In the junior group, Jens Ingebretsen decided the game against Casper Liu with a nice breakthrough. The game had been a fine slugfest all along, and black had allowed his winning position to slip away, and now the e4-pawn doesn’t look so dangerous at first sight.
Teasing the rook with 34.Bd6 makes a draw, for instance 34…Rb6 35.Bc5 b2 36.Rb1 and there is always Ba3. If the next game move was a winning attempt, it was ill advised in any case, there would be no winning chances even if black’s next move didn’t exist; it seems he spent very little time on it, although he had plenty left, something that the present writer can only too well sympathize with – speaking from experience.
And 35.fxe3 Bf5 36.Bc3 b2 37.Bxb2 Rxb2 offers no hope, nor does 35.Kf1 Bb5+ 36.Ke1 Bd3.
Now 36.Bc3 b2 is much the same.
36.f3 Bf5 37.Rb2 Rxb4 0-1
The leaders in the senior and junior groups took it easy, their opponents not challenging them. In the girls’ tournament Mai Narva took the sole lead with brisk win.
Mai Narva – Gabija Simkunaite
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 a6 6.Nd6+ Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qf6 8.Qd1
The Löwenthal variation may well be playable, even if all reasonable white queen moves hold promise of an advantage. There is a certain charm to it.
8…Qg6 9.Nc3 Nge7 10.Be3
For the most famous game of the variation, check Fischer – Tal, Curacao 1962, where black achieved a good position after 10.h4 h5 11.Bg5 d5 12.Bxe7 d4, although he lost in the end.
10…d5 11.exd5 Nb4 12.Bd3 Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 Qxd3 14.cxd3 Bf5
This is the basic aim of the variation. It’s a defensive choice to enter this, but black should have no problems. On the other hand, there are no winning chances whatsoever; one must have the right attitude.
15.Bc5 Rd8 16.d6 Nc8 17.0-0-0 Kd7 18.f3 Kc6 19.Bb4 Nxd6 20.g4 Bg6
This was well played by Black. 18.f3 was clearly ment to hinder 18.d4 e4, and basically black can draw many positions comfortably a pawn down.
But this is a mistake. After 21…Nc4 white has no particularly good way to react to the threat on the d4-pawn, and a handshake, signalling peace, might be close. 22.b3 exd4 23.bxc4 dxc3 24.Bxc3 Bd3 is of course not yet dead.
This loses instantly, but in any case white was about to play Rhd1 and perhaps Nd5, and now the bishop on 6 doesn’t help at all.
23.Rc4+ Kd7 24.Rd1+ Ke6 25.Re1+ 1-0
Meanwhile our birthday child, Heikki Westerinen, scored another win in his sober, down to earth style, arousing speculation of a possible Finnish double success. Or perhaps he can snatch the whole tournament? His friend Yrjö better watch his step.
Heikki Westerinen – Kalle Peebo
1.e4 d6 2.d4 e5 3.Nf3 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.0-0 Be6 9.Qd3
9…Nf6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.e5 Ng4
Surely the knight belongs on d5.
12…cxd6 13.Qe2 Ne5 14.f4 is the tactical problem – now black is left with a shambles of a pawn structure.
13.Qh3 h5 14.Ne4 Qe5 15.Re1 0-0 16.Qg3
This allows 16…Qxg3 17.hxg3 Bd4 18.Re2 Nxf2 19.Nxf2 Rxf2 20.Rxf2 Rf8 21.Bf4 e5, and it will probably be a draw. Earlier 15.f3 was better.
16.Qd5? 17.h3 Be5 18.f4 1-0