16 June 2016


Round two results of the Russia – China match in the review of grandmaster Sergey Shipov.

Round two has turned out to be predictably more difficult for us than round one. Therefore, my hopes on the Russian team having a significant safety factor did not prove true.

Needless to say, the football is to blame.

Playing “legoball” has for decades been taking inadequately critical place in the life of mankind.  Hundreds of millions of people around the world are literally going crazy when a young loon, getting a huge amount of money for his mediocre game, commits a blunder in close proximity to his goal.  At the same time, these very same millions and billions fall into universal ecstasy when a football genius (i.e, Messi or Ronaldo) sends the air-inflated sphere neatly into the goal’s corner.

We, the chess players, identify with the rest of mankind in sharing all its vices.  In general, the football mania has not pass us by either.

Yesterday’s heroic achievement of the Russian football team, who managed to draw the match against a much stronger opponent, had a negative impact on the male half of the Russian chess team.  While our folks were watching the match together, experiencing strong emotions and losing calories, the Chinese grandmasters had long since been seeing dreams...

Yes, I agree that I’m just looking for something to serve as an excuse for our guys who went down in round two.

Indeed, Andreikin is an author of his own misery, so that we would not at all be justified in trying to shift the blame onto Vasily Berezutski. Dima could have better prepared the line of the Caro-Kann Defense that happened in the game with Lu Shanglei.  He could have also capitalized on the chances that turned his way in the course of the encounter.

Lu Shanglei – Andreikin

Black should have opted for 20...Nd4! in this position.

Here 38...Qxh4 was a way more stubborn continuation.

Bodnaruk’s defeat from Lei Tintsze is something that you would just want to become oblivious to as soon as possible.  Football has nothing to do with it whatsoever.  It is just that Nastya is out of form now.  She performs a lot below her capabilities.

Katya Lagno’s victory became bright spot of round two.  She could of course have won without so many adventures along the way, but that’s the way it happened...

Lagno - Guo Qi

47...c3 48.Bd3 c2! 49.Bxc2 Kd7 followed by Kd7-e7 would have been a way to build up an impregnable fortress. Much to our joy, however, there followed an incredible 47...Kd8?? 48.Ke6! с3 49.Bd3 Ke8 50.f4, and there is no way to stop the white pawn from advancing to f6.

The Russian team has thus maintained a marginal advantage in terms of the total number of points scored during the first two rounds.

However, the trend of changes is subject to causing concerns. It looks as thought the Chinese dragon is coming to life and is regaining his power.  Our totem animal is required, in turn, to redouble his efforts in order to come to our home team’s rescue.

In general, I can not help but feeling that this match will see our women’s team outclassing her Chinese peers.  Therefore, it is this team that should fetch victory to our country. Russia is being held in place by women anyway...

Pictures by Vladimir Barsky