Thursday, 13 October 2011

More Results and Tactics

Lets go through a few more of my tournaments and results over the past few months. My performance at the 4NCL in 2010-11 season wasn't very good and I lost a few points of rating but my team at last managed to get into the Championship pool after 7 rounds in the top division. This meant that we had a theoretical possibility of winning the top division, but ended up with a much more realistic and still very good for us 5th place, which was above teams like Barbican 1 and Guildford ADC 1. The top division was won by my former team Pride & Prejudice who had GM Michael Adams on board one. 2011-12 4NCL season will start soon but during the first weekend of the tournament I will be away playing in the European Team Championship. My 4NCL team had a change of sponsor and is now called Blackthorne Russia after the name of the company which transports goods to Russia. So far I think I'm the only real Russian person registered for the team :)

In June I played in the round-robin IM-norm (not WIM!) tournament called 2nd Big Slick International, which was held at a Poker Club near London. The photo from the tournament is above, taken by my favourite chess photographer Ray Morris-Hill. As you can imagine, the tournament with two GMs in the field was quite strong for me. I lost a little rating but really enjoyed the tournament. I find it very interesting playing against stronger players. I'm sure I learnt a lot from the tournament as I did rather well in the one after that. I had a couple of interesting tactical moments in my games at Big Slick which I want to share with you.

It's black's move, what would you do? My opponent resigned but was there a better alternative? The answer is below the diagram. I was surprised to find this position published by a couple of websites like and I guess the solution is sufficiently unusual!

M. Yurenok (2100) - S. Blackburn (1944)
2nd Big Slick International (IM), 26th June 2011

It looks like black is in deep trouble. I'm currently threatening to win the rook on e8. Black can't take on e6 because of white's Qxe6 checkmate; black can't move her rook away because of white's Re7+ winning the black queen. And if black plays Qd8 then white's Qh5+ is winning either the rook on e8 or checkmating. However, black has the unexpected:

25...Bd1! 26. Qe3 the bishop is untouchable because the rook on e6 needs protection. White also no longer has an annoying check on h5 as black bishop protects that square! White's position is still a little better because white has the better bishop, but it would take a long time to grind this one down.

Here is another interesting position but a solution is a lot simpler to see in my opinion. What move would you make for white? The solution is below the diagram.

M. Yurenok (2100) - B. Eames (2259)
2nd Big Slick International (IM), 1st July 2011

Unfortunately for me, I had only about 5 seconds left and I thought I still had to make the 40th move before the flag dropped. As it turned out, I didn't need to panic as I'd already made 40 moves and could relax and think for a few minutes if I wanted to. Nevertheless, it's probably better making one extra move than dropping the flag and finding out that you haven't made enough moves like GM Nakamura the other day at Bilbao Masters tournament. I played 41. Rxa5? Kf6! and the game ended as a draw after a few moves. There were several winning moves, but the best was:

41.Rxe3! fxe3 42. Ra8 and black can resign as he will lose the rook 42...Rxh7 43. Ra7+

In the next post I'll talk you through my performance at the British Championship in July/August, which worked out very well for me. I'd like to report my latest result to finish this post off. Last weekend I played in the Golders Green Rapidplay which was my first rapidplay in a year. I managed to do rather well and got a rating prize in the top section. I even drew with the well-known IM James Serwin. This fills me with some confidence for the forthcoming 4NCL team and individual rapidplay this weekend.

3 comments: said...

You're a very good chess analist.

Anonymous said...

Actually Speaking It is Black who is the winning if following varaition is played.

26 Qd3? Re6! 27 Qf5+ Rf6
28 Qe5 Qd7 29 Rd1 Re8 30 Rb1 Re3 31 Bh3 Qe7 32Bh3 Qe7 33 Kf2 g6
34 Qg4 h5 35 Qc8+ Rf8 36 Qb7 Re2+
37 Kf1 Qe3 -/+ There is no defence against an impending mate.

26 Qe3 Qd7 27 Re5 Bc2 28 Bh3 g6
29 Qe2 Be4! Blocking the way
30 Qd1 Ra8 31 Re3 Rfb8 Planning b6 or aggressive b5 32 g4 Rg8 33 Rg3
33...Kf8 34 Qf1 Qf7 35 Qe2 Rg7
36 Red += White i believe is slightly better and black has still cramped but playable game and with only super best play white can increase an edge and win the game.

Maria Yurenok said...

I haven't considered 26.Qd3, but it has an interesting variation behind this. Your variation doesn't make sense from move 30 as you're leaving white queen en prise, but also white has a better option earlier to force the draw by 28.Bxd5+ cxd5 29.Qxd5+ Kg6 and 30.Qg5+ with perpetual.

After 26.Qe3 Qd7 I would personally exchange rooks and queens with 27.Rxe8 Rxe8 28.Qxe8+ Qxe8 29.Rxe8 Kxe8 since white has reasonable chances to grind down this endgame with a better bishop.