Sunday, 26 June 2016

Win against GM Ljubičić, Ing. Leonardo

20 Years Harmonia - Shabla: Win against GM Ljubičić, Ing. Leonardo, the current World Champion

GM Ljubicic, Ing. Leonardo of Croatia is the winner of the World Championship 28 Final. He has spoken in detail about his win in a series of interviews with Chessbase: and Herein he says "I think we are indeed getting closer to the point when chess is solved (at least in today’s top correspondence chess)" only to lose this game!

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Be2 a6 11.Ng5 Qc7 12.e4 Bxh2+ 13.Kh1 b4 Novelty? The ICCF database has only 13...c5, but I found b4 in some engine books.
14.e5 bxc3 15.exf6 Nxf6 16.g3 cxb2 17.Qxb2 Bxg3 18.fxg3 Qxg3

Black has four pawns for the piece, but the queen is exposed and the White pieces are pointed at the Black king. Of course, the White King is also exposed. 19.Rf3 Qh4+ 20.Kg2 e5 21.dxe5 Nh5 22.Qc2 Qg4+ 23.Kf1 g6 24.Qc4 Ng3+ 25.Kf2 Nxe2 26.Ne4 Qg1+ 27.Kxe2 Qh2+ 28.Ke3 Qh6+ 29.Kd4 Qh2 30.Kc3 Qxe5+ 31.Qd4 Qxd4+ 32.Kxd4

With the exchange of queens, the position has clarified. White's active pieces will be used to wreak havoc on the pawns. 32...Rd8+ 33.Kc5 Bf5 34.Nf6+ Kg7 

35.Bg5! White does not allow simplification, maintaining the stranglehold on Black. Be6 36.Rh1 h5 37.Rg1 Bg4 38.Rfg3 a5 39.a4 Rab8 40.Bh4 Be2 41.Re1 Rd2 42.Rg2 Rc2+ 43.Kd6 Rc4 44.Nd7 Rd4+ 45.Kc7 Rxh4 46.Kxb8 Rb4+ 47.Ka7 Bc4 48.Nb6 Bd3 49.Re5 f5 50.Nd7 and Black resigned [1-0].

Modern Correspondence Chess is like that, you make a seemingly small mistake in the opening and you are lost. This article by Wolf Morrow King dwells on the subject.

You can download the PGN of the game from here: . That was my only win in this tournament in which I am currently in the third place: