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Reports May 16, 2014 | 2:42 PMby Colin McGourty

Fedorchuk Fischer-like in Llucmajor


$64,000 was on offer to anyone who imitated Bobby Fischer’s perfect score at the 2014 US Championships, but after three rounds no-one was left in the running. Meanwhile in Llucmajor on the Spanish island of Majorca Sergey Fedorchuk has scored 6/6 in a strong open featuring players such as Julio Granda, Simen Agdestein and 18-year-old Spanish GM David Antón. IM David Martínez – the latter’s coach and our Spanish editor – wrote a sparkling piece about the tournament in Spanish. He added, “if you want to translate change Belen Esteban to Paris Hilton”. How could we resist! 

by IM David Martínez

  • Llucmajor, Majorca

Ukrainian Grandmaster Sergey Fedorchuk is cutting a swathe through the Llucmajor field after winning all six of his games so far. 33-year-old Sergey is one of the world’s most active grandmasters and in 2014 alone has played two opens in France, one in India and another in Belarus as well as the Dutch League, a closed tournament in Majorca and rapid events in Lithuania and Iceland… 

6 out of 6 for an in-form Fedorchuk | photo: Celia Delgado

His style is founded on exceptional strategic understanding and a well worked-out repertoire that he rarely varies from – 1.e4 with a range of main lines, while with Black he plays various Sicilians or the Nimzo-Indian/Queen’s Indian against 1.d4. Since reaching 2600 in January 2007 his rating has been very consistent with some peaks around 2670, which is impressive considering the number of opens he plays.

In the last two rounds he’s managed to win a pawn almost out of the opening and gone on to press home his advantage. Let’s look as some of the key moments from those games:

Solodovnichenko is in the process of recycling his knight. If it reaches f6 via d7 Black will have everything under control and should have few problems drawing, but the manoeuvre will require even more time than it takes me to spell his surname... Fedorchuk exploits that to perfection.

19. ♖e8! Oops! The coordinated attack on f7 makes this move possible. Black now has to defend the f7-point, but after

19... ♕c7 20. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 21. ♕a3+! everything goes like clockwork for White.

21... c5 22. ♕xa7 cxd4 23. ♕xd4 and although there was a lot of technical work ahead Fedorchuk converted his extra pawn with no great difficulties.

1-0

The way he won a pawn in the sixth round was more subtle:

We've got a position where neither side seems to have any weaknesses. White is trying to generate some kind of attack on the kingside but, at least for the moment, that's a long way off. Many players would simply have played 17... Rd7 and, after the doubling of rooks and mass exchanges on the d-file, a draw would have been agreed. Fedorchuk, however, has detected a weakness in the white camp - the c5-pawn!

17... ♗a5! A wonderful positional move. The bishop is heading to b4 to put pressure on c5.

18. ♖c2? Movsziszian could find no way to stop Black's plan, though miraculously there was one!

18. ♕e2! The queen was aiming to create threats on the kingside but needs to return to solve problems closer to home. 18... ♗b4 19. ♕c2 ♗a3 20. ♖cd1 and now you can't play 20... ♘d7? due to 21. ♕c3! and both captures on c5 lose material. 21... ♗xc5 (21... ♘xc5 22. b4 Grabbing the a3-bishop.) 22. ♖xd7 ♕xd7 23. ♗xc5

18... ♗b4 19. ♘f5 Looking for counterplay.

19... ♗xf5 20. ♕xf5 ♘d7 21. ♕g4 ♔h7 Preventing Bxh6.

22. ♖fc1 ♗a3 23. ♖d1 ♘xc5 Mission accomplished! Once more, after a long fight, Fedorchuk made his extra pawn tell.

0-1

Thanks to those two demonstrations of technique the Ukrainian leads his pursuers by a full point:

NameFEDRatingScore
1GMFedorchuk Sergey A.UKR26386.0
2GMMovsziszian KarenARM25035.0
3GMAgdestein SimenNOR26255.0
4GMSolodovnichenko YuriUKR25745.0
5GMDelchev AleksanderBUL26285.0
6GMSumets AndreyUKR26335.0
7GMGranda Zuniga Julio EPER26755.0
8GMAnton Guijarro DavidESP26265.0
9GMNarciso Dublan MarcESP25335.0
10IMAndersen MadsDEN24525.0

Today he faces the young Spanish star Grandmaster David Antón Guijarro who won yesterday after suffering for a long time against Macedonian Grandmaster Aleksandar Colovic in an ending where all three results appeared logical at some point:

Both players are short of time and on the verge of agreeing a draw. With 46. Kg1 Anton could have repeated the position for a third time, which would have been normal since the c1-f4 perpetual check with the black queen seems inevitable. But the elixir of youth, the desire to improve or an excess of adrenaline encouraged David to play for a win with one of the ugliest moves of his chess career.

46. g3 A move which, in effect, prevents the perpetual and... The list of pluses ends there. 

Our photographer Celia Delgado sent us this photo of the key moment of the game

The pawn advance both weakens the second rank and the long diagonal and even involves further colateral damage - the h3-rook is converted into a piece valued less than common sense in the home of Paris Hilton.

46... ♕f1

46... ♕g4 won immediately because, as usual, a bad piece not only has reduced mobility but also turns into an easily-attackable weakness. The h3-rook will be lost after Bd7.

47. ♖g2 A critical moment. Colovic had 2 minutes left and needed to find the only move for Black to press his initiative and remain in the game - otherwise the white queen is ready to return and defend.

47... ♕f5 He didn't find it!

47... ♘d2 was the beautiful tactical resource that Black had at his disposal. 48. ♖f2 The only move. (48. ♖xd2 is met by 48... d4 and the coordination of the queen and light-squared bishop will prove decisive.) 48... ♘f3+ 49. ♖xf3 ♕xf3 50. ♕d4 and David could still have put up a lot of resistance.

48. ♕b8+ ♔h7 49. g4! And magically the white queen coordinates perfectly with the two rooks to create a lethal attack on the enemy king.

49... ♕f1 50. g5 hxg5 51. hxg5+ ♔g6 52. ♕e5 ♕f5 53. ♖h6+ And in an almost poetic turn of events the much-maligned rook that felt so useless on h3 goes down in history by striking the decisive blow.

53... gxh6 54. gxh6+ ♘g5 55. ♕xf5+ ♔xf5 56. ♖xg5+ And the h-pawn queens.

1-0

Antón's game caught the attention of the other players | photo: Celia Delgado

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