Raymond Keene


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Congratulations to the organisational team of the Isle of Man Masters, which concluded last weekend. They assembled what must have been the strongest ever field for an open tournament in the history of international chess. Magnus Carlsen showed the kind of dominance he can achieve when he moves into overdrive. Leading results were: Carlsen 7½/9, Viswanathan Anand and Hikaru Nakamura both 7, with Michael Adams, Fabiano Caruana and the former world champion Vladimir Kramnik sharing 4th prize.

Perelshteyn-Carlsen: chess.com Masters Isle of Man 2017 (see diagram 1)

Although Black is a pawn down, his compact pawn structure and active play give him the advantage. 36 ... Rh4 37 Bc3 Rbh8 38 g3 Rh1+ 39 Kg2 R8h2+ 40 Kf3 g4+ After this the white king becomes exposed. 41 Kxg4 Rxc1 42 Nxc1 Rxf2 43 Be1 f5+ 44 Kh3 Rxb2 45 Nd3 Rc2 46 b5 Nf6 47 Rb3 Re2 48 b6 cxb6 49 Rxb6 Ne4 White resigns 50 ... Ng5+ followed by ... Nf3+ will be decisive.

Wagner-Nakamura; chess.com Masters Isle of Man 2017 (see diagram 2)

Nakamura appears to be struggling as his rook and knight are both threatened and he must lose material. 25 ... g5! This powerful strategic move cements his knight on f4 and generates excellent compensation for the exchange. 26 Nxe8 Rxe8 27 Qg3 h6 28 Rd2 Ne5 29 Rad1 Nc4 30 Rd7 Qxb2 31 Rf1 Ne5 The black knights are utterly dominant. 32 Rd6 Neg6 33 Rf2 Qe5 34 Rd7 Rc8 35 Rxb7 h5 36 Kh1 Rc3 37 Rf3 Rc2 38 Rf2 Rc3 39 Rf3 h4 40 Qe1 Rc2 White resigns

Adams-Shirov; chess.com Masters Isle of Man 2017

28 h4 Nxb2 29 Rxa8 Rxa8 30 Qc6 Rg8 31 Qxb5 Qf5 32 Kh2 Nd3 33 Rd1 Ne5 The threat of ... Ng4+ looks worrying but White has the situation under control. 34 Qxc5 h5 35 Bd4 Re8 36 Bxe5 Rxe5 37 Rd8+ Kh7 38 Qf8 Once White exchanges queens the endgame is an easy win. 38 ... Kg6 39 Rd6+ Kh7 40 Rd8 Kg6 41 Qg8 Qe6 42 Qxe6+ Rxe6 43 Rf8 Black resigns

(see diagram 3)