Coffee Break Chess
GM Alexander Baburin's online newsletter
I hope you all had nice holidays and that the Y2K bug went as easy on your PCs, as it did on mine! :-) Before I proceed with this issue, I'd like to tell you that I was very touched by your numerous New Year greetings - it was great to learn that people around the globe read CBC and that they like it! I'll try not to let you down and hence here is my new issue.
On the 16th of January I will hold a chess auction together with my business partner James Hayes. The auction will take place in my house in Dublin at 3 Eagle Hill, Blackrock. It will start at 15-00 local time. We have 62 lots at our first auction, whose catalogue can be viewed and downloaded at: chessauction.tripod.com/catalogue.htm. There are many interesting items at the auction, for example a book published in 1787 (lot 1), signatures of Lasker, Capablanca, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Fischer and many other famous players. Some rather common books and chess pins are for sale too. You don't have to travel to Dublin to take part in the auction, as we use so-called proxy bidding. If you are interested in any lot, simply e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your bid, giving lot number and title. You should specify your highest bid (the maximum you are prepared to pay), but you may not need to pay the full amount. For example, somebody bids 30 euro and you bid 40 euro on the same lot. Then, you get the lot at 30 euro + the increase (4 euro in this case), provided that your bid (34 euro) has met the (hidden) reserve. Please note that there will be 12.5% buyer's commission and postage on top of that. Please specify your bids in euro, as otherwise it will be more difficult to compare the bids. At the moment 1 euro is about $1.04. For more information please visit our auction site - chessauction.tripod.com. The aim of the International Chess Auctions is to make collecting chess items easier by providing a place where collectors can buy and sell chess books, memorabilia, sets and stamps. We also provide free evaluation service, so if you have some old books (or other chess items), which just sit in boxes in your attic, please feel free to contact me. And if you want to sell stuff quickly and don't want to bother with any auction, in some cases our Auction House might be able to buy it from you. People who would like to start collecting chess stuff and need a qualified advice are also very welcome!
The Net does not stop to surprise me, as every week I find some new curious chess sites. Here are my latest discoveries: maskeret.com/mecca - a very nice site by Italian player Maurizio Mascheroni. On his site you can learn which players were born on a particular date, find their biographies, etc. The site is called La Mecca/Chess Encyclopaedia.
Recently I received a copy of Chess on the Web (Batsford, 1999) by Sarah Hurst, which is very good, though any book would find it hard to cope with the Web. In the book you can find interviews with well-known Webmasters like Mark Crowther (TWIC) and Hanon Russell (Chess Cafe), as well as some reviews and addresses. There I learnt about the following site - www.tri.org.au/chess. It's run by Dr. Colin Rose and is devoted to chess philately. This site is well worth a visit.
Eric Schiller produces an online chess magazine called Chess City, which brings news, teaching, etc. at: www.chesscity.com/index.html. It also features CBC. Another site, which started hosting CBC is called AJELIBRE and it's in Spanish - see: http://w3.to/ajelibre.
Some of you may know that I review books. Now you can see my last book review at: www.chesscafe.com/baburin/baburin.htm. I've enjoyed contributing to Chess Cafe, which in my opinion is one of the best chess Web sites, but I have to take a break. Book reviews are very time-consuming, as one is supposed (in theory at least!) to read the reviewed books, which I always tried to do! :-) There is another change in my journalist work - as Inside Chess (www.insidechess.com) now exists only online, my endgame column there is finished. Most likely it will re-emerge in a slightly different form in Chess Monthly (UK). I will also start a column in Australian Chess Forum.
FIDE has published new ratings list for downloading at its site (http://www.worldfide.com). My rating is 2 points down (now 2591), which does not concern me much. I suspect that I can always move to Burma, thus bringing my rating to at least 2852! :-)
My Web site has had a major redesign, which made it a lot faster to load. Slow loading was the only complaint we received with my Webmaster Michael Dooley. Now, thanks to Michael, this problem has been rectified. See it for yourself at: ababurin.tripod.com. Also don't forget to visit my BookShop at: ababurin.tripod.com/bookshop.htm, where more books are for sale now. Another important news is that now I accept credit cards (Visa, Master), as well as cheques.
I like endgames and here I would like to share with you some analysis:
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 cxd5 Qxd5 6 Nf3 Qf5 7 Qxf5 exf5 8 a3 Bd6 9 Bg5 Ne4N 10 Nxe4 fxe4 11 Nd2 f5 12 e3 Be6 13 g4! h6 14 gxf5 Bxf5 15 Bh4 Kd7 16 f3 This is tempting, but may not be best - both 16 Nc4 and 16 d5 was worth considering. 16...exf3 17 e4 Re8 18 Kf2 Be6 19 Nxf3 Rf8 20 Kg2 Nc6! 21 d5 Bh3+ 22 Kf2 (22 Kxh3?! Rxf3+ 23 Kg2 Ne5 is good for Black.) 22...Bg4 (22...Bc5+!? 23 Ke2 Bxf1+ 24 Raxf1 Nd4+ 25 Nxd4 Bxd4=) 23 dxc6+ bxc6 24 Be2 g5 25 Rad1 Ke6 (We both missed that Black could actually play 25...gxh4! as after 26 e5 he has 26...Rae8 27 exd6 Rxe2+ 28 Kxe2 Bxf3+ winning.) 26 e5 Bxe5 27 Bg3 Bxf3 28 Bxf3 g4 29 Rd3 Bxg3+? (In time trouble Black misses 29...Bd6!) 30 hxg3 Rf6 31 Rc1! Rxf3+ 32 Rxf3 gxf3 33 Rxc6+ Kd5 34 Rxc7 a5 35 Kxf3 Rb8 36 Rc2 (Better was 36 Ra7!, but White was also short of time) 36...Kd4 37 Kg4 a4 38 Kh5 Rb6 39 g4 Kd3 40 Rf2 Kc4 41 Rf4+ Kb3 42 Re4 Ra6 43 Rb4+ Kc2 This is a very interesting position. After a while one would realise that this position looks like a mutual zugzwang. If it would be Black to play, he would have to move his king, thus allowing White to play b2-b3, which wins easily - when there is no b2-pawn to worry about, White can shift his rook to attack the h6-pawn. But it's White to move and he has to worsen his position. Fortunately for him, there is a win here. First of all, White brings his king to f5: 44 Rb5! (This better than 44 Kh4 Ra5! 45 Rb6 (45 Kg3? h5=) 45...Rd5) 44...Re6 45 Kh4 Re8 46 Rb4! Ra8 47 Kg3 Ra6 48 Kf3! (Maybe the line 48 Kf4 Ra5 49 Rb6 Rc5 50 Rxh6 Kxb2 51 Rh3 is winning too, but there is no need to go into it.) 48...Kd3 (or 48...Ra8 49 Ke4 Ra5 50 Kf4 Ra8 51 Ke5 Ra6 52 Kf5 Ra8 53 Kg6 Ra6+ 54 Kh5. Here we have reached the same position as after move 43, but this time with Black to play!) 49 Kf4 Kc2 50 Kf5 Zugzwang. Black must allow either Kf5-g6 or b2-b3. The rest is clear. 50...Kd3 51 b3 axb3 52 Rxb3+ Kd4 53 Rh3 Ra5+ 54 Kf4 Ra6 55 Rh5 Rf6+ 56 Kg3 Ra6 57 Kh4 Ke4 58 a4 Rxa4 59 Rxh6 Ra1 60 Re6+ Kf4 61 Rf6+ Ke5 62 g5 Rh1+ 63 Kg4 Rh2 64 Ra6 Rg2+ 65 Kh5 Kf5 66 Rf6+ Ke5 67 Kg6 Ra2 68 Rf1 1-0
In CBC-14a I gave the following position:
Alexander Baburin - Nicholas Pert, 1999
White to play
Now I'd like to analyse it here. In the game I played 65 Re4!, correctly assessing the line 65...Kg5 66 d6 Rg3 67 Ke6 Rxh3 68 d7 Rd3 69 Re5+! Kg4 70 Rd5 as winning for White. The game ended after 70...Rxd5 71 Kxd5 h3 72 d8Q h2 73 Qh8 Kg3 74 Ke4 Kg2 75 Qb2+ Kg3 76 Qc1 Kg2 77 Qd2+ Kg3 78 Qe1+ Kg2 79 Qe2+ Kg1 80 Kf3 (That was a bit cruel, I must admit, but Black could have avoided it by resigning earlier)80...h1Q+ 81 Kg3 Qh3+ 82 Kxh3 1-0
During and after the game I believed that 65 Re4 was the only winning move, as the line 65 d6 Rg3 66 Re4 Rxh3 67 Ke7 Kg5 68 d7 Rd3 69 d8Q Rxd8 70 Kxd8 h3 is OK for Black. However, CBC reader Miguel Ballicora showed another and very instructive method. His solution is 65 d6! (Miguel actually started with 65 Re5!, which is the same) 65...Rg3 66 Re5! Rxh3 67 Ke7 Rd3 68 d7 h3 69 d8Q Rxd8 70 Kxd8 and with his king being cut off along the 5th rank Black is doomed. Well done, Miguel!
I wish all of you a nice weekend - I will be back soon!
Alexander Baburin, Dublin
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