2009-03-29

Name-dropping a to-be GM

Here is one of my most memorable games, played in the last round of the Finnish Team Championship, 2nd division, in 1999. First, had I lost the game, our team Lauttasaari Chess Club wouldn't have qualified for the 1st division for the first time in its history.

Second, my opponent was 13 years old Tomi Nybäck. Less than four years and almost 600 Elo points later, Tomi became #1 player in Finland. He is currently #87 in the world with the rating 2644. Tomi won Magnus Carlsen in Chess Olympiad 2008 with a magnificent sacrifice.

Tomi Nybäck (1969) — Jyrki Heikkinen (1933), Järvenpää, Finland, February 1999

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Qc2 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 d5!

Standard Fajarowicz, nothing new.

7.a3 Bxd2+ 8.Nxd2 Bf5 9.Nxe4 Bxe4 10.Qc3

10...dxc4

10...d4!.

11.Bf4 Qd4 12.Rc1 O-O-O 13.e3 Qxc3+ 14.Rxc3 Bd3 15.Bxd3 cxd3 16.Kd2 Rd5 17.Rhc1 Rhd8 18.b4

White's all pieces target c7. I hate defending this kind of positions.

18...a5!

The turning point of the game. After a long deep thought, I found the move that stops White's crushing attack. White is still better, but Black has now the psychological advantage.

19.e4?

White starts here a series of bad moves, and throws away his small advantage. Rybka suggests 19.Rc5 Rxc5 20.Rxc5 axb4 21.axb4 Nxb4 22.e6 Na6 23.Rg5 fxe6 24.Rxg7 Rd7 25.Rg8+ Rd8 26.Rxd8+ Kxd8 27.Kxd3 +/=.

19...Rb5 20.Rxd3

One typical advantage of playing a gambit: White had only 6 minutes left for the next 20 moves against Black's 45 minutes.

20...axb4 21.Rb1??

21.axb4 had to be played.

21...Rxd3+ 22.Kxd3 bxa3! 23.Ra1

23.Rxb5?? a2 wins.

23...Rb3+ 24.Kc4 Na5+ 25.Kd5 Rd3+ 26.Kc5

26...Nb3+

I failed to find a checkmate, but was able to calculate that Black will promote in a few moves.

Rybka finds it, of course: 26...b6+! 27.Kb5 Kb7 28.Be3 Rb3+ 29.Ka4 Ka6 30.Rxa3 b5# or 27.Kb4 c5+ 28.Kb5 Kb7 29.Bg5 Rb3+ 30.Ka4 Rb4+ 31.Kxa3 Nc4+ 32.Ka2 Rb2#.

27.Kc4 Nxa1 28.Kxd3 Nb3

29.e6 f6 30.e5 a2 31.exf6 gxf6 0-1