In the girl’s tournament, an interesting endgame occurred. White had lost her earlier excellent winning chances, and seeing that black is about to play f5-f4, she must make sure of the draw.

Ellen Fredericia Nilssen – Mai Narva

42.h4 Rd2

42…f4 43.hxg5 fxg3 44.fxg3 is a draw, but now the bishop should go to b7.

43.Bg8 Kc6

was already unpleasant, the threat being 44…Rd8, and 44.Bxh7 Ra2# is not on. 44.Bb3 is still OK.

44.Ka5 Kc5

Now after 45.Ka4 gxh4 there is a check on d4 (there is still 46.Bxh7, but according to computer tablebases, it is still a loss).

45.Ka6 f4 46.Bxh7

46.hxg5 fxg3 47.fxg3 Rd6+ 48.Kb7 Rd7+ 49.Ka6 Rg7 50.Ba2 Rxg5 51.g4 will now also lose – the f3-pawn will drop.

46…fxg3 47.fxg3 Rd6+ 48.Kb7 gxh4 0-1

Because of 49.gxh4 Rd7+ – 48.Ka5 would have made no difference.


The junior group saw a dramatic battle, where white didn’t shun risks and ultimately fortune favoured the brave. With the win, Askerov kept the leader Keinänen in his sights.

Marat Askerov – Andrei Timoshin

1.d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. e3 e6 7. Bd3 Bd6 8.Bxd6 Qxd6 9. f4

The exchange variation is not the sharpest try against the Slav, but by delaying the development of the g1-knight white has prevented symmetry, and now he can play a stonewall without his nominally worse bishop.

9… a6 10. Nf3 b5 11. O-O O-O 12. Rc1 Bb7 13. Ne5

White starts an attacking plan which was already popularized by Harry Nelson Pillsbury in the 1890s. Here it is very double-edged, because the open c-line guarantees black good counterplay.

13… Ne7 14. Qf3 Qb4 15.Rc2 Nf5 16. g4 Nd6


Thematic, but 17.f5 is also dangerous. The black queen may have erred too far to the left.

17… Nfe4 18. Qh5 Nf5 19. Rf3 g6

19…f6 20.exf6 Nxf6 keeps a more breathing position and would perhaps be the choice of the nervous player.

20. Qh3 Qe7

21. Bxe4 dxe4 22. Ng4

Very sharp indeed, and incorrect in the final reckoning. If white had played 21.Ng4, the normal reaction would be 21…h5 22.gxh6 Kh7.

22… exf3 23. Nf6+ Qxf6 24. gxf6 Nxe3 25. Nd1 Nf5 26. Rc5 h5

Black is OK materially and positionally white has no hope, so he tries quite a remarkable swindle.

27.Ne3 Rac8

Black used a good deal of time on this move, leaving himself relatively little, but he missed something: 27…Nxe3 28.Rxh5 gxh5 29.Qxh5 Nf5 30.Qg5+ Kh7 31.Qh5+ Nh6, or 29.Qg3+ Ng4 30.h3 and 30…Kh7 is the simplest.

28. Nxf5 exf5 29. Qf1 Rfe8 30. Qc1 Rcd8 31. Re5

Black collapses in a now unclear position. Probably he overlooked that the queens passage to h6 opens, so he can’t play Rd7 next.

31… Rxe5 32. fxe5 f4 33. Qc7 Rxd4 34. Qxb7 g5 35. e6 Rd1+ 36. Kf2 Rd2+ 37. Kxf3 g4+ 38. Kxf4 Rf2+ 39. Kg5 1-0