Coffee Break Chess
GM Alexander Baburin's online newsletter
It has been a long time since the last issue of CBC came out. Partly this is because of my busy summer schedule (I went to Sarajevo and Frankfurt), but mainly the delay is due to my recently acquired hay fever :-( I never had it before and for a while did not even realise what it was. Yet, it affected me quite badly and still does. Therefore I would like to warn anyone who saw me in the past few weeks or might see me any time soon that I dont have excessive drinking problems! Those red eyes and red nose are just a result of some pollen in the air... :-) Anyway, enough about protecting my image - lets talk chess!
Recently I put new stuff on my site - ababurin.tripod.com: more questions & answers, more puzzles, my chat session, one more game, additional pictures, etc. I also started GM Forum (ababurin.tripod.com/gmforum.htm), where you can read Seirawans Open Letter to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, correspondence between GMs Seirawan and Gulko. There is also a very interesting interview with IM Silvio Danailov (manager of Topalov) at the Forum. I will appreciate you comments and will publish most interesting messages.
I invite people to contribute to the site - hopefully together we can make it better. For example, I seek help with Chess Puzzles and Chess Wonders sections. I cannot offer any monetary reward, but you will have your name on the Net. To see what we can do together, please have a look at Chess in Japan article at: ababurin.tripod.com/news.htm.
I find that Kasparovs chess portal offers excellent coverage of chess news. During both Sarajevo and Frankfurt I often went to its Russian division (www.clubkasparov.ru/index0.htm) which I think s a must for Russian speakers.
Recently I saw a chat session with the World Champion Alexander Khalifman.
See its transcript at:
Alexander is involved in GM-School Project (www.gmchess.com). There you can also read news, ask questions, etc. One of GM-School columnist - Valery Segal - talks about pros and contras of the knockout system in chess at: www.gmchess.com/digest/featureart/segal3.html. His views are similar to some of Danailovs ideas. For what I know, many chess professionals share them too.
So, perhaps we should start doing something about it? On my site you can take part in the online poll on how to make chess more attractive to public and sponsors. It is interesting that so far most visitors believe that things should be left unchanged. Maybe they think that everything is fine in chess and we can all just enjoy watching GM Svidler playing GM Morozevich on the ICC forever. But I can assure you that professional chess is in a deep crisis! Internet is good for chess, but it does not offer any financial reward to players yet, so it might simply become the medium, where an accountant James Howell (GM) will play an odd blitz game against a saleman Matthew Sadler (GM). I respect their decision to quit chess, but fear that many more chess professionals will have to follow. Again, maybe there is nothing wrong with that ...
The auction, which took place in early June, went very well. You can find its catalogue and results available at: chessauction.tripod.com/catalogue.htm. I believe that our auctions have a bright future and will soon become the most popular place for collectors to buy and sell chess items. If you have interest in collecting, please do not hesitate to contact me. The next chess auction will be in late August - early September.
If you would like to combine a holiday with chess study, I invite you to come to Ireland. I will stage two training sessions in the end of August (26th & 27th and 28 August - 1 September) in Dublin. See the city or travel to the country before or after the session, while preparing yourself for the next chess season! And check out famous Irish pubs! For more details please refer to ababurin.tripod.com/Baburintrain.htm. If interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you!
One curious ending
I did not play much lately, so Id like to show one ending from the National Open in Las Vegas, particularly as some CBC readers, who were there, asked me to do so. It was the first time I got to play with a rook and bishop vs. rook. I had little idea on how to play this tricky endgame and it is interesting that just before the game I mentioned to GM Novikov (who nearly got such ending in his game in the previous round), that I had never played it - neither with the bishop nor without it. And a few hours later I was given a chance to learn something about this endgame.
This position is a draw according to Ken Thompson database. But White can and should to play on.
68...Rf4 69 Rg6+ Kf2 70 Be6 Ke3 71 Rg3+ Kd2 72 Ke5 Rh4 73 Bd5 Kc1 74 Rg2 Kb1 75 Be4+ Ka1 76 Kd4 Rh2 77 Rg1+ Kb2 Not 77...Ka2?, because of 78 Kc3 Ka3 79 Rb1 and White wins. The following lines illustrates the winning technique: 79...Ka4 80 Bd3 Ka3 (or 80...Ka5 81 Rb5+ Ka4 82 Re5 Rh3 83 Re1 Ka5 84 Re6+-) 81 Bf1! Rf2 (81...Ka2 82 Rb5 Ka1 83 Rd5 Rb2 84 Rd4 Rb6 85 Ra4+ Kb1 86 Bd3+ Kc1 87 Ra1+ Rb1 88 Rxb1#) 82 Bc4 Rf3+ 83 Bd3 Rf2 84 Rb3+ Ka2 85 Rb5 Ka1 86 Re5 Rg2 87 Re1+ Ka2 88 Bc4+ Ka3 89 Ra1+ Ra2 90 Rxa2#. Also loses 79...Rh3+ 80 Bd3 Rh2 81 Bf1 Rf2 82 Bc4 Rf3+ 83 Bd3 Rf2 84 Rb3+ Ka2 85 Rb5 Ka1 86 Re5 Rg2 87 Re1+ Ka2 88 Bc4+ Ka3 89 Ra1+ Ra2 90 Rxa2#. Of course, this is all computer-generated analysis, while in real life both Black and White can easily go wrong. 78 Kc4 Rh8 79 Rg2+ Ka1?? Apparently, going to the corner is wrong here. Now it's checkmate in 34 moves with best play! Black could draw both with 79...Kc1 and 79...Ka3. 80 Bd5? Letting Black off the hook...80...Kb1 81 Be4+ Ka1?? Coming back to the trap. 82 Bd3! Rc8+ (better was 82...Rb8 83 Bc2 Rb6 84 Kc3 Rc6+ 85 Kb4 Rc8 86 Bb3 Rc7 87 Bc4 Rb7+ 88 Kc3 Rb2 89 Rg1+ Rb1 90 Rg3 Rc1+ 91 Kb3 Rb1+ 92 Ka3 Rc1 93 Re3 Rb1 94 Bd5 Rc1 95 Bc6 Rb1 96 Re5 Rb8 97 Ba4 Rb6 98 Re3 Rb7 99 Bb3 Ra7+ 100 Kb4 Rc7 101 Bc4 Kb2 102 Re2+ Kc1 103 Kc3 Rd7 104 Rf2 Rd8 105 Ra2 Rb8 106 Ba6 Rb6 107 Bd3 Rc6+ 108 Bc4 Rb6 109 Rc2+ Kb1 110 Re2 Ka1 111 Re5 Rb8 112 Ra5+ Kb1 113 Bd3+ Kc1 114 Ra1+ Rb1 115 Rxb1#) 83 Kd4 Now it's checkmate in 21 - how encouraging! 83...Rc1 (more stubborn was 83...Ra8) 84 Rh2 Rg1 (better was 84...Rc7) 85 Kc3 Rc1+ 86 Bc2 Rg1 87 Rh4 Rg3+ 88 Bd3 Rg2 89 Rh1+ Ka2 90 Bc4+
My next tournament - Politiken Cup - will be in Copenhagen on 17-28 July (kbhsu.dk). After that I hope to produce another issue of CBC and to add more material to my site - stay tuned!
Alexander Baburin, Dublin
I am very grateful to Igor Yagolnitser for his help with this project. For assistance regarding CBC, please contact Igor at: MOHCTP@ix.netcom.com.
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