Thursday 13 May 1999
The early rounds saw a healthy flow of blood and after three, six of the fourteen were equal on 2/3: Tony Miles, Suat Atalik (Turkey) and four Cubans: De la Paz, Arencibia, Becerra Rivero, Bruzon; though, after round four, Miles and Buron had 3/4.
The very first round saw a heavyweight encounter as second seed Miles (the first is Ivan Morovic from Chile, rated 2610) played the fourth, grandmaster Alexander Baburin, the new Commonwealth Champion, once Russian and now Irish.
Miles has always preferred to avoid the beaten track, and, while he used to do this with 1...b6, this can lead to serious trouble against Baburin, as I found out both in Copenahgen 1996 and at the Bunratty Open last year. So Tony decided to hit him with another of his favourite off-beat ideas 1...Nc6.
Baburin reacted fairly innocuously allowing Black to get quite a reasonable game after the positional 6...Bh6! exchanging a potentially bad bishop. Of course 10...Kf8! is correct - if 10...Bd7 11.Bb5 forces a favourable exchange for White and 11.Qb4 is also possible.
17.f4 was rather impatient and after the excellent 18...b5! Miles had equalised. But in the diagram 22.fxe5 looks better - if then Nxf1 23.e6 Ne3 24.e7! 24...Rb8! (24...Rc8 25.exf8Q+ Kxf8 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Bxb5). 25.exf8Q+ Kxf8 26.Nc6 is perfectly playable.
Possibly, White could still just equalise with 28.Re4! when if eg Bf5 29.Rd4 Bxd3 30.Nxd3 regains the pawn. White did win it back but at the cost of a violent attack and at the end Black is winning a piece since if 38.Na6 (or 38.Nb7+ Kc6) 38...Rg2+ 39.Kh1 Be4!
White: Alexander Baburin
Black: Tony Miles
Capablanca Memorial 1999
1 d4 Nc6
2 c4 e5
3 d5 Nce7
4 Nf3 d6
5 e4 g6
6 Nc3 Bh6!
7 c5 Bxc1
8 Rxc1 Nf6
9 cxd6 cxd6
10 Qa4+ Kf8!
11 Nd2 Kg7
12 Nc4 Ne8
13 Be2 f5
14 0-0 fxe4
15 Nxe4 Nf5
16 Bd3 Rf8
17 Qa3 b6
18 f4!? b5!
19 Qa5 Bd7
20 Qxd8 Rxd8
21 Na5 Ne3 (see diagram)
22 Rfe1? exf4
23 Nb7 Rb8
24 Nbxd6 Nxd6
25 Nxd6 Rb6
26 Ne4 Nxd5
27 Nc5 Rf7
28 Bc2 Ne3
29 Bb3 Re7
30 Nd3 g5
31 Rc7 Rd6
32 Nc5 Kf6
33 Rxa7 Bf5
34 Rxe7 Kxe7
35 g3 Rd2
36 gxf4 gxf4
37 a4 Kd6
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