Examine All Checks!

Black to move

The above position was seen on the board of a round five game from the Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival. Sitting behind the white army is 2699 rated Grandmaster Anton Korobov,

GM Neelotpal Das had an exciting game against GM Anton Korobov (UKR) | Photo: Rupali Mullick

the four time Chess Champion of Ukraine, and top rated player in the Sunway Sitges tournament. In the colloquial language most often used at the House of Pain it would have been said that GM Korobov was “Busted!” His opponent was Grandmaster Christian Camilo Rios,

Cristhian Camilo Rios (Batumi, 2018)

rated 2460, who is from Colombia. He was born in 1993, earned the FM title in 2007; the IM title in 2013; and finally garnered the GM title in 2019. GM Rios obviously worked long and hard to become a Grandmaster. According to Chessbase (https://players.chessbase.com/en/player/rios_cristhian%20camilo/217838) the highest rated player GM Rios had defeated until this game was 2611 rated Erik Van den Doel. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is rated 2856, which is 396 points higher than GM Rios. The rating categories in Chess are in 200 point intervals, which means GM Rios is almost two levels below the World Chess Champion. A player becomes a National Master when his rating hits 2200. Subtract 396 from 2200 and you obtains 1804, which is 5 points into class A. It takes 2000 to become an Expert, so GM Rios is clearly at least one level below GM Korobov. Ordinarily this would mean GM Rios would be an International Master. The FIDE rating system has become so out of whack that it is now meaningless.

One of the things for which I have become known in the world of teaching the Royal Game is “EXAMINE ALL CHECKS!” Any player worth his salt is always aware of any possible checks to his King, or of any possible checks to the opponents King. In the above position the move Bf2+ would have to be considered, so I will assume GM Rios saw the move. Why he did not play the move is beyond my comprehension. From the FollowChess (https://live.followchess.com/), and ChessBomb (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-sunway-sitges/05-Korobov_Anton-Rios_Cristhian_Camilo) websites lack of time was not the cause of how the game ended. Therefore the question must be asked if any “threat” was made or “inducement” offered to the much lower rated Rios to get him to end the game with a perpetual check.

Anton Korobov 2699 (UKR) vs Cristhian Camilo Rios 2460 (COL)
Sunway Sitges 2021 round 05
B33 Sicilian, Pelikan (Lasker/Sveshnikov) variation

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 9. a4 Be7 10. Be2 O-O 11. O-O Nd7 12. Bd2 f5 13. a5 a6 14. Na3 f4 15. Nc4 e4 16. f3 e3 17. Bb4 Rf6 18. Qd4 Qf8 19. g3 Ne5 20. Nb6 Rb8 21. Kg2 Rh6 22. Nxc8 Qxc8 23. g4 Qxc2 24. Qd1 Qg6 25. Qd4 Qf6 26. Qe4 Rxh2+ 27. Kxh2 Qh4+ 28. Kg2 Qg3+ 29. Kh1 Bh4 30. Bd1 Qh3+ 31. Kg1 Qg3+ 32. Kh1 Qh3+ 33. Kg1 Qg3+ 34. Kh1 Qh3+ ½-½