6th NY International (a norm for a Canadian player and games analysis!)

Congratulations to Raven Sturt, a McGill student, for his 1st IM norm obtained at the NY International in his hometown. Even by losing his last round, Raven managed to finish with 5.5/9. FM Michael Kleinman, from McGill University, lost his final round and finished with 4/9.

Another Canadian player played extremely well : IM Leonid Gherzhoy. He finishes with 6/9 and wins $500.


Games Analysis by FM Michael Kleinman.



This was the position from my game. White had just played Ne5, and I still had plenty of time so was working out the win. Hopefully you guys try and figure out this position, and only using the hints if necessary. Be sure to calculate all variations accurately.

This first hint might not help you much. Still, it is really important to know it while calculating all the variations.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

IMAGE(<a href="http://i.imgur.com/WX7dbTd.jpg">http://i.imgur.com/WX7dbTd.jpg</a></em><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">)

This position is completely winning for Black with the white king cut off along the 4th rank. This is because once the white pawn advances to the 6th rank, the rook will attack it from behind. Also, if white just waits, the king will begin its journey towards the pawn. 1. h6 Ra6 2. h7 Rh6+   -+

This second hint is much more useful, but some people might still not understand where we are heading.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

IMAGE(<a href="http://i.imgur.com/ThZX9j5.jpg">http://i.imgur.com/ThZX9j5.jpg</a></em><em style="line-height: 1.538em;">)

Building on our knowledge of the above position, I present you a slightly more complicated position with White to play. It's clear where the only counterplay lies, with a g5 push. 1. g5 Ra4+! The only winning move, but it is sufficient. Now, in order for the king to defend the h4 pawn, it has to accept being cut off along the fourth rank, which we have seen is a win. 2. Kg3 (2. Kf5 Rxh4 3. g6 Rh1 4. g7 Rg1 5. Kf6 h5 -+) 2... hxg5 3. hxg5 -+

This is actually more than a hint. It shows the position that occurred after a few moves.  If the above hints were not enough, this should definitely help you.

Spoiler: Highlight to view


This was the position from my first round game. Here I faced an interesting choice. I could: a) Play Ke6 and give up the 'b' pawn and keep my knight. b) give my knight by taking immediately on e5 and keep my b-pawn. Calculate the consequences of both 1... Kxe5! Especially with the knowledge of the previous positions, this move should come easily, since we will reach a position where White will sacrifice his rook for my 'b' pawn, and we will inevitably reach a position where White's king is cut off along the fourth rank. (1... Ke6 2. Rb7 Rxe5 3. Rxb4 Kf5 µ  This position looks really close to a win, though there will be some technical issues. It is not 100% clear.) 2. Re7+ Kd4 3. Rxe2 b3 is how the game ended (0-1). For example: 4. Kf3 Kc3 5. g4 b2 6. Re1 Kc2 7. h4 b1=Q 8. Rxb1 Kxb1 9. Kf4 And we reach the winning position of the second hint.

Full solution:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

1... Rxd5! (1... Rxa7 is what I would have played, if I didn't calculate a clean win. It isn't as easy, but still is likely winning, but it will be tough 2. Rxd8 Rb7 3. Nd3 b3 4. Nb2) 2. Rxe7 Kf6 3. Rxf7+ (3. Nc6 was a try that was annoying to work out since knights are very tricky pieces . It works out nicely though. Nd4! 4. Rc7 Originally I had thought of just playing Rc5, but that is a major mistake. Why? (4. Nxb4 Rb5 -+) 4... Nb5! (4... Rc5?? 5. Nxb4!) 5. Rb7 b3 6. Nb4 Rc5 7. Nd3 b2! -+) 3... Kxe5 is the above winning position.