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Chess notes

After the Candidates Tournament, the international calendar swept Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian to the Grenke Classic in Karlsruhe and Baden Baden, Germany. Chess can be exhausting. So far in the premier event, both Caruana and Aronian are holding their own, but the real news was made in the lower open event, where 13-year-old German Vincent Keymer won the strong event with an amazing 8/9 score. His big win was in the last round, when he defeated Richard Rapport with black in a big struggle. Keymer earned about $18,000 and an invitation to next year’s main Grenke event. He is now coached by former world champion contender Peter Leko of Hungary.

Today’s game is Keymer’s sixth-round victory over the Italian IM Alessio Valsecchi, in which the teen showed very good positional sense and a sharp tactical eye to win an exchange and then the game.


2018 3rd Grenke Chess Open, Karlsruhe, Germany

Vincent Keymer (2403) - Alessio Valsecchi (2510)

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.d4 e6 An invitation to the Benoni with 4.d5, which, I am sure, was politely rejected 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.g3 Qb6 7.Nf3 Bb4 8.Bg2 Ne4 9.0–0 Nxc3 9...Bxc3 is playable but hardly attractive for most Black players: 10.bxc3 Nxc3 11.Qc2 Qa5 12.Bb2 Nxa2 13.Bxg7 Ncb4 14.Qb1 Rg8 15.Qxh7 10.bxc3 Be7 10...Bxc3 Is also playable but not a line that most players would enter without a lot of preparation. 11.Be3 Qa5 12.Rc1 Bb4 13.Nd4 Nxd4 15.Rxc4 d5 16.cxd6 Bxd6 17.Bxg7 Rd8 18.Bf6 Be7 19.Bxe7 Rxd1 20.Rfxd1 Kg7 21.Rc5 Qxa2 22.Rg5+ Kh6 23.Rg8 Qxe2 24.Rd4 11.Be3 Qc7 12.c5 0–0 13.Nd4 Nxd4 14.cxd4 d5 15.cxd6 Bxd6 16.Qb3 The opening has not gone well for Black. White got rid of his doubled pawns and still has a large lead in development. 16...Rb8 17.Rac1 Qe7 18.Rfd1 b5 Too slow and too weakening: 18...Bd7 is best and after 19.d5 b6 20.dxe6 Bxe6 21.Bd5 Bf5 White has a very small advantage. 19.Bc6 a6 19...Bd7 20.Bxd7 Qxd7 21.d5 e5 22.Rc6 Rfd8 23.Qd3 Rb7 24.f3 f6 25.Kg2 Qf7 20.Rc2 Bb7 20...Rd8 is better when after 21.d5 exd5 22.Bxd5 Bb7 23.Rcd2 Bxd5 24.Qxd5 h6 and Black is fine 21.d5 exd5 22.Rxd5 Bc8 22...Bxc6 23.Rxc6 Wins at least the a-pawn 23.Qd3 Bb4 24.Bg5! Qe6 Blocking his bishop but where else? 24...Qa7 25.Qe4 Ba5 26.Bf4 Be6 27.Bxb8 Qxb8 and there goes the exchange 24...f6 Is too weakening and drops an exchange almost immediately: 25.Bf4 Be6 26.Bxb8 Rxb8  25.Qd4 Not the best. 25.Rd8 right away increases White’s advantage 25.Rd8 Bb7 (25...h6 26.Bd5 Rxd8 27.Bxd8 Qd7 28.Rc7 Qd6 29.Rxf7 Be6 30.Qg6 Qe5 31.Bxe6 Kh8 32.Bf5 Qa1+ 33.Kg2 Kg8 34.Rd7) 26.Rxb8 Rxb8 27.Bxb7 Rxb7 28.Qd8+ Bf8 29.Rc8 25...Be7 26.Bf4 Qg6 27.Rc1 Be6 28.Bxb8 Bxd5 29.Bxd5 Rxb8 30.Qa7! Eventually winning material as Black’s back rank is very weak. 30...Qd6 31.Rc6 Qe5 32.f4 Qxd5 33.Qxb8+ Winning the exchange after which it should just be a matter of technique 33...Bf8 34.Qb6?! 34.Rc8! Qd1+ 35.Kf2 Qd4+ 36.Kf3 Qd5+ 37.Ke3 Qe6+ 38.Kf2 Qe7 39.Qe5 Qb4 40.Qd5 and White keeps Black in a bind 34...Qxa2 35.Qe3 a5 36.Rc8 Qb1+ 37.Kg2 Qb4 38.Qd3 Qe7 39.Qxb5 Qe4+ 40.Kg1 Qd4+ 41.Kf1 a4 42.Qc4 Qd1+ 43.Kg2 a3 44.Qd3 Qa4 The final mistake. Necessary was 44…Qxd3 but the endgame is lost in any case. 45.Qd6 Winning the bishop and the game; 1–0


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