Yorkshire Chess News

 

 I<< HOME

Events

 

Rankings of Leaders and Some Others

Open Rankings after Round 9

#

Team

MPts

SB

1

Uzbekistan

16

302½

2

India 2

15

286½

3

Armenia

15

242½

4

India

14

278

5

Netherlands

14

266

6

Azerbaijan

14

252½

7

Turkey

14

248

8

Iran

14

246½

9

USA

14

235½

10

Serbia

14

213

11

France

13

244

12

Czech Republic

13

240

13

Spain

13

238½

14

England

13

237½

15

Ukraine

13

227

16

Israel

13

226½

17

Germany

13

224½

18

Italy

13

223½

19

Hungary

13

219½

20

Moldova

13

219

21

Lithuania

13

194

22

Georgia

12

222

23

India 3

12

220½

24

Greece

12

217½

25

Kazakhstan

12

216½

26

Canada

12

209½

27

Croatia

12

204½

28

Norway

12

202½

29

Poland

12

201½

30

Brazil

12

196

31

Slovakia

12

189

32

Peru

12

185

33

Iceland

12

172

34

Sweden

12

171½

37

Ireland

11

211

56

Scotland

11

144

97

Wales

9

106

139

Jersey

7

85

159

Guernsey

6

62½

166

Papua New Guinea

6

51

Women Rankings after Round 9

#

Team

MPts

SB

1

Poland

15

289

2

India

15

266

3

Kazakhstan

15

260

4

Georgia

15

255

5

Ukraine

14

272

6

Azerbaijan

14

255½

7

Armenia

14

254

8

Germany

14

239½

9

Indonesia

14

233

10

India 2

13

247½

11

Mongolia

13

247

12

Bulgaria

13

244

13

USA

13

236½

14

Sweden

13

212

15

Netherlands

13

209

16

India 3

13

208½

17

Cuba

13

201

18

Slovakia

13

170½

19

Spain

12

232

20

Romania

12

232

21

Israel

12

221½

22

Hungary

12

220

23

Peru

12

216½

24

Italy

12

207

25

Canada

12

206

26

Serbia

12

204½

27

Iran

12

196

28

England

12

182

29

Argentina

12

169½

30

Croatia

12

169½

31

France

11

212½

32

Slovenia

11

211½

33

Vietnam

11

208½

34

Czech Republic

11

205½

35

Greece

11

200

36

Estonia

11

194½

37

Brazil

11

191½

38

Philippines

11

191

39

Norway

11

190

40

Colombia

11

189

41

Lithuania

11

188½

42

Austria

11

188

43

Australia

11

185½

44

Belgium

11

178½

45

Chile

11

175

46

Switzerland

11

175

47

Denmark

11

162½

48

Latvia

11

147½

67

Scotland

10

127

90

Ireland

8

138

104

Wales

8

92½

124

Jersey

7

63½

 

< Preview inc. list of entrants

 

06/08/2022

44th Chess Olympiad

 

The opening ceremony of the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai was scheduled for 19.00 on Thursday 28th July, which by a strange coincidence was when that of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham was set to occur, though a difference in time zones meant they would not be synchronous.  One wonders if there were any athletic chess-players around the world who had to decide which of the two events they would participate in!

 

The playing schedule is as follows.  Rounds start at 15.00 hrs local time, which is 4½ hours ahead of BST, and hence is 10.30 a.m. in the UK.

 

Fri 29 July

Round 1

Results

 

Thu 04 Aug

Free Day

 

Sat 30 July

Round 2

Results

 

Fri 05 Aug

Round 7

Results

Sun 31 July

Round 3

Results

 

Sat 06 Aug

Round 8

Results

Mon 01 Aug

Round 4

Results

 

Sun 07 Aug

Round 9

Results

Tue 02 Aug

Round 5

Results

 

Mon 08 Aug

Round 10

 

Wed 03 Aug

Round 6

Results

 

Tue 09 Aug

Round 11

 

 

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes and thereafter a further 30 minutes, all with a 30-second increment per move from move 1.

 

--- Round-by-Round Result Summary ---

 

For technical reasons, reporting on the last two rounds will be delayed.

 

Round 10 (08/08/2022) saw England paired against Italy in the Open section, and against Canada in the Women’s section.

 

 

In Round 9 (07/08/2022) England Open team was paired against Argentina, who had a game-point total of 23, slightly more than England’s 20½, both teams being on 11 match points out of 16.  The England Women’s team had similarly roughly equal opponents in Germany, who had 21½ game points to England’s 20, both being on 12 match points.

 

In the Open match, Michael Adams scored a relatively uneventful draw.  Luke McShane’s game looked for a while as though neither side was making headway, then his queen managed to get behind his opponent’s position, and things got lively, culminating in a win for England.  Gawain Jones’s game similarly got lively as he managed to pick of some pawns leaving him with very dangerous connected passed pawns.  His opponent at the end had been hoping both sides would be queening a pawn, but Jones queened first and was able to prevent his opponent’s pawn queening, so winning the game.  Ravi Haria’s game was the last to finish, and did so by repetition in an ending of K + R + B + 2P versus K + 2R +P.

Click here to play through Luke J McShane 1-0 Leandro Krysa on screen.

Click here to play through Leonardo Tristan 0-1 Gawain C B Jones on screen.

 

The England Women’s team fared less well, being somewhat outrated.  Though Jovanka Houska drew, the other three players lost.

 

Open:

Argentina

1-3

England

2591

GM

Fernando Peralta

½‑½

Michael Adams

GM

2696

2515

GM

Leandro Krysa

0-1

Luke J McShane

GM

2649

2558

GM

Leonardo Tristan

0-1

Gawain C B Jones

GM

2652

2528

GM

Diego Flores

½‑½

Ravi Haria

GM

2505

Women:

Germany

3½‑½

England

 

 

2484

IM

Elisabeth Paehtz

½‑½

Jovanka Houska

IM

2360

2321

WGM

Josefine Heinemann

1-0

Katarzyna Toma

WGM

2303

2366

WGM

Hanna Marie Klek

1-0

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

FM

2158

2342

WGM

Jana Schneider

1-0

Zoe Varney

WCM

2045

 

 

Round 8 (06/08/2022) pairings saw England Open team paired against Belgium, whose start ranking was 50th as compared with England’s 10th start ranking, and England Women’s team paired against Iran.

 

In the Open match, Michael Adams went a pawn up but ended up, as White, with his only pawn at a7 and his rook at a8, and his opponent gave a useful lessen in how to draw this position, illustrating why rooks belong behind passed pawns (especially rook’s pawns).  Luke McShane and his opponent provided a nice illustration of why opposite-coloured bishops tend to draw in the general case.  Ravi Haria and his opponent illustrated a draw with material imbalance, specifically B + N versus R, with the rook having an extra pawn, and the bishop not being able to infiltrate the enemy position.  Only David Howell offered any guidance on how to win!  At move 35 he sacrificed a rook for knight and pawn to engineer a winning attack.

 

In the Women’s match, Jovanka Houska, got the better of her opponent in a complicated middle game.  Katarzyna Toma’s opponent slipped up by removing her queen from the defence of her king with 42. … Qg5-d2, allowing a neat knight manoeuvre exploiting mate threats to win material and hence the game.  Lan Yao was less fortunate, and slowly got ground down to the point where her queen was too far away from her king to adequately defend against mate threats.  Zoe Varney gave up a rook and pawn for bishop plus knight and eventually picked off pawns making it look as though she might win the ending, but had to make do with the “moral victory” of a drawn final position of K + B versus bare K.

 

So, both England teams won.  Click on the following links to play through games on screen: (Use “back” to return to this screen.)

 

 

Open:

England

2½-1½

Belgium

2696

GM

Michael Adams (W)

½-½

Daniel Dardha

GM

2575

2649

GM

Luke J McShane

½-½

Stefan Docx

IM

2434

2650

GM

David W L Howell

1-0

Lennert Lenaerts

FM

2379

2505

GM

Ravi Haria

½-½

Mher Hovhannisyan

GM

2420

Women:

Iran

1½‑2½

England

2364

WIM

Mobina Alinasab (W)

0-1

Jovanka Houska

IM

2360

1956

 

Sahar Masoumi

0-1

Katarzyna Toma

WGM

2303

2161

WFM

Anousha Mahdian

1-0

Lan Yao

WIM

2274

2160

WFM

Anahita Zahedifar

½-½

Zoe Varney

WCM

2045

 

 

In Round 7 (05/08/2022), the England Open team had only a slight edge over with Brazil, with an average rating of 2625 to Brazil’s 2562.5.  The England Women’s team had a greater edge over the Denmark team, all of whose members’ first names started with “E”.

 

In the Open match, Adams had a steady draw, while McShane played a game where both sides had pawn weaknesses, and it was the Brazilian who harvested more pawns, helped by the fact that McShane’s chosen opening involved gambiting a pawn up front.  That Black had at times two or three multiply isolated e-pawns was not a significant drawback in the end.  Ravi Haria’s reached an ending of K + R + N + 2P versus K + R + B + 4P, slightly mitigated by 2 of the 4 pawns being doubled, and resigned when his opponent was either going to queen a pawn or win a piece.  Howell went a pawn ahead, and in the ending had K + R + B + 3P versus K + R + N + 2P, Howell’s extra pawn being an outside passed a-pawn whose queening square was the same colour as his bishop, which tends to help.  The advance of the pawn won material.  Near the end, the Brazilian player underpromoted his h-pawn knight to a knight in the hope of drawing with K + N versus K + R, but Howell demonstrated easily enough that the knight was lost and with it the game.  So, England lost the match.

Click here to play through McShane, Luke J 0-1 Fier, Alexandr on screen.

Click here to play through Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag 0-1 Howell, David W L on  screen.

 

In the Women’s match, there came convincing-looking wins on boards 2, 3 and 4, but Houska was not faring so well on board 1, with K + Q + P versus K + Q + 2P, and nothing better to hope for than endless checking on an open board, which she nevertheless managed to achieve.

Click here to play through Houska, Jovanka ½-½ Nilssen, Ellen Fredericia on screen.

 

Open:

Brazil

2½‑1½

England

2603

GM

Luis Paulo Supi (W)

½-½

Michael Adams

GM

2696

2567

GM

Alexandr Fier

1-0

Luke J McShane

GM

2649

2542

GM

Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian

0-1

David W L Howell

GM

2650

2538

GM

Andre Diamant

1-0

Ravi Haria

GM

2505

Women:

England

3½-½

Denmark

2360

IM

Jovanka Houska (W)

½-½

Ellen Fredericia Nilssen

WFM

2142

2274

WIM

Lan Yao

1-0

Esmat Susanne Guindy

WFM

2097

2158

FM

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

1-0

Ellen Kakulidis

WFM

2057

2045

WCM

Zoe Varney

1-0

Elena Steffensen

2044

 

 

The Free Day (04/08/2022) did not stop publication of pairings for the next round, which afforded some scope for puns.  England Open team was listed as meeting Brazil the following day in round 7.  England, currently in 14th place, and Brazil, currently in 25th place, were both on 9 match points out of 12, but England had 115 games points to Brazil’s 89.  The “Free Day” was likely to be a preparation day, as England needed to get back on track after a loss and a draw, and Brazils are hard nuts to crack!  England Women’s team was paired against Denmark who were a game point up on England.  Puns based on buttering up and bringing home the bacon suggest themselves.

 

The crunch top pairing was between leading team Armenia on 12 match points versus the second-place USA team on 11 match points.  That was followed by 3rd-place team India 3 versus India 1.  All three India Open teams were at this stage on 10 match points out of 12, which says a lot about the chess strength of India.

 

Round 6 (03/08/2022) saw the England Open team paired against 33rd ranked Austria, while the England Women’s team was due to face 9th-ranked Armenia.

 

Norway at this point, in a display of synchronised team chess, were ranking 34th in both the Open and Women’s events.  Reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who did not play in round 1, had scored 3½ points from 4 games, having conceded a draw in round 3 to Daniele Vocaturo of Italy.  Click here to play through the game Vocaturo Daniele ½-½ Carlsen Magnus.

 

In the Open match, the top two England players drew.  On board 3, David Howell’s opponent seemed to overlook that Howell’s 30th move threatened to win the exchange, and so the England player won the exchange and in due course won the game.  On board 4, Gawain Jones developed an attack, but in so doing allowed his opponent’s outside passed a-pawn to romp down the board and become a queen, meaning Jones had to sacrifice a bishop to remove the new queen.  Whether there was an oversight on the England player’s part or whether he thought his attack would win through is unclear.  (Had he won, it would have been hailed as a brilliancy!  Better luck next time!)  So, England Open team recovered from their previous-round loss with only a draw, consequently slipping a bit in the ranking list.

Click here to play through the game David W L Howell 1-0 Felix Blohberger.

Click here to play through the game Gawain C B Jones 0-1 Dominik Horvath.

 

In the women’s, match the two players with White lost, admittedly to stronger opponents, so that was no disgrace.  That left the two players with Black needing to with to avoid the team losing the match.  Katarzyna Toma has a bishop for 3 extra pawns, and the pawns won the day putting England 0-3 down and losing the match.  That left Akshaya Kalaiyalahan playing to avoid a whitewash.  She had K + Q + B + P versus K + Q, so England winning that remaining game was on the cards if those pesky checks from the opponent’s queen could be evaded and gradual progress made.  By move 92 it looked like the England player was forcing the opposing king away from the pawn and allowing the pawn to reach the seventh rank under the protection of its queen, yet at this point a draw was agreed, which was confusing for the casual observer, even with time running low.

 

Open:

England

2-2

Austria

2696

GM

Michael Adams (W)

½-½

Markus Ragger

GM

2647

2649

GM

Luke J McShane

½-½

Valentin Dragnev

GM

2557

2650

GM

David W L Howell

1-0

Felix Blohberger

GM

2492

2652

GM

Gawain C B Jones

0-1

Dominik Horvath

IM

2488

Women:

England

½‑3½

Armenia

2360

IM

Jovanka Houska (W) ½-½

0-1

Elina Danielian

GM

2441

2303

WGM

Katarzyna Toma

0-1

Lilit Mkrtchian

IM

2362

2274

WIM

Lan Yao

0-1

Anna M. Sargsyan

IM

2378

2158

FM

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

½-½

Mariam Mkrtchyan

WIM

2285

 

 

Round 5 (02/08/2022) saw England Open team, one of 5 teams each still on a 100% match score (see panel on left), paired against Armenia who were ranked 12th at the start.  England’s Women’s team was one of 35 teams on 6 match points out of 8, and was paired against Lithuania - ranked 42nd at the start.

 

In the Open match, Howell went a pawn down but drew the resulting opposite-coloured bishop ending where all pawns were on the same side of the board, with no scope for fiddles.  That was the first game to finish.  Meanwhile Jones was similarly a pawn down, again with all pawns on the same side of the board, both with all rooks still on the board the Armenia player had better chances of engineering a win.  McShane’s 26th move looked as though it would lose a pawn, but was perhaps designed to exploit his resulting passed c-pawn.  Yes, he lost his pawn, but no, it did not lead to significant compensation, and he too was left hoping to draw while a pawn down.  Adams meanwhile had reached a very equal middle-game position by move 30 and 3 moves later the draw was agreed.  That left England boards 2 and 4 trying to draw, without instilling 100% confidence in the amateur on-looker.  Gawain Jones did in fact draw, but Luke McShane lost.  So, England Open team had score their first lost match.

 

In the Women’s match, there were draws on top and bottom boards.  On board 3, the Lithuanian player “won” Black’s queen and a pawn for three minor pieces (2 of them bishops), and the England player showed how a greater number of pieces could outweigh the type of the pieces, especially perhaps against a weaker player, delivering mate in 40 moves (and she’d have won a rook had it not been mate!).  Click here to play through Marija Sibajeva 0-1 Lan Yao on screen.  Board 2 was last to finish, as a draw in a slightly superior England position.

 

Elsewhere, Rupert Jones, playing for his native Papua New Guinea (languishing at 183rd out of 188 teams), after losing his first three games and drawing his fourth, finally chalked up a win in a match against the Comoros, which is part of an archipelago of that name at the north end of the Mozambique Channel, between the northern tips of Mozambique and the island of Madagascar.  Papua won 4-0, their first won match in this event.  Click here to play through the game Jones Rupert 1-0 Nadjim Mohamed.

 

 

Open:

England

1½-2½

Armenia

2696

GM

Michael Adams (W)

½-½

Gabriel Sargissian

GM

2698

2649

GM

Luke J McShane

0-1

Hrant Melkumyan

GM

2634

2650

GM

David W L Howell

½-½

Samvel Ter‑Sahakyan

GM

2625

2652

GM

Gawain C B Jones

½-½

Robert Hovhannisyan

GM

2591

Women:

Lithuania

1½‑2½

England

2213

WIM

Olena Martynkova (W)

½-½

Jovanka Houska

IM

2360

2212

WIM

Salomeja Zaksaite

½-½

Katarzyna Toma

WGM

2303

2032

WFM

Marija Sibajeva

0-1

Lan Yao

WIM

2274

2010

Gabija Simkunaite

½-½

Zoe Varney

WCM

2045

 

 

Round 4 (01/08/2022) was always likely to be the point when England Open team, as 10th ranked in a 184-teams Swiss event, was likely to start hitting seriously stiff opposition.  This came in the form of 23rd-ranked Serbia.  Though England outrated Serbia on all boards, the differences were minimal.  On the other hand, England Women, having scored their first lost match in the previous round, had a relatively easier match, though from this point on the word “easy” ceases to be appropriate.

 

Contrary to the usual strategy of “win with White and draw with Black”, Adams and Howell won with Black while Jones drew with White.  Adams’s opponent’s castled king’s position on the queen’s side got too weak.  Adams notched up a few increments on the clock with two-fold repetitious checks before playing the winning moves.  Howell’s opponent seemed to simply drop a pawn for no good reason at move 10.  (Opening theory with which the writer is unacquainted, or a blunder?)  That left McShane last to have his result chalked up.  On the live games, McShane was credited with a 24-move win in a position where there had just been a series of repetitions, with McShane avoiding the three-fold occurrences which would permit a draw claim.  Evidently the live game-recording stopped functioning, as the pgn file proved it to have been a 64-move win.  (Click here to play through the full game.)

 

In the women’s match, Lan Yao benefitted from her opponent voluntarily, it seemed, giving up the exchange, while the Malaysian player on board 3 did not seem to be playing very carefully.

 

Open:

Serbia

3½‑½

England

2620

GM

Aleksandar Indjic (W)

0-1

Michael Adams

GM

2696

2616

GM

Robert Markus

0-1

Luke J McShane

GM

2649

2561

GM

Ivan Ivanisevic

0-1

David W L Howell

GM

2650

2539

GM

Milos Perunovic

½-½

Gawain C B Jones

GM

2652

Women:

Malaysia

1-3

England

2188

WIM

Siti Zulaikha Foudzi (W)

½-½

Jovanka Houska

IM

2360

2018

WIM

Puteri Munajjah Az‑Zahraa Azhar

0-1

Lan Yao

WIM

2274

2005

WCM

Jia Ru Sim

0-1

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

FM

2158

1909

WFM

Kai Ni Agnes Chong

½-½

Zoe Varney

WCM

2045

 

And, of course, the “Lionesses” (England Ladies football team) beat Germany 2-1 in the European Ladies Cup final.

 

In Round 3 (31/07/2022), the England Open team was paired against 35th-ranked Lithuania, and England Women was paired against top-ranked India 1, so the England Open team on paper could expect to win, but for the Women’s team to win would be a highly creditable “upset”.

 

Adams and Jones scored relatively uneventful draws, while Howell benefited from his opponent somewhat unbelievably sacrificing a knight for two pawns without a plausible follow-up.  That left McShane with K+R+P versus K+R but no realistic hope of a win.  Thus, England were still on 100%, but with much-reduced momentum. 

 

In the Women’s match, Jovanka Houska was the first to finish with a steady draw.  Lan Yao followed with another draw.  At this stage Katarzyna Toma was a pawn down in the ending, but with queens still on things were not easy for her opponent, and a draw looked possible.  Less promisingly, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan was two pawns down in a rook and minor piece ending, with her opponent conjuring up mate threats which proved too strong.  That left board 2, where the India player had managed to make her outside passed a-pawn assume menacing proportions, and the England player resigned, so England Women had scored their first lost match, but without disgrace, as their opponents were favourites to eventually win.

 

Open:

England

2½‑1½

Lithuania

2696

GM

Michael Adams (W)

½-½

Tomas Laurusas

GM

2561

2649

GM

Luke J McShane

½-½

Titas Stremavicius

GM

2532

2650

GM

David W L Howell

1-0

Karolis Juksta

FM

2412

2652

GM

Gawain C B Jones

½-½

Paulius Pultinevicius

GM

2539

Women:

England

1-3

India

2360

IM

Jovanka Houska (W)

½-½

Dronavalli Harika

GM

2517

2303

WGM

Katarzyna Toma

0-1

R Vaishali

IM

2442

2274

WIM

Lan Yao

½-½

Sachdev Tania

IM

2399

2158

FM

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

0-1

Bhakti Kulkarni

IM

2373

 

 

In Round 2 (30/07/2022), in the Open, 10th-ranked England was paired against 56th-ranked Singapore, and in the Women’s event, 21st-ranked England was paired against 60th-ranked Bolivia, so two more match wins were on the cards.  In the Open, England took draws with Black and won with White.  Meanwhile England Women won with White and lost with one Black, but Zoe Varney won with Black to win by the same 3-1 score-line.

 

This left the England Open team as one of 45 still on a 100% match-point score, and the Women’s team as one of 40 still on 100%.

 

There was no longer a bye in the Open, as Rwanda had defaulted in round 1 against Scotland, and were “unpaired” in round 2.  Thus, after things had settled, there were 184 Open teams and 158 Women’s teams, which gives a record total of teams in an Olympiad, doubtless brought about by curry-eating chess-players from around the world converging on the nominal place of origin of the Madras curry to sample the real thing.

 

Open:

Singapore

1-3

England

2552

IM

Jingyao Tin (W)

½-½

Michael Adams

GM

2696

2453

GM

Wei Ming Kevin Goh

0-1

David W L Howell

GM

2650

2426

IM

Jagadeesh Siddharth

½-½

Gawain C B Jones

GM

2652

2275

WGM

Qianyun Gong

0-1

Ravi Haria

GM

2505

Women:

England

3-1

Bolivia

2360

IM

Jovanka Houska

1-0

Daniela Cordero

WIM

2005

2303

WGM

Katarzyna Toma

0-1

Maria Eugenia Ramirez

WFM

2005

2158

FM

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

1-0

Jessica Molina

WFM

1889

2045

WCM

Zoe Varney

1-0

Nataly A. Monroy G.

WIM

1907

 

Round 1 (29/07/2022) saw England Open team playing Cyprus, and England Women playing Libya, with both teams expected to win, being in the initial top half of their respective draws.

 

In the Open, 185 of the entrants were evidently present, but there were apparent “no shows” from Pakistan, Côte d’Ivoire and Lesotho who were “unpaired” perhaps indicating they will not be participating at all, while Chad received a 2-0 bye which seems the equivalent of a prearranged half-point bye in a congress, suggesting the team was still en route.  Similarly, 4 of the original 162 Women’s entrants were “unpaired”: Pakistan, Côte d’Ivoire and Lesotho as in the Open, and also Madagascar although the Madagascar Open team had made it.  

 

Top teams tended not to field their top-rated players, so giving the reserves games.  Thus, Magnus Carlsen did not play for Norway, and Michael Adams did not -play for England.

 

England teams’ results were as follows.

 

Open:

England

4-0

Cyprus

2649

GM

Luke J McShane (W)

1-0

Konstantinos Michaelides

FM

2300

2650

GM

David W L Howell

1-0

Alexandros Isaakidis

2165

2652

GM

Gawain C B Jones

1-0

Ioannis Damianou

CM

2153

2505

GM

Ravi Haria

1-0

Michalis Florentiades

1974

Women:

Libya

0‑4

England

0

Souad Motaz Bashir Alrais

0-1

Jovanka Houska

IM

2360

1562

Eklas Elfelo

0-1

Katarzyna Toma

WGM

2303

0

Nayrouz Albahloul Albudwi

0-1

Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

FM

2158

1875

WFM

Khadija Elfelo

0-1

Zoe Varney

WCM

2045