Friday, September 24, 2010

Round 4 Malaysia live commentary

Chess Olympiad 2010

In fifteen minutes, another round of the greatest chess show on the planet starts. Make sure you come back and refresh your browser often to see the latest commentary. Unfortunately I am unable to display the games at the same time. Go here to follow the moves from the official server.

One of the stories making the rounds is how Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem lost the first round to a Botswana player. This story is so incredible as to be unbelievable.  How could a 2600+ grandmaster lose to a 2200 player? Yet a lot of media picked up this story and our own Quah Seng Sun is also a victim as he published the news in today's Star newspaper. If you check on you will see that Vietnam won 4-0.

First moves played! Both top boards starting with 1.e4

Board 1  IM Mas -  GM Pelletier
The Swiss grandmaster plays the Philidor Defence via the move order 1.e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 e5. This is a very popular defence nowadays. If white exchanges queens with 4. dxe5 dxe5 5. Qxd8, black has an easy game despite his un-castled king.

Mas goes for the queen exchange. Well, his style is to play safe and wait to see whether his opponent is ambitious today. If I remember correctly 9.g3 already played before and considered not the most aggressive plan. Black will equalize quite easily.

Mas plays Kb1 and Bc1. This got to be new :) he is not trying for anything. I can almost hear the message he is giving his opponent: I dont have much but I'm solid enough, show me what you can do!

6:38 PM: Mas continues to play solidly if passively. This style suited him in the past he do not see any need to change. After all he is the under-dog which I suspects he likes the idea. He trusts his position and his own ability to come up with solutions to the challenges. His third round game is a classic study in this type of strategy.

9:59 PM: Mas may have missed a chance now with 55. Nd5+ Bxd5 56. exd5 gxf5 and now 57. d6+. Point is 57...Rxd6 58 Rh7+ wins the rook and 57...Kd7 58 Rh7+ Kc6 59. Rc7+ with a winning rook ending.

10:13 PM: Black missed another stalemate try after 66. Rd7 Be6 67. Nh7+ Ke8 68. fxe6 Rf5+!

10:28 PM: Mas won the exchange and remains with a pawn up. But there are some drawn positions of this type and there is also a study like way to win in a certain position. It will be a super feat if Mas can find a win with the time he has.

10:34 PM: Ok, I had to dig up my endgame book which I have not read for decades :). And I can confirm this is a theoretical drawn position.

Board 2  GM Gallagher  - IM Mok
Mok plays the Mokdern as usual. I once told him that he needed to learn a better opening for black. Modern against a strong grandmaster is first move suicide.

Now they have reached a standard position in the Modern Defence where black maintains a blockade on the white squares. The black king will not castle and in some lines will take a walk to g7 via f8.

Mok played this line against me during last year's DATCC Team League. He placed the knight from d7 to b6 and re-position his bishop to f8. He will have a passive position but relying on his experience with this line and maybe hoping his opponent is unfamiliar with the positions. I think this is a bad idea. To play this opening, that is.

White will aim for c4 by preparing b3. The opening of lines after pawn exchanges will be in white's favour. Mok playing quite fast, indication that he already ready for this position.

16...dxc4 looks very anti-positional. Black is hoping for 17.Bxc4 Nd5 with a nice centralized knight.  If 17.Qxc6 Qd7 18. Qxd7 Kxd7 19. Bc2, black is quite comfortable.

6:33 PM: Black's plan should be to play his bishop on e7 then either castle or walk his king to g7. If he can do this without being disturbed he will have an excellent game chances to hold.

7:21 PM: Mok missed a tactical shot 23. Nb5! The knight cannot be taken 23...cxb5 24. Bxb5 wins the queen.  It's also over for him

Board 3 Tan Khai Boon -  IM Kurmann Oliver
Khai Boon's opponent plays the Modern Benoni. This will be a sharp battle, hope Khai Boon is prepared. Khai Boon already thinking on his sixth move. This does not look like a good sign.

9 Qb3 threatening the b-pawn but black just ignores with 9...Bxf3. Black is preparing a  sacrifice after 10. Qxb7 Bxe4 11. Qxa8 Bg7.

Khai Boon declines to go for this line and re-captures on f3 with his g-pawn. Now he has weaknesses and the bishop pair is not really useful in this position. He has lost the opening battle.

6:35PM: Khai Boon's position getting worse and worse. He is likely to lose this game.

6:53 PM: Khai Boon tries something with 18. Bg4 and black likely to shoot back with 18...f5 and after 19. exf5 Qh4 white is in serious trouble.

7:01 PM: Nice shot by black with 18...b5 which I missed. The white bishop left control of c4 square. If white takes b6 then Nxb6 attacking the rook on a4 and the knight comes to c4 with devastating effect.

7:18 PM: Khai Boon gives a whole piece with 20. Rxa6 . Any other move would just lose an exchange and can still hope for a miracle.

Board 4 IM Buss Ralph - FM Peter Long
 Peter plays a sharp opening today.A Benko Gambit, its been in his repertoire since early years. One can almost play this opening with eyes closed. Still not much happening here , I think they are still in book.

Black has the typical piece activity and pressure for the sacrificed pawn.

6:35PM:  Nothing much happening yet. Both sides still moving their pieces jockeying for position

6:56 PM: Both sides continue to dance with each other lol. Maybe white wants to wait for the other boards to clarify before deciding what he wants.

7:41 PM: Peter plays a sharp move with 27...f5. He has to get some activity rather sit an wait especially that Khai Boon is lost.

Summary: Maybe time to summarize what is happening.Mas playing "wait and see" with his opponent. Mok living dangerously playing a Modern (what else). He depends on one square to save his position , the d5 square. Khai Boon losing material soon, so it is as good as over. Peter still dancing around with his pieces - not clear what is going to happen yet here.

7:22 PM : With two games in their pocket , the Swiss might offer a draw on one of the other boards to secure the match. I do not see either Mas or Peter able to force a win so this is the likely conclusion, 3-1 to Switzerland.

7:30 PM: Its rather slow here so I had a peak peek at our women's games. There is bad news over there. Fong Mi Yen has already lost. Nabila and Nurul Huda should also be losing which means they are very likely facing a lost match.

7:42 PM: Both Mas and Peter trying to mix it up now. After all there is nothing more to lose at this point. This new match point system gives rise to rather unusual situation. You may have to continue playing to "win" a "lost" game :)

And believe it or not, even with this time control  - 90 minutes for forty moves, followed by increment of thirty minutes after move forty PLUS 30 seconds increment for every move from move ONE, you can still get into time trouble.

7:55 PM: Khai Boon just got mated.

9:36 PM: Both Mok and Khai Boon lost. Peter Long drew. Mas still playing trying to squeeze a win with an extra pawn

The women's team lost boards 2, 3 and 4. Disastrous.


abdooss said...


I hope Mok have got a good reply to GM Gallagher's 1.e4 . If I'm not mistaken, GM Gallagher is an expert in King's Gambit. Mok's Mokdern Defence doesn't stand a chance!

Chess Buff said...

I also suspected there was something wrong at Lee's Live Game for Round 1. It shows beginner moves that i'm hardly believe my eyes!! It is not 2600++ moves at all :P When the site corrected the moves, i know i'm right lol.

abdooss said...

Pelletier is going for win with 15...b5 , seems he wanted to storm the White King.

Jimmy Liew said...

mas is just adopting wait and see. He has no real weakness that can justify a white attack

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