Chess - The Scotsman 16/04/2012

Monday’s puzzle...

How does Black win?

IN THE Soviet era, the legendary USSR club championship was one of the highlights of the chess year, where even world champions and contenders for the crown were morally obliged to compete for their respective clubs. This alone made the competition one of the most demanding and strongest team events outside of the biennial Chess Olympiad.

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After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia remained the world’s leading chess nation, and that tradition continued with its successor, the Russian Team Championship, the 19th edition of which ends today in Sochi. While the state support that once bankrolled the game is long gone, it has easily been replaced now by western-styled financial backing from the likes of individual oligarchs, private banks and utility companies, many of whom are sponsors of the teams.

The cash support means the competition is still immensely strong. The favourites to take the title this year looks to be the Saratov squad of Economist-SGSEU, who beat the Moscow top seeds ShSM-64, 3.5-2.5, in an extremely close match-up between the top two teams in round four.

Victory for Economist-SGSEU hinged on today’s game from the bottom board, as the Russian former World Junior Champion, Dmitry Adreikin found a wonderful winning tactic with 26...dxe5! Taking the other rook was no better: 28 Bxa4 Qe3+ 29 Kg2 (29 Kh1 Qf3+ 30 Kg1 Re2) 29 ..f3+.

V Potkin - D Andreikin

Russian Team Ch., (4)

Queen’s Indian Defence,

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Bb7 5 Bg2 c5 6 d5 exd5 7 Nh4 g6 8 Nc3 Bg7 9 Bg5 0–0 10 Qd2 Na6 11 Nxd5 Bxd5 12 Bxd5 Rb8 13 0–0 Nc7 14 Bg2 Ne6 15 Bh6 Bxh6 16 Qxh6 b5 17 cxb5 Rxb5 18 b3 a5 19 Rfd1 Rb4 20 Nf3 Qe7 21 Ng5 a4 22 bxa4 Rxa4 23 e4 d6 24 f4 Nxg5 25 Qxg5 Re8 26 e5 dxe5! 27 Bc6 exf4 28 Bxe8 Qe3+ 29 Kh1 Qf3+ 30 Kg1 fxg3 31 Bxf7+ Kg7 32 Rf1 gxh2+ 33 Kxh2 Ng4+ 34 Kg1 Qg3+ 0–1