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Spirited battle between 2 former Soviets

By Arthur Bisguier / March 5, 1984



International Master (IM) Igor Ivanov, a Soviet defector now living in Montreal, won first prize in the Church's Fried Chicken Grand Prix for the second consecutive year. Church's has sponsored the Grand Prix for five years, with the United States Chess Federation, official governing body of chess in the US, handling the organizational end of the tour.

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Points are earned in tournaments guaranteeing substantial prize funds for players ranked as masters, with points awarded increasing in proportion to the prize fund.

Ivanov's final point total for 1983 was 196.31, which earned him $4,000 of the $18,500 prize fund. Since the inception of the Grand Prix, the number of rated events and the prizes have increased. When I won the first Grand Prix in 1979 I did so with just 80.62 points.

The energetic Canadian is off and flying again this year. In January he was a co-winner of the Bermuda Open (IM John Fedorowicz equaled his 4 1/2-1/2 score). Today's game, a terrific battle from that event, shows Ivanov to be richly endowed with imagination and resourcefulness. His opponent, Sergei Kudrin, is also an International Master and an emigre from Siberia.

Sicilian Defense Kudrin Ivanov 1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. N-KB3 P-Q3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. NxP N-KB3 5. N-QB3 N-B3 6. B-KN5 Q-N3 (a) 7. N-N3 P-K3 8. Q-Q2 P-QR3 9. O-O-O Q-B2 (b) 10. P-B4 P-N4 11. BxN PxB 12. P-B5 (c) P-KR4 (d) 13. K-N1 P-N5 14. N-K2 P-K4 15. P-B3 P-Q4 16. QxP BxP! (e) 17. N(2)-Q4! PxN 18. PxB NPxP (f) 19. NxP R-Q1 20. Q-K4 ch N-K4 21. BxP B-K2 22. B-N5 ch (g) K-B1 23. N-B6 R-QB1 24. N-Q4 (h) PxP 25. N-N3 B-R6 (i) 26. KR-K1 K-N2 27. B-Q3 KR-Q1 28. B-B2 RxR ch 29. RxR Q-B6 30. Q-K2 B-N5 31. B-Q3 (j) R-Q1 32. B-R6 B-R6 33. QxP (k) R-Q7 Resigns (l)

A. When Botvinnik essayed this variation 30-odd years ago he played an immediate 6. . . . P-K3. The purpose of the text is to drive away the White Knight from his Q4, even at the cost of a tempo later on in the game.

B. The Queen must make way for the advance of the QNP.

C. The traditional method of attacking the Black pawn skeleton. Black usually reacts with P-K4, but not when a White Knight can enter the Q5 weakness.

D. Threatens 13. . . . B-R3, winning the Queen, but Black might have done a bit better with an immediate 12. . . . P-N5 and 13. . . . P-K4, the point being that the text move in the actual game, 13. K-N1, removing the King from the dangerous QB file, is more immediately useful for White than the move P-KR4 is for Black.

E. With the threat of 17. . . . R-Q1.

F. Hereabouts it is difficult to determine who stands better. Ultimately it turns out that the Black King in the center of the board is safer than his castled White counterpart.

G. With this and his next move, White plays into his opponent's hands and loses a game which he had hitherto conducted elegantly. Simply 22. Q-N7 and White is not worse; e.g., if then 22. . . . QxQ; 23. BxQ, R-QN1; 24. B-B6 ch, K-B1 (24. . . . NxB; 25. NxN, RxP ch; 26. K-R1 is fine for White, since Black cannot move his Bishop because of 27. R-Q8, mate); 25. P-QN3.

H. 24. NxB or 24. NxN loses to 24. . . . P-B7 ch.

I. After this move, which secures his advanced NP, Black is definitely winning.

J. Black threatened 31. . . . N-B5; and 32. . . . NR6 mate.

K. Allowing a piquant conclusion.

L. White cannot cope with the threat of 34. . . . Q-B7, mate. If the Rook is captured, 34. . . . Q-B8 ch leads to mate.