Sunday, 3 October 2010

Olympiad and more

Hello everyone!

I've finally played my first serious game of chess since July. It was a nice win in the London League, albeit against a weaker opponent. It's good to get some practice in though! The game started off as a quiet variation of the Slav but after 24 moves I got this completely winning position. Can you find the moves to finish this game off before looking below for my answer? Black to move:

P. Stokes (163 ECF) - Maria Yurenok (178 ECF)
London League, 30th September 2010

There are more than one ways to finish this game, but I chose:

24...Rf6! With not much time left on the clock I decided on a simple plan - put the rook on g6 creating various threats. And there's not much white can do about that! Of course, b7 pawn is irrelevant and no point taking the rook on f2 as it's not going anywhere.

25. Qe1 Rg6 26. c5 - it's hard to suggest anything for white as he's stuck for moves and has no reasonable defense against my plan.

26...Bh4 - now I'm threatening to win the queen with 27...Rxg2 28. Rxg2 Qh1+ 29. Rg1 Qh3+ 30. Rg2 Bxe1 +- With the clock ticking down white made the final mistake:

27. fxe4?? Qxg2# Don't you think it's a pretty checkmate?

I have two more London League games in the coming week. And I can't wait to play in my next serious tournament in France (Cap D'Agde) at the end of October. I haven't been training much but I do find time to improve my tactics by solving tactical puzzles on my iPhone on the way to work. I have more than 1000 of them to solve, so it will keep me busy for a while J

The past couple of weeks have been very exciting as I've been following games and results of the Chess Olympiad. Ukrainian men won the Open section and Russian women won the Women's section with a round to spare! I'm glad that the Russian women outperformed their Chinese rivals this time. English men didn't do as well as their team ranking, but English women finished 21st despite being seeded 39th - so a good result! Here is a photo from Meri Grigoryan of the English women's team in action.

From left to right: WFM Sarah Hegarty, Kanwal Bhatia, WFM Meri Grigoryan, IM Jovanka Houska. The next international  team competition which will be represented by England is the European Team Championship in the Autumn of next year. Lets see if I can show some good results to get into the team next year.