GM Tournament Round-1

Deep Analysis by CM Junior Tay of Round 1 of the Grandmaster Tournament

In a Closed Catalan where Black equalized comfortably, both Wynn and Daniel did not risk much and the resulting draw as a fair result.

IM Wynn Zaw Htun (2484) - GM Fernandez Daniel Howard (2490) Grand Copthorne Waterfront Professor Lim Grand Copthorne Waterfront, 13.06.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Bf4 b6 10.cxd5 cxd5

  1. Rc1 Bb7 Nc3


  • Bc7 is an interesting try to extract a little 12…Qe8 13.Qb3 Ne4 14.Nc3 Nxc3 (White failed to make any headway after 14…Ndf6 15.Nb5 Bc6 16.Nxa7 Rxa7 17.Qxb6 Rb7 18.Qxc6 Qxc6 19.Rxc6 Rc8 20.Rac1 Rxb2 21.Bf4 Rxc6 22.Rxc6 Rxa2 23.Rc8+ 1/2–1/2 (23) Kazmin,A (2422)-Ingersol,H (2437) ICCF email 2020) 15.Rxc3 Rc8 16.Rac1 1/2–1/2 (53) Shankland,S (2709)-Robson,R (2681) Saint Louis 2022


12…Rc8 13.Qb3 a6 14.Rc2N b5 15.Rac1 Nh5 16.Bd2 Nb6 17.Nd1 Nc4 18.Bb4!


After some tai-chi-ing, White removes Black’s dark square bishop, leaving the latter with the slightly worse b7–prelate.


18…Nf6 19.Ne5


Seeking to unbalance the position. 19.Bxe7 Qxe7 20.Ne1 with the idea of Nd3 is a possible continuation.


19…Bxb4 20.Qxb4 Qb6! Preparing to gain queenside space with …a5.




21.Nd3 a5 22.Qe1 Bc6 23.a3 Rc7 24.Nc5 is another option.


21…a5 22.Qe1 Nxe5 23.dxe5 Nd7 24.f4


Black is a little better, structurally but nothing serious yet.


24…b4 25.b3 Rxc2 26.Rxc2 Rc8 27.Qd2 Rc5 28.Rxc5 Qxc5 29.Bf3 Kf8


Perhaps 29…Ba6 and if 30.Be2 Bxe2 31.Qxe2 Qc1 gives Black some bite.


30.Kf2 Ke7 31.Be2 f6 32.exf6+ Nxf6 33.Qd4 Kd6 34.Ke1 Bc6 35.Qe5+ Kd7 36.Qd4 Kd6 37.Qe5+ Kd7


Solid accurate play by both sides.



Jingyao avenged his loss to Adhiban in the Rapid event after the latter allowed him a queenside bind and the Singaporean university student opened another front on the kingside to even the personal score. Jingyao’s winning 31 Ne6! Is certainly a treat for the spectators on Day 1.

IM Tin Jingyao (2538) - GM Adhiban B. (2616) Grand Copthorne Waterfront Professor Li Grand Copthorne Waterfront, 13.06.2022

1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.a3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Ne4 6.Bd2!?


A rare move in the QID Petrosian system. Usually White trades on e4 and retreats Nd2 and get a spatial edge after e2–e4.


6…Nxd2 7.Qxd2 g6N 8.d5!?

Seeking to blot out the QID bishop. If White plays standard fare KID classical style, Black is pretty fine after 8.e4 Bg7 9.Be2 d6 10.0–0 Nd7


8…Bg7 9.g3 a5 10.Bg2 Na6 11.Rd1! 0–0 12.0–0 exd5?!


Giving Jingyao something concrete (the half open c-file) to bite. Dragon 3.0 pointed out that Black holds the balance after 12…Nc5 13.b4 axb4 14.axb4 Qf6!


13.cxd5 Re8 14.Nd4 h5 15.h4 d6 16.e3 Nc5 17.b4 Nd7 18.Rc1 axb4 19.axb4 Ne5?


The powerful knight has to be eliminated but White retains the edge after 19…Bxd4 20.Qxd4 Ba6



Now Jingyao clams down on the c-file thoroughly.


20…Re7 21.Rc2 Ba6 22.Rfc1 Bxb5 23.Nxb5 Rc8 24.Qe2+– Rd7


With Black tied down to defending the c7–weakie, Jingyao creates a second weakness by attacking the kingside.




I’m sure Jingyao saw 25.Bh3 but he probably has no intention of giving up light squares after 25…Ra8 (25…f5 26.e4!) 26.Bxd7 Qxd7 27.Rxc7 Qh3


25…Ng4 26.Bh3


Black has to jettison a pawn but White still keeps a lid on things


26…Qe7 27.Bxg4 hxg4 28.Kf2 Ra8 29.Qxg4 Ra4 30.Nxc7!


Not falling for 30.Rxc7?! Qe4 when things get a bit tricky.




Missing Jingyao’s next stunning move. In retrospect, 30…Rd8 has to be played.



What a shot! There is no defence to the forthcoming onslaught.


31…fxe6 32.Qxg6 Rd8 33.Rc8 Rb2+ 34.Kf1 Kh8 35.Qxe6!


Accurate to a fault. The ending is also won for White since the passed e-pawn will cost Black his bishop too.


35…Qxe6 36.dxe6 Bf6 37.Rxd8+ Bxd8 38.Rc8 Kg7 39.Rxd8 Kf6 40.f5 b5 41.Rf8+



The Knight and Bishop tandem is generally stronger than the Rook and pawn duo. However in their individual game, GM Nguyen Anh Dung mis-assessed his chances when he claimed Black’s bishop and knight pair for his rook and pawn only to have Dimakiliing accurately refuting with powerful rook and queen maneuvers.

GM Nguyen Anh Dung (2469) - IM Dimakiling Oliver (2420) Grand Copthorne Waterfront Professor Li Grand Copthorne Waterfront, 13.06.2022

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0–0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d5 7.Nf3 dxc4 8.Qxc4 b6! 9.Bg5 Ba6 10.Qa4



GM John Emms pointed out that 10…c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Rd1 Qb6! 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Rd2 Nc6! 15.Qg4+ Kh8 16.Qh4 Kg7 17.Qg4+ Kh8 18.Qh4 Kg7 19.Qg4+ is a well-known drawing line as played in Carlsen, M-Kramnik, V/Dortmund 2009.


11. Bxf6 Qxf6


John Emms: ‘shouldn’t be a problem for Black as long as he aims only for equality:’


12. g3


12.e3 Bxf1 (12…Bb7 13.Be2 c5 14.0–0 Rd8=) 13.Kxf1 c5 14.Ke2 cxd4?! (14…Rd8 15.Rhd1 Nd7=) 15.Qxd4

Qf5 16.Rhc1 Qb5+ 17.Ke1 Nc6 18.Qc4! Qxc4 19.Rxc4 Rfc8 20.Rac1 Ne7 21.Rc7 was M.Nikolov-A.Shirov, Rogaska Slatina 2011.


12…c5 13.Bg2 Bb7! 14.0–0


A flurry of activity resulting in a short draw occured after 14.Rd1 Rd8 15.dxc5 Rxd1+ 16.Qxd1 Na6 17.cxb6 Qxb2 18.bxa7 Qc3+ 19.Qd2 Qa1+ 20.Qd1 Dreev,A (2655)-Fier,A (2653) Barcelona 2009


14…Bc6 15.Qc4 Bd5 16.Qa4

In this position, a draw was agreed in Bogner,S (2527)-Vocaturo,D (2576) Ortisei 2016.


16…Rd8 17.Rfd1 Nc6 18.dxc5 Qxb2 19.Rab1?

All of a sudden, White is lost after allowing Black to snag the e-pawn.


White can maintain the balance after 19.Re1! and White is okay. 19…b5 20.Qa6 Rab8 21.Rab1 and a likely draw will occur after 21…Qc2 22.Rbc1 Qb2 23.Rb1 and so on.




White claims the two pieces for the rook here but Black’s initiative is way too strong.


20.Rxd5 Rxd5 21.Qxc6 Rad8


The threat of … Rd1+ forces White to cough up another pawn.


22.h4 Rxc5 23.Qb7 Qa2


…and yet another one.


24. Re1 Qxa3 25.Kh2?

  • Bf1 offers more resistance


25…Rc2 26.Rd1??


If anything, at least the players get an early shower after this.


26…Rxd1 27.Qa8+ Qf8



Qianyun over-finessed in a position she knew pretty well – she had remarked before that the resulting position offers no more than a draw) but her new idea (trading light square bishops) resulted in Siddharth getting an easy press on her IQP. She took more and more risks to confuse the issue but Siddharth’s staunch defending netted him the point.

WGM Gong Qianyun (2293) - IM Siddharth Jagadeesh (2401) Grand Copthorne Waterfront Professor Li Grand Copthorne Waterfront, 13.06.2022

1.e4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nxd5 6.Bc4 Nb6 7.Bb3 Nc6 8.Nf3 g6 9.d4 Bg7 10.d5 Na5 11.0–0 0–0 12.Re1 Re8

We have reached a Dubov Tarrasch reversed with White having an extra tempo.




An unfortunate attempt to improvise on the Dubov setup…as Black is very happy to trade bishops and start piling on the IQP. White doesn’t get the a-file pressure after …Nxb3 nor the better development of pieces.


White should use the tempo to play either 13.h3 Nxb3 14.axb3 e6 (14…Bxc3 15.bxc3 Qxd5 and both 16.Nd4 give White a strong initiative after c3–c4 and using the bishop on h6 or c3. (or 16.Bd2) ) 15.d6 Sunilduth Lyna,N (2618)-Cheparinov,I (2686) INT 2020 or 13.Bg5


13…Bd7 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.Ne5 Qf5 16.f4?



The Komodo Dragon 3 engine recommends 16.g4 Qf6 17.Re4 but this is really not quite easy for humans to try.




White is just suffering now as Black just have to remove the Ne5 with …f6 and the d-pawn is doomed. Instead, 16…Nac4 17.Qe2 Nxe5 18.fxe5 Red8 and the sustained pressure on White’s centre is hard to meet.



Qianyun overextends in an attempt to drive off the queen from the excellent f5–square but the price to pay is too huge.




White’s position is too porous to save now.


18. Be3 Nac4 19.Bf2


  • Bxb6 Nxb6 won’t make a difference as Black just have to play …Qc5 and pick off the d-pawn.


19…Nxb2 20.Qf3 f6! 21.Nxg6

Relinquishing the g-pawn after retreating the knight is losing anyway.


21…hxg6 22.Rac1 Qd7


A piece to the good, Siddharth reels in the point with careful play.


23.f5 g5 24.Bxb6 axb6 25.Re4 Rc8 26.Qf1 b5 27.Rb4 Nc4 28.Rxb5 Ne5 29.h3 Rc4 30.d6 Qxd6 31.Rxe5 Qd4+



A topsy turvy skirmish between Irine and James where both sides matched tactical blows ended up in the latter’s favor but perhaps Irine could have continued play.

IM Morris James (2458) - IM Sukandar Irine Kharisma (2395) Grand Copthorne Waterfront Professor Li Grand Copthorne Waterfront, 13.06.2022

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.a4 Rb8 9.axb5 axb5 10.Nc3 d6

11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Nb4 13.Bb3 c5 14.d3 Qc7 15.Bd2 Nc6 16.Bd5 Be6 17.c3 Bxd5 18.exd5 Nd8

19.d4 f6!

Rock solid defense by Irene, making it hard for White to make progress.


20.Qb3 Nf7 21.Ra6! Rfc8 22.dxe5?!


A double-edged move as this pawn trade weakens the d-pawn.


22…dxe5 23.Be3 Bd6 24.Qc2?


Taking his eye off the d5–pawn which Irene gladly claimed.


24…Qb7! 25.Rea1 Qxd5 26.Qf5

The Australian IM plans Nd2–e4 and it is starting to look scary on the kingside.




Vacating the d6–square for the knight and in the process, expelling the Qf5 from darstardly intentions.




27.Nd2 is now met by 27…Nd6 28.Qh3 f5 and Black has the pawn and the attack.


27…Ra8 28.h5 Rxa6 29.Rxa6 Qb7


Trying to evict the rook from the 6th rank but Morris plonks it on another 6th rank square as he wants to soften up the f-pawn with h5–h6.


30.Re6 Rd8 31.h6!


It’s getting tricky for Black now but Irene manages to find counterplay. 31…Rd1+ 32.Kh2 Nd6 33.Qh3 Nc4 34.hxg7 Qxg7 35.Nh4 Nxe3 36.fxe3 e4! Setting up a trap…which Morris walks right into…


37.Rxe4? Bd6+–+


White should be losing after this but watch on…



38…Bxg3+! 39.Kg2


Not 39.Qxg3? Rh1+! 40.Kg2 Rg1+! 41.Kxg1 Qxg3+ and Black should win.



39…Bxh4+–+ and all is fine. 40.Kf3 Qg3+! 41.Qxg3+ Bxg3 42.Kxg3 Rb1 and Black should win.


40.Kf1!+– Bxh4 41.Re8+

Perhaps a premature resignation? Black seems be able to fight on. 41.Qc8++– Qf8 42.Re8 Qxe8 43.Qxe8+ Kg7 44.Qxb5 is winning.

Black can fight on after 41…Kf7 42.Qe6+ Kg6 43.Rg8 Qxg8 44.Qxg8+ Kf5 45.Qxh7+ Kg4