. It is a sharp Pawn thrust on the brink of the endgame which decides the issue.

Prague Chess Festival Masters 2020 

W) D. Navara (Czech Republiuc)

B) JK Duda (Poland)

Sicilian Defense

1. e4      c5 

2. Nf3                    d6 

3. d4                      cxd4 

4. Nxd4                 Nf6 

5. Nc3                    a6 

6. h3                      ....

The Adams Attack, introduced into practice by US champion and author Weaver W. Adams (1901-1963). This is an old variant strongly recommended in the 50s, but only Fischer succeeded in making it popular.

6....         e6 

7. g4                       h6 

8. Bg2                    Nc6 

9. Be3                    Be7

Black adopts the solid Scheveningen set up, a reliable equalizing line against the Adams Attack.

10. f4                     Nd7 

11. Nf3                  g5!?

An interesting novelty. Perhaps, but even if the move was played before, it was not given enough attention by theoretical experts. After 11....b5 12. 0-0 0-0 13. Ne2 Bb7 14. Ng3, White stands slightly better. Naranayan-Vidit, 2019 Xingtai Asian Continental 

12. Ne2                 gxf4 

13. Bxf4                Nde5 

14. Nxe5              Nxe5 

15. Ng3                 Qb6

16. Bxe5               dxe5 

17. Qf3                  Bg5!

A significant move which prevents castling, with the intention of a Queen swap.

18. h4                    Qe3ch

19. Qxe3              Bxe3 

20. Ke2                 Ba7

Now Black’s Bishop pair enjoys a slight edge in the ensuing the endgame.

21. Rad1               Bd7

22. Kf3                  Ke7 

23. Rh2                 Rhg8 

24. Bh3                 Ba4 

25. Rhd2               Rac8 

26. Bf1?                ....

Embarking on an ineffective maneuvering, as the Bishop has more role on h3. The normal 26. Rc1 is much better.

26....                      Rg6 

27. Nh5                 Bd4 

28. Bd3?               ....

A fatalistic reply which concedes Black a huge advantage. More to the point is 28. b3, with chances to hold.

28....                      Rcg8 

29. Rg2                  f5! 

A sharp Pawn stab to which there is no good reply.

30. exf5                Bc6ch

31. Ke2                 ....

31. Be4 is no bargain either because of 31....Bxe4ch 32. Kxe4 Rxg4ch 33. Kd3 exf5, etc.

31....                      exf5 

32. Ng3?               ....

This loses material, but also hopeless is 32. Rh2 Rxg4 33. Bxf5 Be8 34. Bxg4 Rxg4 35. c3 Bxh5, etc.

32....                      Bxg2 

33. Nxf5ch           Kf6 

34. Nxd4              Rxg4 

35. Nf5                  e4 

36. Nxh6              Bf3ch

0-1

Solution to last week puzzle

White to move and win.

White=Kh1, Rg2, Bd5, Nf3, Pc4, Pf4, Pf5, Ph2

Black=Kh8, Ra6, Na4, Be3, Pc5, Pd6, Pe7, Pf6, Ph5

1. Nh4!                 ....

Threatening 2. Ng6ch Kh7 3. Nf8ch and mates..

1.....                       Kh7

2. Ng6                   Kg7

3. Nf8ch!              1-0

3....Kxf8/Kh6 4. Rg8/Rg6 mate.

* * *

Black to play and win.

VIDIT SANTOSH GUJRATHI
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