International RSSU Chess Cup

Moscow Open 2018

Russian Chess Cup 2018 Stage

January 25 – February 5

Moscow Open 2016 on Facebook






















Rounds 8-9

Final Rounds Review

Final games of the 2018 Men’s Cup of Russia tournament turned out to be quite stormy. Israeli grandmaster Tamir Nabaty, who topped the tournament race from the first competition day, lost in a thrilling and full of mistakes game to young Moscow chess player Semen Lomasov. As a result the leader was changed, and Semen Lomasov found himself half a point ahead of his opponents.  In the last round a 15-year old Muscovite didn’t let his chance vanish and became a triumphant of the 2018 Moscow Open by winning his game! Tamir Nabaty also won his game in the ninth round but he remained only second. 

Drama at Finish

Tamir Nabaty was leading in course of the whole tournament and was very close to the victory in that very game too. However, from the sports point of view important games have their own rules. A young player from Moscow turned to be a winner. Though he committed many mistakes but he let his opponent have a right for the last mistake! 

Nabaty, Tamir (Israel) – Lomasov, Semen (Russia)
Russia Cup Stage 2018

Queen-Pawn Game

1.d4 e6 2.Bf4
The severity of the battle is transferred to middlegame.

2…c5 3.e3 d5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nbd2 Nc6 6.c3 cxd4
This move is played more often 6…Bd6. Pawns' exchange in the center has been spread during last years because of further leap of knight on h5.

7.exd4 Nh5
Black is going to dislodge the white bishop  from the active position.

This variation we have already seen in Semen Lomasov' game, where he was playing white: 8.Be3 Bd6 9.Ne5 g6 10.Bb5 (Dynamical sacrifice of pawn is worth of attention 10.g4!? Ng7 11.h4 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.Nf3 Bf6 14.h5, for the first time it happened in the game G.Kamsky – H.Nakamura, Saint Louis 2017) 10...Qc7 11.0–0 0–0 12.f4 f6 13.Nd3 Ng7 14.Nf3 Na5 15.Qe2 Nc4 16.Ba4 Bd7 17.Bxd7 Qxd7 18.Rae1 with appoximately equal position, S.Lomasov – E.Alekseev (Minsk 2017).

8...f6 9.Be3 Bd6 10.g3 0–0

The game A.Giri – W.So (London 2016) was for the benefit of Black: 11.Bg2 f5 12.Ne5 f4 13.Qxh5 fxe3 14.fxe3 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Bc5 etc.
White reinforces control over е5 square by this move.

11...g6 12.0–0 Ng7 13.Re1 Bd7 14.c4
Tries to  undermine the Black center pawn.

14…a6 15.Ba4

Black had a good possibility - 15...b5!? 16.cxb5 Nb4,and he managed to keep strong position in the center due to pawn sacrifice.

16.Bb3 Ne7 17.cxd5 Nxd5
Of course it is a bad move 17...exd5? because of 18.Ne4.
This position with isolated pawn is more advantageous for White as black pawns on the sixth rank make Black's position somewhat "loose". 

18.Ne4 Bc6 19.Rc1 Rc8 20.Bd2 b6 21.h4 Be7 22.Nh2 h5

Of course White could transfer his knight in the center - 23.Nf3, continuing maneuvering game. T.Nabaty decides to provoke a sharp struggle, that leads to creation of weaknesses for both sides.

Alternative was the "solid" variation 23...Qd7 24.Ng3 Bd6!? etc.

24.Ng5 Bxg5
After 24...Qd6  it could follow 25.gxh5 gxh5 26.Nhf3.

25.Bxg5 Qd6

  Quiter continuation was 26.gxh5 Nxh5 27.Nf3, with black-square play.

26...hxg4 27.Ne5 Kh7 28.Nf7 Qd7 29.Ne5 Qd6 30.Nf7 Qb8 31.Ne5 Qa8
«Weakened» diagonal a8-h1 hipnotizes Black and he refuses from repetition of moves. Now Black queen is very far from the kingside.

GM from Israel attacks very excitedly. The quiet  32.Qd2 (with the idea to play Bh6) manages to strengthen the position without a lot of pawn sacrifices.

32...gxf3 33.h5!? Nxh5 34.Kf2 Ndf6?
A serious mistake. After 34...Bb7! 35.Rh1 Rg8! It would be not a simple thing for White to prove the correctness of these pawn sacrifices.

35.Bxf6 Nxf6

From this moment both players had a time-trouble. White makes a mistake in a step to the victory! 36.Qd2! Led to winning and Black queen could't help to his king because of hanging of c6 bishop, e.g. 36...Qb7 37.Qg5 Qg7 38.Nxc6 etc.

36...Kg7 37.Qg1 Ne4+ 38.Ke3 g5 39.Rh5 f4+

T.Nabaty misses a draw by his control move!
It is led to equal position 40.Kxf3!, e.g.40…Bb7 41.Ke2 Ng3+ 42.Kd2 Rxc1 43.Rxg5+ Kf8 (43...Kf6 44.Rg6+ Kf5 45.Qxc1) 44.Ng6+ (44.Qxc1? Qd8!) 44...Kf7 45.Ne5+ Kf8 46.Ng6+ with perpetual check.

40...Bb5+ 41.Bc4 Rxc4 42.Rxg5+ Kf6 43.Rg6+ Ke7 44.Rg7+ Kd8 45.Nxc4

Both kings are in danger but now it's a turn for Black to move and he starts his attack!

45...f2 46.Qf1 Qd5 47.b3 Qf5 48.Qg2 Bxc4+ 49.bxc4 Nc5+ 50.Kc3 Qd3+ 51.Kb4 Qd2+ 52.Rc3 Qb2+ 53.Rb3 Nd3+ 54.Ka4 Qxa2+ 0–1


After such dramatic events, the game of the ninth round probably seemed to Semen Lomasov "a pleasant walk".

Lomasov, Semen (Russia) – Samusenko, Maksim (Russia)
Russia Cup Stage 2018

Philidor Defense

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0–0 0–0 7.a4
This idea prevents Black's plan with b7-b6, e.g. 7…b6 8.a5!

7...a6 8.a5 exd4
A fine continuation was 8...h6, e.g. 9.Re1 exd4 10.Nxd4 ( 10.Qxd4 is possible 10…Ne5!, and Black pawn is "poisoned", as after 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Qxe5?? Bd6 White queen will be in trap) 10...Ne5 11.Bf1 c5 12.Nb3 Be6 13.Bf4 Rc8 14.h3 Re8 15.Bxe5 dxe5 16.Nd2 c4 17.Ra4 Bc5 18.Nxc4 Bd4 with compensation for Black for a sacrificed pawn, F.Caruana– M.Carlsen (Biel 2011).

White manages to keep top control over square d5 and e5 by capture on d4 by queen.

Immediate leap of knight on e5 is not a good move but more flexible is 9...Nc5 10.h3 Be6 (J.Smeets – D.Popovic, Al Ain 2012).

10.Nd5 Nde5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Bf4!?
White plays for quicker development. In the blitz game Caruana – M.Vachier-Lagrave (Moscow 2011) we saw 12.Bb3 Be6 13.Bf4, and now Black should play13...Bf6 14.Qb4 Retc.

This tactics of simplification is worth of attention:12...Nxc4 13.Qxc4 Be6, in case of 14.Qxc7 Qxc7 15.Nxc7 follows 15… Rac8, recapturing a pawn.

White wants to transpose to the favourable ending!

13…Qxf6 14.Bxe5! Qxe5
In the variation 14...dxe5 15.Qc5 Be6 16.Bxe6 Qxe6 17.Rfd1! (17.Qxc7 Rfc8 18.Qxb7 Rab8 19.Qd5 Qxd5 20.exd5 Rxc2) 17...Rac8 18.Rd5 f6 19.Rad1 White has a clear advantage, due to command of an open file "d".

15.Qxe5 dxe5 16.Rfd1

Advantage of White is of no doubt. Each piece is more active than that of opponent! Of particular importance is that the White rook a1 can enter the game using the third rank.

Perhaps, Black should play: 16...Be6 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Rd7 Rf7 19.Rad1 Raf8 20.Kf1 Rxd7 21.Rxd7 Rf7 22.Rd8+ Rf8 etc. 17.Ra3 Kf8 18.Rc3 f6 19.h4 Rb8 20.Kh2 Ke7 21.Bb3 c6 22.Rg3 g6 23.h5 g5 24.Rgd3

Black has a zugzwang. On 24...Be6 it was possible 25.Bxe6 Kxe6 26.Kg3 with further Kg4.
«Active» move can't change anything - Black is completely helpless.

25.Rd6 fxe4 26.Rh6 Rh8 27.Re1 Kf8 28.Rxe4 Kg7 29.Rd6 Rf8 30.Rxe5 Bf5 31.f3 Rbe8 32.Rxe8 Rxe8 33.h6+ Kh8 34.g4 Bc8 35.Bf7 Rf8

Bright position! Black is in zuzgwang – any move leads to material losses.