After participating in an online group class last evening I decided to spend the morning watching live Chess action. There were two choices. One was the $1.5M Meltwater Champions Chess Tour: FTX Crypto Cup, which consists of, from the website: 9 days of chess. 16 top players. $220k prize fund and an additional $100k in $Bitcoin. (https://championschesstour.com/) As of one pm, Eastern Standard Daylight Saving time, the $100K in coin bits had melted to $76,757.87.
The time control for this event is an off-putting 15 minutes plus 10 seconds added after every move made. David Howell, Jovanka Houska, and a face with which I am unfamiliar, K. Snare, are covering the action online. With 16 players that is 8 quick play games to cover. Makes me nervous just thinking about all that constant jabbering…Do not get me wrong, there is a time and place for 15 minute Chess. David Bronstein, the man who drew a match for the World Championship with then Champion Mikhail Bottvinnik, who proclaimed himself to be “First among peers,” advocated a 15 minute time limit for the players in the so-called “workers paradise” known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Bronstein’s thinking was that two workers could get together after an evening meal and play four games before hitting the sack for the night.
Then there is the more sedate Gibraltar FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2021 where the time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1 actually gives the players, and spectators, time to cogitate. If I have to inform you of which tournament this post is about you have not read enough of the AW. In the words of the “Rising Star of the Year,” Alireza Firouzja, in still the best Chess magazine published on planet Earth, New In Chess, 2020 #8,
“I believe most people play chess because you have to really use your mind, know the different patterns and so on. Maybe to grow chess and bring more fans to the game, it is needed to increase the number of rapid and blitz tournaments throughout the year. But I do believe that many people still enjoy classical chess, because there you can really see quality moves and deep ideas.” Earlier in yet another excellent interview by Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam, the young man said about Norway chess, “I was really happy to be back at the wooden board. It feels different when you touch the pieces and move them around. I think every chess lover understands what I mean. Seeing your opponent and seeing people around the playing area just felt great.” Amen, brother! I cannot wait to play in the next Senior Chess tournament! I am already looking forward to the next Land of the Sky Chess tournament, according to tournament impresario Wilder Wadford, the weekend before the Super Bowl, in the beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina. I may make the trip just to be there, being square!
In the second round of the Gibraltar FIDE Women’s Grand Prix these moves were played in the game: Anna Muzychuk (2535) vs Nana Dzagnidze (2524):
- e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5 a6 9. Na3 Be6 10. Nc4 Rb8 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne7 13. Bxf6 gxf6
White to move
To see the shocking thrust that followed please go to the ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-fide-womens-grand-prix-gibraltar/02-Muzychuk_Anna-Dzagnidze_Nana)
Zelcic, Robert (2526) vs Dreev, Aleksey (2671)
Event: Tournament of Peace 2019
Site: Zagreb CRO Date: 11/22/2019
Round: 4.6 Score: 1-0
ECO: B33 Sicilian, Pelikan, Bird variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 e5 8.Bg5 a6 9.Na3 Be6 10.Nc4 Rb8 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.exd5 Ne7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.g3 h5 15.Bh3 Bh6 16.Qf3 Nc8 17.O-O b5 18.Na5 Qxa5 19.Qxf6 Rg8 20.Qxh6 Qb4 21.c3 Qe4 22.Qxh5 Ne7 23.Bg2 Qg6 24.Qxg6 Nxg6 25.b4 Ke7 26.a4 f5 27.axb5 axb5 28.Ra6 Rgc8 29.Bh3 Rf8 30.Rfa1 e4 31.Rc6 Rb7 32.Raa6 Rd7 33.Bf1 Rb8 34.Rcb6 Rxb6 35.Rxb6 Rc7 36.Bh3 f4 37.Bf5 Ne5 38.gxf4 Nf3+ 39.Kh1 Rxc3 40.Bxe4 Nh4 41.h3 Rc4 42.f3 Rxb4 43.Kh2 Rb2+ 44.Kg3 Ng2 45.Rb7+ Kf6 46.Rd7 Ne3 47.Rxd6+ Kf7 48.f5 Nc4 49.Rc6 Ne5 50.Ra6 b4 51.Ra7+ Kf6 52.Kf4 Nc4 53.Ra6+ Kf7 54.Rc6 Na5 55.Rc5 Ra2 56.d6 Kf6 57.Bd5 b3 58.d7 Ra4+ 59.Kg3 1-0
Also in round 2
Antoaneta Stefanova (2470) – Valentina Gunina (2421)
B10 Caro-Kann, two knights variation
- e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Qe2 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 Nd7 7. Bc4 Nf6 8. Ne5 e6 9. Qe2 b5 10. Bd3 Qc7 11. O-O (TN) Bd6 12. f4 Nd5 13. g3 O-O 14. a3 Bb7 15. Nf3 Rae8 16. b3 e5 17. fxe5
Black to move
To learn what Ms. Gunina played head on over to ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-fide-womens-grand-prix-gibraltar/02-Stefanova_Antoaneta-Gunina_Valentina)