Raymond Keene

Grand prix

Grand prix
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London’s newest and most flamboyant chess entrepreneur, Andy Paulson of Agon, which has acquired all World Championship rights from Fidé, is set to stage a spectacular Grand Prix tournament at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand starting on 20 September. The superb line-up includes Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Grischuk, Wang Hao (the victor of the recent tournament in Biel, ahead of Magnus Carlsen), former world title challengers Vesselin Topalov, Boris Gelfand and Peter Leko and rising star Anish Giri.

In addition to this tantalising feast of chess Andy is also bringing the World Championship qualifying tournament to London next March. This week a game and a puzzle by two of the illustrious competitors in the Grand Prix to be held at Simpson’s.

Nakamura-Aronian; London Chess Classic, London 2011; Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Be7 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bf4 c6 6 e3 Bf5 7 Nge2 In the Exchange variation of the Queen’s Gambit, White often launches a queenside attack based on the advance b2-b4. However, when he develops the king’s knight at e2 this often signifies that he plans instead to play in the centre or on the kingside. 7 ... Nd7 8 Ng3 Bg6 9 Be2 Nb6 10 Be5 Nf6 11 h4 h6 12 h5 Bh7 13 Bd3 0-0 14 Bxh7+ Kxh7 15 Qc2+ Kh8 16 Nf5 Nc4 17 b3 Nxe5 18 dxe5 Ng4 19 f4 Qd7 20 0-0-0 (see diagram 1) Black’s next move plans a sacrifice of the exchange 20 ... f6 21 e4 fxe5 22 Qe2 Nf6 23 Nh4 exf4 24 Ng6+ Kg8 25 Nxf8 Bxf8 26 exd5 cxd5 This is the idea. Black has two pawns and a bishop for the rook and the white king is a little vulnerable. Black probably stands slightly better here but the position remains very complex as his pawns are rather weak. 27 Qd3 Rd8 28 Kb1 Bc5 29 Rhf1 Be3 30 g3 d4 31 gxf4 Qe7 Black has given up one of his pawns but in return has obtained an outpost on e3. 32 Rde1 Rd7 33 Nd1 Nd5 34 Nxe3 dxe3 35 Rc1 Rd8 36 Qf5 Qe8 37 Rfe1 b6 38 a3 (see diagram 2) Nakamura has outplayed the world number two in the complications and now stands very well. 38 ... Kh8 39 Kb2 a5 40 Rc4 Nf6 41 Qe5 Qf8 42 Qxe3 b5 43 Rd4 b4 44 a4 Rxd4 45 Qxd4 Nxh5 46 Re5 Nxf4 47 Rxa5 Ne6 48 Qd2 g5 49 Ra6 Qf6+ 50 Ka2 Qe5 51 Qb2 Qxb2+ 52 Kxb2 Nf4 53 Rxh6+ Kg7 54 Rd6 Black resigns

Next week the 2012 chess Olympiad commences in Istanbul. With any luck, all the golds our sportsmen won in the London Olympics will inspire our chess team to achieve great things.