The Gazette - November 2010

Sponsored by Sean O'Brien
Edited by Guy Whitehouse
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

IBCA World Championship 2010

It was a great honour to play as UK representative; the organisers confuse UK and England. Colin, Chris and Graham would probably have scored higher, but, at 69, being amongst the oldest of the 121 competitors from 33 countries and 4 continents, I was really excited by this my first opportunity to sample this event. Ranked 63, I suffered a first round loss to the third seed, Gunajev. Every time I fought back to 50%, my opponent turned out to be one of the top seeds. A draw against one FIDE master only led me to a match against another FM, Zoltek from Poland. I prepared to meet the French he had played in an earlier round and was met by a Sicilian. After that loss, the pattern repeats twice, a win against weaker opposition followed by a tough match and a finish on 4.5 from 9. This left me in a group of 20 with 50 players above and 51 players below that score. A little higher in the rankings would have increased my chances of five wins in the odd-numbered rounds and a finish in the top half.

Steve Hilton, ranked 69th playing as Scottish representative and in Belgrade in his IBCA capacity, had a very similar tournament including a draw with an FM and a finish on 4.5 points, a couple of places below me on tie-break.

Meantime, the top seed International Master Yuri Meshkov of Russia established a clear lead by the end of round 4 and then maintained his position with two wins and three draws from the remaining five rounds. This included a very rapid last round draw with the second seed, fellow Russian Krylov. A hard final battle took Dukaczewski (Poland) to a tying score of 7.5 but, as everyone knew, Meshkov had the better tie-break figures. Smirnov (Russia) on 7 came third.

One side event was the demonstration of an impressive talking digital clock of which you will certainly hear more in the coming months.

Our very welcoming Serbian hosts made a good job of running the event but spoiled this a little by not always communicating details to those not fluent in Serbo-Croat. Belgrade was a pleasant, safe and friendly venue but nine days of a repetitive menu and routine makes you realise the delights of variety back home. It was a great chess experience. I only wish I had the chance when nearer the peak of my playing career.

About the following games. If you like chess sadism you might get a feel of what it's like to play against a superior opponent from this first round game starring Meshkov; if you enjoy the plucky challenger facing the female Amazon of visually impaired chess, sample the second game, also from round one. The crucial game from round five is my inevitable third selection. The opposition is much stronger but Meshkov's approach is remarkably similar to his first-round victory.

As a footnote, the preparation for Zoltek gave me a win against Carapit in a later round and against a former English Senior Champion, Oliver Jackson ELO rating 2199 in the first round of the Leek Congress. Maybe I can still improve when I'm 70.

Game 1

IM Yuri Meshkov (2398) - Novikovas (1980)

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 b3 Nc6 4 Bb2 d5 5 Bb5 a6 6 Bxc6 bxc6 7 Qe2 Nf6 8 Nc3 Be7 9 0-0 0-0 10 d3 Qc7 11 Na4 c4 12 e5 cxd3 13 cxd3 Nd7 14 Rfc1 a5 15 Bd4 Bb7 16 Nc5 Nxc5 17 Bxc5 Bxc5 18 Rxc5 Qb6 19 Qc2 Rfc8 20 a3 Qc7 21 Qc3 Ra6 22 Re1 h6 23 Nd4 Qb6 24 h4 Qd8 25 g3 Qb6 26 h5 Kh7 27 Re3 a4 28 b4 Qd8 29 Rf3 Qe8 30 Rf4 Rb6 31 Rg4 g6 32 hxg6 fxg6 33 Rf4 Rc7 34 Rf6 Re7 35 Ra5 h5 36 Qc1 Ba6 37 Qc5 1-0

Game 2

WIM Zsiltzova-Lisenko (2282) - Dimic (1905)

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bc4 e6 7 Be3 a6 8 Bb3 Be7 9 Qe2 Nxd4 10 Bxd4 b5 11 0-0-0 Bb7 12 e5 dxe5 13 Bxd5 Qc8 14 f4 0-0 15 Rhe1 Nd7 16 Qg4 Nxe5 17 fxe5 Qc5 18 Rd7 Bc6 19 Rd3 Rfd8 20 Rg3 Bf8 21 a3 a5 22 Rh3 b4 23 Ne4 Qxe5 24 Rxh7 bxa3 25 c3 axb2 26 Kxb2 Bxe4 27 Rh3 f5 28 Qg6 Rab8 29 Qh7 Kf7 30 Qh5 g6 31 Qh7 Bg7 32 Rg3 Qf6 33 h4 Rh8 34 h5 Rxh7 35 hxg6 Kg8 36 gxh7 Kxh7 37 Rh1 Kg8 38 Ka2 Qe5 39 Rg6 Rxb3 0-1

Game 3

IM Meshkov (2398) - IM Dukaczewski (2319)

1 g3 e5 2 e4 Nf6 3 Bg2 Bc5 4 Nc3 0-0 5 Nge2 Nc6 6 h3 d6 7 Na4 Bb6 8 Nxb6 axb6 9 0-0 Re8 10 c4 Bd7 11 d3 Ne7 12 Nc3 h6 13 b3 c6 14 d4 Ng6 15 d5 Qc7 16 Qd3 Rec8 17 Be3 Ra6 18 dxc6 Bxc6 19 Rfd1 Ne8 20 a4 Raa8 21 Rac1 Ne7 22 h4 Bd7 23 Kh2 Qd8 24 f3 Be6 25 Qd2 Rc6 26 Qf2 Rac8 27 Nd5 Rc5 28 Bxc5 bxc5 29 Nxe7 Qxe7 30 Qd2 Rd8 31 b4 Rc8 32 b5 Ra8 33 a5 Qd8 34 b6 Qd7 35 Ra1 Bxc4 36 Qc3 Bb5 37 Rd2 Qc6 38 f4 Nf6 39 fxe5 Ng4 40 Kh1 Nxe5 41 Rad1 Rd8 42 Qxe5 dxe5 43 Rxd8 Kh7 44 R1d6 1-0