Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The worst king side of the year prize goes to....

...Liren Ding for his fantastic effort against Maxime Vachier-Legrave from round 2 of the Alekhine Memorial. It gives the average club player hope when a 2700+ super GM can get a king side like this. Black's dark squared bishop can't move, his rook on h7 has one square, h8, and it will be taken by white's knight. Even black's light squared bishop is horrible. The best it can hope to achieve is to trade for the g6 knight, after which black's Bf8 and Rh8 will be entombed for life.

In the post game press conference. Vachier Legrave said

"Effectively black is a rook and a bishop down. It's a matter of technique. All I have to do is manage a way to penetrate on the queenside."

And that is precisely what happened! Of course, almost all chess players have suffered this sort of shambles, and I'm sure it's not the first horrible game Ding has had in his career. The difference between him and the rest of us mere mortals is that he beat world number 2, Levon Aronian, the day before, when it was Aronian's pieces that looked out of play!

Liren Ding is white and can win back his exchange with Nxd7. However, instead he finished the game off brilliantly with 36.Nxd5! exd5 37.Bxg7! Kxg7 38.Qg5+ Kf8 39.Qf6 [Threatening 40.Qh8#] 39..Kg8
Aronian has an extra rook, but it won't help him. Black's king side is cut off from the other side of the board, and Ding infiltrated with his rook in a mating attack.

There is an absolute abundance of top class chess at the moment, and it is being played in great style. The Grand Prix in Zug has seen combative chess, and the draw count is more due to brilliant resourceful defence (and possibly some missed opportunities!). I am a very content chess fan at the moment :)

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