Internet Chess club on Facebook Internet Chess club on Twitter Internet Chess club on Google+ Internet Chess club on YouTube Internet Chess club on LinkedIn Subscribe to Internet Chess Club RSS feed

Chess News: Your Daily Update - England crumble

IM Malcolm Pein IM Malcolm Pein
November 24, 2023


A SECOND match defeat meant that England missed out on a medal at the European Team Championship in Budva, Montenegro. Although Nikita Vitiugov and David Howell pressed a little, their Armenian opponents defended stoutly and, towards the time control, Michael Adams, under a little pressure, blundered and lost. England dropped from third to sixth, with the Armenians taking the bronze medals.
The tie-break system at the European Teams is rather complex, to the extent that is impossible to know who has won before the computer does the calculations. The joint-leaders at start of play, Serbia and Germany both won their final matches, and it was Serbia who took gold by the tiniest of margins.
After some bruising encounters against some of the stronger teams, England’s Women’s team enjoyed an excellent 3-1 victory over Sweden, with Lan Yao defeating Pia Cramling. Lan Yao secured her first IM norm and the bronze medal for individual performance on board two, a magnificent achievement.

Lan Yao – P Cramling

Sicilian Taimanov


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.g4 h6 8.h4 Nf6
(8...b5 9.Nxc6 Qxc6 10.Qd2 b4 11.Ne2 Qxe4 12.Rg1 Qc4 is a risky pawn grab, that worked out well in Gukesh – Carlsen, Zagreb 2023)
9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qf3 Rb8 11.0–0–0 Qa5 12.Rd3 Qb4 13.b3 d6 (13...a5! and if 14.Bg2? Ba6 or 14.Kb2? a4)
14.e5? (Blunder. White is significantly better with g4–g5 coming far quicker than anything Black can muster, for example, 14.Bd2 Be7 15.Kb1 Qb6 16.g5)

14...Nd7! 15.exd6 Ne5 16.Qd1 Nxd3+ 17.Qxd3 Qxd6 18.Qe4 Qb4 (18...Bb7 was also good)
19.Qxc6+ Bd7 20.Qc4 Rc8! 21.Qxb4 Bxb4 22.Ne4 Bc6 23.f3 (Black has won the exchange for a pawn, but the position is not easy to convert and she quickly goes wrong)
23...f5?! (23...0–0 24.Bxa6 Ra8 25.Bc4 Rxa2)
24.gxf5 exf5 25.Nd2 a5 26.Rg1 Bc3! 27.Bd3 Rf8?! (Better 27...0–0 28.Bxh6 Bd4)
28.Nc4 Rd8 29.Bc5 (White’s pieces are active and she wins back material)
29...Rf7? (29...Rf6 30.Rxg7 Rd7=)
30.Nd6+ Rxd6 31.Bxd6 Bxf3 32.Bb5+ Kd8

White to play and win:


33.Rg3! Bf6 34.Rxf3 Bxh4 35.Rd3 Bg5+ 36.Bf4+ Ke7 37.Bxg5+ hxg5 38.Rd7+ 1–0


©Telegraph Media Group Limited 2023

View past articles