Sunday, August 3, 2014

Round 1 - Malaysia loses 0.5-3.5 to Spain

In the first round of the Tromso chess olympiad, Malaysia was drawn to meet the strong Spanish team. This is quite traditional as we always seem to be seeded in the lower half of the draw. Compare this with our southern neighbour, Singapore , which shut out Papua New Guinea with a 4-0.

Anything other than a loss would have been a big surprise. Still, Aron Teh managed to draw against his grandmaster opponent, Anton Guijar thus Malaysia lost by 0.5-3.5. I am reminded in the last olympiad, how Lim Zhuo Ren drew the first round game against a grandmaster and went on to make an IM norm (a first for a Malaysian at an olympiad). Aron has been very active in playing and already rated at 2309. We wait to see if he can achieve the same result as Zhuo Ren.

IM Lim Yee Weng played a solid Scotch game against GM Paco Vallejo. He may even have a slight edge in the middle-game. After exchanges, a rook ending was reached where he was ground down from an equal position.

Watching the Malaysia games, I notice a pattern (is that possible after only one round). Our first two boards uses safe and solid openings while the bottom two are more risk taking in their opening choices. This can work well against weaker teams but against a grandmaster team will always result in a loss. On the other hand, if I am going to lose anyway why not try my best opening and get free instruction from a grandmaster?

First round in the olympiad are always very one sided, in many games the rating difference between players can be 500 point or more.  4-0 scores are all over the place. Still, there are upsets where the stronger side could not win or even lost. Example Damion Davy (Jamaica ) drew GM Jan Markos (Slovakia) a rating difference greater than 500. Filipino FM Bersamina (2363) could only draw against Afghanistan's Ahmadi (2031)

I was watching the game Kojima (2373) against GM Sergei Movsesian (2672) The former is a frequent visitor to the Malaysian Chess Festival and I even played him once. The position below happened after 31 moves.

Kojima - Movsesian

It looks like the grandmaster is winning easily but take a closer look, he is black!

5....Nxd5 6. Bh6+ Kf6 7. Bg5+ Kg7 8. Bh6+ White repeats moves as he is very short of time  Kf6 9. exd5  Now he is back on track, the threat is Qg5 mates. Black plays the desperate  Kf5 which should result in mate after 10. g4+ Ke4 11. Ke2 Kxd5 12. Qc4+ Ke4 13. f3#

10. f3 Rxd5 Black desperately makes an escape square for his king on e6 11. Qg5+ ? The quiet move 11.
Rc6 tightens the noose around the black king. There is no defence to the
threats of mate on g4 and g5  11... Ke6 12. Re8+ Kd6 13. Bf8+ White still
wins after 13. Qd8+ Kc6 14. Qc8+ Kb6 15. Bg5 and the check on d8 will win
material. 13... Kc7 14. Qc1+ ??  14. Qe7+ Rd7 15. Qb4 Although he is not
mated immediately, black cannot survive with his king surrounded by active
white pieces. 14... Kb6 15. Rc8 Qd7 Now all the mate threats are stopped and black himself threatens ...Qh3+. White is the one looking for draw now  16. Qc4 ?? Qh3+ 17. Ke2 Qg2+ White will
be mated.  0-1


Post a Comment