2024 Canadian Closed

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  • Great photos by John Upper. I wish he would post some of them here. Print worthy. Real artists touch this time.

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    • Nicholas Vettese put his whole heart into this tournament. At one point he was on track for a GM norm (I believe after round 7 he was 5.5 out of 7 against one GM, one GM elect, and four IM's)
      He scored 3.5 out of 4 against those IM's and beat one GM. Then he crashed and burned losing his last three games. Still an incredible performance.

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      • Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post

        Ive never seen a grandmaster play that badly, correspondingly you played well. He was paralysed at the end. Congratulations. You now join the club of those who have beaten grandmasters. I never have, at least at classical time controls.
        You've never seen a grandmaster play that badly. Inorite! You never say a bad word about anybody Hans, so that's saying something! Like I said, it clearly wasn't his finest hour. What is truly shocking to me was that it was a money round. 6 hundo on the line for the winner, 250 each if we had drawn, and nada for the loser. So it wasn't a good time for him to start messing around.

        I'm really surprised you've never beaten a GM at classical time controls in your long and storied career, wow! It was only the 2nd time I've played one at classical time controls, and I would never have imagined winning in such a way.

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        • Hugh, I had to look up inorite, obviously I'm very behind the times. LoL. Its nice to know a GM can have a total schmuck day, I can hope it will still happen to me. I do have a long list of well known international master scalps, many who later went on to be GM's but thats not the same thing. Hope your substantial prize cheque is the start of many more. And if I were you I would frame that scoresheet on your study wall and compose a problem of the finish or actually any position of the game.

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          • Hugh, I thought you were going to post your other great game?

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            • Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
              Hugh, I thought you were going to post your other great game?
              Thanks for reminding me, Hans. Here's the game with some light annotations. It may be best to copy-and-paste it into a chess interface to see the comments more clearly.

              [Event "Canadian Zonal Festival Premier section"]
              [Site "Hart House"]
              [Date "2024.03.31"]
              [Round "5"]
              [White "Hugh Siddeley"]
              [Black "Tony Bohan Bao"]
              [Result "1-0"]
              [TimeControl "90' + 30" + 30' added at move 40"]
              [ECO "B99"]

              1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3
              Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 h6 {My opponent and I reached this position in round 3
              of the Annex Chess Club Championship almost 4 weeks prior, on March 4th. I went
              on to lose this game, under not the most ideal of playing conditions which I
              shall refrain from commenting on. So, I was looking for redemption and highly
              motivated in the rematch.} 11. h4 $5 {Perhaps a novelty, I haven't checked, but
              in my preparation for this game I was intrigued by this h4 idea from the game
              Vasiukov - Ven Wely, Aeroflot Open, Moscow (1), 2002 that went 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3
              d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Bg5 e6 9. O-O-O
              Be7 10. Rhe1 O-O 11. Kb1 Qa5 12. Qd2 Qa6 13. Nd4 Rfc8 14. f4 h6 15. h4. Now,
              this position is vastly different from the current game as the Black king has
              already castled kingside, but the idea still intrigued me. As Kasparov told me,
              there are still goldmines to be found in the vast jungle that is the Najdorf,
              the Cadillac of all chess openings. Vasiukov went on to win his game in
              fantastic style after Van-Wely eventually captured the bishop on g5 a few moves
              later. If I recall correctly Vasiukov won the Brilliancy Prize in the tournament
              for this game. I plugged 11. h4 into Stockfish and after initially not even
              considering the move, it started to convince itself the move did indeed have a
              lot of merit for an unprepared opponent.} ({The aforementioned game between Tony
              and I continued} 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. h4 Nb6 13. g5 Bxd4 14. Rxd4 Qc5 15. Rd2 Bd7
              {where he was playing quickly and confidently. So it was clear he was familiar
              with this position.}) 11... hxg5 {After a long think, my opponent decides to
              take up the challenge $1 Will he be able to navigate the position against an
              extremely prepared opponent $2} 12. hxg5 Rxh1 13. Qxh1 Nxg4 14. Qh5 $1 {Threatening
              to recapture the knight on g4 and play Nxe6.} 14... Ndf6 $1 {The best way to give
              back the piece. 14...Ne3 15. Nxe6 would have been very unpleasant for Black.}
              15. gxf6 Nxf6 16. Qh8+ Bf8 17. Bb5+ $5 {Offering to sacrifice the other bishop
              now $1 I was still in my preparation and had blitzed out every move to this point
              to reach 1hr:38m on my clock.} 17... Bd7 $5 {Black declines to capture the 2nd
              bishop on offer and avoid the murky lines after:} (17... axb5 18. Ndxb5 Qc5 19.
              Nxd6+ Ke7 20. e5 {which are actually defensible for an engine, but can a human
              do it $2}) 18. Bxd7+ Nxd7 $2 {The first move I had not encountered in my preparation
              so I knew it had to be inferior. It seems absolutely logical to keep the Black
              queen on the semi-open c-file and retreat the knight to give added protection to
              the bishop on f8, but the silicone beast shows that ..Qxd7 is the correct way to
              recapture. Now I had to work out why ..Nxd7 was dubious.} 19. f5 $1 {The move has
              a four-fold purpose. 1. to carry on with the initiative and attack Black's
              central pawn phalanx. 2. to provoke ..e5 to i) take away this central square
              from Black's knight, to ii) to make Black's dark squared bishop even worse
              putting another pawn on a dark square, and to iii) create a beautiful outpost
              for a White steed on d5.} 19... e5 $6 20. Nd5 $1 Qc4 21. b3 Qc5 22. Ne2 $2 {After
              provoking ..e5 I had transitioned my thoughts to approaching the position
              strategically rather than tactically. I thought 22. Ne6 would be pushing my
              luck, there's no way I could offer a 3rd sacrifice (and the 3rd passive
              sacrifice) could I $2 I thought about it for a while and decided on the text move.
              But in fact the engine shows 22. Ne6 $1 is indeed the best way to go. Amazing $1}
              22... O-O-O 23. Rd3 Kb8 24. Qg8 {Going after Black's soft underbelly.} 24... Nf6
              25. Nxf6 gxf6 26. Qxf7 {Restoring material equilibrium and now playing to to
              augment the good knight vs bad bishop.} 26... Rc8 {Threatening mate on c2, how
              cheeky $1} 27. Rc3 {Now the idea of playing Rd3 emerges: to diffuse any threats
              down the c-file.} 27... Qa3+ 28. Kb1 Rxc3 29. Nxc3 Bh6 {Threatening mate on c1,
              how cheeky $1} 30. Qg8+ {Not so fast $1} 30... Ka7 31. Qg1+ $1 {Covering the back rank
              with tempo, now White's queen and knight should outduel Black's queen and
              bishop.} 31... Qc5 $2 {Black offers to go into an endgame, and a dismal one at
              that.} 32. Qxc5+ dxc5 33. Nd5 {A dominant knight arrives on the recently created
              central outpost.} 33... Bg5 34. a4 b5 $6 35. c4 $1 {Locking the pawn structure on
              the queenside and the pawn on c5.} 35... bxa4 36. bxa4 a5 $6 {Placing the final
              pawn on a dark square, perhaps in the hopes of being able to give it protection
              from the long-range powers of the bishop, but there are simply too many weak
              pawns to defend.} 37. Kc2 {The plan is clear: march the king to the kingside,
              decoying the Black king to that side of the board, then let the knight run
              rampant on the green pastures of the vacated queenside.} 37... Kb7 38. Kd3 Kc6
              39. Ke2 Kd7 40. Kf3 Ke8 41. Kg4 Kf7 42. Nc7 Kg8 43. Kh5 Kf7 44. Ne6 Be3 45. Nd8+
              Ke7 46. Nb7 Kd7 47. Nxa5 Kc7 48. Kg6 Bg5 49. Kf7 Kb6 50. Nb3 Kc6 51. Ke6 {The
              White king triumphantly invades Black's position.} 51... Bh4 52. a5 1-0

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              • Thanks for posting the game Hugh. I loved the start of the knight vs bishop endgame with all whites pieces on white squares and all blacks pieces on dark squares and the finish.

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                • Also the third sacrifice idea - very interesting!

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                  • https://en.chessbase.com/post/svitla...ian-zonal-2024

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                    • Hugh Siddeley vs Tony Bohan Bao the third sacrifice (after 22.Ne6!) a sacrifice to dream about

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