Chess Crackers
November/December 2008

The following represent a variety of positions by talented players of African descent. 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

IM Vadim Bondarets  - GM Pontus Carlsson
Black to Move (after 26.Re1-f1)

FM Philip Corbin - Brehan Gebregziabher
White to Move (after 27Kh8-g7 )

No. 3

No. 4

FM Phemelo Khetho IM Sadikin Irwanto
White to Move (after 24c5xd4)

GM Eduardo Iturrizaga - IM Watu Kobese
Black to Move (after 32.Qe2-h5)


Solutions

No. 1 Bondarets-Carlsson (2008 Chess Olympiad, Dresden, Germany - IPCA vs. Sweden)
This game started out with what was once called the "Kopec Sicilian" characterized by white's Bd3-c2 manuever. Carlsson uses the optimal setup and gets a nice setup when white's pieces come uncoordinated. In the given position, white attacks on f7, but Carlsson ignores it and plays the stunning  26..Rxd3! He had to see this combination far in advance and reaped the benefits after 27.Qxf7+ Kh7 28.Rxd3 (28.Qxe8 Rxd1 29.Rxd1 Qc2) Qc2 29.Bf2 (29.Qf3 Rf8) Qxd3. Despite the fact that the c8-bishop has not moved, it is an attacking piece. The game ends 30.Qxe8 Qxe4 31.gxh3 Bxh3 The bishop finally moves and delivers the coup de'grace! 0-1 (See game; GM Pontus Carlsson)

No. 2  Corbin-Gebregziabher (2008 Chess Olympiad, Dresden, Germany -
Barbados vs. Ethiopia)
This game featured a raging attack out of a Wing Gambit. Corbin set sights on the enemy king after his opponent made some opening mistakes. The given position appears to be one of a brutal finish, but the simple 28.Ne5! does the trick after 28...Qb5 and the long move 29.Qh3. (See game; FM Philip Corbin)

No. 3  Khetho-Irwanto (2008 Chess Olympiad, Dresden, Germany - Botswana vs. Indonesia)
The Botswana player trotted out the slow and plodding King's Indian Attack and built up an nice attacking formation. The Indonesian player underestimated the strength of the white attack and was hit flush with 25.Nf6+! The game ends very nicely as the forcing continuation goes 25gxf6 26.gxf6 Kh8 27.Rh1! Putting the rook behind the king is not an easy move, but the idea is obvious. There is little black can do to stop the attack on the h-file.  27Bd3 (holding h7) 28.Rad1 (Better is 28.Qh6! Rg8 29.Qxh7+!!) 28...Qa6 29.Bf1! Another deflection blow. Now 29Nxf4? (29...Bxf1!) 30.Qh6! (white is down two pieces, but has a winning attack.) On 30 Rg8 31.Bxd3 Qxd3 (31Nxd3 32.Kg1!) 32.Rxd3 white soon won. Very nice attack by the Botswana Champion (See game; FM Phemelo Khetho)

No. 4  Iturrizaga-Kobese (2008 Chess Olympiad, Dresden, Germany - Venezuela vs. South Africa)
South Africa's Kobese has long been thought of as a very talented player, but has not been able to close sights on the GM title for lack of opportunities. In the Dresden Olympiad, he was able to show his form. In this game he was able to capitalize over eccentric play from his Venezuelan opponent.    On 31Nd4, white decided to launch a crude attack with 32.Qh5 and was hit by 32 Ne2+!  winning material. White was totally busted with no counterplay but played for a few tricks before resigning in  another dozen moves.  (See game! IM Watu Kobese)



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