Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

The 14th Karpov International, held in Poikovsky, Russia, brings us a remarkable victory by the tail ender in the tournament. Ivan Cheparinov, the Bulgarian 2012 champion, playing White against Emil Sutovsky of Israel, exhibits a total vacuum when it comes to inhibition. In declining to castle and promoting a vaccinated king over the board, he produced a wild and fascinating conflict.


14th Karpov GM Tournament

Ivan Cheparinov (2678) - Emil Sutovsky (2660)


1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5  The exchange variation of the Gruenfeld 4.Nxd5 5.Qb3 Nb6 6.d4 Bg7 7.e4 Bg4 8.Bb5+ c6 9.Ng5 0–0 10.Be2 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Na6 12.Qh3 h6 13.Nf3 h5 14.Rg1 A new move. In the 2013 World Cup game between David Navarra and Jon Hammer, 14.g4 was played…14…hxg4 15.Qxg4 Nd7 16. e5 Nb4 17.O-O Re8 18.e6 Nf8 19.exf7+ Kxf7 20.Nf4 Qd7 21.Ng5+ Kg8 22.Nfe6 Bf6 23.Re1 Nc2 24.Re4 Nxa1 25.Nh7 Nxe6 26.Qxg6+ Ng7 27.Rf4 Qh3 28.Rxf6 exf6 29.Nxf6+ Kh8 30.Bd2 Re6; 0-1. Cheparinov's approach is far more committal as his king can’t castle. 14...Nd7 15.e5!? A big improvement on the game Jakovenko-Sutovsky, 2013 Russia Team Championship. In that game, (15.g4 Nf6 16.Ng5 hxg4 17.Rxg4 Qc8 18.f3 Rd8 19.e5 Nxg4 20.fxg4 f6 21.Qh7+ Kf8 22.Qxg6 fxg5 23.e6 Kg8 24.Bxg5 Rd5 25.Qf7+ Kh8 26.Qh5+ Kg8 27.Qf7+ Kh8 28.Qh5+ Kg8 29.Qf7+ 1/2-1/2) White played the immediate 15.g4 when after many exciting moves, the game ended in a draw. Cheparinov's idea is clear, to keep the d7 knight from defending Black’s king. 15...Nb4 The knight fork should slow White down somewhat. Right? Wrong! 16.g4!? White's all in. 16...Nc2+ 17.Kf1 Nxe5!? An active defense where Black opens lines against White's king. 17...Nxa1 18.gxh5 Qc8 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Ng5 Nf6 21.Ne6 is winning. 18.Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qd1+ 19.Kg2 Qxe2 and Black’s active queen helps him defend. 18...Bxe5 18...hxg4? 19.Nxg4 Nxa1 20.Nh6+ Bxh6 21.Qxh6 19.gxh5 Qc8! 20.Rg4 20.Qd3 Nxa1 21.dxe5 pretty much forces a draw after 21...Rd8 22.Rxg6+ fxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Qh6+ 20...Qf5 21.dxe5 Rad8 Black is down a piece but he is on a king hunt and in the worst case, he can probably grab that rook on a1. 22.hxg6! Burning whatever bridges he has left. Someone once said that the king is a fighting piece and here White’s is. This king stroll reminds us of a very famous game: where White’s king makes it all the way to Kg5: Short-Timman, Tilburg, (1991): 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Bg7 7.Qe2 Nc6 8.O-O O-O 9.h3 a5 10.a4 dxe5 11.dxe5 Nd4 12.Nxd4 Qxd4 13.Re1 e6 14.Nd2 Nd5 15.Nf3 Qc5 16.Qe4 Qb4 17.Bc4 Nb6 18.b3 Nxc4 19.bxc4 Re8 20.Rd1 Qc5 21.Qh4 b6 22.Be3 Qc6 23.Bh6 Bh8 24.Rd8 Bb7 25.Rad1 Bg7 26.R8d7 Rf8 27.Bxg7 Kxg7 28.R1d4 Rae8 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30.h4 h5 31.Kh2 Rc8 32.Kg3 Rce8 33.Kf4 Bc8 34.Kg5; 1-0. 22...Rd1+ 22...fxg6 May be best as after 23.Nf4 Rd1+ 24.Kg2 Qe4+ (24...Ne1+ 25.Kg3) 25.f3 Ne1+ 26.Kg3 and Black is holding. 23.Kg2 Ne1+ 23...fxg6 24.Qb3+ e6 25.Rf4 Qg5+ 26.Ng3 and White is winning 24.Kg3! The computer gives a mate in 19 moves after 24.Kh1. 24...Qf3+ 24...Qxe5+ 25.f4 Rd3+ 26.Kf2 Qxe2+ 27.Kxe2 Rxh3 28.gxf7+ Kxf7 29.Kxe1 Rxh2 leads to a White being better but will require a steady hand to win it. 25.Kh4 Qxf2+ 26.Kg5 f6+ 27.Kh6! (Diagram) It is amazing that White’s king is very safe here. 27…f5 28.Rg3 Qxe2 29.Kg5! Now, mate is threaten on h7. 29…Rf7 Or 29…Nf3+ 30.RxN Rg1+ 31.Rg3 RxR+ 32.hxR Qg4+ 33. QxQ with a lost endgame for Black. 30.gxf7+ Kxf7 31.Qxf5+ Ke8 32.Bf4 Rxa1 33.e6; 1–0 It’s mate starting with either 34.Qg6+ or 34.Qf7+;