GOTW: Shi - Miyasaka, SPFGI 2017

Our Canadian Game of the Week is Linda Shi's brilliancy prize winner from the recently concluded Susan Polgar Foundation Girl's Invitational, from July in St.Louis. If you want to see how to play with pawns in the Ruy Lopez, this is the game for you...



2017 Susan Polgar Foundation Girl's Invitational
July 22–27, 2017
Webster University, St. Louis

The 14th annual event offered up to $200,000 in scholarships and $7,500 in cash prizes for qualifying girls under 19. First place was taken by the youngest-ever winner: 12-year-old WIM Mastassja Matus with 5.5/6. She wins a full scholarship to Webster University (approx $110,000, as well as cash prizes) which (of course) she can defer until she begins and graduates high-school.

9 Canadians played. WIM Maïli-Jade Ouellet won the bughouse with Saey Kamtekar from Utah, and won the blitz event with 9/10. WGM Qiyu Zhou was =2nd in the Blitz with 8/10. Linda Shi and WFM Svitlana Demchenko had perfect scores in the problem solving competition, but were slower than the winner from Ecuador. Svitlana went undefeated in the main event with 4.5/6. 

Linda Shi (photo above with Susan Polgar) won the brilliancy prize for her round 5 win on the White side of the Lopez. The game does not feature a daring sacrifce or a flashy combination, but deservedly won because of its clear demonstration of the strategic power of pawn play in the Ruy Lopez. Three things worth noting about the game:

  1. with the exception of 3...Bb5 White's pieces spend almost the entire game behind her pawns, 
  2. the first pawn exchange isn't until move 37 (!)
  3. White takes time before pushing through her attack to suffocate queenside counterplay with a2-a4-a5.


Summary and List of Prize Winners

SPFGI photos

Blitz Results

News report and video

Special Thanks
Andrei Botez, for photos and gamescore


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