Chess: International class

VLADISLAV Tkachiev, the young Kazakhstani who is leading the Oakham School Masters tournament, is yet another of the band of well-trained and hungry Soviet-trained players, unheard of in the West while the USSR existed, but fully capable of winning strong events. As yet without an international title, Tkachiev has made an International Master result at Oakham with two rounds left to play. He leads the field by a margin of 11 2 points and seems certain of first place.

His seventh-round encounter with Andrew Ledger shows that Tkachiev understands how to win games. First, you must not give your opponent the comfort of playing an opening he knows well. This he achieves with 6. Bd3, avoiding the messy lines with 6. e5 Ne4. Next, you must create some imbalance. 12. d5 does not give White any advantage, but avoids the sterile symmetry that would arise after 12. dxe5. Then you have to give your opponent the chance to go wrong. 18. h4?] is bluff and Black should ignore it. Instead, by playing h6, he allows weaknesses to appear, particularly after g5 has been forced.

Even after the exchange of queen for two rooks, Black should be able to fight, but once the position is opened with 22. Rdxd3, the rooks become very powerful. Fittingly, the final attack is launched with 39. Nf5] occupying the square weakened by Black's g5 so long before.

White: Tkachiev

Black: Ledger

1 e4 c6

2 d4 d5

3 Nc3 g6

4 Nf3 Bg7

5 h3 Nf6

6 Bd3 dxe4

7 Nxe4 Nxe4

8 Bxe4 Nd7

9 0-0 Qc7

10 Bg5 0-0

11 Re1 e5

12 d5 cxd5

13 Bxd5 Nc5

14 b4 Ne6

15 Be3 Bd7

16 c4 Rfe8

17 Rc1 Rac8

18 h4 h6

19 Qc2 Bc6

20 Bxc6 bxc6

21 h5 g5

22 Qe4 Nd4

23 Bxd4 exd4

24 Qxe8+ Rxe8

25 Rxe8+ Kh7

26 g3 Qd7

27 Ree1 Qf5

28 Nd2 d3

29 Nb3 Bb2

30 Rcd1 Bc3

31 Re3 Bxb4

32 Rdxd3 g4

33 Rd1 Qxh5

34 Rd7 a5

35 Rb7 Qg6

36 Nd4 Qf6

37 Re4 Qg6

38 Rf4 Kg8

39 Nf5 Bf8

40 Rb8 Qe6

41 c5 h5

42 Nd6 f6

43 Re4 Qd5

44 Ree8 1-0

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