Independent Pursuits: Chess
Wednesday 10 February 1999
The Goodricke is the strongest annual event in Asia and this year 66 players are involved, from 15 countries. Sixteen grandmasters are included.
This is my third visit to this excellent event, though in contrast to previous years, this time I'm the only English player in a sea of ex-Soviets and therefore face a particularly hard task. Indeed we should all be pretty tired by the end of the event, for there aren't any rest days, and they've added an extra round to make 11 consecutively. After three days the top seed, Alexei Fedorov, was the only player left with a perfect score. The fifth is being contested today.
First-round games are always somewhat nervy and mine, against a reasonable Indian international master, was no exception.
After the 12 Rb1?, Black was doing well. I couldn't play 14 b4 in view of Ne5! but really ought to have equalised with 14 Ne4.
15 ...Bd7 was also good, as was 16 ...Qd8!? 17 Qe2 e5. Things started to go wrong for him after 18 ...Ne5 missing 19 Bf4! - 18 ...Qf6 looked better. But 19 ...f6 was quite playable, as was 20 ...Bxf4 21 Qxf4 Bd7 22 Qc7 Qe8!
21 ...Bc5 was much better, though after 22 Qg3 (also conceivably 22 Qxb7!?) 22 ...Rfc8 23 Ne4, I have an excellent game.
In the diagram the sacrifices win. If 24 ...Kh8 25 Bg5 Qc5 26 Qe4 g6 27 Qh4 h5 28 Nxh5 etc. He defended resourcefully - if instead 25 ...Kh8 26 exf6 Qd8 27 Bg7+ Kg8 28 Qg4 Qd3 29 Bxf8+ Kxf8 30 Qxb4+ etc - but the endgame with queens and rooks was hopeless.
In fact, I'd stupidly missed 38 ...Qxh3, but luckily I hadn't spoilt anything. At the end 41 ...Qf5 42 Qxf5 exf5 43 Rxh7 Rc2 44 Rh8+ Kg7 45 Rb8 is trivial.
White: Jon Speelman
Black: RB Ramesh
Queen's Gambit Meran
1 Nf3 Nf6
2 c4 e6
3 Nc3 d5
4 d4 c6
5 e3 Nbd7
6 Qc2 Bd6
7 Be2 0-0
8 0-0 dxc4
9 Bxc4 a6
10 a4 c5
11 dxc5?! Bxc5
12 Rb1? Qc7!
13 Bd3 Bd6!
14 Bd2?! Nc5!
15 Rfc1 Nxd3
16 Qxd3 Qe7
17 e4 Ng4
18 Qe2 Ne5?!
19 Bf4 Nxf3+
20 Qxf3 Bd7?
21 e5 Bb4
22 Ne4 Bc6
23 Rxc6! bxc6
24 Nf6+! gxf6
25 Bh6 Bd2!
26 exf6 Qc5
27 Qg3+ Bg5
28 Bxg5 Qf5
29 Bh6+ Qg6
30 Bxf8 Kxf8
31 Qd6+ Kg8
32 Rd1 Qxf6
33 Rd4 a5
34 g3 Qf3
35 h3 Qf5
36 Qxc6 Rb8
37 Qc7 Rf8
38 Rf4 Qxh3
39 Qxa5 Rc8
40 Qg5+ Kf8
41 Rh4 1-0
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