Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

The annual Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, set in an unusual subtropical setting, is establishing itself as a major tournament. The 2013 affair had more than 400 entries in six sections. Vassily Ivanchuk, Gata Kamsky and Michael Adams were the top seeds. Here is a  fairly short but choice win by a Chinese grandmaster Yangyi Yu, 18,  as White, against former American women’s champion Anna Zatonskih, who finds that castling by hand is dangerous.


Tradewise Gibraltar Masters

Yangyi Yu (2688) vs. Anna Zatonskih (2491)

Jan. 24, 2013



1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Qb6 5. Nf3 Bd7 The Wade defense to the Advance French. Wade was Bob Wade, an English/New Zealand player for many years. Black's idea is to exchange off his perennial bad bishop with Bb5. 6. Bd3 cxd4 If now, 6. ... Bb5 then 7. dxc Bxc5 8. b4! gives White a plus in most of the lines. And if 8... Bxf2+ then 9. Ke2 will trap the bishop. 7. Nxd4 To stop Bb5. 7. … Nc6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 If 8. .. Bxc6 then either 9. a4 or 9. Qe2 (both preventing Bb5) gives White a good edge. 9. O-O c5 10. c4  This whole line since 8... bxc6 is rare. I can find only one other game with this move. 10. … dxc4  A new move? The only other game with this line goes 10. ...d4. Not sure that this “destruction” of Black's pawn structure is right. 11. Be4! Saving c4 for the knight. Now, if 11. ...Bc6 12. Nd2, with both the idea of 13. Nxc4 and if 12. ... BxB 13. NxB aiming at d6, making it very hard for Black to develop and White should have no trouble getting back the c-pawn. 11. … Rd8 12. Nd2 Qa6 13. b3 Despite what the computer thinks, I, the human, thinks that 13. Qc2 is better. 13. … Bb5 14. a4 And so begins an energetic exchange sacrifice (a rook for either bishop or knight.) This is speculative but given practical considerations, a good choice 14... c3 15. axb5  (see diagram)15. … Qxa1 16. Bc6+ Ke7 17.Qc2 Now, if 17. … cxN, then 18. Qxc5+ leads to mate. Black also has to be careful not to lose his queen as there are ideas about of Nc4 and Bg5+ winning his queen. 17. … Qa5 18. Nc4 Qc7 19. Qxc3 The dust has settled and White has considerable compensation for the exchange: a great knight, great bishops, pressure on the Black’s weak pawns, Black’s exposed king. And in addition to Black’s lack of development, she has real problems in getting the rest of her pieces out.  Sad to say, that my chess playing program still sees Black as doing OK. Now, if 19... Nh6 then 20. Bg5! + wins. 19. … f6 20. Bf4 Kf7 21. g3 f5 22. Ra1 Kg6 23. Nd6 After this move, the computer finally comes to its senses and gives White a big advantage. Black's c-pawn is going away and then probably also his a-pawn, which would leave White's b-pawn as a very dangerous passed pawn. 23. … Rxd6?? A terrible oversight in a very difficult position. Necessary to keep playing is either 23. … BxN or 23. … a5 but in each case White is much better. This is further proof that you should always check the checks! 24. Be8+!1-0 Winning Black’s queen. So, Black gave up. A very energetic game by another very talented and young Chinese GM.