The Amateur Eye – China

There was not too many years ago when the wise men had predicted the death of chess.  The cry was that computers had destroyed public interest in chess and even the highest level rated had voiced negativity to its future. To survive, chess rules had to change.  But my readers to whom I direct my chess prowess as a pure amateur can assure the fallacy of those doomsayers that go back decades.  Is chess dead?  No! No! No!

In recent times, China and much of Asia have put new life into chess.  The answer to chess survival might be said to be simply the result of competition which stimulate brains to think up new ideas.  The growth of competition, organized clubs and tournaments across the world of sport enabled those new players, ideas, research, pursuit of rating achievements–however you might want to coin it, has afforded the stimulus necessary to achieve success and put new life in a very old game.

The double GOLD for Chinese playing teams in chess comes from collective work according to Ye Jiangchuan.  The simple truth is something they miss.  The good old spirit so often seen in sporting events in America rubbed off on the realization that winning is having the stamina in facing difficult moments that spur their spirit to achieve by never surrendering to pessimism.

One of the rising stars on the chess world stage is Ding Liren who met Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the 2018 Batumi Olympiad in the 10th round. Duda uncorks one of the oldest defenses against a Queen Pawn Game, namely Queen’s Gambit Accepted in which Duda adopts a modern approach.

The question is always as white to be: What move do I open with?  That is usually determined long before the start of play or even sitting down at the board. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 d:c4 5. e4 b5

In top class games, moves are often repeated from earlier events as happens here.  Duda had played this same choice in the Polish Championship.  It is considered risky but risk is involved when you are trying to get a fighting game especially with black.

This defensive play is not new to Liren who answers quickly as does several quick moves exchange leading after…6. e5 Nd5 7. N:b5 Nb6 8. Be2 Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. Qd2  White envisions a coming Kingside pressure with the pawn structure d4/e5/. Previously played had been Be3 that led to equality. Now, Liren sets in motion a Kingside demonstration following 10…O-O 11. Qf4  Rb8 12. Nc3  f5!? Risky but in the same vein.  He had expected 12….Nb4 and spent 20 minutes on his reply 13. Qg3 aiming to keep central tension and improve his own square count. 

13. …Kh8 14. Rd1 Nb4 15. b3  c:b3 16. a:b3 a6  17. Bc4 Nc2 20. Ra2 Nb4 21.Re2 a5.

Planning to challenge risk with risk. Liren’s decision was to go for the attack with d5.

22. d5!? e:d5 Better seems to be N:d5 23. N:d5 N:d5 was a greater challenge to who stands better.

23.e6 Bd6 24. Qh3 Qf6 25. Nb5 d:c4 26. N:d6  c:d6 27. e7 Re8 28. Ng5 Qg6 29. R:d6 f4 30. Qh4 Qb1 31. Re1 Bf5 32. Rd8 Bg6 33. R:b8 R:b8 34. Q:f4 Rg8 35. Nf7+ B:f7 36. Q:f7 Nd7 38. e(Q) Nf6 39. Bg5 Resigns. (1-0).

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