New Zealand Chess Bulletin, February 2019

Highlights of the 126th New Zealand Championship 2019

Results and games of the main event at Congress this year can be found on the results page, and the home page of the NZCF website. Detailed results are on the Vega page.

The games are also in the Peter Stuart New Zealand database. Here are some highlights, with my notes. Participants (or other readers) are most welcome to send me their annotated favourite games, I will append them.

Papin, Vasily - McLaren, Leonard J - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 Nc6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Bd2 d6 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Re8 9.Rd1 a5 10.e4 d5 11.Bd3 dxe4 12.Bxe4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Bd7 14.O-O a4 15.Rfe1 Qc8?

Moves are clickable

16.Ng5 f5 17.Qh4 h6 18.d5! exd5 19.cxd5 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1


20...hxg5 Moving the Nc6 to a necessarily bad square loses routinely ( eg 20...Nd8 21.Qd4 game over ) 21.Qxg5 Qf8 22.dxc6 Be8 (22...Bxc6 23.Re7 ) 23.cxb7 Rb8 24.Re7 Bf7 25.Rxc7


White is not only three pawns up, Rc8 followed by mate can't be stopped  25...Rd8 26.Qxd8! Qxd8 27.Rc8 1-0

Fan, Allen Chi Zhou - Clarke, Brandon G I - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.Nf3 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.g3 e5 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Bg2 Nge7 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 d6 8.Rb1 Bg4 9.b4 a6 10.a4 Qd7 11.b5 Nd4 12.e3 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 c6 15.Rd1 axb5 16.axb5 f5 17.Qe2

Moves are clickable

17...f4! I used to play this White opening and the problem is that bad things like this and the attack that follows tend to happen, against stronger players in particular, and it's never any fun (for White anyway!)  18.Bb2 f3 19.Qf1 h5 20.Ra1 Rae8 21.Ra7 h4 22.Ne4 hxg3 23.fxg3 d5 24.Nf2 Nf5 25.Qh3 Rd8 26.e4 dxe4


27.dxe4 (27.Nxe4 is necessary but after, eg  27...cxb5 28.cxb5 Qxb5 Black is winning material anyway ) 27...Qxd1+! This is in not in any way a sacrifice, not even a temporary one  28.Nxd1 Rxd1+ 29.Kf2 Rd2+ 30.Kxf3 Nd6+ 31.Kg4 Nxe4 A nice concluding move, Nf2 is coming next 0-1

Gareyev, Timur - Winkelman, Albert - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Ne2 d5 6.a3 Bd6 7.c5 Be7 8.Nf4 b6 9.b4 a5 10.Bd2 c6 11.Be2 Ba6 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Bxa6 Rxa6 14.Nd3 Qc7 15.Qc2 Rfa8 16.Rab1 axb4 17.axb4 b5 18.f3 e5 19.Be1 exd4 20.exd4 Nf8 21.Bg3 Qd8 22.Rfd1 Ne6 23.Ne5

Moves are clickable

Black is doing okay here  23...Nd7? Now White has a nice positional sacrifice that GM Gareyev jumps on  24.Nxc6! Rxc6 25.Nxd5 Rca6 26.Nxe7+ Qxe7 27.d5 Ng5 28.c6 Ne5 29.d6


29...Nexf3+!? A decent try ( Although grovelling with 29...Qa7+ is objectively better ) 30.Kh1! (30.gxf3? Let's Black back in the game  30...Qe3+ 31.Kh1 Qxf3+ 32.Qg2 Qxc6 ) 30...Qd8 31.d7 Black did not manage to contain the pawns or (more realistically) organise to sacrifice his extra piece back for them 1-0

Papin, Vasily - Clarke, Brandon G I - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.Nf3 f5 2.d3 d6 3.e4 e5 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.exf5 Bxf5 6.d4 a6 7.Bd3 Qd7 8.O-O Nf6 9.d5 Ne7 10.Ng5 h6 11.Bxf5 Qxf5

Moves are clickable

12.Ne6 This is double edged, Black is momentarily inconvenienced, but the Knight can't live on e6 for long  12...Rc8 13.f4 Nfxd5 14.Nxg7+ Bxg7 15.Nxd5 e4 16.Ne3 Qc5 17.f5 Bd4 18.Qh5+ Kd7


White continues to argue that Black's king is dangerously exposed, Black that the tactics are working out for him  19.Kh1!? ( unattractive is 19.Qh3 Nd5 20.Re1 Rcf8 so White goes all in ) 19...Bxe3 20.b4 Qc3 21.Bxe3 Qxe3 22.f6 Rce8 Black is happy to give the piece back if the position resolves in his favour (22...Nc6 loses to  23.Qf7+ Kd8 24.Qg7 Re8 25.f7 ) 23.Rae1 Qg5 24.Qh3+ Kd8 Black has connected his Rooks and it's time to eat the Knight before it's too late, but Black does emerge a healthy pawn up  25.fxe7+ Rxe7 26.Re3 Qb5 27.Rfe1 Rf8 28.Kg1 Qg5 29.c4 b6 30.R3e2 b5 31.cxb5 axb5 (31...Rf3! is very strong ) 32.Qc3 Qd5 33.Rd2 Qg5 34.Rde2 Qf4 35.Qc6 e3 36.h3 Rf5 37.a4 Desperately seeking counterplay  37...Qxb4 38.axb5 Qxb5 39.Qa8+ Kd7 40.Rc2 e2! The end is nigh now  41.Rcc1 Ref7 42.Rxe2 Qxe2 43.Qc6+ Ke7 44.Qxc7+ Kf8 45.Qxd6+ Kg7 46.Rc6 Qe1+ 47.Kh2 Qe5+ 0-1

Goormachtigh, Johan - Papin, Vasily - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 This is the (other) Marshall Gambit, great fun for all  4...dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Ne2 A respectable alternative to Be2, the main line. All I know about this position is that after Be2, hardly anyone captures the g2 pawn, but I did read an author (John Cox perhaps?) arguing that it's not as dangerous as it looks and is worth a look  8...Na6 9.Bf8 This is all normal  9...Qg6 But now  (9...Ne7 is much more common ) 10.Qd6

Moves are clickable

10...f5! In this rare position this seems to be an innovation, and the computer loves it. Could this be a case of Grandmaster level homework? (i.e. preparing 9...Qg6 in a sideline with a computer recommended follow up that's never been played?). ( Dale (2390) - Cheng (2483), Melbourne AUS 2017, 1/2-1/2 in 29 moves 10...Bd7 11.Rd1 O-O-O 12.Ng3 f5 13.Qa3 f4 14.Ne2 e5 15.Nc3 e4 16.Nb5 cxb5 17.cxb5 Nc7 18.Rc1 Bxb5 19.Bxb5 Kb8 20.Rxc7 Kxc7 21.Qxa7 Qb6 22.Qxb6+ Kxb6 23.Bxg7 Ne7 24.Bxh8 Rxh8 25.a4 Nf5 26.Kd2 Rd8+ 27.Kc3 Rc8+ 28.Bc4 e3 29.fxe3 Nxe3 ) 11.Qa3 Qf6 12.Bd6 Nh6 13.O-O-O Nf7 Black's regrouping is effective but for the moment White still has a development lead as compensation  14.c5 Nxd6 15.cxd6 Nb8 16.Nd4 e5 17.Nb3 Nd7 18.Na5 O-O


19.Nxb7?! White cashes in his comp to get the pawn back, but is left slightly worse  19...Bxb7 20.Qb3+ Kh8 21.Qxb7 Nc5! 22.Qb4 (22.Qxc6? Rfc8 is unwise, to say the least ) 22...Ne4 23.Qe1 Nxd6 Re-establishing material superiority, now with full development and a safer king  24.f3 Rad8 25.Qe3 f4 26.Qa3 Nf5 27.Rxd8 Rxd8 28.Bd3 Ne3 29.g4 Qh4 30.Qc3 Qf2 31.Be4 Qe2


Domination  32.b3 Qxa2 33.Qb2 Qa5 34.b4 Qa4 35.Qxe5 Rd1+ 36.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 0-1

Bennett, Hilton P - Fan, Allen Chi Zhou - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.e4 d6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 O-O 6.d3 c6 7.Bb3 b5 8.a4 b4 9.Ne2 Nbd7 10.Ng3 Nc5 11.c3 bxc3 12.bxc3 Qa5 13.Ne2 Nfd7 14.Bc2 Bxc3+ 15.Nxc3 Qxc3+ 16.Bd2 Qg7 17.d4 Ne6 18.Be3 Ba6 19.f5 Nc7 20.Qd2 Rfe8 21.Bh6 Qh8 22.Bd3 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 e5 24.fxe6 Nxe6 25.O-O c5 26.Qb5 Rad8 27.dxc5 Ndxc5 28.e5 dxe5 29.Rac1 Nd3 30.Ng5 e4 31.Rc4 Re7 32.Nxe4 f5 33.Ng5 Qf6 34.h4 Nd4 35.Qa5

Moves are clickable

A Knightmare for White (that's the chess form of a Dad joke I suppose)  35...Ne2+ 36.Kh1 Nf2+ 37.Rxf2 Qa1+ (37...Qa1+ 38.Kh2 Qg1+ 39.Kh3 Qh1# ) 0-1

Goh, Zi Han - Smith, Robert W - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.Nd2 Bg7 8.e4 O-O 9.Be2 Re8 10.O-O a6 11.a4 Nbd7 12.Ra3 Qc7 13.Qc2 Rb8 14.Re1 b6 15.Kh1 c4 16.b4 cxb3 17.Rxb3 Nc5 18.Rb4 Bd7 19.Bb2 b5 20.axb5 Qa5 21.Rc4 axb5 22.Ra1 Qc7 23.Rb4 Na4 24.Rc1 Qc5 25.Qb3 Nxb2 26.Qxb2 Qxf2 27.Rf1 Qc5 28.Na4 Qe3 29.Nc4 bxc4 30.Rxb8 Bxa4 31.Rxe8+ Bxe8 32.Bxc4 Qxe4 33.Rc1 Ng4 34.Qe2

Moves are clickable

34...Qf4! Forking h2 and c1 with mate in either case is so strong that it's even fine to allow White to capture on the back rank with check 0-1

Rains, Edward - McLaren, Leonard J - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.f4 b5 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 g6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Nh3 e6 8.O-O Ne7 9.g4 b4 10.Ne2 f5 11.Ng3 Qb6 12.Rb1 O-O 13.Be3 Nbc6 14.c3 a5 15.gxf5 exf5 16.Qb3+ Kh8 17.Ng5 Nd8 18.cxb4 axb4 19.Rbc1 h6 20.Nf3 Ne6 21.a3 Nd4 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23.Ne5 Bxe5 24.fxe5 f4 25.Ne2 g5 26.Qxb4 Qxb4 27.axb4 Nc6 28.Rc5 Rae8 29.e6 Rxe6 30.b5 Ne5 31.Nxd4 Ree8 32.Rc7 Ba8 33.Nf5 f3 34.Bxf3 Rxf5 35.exf5 Nxf3+ 36.Kf2 Nxh2 37.b6 Nxf1 38.Kxf1 Rb8 39.Rxd7 Bf3 40.Kf2 g4 41.Rd6 Kg7 42.Kg3 Rf8 43.Kf4 Rf6 44.Rd7+ Rf7 45.Rxf7+ Kxf7 46.b7 Bxb7 47.Kxg4 Bd5 48.b4 Bb3 49.b5 Bd1+ 50.Kf4 Ba4 51.Kg4 Bd1+ 52.Kf4 Ke8 53.Ke5 h5 54.Kf4 Bb3 55.b6 Kd7 56.Kg5 Bf7 57.Kf6 Be8 58.b7 Kc7 59.Ke7 Ba4 60.f6 Bb3

Moves are clickable

61.b8=Q+?? ( White gains the critical tempo needed to save the game by omitting this move 61.f7 Bxf7 62.Kxf7 h4 63.d4 h3 64.d5 h2 and now crucially  65.d6+ is check  65...Kxb7 66.d7 and a draw ) 61...Kxb8 62.f7 Bxf7 63.Kxf7 h4 64.d4 h3 65.d5 h2 66.d6 h1=Q 67.Ke7 Qh7+ 68.Kd8 Kb7 69.d7 Kc6 0-1

Gareyev, Timur - Smith, Robert W - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Be7 6.c4 d5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Bf4 Nbd7 10.Qc2 a6 11.Rad1 Re8 12.Ne5 Nf8 13.Qa4 Ne6 14.Nc6 Qd7 15.Nxe7+ Rxe7 16.Qxd7 Rxd7 17.Bh3 Re7 18.Be3 h6 19.Rfe1 Rae8 20.Bg2 Rd8 21.b3 Ng5 22.Rc1 Ne6 23.Bh3 Ng5 24.Bf5 Bc8 25.Bd3 Ng4 26.Bxg5 hxg5 27.Rc2 Nf6 28.Rec1 Bb7 29.a4 Ne8 30.a5 Rd6 31.Na4 g6 32.g4 Kg7 33.f3 Kf6 34.Kf2 Red7 35.Kg3 Ke7 36.b4

Moves are clickable

Bob needed to hold this position to share the NZ Championship. Unfortunately it's a miserable defensive task against a strong GM who needed to win to share first prize.  36...Rd8 Possibly inviting the following continuation, in which there is an an unbalanced nominal material equality, and Black at least has one trump (an unopposed Rook) for his suffering  37.Rxc7+ Nxc7 38.Rxc7+ R8d7 39.Rxd7+ Kxd7 40.Nxb6+ Kc7 If Black could teleport his Bishop to b5 his troubles would be over, but organising such a transfer takes too many moves  41.h4 gxh4+ 42.Kxh4 Kd8 43.Kg5 Ke7 44.Kh6 Rf6 45.Kg7 Re6 46.Na4 Bc8 47.Nc5 Rf6 48.b5 axb5 49.Bxb5 Rf4 50.a6 Bxa6 51.Nxa6 Rxd4 52.Bd3 Rf4 53.Nc7 Kd6 54.Nb5+ Ke7 55.g5 Rb4 56.Nc7 Rd4 57.f4 Kd7


White now needs a sacrificial breakthrough to win  58.f5! (58.Nxd5! achieves the same result  58...Rxd5 59.Kxf7 Rd4 60.f5! ) 58...Kxc7 59.Kxf7 Rg4 60.fxg6 Rf4+ 61.Ke7 Rg4 62.Kf6 1-0

Ker, Anthony F - Papin, Vasily - New Zealand Open Ch'p 2019

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Bd7 10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.O-O Rd8 12.Nc3 g6 13.Re1 a6 14.Bxc6 Qxc6 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bh4 g5 17.Bg3 Bg7 18.Be5 Bxe5 19.Rxe5 Nd7 20.Re3 Nf6 21.Qe2 e6 22.Rd1 Nd5 23.Nxd5 Rxd5 24.Rc3 Qd7 25.Rdc1 O-O 26.Rc7 Qd6 27.Rxb7 Rxd4 28.h3 Rd8 29.g3 Qd5 30.Ra7 Rd2

Moves are clickable

Black is better  31.Qh5?? Now Black is totally winning  31...Qf5?? (31...Rxf2! I have lost material to Anthony due to variations of this simple tactic many times. For some reason I find it slightly annoying that he could miss this shot in such an important game, against a Russian Grandmaster no less, and not be punished! He really is the chess playing equivalent of a cat with nine lives!   32.Kxf2 Qd2+ and it's not just a pawn, the White king is fatally exposed and is going to be hunted down like an animal.  33.Kf3 (33.Qe2 is best but still hopeless  33...Qxc1 34.Kf3 Qc6+ 35.Kf2 Qc5+ 36.Qe3 Rd2+ 37.Kf3 Qf5+ ) 33...Rd3+ ( not 33...Qxc1?? 34.Qxf7+ ) 34.Ke4 Qe3# ) 32.Rf1 Qf6 33.Rxa6 Rxb2 34.Ra3 Rdd2 35.Rf3 Qg7 36.Rc1 Rb7 37.a3 Rd4 38.Kg2 Ra7 39.Rfc3 Rdd7 40.Qf3 1/2-1/2