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Inside Chess, 1989/21

Beliavsky Triumphs in OHRA Crown Group

by Gina Finegold and FM Ben Finegold

Soviet GM Alexander Beliavsky took top honors with seven points out of ten in the prestigious Crown Group at the OHRA Grandmaster Tournament in Amsterdam, held July 30th-August 10th. The six-player, double Round-Robin featured the participation of returning Champion Viktor Kortchnoi, Candidate Jonathan Speelman, and America's Boris Gulko. Dutch GMs John van der Wiel and 20-year-old Jeroen Piket rounded out the field.

Kortchnoi and Beliavsky both bolted from the gate to notch two and a half points from their first three games. Viktor got into trouble in Round 4 when Gulko sprang a surprise on him in the opening:

Alexander Beliavsky
Alexander Beliavsky

Gulko, Boris F (2610) – Kortchnoi, Viktor (2655)
OHRA Crown Group 1989
Catalan [E04]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bd7 6.Ne5 Bc6 7.Nxc6 Nxc6 8.0-0!?

Inside Chess
[FEN "r2qkb1r/ppp2ppp/2n1pn2/8/2pP4/
6P1/PP2PPBP/RNBQ1RK1 b kq – 0 8"]

Normal is 8.e3. The text move has been played twice before: Yusupov-Karpov, Belfort 1988 and Razuvaev-Kir. Georgiev, St. John 1988. Kortchnoi doesn't seem to be familiar with these games, and plays a move that Mihalchisin labeled dubious in Informant 45.

After 8...Qd7, Kortchnoi feared a new move such as 9.Nd2 instead of the normal 9.e3 or 9.Nc3.

8...Nxd4?! 9.Bxb7 Rb8 10.Bg2 Bc5 11.Nd2

White is better.


Kortchnoi must castle here – although after simply 12.Nxc4, he has an awful position.

12.bxc3 Nb5 13.Qc2 0-0 14.a4!

Inside Chess
[FEN "1r1q1rk1/p1p2ppp/4pn2/1nb5/P7/
2P3P1/2QNPPBP/R1B2RK1 b - - 0 14"]

Now White has a won game.


After 14...Nd6 15.Nb3 Bb6 16.a5 wins a piece. Kortchnoi fights on with rook and pawn for two bishops, but no one can envy his task.

15.Qxc3 Bd4 16.Qa3 Bxa1 17.Qxa1 c5 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 Qd4 20.Qxd4 cxd4 21.f4

Inside Chess
[FEN "1r3rk1/p4ppp/4p3/8/P2pBP2/
6P1/4P2P/2B2RK1 b - - 0 21"]

Making it difficult for Black to protect his d-pawn.

21...Rfc8 22.a5 a6 23.Bd3 Rc6 24.Kf2 f5 25.Ba3 Kf7 26.Rc1 Rc3 27.Rxc3 dxc3 28.Ke1 Rb3

Kortchnoi has done about all that he can after his wretched opening; now Gulko's two bishops have their say.

29.Bd6 Rb2 30.Kd1 Ra2 31.Bb4 Ra1+ 32.Kc2 Rh1 33.Bxa6 Rxh2 34.Bb5 1-0

At the end of Round 4, Beliavsky moved into clear first after a draw with Speelman and would maintain sole possession from then on.

In Round 5, Speelman adjourned in a winning position against Piket. It would be his only win of the event. More importantly, however, he was not to suffer a single loss. In a field of this caliber, it's not so easy to find a cooperative opponent, and plus one turned out to be good enough for equal second place.

The standings at the halfway mark pretty well reflected the final outcome. Beliavsky, a half-point ahead of the field with three and a half points out of five, was in top form. Kortchnoi, with three, was playing well, if at times erratically, and was tied for second and third with a steady Jon Speelman. Gulko stood fourth with two and a half points.

The Dutch entrants were having a tough time of it with two points for Van der Wiel and only one for Piket. They would fare no better in the second cycle, though Piket's turn to shine came when he played off his sixth-round adjournment against Gulko. The American made Piket work hard for his point, but the Dutchman prevailed.

Piket, Jeroen (2540) – Gulko, Boris F (2610)
OHRA Crown Group 1989
Pirc Defense [B08]

1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be2 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 7.d5 Nb8 8.h3 e5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Be3 Nc6 12.Qd2 Kh7 13.Rad1 Re8 14.Rfe1 a6 15.a4 Bd7 16.Bc4 Be6 17.Be2 Qe7 18.Nd5 Qd8 19.Nc3 Nb4 20.Bf4 Qe7 21.Bf1 Qf8 22.a5 Rad8 23.Nb5 d5 24.Nxc7 Nxe4 25.Qc1 Re7 26.c3 Nc6 27.c4 Nf6 28.Nxe6 Rxe6 29.Rxe6 fxe6 30.cxd5 Nxd5 31.Bd2 Nd4 32.Nxd4 Bxd4 33.Be1 Qf6 34.Rd3 Qe5 35.Rf3 Kg7 36.b3 Ne7 37.Bc3 Bxc3 38.Rxc3 Nd5 39.Rc8 Qf6 40.Qc5 Rxc8 41.Qxc8 Qe7 42.Bc4 h5 43.h4 Kf7 44.g3 Nf6 45.Bd3 Kg7 46.Qc2 Qd8 47.Qc3 Qd6 48.Be4 Qd7 49.Bf3 Kf7 50.Kg2 Qe7 51.Qc8 Nd5 52.Kg1 Kg7 53.Be4 Kh7 54.Qc2 Qf7 55.Qc5 Nf6 56.Bf3 Nd5 57.Kg2 Kg7 58.Qd6 Nf6 59.Kg1 Ne8 60.Qd4+ Nf6 61.Qe5 Qd7


62.Qb8 Nd5 63.Kg2 Kf7 64.Be4 Kg7 65.Qa8 Qe7 66.Qc8 Kh7 67.Qc2 Qf7 68.Qc5 Kg7 69.Qd6 Nf6 70.Bd3 Ng4 71.Qb6 Nf6 72.Bc4 Nd5 73.Qd6 Kh7 74.Qe5 Kg8 75.Kg1 Qd7 76.Bd3 Qf7 77.Be4 Kf8 78.Qh8+ Ke7 79.Qb8 Kf6 80.Qh8+ Ke7 81.Qb8 Kf6 82.Bxd5 exd5 83.Qf4+ Kg7 84.Qxf7+ Kxf7

Inside Chess
[FEN "8/1p3k2/p5p1/P2p3p/7P/1P4P1/
5P2/6K1 w - - 0 85"]

In this Round 6 game, Gulko had earlier adjourned on move 61 in a difficult position composed of queen and knight versus Piket's queen and bishop. Piket, with the help of Speelman, had analysed similar resulting pawn endings to wins for White.

85.f3 Ke6 86.Kf2 Kd6 87.Ke3 Kc5 88.g4!

Inside Chess
[FEN "8/1p6/p5p1/P1kp3p/6PP/
1P2KP2/8/8 b - - 0 88"]

With an outside passed pawn, White wins easily. Here Boris misses his best chance. He should play 88...b5 after which Piket has to play accurately to cash in with 89.axb6 Kxb6 90.gxh5 gxh5 91.Kd4 Kc6 92.Ke5! Kc5 93.f4 as 93...a5 94.f5 d4 95.Ke4 d3 96.Kxd3 Kd5 97.f6 Ke6 98.Kc4 Kxf6 99.Kb5 Kf5 100.Kxa5 Kg4 101.b4 and since the best Black can do is to achieve king and queen versus king and rook pawn on the sixth rank, a theoretical win, he is lost.

88...Kd6 89.Kd4 Ke6 90.g5 Kd6 91.f4 Ke6 92.Kc5 Kf5 93.Kxd5 Kg4

93...Kxf4 loses to 94.Ke6 Kg4 95.Kf6 Kxh4 96.Kxg6 and now since Black must move his king to the g-file, White queens with check before Black gets to promote.

94.Ke4 Kxh4 95.Kf3 1-0

After 95...Kh3, 96.f5 is most efficient.

Beliavsky continued to distance himself from the field with this nice win over Van der Wiel:

Beliavsky, Alexander G (2620) – Van der Wiel, John (2545)
OHRA Crown Group 1989
Nimzo-Indian [E32]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d6 7.Bg5!?

Usually White plays 7.f3. Beliavsky's 7.Bg5 is normally played after 6...b6.

7...Nbd7 8.Nf3 h6 9.Bh4 g5!?

Inside Chess
[FEN "r1bq1rk1/pppn1p2/3ppn1p/6p1/2PP3B/
P1Q2N2/1P2PPPP/R3KB1R w KQ - 0 10"]

Also possible was 9...Qe7 and 10...e5. Van der Wiel plays more aggressively.

10.Bg3 Ne4 11.Qc2 f5 12.e3 Ndf6 13.Bd3 h5?!

This move doesn't work out well. Better was 13...b6 or 13...Qe7.

14.h4 Nxg3 15.fxg3 g4 16.Ng5! Nh7

White threatened 17.d5!.

17.Nxh7 Kxh7 18.0-0

White has a big edge because of the relative safety of his king. Black will be hard pressed to protect his own, while Beliavsky can safely tuck his away on h2.

18...Qf6 19.d5! Kg7 20.e4! Bd7

Too late!

21.dxe6 Qd4+

21...Bxe6 22.exf5 is hopeless. Van der Wiel tries to mix it up.

22.Kh2 fxe4

Inside Chess
[FEN "r4r2/pppb2k1/3pP3/7p/2Pqp1pP/
P2B2P1/1PQ3PK/R4R2 w - - 0 23"]


A brilliant move. Black has no good defense to 24.Qg5+.

23...Qc5 24.Bxe4 Bxe6 25.Bd5! 1-0

Black has no good defense to 26.Qg5+. A powerful win by Beliavsky. An air of deja vu settled in. In Round 8 Kortchnoi beat Van der Wiel again; Piket, likewise, fell victim to Beliavsky once more. Round 9 would see Gulko once again triumph over Kortchnoi before the tournament came to a peaceful close.

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