Next we see the eventual winner struggle to beat the youngest player in the tournament, the ever-tricky Zong. In fact on the last move before the time control Zong missed a big chance to attack the White king which would have led to an easy win.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 Nc6 10.Be3 Nh5
GM Glek has made this system popular for Black. 11.f4!? A committal move. 11...Nf6 12.Bf3 Bg4 13.Nde2 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nh5 15.Qd2 Qd7 16.Kh1 f5 17.Rg1 Qf7 18.Raf1
White's set-up seems very peculiar to me. 18...Rad8 [18...Qxc4 I am not sure exactly why Zong didn't grab this pawn. Here are some possible continuations which seem good for Black. 19.exf5 (19.Nd5 fxe4 20.Nxc7 exf3) 19...gxf5 20.Nd5 (20.Rg5 Qf7) 20...Ne7 Perhaps the players overlooked this move?] 19.b3 Ne7 20.Bd4 c6 This is probably just junk (at least in conjunction with his 21st), but I think Zong was just getting bored around here. 21.Bxa7 b5 [21...d5] 22.cxb5 d5
ala Kasparov! 23.e5 Bh6 24.Bb6 Rd7 25.Qe3 Ng7 26.Nd4 Nc8 27.bxc6 Rde7 28.e6 Nxe6 29.Nxd5 Nxf4 30.Nxe7+ Rxe7 31.Qc3 Nxb6
Somehow Vlad has managed to lose control of the position and Black is back in the game. 32.Qc5 Nfd5 33.a4 Be3 34.a5 Na8 35.Rg2 Nac7 36.Ra2 Qf6 37.Ra4 Re8 38.a6 Qh4 39.a7 Qh3 40.Re1
40...Kg7 [40...Bf4!! Would have won on the spot! Fritz came up with this move when Zong tested this position after the game. Not surprisingly Zong thought he could not give away all his pieces with check, and on the last move of the time control makes a "safety first" move. 41.Rxe8+ Nxe8 42.Qxd5+ Kh8 After which the only way to avert the immediate mate is to play 43.Qe5+ giving up the queen, as 43.Kg1 Be3+ mates next move.] 41.a8Q Bf4 42.Nxf5+ gxf5 43.Rg1+ Kf7 44.Qxe8+ Kxe8 45.Rg8+ Kf7 46.Qf8+ Ke6 47.Qc8+ Kf6 48.Qd8+ Kf7 49.Qf8+ Ke6 50.Re4+ Be5 51.Qc8+ Kf7 52.Rg2
52...Qxf3? Now it is all over, yet just at this moment Black had 52...Ne7 when a draw would perhaps be the most likely outcome of this complex battle. 52...Ne7! 53.Qd7 Qxf3 54.Re1 Ncd5 and now White should settle for 55.Rxe5 Qf1+ with perpetual check as 55.Qa7 Nf4 56.Qf2 Qd5 seems to offer only losing chances] 53.Qg8+ Ke7 54.Qg7+ Kd6 55.Qxe5+ Kxc6 56.Rc4+ Kb7 57.Qe2 Qxb3 58.Qb2 Qxb2 59.Rxb2+ Kc8 60.Rh4 Nf6 61.Rf4 Kd7 62.Rxf5 Ke6 63.Rg5 Ncd5 64.Ra2 Kf7 65.Ra6 Nf4 66.Rf5 N4d5 67.Kg1 Kg6? Accelerates the end, but the position was hopeless in any case. 68.Rxd5 1-0
The next game is very typical of David's style, beginning with his favourite c3 Sicilian and transposing happily into a clearly better ending. Despite his pawn minus Geoff had some compensation and fought well, however despite even reaching material balance the constant pressure proved too much and brilliant manoeuvre by the White king won the knight ending.
1.e4 c5 2.c3 This is Smerdon's favourite variation against the Sicilian. However, I am interested in the ensuing ending, so I won't comment on the following 14 moves. 2...d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 e6 8.0-0 Nf6 9.h3 Bh5 10.Nc3 Qa5 11.Be3 Rd8 12.Qb3 Qb4 13.Rfd1 Be7 14.g4 Bg6 15.Ne5 Qxb3 16.axb3
So we have reached an ending where White has a strong initiative thanks to his active knight on e5, the pressure down the a-file and Black's lagging development. I was playing on the adjacent board and did not envy Geoff-this sort of position is Smerdon's bread and butter...16...Bc2 17.Rdc1 Bxb3 18.Bb5! 0-0 19.Bxc6 [19.Nxc6 bxc6 20.Bxc6 was another continuation.] 19...bxc6 20.Rxa7 Bd6 21.Nxc6 Ra8
White has won a pawn but conceded his light squared bishop and has an unimpressive pawn structure. Nevertheless a pawn is a pawn and Black still faces a difficult task to hold the position.22.Rb7 Rfc8 This looks dubious. [22...Bc4 looks safest.] 23.Rxb3 [23.Nb5 Rxc6 24.Rxc6 Bd5 25.Nxd6 Bxc6 26.Rc7 was also interesting, as despite the drawing tendency of the opposite coloured bishops White's activity seems promising.] 23...Rxc6 24.Kg2 Kf8 25.Kf3 Rb8 26.Rxb8+ Bxb8 27.Ra1 Rb6 28.Ra2 Rb3 29.Ke2 Ke7 30.Kd3 h5 31.gxh5!? White plays very actively/tactically here and on the next few moves. 31...Nxh5 32.Kc4 Rb7 33.Ra5 f5 34.Bg5+ Kd7 35.Na4 Bd6 36.Rb5 Rxb5 [36...Ra7 37.Nc5++- The point of White's play.; 36...Kc6 37.Rxb7 Kxb7 38.Nc5++-] 37.Kxb5 Bf4! Black is also fighting hard, and finds the best chance. In fact the outcome of this ending is still far from clear, despite White's extra outside passed pawn, due to his weakened pawn position on the kingside. 38.h4 e5! 39.Nb6+ Ke6 40.Kc5 [40.d5+] 40...exd4 41.Bxf4 Nxf4 42.Kxd4 Ng6 43.h5 Nf4 44.b4 Nxh5 45.Nd5
White has returned the pawn to coordinate his forces, but now there is very little material remaining on the board so that during the game I thought Black should be able to draw this with correct play. However, White won impressively and I am no longer so sure.45...Kd6 46.b5 g6 47.b6 Kc6 48.Ke5 Ng7 [48...Kb7] 49.Kf6 Ne8+
50.Ke7!! This would have come as a cold shower to Geoff, who would have been counting on 50.Kxg6. It looks like there is no longer a defence for Black now. [50.Kxg6 Nd6 (50...f4) 51.Ne7+ Kxb6 52.Nxf5 Ne4 and Black is drawing. ] 50...Nd6 [50...Ng7 51.Kf7+- traps the knight!] 51.Nb4+ Kc5 52.Kd7! Nb7 [52...g5 This was probably the last chance. 53.Na6+ Kd5 (53...Kxb6 54.Kxd6+-) 54.Nc7+ A) 54...Kc5 55.Ne8 (55.Ne6+) ; B) 54...Ke5 ; 52...f4 53.Nd3++-] 53.Kc7 Na5 54.Nd3+ Kd4 55.Nf4 g5 56.Ne6+ Kd3 57.Nxg5 f4 58.f3 Ke3 59.b7 Nxb7 60.Kxb7 Kd4 61.Kc6 1-0
For a long time I thought that the following win was a smooth strategic victory by Irina, however the position was by no means as clear as I thought. Strangely, on move 27 where White made a simple blunder there was the very nice move 27.Nf3 available (another suggestion from my trusty electrical sparring partner) after which White takes over the initiative!
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Be2 Nbd7 [4...Nc6 5.d4! cxd4 (5...Nxe4? 6.d5+- with 7.Qa4+.) 6.cxd4 Nxe4 7.d5 Qa5+ 8.Nc3 Gives White a dangerous attack for the little guy(s).] 5.d3 [5.Qc2 Qc7! prevents White's planned 6.d4.] 5...g6 [5...b6 6.0-0 (6.Nbd2 I like this move better and castles only after 6...Bb7.) 6...Bb7 7.Nbd2 g6 8.d4! This move, offering the e-pawn, led to a well known win for White in Svidler-Kasparov Tilburg 1997 which popularised this line for White.; 5...c4 is another possibility] 6.0-0 [6.Nbd2! This move, aiming for d4 as soon as possible (perhaps followed by a quick e5 break) is more accurate in my opinion. Now Irina has the chance to castle and meet e5 with Ne8 which seems to be quite a reasonable system for Black. ] 6...Bg7 [6...b6 7.Nbd2 Bb7 8.d4! would transpose to the 5...b6 note.] 7.Nbd2 b6 8.d4 0-0
9.e5!? A debatable decision in this position. 9...Ne8! [9...dxe5?! 10.dxe5 Followed by e6 gives White the advantage.] 10.Nc4!? Probably the only chance to try for an advantage. White plans 11.exd6 with an edge. However, I think that Black can improve on the game at this point. [10.exd6 Nxd6 poses no problems for Black.; 10.dxc5 A) 10...dxc5?! 11.e6!; B) 10...Nxe5 This is interesting but very risky. 11.cxb6 (11.Nxe5 Bxe5) 11...axb6 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Nc4 Bg7 14.Be3; C) 10...Nxc5! 11.Nc4 Ba6 (11...d5) 12.exd6 Nxd6 13.Nxd6 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 Qxd6= and Black is at least equal.] 10...d5 This is reasonable, but I like 10...cxd4 better. In that case White's hopes for an opening advantage seem to be over. [10...cxd4! 11.cxd4 dxe5 12.dxe5 Nc7 Looks very comfortable for Black. The pawn e5 looks over-extended here.] 11.Ne3 Nc7 12.b4 I don't like this move, making weaknesses on the kingside and planning to put the bishop c1 on a dead diagonal. 12.h4 or even 12.h3 planning 13.Ng4 looks better and perhaps White still has the better chances. [12.h4; 12.Ng4 h5; 12.h3] 12...Bb7 [12...a5!?] 13.Bb2 [13.a4!? Trying to blockade the queenside looks like an improvement on the game continuation.] 13...a5 14.bxc5 bxc5 15.Nd2 a4 16.Ba3 Ne6 17.Rb1 Bc6 18.Nc2?! Too passive. [18.Bf3!] 18...Qa5 Black has a strong initiative bow and White is facing a dilemma, but Zong finds some tactical resources to keep White's game alive. 19.dxc5
[19.c4 Is tricky but fails. 19...Nxd4! (19...cxd4?! 20.cxd5) 20.Nxd4 cxd4 21.cxd5 Qxd5 (21...Bxd5? 22.Rb5+-) 22.Bf3 Qe6 23.Bxc6 Qxc6 24.Bxe7 Rfe8 clear advantage Black; 19.Bb2 At first I thought this move may have been objectively the best (although few players could bring themselves to play it even if it was) but now it seems that Black has many more problems finding a clear advantage after 19.dxc5 than I thought.] 19...Qxc3 It would be interesting to know how long Irina thought about this move, because Black could choose from no fewer than 4 other pawn captures! [19...Bxe5; 19...Ndxc5; 19...Nexc5; 19...Nxe5] 20.f4 Nd4 [20...Ndxc5?? 21.Bb4+- Traps the queen.] 21.Nxd4 Qxd4+ 22.Kh1 Rfb8 [22...Nxc5? 23.Rb4! Qe3 24.Rf3+- Once again traps the Black queen. Thanks to the 2 queen traps White has managed to keep control of the position and the worst is over, or should have been...] 23.Qc2 Rxb1 24.Nxb1 Rb8 25.Qd2 Qxd2 26.Nxd2
26...Bh6?! This wins the game as it turns out, but could have led to some difficulties for Black. Activating the Black bishop while breaking up the White pawn centre with 26...f6 looks like an improvement. This would also have prevented White (at least for the moment) from being able to place his knight on the excellent d4 square, so Black could then still claim an advantage in view of her more active pieces. 27.g3?? [27.Nf3! and White, with his strong passed pawn on c5 soon to be supported by a N on d4 is suddenly better. Now Irina never gives Zong a second chance.] 27...Nxe5 28.Rd1 Nc4 29.Nxc4 dxc4+ 30.Kg1 c3 31.Rc1 Bg7 32.Kf2 Bd4+ 33.Ke1 e6 34.Bd3 Bd5 35.Rc2 Rb1+ 36.Ke2 Rh1
37.Bb5 Rxh2+ 38.Kd3 Rxc2 39.Kxc2 Be4+ 40.Bd3 Bc6 41.Be2 h5 42.Bb4 Kf8 43.Kd3 Bf2 44.g4 Bb5+ 45.Kxc3 Bxe2 46.c6+ Ke8 47.gxh5 gxh5 48.Bd6 Bf3 49.c7 Kd7 50.Be5 Bb6 0-1
The following win was an impressive strategic victory against the Dutch.
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c3 A popular set-up against the Leningrad with which Johansen gained an advantage against Reilly in an earlier round. As we saw in Part One Irina also beat Tim in their crucial last round battle with this system. 4...Bg7 5.Qb3 c6 6.Nh3 Qb6
The start of a dubious series of moves that leave White with a better ending with no risk attached. 7.Nd2 Qxb3 8.axb3 d5 9.Nf4 Na6 10.Nd3 Nc7 11.Nf3 Ne6 12.h4 a6 13.Nfe5 Nd7 14.Nxd7 Bxd7 15.b4 0-0 16.Bf4 Rae8 17.e3
Simple chess. White is clearly on top. 17...Bc8 18.Be5 Bf6 19.Kd2 Nd8 20.b3 Nf7 21.Bxf6 exf6 22.c4 dxc4 23.bxc4 Nd6 24.Rhc1 Rd8 25.Nc5 Rfe8 26.Bf1 Kg7 27.Bd3 h5 28.Rab1 Bd7 29.Nxd7!?
"An interesting decision. Presumably Feldman saw no other way to make progress on the queenside, and so parted with his pride piece. White still has a strong initiative and wins in fine style, but it would be interesting to know what Karpov would have done. "This what I originally wrote, but now I would prefer to comment: 29.Nxd7! an excellent decision after which White begins to transform his positional advantage into something more tangible. 29...Rxd7 30.b5 c5 31.bxa6 bxa6 32.d5
Don't be fooled into thinking Black, with his blockade on d6 vs the "big pawn" on d3 stands better. White has a big advantage, as he controls the only open file and can thus put pressure on the Black queenside pawns. Also, if White does manage to remove the blockader on d6 the passed d-pawn will be a monster. 32...Kf7 33.Kc3 Ke7 34.Rb6 Ra7 35.Ra1 a5 36.Bc2 Rc8 37.f3 Rb7 38.Rxb7+ Nxb7 39.Rb1 Nd6 40.Rb6 Ra8 41.Ba4! g5 Black is going to lose one of his pawns, so tries to conjure up something on the kingside, but Feldman's technique proves more than adequate. 42.Rc6 Rc8 43.Ra6 g4 44.Ra7+! Kf8 45.Bd1!
[45.Rd7? gxf3! Knowing Depasquale this move would have been bashed out instantly! 46.Rxd6 f2 47.Rxf6+ Kg7 48.Rxf5 Rf8 49.Rxf2 Rxf2] 45...Re8 46.Kd3 Nf7 47.fxg4 hxg4 48.Rxa5 Re4 [48...Ne5+ was the last chance to try and stir up some trouble. 49.Kc3 Nf3 (49...Nf7) ] 49.Ra8+ Ke7 50.Ra7+ Kf8 51.Ra8+ Ke7 52.Ra7+ Repeating moves to gain time on the clock (a digital clock was used in the zonal with increments given for each move made in the last time control). 52...Kf8 53.Be2 Ne5+ 54.Kd2 Nxc4+ 55.Bxc4 Rxc4 56.d6 Ke8 57.h5
Chris resigns, as he can't hope to catch both passed pawns. 1-0
Kulashko (NZ) is a very aggressive, tactical player, so you can expect a game between these two to give your Fritz engines a work out. In this game the fireworks were proceeded by a complex manoeuvring battle.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 d5 4.e5 d4 Black's last move is not new and is a reasonable attempt to lead the game into murky waters. 5.cxd4 cxd4 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Bxd7+ [7.Nxd4 Bxb5 8.Nxb5 Nc6 9.0-0 a6 10.N5c3 Nge7 11.Re1 Ng6 "slight advantage Black" NCO.] 7...Qxd7 8.d3 Nc6 9.0-0 Nge7 Zong's reaction to Kulashko's 4...d4 has been quite tame and Black has a comfortable game, but I think Zong would also have been happy with the sort of position that has arisen so from a practical point of view it was probably a good choice. 10.Re1 Ng6 11.Re4! A nice regrouping manoeuvre. 11...Qd5 12.Qe2 0-0-0 13.h4 Bc5 14.h5!?
The start of an interesting plan to put his bishop on g3. 14...Nf8 15.h6 [15.Bf4?! f5!] 15...gxh6 16.Bf4 [16.Bxh6 Rg8] 16...Ng6 17.Bg3 Rd7 18.Nbd2 h5 19.Rc1 Kb8 20.a3 Rg8 21.Nc4 Be7 22.Kh1 h4 23.Bh2 Rc8 24.b4
24...h3?! I think it would have been better to wait with this. 25.gxh3 b6 26.Bg3! Kb7 27.Kh2 White puts his king on its safest square, out of the Qd5's x-ray and off the g-file. 27...a6 28.Nfd2 Na7 29.f4 Rg8 30.Nf3 Nb5 31.Qf2
31...f5 This looks aggressive, but now White comes crashing through. 32.exf6 Bxf6 33.a4! Zong takes concrete action. 33...Nd6 34.Nxd6+ Rxd6 35.a5! b5 36.Rc5 Qb3
37.f5?! This looks good and works out well, but Black missed a saving chance on his 38th move. Instead 37.Nxd4 looks crushing. [37.Nxd4 Qxd3 38.Nxe6+-] 37...exf5 38.Rxf5 Rc6? [38...Qxb4 For better or for worse Black had to try this exchange sacrifice.] 39.Nxd4 Bxd4 40.Rf7+!+- A winning in between move. 40...Ka8 41.Rxd4 Ne5?!
We have arrived at the last round battle for the IM title and, as it turned out, equal 2nd overall. Craig adopted a very risky opening with the Black pieces and after 14 moves an interesting position was reached which I have assessed very strongly in White's favour. I am interested to know if this conclusion is reached by readers, so the position after White's 16th is one of the positions given in Wally's Analysis Forum.
1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 [4...Bg4] 5.Bg5 Bg7 6.Qd2 a6 7.Bh6!? Deviating from their previous game, which was also a critical encounter played in the 10th round of the Australian Open Jan 1999. That game ended in a crushing victory for David and 7.0-0-0 or at least castling queenside after 7.Bh6 is certainly the critical test of Black's set-up, but for this game David decides not to go for broke right from the word go. [7.0-0-0 h6 8.Bf4 b5 9.d5 Nb8 10.a3 c5 11.e5 b4 12.axb4 cxb4 13.Na4 Qa5 14.b3 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Bb7 16.d6 Nbd7 17.dxe7 Nxe5 18.Bxe5 Bc6 19.Qd6 and Black resigned. Smerdon-Laird Australian Open 1999.] 7...0-0 8.Bxg7 Kxg7 9.a4!?
White decides to nip Black's queenside intentions in the bud, but makes queenside castling a less viable option. 9...d5?! Craig responds with a move that radically alters the position, but not for the better. I would prefer ...Bg4 or ...e5 and I think Black has nothing to complain about. Now Black experiences difficulties finding something useful to do with the bishop on c8. [9...e5; 9...Bg4] 10.e5 Ne4 11.Qe3 Nb4?! [11...Bf5 This is a better try but White retains the advantage. 12.Nh4!? e6 13.Nxf5+ exf5] 12.Bd3 Nxc3? [12...Bf5! Had to be tried.] 13.bxc3 Nxd3+ 14.cxd3±
White has emerged from the opening with a clearly better position (I dare say almost winning) thanks to his powerful pawn centre and potential attacking chances on the kingside, as well as a clearly better minor piece. 14...a5 15.0-0 Bd7 16.Nh4!
Black can have the a-pawn as he will be subjected to a powerful kingside attack. 16...Qe8? [16...e6 Was necessary to attack the N on h4 now before White has time for g4 and Qg3. Now White has no clear continuation but huge positional compensation for the inevitable loss of pawn a4. (White can defend the pawn with Qe3-a3 but this would drastically reduce White's kingside initiative.) I will just present some rough sample lines to illustrate how the game may have developed. A) 17.Qg3!? Qe8 18.c4!? (18.f4) ; B) 17.g3 17...Qe8 18.c4 (18.f4) 18...Bxa4 B1) 19.cxd5 exd5 20.f4 f5 (20...f6) 21.g4 (21.e6) 21...fxg4 22.f5 gxf5 B1a) 23.Nxf5+ Kh8 (23...Rxf5 24.Rxf5) 24.Qh6 Qg6µ; B1b) 23.Rxf5 23...Bd7 24.Rxf8 Qxf8 25.e6 Qf6 26.exd7 Qxh4 27.Rf1+-; B2) 19.f4 B2a) 19...Kh8; B2b) 19...Bc6 20.f5 (20.g4) 20...exf5 21.Nxf5+ Kh8 (21...gxf5? 22.Qg5+ Kh8 23.Qf6+ Kg8 24.Rxf5 h6 25.Qxh6+-) 22.Qg5 Qe6 (22...Qd8 23.Ne7+-; 22...f6 23.exf6+-) 23.Ne3 (23.Nh6) ; B2c) 19...f5 20.cxd5 see 19.cxd5.] 17.f4 f5 [17...e6 18.g4 f5?! 19.exf6+ Rxf6 20.Qe5+-] 18.e6 Bxa4 19.g4+-
with 20.Qe5+. White has a decisive attack. 19...fxg4 20.f5 Rf6 21.fxg6 hxg6 22.Qg5 Ra6 [22...Kh7 23.Rxa4+-; 22...Rxe6 23.Nf5+ Kg8 24.Nh6+ Kh8 (24...Kg7 25.Rf7++- Kh8 26.Qh4 g5 27.Qh5+-) 25.Nf7+ Kg8 26.Qh4 Rf6 27.Ng5+-; 22...Bc6 23.Nf5+ Kg8 24.Nxe7++-; 22...Bb5 23.Nf5+ Kg8 24.Nxe7+ Qxe7 25.Rxf6+-] 23.Rxa4 Rxf1+ 24.Kxf1 Qf8+ 25.Kg2 Qf6 26.Qxg4 Qxe6 27.Qxe6 Rxe6 28.Rxa5 Re3 29.Rxd5 Rxd3 30.Rc5 c6 31.Nf3 Kf6 32.Kf2 Rd1 33.Ne5 Kf5?! 34.Nxc6+ Kf4 35.Nxe7 Rd2+ 36.Ke1 Rxh2 37.Nxg6+ Ke3 38.Kd1 b5 39.Ne5 1-0
The Women's Zonal event was a 6 player double round robin. Laura Moylan went into the tournament top seed (if one uses ACF ratings) and clear favourite. She didn't crumble under the pressure but instead produced some crushing victories and only lost one game against Geraldine Johns-Putra. Laura likes to play aggressively, no positional monkey-business. Naturally she is a Dragon fanatic and I remember she has drawn with Canfell twice with this opening, although at least one of those was a rapid game. In this game we see her on the White side and her purposeful play is rewarded with a quick win.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Bd7 This is a very risky move. Black refrains from either of 9...Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 or 9...d5 and instead develops "normally", although White has not yet moved her bishop on f1. Nevertheless the super-strong young GM Fedorov has a preference for this move...Incidentally the game Lip-Moylan (!) from the last round of the same tournament continued in very trendy style: 9...d5 10.Kb1!? Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 Bxf6 13.Nxd5 Qxd5! 14.Qxd5 Nxe3 15.Qd2 Nxd1 16.Qxd1 Be6 and once again Black proved the validity of the queen sacrifice. [9...d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 Bxf6 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Qxd5 Nxe3 15.Qd2 Nxd1 16.Qxd1 Be6
] 10.h4!? This move is interesting, although most experts seem to prefer 10.g4. This may be because White does not want to allow 10.h4 h5!?. 10...Qa5?! However, this move is played too early. In this particular system Black should not normally play ...Qa5 until g4 has been played after which the f3-pawn has been weakened. 10...Rc8 or Ne5 are better. 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.Bh6 Ne5 13.h5
Now Black is in dire-straits.13...a5 Now things go too easily for White. Black had to try 13...Be6 to at least prevent White's Nd5 or else take the plunge with 13...Nxh5 and hope to win a few pawns, perhaps in return for a piece. 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Qh6+ Kg8
17.Nd5+- Catherine must have missed this shot when playing 13...a5. Now it's all over. 17...Qb8 18.Nxf6+ Rxf6 19.Qxh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Kf7 21.Rh7+ Ke6 22.Nd4# 1-0
Laura Moylan and Vladimir Feldman have now earned the right to represent Australia in the upcoming World Women's and Men's World Championship Knockout events in Moldova and Las Vegas, USA respectively. I am sure I speak for everyone when I offer my congratulations and wish the best of luck to both of them in their upcoming challenges.
Please Note: All my analysis given on these pages or for download may be reproduced, but please credit the notes
to John-Paul Wallace.