Kjetil Strand – Yrjö Rantanen

Rantanen tried an old, disputed favourite of many Finnish players. In the Sicilian accelerated Dragon, after

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 a5


the main argument arises after the gambit 9.f3 d5. Castling is not even mentioned in old theory books; yet things are perhaps not so clear as was assumed.

9.0-0 a4 10.Nxa4 Nxe4 11.Nb5 d6 12.Qe2

and black was not able to show the worth of the central pawns and pair of bishops (after Na5xb3).


Objectively black should have no hope, but as long as there is life there’s hope…

32…Nxg2 33.Qd5+

33.Nd5 is he refutation. After 33…Qxe4 34.Qh6 there is no check and 34…Rf7 35.Rd8+ mates. 34.Ne7+ is the threat and 33…Qf2 34.Re2 or 33…Qf3 34.Qh6 lose. Psychologically the trickiest is maybe 33…Kh8 34.Qh6, because Qh6 was not a threat and Rd7 is still hanging.

33…Re6 34.Rg4??

After 34.Qxb7 g5 white can exchange on h7 and take the knight.

34…Ne3 35.Qxb7 Nxg4+ 36.hxg4 Qf4+ 37.Kh3 Qf1+ 38.Kg3 Qf2+ 0-1

This saw Rantanen flying high in the standings and set him up for a round six clash with co-leader Kalle Peebo, who beat the 1974 Leningrad champion, Vladimir Karasev.


In the juniors’, black had misplayed a Kings Indian.

Hilmir Freyr Heimisson – Luitjen Akselsson Apol


A simple line like 24.Rhxg6+ hxg6 25.h4 leaves white probably winning in higher sense. Possibly misled by the fact that a couple of moves earlier black had avoided Nh5xf4 gxf4, and somewhat short of time, white invaded on the open line.

24.Rd6 Nxf4 25.gxf4 Qh6

And a piece had gone west. It is unusual for a queen to trap a knight in the middlegame. This is what constitutes brilliance, according to Boleslavsky: you attack a piece (not with a pawn, of course) and there is nothing the opponent can do about it. Although he wouldn’t have included the run-up to the position in that category.

White wisely avoided taking on f5, activating black, and such was the dominance of his position that after

26.Rg3 Qxh4 27.Rg5 Qh6 28.a4

he had almost enough compensation, and later on he did. The game was drawn after 44 moves.


There would have been a nice line 45.Kh2 Qg5 46.Qxh7+ Rh6 47.Qf7+ Kg4+ 48.Kg1 Qc1+ 49.Bf1 Rh1+ 50.Kxh1 Qxf1+ 51.Kh2 Qxf2+ 52.Kh1 Qxb6.


Andrei Timoshin – Toivo Keinänen


34.h6+ Kg8 35.Qe3 Rd4

The pin on the long diagonal prevents 36.g3. It is possible to play 36.Rf1, e.g. 36…gxf4 37.Rxf4 Qg5?? 38.Rxd4. The back rank played a role also after

36.fxg5 Re4 37.Qg3 Qd6

and now there is 38.Qd3, although black has the better endgame.

38.Re1? c4! 39.bxc4 b3

And now there was something of an echo on the other back rank:

40.Qc3 Rxe1+ 41.Qxe1 Be4+ 42.Ka1 Qxe5 and 60 0-1