Monday, April 22, 2013

Paragua - Schebler, BKK Open

German GM  Gerhard Schebler is a resident in Thailand. He took the joint lead after seven rounds in the 13th Bangkok Open. I believe this is Schebler's best game so far in the current edition.

[Event "13th Bangkok Open"]
[Site "Pattaya"]
[Date "2013.04.19"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Mark Paragua"]
[Black "Gerhard Schebler"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B30"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Qc7 5. O-O Nd4 6. Re1 Ng4 7. e5 Nxf3+ 8.
Qxf3 Nxe5 9. Qe4

The pawn sacrifice gave white open lines while the black pieces will find it difficult to develop. Also good is 9. Qh5 Ng6 10. Nd5 Qd6 with similar position as in the game.

9... f6 10. f4 Nc6 11. Nd5 Qd6 12. f5 e6 13. c3 Be7 14. Nf4

This looks good as the knight hits e6. But Black came up with a nice plan.  White can still maintain a slight edge with 14. Nxe7 Qxe7 15. d4 exf5 16. Qh4

 14... a6 15. Ba4 g5

This must have come as a shock for white. Surely black loses his pawn?

 16. fxg6 f5 17. g7

17. Qf3 hxg6 and White cannot retake on g6 due to the weakness of the h2 pawn

7... Rg8 18. Qf3 Rxg7

Black has a solid centre and open lines for attack. He only needs to castle to
solve his opening problem 

19. Nh5 

White is in trouble after this loss of time. He should be quickly developing his queen-side instead of making moves with his already developed pieces. 

19...Rg4 20. Bc2 c4 21. h3

21. d4 cxd3 22. Bxd3 loses to Ne5 

21... Rg8 

Black is already much better as White is unable to effectively develop his queen-side.

22. Qe2 b5 23. d4 cxd3 24. Bxd3 Bb7 25. Bf4 Qd5 26. Bg3 O-O-O 27. Rad1

Rxg3! 28. Nxg3 Rg8 29. Bc2 Qc5+ 30. Kh2 Bd6 31. Rd3 Bc7 

White is defenceless against the two black bishops hitting on his king-side. 

32. b4 Qe7 33. Qf2 Qh4 34. Bb3 Ne5 35. Qd4 Rxg3 ! 36. Qxh4 

36. Rxg3 Nf3+ 37. gxf3 Qxg3+ 38. Kh1 Qh2 mates

36... Rxg2+ 37. Kh1 Nxd3  

White resigns as there is no stopping mate or loss of material 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

13th Bangkok Open Final Round

Today will be the last round of the 13th Bangkok Open. As usual, the last round starts earlier than usual, at 9:00 AM (10:00 AM in Malaysia). Australian GM Zhao Zong-Yuan is in the sole lead with seven points after beating GM Nigel Short in the eight round. This is Short's second loss in this tournament.

Four players are on 6.5 points - China's IM Wan Yunguo, German GM Jan Gustafsson and GM Gerhard Schebler and Danish GM Sune Berg Hansen. The Chinese IM plays GM Zhao while Gustafsson is matched with GM Hansen. GM Schebler meets a six pointer , GM Vajda Levente.

Our two top players are IM Mas Hafizul and Yeoh Li Tian, both with creditable 5.5 points. Mas drew with GM Mark Paragua in the eight round. Game here. Li Tian is again in a do-or-die final round. A win will give him his maiden IM norm. Both our players have tough matches, IM Mas meets Philipino GM John Paul Gomez while Li Tian is paired with Australian new IM, Max Illingworth.

Max is a former top Australian junior and can be frequently seen on Playchess server. He completed his third IM norm at the Istanbul Olympiad last September and also have a first GM norm.

The last round pairings (top boards only)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

13th Bangkok Open

The tournament enters its eight round today. After seven rounds there are three leaders with six points, Danish GM Hansen Sune Berg, Australian GM Zhao Zong-Yuan and German GM Schebler Gerhard who is a long time resident in Thailand.

There is a video of one of the rounds and you can view the tournament hall here.

GM Nigel Short lost early in round three to IM Roy Saptarshi. A short interview with Saptarshi on his win can be seen here. Saptarshi was lucky against Australian GM Zhao Zong-Yuan. The former was quite lost but somehow the Australian GM messed up.

Saptarshi is still undefeated with 5.5 points and heading for a GM norm. He plays Indonesian GM Megaranto in round eight.

The best Malaysian is IM Mas with 5 points followed by Yeoh Li Tian with 4.5 points.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Its Anand vs Carlsen!

Yes, Anand will play a match for the world title against the highest rated player in the world, Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen won the Candidates by a hair, tieing for first with Kramnik and winning on tie-breaks. The tie-breaker was most number of wins which Carlsen had five against Kramnik's four.

Both players were tied with 8.5 points at the beginning of the final round. Carlsen went down to Svidler but Kramnik lost to Ivancuk. It was really nerve wrecking watching these two games. Ivancuk caused a controversy when he lost five games on time. Online spectators started saying that he should never have been in the tournament and was a disgrace. He proved everyone wrong, deciding the challenger with a win over Kramnik in the last round. He also beat Carlsen in the 12th round, causing Carlsen to lose the lead to Kramnik.

The tail-ender was Radjabov, definitely a big set-back for him as he was expected to be the dark horse over Kramnik, Carlsen and Aronian should they stumble. Radjabov had a 2793 rating before the tournament and would have been hoping to break into the 2800 club. He will have to wait a while because he bled a massive 32 ELO points in this tournament.

Final Standings -

Monday, April 1, 2013

RIP: C S Chia

This morning I read of the passing of Singaporean Chia Chee Seng. Tribute in Wei Ming's blog.

Chee Seng was an old friend from back in the 80's. We used to play in the same tournaments and sometimes shared a room.

One day I asked him , "How do you keep so calm during your games?". He answered that he had a heart problem and could not get overly excited.

He played almost exclusively the English Opening. During a tournament in Bangkok in 1981, he showed me a tattered notebook of English Openings filled with notes and games. He greatly admired GM Ulf Andersson who also played the English Opening exclusively. Two years later we played the following game in Jakarta, probably the last time we met over the board.