27th Carlos Torre Mem Merida 2015.12.21 gm Gonzalez Vidal, Yuri–gm Quesada Perez, Yuniesky. Position after White’s 34th move (34.Qf1), defending against the mate threat on c1. HOWEVER, the exposed White King’s position is like a leaky boat: you can tap one hole, but not all of them!
BLACK TO PLAY AND CRUSH!
27th Carlos Torre Mem Merida 2015.12.18 gm Tiviakov, Sergei–im (2410) Alarcon Casellas, Rolando. Position after 18 moves. Black’s last move, 18…Be8, tries to chase away White’s annoying Knight on h5. At first sight Black seems to be ok: if 19.Ng3 Bg6! or 19.Rh3 BxN!
WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!
27th Carlos Torre Mem Merida 2015.12.18 gm Bruzon Batista, Lazaro–im (2430) Gongora Reyes, Maikel Liber. Position after 25 moves. An interesting manoevring game up to now. Despite Black’s position being solid and his Knights well entrenched, Bruzon has managed to accumulate a number of small advantages besides the Bishop pair.
In particular, his Knight on d4 is untouchable (should Black exchange it than White has the pleasant choice of taking advantageously with either the Rook or the Pawn), while the Bishop on g5 prevents Black’s Rooks from coming to the d-file. Add to this the White pawn on e5 ‘kills’ the Black Bishop.
The situation is ripe for an attack…
In the absence of counterplay, and not being able to exchange pieces effectively, Black is curiously helpless to prevent the flood gates being forced opn…
26… hxg4 27. Qxg4
Useless would now be 27… Nh6 28. Bxh6 Bxh6 29. h5! with a growing initiative.
Black wants to reorganize his defence by trying to bring his Rook to the h-file. White does not let him…
28.NxN! exf5 29.Bxf5!
A powerful blow. Black now has the unpleasant choice between refusing the Bishop and trying to put up some sort of resistance (a pawn down, granted) or accepting the gift and hoping that the attack does not work. Black chooses the latter…
29… gxf5 30. Qh5+! Kg8
White prepares for his Rooks to shift to the g-file. The next moves are easy to understand
31… Ne6 32. Rg1 Qe4 33. Rd4 Qe3!?
A desperate gasp, but there is nothing more dignified at Black’s disposal. He now hopes that White will rush things with 34.Qh6?? QxR+!
There is nothing to do about Qh6 (34…Kf8 35.RxB! etc) A very nice execution by Bruzon.
4th Al Ain Chess Classic Al-Ain UAE 2015.12.24 gm Shirov, Alexei–gm Gopal, G.N. Position after 36 moves. White has a beautiful position, completely dominating the board! In the game continuation White improved his position with the manoeuvre 37.Bb7 and 38.Bc8, when Black could find nothing better than giving up his Queen for Rook and Bishop, resisting until the 57th move before throwing in the towel.
HOWEVER, in the position above White has a more direct and much stronger way to continue. Do you see it?
WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!
27th Carlos Torre Mem Merida 2015.12.21 Gonzalez Vidal, Yuri–Quesada Perez, Yuniesky: 34…Rc2! 0-1 It is forced mate.
27th Carlos Torre Mem Merida 2015.12.18 Tiviakov, Sergei–Alarcon Casellas, Rolando: 19.Nxg7! Completely destroying the Black King position.19…Kxg7 20.Rh3! Qxh3 Desperate. Resignation is a good alterntivie. No better is 20…Qe7 21.Bxh6+ Kg8 22.Qg4+ etc 21.gxh3 Bg6 22.Qg4 Rd7 23.Bxg6 Nxg6 24.Qxe6 and White had little difficulty winning.
4th Al Ain Chess Classic Al-Ain UAE 2015.12.24 Shirov, Alexei–Gopal, G.N.: 37.Bxf7+! Rxf7 (37…Nxf7 38.Rxd7! Qxd7 39.Nf6+) 38.Rxf7 Nxf7 ( 38…Kxf7 39.Qxe5 ) 39.Rxd7! Rxd6! 40.Qxd6! ETC.