Sunday, July 28, 2013

Playing with the Masters at Chessdom Arena-Part I

Chessdom Chess Arena is a brand new free online chess 
platform which is gaining speed every day. Despite its 
limited functionality, Chess Arena presents multiple 
nice features to the users. One of my favorite aspects 
is the Master Challenge where all players have a chance 
to play against IMs, WGMs, and GMs.

Last July 11, 2013, I had the honor of playing a 13 
games match with IM Spas Kozhuharov of Bulgaria with 
a time limit of 3 min + 1 sec. increment. He is the 
highest rated player at chessdom arena and among its 
resident instructor. I played white in the 1st game 
and he played the Sicilian Defense, running into my 
pet Grand Prix Attack. He was busted right in the 
opening and lost the game. I could not believe my 
luck! However, the succeeding 12 games was another 
story as the IM piled- up wins after another ending 
the match 12-1 in his favor. Winning our 1st game was 
something special to me as the IM has a 2461 FIDE 
rating while I am unrated. 

Below is our 1st game with my annotations.
Event "Blitz match"]
[Site "Chessdom Arena@ "]
[Date "2013.7.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "IM_Kuzhuharov"]
[Black "Metrolirot"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1641"]
[BlackELO "1421"]

Sicilian Defense- Grand Prix Attack  

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 

The moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 are known as the Grand
Prix Attack and are popular among club players today, 
mainly owing to the prospect of launching an attack 
without the need for too much prior preparation.

The opening got its name thanks almost exclusively due 

to FM David Rumens, who used the Grand Prix, the 
Stonewall Dutch and other idiosyncratic weapons to win 
the English-based Cutty Sark Grand Prix on a regular 
basis, back in the 1970's and 80's. Rumens upon 
reaching this position or those like it, used to 
try to crash through with f4-f5, whether sacrificing a 
pawn or not and that is the true GP attack. 
( IM Andrew Martin – Refuting the Grand Prix attack )

Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bc4 Bg7 6. d3 e6  7. O-O Nge7 8. f5!?

This is the old main line of the Grand Prix Attack 
which involves a pawn sacrifice. Modern theory now 
considers it as too direct and premature as it gives 
black too many options.  

8... exf5?!

Previously, taking the pawn is considered taboo as 
it gives white a tremendous attack. The position 
was then subjected to a closer scrutiny and it was 
found out that black can survive the attack with
a pawn to boot. However to the uninitiated, one 
misstep could cost the game.   

9. Qe1 O-O?

IM Andrew Martin, in his chess video "Refuting 
the Grand Prix Attack " commented that black 
should not commit the cardinal sin of castling 
in the kingside as it gives white a completely
direct attack. He instead recommends the move 
9...h6!,  as the refutation of this line in the 
Grand Prix. 

10. Qh4!

A leading expert in the Grand Prix GM Gawain Jones,
in his book " Starting Up:The Grand Prix Attack ", 
has this to say:  

After 10 Qh4! Black is already in trouble as white’s 
attack is far too strong; e.g. 10… Qc7 (10… Ne5 
11 Bg5! wins a piece) 11 Bh6 Ne5 12 Ng5 Nxc4 
13 Bxg7 Kxg7 14 Qxh7+ Kf6 15 e5! and mates.

GM Gawain Jones refers to White's idea of Qd1-Qe1, 
Qe1-Qh4, f4-f5,Bc1-Bh6 and Nf3-Ng5 as the 
Caveman Attack.   

10... Be6? 

The losing move. Interestingly, I had the same 
position as white against 2009 Toril blitz champ 
Anthony Mosqueda in our blitz match barely a week 
before this game. In that game I played 11 Ng5? 
and somehow Mosqueda was able to survive my attack. 
I analyzed the position with Fritz and found out 
the correct sequence.   

11. Bxe6! fxe6 12. Ng5! h6 13. Nxe6 Bd4+ 14. Kh1
Qd7 15. Nxf8 Rxf8 16. Bxh6 Rf7

White is now quality and a pawn up. Black resigned 
few moves later. 


Replay the game below..