Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Sevillano Special

Pinoy international master Enrico Sevillano, who now lives in sunny California, USA, recently won the 2006 SCCF State Championships held in LA scoring 5.5 points. Sevillano hails from Cebu, where yours truly also spent his childhood.

Prior to that SCCF event, Sevillano participated in the World Open where he collected 6 points. Australian junior Moulthun Ly, by the way, also scored 6 points in that event thereby securing an IM norm.

Our friend in Manila Raul J. Sol Cruz is apparently a fan of Sevillano and so here he is again annotating one of the IM's games at the World Open.

Annotations by Raul J. Sol Cruz
34th World Open
Philadelphia, USA
July 2006

1.e4 Fine in The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings, “Open with either the e-pawn or the d-pawn.” 1... c6 This is known in opening theories as the Caro-Kann Defence in honor of the analytical efforts of Horatio Caro of Berlin and Marcus Kann of Vienna who adopted the opening towards the end of the 19th century.

De Firmian in Modern Chess Openings, “The positive attributes of the Caro-Kann are that Black succeeds in developing all his pieces without weaknesses or making other positional concessions.”

2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Jose Raul Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The beginner would do well to remember this, bring out knights before bringing out bishops.”

White’s sharpest option is the Panov-Botvinnik Attack; 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4, made famous by Mikhail Botvinnik, the 6th World Champion. 3... dxe4 Nimzovich in My System, "A center pawn should always be taken if this can be done without too great danger.”

In the 2004 World Open, Sevillano faced the 3... g6 of Dougherty that led to a 2nd round KO; 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.h3 Nf6 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Bf5 9.Bxf5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Qxf5 11.O-O O-O 12.Qb3 b5 13.Re1 Bf6 14.Ne5 Qc8 15.Bh6 Bg7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.d5 a6 18.dxc6 Ra7 19.a4 bxa4 20.Qxa4 Rd8 21.Qc4 Qf5 22.c7 1-0

4.Nxe4 A World Champion’s move! This continuation was seen in three (3) World Championships; Tal-Botvinnik in 1960, Spassky-Petrosian in 1966 and Kasparov-Karpov in 1987. 4... Nf6 Mason in The Art of Chess, “Instead of suffering his Queen bishop to be chased about as in the Classical Variation, Black attacks the centrally posted knight with his own knight.”

A solid alternative is 4. .. Bf5 which is known in opening theories as the Classical Variation. Enrico has a sad experience vs Kujovic as Black in Minneapolis 2005; 4... Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Ngf6 11.Bd2 e6 12.Qe2 c5 13.O-O-O Qb6 14.Be3 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Bc5 16.Ne4 Bxd4 17.Rxd4 O-O 18.g4 Nxe4 19.Rxe4 Nf6 20.Rd4 Rfd8 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Rg1 Qb4 23.g5 Qf4+ 24.Qe3 Nd5 25.Qxf4 Nxf4 26.Re1 hxg5 27.Nxg5 Nxh5 28.c4 Nf4 29.Kc2 f6 30.Ne4 Kf7 31.Re3 f5 32.Nd2 g5 33.b4 g4 34.c5 Nh3 35.Re2 Rd4 36.b5 Rb4 37.Nb3 Rxb5 38.Kc3 Nf4 39.Re1 Nd5+ 40.Kd4 Kf6 41.Rh1 Rb4+ 42.Kd3 Rf4 43.Rh6+ Ke5 44.Rh7 Rxf2 45.Rxb7 Rxa2 46.c6 Ra6 0-1

5.Nxf6 Another World Champion’s move! It was played by Alexander Khalifman, who won the title in Las Vegas in 1999 where our compatriot Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr. was one of the select 128 competitors, vs Seirawan in Wijk aan Zee 1991.

Did you know that GM Joey’s second was Bobby Ang of BW’s Chess Piece?

5... exf6 The Tartakower Variation, named after Savielly Tartakower who popularized the line, though it was first played by Caro as Black vs Pillsbury in Vienna 1898; 5... exf6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.g4 Bg6 10.Nh4 Nd7 11.Nf5 Bxf5 12.Bxf5 g6 13.Qe2+ Qe7 14.Bxd7+ Kxd7 15.Be3 Rae8 16.d5 c5 17.Qb5+ Kc8 18.O-O-O Qc7 19.Rd3 Re4 20.Rc3 a6 21.Qd3 Rhe8 22.Bxc5 Kd7 23.Be3 Qa5 24.a3 b5 25.Rc6 Bf4 26.Kb1 Bxe3 27.fxe3 Rxe3 28.Qd4 Re1+ 29.Ka2 Rxh1 30.Qa7+ 1-0

Kasparov and Keene in Batsford Chess Openings, “For the more peacefully inclined, 5... exf6 offers chances of a solid equality.”

De Firmian in Modern Chess Openings, “Black’s doubled f-pawn provides him extra protection on the King’s wing but the Queen-side majority allows White a small edge.”

This position was also seen in the following games of Rogelio Antonio Jr as Black vs:
a) Hort of Germany in the 1990 Olympiad; 5... exf6 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.Qc2 h6 9.Ne2 Qc7 10.Be3 Nd7 11.h3 Nb6 12.c4 c5 13.O-O Re8 14.b3 Nd7 15.Rad1 Nf8 16.Nc3 Bd7 17.Nd5 Qc8 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.Bxc5 Qxc5 20.b4 Qc8 21.c5 Re5 22.Be4 f5 23.Bf3 Ng6 24.Qc3 Kh8 25.Nf4 Re7 26.Nxg6+ fxg6 27.Rde1 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Bxe8 29.Qe5 Kh7 30.Qe7 Rb8 31.Rd1 a5 32.a3 axb4 33.axb4 Bb5 34.Bd5 Ra8 35.Bf7 Be8 36.Be6 Qb8 37.Kh1 Bc6 38.Bf7 Be8 39.Bd5 Bc6 40.Bf7 Be8 41.Bxe8 Qxe8 42.Qxe8 Rxe8 43.Rd6 Re7 1-0

b) Ye of China in the 1990 Zonal; 5... exf6 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.Ne2 Qc7 9.Qc2 h6 10.Be3 Be6 11.h3 Nd7 12.O-O c5 13.Rad1 Nb6 14.dxc5 Bxc5 15.Bf4 Qc8 16.Be4 f5 17.Bf3 g5 18.Be5 Nd7 19.Bd4 Bd6 20.Ng3 Ne5 21.Bd5 Nc6 22.Bxc6 Bxg3 23.Bxb7 Bxf2+ 24.Rxf2 Qxb7 25.Re1 Rfe8 26.Rfe2 Qd7 27.b3 a6 28.Bf6 Qc6 29.c4 Qc5+ 30.Kh1 Bd7 31.Bb2 f6 32.Qc3 Qd6 33.c5 Qc6 34.Re7 Rxe7 35.Rxe7 Re8 36.Qc4+ Be6 37.Rxe8+ Qxe8 38.Qxa6 Kf7 39.c6 Bc8 40.Qa7+ Kg6 41.Qc5 Qe2 42.Qd5 Qe1+ 43.Kh2 Qe6 44.Qd8 h5 45.h4 g4 46.b4 1/2-1/2

6.Bc4 Bd6 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Bishops should be developed to active diagonals during opening play.” 7.Qh5 A “walang ka-kupas-kupas” move is 7.Qe2+ played in Bogoljubov-Alekhine in 1942, Matulovic-Smyslov in 1970 and Gurevich-Dlugy in 1993.

7... O-O Fine in The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings, “Castle as soon as possible, preferably on the King’s side.” 8.Be3 Nd7 9.Nf3 Qc7 HIARCS suggests 9... Nb6 10.Bd3 g6 11.Qh6 Na4 12.Rb1 Qa5+ 13.Bd2 Re8+ 14.Kf1 Qc7 15.b3 Nb6 16.c4” with a slight advantage for White.

SHREDDER points to 9... f5 10.O-O Nf6.

10.O-O c5 11. Rad1 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “In the opening, rooks may have no open files, yet they will usually stand better on the central files since there is the potential of pawn exchanges which open a file.” 11... b6 12.Rd2 Bb7 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Placed on the long diagonal, the bishop is posted for its maximum potential control of the central squares as well as eyeing the opposite wing of the enemy’s camp.”

13.Rfd1 Rad8? Suicide since White’s rooks are already set like the Twin Towers!

HIARCS recommends 13... Bxf3 14.gxf3 cxd4 15.Rxd4 Ne5 16.Bd5 Rad8 17.f4 Ng6 18.Rc4 Qb8” with equality. 14.dxc5 Nimzovich in My System, “We exchange in order to seize or open a file or diagonal without loss of time.”

14... Bxc5 SHREDDER gives 14... Nxc5 15.Bxc5 bxc5 16.Bd5 Bxd5. 15.Bxc5 Lasker in Manual of Chess, "Search for the combination which brings home your advantage.”

15... g6? HIARCS suggests either 15... Bxf3 or 15... bxc5. 16.Bd6 Qxc4 17.Qh4 Soltis in Turning Advantage Into Victory in Chess, “A Queen trade not only ends the prospect of middle game shocks such as enemy counter-attacks, it considerably increases the ways of converting an edge in the endgame.”

17... Qxh4 HIARCS recommends 17... Ne5 18.Qxf6 Nxf3+ 19.gxf3 Qc6 20.Kg2 Rfe8 21.c4 Bc8” with just a slight advantage for White. 18.Nxh4 Rfe8 19.Bc7 Rc8 20.Rxd7+- Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Rooks are very dangerous when they reach the 7th rank.”

20... Bc6 21.Nf3! Lasker in Manual of Chess, “It is a good policy to assign the defense to a threat to an inactive piece.” 21... Bxd7 22.Rxd7 Re2 23.h4 This move is called a “pasingaw” in the Philippines.

23... Rxc2 24.Bd8 Emanuel Lasker in Manual of Chess, “The target for the attack has to be a weakness in the hostile position.” 24... Rxb2 25.Bxf6 Rxa2 26.Ne5 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The student should note in all these middle game positions that once the opportunity is offered, all the pieces are thrown into action en masse when necessary; and that all the pieces coordinate their action with machine-like precision.”

26... Rf8? Black is already singing Neil Young’s Helpless without the harmonica.

27.Ng4! h5 28.Nh6+ Kh7 29.Nxf7 Rb8 SHREDDER proposes 29... Rxf7 to get a chance for a “suntok sa buwan” counter-play. 30.Ng5+ 1-0

Kamsky scored 7 points in 9 games, and won on tie-breaks over 8 other GMs; Milov, Ibragimov, Ehlvest, Yudasin, Ivanov, Kacheishvili, Wojtkiewicz and Benjamin. IM Sevillano scored 6 points and tied for 20th to 40th with GMs Fresinet, Stripunsky, Akobian, Vescovi, Sadvakasov, Perelshteyn, Gangunashvili, Fishbein, Sharavdorj and Brown. After the tie-breaks, he placed 30th in a field of 46 GMs! He should be in the RP Team!


Anonymous said...

Another great read. [clap]

Anonymous said...

IM's Enrico Sevillano and Rogelio Barcenilla were two other Filipino GM strength prospects who languished without much support from Campo and Abundo during their FIDE rule.

rjsolcruz said...

GM Amiel, The title is perfect and flattering! Thanks again!

And to Mr. Anonymous who enjoyed reading this, I would like to say say what Neil Young said in The Last Waltz, "It's been one of the few pleasures of my life to be on this stage with you people tonight." Or something to that effect. Tnx.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect for the author's efforts and enthusiasm, I didn't actually find the annotations to be very good - mainly because the annotations lacked chess insight.

I found that the annotations were a combination of PC assisted analysis and quotes from (old) chess texts. There are deficiencies in both types of annotations: the former can be achieved by anyone who has access to a strong chess program such as Fritz, Shredder, Hiarcs or Rykba. Merely, conveying this analysis does not enlighten the reader to how the computer's (or a master's) assessment of a position may have been reached.

The latter form of annotations I found to be glib, unoriginal (like the former) and out-of-date. There is nothing wrong, per se, with reading the opinions of old masters, such as Lasker, Fine and Nimzovitch on the merits of certain moves or positions. But how about citing the opinions of more recent commentators, such as John Watson or John Nunn? I think you will find that, for example, certain openings which may have been considered anti-positional in the past (e.g. the Sveshnikov Sicilian, the Advance Caro-Kann) are now considered to be quite reasonable within the modern chess understanding.

I think if you want to appreciate annotations with deep insight into the strategic and tactical ideas behind chess moves and positions, one should look at the annotations made by the following commentators (which represent a small sample of good chess annotators out on the internet): John Nunn, Alex Baburin, Sergey Shipov and, particularly, Mihail Marin.