Veterans vs Youth

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro - The Philippine Star

He most celebrated Veterans versus Youth traditional team match is underway at the Botvinnik Central Chess House in the Russian  capital of Moscow.

Dubbed the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations, the match  is being held on Scheveningen format, i.e., each player  on one side play against every player on the other side. There will be four classical  games (90+40+30 seconds increment)  and eight rapid games.(15+10 sec.increment)

Reliable veterans line up this year included Boris Gelfand, 51, (Israel), Alexey Shirov, 47,  (Latvia) and the Russian tandem of Evgeny  Najer, 42, and Evgeny Tomashevsky, 32. The  all-Russian youth is bannered by 17-year-old  Andrey Esipenko, Alexey Sarana, 19, Daniil  Yuffa, 22, and Semyon Lomasov, 18.

After three rounds of classical matches, the  overall results read  Veterans, 13.0, Youth, 11.0. Esipenko provided the most impressive individual performance for the youth with 2.5/3.0, while Tomashevsky posted the same output for the  veterans.

In classical games, a win is equivalent to  two points and one point for a draw.

Battle of the Generations 2020 

W) A. Esipenko (Russia)

B)  B. Gelfand (ISRAEL)

English Opening

1. c4              ....

Many years back, this move has a  less attractive reputation before British master Howard Staunton (1810-1874)  resurrected the  opening.in the 18th century. Today, when the benefits of flexible opening play is realized, the  English Opening came into fashion and has  become a favorite change-of-pace among  leading players

1....        c5 

Black employs the well-known  Symmetrical  Variation, the numerous branches of which are full of open questions. The cardinal question,  though, is whether Black has a fair chance for  equality.

2. Nf3    Nf6 

3. Nc3    Nc6 

4. d4      cxd4 

5. Nxd4 e6 

6. g3       Qb6 

7. Nb3   Ne5 

8. e4      Bb4 

9. c5!?   ....

An interesting Pawn sacrifice, which may result in dynamic equilibrium.  However, it also leads to a drawish game  after 9....Bxc5 10. Nxc5 Qxc5 11. Bg2  Qc4 12. Bf1 Qc5 13. Bg2 Qc4. The alternative 9. Qe2 0-0 10. f4 Nc6 11. Be3 Qc7 12. Bg2 b6 13. e5 Ne8 14. Bd2 probably favors White.

9....        Qc6 

10. Bg2  Qa6 

11. Qd4 d6 

12. cxd6                Nc6 

13. Qd2 Ne5 

14. f4     Nd3ch

15. Kd1 Bxc3 

16. bxc3                Nxc1?!

Not a good choice as it only facilitate White’s game 16....Qc4 is  most accurate according to the engine  with these possibilities:17. Qe3 Ng4  18. Qd4 Ndf2ch 19. Kc2 Qxd4 20. Nxd4 Nxh1 21. Bxh1 f6 22. h3 Nf2 23. Bg2 e5, and Black is ok.

17. Kxc1                e5 

Another premature action. He may do  better with 17....Qa3ch, reserving his choices.

18. fxe5                Ng4

19. Rd1 ....

White also obtains a satisfactory game after 19. Qd4 0-0 20. Bf1 Qa3ch  21. Kc2, etc.

19....      O-O 

This move loses a piece, but  19....Bd7 is met by 20. Qd4 and  White’s powerful center Pawns  will soon rule the waves.

20. d7    Bxd7 

21. Qxd7              Ne3 

22. Qd6 b6 

23. Rd2 Rac8 

24. Bh3 Rxc3ch

25. Kb2 Nc4ch?!

This move loses quickly, but in  any case, White wins after  25....Rc5  26. Nxc5 Qb5ch 27. Nb3, etc.  

26. Kxc3                Nxd6 

27. exd6               Qa3 

28. d7    ....

We draw the curtain here as  White’s material advantage is decisive.  The rest is a matter of technique and White wins easily.

28....      Rd8 

29. Rc1  g6 

30. Kd3 f5 

31. Ke3 Qe7 

32. Rc8  Qxe4ch

33. Kf2  Qe7 

34. Bg2  Kg7

35. Rxd8               Qxd8 

36. Rd5 1-0

Solution to last week puzzle:

White to play and win.

White=Kd2, Ra5, Nd3, Bf3, Pb5, Pf2, Pg3, Ph4

Black=Ke6, Rb3, Rb7, Pa7,  Pd5  Pd6, Pf7  Pg6, Ph5

1. Bxd5ch!           Kxd5

2. b6ch  Kc4

3. Ra4ch               1-0

If 3....Kb5 4. bxa7 and wins.

Black to play and win.

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