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    Chess Notes

    Weekly chess column

    The Politken Cup, held in Copenhagen in late July, enjoyed an entry of more than 300 players. Significant among them was the 53-year-old Grandmaster Jan Timman. He reaped 8 points out of 10, but a point behind the leader. The tournament’s best game prize went to the following encounter between a 15-year-old Norwegian, Kristian Holm, and a 19-year-old Dutch player, Robin Van Kampen, in which Holm attacked the much-higher-rated player with great precision and energy.

    Politiken Cup, 2013

    Kristian Stuvik Holm (2255) — Robin Van Kampen (2595)


    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.e4 e6 7.Be2 d6 8.0–0 Re8 9.h3 exd5 10.exd5 After a transposition, we have reached a line in the King's Indian Defense (or the Benoni) where Black needs to be patient and accept the draw when it becomes apparent, which is something higher-rated players have a hard time doing against lower-rated players. So, this is a perfect choice for the much-lower-rated Holm to play against Van Kampen, who is sure to overextend himself trying to win. 10...Na6 Other choices are either 10...Bf5 and 10...Ne4. 11.Bd3 Qb6?! Dubious. The only other game I can find that reached this position (by transposition) is J. Speelman vs. B. Larsen, Hastings 1990, which did not turn out well for the famous Danish GM: 12.a3 Bd7 13.Rb1 Nh5 14.Bd2 f5 15.Ne2 Nc7 16.b4 Qa6 17.b5 Qb6 18.Nc3 Bxc3 19.Bxc3 a6 20.bxa6 Qxa6 21.Qd2 Re7 22.a4 b6 23.Rfe1 Rae8 24.Rxe7 Rxe7 25.Qg5 Kf7 26.Bf1 Ne8 27.Qh6 Kg8 28.Ng5 Nhf6 29.a5 bxa5 30.Rb8 +-; 1–0 in 36. 12.Na4 Qc7 Better to start all over again with 12...Qd8. The knight on the rim will need this square. 13.Nc3 The lower- rated Holm puts the question to the much-higher-rated player — "Draw?” 13...Bd7 “No!” But this just gets Black into trouble as the knight on rim may need this square. 14.Bf4 Nh5?! Now, Black has two knights on the rim. Usually this kind of maneuver is drive the bishop from attacking the black d-pawn, but here, with h3 having been played, the bishop just retreats to h2. 15.Bh2 f5 Very weakening activity. Black is just trying to scare White, but it backfires. 16.Nb5! Gaining e6 as Black has to exchange his white square bishop. 16...Bxb5 17.cxb5 Nb8 Black has reached the legally allowed limit for grim knights which is not a good thing. And he is undeveloping himself. Therefore, much better is 17...Nb4 18.Bc4 a6 with a long-lasting advantage for White but at least Black is still in the game 18.Ng5! Aiming for e6. 18…Bxb2 19.Bxf5! Now if 19...gxB 20.QxN, threatening QxR should just win, i.e.; 20...Re7 21.Rae1 Bf6 22.Qe8+! 19...Ng7 (diagram) The big question is what happens after 19...BxR. It seems that 20.Be6+ RxB 21.NxR Qe7 22.QxB gives White a sizable advantage, i. e.; 19...Bxa1 20.Be6+ Rxe6 21.Nxe6 Qe7 22.Qxa1 Nd7 23.Re1 20.Be6+ Nxe6 21.dxe6 h6 If 21... BxR White should win after the following forced line: 22.Bxd6 Qf7 23.Qd5! h6 24.e7+ Kh8 25.Ne6 Qf7 26. RxB. 22.Ne4 Or 22.Nf7. 22...Bxa1 23.Nxd6 Be5 If Rxe6 then White wins by picking on the pin with Qd5 and Re1. 24.Bxe5 Rxe6 25.Qd5 Qe7 26.Nxb7 Nd7 What else? If 26…Qd7 then just 27.Nd6 wins. 27.Nxc5 Nxc5 28.Qxa8+ Kf7 29.Bd4 Now, Black is just down two pawns with a very exposed king. 29...h5 30.Qh8 Qd6 31.Qg7+ Ke8 32.Qg8+ Ke7 33.Be3 Ne4 34.Qg7+ Ke8 35.Rc1;1–0 As there is no good defense to 36.Rc8+.