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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

European Chess Club Cup

I reported on Thursday on the conclusion of the European Club Cup in Fuegen in Austria, in which three Russian teams ended up first equal, with Tomsk-400 first on tie-break.

The strongest teams in Fuegen were utterly formidable. Indeed, no fewer than 10 of the 20 players in the world rated over 2,700 were in action at one time or another. Nevertheless, it wasn't one of the absolute elite who got the best individual result but a more modest player, albeit a strong grandmaster: the Finnish GM Tomi Nyback, who was playing on fifth board for Werder Bremen.

Nyback's superb 6.5/7 netted him a performance rating of 2,887 - way above the 2,575 he actually is. Here, he blew away Vladimir Malakhov (who was playing for the top seeds Ural Sverdlovsk) in excellent style. I should add that the game came to my attention through Alex Baburin's splendid daily internet paper Chess Today -

In a complicated opening battle, White worked to prevent the enemy bishop from settling on f5 and Black countered with ...Bg4 and, after 9.Ne5, Be6, which apparently loses a tempo but in fact makes it easier to get in ...c5.

In the diagram, 14...dxc4 15.bxc4 Rc8!? is critical, though after 16.Nf4 Bxc4 17.Bxc4 Nb6 18.Ne6! Rxc4 19.Qxc4 Nxc4 20.Nxd8 Rxd8 21.Bc3 White was a touch better in a game in Denmark in 2001. As played, Nyback got a space advantage and under pressure Malakhov tried the desperate 28...a5? but ran into a crushing exchange sacrifice.

At the end, there's absolutely no defence against the triumphal advance of the connected passed pawns.

Tomi Nyback vs Vladimir Malakhov Fuegen 2006 (round 7) Queen's Gambit Slav

1.d4 d5

2.c4 c6

3.Nc3 Nf6

4.e3 a6

5.Qc2 g6

6.Bd3 Bg7

7.Nf3 0-0

8.0-0 Bg4

9.Ne5 Be6

10.b3 c5

11.Ne2 Nfd7

12.Nxd7 Nxd7

13.Bb2 cxd4

14.exd4 (see diagram)


15.c5 Nf6

16.Bc1 Nh5

17.Be3 Bd7

18.f4 Qc8

19.b4 Bf5

20.Bxf5 gxf5

21.Ng3 Nxg3

22.hxg3 e6

23.Kf2 Qd7

24.Rh1 h6

25.a4 Rfc8

26.Qd3 Qd8

27.Ra3 b6

28.Rc1 a5

29.b5 bxc5

30.dxc5 d4

31.Bd2 Bf8

32.c6 Bxa3

33.Qxa3 Qd5

34.Qc5 Qa2

35.Qc2 Qd5

36.Qc4 Qd8

37.Qc5 1-0

Copyright 2006 Independent Newspapers UK Limited
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.


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