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Isle of Man R08: Learn how to mate with a bishop and knight!

by Sagar Shah - 09/10/2016

Harika lost her game and so did S.L. Narayanan. Vidit drew his game. 26 Indians went to Isle of Man but the performances haven't been highly impressive. Yet, round eight had plenty of things for us to learn. In this report you will learn how grandmasters above 2700 Elo are able to make short draws which somehow we, normal players, are never able to! You will also see Shirov's attacking flair, Naiditisch's tactical acumen and last but not the least you will learn the technique of how to mate with a bishop and knight. Hou Yifan got that position and the reigning World Champion didn't face any problems!

Photos by Harry Gielen

 

Round eight wasn't particularly an encouraging round for the Indians at the Isle of Man International 2016. Vidit, Harika and S.L. Narayanan were three players on 5.0/7. But in the eighth round Harika and Narayanan both slumped to a defeat against Alexei Shirov and Arkadij Naiditsch respectively, while Vidit drew his game against David Howell.

Naiditsch vs S.L. Narayanan

The position was already bad for Black. But here Naiditsch found the fastest way to win. White to play.
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2016.10.08"]
[Round "8.6"]
[White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Black "Sunilduth Lyna, Narayanan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B91"]
[WhiteElo "2684"]
[BlackElo "2536"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "137"]
[EventDate "2016.10.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Bg2
O-O 9. O-O Be6 10. a4 Qc7 11. Re1 Nbd7 12. Nd2 Qc5 13. Nf1 Bd8 14. h3 Ba5 15.
Be3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Rac8 17. Ne3 Rfe8 18. g4 h6 19. Nf5 Nf8 20. Qf3 N6h7 21. Red1
Bb6 22. a5 Ba7 23. Be3 Bxe3 24. Qxe3 Red8 25. Qb6 Qxb6 26. axb6 Rd7 27. Rd2 Rc6
28. Na4 Bc4 29. Rad1 Bb5 30. Nc3 g6 31. Rxd6 Rxc3 32. bxc3 gxf5 33. exf5 Nf6
34. c4 Bxc4 35. Bxb7 Rxb7 36. Rxf6 Kg7 37. Rfd6 Bb5 38. Rc1 Bc4 39. Rb1 Bb5 40.
Rc1 Bc4 41. Rb1 Bb5 42. h4 Nd7 {Black has just moved his knight to d7. White
can now win the game in a forced manner.} 43. c4 $1 {Deflecting the bishop
from the defense of the d7 knight and also getting the rook in touch with the
b-pawn.} Bxc4 (43... Ba4 44. Rb4 Nc5 45. f6+ Kg6 46. Rd5 a5 47. Rb2 Nd7 48.
Rxa5 Bc6 49. c5 $18) 44. Rxd7 $1 Rxd7 45. b7 Rxb7 46. Rxb7 {This is an easily
winning position.} Be2 47. Rb3 e4 48. Rg3 Kf6 49. g5+ hxg5 50. Rxg5 a5 51. Kh2
a4 52. Rg8 Kxf5 53. Kg3 f6 54. Ra8 Bd1 55. Ra5+ Kg6 56. Kf4 Bc2 57. Ra6 Kg7 58.
Rc6 Bb1 59. Rc1 Bd3 60. Rc3 Bb1 61. Kg4 Kg6 62. h5+ Kh6 63. Rc6 Kg7 64. Rc7+
Kh8 65. Ra7 Bc2 66. h6 e3 67. fxe3 Bg6 68. Rxa4 Kh7 69. Rf4 1-0

 

Harika has been playing excellently at this event. This even led Vishy Anand to tweet about the Andhra girl's solid play

Vishy's tweet for Harika

In the eighth round Harika's French didn't prove enough for Shirov's attacking prowess. The Latvian won a fine attacking game:

[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2016.10.08"]
[Round "8.7"]
[White "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Black "Harika, Dronavalli"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C19"]
[WhiteElo "2679"]
[BlackElo "2528"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2016.10.01"]
{Shirov started the tournament with 4.0/4. But then slowed down a bit. But the
way he won this game was quite excellent.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5
c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Nf3 {Shirov doesn't go for the sharpest lines
beginning with Qg4.} Qa5 8. Bd2 Nbc6 9. a4 Bd7 10. Bb5 a6 11. Bd3 c4 12. Be2 {
The queenside is now closed. White has a clear plan of attack on the kingside
with f4-f5. Hence, Black will castle queenside. Yet, White will have to go for
f4-f5 because that is the only active plan he has in the position. Because
White's king will be on that wing, the position will become quite sharp. But,
it will take several moves as the position is closed and a tempo doesn't
really matter.} h6 13. O-O O-O-O 14. Bc1 Kb8 (14... Qxc3 15. Bd2 $18) 15. Ba3
Nc8 (15... Qxc3 16. a5 $5 Nf5 17. Bc5 $44) 16. Qd2 Ka8 17. Nh4 Rdg8 (17... g5
18. Nf3 {Later the knight will move and f4 will come in, when Black would
either have to allow f5 or after gxf4, the f7 point would be weak.}) 18. g3 Nb8
19. f4 g6 20. Ng2 Bc6 21. Ne3 Nd7 22. Bf3 Qc7 23. a5 h5 {Black has built up
some sort of a fortress which prevents White from expanding on the kingside.
However, it is not so easy to stop Shirov!} (23... Qxa5 {This is a pawn you
don't usually touch. White will be able to sacrifice something soon and open
lines against the black king.}) 24. Bb4 Rd8 25. Qg2 Nb8 26. Rfb1 h4 {Maybe
Harika could have just waited and seen what Shirov would do. But it is not
such a tempting option. She advances her h-pawn, but after g4, the idea of f5
once again becomes possible.} 27. g4 f6 28. Rf1 g5 $6 29. f5 $1 {This is
exactly what White needed. The position opens up and his pieces are
excellently placed.} fxe5 30. fxe6 e4 31. Bxe4 $1 (31. Be2 $18 {was also
strong.}) 31... h3 32. Qe2 dxe4 33. Rf7 {The queen on c7 is trapped!} Nd7 34.
Raf1 Rhe8 35. Qxc4 $18 Nd6 36. Bxd6 Qxd6 37. exd7 Rxd7 38. R1f6 Qc7 39. Rxd7
Qxd7 40. Qc5 {White is not only a pawn up. His pieces are excellently placed,
especially the knight on e3 is just perfect!} Qc8 41. c4 Qb8 42. c3 Rg8 43. d5
Ba4 44. Rf7 Rc8 45. Qb6 Rf8 46. Rc7 Rf3 47. d6 Bc6 48. d7 Rf8 49. Qc5 Bxd7 50.
Nd5 {A fine game by Alexei Shirov.} 1-0

 

After his excellent start with 5.0/6 Vidit also received words of praise from Vishy:

The loss against Eljanov in round seven was a setback for Vidit. He tried to set things straight with an aggessive intent against David Howell. But the English GM was in a peaceful mood and opted for the Alapin variation in the Sicilian. It was a game without any mistakes for both sides. Gujrathi takes on the experienced Julio Granda Zuniga in the final round.

Nothing special happened in David Howell vs Vidit Gujrathi
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2016.10.08"]
[Round "8.5"]
[White "Howell, David W L"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2644"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2016.10.01"]
1. e4 c5 {Vidit would like to play some aggressive chess and this is shown by
his first move. 1...c5 instead of 1...c6 or 1...e5.} 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. e5
Nd5 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 d5 7. exd6 Qxd6 8. Na3 a6 9. O-O Bf5 10. d4 cxd4 11. Nxd4
Nxd4 12. cxd4 e6 {Black has equalized out of the opening without any issues.
Next up would be Be7 followed by 0-0. David realizes the urgency of the
situation and gets rid of his d4 pawn.} 13. Qf3 Qd7 14. d5 $5 Nxd5 15. Rd1 Bxa3
16. bxa3 O-O 17. h4 (17. Bxd5 exd5 18. Rxd5 {It seems like Black is losing a
piece, but after} Qe6 $15 {The back rank mate saves the day.}) 17... Rac8 18.
Bxd5 exd5 19. Rxd5 Qe8 20. Rxf5 Qe1+ 21. Kh2 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 Qxc1 23. Qxb7 Qxa3
24. Qd5 Qe7 25. Qc4 Re8 26. a4 (26. Qxa6 Qxh4+ $19) 26... g6 27. Rf4 Qe6 28.
Qd3 h5 29. g3 Qc6 30. Rc4 Qf6 {Quite a tame draw.} 1/2-1/2

 

Learning to mate with a bishop and knight

In the background is the game between Elisabeth Paehtz and Hou Yifan in progress. After 66 moves the players reached the following position:

Paehtz vs Hou Yifan

Will you be confident of checkmating your opponent with the bishop and knight? If not, then have a look at the video below where I explain some of the most important features of the bishop + knight mate.

Mating with a bishop and knight is nothing but a matter of practice. Once you practice it enough, you are able to easily execute it on the board.

All those who are ChessBase Account Premium members can go to Fritz Online webpage. There you can setup any position of your choice and practice it out against Fritz program! It is the best way to learn such complex endgames.

 

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The ChessBase Account costs only Rs.1499 per year for Indian residents. You can buy it from the ChessBase India online shop.

Top level chess

Many times we see battles between two 2750+ players end in short draws. We try to think about the reason for the same and we realize that these guys have great control on their moves. Their sense of danger is immaculate and when they sniff that their position is going downhill, they quickly exchange stuff and make a draw. Not to forget, their opening preparation is immaculate. This is exactly what happened on the top two boards in the eighth round between Eljanov vs Caruana, and Nakamura vs So.

[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2016.10.08"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2813"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2016.10.01"]
{Elajnov was half a point ahead of the field before the start of the eighth
round. He was up against Fabiano Caruana. The latter definitely would be
looking for blood as a win would mean, sole first spot.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3.
c4 e6 4. Nc3 dxc4 {The Vienna variation is not seen very often at the top
level, but it is provocative in nature and quite good when you are trying to
play for a full point.} 5. e3 (5. e4 {is much more active, but with a half
point lead Eljanov decides to keep it solid.}) 5... a6 6. a4 c5 7. Bxc4 {
We have now transposed into the Queen's Gambit Accepted territory.} Nc6 8. O-O
Be7 9. Qe2 {White needs to develop his pieces and hence this move seems
completely logical. But because a6 and a4 have been added, Black can now win
the pawn on d4. The point of a6 being added is that the b5 square is covered
and moves like Nb5 or Bb5 will no longer be possible.} cxd4 10. Rd1 (10. exd4
Nxd4 11. Nxd4 Qxd4 {is fine for Black.}) 10... e5 11. exd4 exd4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4
13. Qe5 {This is all well known theory. White is going to win back his piece,
but overall it seems highly unlikely that he can fight for an edge in this
position.} Qd6 14. Qxd4 Qxd4 15. Rxd4 Bc5 16. Rd1 (16. Rd3 {was tried by
Koneru against Ju Wenjun recently, but it doesn't change the evaluation of the
position.}) 16... O-O 17. h3 Be6 (17... Bf5 {is met with the strong} 18. Bd5 $1
{when it is not so easy to defend the b7 pawn.}) 18. Bxe6 fxe6 {That's a
common idea. The e6 pawn will not be very weak. Meanwhile it was important to
get rid of the important c4 bishop.} 19. Kf1 Nd5 20. f3 Nxc3 21. bxc3 Rac8 22.
Rb1 b6 23. Re1 Rc6 24. Re4 Rd8 25. Bf4 Kf7 26. Be5 Rd2 27. Rg4 g6 28. Ke1 Rd5 (
28... Ra2 29. Rd1 Ke7 30. Rd2 $11) 29. Rf4+ Ke7 30. Re4 Bd6 31. Bd4 {
Theoretically it was an excellent result for Caruana, but judging from the
tournament situation it was just what Eljanov needed. He is now half point
ahead with just one round to go!} 1/2-1/2

 

Nakamura would have been itching for revenge against So but was unable to hurt him
[Event "chess.com IoM Masters"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2016.10.08"]
[Round "8.2"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D70"]
[WhiteElo "2787"]
[BlackElo "2794"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2016.10.01"]

{Battles between Nakamura and Wesley So are always interesting. In their last
encounter Wesley won with the white pieces at the Sinquefield Cup. So Nakamura
was surely angling for a revenge.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5.
e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O {Theory has been growing in
the f3 line of the Grunfeld. This opposite side castling position is quite
sharp and not everything has been worked out here. Hence, there is quite some
scope for experimentation and new ideas.} Qd6 10. Nb5 Qd7 11. Kb1 Rd8 12. d5 a6
13. Nc3 Qe8 14. Qc1 Na5 15. Bf4 (15. h4 {is the main line and has been already
seen between Nakamura and So in their Ultimate Moves Blitz Challenge.}) 15...
Rd7 16. Bh6 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 e6 {Black has to sooner or later break in the centre.
} (17... c6 18. Qe3 Nbc4 19. Bxc4 Nxc4 20. Qc5 $14) 18. Nh3 {Threatening Ng5.}
Qf8 19. Qxf8+ Kxf8 20. Nf4 exd5 21. Nfxd5 Nxd5 22. Rxd5 b5 {White hasn't found
anything special out of the opening and this looks like heading towards a dull
draw.} 23. Be2 c6 24. Rxd7 Bxd7 25. Rc1 Be6 26. Nd1 Rd8 27. Ne3 Rd2 28. Rc2
Rxc2 29. Nxc2 c5 30. b4 Nb7 31. a4 (31. a4 cxb4 32. Nxb4 a5 33. Nc6 bxa4 34.
Bb5 Nd6 35. Bxa4 Bd7 $11 {will end in a draw.}) 1/2-1/2

Player overview for IND

SNo   Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts. Rk. Rp K rtg+/- Group
9 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2686 IND 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 ½ 5,5 9 2707 10 3,10 Master
23 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2626 IND 1 ½ 1 0 1 0 1 ½ 5,0 23 2587 10 -3,10 Master
28 GM Lalith Babu M R 2586 IND 1 ½ ½ 1 0 0 1 ½ 4,5 41 2437 10 -13,30 Master
32 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2564 IND 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5,5 16 2534 10 -2,00 Master
33 GM Shyam Sundar M. 2552 IND 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 5,0 29 2477 10 -6,40 Master
35 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2536 IND 1 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 0 5,0 30 2648 10 12,40 Master
36 GM Harika Dronavalli 2528 IND 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 0 5,0 31 2652 10 13,40 Master
37 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V 2522 IND 1 0 ½ 0 1 1 1 ½ 5,0 32 2545 10 2,50 Master
43 GM Gagare Shardul 2480 IND ½ 1 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 5,0 35 2433 10 -4,50 Master
45 IM Puranik Abhimanyu 2471 IND 1 0 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 5,0 36 2493 10 3,20 Master
52 IM Visakh N R 2456 IND 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 4,5 49 2401 10 -4,00 Master
54 IM Praggnanandhaa R 2442 IND 1 0 1 ½ 0 1 0 1 4,5 51 2468 10 4,40 Master
55 GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2429 IND 1 0 ½ 1 1 0 0 1 4,5 52 2455 10 4,20 Master
60 IM Karavade Eesha 2421 IND 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 4,0 65 2470 10 6,50 Master
62 IM Tania Sachdev 2414 IND 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 4,5 54 2494 10 11,20 Master
64 IM Das Arghyadip 2400 IND 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 4,5 56 2405 10 3,50 Master
71   Hemant Sharma (del) 2371 IND 0 1 1 1 0 1 ½ 0 4,5 57 2499 20 29,80 Master
72   Harsha Bharathakoti 2363 IND ½ 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3,5 81 2384 20 2,20 Master
82 FM Karthik Venkataraman 2317 IND ½ 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 3,5 88 2370 20 9,40 Master
93 FM Rakesh Kumar Jena 2247 IND 0 1 0 1 ½ 0 0 1 3,5 92 2277 20 2,80 Master
97 WIM Parnali S Dharia 2228 IND ½ 0 0 1 1 0 0 ½ 3,0 105 2245 20 0,20 Master
110 AGM Vardan Nagpal 2117 IND 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 ½ 3,5 98 2181 40 19,20 Master
115 FM Tiwari Ashwani 2090 IND 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 2,5 116 2054 20 -10,80 Master
126 WIM Gagare Shalmali 1989 IND ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 3,0 110 2244 20 34,80 Master
127 WFM Swati Mohota 1948 IND 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 2,5 121 2068 20 18,80 Master
128 WFM Kotepalli Sai Nirupama 1944 IND 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 2,5 122 2082 20 20,20 Master

Pairings of the next round for IND

Rd. Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
9 5 32   GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2564   GM Nakamura Hikaru 2787   3
9 6 9   GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2686   GM Granda Zuniga Julio E 2648   18
9 10 35   GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2536 5   5 GM Leko Peter 2709   6
9 11 36   GM Harika Dronavalli 2528 5   5 GM Movsesian Sergei 2677   12
9 13 22   GM Grandelius Nils 2642 5   5 GM Shyam Sundar M. 2552   33
9 14 23   GM Gupta Abhijeet 2626 5   5 GM Schroeder Jan-Christian 2514   38
9 15 24   GM Van Foreest Jorden 2615 5   5 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V 2522   37
9 16 25   GM L'ami Erwin 2605 5   5 GM Gagare Shardul 2480   43
9 17 26   GM Bok Benjamin 2594 5   5 IM Puranik Abhimanyu 2471   45
9 21 20   GM Bachmann Axel 2645   IM Praggnanandhaa R 2442   54
9 22 77   FM Kavutskiy Konstantin 2332   GM Lalith Babu M R 2586   28
9 23 34   GM Svane Rasmus 2552   IM Visakh N R 2456   52
9 24 55   GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2429   GM Hillarp Persson Tiger 2513   39
9 26 46   GM Illingworth Max 2465   IM Tania Sachdev 2414   62
9 27 48   GM Ushenina Anna 2459     Hemant Sharma (del) 2371   71
9 28 50   IM Lou Yiping 2458   IM Das Arghyadip 2400   64
9 35 60   IM Karavade Eesha 2421 4   4 FM Taylor Adam C 2236   95
9 40 68   FM Brunello Marina 2382   FM Rakesh Kumar Jena 2247   93
9 41 72     Harsha Bharathakoti 2363     Scott Gordon W 2168   106
9 47 110   AGM Vardan Nagpal 2117   IM L'ami Alina 2322   79
9 50 82   FM Karthik Venkataraman 2317   WFM De Rosa Mariagrazia 2102   112
9 52 90   FM Von Meijenfeldt Bart 2265 3   3 WIM Parnali S Dharia 2228   97
9 56 94   FM Lorscheid Gerhard 2238   3 WIM Gagare Shalmali 1989   126
9 60 128   WFM Kotepalli Sai Nirupama 1944   FM Tiwari Ashwani 2090   115
9 61 127   WFM Swati Mohota 1948     Whitehead David J 2021   119 

 

Round nine will begin at 5.p.m IST. Catch it live here.

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