Malcolm Pein on…A Round of Draws


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If you put the world’s strongest players in a tournament you will occasionally get a round of draws.

It is not for the want of trying, as shown by Malcolm Pein in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column. This time there are two opportunities to test your strength.

Malcolm Pein on…A Round of Draws

No change at the Tata Steel Masters, as all games were drawn in the fourth round. Magnus Carlsen won a pawn against Jorden Van Foreest and the spectators were settling in for a long grind, when Carlsen appeared to miss a trick. Position after 47.Nh4 Bd8

Round of Draws: Carlsen Slips

There followed: 48.Rh7 Rd2 49.Rxh6 Kg7 50.Rxg6+ Kh7 White appears to have fallen into a trap.

Carlsen Extricates Himself

How did he extricate himself?

Surprise early leader Nils Grandelius missed an opportunity to retake the sole lead in a time scramble against Andrey Esipenko. Fabiano Caruana pressed Pentala Harekrishna before allowing a sacrifice that steered the game towards a draw. Alireza Firouzja missed a chance to join the leaders in time pressure.

A. Tari – A. Firouzja
Caro-Kann Short Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.c3 Ng6 7.0–0 Nd7 8.Ne1 h5 9.Be3 Qb6 10.b3 f6! 11.Bxh5 fxe5 12.g4 Rxh5! 13.gxh5 Nf4 14.dxe5 Nh3+ 15.Kg2 c5?! (15…Bc5!? would undermine the f4 square) 16.f4 Qc6 17.Nf3 0–0–0 18.Nbd2 Nb6 19.Qe1 (19.Kg3 – computer) 19…Be7 20.Rc1 d4! 21.cxd4 Nd5 22.Nc4 Ndxf4+ 23.Bxf4 Nxf4+ 24.Kg1 Bg4 (24…Rxd4! 25.Nd6+ Bxd6 26.exd6 Nh3+ 27.Kh1 Be4) 25.Rc3 Rxd4 26.Nd6+ Kb8 27.Qe3 Bg5 28.Rxc5? (28.Kh1!! defends) 28…Qxc5 29.Nxg5

A. Tari – A. Firouzja

Black to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answers.

Answer 1: 51.Nf3! Rxf2+ 52.Kxf2 Kxg6 53.Kg2 Kh5 54.Nd4 f4 55.Ne6 Bg5 56.Nxg5 Kxg5 57.Kf3 Kh4 58.Kxf4 Kxh3 draw.

Answer 2:  The game ended: 29…Ne2+ 30.Kg2 draw. Black wins after 29…Be2! 30.Rxf4 Rd1+ 31.Kf2 Rf1+ 32.Kxe2 Re1+; 30.Re1 Nh3+ 31.Nxh3 Rg4+; 30.Re1 Rd1! 31.Qxc5 Rxe1+ 32.Kf2 Nd3+.

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