Thursday, October 28, 2010

Queen One by Susan Lalic

Queen One by Susan Lalic
Alisa not in Chinaland
There has been a lot of activity for Xie Jun recently, commencing with the publication of her highly acclaimed book Chess Champion from China in which she describes her life and rise to fame in personal detail.
Her match against Galliamova to determine who would challenge the present Women's World Champion Susan Polgar was more noted for its lack of activity as Xie Jun was awarded the match without making one move!
Xie Jun
The Chinese player won the World Woman's Champion title a total of four times: in 1991 against Chiburdanize, 1993 against Loseliani, 1999 against Galliamova and 2000 against Qin Kanying in the first FIDE knock-out championship. Xie Jun was directly responsible for a dramatic increase in popularity of chess in China.
The controversy surrounded where the match should be played. Originally Beijing was the port of call, but Alisa was unhappy with being based for the whole candidates' match in her opponent's native land. The president of Tatarstan, Galliamova's home province in Russia, offered to sponsor the first leg of the match there, but confusion reigned when those plans fell through and then the match was rearranged at the last minute for Shenyang in China.
Alisa's requests for more time to resolve the unsatisfactory situation were dismissed and F.I.D.E., knowing full well that Galliamova had made it clear that she would not travel to Shenyang for the start date, still allowed the proceedings to go ahead with the opening ceremony well attended.
Eventually the arbiter declared that Galliamova had forfeited the match, although there will no doubt be complaints and discussions at the F.I.D.E. congress in Elista. Susan Polgar must be watching the outcome with amusement since all the uncertainly for the other two ladies can only be detracting from their chances in the ultimate challenge against her, scheduled for November.
Just as F.I.D.E. have plenty of rules that they enjoy implementing, I was wondering who is going to set up some player's rules. I remember waiting to hear about dates and the venue for an Interzonal several years ago. With two weeks to go, the dates were suddenly announced and the venue was a war zone (ex-Yugoslavia, at a town then within forty kilometers of fighting). Immense pressure was placed on me to attend, but common sense prevailed. I am still not sure whether it was the short notice (fourteen days of which eleven of those were already booked at a tournament) or the local battle that swung the balance of my decision.
The point is that players must know clear dates and places well in advance so they can plan their lives and at least have some certainty in an otherwise unstable occupation. I have every sympathy for both players in the case of the candidates' match.
The Olympiads is another classic example of incompetent organisation. It was only a couple of weeks ago that rumors of cancellations began to cease, but how does one take holiday leave when the dates and even the place is in question up to the last minute.
Ironically, the Olympiads may prove to be the next meeting place for Xie Jun and Galliamova. If the previous Olympiads are anything to go by, F.I.D.E. should make every effort to bring the two energetic and exciting players together for their match. The following is their encounter from Yerevan 1996.
Xie Jun (2510) - Galliamova, Alisa (2475)
Yerevan ol (Women) (8), 1996
Sicilian Defense [B66]
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5
Generally called the Richter-Rauzer variation against the Classical, this system is both common and sharp, encouraging a huge depth of theory.
6...e6 7 Qd2 a6 8 0-0-0 h6 9 Be3 Be7 10 f4 Bd7 11 Kb1 b5 12 Bd3
Chess Diagram
[FEN "r2qk2r/3bbpp1/p1nppn1p/1p6/3NPP2/
2NBB3/PPPQ2PP/1K1R3R b kq - 0 12"]
A critical stage of the game as the main line offers many branches:
a) 12...b4 13 Nce2 0-0 14 h3 Qc7 15 g4 Qb7 16 Ng3 Nxd4 17 Bxd4 Bc6 18 Rhe1 Rfe8? 19 g5 hxg5 20 fxg5 Nd7 21 Bxg7! Kxg7 22 Nh5+ Kg6 23 e5+ Kxh5 24 Qf4 Bxg5 25 Qxf7+ Kh4
26 Qh7+ Kg3 occured in Short-Ljubojevic, Amsterdam 1988 with the interesting remark by Nunn and Gallagher that "the main problem when playing such positions with White is trying to keep the broad grin off your face. The main problem when playing such positions with Black is to avoid looking at the broad grin on your opponent's face."
b) 12...Qc7 13 h3 Na5 14 g4 Nc4 15 Bxc4 Qxc4 16 Qg2 b4 17 e5 Rb8 18 Ne4 Nd5 19 Bc1 dxe5 20 fxe5 held promise for White in Gallagher-Wells, Neuchatel 1995.
c) 12...Nxd4 13 Bxd4 Bc6 14 Qe3 Qc7 15 e5 dxe5 16 fxe5 Nd5 17 Qg3 0-0-0 18 Nxd5 Bxd5 19 Qf2 with an edge to White in Adams-D.Garcia, Terrassa 1991.
13 g4
John Nunn and Joe Gallagher comment in their 1995 book "Beating the Sicilian 3" that "so far this has only been played by members of the Polgar family but it is an attractive idea in serious danger of spreading...". How right they were.
13...Nxg4 14 Rhg1 Nxe3 15 Qxe3 Kh8 16 Nf3
Chess Diagram
[FEN "r2q1r1k/3bbpp1/p1npp2p/1p6/4PP2/
2NBQN2/PPP4P/1K1R2R1 b - - 0 16"]
A suggestion by Salov after which Black can quickly run into trouble if he is not on his toes. For example, 16...b4 17 Rxg7 Kxg7 18 Rg1+ Kh8 19 f5 Bg5 20 Nxg5 hxg5 21 Rxg5 is overwhelming for White.
16...e5 17 Nd5 Rg8 18 Rdf1 Bf8 19 Rg3 exf4 20 Qxf4 Be6 21 Rfg1 Ne5 22 Ng5 Be7 23 h4 Bf6 24 Qf2 Rf8 25 Nf4 Qe7
Chess Diagram
[FEN "r4r1k/4qpp1/p2pbb1p/1p2n1N1/
4PN1P/3B2R1/PPP2Q2/1K4R1 w - - 0 26"]
White may have what appears to be a vicious attack, but in fact Black's pieces are all working efficiently and a breakthrough on the kingside is by no means imminent.
26 Nh5 Nxd3 27 cxd3 Be5 28 R3g2 g6 29 Nf3 Bh3 30 Qe3 Kh7 31 Ng5+ hxg5 32 Qxh3 gxh4 33 Rg4 Rh8 34 Rxh4 Kg8 35 Qg4 Bg7 36 Rh3 Qe5 37 Nxg7 Kxg7 38 Rgh1 a5 39 Qd7 Rad8 40 Qc7 Rxh3 41 Rxh3 Qf6 42 Rh1 a4 43 Qb6 Qg5 44 Qf2 Kg8 45 a3 Rd7 46 Qb6 Kg7 47 Qb8 Rd8 48 Qb6 Rd7 ½-½
Chess Diagram
[FEN "8/3r1pk1/1Q1p2p1/1p4q1/p3P3/
P2P4/1P6/1K5R w - - 0 49"]
It is impossible for Black to make use of her extra pawn.

This article first appeared at in October 1998.

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