Diary from the Tromso Olympiad – Round 6

Round 6

After suffering from bad luck and knights galloping in from hell to shock-change the evaluations, we were now relegated to board 48! Actually, with 4 points we had one point less than Palestine, whom we beat in round 1 with a 4-0 non-contest score; and which failed to show up on time in round two, thus defaulting the match 4-0 as well!

Our opponents Puerto Rico is most here to learn. They were extremely pleasant people, but it is not a country with great chess traditions. So we decided to rest our top man, Davor, to keep him in shape for (hopefully) tougher matches to come. It was a clear match where we just had to play reasonably in order to win. Most resistance was offered to Allan on board one, I think, though I did feel I had to play a few good moves after my opponent made a positional blunder in the opening:

Jacob Aagaard – Edgardo Almedina Ortiz

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0–0 5.Bg5 d6 6.e3

The harmless Smyslov System.

6…Nc6 7.Be2 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Nh5 10.d5 Nxg3

10…Nb4 is the most natural move. White is probably a bit better.

10…Na5? amusingly loses material at once due to 11.Qc2! (threatening b4) 11…c5 12.Nxg5! , which is the favourite trap in this opening.

11.hxg3 Ne5?

This is just bad positional judgement.

12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.g4

White secures the light squares. Other moves were good too.


Trying to create some counterplay and to get the bishop out. But also an admission that the opening has failed.

14.Nxe4 e6

14…Bxb2 15.Rxh6! is just a pawn up and a weak kingside. 15…Bxa1 16.Qxa1 f6 and I had not finally decided what I would play. 17.Qb1!? came to mind, but 17.Nxg5 fxg5 18.Qb1 was my main intention, as White wins without problems after 18…Bf5 and against 18…Rf7 comes 19.Qg6+ Rg7 20.Qh5 Kf8 21.Rh8+ Rg8 22.Qh7 as I had seen.

15.Nc3 exd5 16.cxd5 c6

16…f5 17.gxf5 Bxf5 18.Qb3 Kh8 looked like the way to keep the game going.


I was happy to exchange pieces and get a great structure.

17…bxc6 18.Qxd8 Rxd8 19.Rc1 Be6 20.b3 Bf8 21.f3!?

I did not like weakening e3, but I need the king on e2 and the bishop is not correctply placed on f3. 21.Bf3 Bb4 22.Ke2 Kg7 and Black can try …c6-c5-c4 with good drawing chances.


After the game we looked at 21…a5 22.Rc2 Bb4 23.Kf2 Kg7 24.Na4 Rd6 25.Rd1 Rad8 26.Rxd6 Rxd6 as being Black’s best chances. White does not win automatically; at least I did not do so when we shuffled the pieces around. Black’s best chance does seem to be to exchange all rooks.


My best move of the game, preventing the a-pawn from moving forwards.

22…Rd7 23.Ke2 Rad8 24.Rhd1 Rxd1 25.Nxd1!

Black has more weaknesses; let’s keep a set of rooks on. Two sets would give counterplay against the king, so I would not like that.

25…Bb4 26.Rc2 h5?

A bit desperate. 26…f5 and the game goes on with a big white advantage.

27.gxh5 g4 28.Nf2 gxf3+ 29.gxf3 Ba5 30.Nd3 Bd7

30…Rh8 31.Nf4 Bd7 32.Rc1 and the rook comes to h1.

31.Ne5 Be8 32.Nd3!?

Keeping calm. I had planned 32.Nxc6 Bxc6 33.Rxc6 Rd2+ 34.Kf1 but now realised Black has 34…Rh2! I think White is winning after 35.h6+ Rxh6 36.Rxh6 Kxh6 37.Bd3 but I did not want to take any risks. It would have been stupid.

32…Rd5 33.Nf4 Re5?!

33…Rg5 34.Bc8 Bc7 35.Bg4 was my plan. It seems that nothing has been spoiled.


This time the exchanges are pleasant for me.

34…Bb6 35.e4 f5 36.Bxc6 fxe4 37.Bxe8 Rxe8 38.Rc6 exf3+ 39.Kxf3 Kh7 40.Nd5 Rf8+ 41.Rf6 Rb8 42.Nxb6 axb6 43.Ke4 1–0


4-0. Tomorrow someone good might await. There are a lot of strong teams here!




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