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coffee mug     Coffee Break Chess
No. 8, 14th of April 1999

© 1999 by GM Alexander Baburin

Dear Chess Friends!

This is a relatively small issue, as I've been very busy preparing for the trip to India, which commences today. There I will take part in Common Wealth Championship in Bikaner (about 500 km west of Delhi). I hope that the tournament will provide more material for future issues of Coffee Break Chess. I also plan to answer questions of my readers (I already have plenty of questions!) and to come back to add a few points to the analysis of Kramnik-Timman endgame (see CBC No. 6). In this issue of CBC I'd like to show yet another game I player in Birmingham recently.

Weekly Digest & Some Links

Please note that Manfred Rosenboom has moved his site. Now it can be found at For those readers, who understand Spanish, the following site might be of interest:

Annotated Game

Some chess player never part with material, while some give it away whenever possible. I am closer to the first group, so when I sacrifice something, I get very unusual feelings. That was the case in my recent game against IM Nicholas Pert, which I would like to show you now:

Alexander Baburin (2586) - Nicholas Pert (2443) [A98]
4 NCL, 'Barbican' - 'Wood Green', Birmingham, 21.03.1999

1 d4 e6 2 c4 f5 3 g3 Nf6 4 Bg2 Be7 5 Nf3 d6 6 0-0 0-0 7 Nc3 Qe8 8 Qc2 Qh5 9 b4 Nbd7 (D)


After 9...e5? 10 dxe5 dxe5 11 Nxe5 Bxb4 12 Nd5! Bd6 13 Nd3 c6 14 Bf4! White soon won in the game T. Petrosian-Rantanen, Tallinn 1979: 14...Bxf4 15 Ne7+ Kh8 16 Nxf4 Qe8 17 Nxf5 Bxf5 18 Qxf5 Nd5 19 Ng6+ 1-0.

10 Bb2?! I don't like this move: it prevents ...e6-e5, but only for a while. Yet, on b2 the bishop might become passive.

10...c6 After 10...e5 White might play 11 dxe5 dxe5 12 Nb5.

11 c5 Played after 20-minute thought - I realised that my 10th move was not too good. I did not like the line 11 e4 fxe4 12 Nxe4 Nxe4 13 Qxe4, where after 13...Nb6 White might regret that his pawn advanced to b4 and not to b3. Variation 11 b5 e5 12 bxc6 bxc6 13 dxe5 dxe5 also looks fine for Black.

11...Nd5?! [11...d5!? 12 b5] 12 cxd6 Bxd6 13 b5! Nxc3 14 Qxc3

After 14 bxc6 Nd5 15 cxd7 Bxd7 Black is just fine.

14...cxb5 15 Ba3!

Of course, White did not play 13 b5! to cowardly take a pawn back by playing 15 Qb3 After 15...Nb6 16 Qxb5 Bd7 Black has better prospects.

15...Bxa3 16 Qxa3 (D)


I don't sacrifice material too often, but I am aware of the psychological impact a sacrifice makes on the opponent. Besides, 15 Ba3! was also the best way for White to play. White's next few moves are easy to predict: Ra1-c1-c7, while it's much harder for Black to come up with a plan. He has yet to develop his bishop, but for this he must move his knight first and then White's knight can jump to e5. No wonder my opponent thought for 26 minutes here!

16...Nf6 17 Rac1 Bd7

After calm 17...a6 White can also play calmly - 18 e3, planning 19 Ne5.

18 Ne5

After 18 Rc7?! Bc6 19 Qe7 Qf7 20 Qxf7+ Rxf7 21 Rxf7 Kxf7 22 Ne5+ Ke7 Black would be just fine.

18...Bc6 19 Nxc6

Perhaps 19 Bxc6 bxc6 20 e3 would have yielded White more.

19...bxc6 20 Bxc6 Rad8 21 Bf3

Played too cautiously - this move lets most of the advantage go. [For some reason I did not like 21 Qxa7 Qxe2 22 Rfe1 Qd2, but then I should have played 21 e3 Ng4 22 h4, where 22...g5 van be met with 23 Kg2.

21...Ng4 22 Bxg4 Qxg4 23 e3 f4 24 exf4 Rxf4 25 Qxa7 Rfxd4 26 Qb6 (D)


Somebody said that short moves with a queen are the most difficult to make, since it's such a long-range piece. Perhaps this is true, though I find such moves very often - maybe it's just laziness - why to make a long move, when you have a short one? :-) From here the queen targets two enemy pawns and keeps an eye on the d8-rook. In this position Black's defence is not easy, as he has more pawn weaknesses and his king is more exposed, which is a very important factor in positions with only major pieces on the board.


After 26...Rd2 27 Rce1! Black still has some problems, but after the best defence - 26...Qe2, which was suggested by my opponent after the game, Black's troubles would be over.

27 Rc5 Qe4

Of course, not 27...R4d5? 28 Rxb5!. Black also has serious problems after 27...Qh3 28 Re1! Rd1 29 Rce5.

28 Rxb5 R4d6 29 Qb7 Qc4

At that point lack was in a time trouble, which made things worse for him. After 29...Qxb7 30 Rxb7 Rd2 31 Rc1 the endgame is probably lost for Black even after the relatively best 31...Rd1+! 32 Rxd1 Rxd1+ 33 Kg2 Ra1. Then White can choose between 34 Ra7 and 34 Rb2, intending to bring the king to b4 and then push the a-pawn. In the latter case Black probably should fix the h2-pawn by playing 34...g5!?.

34...h5 35 h4 Kh7 36 Kf3 Kg6 37 a4] 30 Rg5 Qc3 31 Qe4 Qf6 32 Re5 Rd4 33 Qe3 Rd3 34 Qc5 Rd2 35 a4 h6 36 a5 Ra2 37 Qe3 Qf7 38 h4!?

This advance may prove useful later.

38...Rd6 39 h5 Rd5 40 Rxd5 exd5 41 Rc1!+- Qxh5 42 Rc8+ Kh7 43 Qd3+ Qg6 [or 43...g6 44 Qd4] 44 Rh8+ Kxh8 45 Qxg6 Rxa5 46 Kg2 Rc5 47 Qd6 Rb5 48 Qc6 1-0

Time: 2.05 - 2.18 Here Black cannot build any fortress.

Technical Support

I am very grateful to Igor Yagolnitser for his help with this project. For assistance regarding CBC, please contact Igor at

Alexander Baburin, Dublin.

Copyright © 1999 by GM Alexander Baburin. All rights reserved.

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