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2006 Spanish Team Ch

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The second group of the Spanish team championship played its third of five rounds today. Gelfand won a tremendously tactical game against Tiviakov on board one in today's top matchup. Great stuff. (Game below.) His favored Gros Xake Taldea team barely held on to win, however, thanks to an upset on the lower boards. It's always heartening to see a team of IMs and FMs hold off a team full of known Grandmasters. The untitled Jaime Valmana (2282) beat Harikrishna (2682) with a pretty tactic 17.Rxg6! (game below). (Although it looks like Black could have swindled a win with 34..h5!)

The team format also means you can find drama anywhere. In the second round, the heavyweight teams drew on the first five boards. Mamedyarov-Aronian, Jakovenko-Ponomariov, Harikrishna-Shirov, all drawn. So it came down to board six and IM Candelario vs IM Jerez. Perez won to give victory to Linex Magic. Actually, the drama can depend more on the length of the games. That decisive victory only lasted 24 moves and was probably over before most of the draws on the higher boards. And since a win on a higher board is worth more, any victory by the other team would have changed the team result. There are two more rounds to play. The top finisher will go to the final match in November.

By virtue of tardiness I once became the undeserving focus of a big match between the two largest Buenos Aires clubs, Club Argentino and Torre Blanca. The top boards were all GMs like Ricardi, Zarnicki, Sorokin, Spangenberg, et al. Because I arrived late and they were having trouble finding enough room for all the games, my game and one other started around half and hour later than most. (It's a massive match for the Najdorf Cup. I think it was 50 boards including a few dozen special ones for juniors and women.) I was in a superior endgame and it turned into the last game in progress when my teammate next to me went down in flames in time trouble after having a totally winning position. That was important because I had figured I had draw odds in that the score was tied 24-24 with our two games still going. Now if I failed to win we would lose! I managed to win and was treated like a hero since we drew the match, although of course my point wasn't worth any more than those scored on the top boards. The sad epilogue is that it was only the first half of the match and we got totally wiped out on our home turf a week later to lose the Cup. (I had to work and couldn't play in the second leg, but my replacement won.)

Speaking of team play, even if it's over the internet, the US Chess League is still rolling along and its website is full of interesting clips and games. Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston are all 3-0 in team play. Pascal Charbonneau beat Larry Christiansen for NY in a game he (and Irina Krush, I believe) will be annotating for an upcoming issue of Black Belt.

[Event "Campeonato de España Division de Honor"]
[Site "www.feda.org"]
[Date "2006.09.15"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Tiviakov, Sergei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2668"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2006.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Nge2 cxd4 6. exd4 O-O 7. a3 Be7 8. d5
exd5 9. cxd5 Re8 10. d6 Bf8 11. g3 Re6 12. Bf4 Nh5 13. Be3 Rxd6 14. Qb3 Nc6 15.
Bg2 Nf6 16. O-O Re6 17. Rad1 (17. Nd4 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Qa5 19. Nd5 Ne4 20. Qa2 Qd8
21. Rac1 Bd6 22. f3 Nf6 23. Bxf6 gxf6 24. f4 Rb8 25. Qb1 b6 26. Qf5 Kh8 27. Qh5
Ba6 {1/2-1/2 Atalik,S (2500)-Golod,V (2545)/Heraklio 1995/EXT 2000}) 17... d6
18. Nd4 Nxd4 19. Bxd4 Ne8 20. Nd5 Nc7 21. Rc1 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 Re7 23. Rfe1 Rxe1+
24. Rxe1 Qc7 25. Re8 Bh3 26. Bxf7+ Kh8 27. Re1 b6 28. Qf3 Rc8 29. g4 Qd7 30.
Bh5 Qe7 31. Bc3 Qh4 32. Re3 1-0

[Event "Campeonato de España Division de Honor"]
[Site "www.feda.org"]
[Date "2006.09.15"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Valmana, Jaime (2284)"]
[Black "Harikrisma, P (2682)."]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2284"]
[BlackElo "2682"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2006.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 Qf6 6. Qf3 Qxf3 7. gxf3 bxc6
8. Be3 Bxe3 9. fxe3 Ne7 10. Nc3 d6 11. Rg1 O-O 12. f4 f5 13. Bc4+ Kh8 14. e5
dxe5 15. O-O-O Ng6 16. Rd3 exf4 17. Rxg6 $1 fxe3 (17... hxg6 18. exf4) 18. Rxc6
f4 19. Rxc7 Bh3 20. Rd4 Rae8 21. Re4 Rxe4 22. Nxe4 h6 23. Rf7 Rxf7 24. Bxf7 g5
25. Bh5 Kg7 26. Kd1 Be6 27. b3 g4 28. Ke2 Bd5 29. Nc3 Bf3+ 30. Kf1 Kf6 31. h3
Kg5 32. Bxg4 Bxg4 33. hxg4 Kxg4 34. Ne2 $2 f3 $4 (34... h5 $1 35. c4 h4 36. c5
h3 37. c6 h2 38. Kg2 f3+ 39. Kxh2 fxe2 40. c7 e1=Q 41. c8=Q+ Kf3) 35. c4 $1 a5
36. a3 f2 37. c5 Kf5 38. Ng3+ Kf4 39. Kg2 h5 40. Nxh5+ Ke4 41. Ng3+ 1-0


It's interesting - when you talk about great tactical players, Gelfand doesn't spring to mind - but it seems like when younger players try to out-brawl him (Nakamura, etc), they get a lesson.

quite on the contrary - Gelfand is a true heavyweight. my opinion of him is that only a lack of inner drive and energy stopped him from going all the way to the top; that and a man called Garry. check out the games of his 95 match with Karpov (shanghi naghar) for some truly terrifying games

Nice to see how young Valmaña tricks a GM with Rxg6... he is just 16 y.o.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 15, 2006 4:47 PM.

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