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Shen Yang and Bela Khotenashvili in the lead @ Erfurt

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 28 August 2014

Stephan Oliver Platz reports from Erfurt/Germany

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Four rounds have been played in the international women's grandmaster tournament in Erfurt. GM Bela Khotenashvili from Georgia and IM Shen Yang from China are in the lead with 3 points, followed by IM Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) and IM Lela Javakhishvili (Georgia), both 2 1/2. Three players have 2 points: WGM Tatyana Melamed (Germany), IM Lilit Mkrtchian (Armenia) and GM Monika Socko (Poland). GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (Scotland, 1 1/2), IM Anastasia Bodnaruk (Russia, 1) and IM Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska (Germany, 1/2) have scored under 50%. But five rounds are still to go and a lot can happen during the next few days. With an average ELO rating of 2438 the event is the strongest women's chess tournament that has ever taken place in Germany. For a GM norm 6.5 points out of 9 must be reached.

Two other interesting competitions are taking place in Erfurt: an international women's junior tournament with young players from Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Germany and the open international German women's chess championship. In the junior tournament Edit Machlik (Norway) is in the lead with 3 1/2 points, followed by Tran My Linh (Germany) and WFM Alisa Frey (Germany), 3 points. Teodora Rogozenko (Germany) and Monika Machlik (Norway) have scored 2 points. The other participants are Sarah Hund (Switerland, 1 1/2), Fiona Sieber (Germany, 1 1/2), Alina Zahn (1 1/2), WCM Nezihe Ezgi Menzi (Turkey, 1) and Josefine Heinemann (Germany, 1). In the open international German women's chess championship Christina Winterholler and Anastasia Erofeev from Germany are leading with 3 1/2 out of 4 ahead of four players with 3 points each: Lena Georgescu (Switzerland), Nguyen Ha Than (Germany), Daria Shmarina (Russia) and Madita Mönster (Germany). The 24 participants must play 9 rounds (Swiss system). It is very remarkable that six very young girls are competing for the title, the youngest being seven year old Anouk Lorenz (born in 2006).

The participants of the international women's grandmaster tournament and of the international women's junior tournament in Erfurt during the opening ceremony on Sunday, August 24th. The tournament will last until August, 31st.

Anouk Lorenz is the youngest participant competing in the open international German women's chess championship 2014.

In this first report I'll focus on two games for which the winners were awarded a special brilliancy prize:

Shen Yang - Tatyana Melamed

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 o-o 6.Nf3

6.Bg5 c5 and if White plays 7.dxc5 Black can get back her Pawn without allowing the exchange of Queens by 7. ... Qa5 (8.cxd6? Qxg5 -+). More common is 7.d5 e6 or 7. ... h6 and after the retreat of the Bishop 8. ... e6. Or 6.f4 c5! and once again 7.dxc5 can be met with 7. ... Qa5. If White plays 7.d5, then 7. ... e6. Or 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6. In each case Black gets enough counter play.

6. ... e5 7.o-o

By playing 7.d5 White can avoid the following exchange of Pawns. The attempt to grab the e-Pawn is not successful, e. g. 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Nxe5 Nxe4!.

7. ... exd4

The main alternatives are 7. ... Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 (or 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5) 9. ... Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 and 7. ... Nbd7 after which White often plays 8.Re1. In the German edition of "Modern Chess Openings" from 1967 I found an interesting line given by GM David Bronstein: 8.d5 Nc5 9.Nd2 a5 10.Qc2 Nh5!? (instead of the other moves given by MCO: 10. ... Bh6, 10. ... a4 or 10. ... Bg4) 11.Bxh5 gxh5 12.Nb3 b6 13.Be3 f5 =. This variation may have inspired Bobby Fischer when he played Nh5 successfully against Boris Spassky in a similar position in their world championship match five years later in 1972. There, too, the doubled Pawn on the h-file had no bad effect on Black's game: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nd2 Nbd7 8.e4 Bg7 9.Be2 o-o 10.o-o Re8 11.Qc2 and now 11. ... Nh5! 12.Bxh5 gxh5 13.Nc4 Ne5 14.Ne3 Qh4 15.Bd2 Ng4 =, but 0:1/41 Spassky - Fischer, World Chess Championship 1972, 3rd match game).

8.Nxd4 c6

After 8. ... Re8 9.f3 Nc6 White has more space, but her Bishop e2 is "bad".


9.Bf4 looks more active, but removing the White King from the diagonal a7-g1 may prove useful later on.

9. ... Nbd7 10.Bg5 Qa5 11.Bf4

Why does White retreat her Bishop losing a tempo? Perhaps she had originally intended to play 11.Qd2 and now realized that Black might answer with 11. ... Nxe4!?. But the consequences are not so clear and need not be disadvantageous for White, e. g. 12.Nxe4 Qxd2 (12. ... Qe5 13.Nxc6! bxc6 14.Nxd6 Qxb2 and now White gets good chances after 15.Rad1 or 15.Qxb2 and 16.Rab1) 13.Bxd2 d5 (13. ... Bxd4 13.Nxd6 Bxb2 14.Rab1=) 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Bb4 Rd8 16.Nb5 dxe4 and now White can already get the exchange by 17.Nc7 Rb8 18.Be7 or simply play 17.Rad1 White has sacrificed a Pawn and is offering a second one, but has a splendid development and good attacking chances while Black's only active piece is the Bishop g7 17. ... Bxb2 and White still has the option of 18.Nc7 or she may try something else, e. g. 18.f3!?. I think that White has full compensation for the sacrificed Pawns. The text move avoids these complications and attacks Black's undefended d-Pawn.

11. ... Re8

A counterattack against White's e-Pawn.

12.f3 Ne5 13.Qd2 a6 14.Rfd1 Be6 15.Nxe6

15.b4!? Qxb4 16.Rab1 Qa5 17.Rxb7.

15. ... Rxe6 16.Rac1 b5 17.cxb5 axb5

After the exchange of Pawns White's Bishop e2 has a little more scope, but Black gets counter play on the a-file. She now threatens 18. ... b4 19.Nb1 d5! getting rid of her weak d-Pawn.

18.a3 Nfd7 19.Na2 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Nb6

Threatening 21. ... Nec4!.

21.Bxe5 dxe5 22.Rdc2

22.Nb4? Bh6 loses the exchange.

22. ... Bh6 23.Rd1 Bf8

23. ... Be3!? with the idea 24. ... Bd4.

24.g3 Na4 25.Rd7 (?)

A little too optimistic. 25.Nc1 covering the b3-square is better.

25. ... Nc5! 26.Rd1

26.Rc7 Nb3! and White must not take twice on c6 because of 27.Rxc6? Rxc6 28.Rxc6 Nd4 -+.

26. ... Nb3!

Still strong. Black's Knight is going to d4, an ideal square in the center of the board.

27.Bf1 Nd4 28.Rf2 Be7

28. ... Bc5 looks stronger, at least it is more offensive than 28. ... Be7.

29.Bh3 Rd6 30.Nb4 Rad8 31.Kg2?

The decisive mistake. White wants to protect her f-Pawn in order to free her Rook f2, but the King is in danger on g2. She should have tried 31.f4.

31. ... Nc2! 32.Rxd6

32.Nxc2? Rxd1 - +.

32. ... Ne3+ 33.Kg1

After 33.Kh1? Rxd6 threatening 34. ... Rd1+ is still stronger.

33. ... Rxd6 34.Re2

34.Bf1 is a little better: 34. ... Rd1 35.Na6 (preventing Bc5) 35. ... Bd8 (threatening Bb6) 36.Nc5 Bb6 37.b4 Ra1 - +. By 34.Re2 White wants to give her King the f2-square.

34. ... Rd1+ 35.Kf2 Bc5!

Now Black is threatening a mate in two by 36. ... Ng4+ 37.Kg2 Rg1+ mate.


36.f4 Nc2+ 37.Kg2 Rg1+ 38.Kf3 Nd4+ 39.Kf2 Nxe2+ 40.Kxe2 Bxb4 41.axb4 exf4 42.gxf4 Rb1 - +. Or 42.Bd7 fxg3 43.hxg3 (43.Bxc6? gxh2 and 44. ... h1Q) 43. ... Rxg3 44.Bxd7 Rb3 winning both b-Pawns.

36. ... Rd2+!

White's Rook is pinned and cannot cover the check.

37.Kf1 Bxe3 38.Nxc6 Rf2+ 39.Ke1

39.Kg1? Rc2+.

39. ... Rxh2 40.Bd7 Bf2+ 41.Kf1 Bxg3 42.b4 Rf2+ 43.Kg1 Rxf3 44.Ne7+ Kf8 45.Nd5 Rxa3 46.Bxb5 f5 47.Be2

An attempt to push the b-Pawn after 47. ... fxe4, but White's game is lost anyway (48.b5 Rb3).

47. ... Ra2 48.Bf3 Rb2

Now Black wants to get rid of White's b-Pawn by playing 49. ... Be1. White cannot prevent it by 49.Kf1? on account of 49. ... Rf2+. Or 49.Nf6 Kf7 and White must not take the h-Pawn, for after 50.Nxh7? Bf4 the Knight is trapped.

49.Bg2 fxe4 50.Bxe4 Be1

and White resigned.

Teodora Rogozenco - Monika Machlik

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2

The "classical" variation. 4.e3 (Rubinstein) is more popular.

4. ... o-o

The main alternatives are 4. ... c5 and 4. ... d5.


5.e4 is not as dangerous for Black as it looks: 5. ... d5 6.e5 Ne4 7.Bd3 c5 =.
5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 =.

5. ... c5

5. ... h6 6.Bh4 c5 is popular, too.

6.dxc5 Qa5!?

A risky decision allowing White to take on f6 without being able to recapture with the Queen. Most players prefer 6. ... Na6.

7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Rc1!?

White sacrifices her a-Pawn in order to get Black's Queen out of play.

8. ... Qxa2

Accepting the challenge.

9.e3 Qa5

9. ... Na6!? The idea is to meet 10.Bd3 with 10. ... Nxc5. If 11.Bxh7+, then 11. Kg7 12.Nge2 Rh8 (12. ... f5 13.Bxf5!). Perhaps White should play 10.Qd2 Qa5 11.Bd3 Nxc5 and now White's valuable Bishop has a retreat: 12.Bc2.

10.Bd3 h6

10. ... f5 11.g4!.

11.Nf3 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Na6


Instead of choosing a safe move Teodora Rogozenco consequently continues her attack against Black's weakened King's position.

13. ... Kg7

After 13. ... Nxc5!? White can play 14.h4, too. As long as most of Black's pieces are either undeveloped or on the other side of the board White has good attacking chances against Black's King's position. With the text move Monika Machlik tries to put her Rook on h8 and at the same time give Black's King a retreat via f8.

14.h4 Rh8 15.g5 hxg5 16.Rg1!

16.hxg5? Rxh1+

16. ... Nxc5

16. ... g4!? 17.Rxg4+ Kf8 (17. ... Kh6? 18.Qd2 + -)

17.hxg5 f5


Very well played. If the Bishop is taken (18. ... exf5 19.Qxf5), White threatens 20.Qf6+ Kg8 21.g6! with a winning attack. It is questionable if any satisfactory defense can be found, e. g. 19. ... Qb6 20.g6 (20.Rd1!? looks good, too) 20. ... f6 21.Qd5. How shall Black protect f7 without losing a piece? 21. ... Ne6? 22.Nd4! (threatening 23.Nf5+ and 24.g7) 22. ... Rg8 23.c5! (an important "zwischenzug") 23. ... Qc7 24.Nf5+ and wins. Or 21. ... Rf8? 22.Nd4! once again with a winning attack.

18. ... b6 19.Qd1 Nb3!

A good defense, because 20.Qxb3 can now be answered with 20. ... Qxf5.
19. ... exf5? runs into 20.Qd4+ Kg8 21.g6! + -.

20.Be4 Nxc1

20. ... d5 might lead to a pretty variation: 21.cxd5 exd5 22.Bxd5 Rd8 (22. ... Nxc1? 23.Qd4+ Kg8 24.g6! + -) 23.e4 Nxc1? (still wrong, 23. ... Rxd5 is Black's best chance) 24.Qd4+! Kf8 (24. ... Kg8? 25.Rh1) 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Qf6+ Kd7! 27.Qxf7+ Kd6 28.Qf4+! Ke7 (28. ... Kd7? 29.Ne5+; 28. ... Kc5? 29.Qc7+) 29.Qf6+ Kd7 30.Rh1 White is a Rook down, but Black will find no satisfactory defense against White's threats.


21.Bxa8? Qxc3+ and White is more or less forced to play 22.Qd2.
21.Qxc1? Rb8 and if 22.g6, then 22. ... f5.

21. ... e5 22.Nxe5 Nb3! 23.Qd6 Qa1+

23. ... Qxc3+ was possible, too. We'll regard it later.

24.Ke2 Qb2+ 25.Kd1

The King must not go to f3 or f1 on account of 25. ... Nd2+, and after 25.Ke1 Qxc3+ we get exactly the same position we would have got after 23. ... Qxc3+ (instead of 23. ... Qa1+). In each case Monika Machlik should have forced a draw by perpetual checks with her Queen. By playing 25.Kd1 Teodora Rogozenco offers her f-Pawn hoping that her opponent might neglect the draw and offer her another winning chance.

25. ... Qxf2

This does not yet lose the game, but 25. ... Qa1+! or 25. ... Qc1+! would have secured the draw, for White cannot avoid the perpetual check without losing the game. Now Black's task is much more difficult.


26. Rh3?

At last, after a long and successful defense against White's vigorous attack Black makes a decisive mistake. The only chance to save the game was 26. ... Rh2! (threatening 27. ... Qe2+ mate), e. g. 27.Nxh2 Qxg1+ 28.Kc2 Qxg5! 29.Kxb3 Bb7 30.Bxb7 Re8.

27.Qf6+ Kf8 28.Qd8+

Both players were down to a few minutes, therefore this repetition to get 30 seconds increment per move.

28. ... Kg7 29.Qf6+ Kf8 30.g6! Rxf3 31.g7+

and Black resigned. Both Kings are threatened with mate, but White comes first. A really beautiful game played with a lot of inspiration by both players.

GM Bela Kothenashvili vs GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant and (in the background) IM Lilit Mkrtchian (Armenia) vs IM Elisabeth Paehtz. The playing hall is on the 17th floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Erfurt.

Teodora Rogozenco is awarded with a special brilliancy prize by chief organizer GM Thomas Paehtz for her brilliant win against Monika Machlik.

Copyright 2014 by S. O. Platz

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Comments (1)
1. Written by 0_x on 16:16 29 2014 .
kidz thz dayzzz.. :p
She (Lorenz) is toooo adorable! 

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