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Review of the opening stage (rounds 1-3)
turkleague10Evgenij Miroshnichenko (born 28th of December 1978), or "Miro", as he likes to be called, is international Grandmaster since 2002, two times Ukrainian Champion (2003 and 2008) and a winner of numerous international tournaments. Growing expert of women chess, as you can remember his reports and comments during the World Women Team Championship, 2012 European Womens Individual. Also 2012 Chess Olympiad and many others. Evgenij is going to provide us with analysis of the most interesting moments happened in the games during the WJCC as well.

You can follow his review from the first three rounds below;

Dear friends, I have to admit it didn’t worked as was planned and instead of logically build text with some chess here and there it’s going to be more of spectators emotion’s in the first part than continued with some examples of mastered (well, not always) chess play in the second half, thus those of you who aren’t interested in my reflections about the tournament may easily skip the text till the first diagram. And it has to be mentioned in the foreword as well – as I’m a bit limited with the time I beg a pardon for not bringing you all the knock-out stuff one may find among roughly 300 games played so far in this tournament, but rather sharing the moments which impressed me the most but somehow weren’t picked for daily reviews. That being, let’s proceed to the sentimental (and somewhat statistic) chapter of this little essay.

I’ve never actually played in youth World (or European) championships myself, so I assume my opinion to be hardly relevant, but nevertheless I believe U20 title to be the only one to really matter in one’s chess career. It’s nice to know your kid became World Champion U8,10 .. etc., it’s of course a step in right direction, but to become U20 World Champion (especially nowadays, where an average age of World’s Top becomes lower and lower) is already a step into maturity if I’m allowed to say so. Not only has it mean an invitation to some prestigious events (World Cup is just one of the many), but as well respect in the entire chess world. “Young talent”, “prodigy”, “genius” – are just words, but Junior @World Champion” speaks for itself, and looking on the list of winners over the past year it’s easier to pick up the name of those who didn’t become the top player (as all the rest did!). The tournament itself is not only tough, but quite stressful, so nobody managed to win it for two consecutive years. Well known to all the chess fans around the World, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was the only to win the Open section twice.

To speak about WJCC 2013 in particular, I wouldn’t call the field “best possible” - if you’ll check best juniors rating list at Fide.com, you may find a lot of big names missing, albeit it doesn’t affect much the status of the event, and with those who actually are playing it is still   one of the strongest ever. I’ve already mentioned one of the World’s top rated juniors (and by far the highest rated girl) to be absent in the tournament, so you could’ve guessed I meant Hou Yifan, who’s busy trying to return (!) theWorld Women Champion title. After all, we have defending Champion participating in the open section (so he has a chance to create a history by winning the title for two consecutive years), and ex- U20 Girls World Champion (Deysi T. Cori from Peru, a winner in 2011), we got a lot of already strong GM’s with reputation of a class players and a lot of won tournaments behind their shoulders, so the tournament is definitely exciting and I assume it not to lose an intrigue till the last round.

Not being a specialist in youth competitions, I won’t give you any predictions about the winners (well, crosstable is published, so one can estimated the chances himself J) , but instead I’m pretty much sure we’ll se a lot of fighting spirit, rising stars and fallen heroes, and of course a classy chess skills demonstrated all over the tournament. That’s all so far about emotional part, so we can proceed to some chess.

Chu, Wei Chao (2270) - Kovalev, Vladislav (2568) [E94]

That’s the game from round 1, where one of the Elo-favorites was knocked down in the spectacular way.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Na6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 10.dxe5
10...Nxe5 I assume this one to be a preparation - not the most topical (and well-forgotten) line. [Much more popular is 10...dxe5 11.h3 and here both 11...h6 (or 11...f6 12.Bd2 Nh6) 12.Bd2 Nf6 are well-known theoretical lines.] 11.Nd5!? [11.Nd4 is much more common, but perhaps Black would've been ready for that.] 11...Nxf3+ 12.Bxf3 Qe5 13.Bh4 Qxb2 14.Rb1 Qe5

15.c5!? Interesting pawn sacrifice in order to spoil Black's structure. 15...dxc5 Black is forced to take with the pawn, as [15...Nxc5 16.Bg3! Qg5 17.Nxc7± is just bad for him.] 16.Ne7+ Kh8 17.Nxc8 Rfxc8 18.Rxb7 c4 19.Bg3 Qe7 20.e5 Nc5 21.Rb4 Nd3?! [Black had other knight's jump at his disposal - 21...Ne4 22.Bxe4 (22.Rxc4 Nxg3 23.hxg3 Rab8 doesn't seem to be too promising either.) 22...Qxb4 23.Bxa8 Rxa8 24.Qd5 Rf8 25.Rc1 Qb2 26.Qxc4 Bxe5 27.Bxe5+ Qxe5 with equality.] 22.Rxc4 Nb2 23.Qd4 Nxc4 24.Bxa8 Nxe5
25.Qxa7 Now White has got potentially strong passed pawn, so Black has to act carefully. 25...h5?! 26.a4 Nd3?! 27.Bc6 Nb4? Black makes to many moves with the pure horse, albeit only wasting the time without improving position. [27...h4!? was an interesting attempt to equalize, as after forced 28.Qb7 Rf8 29.Qxc7 (29.Bxc7 Nc5 30.Qb5 Qxc7 31.Qxc5 Rc8 32.Rc1 Qd8 intending Bd4 and Qf6 Black has descent chances to hold.) 29...Qxc7 30.Bxc7 Rc8 31.Bb5 Rxc7 32.Bxd3 Rc3 and Black shouldn't lose this endgame.] 28.Bf3 Nc2 29.Qb7 Qe8 30.a5 Nd4 31.Bd5?! [31.a6! was just winning - 31...Nxf3+ 32.gxf3 Bd4 33.Bxc7 and Black doesn't have 33...Qd7 in view of 34.Be5+] 31...Ne2+ 32.Kh1 Nxg3+ 33.fxg3 A bit artificial, but good enough! 33...Rd8
34.a6? [It was a time for a bit of prophylactics, and 34.Bf3! suits this goal just perfect - after 34...Rb8 35.Qxc7 Rb4 36.Qc6 Qxc6 37.Bxc6 White has all the chances to convert his advantage as Black is not in time to change rooks anymore.] 34...Qe2 35.Rb1 Bd4? Decisive mistake! [Black had a fantastic way to get out of trouble, the following line would be hard to find for both players though!: 35...Re8! 36.h4 Qf2 37.Kh2™ (37.Qxc7? Re1+ 38.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 39.Kh2 Bd4–+) 37...Bd4! Threatening Re1 38.Bxf7! Qxf7 39.a7 Qa2 40.Qc6™ Rg8™ otherwise Rb8 is coming
41.Rb5!! (41.Rb8 Bxa7–+) 41...Qxa7 42.Rxh5+ Kg7 (42...gxh5 43.Qh6#) 43.Qd7+ Kf8 44.Rd5 Bf6 45.Rd6! Be7 46.Rd3 Qc5 47.Qe6 Bd6 48.Qf6+ Ke8 49.Qe6+ with perpetual check.]
36.a7! Bxa7 37.Qxa7 Qd3
38.Qa1+ Perhaps Black has missed this check from afar. Kg8 39.Rd1 Rxd5 40.Rxd3 Rxd3 41.Kg1 White's position is winning, and after showing a bit of technic he managed to convert his advantage. 41...Rd6 42.Qe5 Rd1+ 43.Kf2 Rd2+ 44.Kf3 Rc2 45.Qe4 Rc5 46.Qd4 Rf5+ 47.Ke3 c5 48.Qe4 Rg5 49.Kd3 Kg7 50.Qf4 Rd5+ 51.Kc3 Rf5 52.Qe4 Rg5 53.Qe7 Rd5 54.h3 Kg8 55.Qe8+ Kg7 56.Qe4 Rg5 57.Kc4 Kf8 58.g4 hxg4 59.h4 Rh5 60.Qxg4 Kg7 61.g3 Kg8 62.Qe4 Kg7 63.Kb5 Kg8 64.Kc6 Kf8 65.Kd7 Kg7 66.Ke7 Rf5 67.g4 Rf1 68.Qe5+ Kg8 69.Qxc5 Re1+ 70.Kf6 Rf1+ 71.Kg5 Kg7 72.Qc7 Rf2 73.Qa7 Rf3 74.h5 gxh5 75.gxh5 Rf1 76.Qe3 Rd1 77.h6+ Kf8 78.Qa3+ Kg8 79.Qa8+ Kh7 80.Qe4+ 1–0
Wei,Yi (2551) - Emiroglu,Cankut (2260) [C10]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Neg5 Nd7
7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.Ng5+ Ke8 9.Bc4 Bd5 [9...Bxg2 10.Rg1 Bd5 11.Nxe6 Bb4+ 12.c3 Bxe6 13.Bxe6 Qe7 14.Rg3 Nf8 (Bad is 14...Qxe6+ 15.Re3 Qxe3+ 16.fxe3 Be7 17.e4 with advantage for White Bh4+ 18.Kd2 Ne7 19.Qh5+ Ng6 20.Kc2 Rf8 21.Be3 Rf7 22.e5 Ndf8 23.d5 Rd8 24.e6 Rf6 25.Rd1 Nxe6 26.dxe6 Rxd1 27.Kxd1 Rxe6 28.Bd4 Bf6 29.Bxf6 Rxf6 30.Qb5+ Kd8 31.Qxb7 Rb6 32.Qa8+ Kd7 33.Kc2 Re6 34.Qd5+ Ke7 35.Qc5+ Kd7 36.Qd4+ Kc8 37.Qg4 Kd7 38.h4 Ne5 39.Qd4+ Kc8 40.Qxa7 Nc6 41.Qa6+ Kb8 42.Qb5+ 1–0 Kotronias,V (2626)-Franchini,G (2315)/Reggio Emilia 2006/
15.Re3 Nxe6 16.d5 with rather unbalanced position. It has been a funny moment when I was trying to convince my chessbase to make a long castle for Black while being wondering why this move is not recommended by the engine. To find out the answer please see Black's 7th move :)] 10.Nxe6 Bxe6 11.Bxe6 Bd6 12.0–0 Ngf6

13.Qf3?! [Much stronger would've been immediate 13.Re1 where Black looks forced to play his king to f8 with great advantage for White.] 13...c6 14.Re1 Qa5 15.Bf4 Bxf4 16.Qxf4 Kd8 17.Qg3 g6 18.c3 Re8 19.Bf7 Re7 20.Bb3 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Qc7 22.Qg5 Qd6 23.Re6 Qf8 24.c4
Eventually Black's position is not that bad at all, he just needed to find the way to set the rook into play - usual problem when you lose the castle right at the early opening stage. 24...Rc8 [24...a5!?] 25.c5 Rc7 26.h3 Kc8 27.Qe3 Kb8 28.Re7 Rc8 29.Rf7 Qe8 30.Be6
30...Rd8? [After the correct 30...Rc7 White doesn't seem to have anything better than 31.Bb3 Qxe3 32.fxe3 Ne4! 33. Rxh7 Ndf6 and this endgame is certainly safe for Black.] 31.Qf4+ Ka8 32.Qc7 Now all Black's forces are paralyzed, so his task of saving the game is hardly possible to fulfill in a practical game 32...a6 33.Kh2 h5 34.Bc4 Rc8 35.Qd6 Rd8 36.Qc7 Rc8 37.Qd6 Rd8 38.Re7 Qf8 39.Bxa6 Ne8 40.Bxb7+ Ka7 41.Qxc6 Qxe7 42.Qa6+ Kb8 43.Bf3 Nxc5 44.Qa8+ Kc7 45.Qa7+ Kd6 46.Qb6+ 1–0
The shortest game so far – White suffered from his own hyper-aggression in the opening.
De Filomeno,Simone (2392) - Eliseev,Urii (2550) [B51]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Bxc6+ bxc6 5.e5 Not the most popular but logical continuation, which has been almost refuted in the game.
5...f6!? A novelty as early as on move 6! 6.exd6 e5 A pair of bishops and space advantage should compensate damage done to Black's structure in the normal course of events, however White decided to punish his opponent for such a creative play: 7.Nxe5?? Probably connected with some sort of miscalculation, as White's further actions in the game fail to impress. 7...fxe5 8.Qh5+ Kd7 Objectively this move is a mistake, but I wouldn't blame White too much as I assume it was his idea when he sacrificed on e5.
9.f4? [9.0–0 Bxd6 10.d3 is what computer recommends for White, albeit it's clear Black's position is winning.] 9...Bxd6 10.fxe5 Qe7! If there wasn't this move White could've hoped for a positive outcome. 11.d4 cxd4 12.Bf4 Nf6! 13.Qe2 Bxe5 14.Bxe5 Re8 0–1
Fang, Yan (2281) - Cori, Jorge (2587) [B47]

Another player from the top-seed could've suffered a defeat as early as in round 1 if his opponent would be a bit more skillful in the endgame:
38...b3!? Black tries his last chance, which surprisingly works. 39.axb3 Good enough to win, but much stronger would've been energetic [39.a4! The following line is not forced, but nicely illustrates how tricky rook endgames sometimes could be!:) 39...Rxd6 40.Rb4! Kh6 41.Rxb3 Kg5 42.a5 (Frankly speaking, 42.Rb4 is winning as well) 42...Kf4!?
43.f6!! White needs to close the 6th rank, as (43.Ra3?? Kf3! 44.a6 Rh6 would be a disaster for him.) 43...Rc6 44.fxg7 Kf3 45.Kd1 Rg6 46.a6 Kf2 47.Rxe3 Kxe3 48.a7 Rd6+ 49.Kc2 Rd8

50.Kb3 Kd3 51.Ka4 Kc4 52.Ka5 Kb3 53.Kb6 Re8 54.g5 and White is finally winning.] 39...Rxd6 40.Ke2 Rd2+ 41.Kxe3 Rxb2
42.Rc3?? Let's the win slip! [Still I can't figure out why White had discarded 42.b4 , as after 42...Kh6 43.Kd4 Kg5 44.Kc5 there isn't any sign of counterplay for Black, so White pawn promotes.] 42...g6 43.Kf4 Kg7 44.fxg6 Kxg6 45.Rc6+ and White offered a draw. 1/2
Nuri, Murad (2206) - Narayanan, Srinath (2483) [B50]

Eventually an example of a strange blunder from the Elo-favourite:
28.Nb6 White was clearly outplayed in the previous stage of the game. He's moving his knight to d5 square in order to swap the knights, getting into a hard endgame with some chances to survive, but all of a sudden knights won't change... 28...Nxe4?? 29.Nd5 Nxg3+ Desperation! [I assume 29...Nd2+ 30.Qxd2! was the line Black actually missed.(relaying on 30.Rxd2 cxd2–+) ] 30.fxg3 Qa5 31.Qb6 Qa8 32.Qxb4 Rc8 33.Qxd6 1–0

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