Raymond Keene

Grand prix

When this article appears, the AGON Grand Prix at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, brought to London by Andrew Paulson, will be reaching its midway stage. The players who have shone in the early stages of this stellar event are Boris Gelfand of Israel, the World Championship challenger earlier this year, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, and Peter Leko from Hungary, a World Championship challenger in 2004. Here are some extracts from play.

Nakamura-Gelfand: Fidé Grand Prix, London 2012

Opposite bishops often indicate a draw but here Black exploits his control of the dark squares to infiltrate White’s position.

41 … Rbf8 42 Rxf5 gxf5 43 Bxh5 Kf6 44 Rh1 Kg5 45 Bd1 Kh4 46 Rf1 Rg8+ 47 Kh1 Rg5 48 Bc2 Kxh3 49 Rf2 Kg3 50 Rh2 Rg4 51 Rg2+ Kf4 52 Rf2+ Kg5 53 Rd2 Rg3 54 Re2 White could make a desperate break with 54 c5 but this is met by 54 … Rh3+ 55 Kg2 (55 Kg1 Bxc5+ is check) 55 … Rh2+. 54 … Rh3+ 55 Kg1 Kf4 56 Kg2 Rh2+ 57 Kf1 Rxe2 58 Kxe2 Ke5 White resigns

Leko-Ivanchuk: Fidé Grand Prix, London 2012

(See diagram 2)

In this position Leko demonstrated fine endgame technique to break through on the kingside. 33 g5 hxg5 34 Nxg5+ Ke7 35 Rg8 Nxe5 36 Rxg7+ Kd6 37 Rxc7 Kxc7 38 Nxe6+ White’s outside passed h-pawn is easily enough to win the game. 38 … Kd6 39 Nf4 Kc6 40 Nd3 Ng4+ 41 Kf4 Nf6 42 Kg5 Black resigns

Mamedyarov-Giri: Fidé Grand Prix, London 2012

Black’s extravagant opening play is now swiftly punished. 20 Bxh5! Rxh5 21 e6! Black resigns White regains the piece with a crushing position since 21 … fxe6 22 Nd6+ Kf8
(22 … Bxd6 23 Qg6+) 23 Qg6 is overwhelming.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in