Dmitry Kryakvin’s report on the Belaya Ladya final event
The closing rounds in Dagomys lived up to all expectations! Since the much spoken 4:0 victory in the Russia - India match the latter pulled together and started winning back point after point and even managed to break into the lead. It only resulted in a dormant Russian bear again stunning the Indian elephant with 3.5-0.5!
Gukesh – Tsvetkov
39... Rf3! 40.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 41.Kg2 Nh4+ 42.Kh2
42.Kf2 is best met by Rf8+ followed by a knight fork from f5.
The rook is immune for dropping of the queen, which marks the end of the battle.
43.Kg1 Nf5 44.Qxd2 Qxg3+ 45.Qg2 Qe3+ White resigns.
Rakshita – Nur-Mukhametova
Is White winning? It looks like it indeed.
Nur-Mukhametova comes up with her last chance and really pulls it off.
Winning the game takes some precision of White: 44.Qc7! Rxa8 45.Bxa8 h6 (the pawn immediately drops after 45...d3 46.Qd8+ Nf8 47.Qxd3) 46.Bc6 Ne5 47.Qd8+ Kh7 48.Be4+! f5 49.Bd5 Qd7 50.Qxd7 Nxd7 51.Kf1 Kg6 52.Ke2 Kf6 53.f4!, and the remote passer and bishop will do the job for White. Being in time pressure, White thought it best to do away with the pesky knight.
44...Qe1+ 45.Kg2 Qe4+! 46.Kh3 Qxa8, and Black ended up converting his material superiority.
There is no doing without tragicomedies in tense matchups like this.
Savitha – Kirchei
This is a bad blunder: 42.Rb1 Bd2 43.Nc2, intending 43…Bd3 44.Rxb7 e3 45.c6 Bxc2 46.c7 Be4+ 47.Bf3 Bf5 48.Bg4=
42...Nxe4 White resigns.
Murzin – Gukesh
Is it a reverse move order? After 42...Ra2 43.Bf3 Bc7 it is for White to come up with precise play. Now Murzin snaps the vital passer.
Mistakes are known never to come alone. Saving the game is only possible with queens on the board – 43...Qf5 44.Qxe2 Bd6.
44.Qxe2 Qxe2 45.Rxe2 Kf8 46.Bc6, and Black is losing material.
46…f6 47.Re8+ Kf7 48.Rh8 Bxf4 49.Bd5+ Ke7 50.Rxh7+ Kd6 51.gxf6 with victory soon after.
Going into the two-round blitz section, the Russians were a point ahead, quite a shaky edge, but making up for it needed as many as four rapid games. Round one was taken 3:1 by team India. Then team Russia came back with the same score. Team India’s followup victory 3.5:0.5 started ringing the alarm bells. Yet another success by the Indian team 3:1 seemed to be the end of it, but this is when the Russians scored again.
Viktoria Kirchei beat Luke Mendonca, and Gukesh again fell victim first to Tsvetkov and then to Murzin. The overall score is 40:40, but triumph in the classical section gives the Honorary Cup to team Russia.
Any victory through tie-breakers is known to raise questions more often than not. Anyway, the young Russians have got invaluable experience and debunked the myth of Indian domination in children's chess.
This said, team India was a clear favorite going into this friendly event.
As for Belaya Ladya, the following developments have taken place in the meanwhile: Team Mongolia scored a landslide victory over Sverdlovsk, but immediately went down to team St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg didn’t fail the followup by outperforming Armenia and Belarus, which was also a big help to other Russian teams. Having drawn a principled battle with Moscow, the schoolchildren of Saint Petersburg take the main prize from the Russian Chess Federation and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation - a trip to Cap d'Agde to play a friendly match against the top French team. Congratulations to the winners – Kirill Putrenko, Igor Ismagilov, Yurii Khodko, Dariana Loviagina, and their coach Sergey Klimov!
A. Usov (Moscow) - I. Ismagilov (St. Petersburg)
The young natives of Moscow did their best in a duel of two capital cities, but...
22.Re7? Rхс7!, and the knight elimination allowed Ismagilov to save the match.
The strong team Mongolia ended up second - their board one rated 2350 (as opposed to St. Petersburg's board one rated 2010, Novosibirsk's – 1824, and even Yekaterinburg's only 2119). The bronze place is with team Novosibirsk, who snatched it from team Sverdlovsk Oblast. Pavel Maletin together with hero’s father have directed Fomkin on the right path, and there was no stopping Dima at the finish line, his teammates supporting him as well. Lack of stars in the lineup is made up for by the team being well-knit and well-coached. They ended up snatching the bronze. On the other hand, I wish it were otherwise for Andrey Shariyazdanov’s team; however, there are only three medal places.
Winners and prize-takers of Belaya Ladya.
D.Fomkin (Novosibirsk Oblast) - M. Ivanov (Republic of Tatarstan)
The black bishops are stalemated, but how go about breaking down the fortress? Dmitry Fomkin is up to the occasion.
50.Ne1 Kf8 51.Nc2 Kf7 52.Nb4 Kf8 53.Kb1
Luring the black king into an awkward position.
53…Kf7 54.Na6 Rc6 55.Rb7! Kf8
Losing is 55...Rxa6 56.Rxe7+.
56.Bxe7+ Kg8 57.Nc5, and the fortress falls down.
Pictures by Vladimir Barsky