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And Then There Were Two (Americans): GM Rogers on Tromso Print E-mail
By GM Ian Rogers   
August 16, 2013
RobsonIvanchukR2.jpg
GMs Robson vs. Ivanchuk, Photo Cathy Rogers

Six days into the Tromso World Cup and three-quarters of the field are heading home.

Some are more content than others.

Ray Robson could look back on a breakthrough tournament where the US teenager crushed Andrey Volokitin 2-0 in the first round and, despite being heavily beaten by Vassily Ivanchuk in his second match, Robson felt that he played fairly well in all games. "The problem was that Ivanchuk played better," Robson said.

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 1
White: R.Robson
Black: V.Ivanchuk
Opening: Petroff's Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4
In his first World Cup match Robson had beaten Volokitin using 3.Nxe5 but Robson admitted "if I play the same way as I did against Volokitin with Qc1 he would be prepared and he can make a draw."
3...Nxe4 4.dxe5 d5 5.Nbd2 Nxd2 6.Bxd2 Be7 7.c4 Nc6 8.Qc2
8.Qb3 was a better try. "This was probably my one chance to play for advantage and it is only something small," said Robson.
8...Be6 9.Rd1 Qd7 10.Bc3 0-0-0 11.Be2

11Be2.jpg

Neglecting to secure the queen with a3 once too often. Both players had used over an hour to reach this point and normally the plan of pushing Ivanchuk into time trouble would be an excellent one, but Black's position is much easier to play.
11...Nb4! 12.Qd2 Qa4! 13.b3 Qa3 14.c5
An unfortunate necessity.
14...Bxc5 15.0-0 d4! 16.Bxb4
Played after another long think. 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.Nxd4 Nc6 18.Qc3 Rxd4 19.Rxd4 Nxd4 20.Qxd4 Rd8 21.Qc3 Qxa2 is too easy for Black.
16...Bxb4 17.Qc2 Bc3 18.Ng5 Kb8 19.f4 g6 20.Bc4 Qc5 21.Qd3 Bf5 22.Qf3


22Qf3.jpg
22...f6! 23.Nf7
Once again trying to keep the position complicated rather than stay a pawn down via 23.exf6 d3+ 24.Kh1 Bxf6 25.Bxd3 Bxd3 26.Rxd3 Bxg5 27.fxg5 Qxg5.
23...fxe5 24.fxe5 Bc2 25.Nxd8 Rxd8 26.Qf6 d3+ 27.Kh1 Qd4 28.Rf4 Qd7 29.Be6 Qe8 30.Rdf1 d2 31.Bg4
31bg4.jpg

31...Bf5!
The last difficult move for Ivanchuk. Now for Black it is just a matter of negotiating the move 40 time control safely and then reeling in the point.
32.Rxf5 gxf5 33.Bf3 Bxe5 34.Qxf5 Qe7 35.Qe4 c6 36.Rd1 Qg5 37.g3 h6 38.Kg2 a6 39.Qb4 Rd4 40.Qf8+ Rd8 41.Qb4 Rd4 42.Qf8+ Kc7 43.Qc5 Qe3 44.b4 Bd6 45.Qa5+ Kc8 46.b5 axb5 47.Qa8+ Bb8 48.Rf1 d1Q! 49.Bxd1 Rd2+ 50.Kh3 Rxh2+! 51.Kg4 Qxg3+ 52.Kf5 Qe5+ 53.Kg6 Rg2+ 0-1

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 2
White: V.Ivanchuk
Black: R.Robson
Opening: Irregular

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.c4 Bb7 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.d5

7d5Ivan.jpg
7...Na6
Unorthodox play but "I had to try to create something with Black," said Robson.
8.Nc3 Nc5 9.Re1 Nfe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qc2 f5 12.Ng5 Nd6 13.Bf4 h6 All the tactics work for White after 13...Ba6 14.Rac1! so Robson decides that he must go for something much riskier.
14.Nf3 b5 15.c5 Nc4

15Nc4.jpg

16.b3!
Effectively the refutation of Black's set-up. The exchange sacrifice is amply compensated by the holes around Black's king's position.
16...g5 17.bxc4 Bxa1 18.Rxa1 gxf4 19.Rd1 bxc4 20.Qxc4 fxg3 21.hxg3
An automatic recapture, especially with both players running short of time, but the silicon oracle informs us that 21.c6!, with d6+ soon to follow, would have been devastating.

21...Kh7 22.Nd4 Qe8 23.e3
Now Black is living in a counterplay-free zone and Ivanchuk's only problem is how best to improve his position.

23...Qh5 24.Bf3 Qg6

24Qg6.jpg
25.Qb5
25.c6 dxc6 26.Ne6 Rf6 27.dxc6 Ba6! 28.Qxa6 Rxe6 29.Qb7 Rxe3! 30.Bg2! was probably strong also, but rather too messy for Ivanchuk's liking.
25...Bxd5!
Resourceful defence, losing a pawn but eliminating one pair of pieces.
26.Bxd5 c6 27.Bxc6 dxc6 28.Nxc6 Qe8 29.Qb7 Rf7 30.Ne5 Rg7 31.c6 Rb8 32.Qxa7
 
32Qa7.jpg

"I might have been able to hold a draw after 32...Rb2," said Robson, "but of course that would not have been enough anyway. "Play could continue 33.Qd4 Qh5! 34.Qxb2 Qxd1+ 35.Kg2 Qd5+ 36.f3 (36.Kh2 Rg5!) 36...Rg8 when White's king is too exposed for him to make progress.
33.Qd7 Qh5 34.Kg2 Rxa2 35.c7 Rxf2+
On 35...Qg5 36.Rd2! kills the ...Qxg3 threat.
36.Kxf2 Qh2+ 37.Kf1 Qh3+ 38.Ke2 Qg2+ 39.Kd3 Qe4+ 40.Kd2 Qb4+ 41.Ke2 Qb2+ 42.Rd2 1-0

"I didn't have too many chances - that's why he's a top player," said Robson."He's hard to beat," sympathized the press room chief. "Actually, he's hard even to draw with!" Robson responded with a rueful smile.

The other US player eliminated in the second round was Alexander Onischuk, running into a red-hot Lenier Dominguez.

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 1
White: L.Dominguez Perez
Black: A.Onischuk
Opening:  Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4
"I thought that perhaps I would get this," said the Cuban. "since Alexander played this line against me before, though it was five years ago." 8.d4 is supposed to be the major test of Black's system.
8...Bg4 9.axb5 axb5 10.Rxa8 Qxa8 11.h3 Bxf3!?
"In the earlier game Alex played 11...Bh5," explained Dominguez, "and at first I didn't understand his point [when playing 11...Bxf3]. But in fact Black is quite solid."
(Spanish GM Paco Vallejo was less complimentary about Onischuk's choice - "Why would anyone give up the bishop pair like that?" he asked no one in particular.)
12.Qxf3 Nb8
11...Bxf3 had a bad reputation since an early game which continued 12...0-0 13.d3 Qa1?! 14.Qe2!! when Black's queen turns out to be misplaced.
13.d3 0-0 14.Nd2 Nbd7

Nbd7.jpg
15.Qd1!
"This 15.Qd1 and 16.Nf3 manoeuvre is quite important," said Dominguez. "At first sight it looks natural to play Rd1 or Re1 and then Nf1-g3, but then he is in time to play ...b4, ...bxc3 and ...Rb8 with counterplay - I think that was his idea. With my knight on d2 ...b4 is not dangerous because I have the c4 square." 15...Bb6 16.Nf3 Nc5 17.Bc2
 
"I was trying to play carefully. I felt if I kept my bishops I would always be slightly better," explained Dominguez.

17...Ne6 18.Ng5! Nxg5!?
"I was expecting 18...h6 19.Nxe6 fxe6," said Dominguez, "when I have 20.d4!. Then 20...Nxe4 21.Qg4 and 20...exd4 21.cxd4 Nxe4 22.Qg4 d5 23.Qxe6+ Kh8 24.Be3 should be good for me though maybe he can try something like 20...c5!. But it is never equal."
19.Bxg5 Qd8 20.Qf3 h6 21.Bd2 Qe7 22.Ra1 Qe6 23.b4 Rd8 24.Ra3 Nd7?!
"Too passive. I was expecting 24...d5 25.exd5 Qxd5 26.Qxd5 Nxd5 and now I was thinking about  27.Kf1 with the idea of 28.g3 and 29.Ke2 when it is clear that White is better. So I was looking at 27...e4!? when after 28.d4 Re8 he is alive so perhaps(28.Ke2 exd3+ 29.Bxd3 was the best.)

25.Bb3 Qf6 26.Qg3 Nf8 27.Be3! Ne6
"If he takes on e3 my rook will come to a7 and I will win this pawn on b5 somehow," said Dominguez.
28.Bxb6 cxb6 29.Qe3 Nf4
"Now he is completely lost [on the queenside] and can only play for tricks," said Dominguez.
30.Ra7 Qg5 31.Qf3 Rc8

3Rc8.jpg
32.Bxf7+
"At first I thought that 32.g3 was winning on the spot," said Dominguez, " but then I saw 32...Rxc3 33.h4 Qf6 . The computer says that this is +3 for White so there must be some way to play now, but I didn't see it."
32...Kh7 33.c4 Qf6 34.Qg4 Rf8
34...Nxd3 allows 35.Bg6+! Qxg6 36.Qxc8.
35.Qf5+! Qxf5 36.exf5 Nxd3 37.Bg6+ Kg8 38.f6! 1-0

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 2
White: A.Onischuk
Black: L.Dominguez Perez
Opening: Bogo-Indian Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d5 6.Nc3 0-0 7.e3 Qe7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.0-0 c6 11.Qc2 Re8 12.Rab1 Ne4
Now the players have transposed to a Queen's Gambit exchange variation, though with an extra tempo for White. (White has lost a tempo with his queen but gained two by Black being the player who exchanges on d2 rather than White playing Bg5xe7.) Onischuk was perhaps hoping for 12...g6 which Dominguez played against Bacrot a month earlier at the Thessaloniki Grand Prix tournament. Then after 13.b4 b6 14.a4 a5 Black held a draw, but only after long and arduous defence.
13.b4 Ndf6 14.Ne5
14.Rfc1 looks like a better use of the extra move. The knight looks good on e5 but gives Black chances to reply to b5 with ...c5.
14...Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Ne4 16.Qc2 g6! 17.Rfc1 Bf5 18.Rb3 a6 19.a4 Nd6! 20.Bxf5 Nxf5

nf5.jpg
21.h3 Draw Agreed

"If 21.b5 axb5 22.axb5 c5! and now if he takes twice on c5 there is a mate on a1," explained Dominguez. "That's what he missed. So now I can put a knight on d6 as it is nothing for White."

Peter Leko and Michael Adams were the biggest names to fall at the second hurdle, though Kramnik, Aronian and Svidler needed rapid playoffs before progressing.

For Leko, a second round exit was, he said, something of an achievement since he had lost in the first round to Sam Shankland two years ago at the previous World Cup. Leko also pointed out that he had played many of these World cups and KO World Championships and never survived beyond the third round - an incredibly poor record for a player who loses only a handful of games every year.

Adams' record in KO events has been impressive - he missed out on the FIDE World KO title by losing the final to Rustam Kasimdzhanov in 2004 - but he was well beaten in the second game of a rapid playoff by the previously unheralded Ukrainian Yuri Kryvoruchko.

One player, eliminated in the first round, had reason to be more unhappy than most. 17-year-old Peruvian GM Jorge Cori was in tears after he misheard the starting time of a key playoff game against former Candidate Teimour Radjabov and forfeited the game.

After finishing the first set of playoff games 1-1 against Radjabov, Cori thought he was told a start time of 6.50 instead of the correct 6.15.

Just to be sure, Cori, whose English is poor, checked with an arbiter; "Is the start time 6.50?" said Cori. "Yes," replied the arbiter, expecting and therefore hearing 6.15.

Cori only realised his mistake when he saw the players seated for the next round on his computer screen. He raced down to the playing hall but arrived two minutes late. (In fact Radjabov had made 100% sure of the point by stopping the clocks one second after they started and then making himself scarce.)

Cori wrote out an appeal but then discovered that it would cost $500 to submit it, a small fortune for him.

Commentator Susan Polgar stepped in to sponsor the appeal but it was unanimously dismissed by the three FIDE officials on the Appeals Committee, one member later saying that he didn't believe that Cori's English was bad and that he probably just forgot to turn up.

But winners are grinners, and the top 2 US players proceeded, though again in vastly differing styles.

HikaruR2.jpg
Safarli v. Nakamura, Photo Cathy Rogers

Nakamura simply overwhelmed Azeri GM Eltaj Safarli in their first game and left nothing to chance in the second.

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 1
White: H.Nakamura
Black: E.Safarli
Opening: Anti-Grunfeld

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3

3f3Naka.jpg

3...e6!?
The latest attempt to try to defuse White's anti-Grunfeld system, one which has worked well for Maxime Vachier Lagrave but looks simply weird.
4.Nc3 d5 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Be7 7.Qd2 Nbd7 8.Bg3
Preparing 9.e4, which if played immediately could have been met with 8.e4 Nxe4!.
8...c6
Now White gets the big centre he wants, but 8...0-0 allows 9.Qxh6 - the defect of having an extra ...g6 in a Queen's Gambit position, while; 8...c5 is well met by 9.Nb5; However the text move is inferior to 8...a6 (or 8...dxc4 and then 9..a6), preparing ...c5 or ...dxc4 and ...b5.
9.e4 dxe4 10.fxe4 Bb4 11.Bd3 e5 12.a3 Ba5 13.d5 cxd5 14.cxd5 Nc5

14Nc5.jpg
Black had relied on this tactical idea for relief but after Nakamura's simple reply, Black will have problems with his e5 pawn.
15.b4! Nxd3+
15...Nb3 16.Qb2 Nxa1 17.bxa5 is dreadful for Black; as usual two pieces are far better than rook and pawn in a middlegame position.
16.Qxd3 Bb6
Deciding to sacrifice the e pawn, a brave and probably correct practical decision given White's coming king problems.
17.Nf3 0-0 18.Nxe5 a5

18...Re8 19.0-0-0 Nh5 was the main alternative but there does not seem to be an obvious follow-up after 20.Nc4.
19.b5 a4 20.Nc4 Bc5 21.0-0-0 Bg4 22.Rd2 Qe7
22...Rc8 23.Kb1 is safe enough for White.
23.d6 Qe6 24.Nd5! Nxd5 25.Qxd5 Rac8 26.Kb1 Qxd5 27.Rxd5

q7Rd5.jpg
27...Be6?
The temptation of material gain proves too attractive. After [27...Rfd8 Black is still in the game.
28.Rhd1! Bxd5 29.Rxd5 Bxd6
Black is already regretting his 27th move, but this is pure desperation. In any case 30.d7 followed by 31.Bc7 was a winning threat.
30.Nxd6 Rc3 31.Kb2 Rb3+ 32.Ka2 Rd8 33.Rd4 h5 34.Bh4 Rd7 35.Bf6 Kh7 36.e5 1-0

Not too early - 37.Rxa4-a8 is coming. The next day Nakamura, playing Black, gave Safarli nothing in an Open Ruy Lopez, and the comfortable draw sent the American number one through to the third round.

KamskyR2playoff.jpg
Kamsky v. Shimanov, Photo Cathy Rogers
In contrast Gata Kamsky was relieved just to survive against 20-year-old Russian Aleksandr Shimanov. ("I got lucky," Kamsky kept saying after the playoffs were completed.)

The match looked to be going safely to the higher rated Kamsky after a smooth first game win.

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 1
White: G.Kamsky
Black: A.Shimanov
Opening: French Defence

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qb6 9.Qd2 Qxb2
The French Poisoned Pawn variation, first offered, with success, by the US tournament supremo Bill Goichberg in 1974 and now highly trendy.
10.Rb1 Qa3 11.Bb5 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 a6 13.Bxd7+ Bxd7 14.Rb3 Qe7 15.Rxb7 Qh4+ 16.Bf2 Qd8 17.Bb6 Qc8 18.Rc7 Qd8 19.Qd4 Ba3
The immediate 19...Rc8 earned a draw for Nakamura against Anand early in 2013 but a subsequent game showed that 20.Rc6!? Qh4+ 21.g3 Qe7 22.Rxc8+ Bxc8 23.Kd2 is not easy for Black. In a later game Nakamura tested 19...Ba3 against Leko and also drew.
20.Nb1 Be7 21.c4
21c4.jpg

21...Rc8! 22.Rb7 Bb4+ 23.Kf2
On 23.Ke2 Qh4! survives for Black.
23...Qxb6! 24.Rxb6 Bc5 25.Rd1 Bxd4+ 26.Rxd4 dxc4 27.Nc3 Rc7 28.Rxa6 Ke7 29.Rb6 Ra8 30.Ke3 Ra3
Up until this point Shimanov had barely paused for thought, his home preparation having told him that he has no problems in this position. However Kamsky stays cool and keeps probing; the position is still a long way from a forced draw.
31.Kd2 Ra5 32.g3 f6 33.exf6+ gxf6 34.Kc1 h5 35.Kb2 h4 36.g4 h3 37.Re4 f5 38.gxf5 Rxf5 39.a4
Black has liquidated a couple more pawns but he cannot wait around because White is threatening Ka3-b4 when the a pawn might become dangerous.
39...Rc6 40.Rb7 Rd6 41.Rxc4!

41rc4.jpg
41...e5!
41...Rd2+ 42.Kc1 Rxh2 is impossible due to 43.Rd4.
42.fxe5 Rd2+?!
The wrong rook. After 42...Rf2+ 43.Ka3 Rd3 Black should be able to hold, e.g. 44.a5 Rxh2 45.a6 Rc2 46.Kb3 Rdxc3+! 47.Rxc3 Rxc3+ 48.Kxc3 h2 49.Rb1 Bc6 with a draw.
43.Ka3 Rxe5 44.Ne4! Rxh2?! 45.Rd4 Ke6
This was Shimanov's plan, meeting either capture on d7 with ...Rxe4. However he has missed Kamsky's tricky response.
46.Rd6+! Kf5 47.Ng3+! Kf4

kf4.jpg
48.Nf1!
Suddenly Shimanov understood what he had done - the multiple skewers on the f file mean that he will lose his bishop and cannot capture White's knight. Shimanov thought for over half an hour but could not find a saving idea and the game concluded
48...Rf2
48...Rg2 might have been a better try but after 49.Rbxd7 Re1 50.Rd1 Rxd1 51.Rxd1 it is difficult to prevent the White knight sacrificing itself for the h pawn at a suitable moment, e.g. 51...h2 52.Rd4+! Kg5 53.Nxh2 Rxh2 54.a5 and wins.
49.Rdxd7 h2 50.Rh7 Rf3+ 51.Kb4 Re4+ 52.Ka5 Ra3 53.Rb4 1-0

Then Shimanov threw caution to the wind in the second game and the most entertaining game of the World Cup so far ensued. Both players missed plenty of chances before Shimanov finally triumphed, but it was Kamsky's missed queen sacrifice that left many pundits shaking their heads in amazement.

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 2
White: A.Shimanov
Black: G.Kamsky
Opening: King's Gambit

1.e4 e5 2.f4
This move and the follow-up apparently came as something of a shock to Kamsky, who spent considerable time over his next few moves.
2...exf4 3.Bc4 d5
3...Qh4+ 4.Kf1 is usually what White is hoping for when playing this line.; 3...Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 is Black's preferred defence nowadays but Kamsky's choice is also considered playable.
4.Bxd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Bc4!? b5?!
Shimanov, by avoiding the main line 8.Bb3,  has succeeded in his aim of moving Kamsky away from his comfort zone, and the Russian would not have been unhappy to see Kamsky's risky response. 8...Nbd7 was reasonable, only playing ...b5 after 9.d3 .
9.Bb3 a5 10.a4! Nbd7 11.axb5 cxb5 12.Nd5! Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Ra6 14.d3 Nf6 15.Ba2 Nh5 16.c3 Bc5+ 17.d4 Ba7 18.Ne5

18Ne5.jpg
18...Qh4!?
An hour behind on the clock and with a dodgy position, Kamsky stakes everything on a caveman attack, one which almost succeeds beyond his wildest dreams....
19.Qd3 Rh6 20.Rf2?

20Rf2.jpg
"When I played this move I immediately went to the toilet," admitted Shimanov, who saw that he had just allowed a forced win and did not want his face to give that information away. If White wished to play safe the right way was 20.Nf3, but in fact White already has a winning continuation 20.Nxf7! Rxf7 21.Qxb5 when Black must abandon his attack and retreat and after 21...Qe7 22.Bxf7+ Qxf7 23.Rxa5 the wheels are falling off for Black.
20...Ng3?

"Are you serious? Come on." said Kamsky when informed after the game that he had missed  20...Qxh2+!! , with the idea 21.Kxh2 Ng3+ 22.Kg1 Rh1# His opponent just had a sheepish grin - he knew that he was following Svidler's dictum about needing good play and good luck to do well in a World Cup, but luck being more important.
21.Nf3 Qg4 22.hxg3 Qh5! 23.Kf1?
23.Nh4 was simple and safe.
23...fxg3!
Now Black is right back in the game and Shimanov was also now joining Kamsky in time trouble.
24.Rc2!?
Taking a walk on the wild side, since 24.Bxh6 Qh1+ 25.Ng1 gxf2 26.Kxf2 Qh4+ 27.Qg3 Qxh6 offers no real hopes for the win which could overturn his first game deficit.
24...Qh1+ 25.Ke2 Rf6 26.Ke3 Qh6+ 27.Ke2 Qh1 28.Qd1!? Qxg2+ 29.Ke3 Qh3
29...Rxf3+! 30.Qxf3 Qxc2 31.Qxg3 Bb7 was much simpler and would leave only Black with winning chances.
30.Ng1 Qh1 31.Bd5

31bd5.jpg
31...g2?
The obvious move, but it meets a strong reply. The right way to threaten ...Rf1 was 31...Bh3! after which White is in trouble.
32.Rf2!

Yet again in a topsy-turvy game, the tables have turned and this time Kamsky is not given a way back.
32...Rg6 33.Kd3 Bg4 34.Qe1 Bb8 35.Bf4
In time trouble Shimanov plays safe. 35.Rxa5! Bg3 36.Rxf7! would have been immediately winning.
35...Bxf4 36.Rxf4 Be6 37.Bxe6 Rxe6 38.Rxa5 f5 39.e5 g5 40.Rf2 f4
The Black pawns look scary but, the time control reached, Shimonov had time to calm down and work out the best way to neutralize any counterplay.
41.Ra1 Rh6 42.Qe4 Rh3+ 43.Kc2 Re3 44.Qxg2 Qh5 45.Qd5+ Kh8 46.Ra8 Qg6+ 47.Kb3 Rxa8 48.Qxa8+ Kg7 49.Qb7+ Qf7+ 50.Qxf7+ Kxf7 51.Kc2 h5 52.Kd2 Ke6 53.Nf3 g4 54.Nh4 Re4 55.Re2 1-0

For many players such a defeat would be devastating, but Kamsky looked remarkably unstressed, even after he was told about the missed chance. Since coming back from his eight year layoff, Kamsky has taken Rudyard Kipling's famous poem If to heart - "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same..."

The next day, Kamsky conducted the playoffs like a man without a care in the world and Shimanov fell 2-0.

Tromso World Cup Round 2 Game 3
White: A.Shimanov
Black: G.Kamsky
Opening: Scotch Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nb3 Bb6 6.Nc3 Nge7 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 d6 9.Qd2 Be6 10.Nd5 Bxd5 11.exd5 Ne5 12.f4 N5g6 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.Bf2 Bxf2+ 15.Qxf2?! Nxd5 16.g3 c6 17.Bc4 Qe7+ 18.Kd2 Nb6 19.Bd3 Qf6
"This was a strange game," said Kamsky. "First I was just a pawn up..."
20.c3 Ne5 21.Be2 Nec4+ 22.Kc2 g6 23.a4 Re8 24.Bxc4 Nxc4 25.Rae1 Kg7 26.Qxa7

qxa7GataPlayoffs.jpg
26...b6?
26...Qf5+ 27.Kc1 b6 is crushing.
27.Qd7!
"...and then I [just missed] 27.Qd7 after which I think White was better. Then I got lucky."
27...Ne3+ 28.Kd2 Nc4+ 29.Kc1 Ra8 30.Nd4 Rxa4 31.Qxc6 Rha8 32.Kc2 b5 33.Qxb5 Qd8 34.Qb7 Kg8 35.b3 Ra2+ 36.Kd3 Nb2+ 37.Ke3 Rc8 38.c4 Rb8 39.Qd5 Ra5 40.Qg2 Qe7+ 41.Qe4 Nxc4+! 42.bxc4 Ra3+ 43.Kf2 Rb2+ 44.Nc2 Qxe4 45.Rxe4 Rxc2+ 46.Re2 Rxc4 47.Rd1 Rc6
This endgame should be drawable but in a rapid game defence is difficult and Kamsky manages to make progress little by little.
48.Red2 Raa6 49.Rb1 Kg7 50.Rb7 h5 51.Re2 Rc5 52.Rd7 Rf5 53.Rd2 Rf6 54.Rd3 Ra2+ 55.Kf3 Ra6 56.Re3 [56.h4!] 56...g5! 57.Rd3 g4+ 58.Ke4 Re6+ 59.Kd5 Ra5+ 60.Kc6 Ra2 61.R7xd6 Rxd6+ 62.Kxd6 Rxh2 63.Ke5 Ra2


ra263.jpg
64.Kf5
If there is still a draw, it would involve trying 64.Rd5!! Ra3 65.Ke4! Kg6 66.Rg5+ Kh6 67.Kf5 Rxg3 68.Rg8! when the two extra pawns are not enough, but such a line  is hardly likely to be found by a player with only  a few seconds per move.
64...Ra5+ 65.Ke4 Kg6 66.Ke3 Kf5 67.Rb3 f6! 68.Rc3 Ra2 69.Rc5+ Kg6 70.Rc3 Rg2 71.Kd4 h4! 72.gxh4 Kf5 73.Kd5 Rd2+ 0-1

The next game Shimanov played extremely provocatively with Black. Kamsky took up the challenge with a piece sacrifice and eventually overwhelmed his gutsy opponent to win the playoff 2-0.

This writer is another who is leaving Tromso, leaving behind the remaining 32 Grandmasters, the efficient team of Norwegian organisers having their trial run for the 2014 Tromso Chess Olympiad and the  security guards - finally allowed to search spectators as well as players. Leaving also the remarkable town of Tromso itself; above the Arctic Circle resulting in bright sun at 4am, a city library that looks like the Sydney Opera House, a labyrinth of mountain tunnels including three roundabouts and of course the $30 hamburgers and $60 pizzas.

Thanks to North Sea oil and gas, Norway has become an exceedingly wealthy country and thanks to Magnus Carlsen's rise, some of it is being spent on top chess tournaments.

***

World Cup third round pairings:

Gata Kamksy v Jon-Ludwig Hammer
Kamsky takes on the home town favorite who so far has looked untouchable. Kamsky will be looking to exploit his opponent's time trouble so that when Hammer exceeds the time limit he can utter the immortal words, "Stop, Hammer. Time."

Hikara Nakumura v Baskaran Adhiban
Adhiban turned 21 in style two days ago on Indian Independence Day, beating Argentianin GM Fier, having already caused a big upset by knocking out Alekseev in the first round. Nakamura will be heavy favorite in this match but Adhiban has the sensible, unbluffable style to keep Nakamura honest.

The player that most neutral fans will be looking out for is 14-year-old Wei Yi, who has already beaten Nepomniachtchi and Shirov and now takes on Mamdeyarov.

So impressive has Wei's play been that it has already been suggested by a GM on Facebook that Wei is matching Houdini's moves too closely. But Wei's explanation in the commentary room of his win over Shirov, the game in question, left no doubt that Wei was thinking for himself.

Round 3 games will begin at 9am AEST time on Saturday and can be viewed with commentary by Susan Polgar and Laurence Trent on the official tournament web site http://www.chessworldcup2013.com/
 
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