Chess Crackers
July/August 2006

The following represent a variety of positions from 2006 Olympiad from African and Caribbean players. In the following diagrams, you're challenged to find the winning line. Each position ends with decisive material gain or mate. Solve each of the four problems (as deep as possible) and check your answers by scrolling below. No peeking!!

No. 2

No. 1

Christo Cave - GM Tiger Hillarp-Persson
White to Move (after 49Kg6-h6)

Ignatius Njobvu -  AJ Fulton
White to Move (after 13Qd8-e7)

No. 3

No. 4

FM Philip Corbin - Chau Sau Ming
White to Move (after 14c5-c4)

Mariano Tesoura de Maia - Josef Bazil
Black to Move (after 41.e3-e4)


No. 1  Cave-Hillarp-Persson (2006 Chess Olympiad -  Turin, Italy -  Trinidad & Tobago vs. Sweden)
This is one of those first-round mismatches occurring at every Olympiad tournament. However, in recent years the gap has closed. No longer are these matches assumed to be 4-0 routs. There were many upsets in the 1st round including Morocco's 3-1 win over second-seeded India! While Trinidad did not beat Sweden, Cave stole a point with a nice finish over his dangerous opponent.  There are a couple of different ways to win, but the 13-time Trinidadian champion chose 50.Bxf6! After 50Bxf6 51.Nf5+ exf5 52.Rxf6+ Kg7, 53.Qxf5 ended the struggle as black will be mated or lose massive material.  (see game; Christo Cave)

No. 2 Njobvu-Fulton (2006 Chess Olympiad -  Turin, Italy -  Botswana vs. Jersey)
Botswana's Ignatius Njobvu has garnered practically every national record there is. However, he has yet to earn a coveted FIDE title. Having played on Olympiad teams since 1992, Njobvu is an experienced veteran of these tournaments and scored  6-4 including a draw with Serbian Grandmaster, Dragan Kosic. In this game he plays a less-fancied opponent and metes out a harsh punishment in the opening. It appears as if black has a solid fortress, but that illusion is shattered after 14.Nxe6! Black hemorrhages material after 14Qxe6 15.Bxf5 Qe7 and 16.Be6+.   (See game; Ignatius Njobvu)

No. 3  Corbin-Ming (2006 Chess Olympiad -  Turin, Italy -  Barbados vs. Hong Kong)
This was another miniature. Philip Corbin has gained a reputation as a swashbuckling tactician, but in this game he received some help in the opening. His opponent from Hong Kong has a disregard for sound opening play and Corbin pounced with 15.Qe6+! Black loses his queen after 15Qe7 16.Nd6+ Kd8 17.Bg5! Since 17Qxg5 18.Nf7+ is in the air.  Perhaps Chau Sau Ming needs a lecture from the 15-year old board #1 player, Anya Corke! (See game; Philip Corbin)

No. 4  Mariano Terouse de Maia-Bazil (2006 Chess Olympiad -  Turin, Italy -  Mozambique vs. Haiti)
This was Haiti's first Olympiad tournament in many years and finished 22 places higher than their seeding. This feat was on the strength of Josef Bazil's 8-4 performance which was good enough to earn the FM title. Mozambique was in the Olympiad for the first time and carried a female player on board #4.  It is good to see African and Caribbean federations becoming more visible on the world stage. In this position, the game was even throughout when the Mozambican either fell in time pressure, or had a lapse of attention.  After the deflection shot  41Qe3! white must lose a piece to avoid 42Nd2+ so the game ended 42.Qxe3 Nxe3+ 43.Ke2 Nxc2. Cute! (See game)

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