"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Grantham-1 Scores Again !

The match against Gambit-1 did not start very well for Grantham-1.
The car with Nigel Birtwistle and Claudio Mangione, two Grantham top players, got stuck in the traffic jam so both players arrived to the venue in Nottigham bit late. However, the home team was friendly and kindly had waited for their arrival.
Performance of Grantham top team was very good.
Results were as follows:

1 - 4

Barnes M (198)
1 - 0
Birtwistle N (192))
Mercs P (175)
0 - 1
Mangione C (192)
Hayward B (159)
0 - 1
Cumbers P (190)
Sudar D (162)
0 - 1
Payne N (184)
Roper K (155)
0 - 1
David I (164)

"Claudio Vincit!"

Sorry for my Latin! But I have borrowed this expression from the Czech President's Flag where is written "Veritas Vincit" which means in English "Truth is victorious". I am not sure about the truth, I am sure about Claudio! Let's have look how he plays so-called Gurgenidze line in Caro-Kann.

This World War I slogan "They shall not pass" goes very well together with following game.
Drag Sudar hasn't got very good season against Grantham players so far. You have already had the opportunity to see a fragment of his game with me when he played on the top board for Gambit-2.
This time, on board 4 he played with White pieces against Nick Payne, who is rated more than 20 ECF points above him. After 1.e4 c5 both player went for theoretical duel in Sicilian Dragon, one of the most studied opening ever. Black fianchettoes his dark-squared Bishop and then White has a plethora of continuations from strictly positional to razor-sharp lines. However, if you want to play the sharp lines you have to be very well versed with the recent theory. By the way, Dragon line was employed by Kasparov himself as a surprise weapon in the match with Anand , 1995 (see the game).
Both players have followed the theory till move 12, then Drag came up with certain novelty which was not definitely the best move in the given position and Black got certain edge. But this is the danger of the Dragon. You have to be precise. Two weak moves in the row and Nick was all of sudden on the verge of defeat!
Having overplayed his higher rated opponent, Drag was up to the task till move 28. Then he made mistake which not only lost the chances to win the game but give to Nick a small edge. Needless to say that Drag was already in time trouble which stepped up the pressure and he made more and serious mistakes. He lost on time in move 33 (time control was in 35! moves), however, it is fair to say that his position was already lost. Now you can see the game in full.

"Mein System"

"Mein System", "Die Praxis meines System" and "Die Blockade" are three pillars of the work of Aaron Nimzowitsch. And I had lot of thoughts about him when I played the match.
My game on the board 5 against Keith Roper was very solid. And if had not been for some tactical overlooks it would have been very good game. However, after 32 moves we had reached an interesting ending which I would like to show you. Hope you will enjoy.

The ending shows three basic motifs described in Nimzowitsch's books: blockade, restriction and prophylaxis. Hope that Aaron Nimzowitsch would be pleased!

King's Indian Jungle

Nigel Birtwistle lost to Mike Burns in very interesting battle where chances to win were on both sides. With White pieces Nigel faced to King's Indian Defence. He went for his "pet-line" developing the Knight on g3. You can see his previous game when he had played this line in  4NCL on the following link.  I was wondering if his opponent envisaged this line and his theoretical novelty 10...h5 was a part of home preparation or just simple a "over-the-board-burst-of-inspiration". This move got definitely the game out of beaten track. In sharp battle under time pressure you can expect that mistakes can happen on both sides. Who makes the last he loses. So it had happened...

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