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Chess News: Your Daily Update - Robson wins Rapid

IM Malcolm Pein IM Malcolm Pein
November 28, 2023


RAY Robson was the surprise winner of the Rapid section at the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz.
The US international triumphed with a score of just +2, or 11/18 over the nine games heading into the Blitz section. There are also 18 points at stake in the Blitz, in which the 10 players face each other with both colours. Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave tied for second on 10/18, with Alireza Firouzja, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Anish Giri, and Le Quang Liem scoring 50 per cent. Caruana was an almost certainty to win the 2023 Grand Chess Tour with just the Sinquefield Cup to come.
The 2021 world championship finalist was too casual here, the sacrificial theme that Sam Sevian finds is well known:

S Sevian – I Nepomniachtchi

English Opening 25’+10”


1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 Bb4 4.Bg2 0–0 5.e4 Bxc3 6.bxc3 c6! 7.Nf3 d5 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.0–0 Nc6 11.Re1 e4! (Now if 12.Rxe4?? Nxc3)
12.Nd4 Nxd4 13.cxd4 Bf5 14.d3 exd3 15.Qf3 Qa5!? (15...Be6 16.Qxd3 Qd7 looks very solid for Black)
16.Bg5 Be6 17.Qxd3 h6?

18.Bxh6! gxh6 19.Rxe6 Nb4 (19...fxe6 20.Qg6+ Kh8 21.Qxh6+ Kg8 22.Qxe6+ Kg7 23.Bxd5 wins)
20.Rg6+ fxg6 (Black has no choice, if 20...Kh7 21.Ra6+ Kg7 22.Rxa5)
21.Qxg6+ Kh8 22.Qxh6+ Kg8 23.Qg6+ Kh8 24.Be4 Qc7 25.a3 Nc6 26.Qh6+ Kg8 27.Bd5+ Rf7 28.Re1
(Intending Re6 or Re4. Black’s queen’s rook has yet to enter the game and he cannot muster enough defenders around his king)

28...Ne7 (28...Nxd4 29.Re4 Nf3+ 30.Kg2 Ne5 31.Rh4 wins and one key point is 28...Rd8 29.Re4 Rxd5 30.Re8+ Rf8 31.Rxf8#. If 28...Raf8 29.Re4 threatens Rg4# and Black is lost)
29.Bxf7+ Kxf7 30.Qe6+ 1–0

How does White answer 30...Kf8 and 30...Ke8?


30...Ke8 31.Qg8+ or 30...Kf8 31.Qf6+ Ke8 32.Qh8+.


©Telegraph Media Group Limited 2023

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