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Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph

Malcolm Pein's daily chess column is available at the Telegraph's web site. You need to register, which is free. The daily chess column can be found by clicking the "Chess Club" link in the Arts section.

This article is used on the 4NCL web site with permission.

The Catalan Opening did it again for Vladimir Kramnik as he took the lead of the Tal Memorial at Moscow. Kramnik defeated Alexey Shirov after securing just a small advantage in the opening, exchanging pieces and gradually improving his position in a double knight endgame where Shirov’s queenside pawns were slightly weak. Kramnik is the only player on 3.5/5.

Vasily Ivanchuk suffered more misfortune as he failed to convert a winning endgame against Magnus Carlsen after allowing the 16 year old prodigy to force perpetual check in a position of queen v queen and two pawns.

Peter Leko also missed his chances against Dmitry Jakovenko and Gata Kamsky could make nothing of a slight edge against Evgeny Alekseev. Five players remain unbeaten.

Round five

Kramnik 1-0 Shirov; Mamedyarov draw Gelfand; Leko draw Yakovenko ; Alekseev draw Kamsky; Gelfand; Ivanchuk draw Carlsen;

Scores: 1 Kramnik 3.5/5; 2-3 Carlsen, Mamedyarov 3; 4-6 Gelfand (drawn all five), Alekseev (drawn all five), Leko 2.5; 7-10 Shirov, Yakovenko, Ivanchuk, Kamsky 2




Position after 43…Kb6

White has the advantage here because he can make a passed pawn on the kingside that is far away from the black king and will therefore detain the black knight. Black's passed pawn on e5 is easily contained. Black has a threat of Kb6-c5 and takes on d5 but Kramnik dealt with this as follows 44.b4! axb3 45.axb3 Ka5 (45...Kc5 46.b4+ or 45...Ng6 46.Ng4 Nf4 47.Nf6 followed by h4 and if 47...Ne2+ 48.Kd3 Nf4+ 49.Ke4 Kc5 50.Nxh7 Nxd5 51.g6 Ne7 52.g7 Ng8 53.Kf5 and Nf6 winning) 46.h4 Ng6 47.h5 Nf4 48.g6 hxg6 49.h6 g5 50.h7 Ng6 51.Kd3 1-0 Shirov resigned in view of 51.Kd3 Kb4 52.Ke4 Kxb3 53.Kf5 Nh8 54.Kf6 Kc3 55.Kg7 b4 56.Kxh8 b3 57.Kg7 b2 58.Nd1+ Kc2 59.Nxb2


The 4 Nations Chess League returned to Birmingham for rounds three and four last weekend. Cambridge University, newcomers to Division 1 provided the biggest upset for some time by holding the defending champions Guildford ADC 1 to a 4-4 draw. Woman GM Iweta Rajlich defeated Guildord’s Mark Hebden on top board.

White adopts a King’s Indian setup with an extra move but when Black plays d6-d5 he is then two tempi down on a normal position and Black gets lots of tactical chances.

N Davies – L D'Costa
Barbican 4NCL 1– The ADs
King’s Indian Attack
1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.g3 g6 6.Bg2 Bg7 7.0–0 0–0 8.Re1 e5 9.Nbd2 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nc4 Re8 12.Ng5! Rf8 13.Qb3 Nde7 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Nd5 16.Nxf7! Rxf7 17.Nd6 c4 18.Qxc4 1–0

Division 1

Pride and Prejudice
Barbican 4NCL 1
White Rose 1
Guildford-A&DC 1
Cambridge Univ. 1
The ADs
Barbican 4NCL 2
Oxford 1
Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
Guildford-A&DC 2
Poisoned Pawns 1
Jutes of Kent

Division 2

Sambuca Sharks
Warwickshire Select 1
e2e4.org.uk 1
Barbican 4NCL Youth
AMCA Dragons
Kings Head
Poisoned Pawns 2
Anglian Avengers
Wessex 1
Celtic Tigers 1
Bristol 1
White Rose 2
Brown Jack
Guildford-A&DC 3
FCA Solutions 1

Division 3

Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg
Sambuca Black Sheep
Cambridge Univ. 2
Wessex 2
Warwickshire Select 2
KJCA Kings
FCA Solutions 2
The Full Ponty
Sussex Smart Ctls.
e2e4.org.uk 2
Nottinghamshire 1
Nottinghamshire 2
Oxford 2
AMCA Rhinos
Braille Chess Assoc.
AMCA Hippos
Glos. Gambits
Bristol 2
KJCA Knights
Guernsey Mates
Bristol 3
e2e4.org.uk 3
Beauty and the Beasts
Celtic Tigers 2
Oxford 3
Guildford-A&DC 4
AMCA Cheetahs