Friday, January 4, 2008

The 2007-08 Australian Championships

Well... better late than never I guess....

Anyway, I, errrm, forgot to mention the 2007-08 Australian Chess Championship are in full swing. Ooooops. *red-faced*.

You can view the live games here.

I'll be back soon. I am currently in the midst of reviewing a couple of Chessbase Trainer DVDs, including Muller's 1st Endgame DVD which I'll post it once I'm done collating my notes.

I'll be travelling soon by the way, leaving Sydney for 3 weeks (but I'll still blog) to visit my my parents, brother and my in-laws sometime later this week.

With that out of the way.... it's time to focus on the weaknesses of the f7 pawn.

As Veselin Topalov quickly found out during his World Championship match with Kramnik in 2006, as Black, unnecessarily moving that f-pawn can lead to disaster.

In the following game, I was playing a quick rapid blitz game against a rated opponent.

In the 1st diagram on the left, Black played the disastrous

15..... f6 (see 1st picture on left)

White naturally did the usual business:

16.Bxe6+ Kh8

17.Nef7+ (the start of a deadly windmill) Rxf7 (pointless but has to be tried nonetheless)

18.Nxf7+ Kg8 (see 2nd picture on left)

Now the point of this:

Problem: As White, how would you continue this attack? White is definitely winning. But having a winning advantage and converting your win are 2 different matters.

Answer can be found by highlighting within the brackets:

[The strongest continuation is 19. Bf4!
after which either:

19... Qxf4 20. Qd8+

and Black gets mated in a few more moves


19... Qe7 20. Nd6+ Kh8 21. Bc8! and the Black Queen has to be sacrificed]

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