Chess (#1073)

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 30, 2013 00:15 hrs

The world team's championship is in progress at Antalya, Turkey. This edition features Egypt, Armenia, USA, Russia, China, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Germany and Turkey. Turkey makes the cut as hosts, Azerbaijan is the Fide nominee, while the rest are either seeded from the Olympiad or continental champions. This is a round-robin team event and most of the teams include the best players. The Azeris are an exception with Vugar Gashimov, Teimour Radjabov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov all sitting out.

The big upset until Round 2 has been the USA beating Russia 3-1. Hikaru Nakamura beat Vladimir Kramnik in a very complicated game where the former world champion ended a piece down in the endgame. Ray Robson beat Nikita Vituigov in an absolutely crazy affair, which could have gone either way, Meanwhile, in the open that ran concurrently with the world championship in Chennai, Aravindh Chithambaram registered a fantastic result. The 14-year-old Fide master went in ranked 53rd in a 114-person event which featured 21 GMs. He had a rating of 2335. He scored 9/11 beating four GMs and two IMs to win clear of the field. That was not only a GM norm, it was a 2700-plus performance. Chithambaram gains about 80 Elo. It was the kind of breakthrough that indicates a player with world-class potential, assuming the result wasn't a flash in the pan and it didn't look like it. Chithambaram's coach, R B Ramesh reckons that he could make the GM title within six months with the right exposure.

THE DIAGRAM, BLACK TO MOVE, (White: Vitiugov Vs Black: Robson, Russia Vs USA, World Team Championship 2013)

Both kings are exposed. White has a potentially deadly h-pawn but black has better piece coordination. Black could try 24.- Ne3 25.h6 Nd1+ 26. Kg1 Ne3 and a repeat to draw.

Instead he played 24. - Qd1? 25.Nxf4?

White misses a win with 25.h6!! Now 25...Rd2 26.h7 Rxe2+ 27.Kg1! Qd4+ 28.Kh2 Re3 (to stops Qc3) and then 29.Qg5! Kd7 30.Qg8 f5 31.Qf8 forces the pawn through. Robson intended 31 Qf8 Ne1 32.h8Q Nxf3+ 33.gxf3 Re2+ 34. Bxe2?? Qf2+ but either 34. Kh3 or 34. Bg2 will win for white.

After this slip, black takes over 25 Nxf4 Rd2+ 26.Kg1 If 26.Be2 Rxe2+ 27.Nxe2 Qxh1 28.Ng3 or 26. Ne2 Qe1+ 27. Kg1 Ne3 both win for black. Robson finished with 26...Ne3! There's no defence - 27. Kh2 Qxf3 28. Qxd2 Qxf4+ 29. Kg1 Qxf1+ 30. Kh2 Ng4+. White tried a last-ditch 27.Qg5 Qxf1+ 28.Kh2 Qxf3 (0-1). The key threat is Ng4+ but maybe white should play on to test black's eyesight. Lines like 29. Re1 Ng4+ 30. Kh1 Qe3! are winning for black but he must find difficult moves.

Devangshu Datta is an internationally- rated chess and correspondence chess player

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