WC-match: day 1

By MI Wouter Sipma

Today the world title match draughts started. Today’s winner is GMI Alexander Schwarzman, who crushed GMI Alexander Georgiev in the blitz game, after draws in the rapid and classical games. What follows is a report of these three games. I will show things that caught my attention.

Classical game

Georgiev-Schwarzman, classical game (I)

An exciting position with a fairly ‘clean’ attacking position for Schwarzman, while Georgiev hopes for some counterplay; he succeeded, as black can’t play on his right wing anymore: 11-16/17 and 12-17 are impossible. Schwarzman played 25. … 3-8?! In my opinion this is a very remarkable move. Doesn’t black need the formations 3-8-12 and 3-9-14? Apparently the conservation of base piece 2 is more important, to discourage any actions at this wing. Georgiev doesn’t really ‘react’ on the move 3-8. Reacting would mean that white tries to occupy square 21 to emphasize the missing formation 3-8-12. In practice this would go via 27-21, 31-26, in order to keep black from moving pieces on his right wing. Apparently Georgiev didn’t find a right timing for this transition of formations (36-31-27 to 26-21). This is understandable, as the white right wing isn’t in a good shape. Therefore 25. … 3-8 probably was an excellent move.

Georgiev-Schwarzman, classical game (II)

This is the second moment; the black centre gained strength, but white also managed to repair his position and now has a plan to attack the black outpost at 28 twice, using 38-33. In this position black played 32. … 10-15?! Again this is a move that doesn’t really catches one’s eye, but, like 25. … 3-8, it is powerful. What were the alternatives for black? After 10-14 white can play 30-25 and black suffers somewhat from the dangling piece on 9. If white goes to square 29, white will play 40-34×34 immediately; this really plays into the hands of white. But if black wants to develop the piece on 9, why doesn’t he play 9-14? After that black eventually might still play 10-15. Probably this is because the piece on 9 can be important; for example if black wants to bring (after 2-7, 15-20) the tactics 18-22 into play. Georgiev now played 33. 38-33 and via 33. … 24-29 34. 33×22 29-34 35. 40×29 23×25 36. 31-26(!) 12-17 37. 42-38 17×28 38. 42-38 28-32 (18-22?) the position faded out and a couple of moves later the players agreed upon a draw. In case Georgiev would try to play sharp after 32. … 10-15!, for example with 33. 40-34, black will develop its position via 33. … 15-20! 34. 30-25 9-14 followed by 24-29 (34-30 is met by 28-33!).

Rapid game

Schwarzman-Georgiev, rapid (I)

While I was watching this game live, I thought Schwarzman was really in control in this position. Black is 6 temps ahead and the future of the piece on 9 is somewhat dark; it might become an ugly dangler. I only calculated one variation for black: 27. … 1-7? 28. 38-33! 7-12 29. 43-38 12-17 30. 39-34! and black is in trouble; after 17-22 a 2-for-3 pieces combination follows (although this isn’t totally clear!). That’s why 30. … 14-20 is obligatory and after 31. 34-30 black has a bad position because of his left wing. Of course Georgiev noted this and played 30. … 8-12! Now he is one move quicker and that makes a big difference. 31. 38-33 12-17 32. 43-38 17-22 33. 28×17 21×12 34. 33-28 24-29! This way black breaks loose. See diagram (II).

Schwarzman-Georgiev, rapid (II)

Of course 39-33 is met by 29-34, while after 39-34 black plays 12-17!, whereafter 27-22 isn’t really great, since the piece on 12 will be under pressure. Interesting is 48-43, but probably only for black. He has the option to proceed via 1-7, 3-8 and 18-22, or to force a clash of positions after 14-20; both variations are promising for black. Hence 32. 40-34 29×40 33. 35×44 followed, piece 9 developed and Georgiev had a somewhat more pleasant position than Schwarzman, because of the white piece on 36. However, the game ended in a draw.

Blitz game

Georgiev-Schwarzman, blitz (I)

From this game only the decisive moment. Georgiev took a lot of risk in the opening by playing with inactive pieces on 41 and 46; Schwarzman knew how to handle this and in the diagram position Georgiev already made the decisive mistake. 27. 42-38? 18-22! 28. 45-40 12-18! This move was unevitable and is very powerful. 29. 23×12 17×8 30. 28×17 11×22 White is now totally locked up and will freeze out in a couple of moves. Eventually the game was finished very quickly because of a blunder by Georgiev, which you can watch yourself. In co-operation with GMI Roel Boomstra and the computer program Flits we found an escape for white: 27. 39-34! Now 18-22 is met by 31-27 and always 23-19 with a win for white. That’s why I wondered what follows after 27. … 15-20?! 28. 24×15 13-19?!; a standard sacrifice in such positions. The logical 43-38 is followed by 9-13, 2-8, 17-22 and there is little that white can do about that. However, Flits came with the fantastic solution: 29. 34-30!! See diagram (II).

Georgiev-Schwarzman, blitz (II)

The amazing punch line is that 29. … 17-22 30. 28×8 19×48 is met by a surprising counter-combination: 31. 45-40! 2×13 32. 40-35! 48×25 33. 35-30! 25×23 34. 31-27 21×32 35. 37×8! and white wonderfully managed to safe himself! Furthermore, in the diagram position, white defends his piece after 9-13, 43-39, while after 2-8 a combination is possible using 31-27, 43-38, 42-38 and 29-24! with a king at the cost of two pieces.

In a classical or rapid game Georgiev might have found this exceptional escape, but in a blitz game there simply isn’t enough time… Hence Schwarzman, who doesn’t look for complications per se, is usually more effective in blitz games.

For me this was interesting first day and I can’t wait for tomorrow’s games!

>>> WC-match: day 2

One Response to WC-match: day 1

  1. woutersipma says:

    Analytical remarks given by GMI Roel Boomstra:

    ‘Interesting article!

    A small addition. In my opinion Georgiev made a big mistake by playing the a-positional 16.42-38. Perhaps he already thought his position was bad. After 16.33-29! I don’t see how black can benefit from the weak pieces on 41 and 46. For example: 16.33-29 18-22 17.28-23 13-18 18.32-28 22×33 19.29×38(!) 20×29 20.37-32 26×19 21.34×05 04-10 22.05×11 06×17 with an about equal position. And after 16.33-29 07-11 17.28-23 10-14 18.43-38 17-21 19.31-27 11-17 20.39-33 white seems to be leading, because the king after 20…26-31 21.37×26 17-22 22.26×28 16-21 23.27×16 18-22 24.28×17 12×21 25.16×27 13-19 26.24×13 08×50 will be caught immediately using 27.32-28 50×31 28.36×27

    Finally, a very complicated game arises after 16.33-29 07-11 17.28-23 10-14 18.43-38 17-22 19.31-27 16×27 20.36×27 11-17 21.41-36 [21.39-33? 16-21 22.27×16 17-21 23.16×27 13-19 24.24×22 12-18 25.23×12 08×50+; 21.38-33? 14-19 22.23×14 18-23 23.29×07 20×36 -/+; These 2 snares will play a role in the next moves] 17-21 (21…06-11? 22.23-19! 14×23 23.37-31 26×28 24.27-22 18×27 25.29×07 20×29 26.34×12 08×17 W+) 22.46-41 06-11 23.48-43 11-17 24.36-31 17-22 25.32-28 21×32 25.38×27 22×33 26.39×28 with a complicated game.’

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