Coffee Break Chess
GM Alexander Baburin's online newsletter
I've been out of touch for a good while, but now I am back to producing CBC. The past two months were very busy for me and now I have a lot of interesting chess stuff to share with you. I hope to have two more issues of CBC before the New Year.
In the end of October I played in Bad Wiessee - small town in Bavaria, near Munich. It was a big (about 380 players) and strong (about 30 GMs) open. I played rather well there and scored 7.5 points out of 9. That was a 2776-perfomance in 8 rated games. Yet, two players did even better - GMs Alexander Shabalov (USA) and Ildar Ibragimov (Russia). Both showed very powerful play and finished on 8 points. Shabalov won the event on tiebreak. I tied for 3rd with GMs Yakovich, Eingorn and Krasenkov. Bavarian Masters is an annual event and has a Web site: www.schach-am-tegernsee.de/oib1999.
From Germany I came back to Dublin with my friend GM Lev Psakhis, who stayed with me for a few days. We played 2 exhibition games in one of Dublin's universities (15 minutes each). The exhibition went very well (thanks to Mark Quinn and his friends from UCD!) - there were over 40 people, watching the games on a big screen and listening to Lev afterwards. There was one sad guy in the audience though - somebody who lost both games ... :-( Still, I liked the format of the exhibition, as the second game was both very entertaining and good.
Then Lev and I went to the Isle of Man. This year that open was particularly strong. Nigel Short had a brilliant start - 5.5 out of 6. It's curious that all those 6 games were played in the French Defence! Then Nigel lost two games (to Hebden and Shipov), allowing Emil Sutovsky (Israel) and Sergei Shipov (Russia) to overtake him. They scored 6.5. Short, Psakhis and a few others were on 6, while I finished on 5.5 points - not a very good result. Still, I played some interesting games there, one of which I'd like to show here. Later I played 2 games in 4NCL, scoring 1.5 points and beating IM Jonathan Parker in a very interesting game. In the Isle of Man he beat me (and got his second GM-norm), so it was nice to take revenge so quickly! My team - Wood Green - is doing well, having won 3 matches and drawn one.
Last weekend I played in Kilkenny, which was probably the strongest weekend tournament in the world this year. Judge for yourself - among about 30 players there were GMs Adams, Timman, Hodgson, Lalic, Hebden and yours truly, plus a few IMs. Not a bad tournament! Bodgan Laic played very well, beating both Timman and Adams. He won on tiebreak with Julian Hodgson, scoring 5 out of 6. I lost to Adams, drew with Lalic and IM Turner and finished on 4 points. As always, Kilkenny Congress was very enjoyable - some players stayed in a bar till 4 in morning. Looking at my result, maybe this is what I should have done too! :-)
My next tournament will be in St. Vincent (Italy) in February 2000. It's going to be a very strong open - check details at: www.netvallee.it/scacchi.
Today, on the 4th of December at 16-00 Amsterdam time (15-00 in Dublin, 10-00 in New York) I will play against computer program Rebel. We will play on the ICC (Internet Chess Club). The time control is 40 moves in 2 hours and then 1 hour each. See the following site for more details about Rebel: http://www.rebel.nl/. You are very welcome to watch the game. I will annotate it on my Web site later, so please feel free to send me your comments - it might be interesting to compare them with my analysis.
As you might remember, in January 2000 there will be a chess auction in Dublin, organised by Jim Hayes and me. Please visit the site at: chessauction.tripod.com. We accept various chess items and you can already look at our preliminary list at: chessauction.tripod.com/catalogue.htm.
In less than two months my Web site got over 7,000 hits, which is very encouraging. My Webmaster Michael Dooley has done a very good job and we plan to put a lot of interesting stuff on the site: ababurin.tripod.com before Christmas. Check it out and don't forget to visit my Book Shop - ababurin.tripod.com/bookshop.htm, where you might find some interesting books and a few bargains.
Since CBC17 I've written two book reviews for the Chess Cafe. You can find the November column at: www.chesscafe.com/text/baburin06.txt, while the December issue is at: www.chesscafe.com/baburin/baburin.htm. In the latter I reviewed King's book on the English Defence, Emm's work on rook endings and Averbakh book on basic endgames. In January 2000 issue of Chess Mail there will be my article on Kasparov vs. the World.
About a month ago some jerk broke into my Hotmail account and sent a very nasty message to one of my friends. I could not use that account for about two weeks and I fear that the same sick guy might have sent more messages. So, if you received any suspicious message from firstname.lastname@example.org, please contact me immediately. BTW, I seldom use that account for e-mailing people.
I played a number of interesting games recently and here I would like to show one of them, played in a rather fashionable line of the Gruenfeld Defence.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nf3 Bg7 4 g3 d5 5 Bg2 dxc4 6 Na3 I never played this line prior to this game. Before the game I looked at this variation and decided that it might give White more than 5 cxd5. 6...c3 7 bxc3 0-0 8 0-0 c5 9 e3 Nc6 10 Qe2 Bf5 11 Rd1 Be4 12 Bb2 Qa5 Also possible here is 12...Qb6. After 13 Nc4 Qa6 14 Bf1 Rfd8 15 a4 Bd5 16 Nfd2 Ne4 17 Nxe4 Bxe4 18 Ba3 cxd4 19 exd4 Bd5 20 Ne3 Qa5 21 Nxd5 Rxd5 22 Bg2 Rd7 23 d5 White seized the initiative in Huebner-Ye Jiangchuan, Elista 1998. 13 Nd2 In the game Manninen-Yrjola, Tampere 1991 White chose here 13 Bf1 Rfd8 14 Nd2 cxd4 15 exd4 Bf5 16 Nb3 Qc7 17 c4, which also looks promising. White can try 13 Nc4 Qa6 14 Bf1, transposing into the game Huebner-Ye Jiangchuan. 13...Bxg2 14 Nb3 Qd8 N This is novelty, though it may not be a good one. After 14...Qb6 15 Kxg2 cxd4 16 cxd4 Na5 17 Nc5 Qc6+ 18 Qf3 b6 19 Qxc6 Nxc6 20 Na6 Nd5 21 Nb5 Rfc8 22 Ba3 White eventually won in K.Georgiev-Svidler, Las Vegas 1999. 15 Kxg2 cxd4 16 cxd4 Na5 17 e4 Rc8 18 d5 a6 19 Rac1 White's knights are not well placed, but he has more control in the centre and has developed both his rooks. I think that White stands better here: his central pawns are quite mobile, while Black cannot advance his pawns on the queenside without creating weaknesses. 19...Qb6 20 Bd4 Qb4 21 Qb2! Rxc1 22 Rxc1 Bh6 This is the point of Black's previous play - the e4-pawn may be in danger now. However, White can beat off this attack. 23 Nxa5 Qxb2 This is practically forced, as in the line 23...Qxa5 24 Rc5 Qe1 25 Bxf6 exf6 26 Qd4 Black's pieces are not well co-ordinated and he has great difficulties dealing with the passed d-pawn. 24 Bxb2 Bxc1 25 Bxc1 Nxe4 We reached a pretty unbalanced position, where White still has better chances. Here I realised that my main task was to activate the a3-knight and to keep the d5-pawn on the board for as long as possible. 26 N3c4!? Rc8 27 Ba3 Rc7 Maybe better was 27...Kf8 28 d6 Nxd6 29 Nxd6 exd6 30 Bxd6+ Ke8 31 Nxb7±. 28 Bb4 Nf6 29 Nb6! White should not exchange the d-pawn (29 d6?), as then he may as well be worse. 29...Kg7 30 Kf3 g5 31 h3 h5 32 Ke3 Nd7 33 Nac4 Nxb6 34 Nxb6 f5 35 h4 gxh4 36 gxh4 Kf6? A blunder, but Black's position was already lost: his pieces are tied down to the e7-pawn, which he cannot afford to lose. In the meantime White is ready to activate his king. 37 d6! Rc6 38 d7 1-0
Have a nice weekend - I will be back soon!
Alexander Baburin, Dublin
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