Monday 13 August 2018

Project 30: FIDE Master Steve Giddins in Action

The first event of Project 30: Year 2 is coming up very soon and excitement is building as we prepare to welcome another titled player to Teesside.

Steve will be giving a talk followed by a simultaneous display.

Anyone facing Steve may be interested to see the finish to one of his finest games, in which he defeated a strong Grandmaster who has, in his time, been a winner of the Soviet Championship and twice Candidate for the World Chess Championship, in addition to representing the Soviet Union and Armenia in numerous Olympiads.

Vaganian - Giddins
Antwerp, 1996
Steve is an expert on the Hedgehog system against the English Opening and he soon gets to play the two standard freeing moves.

23 ...b5!

This break often involves the sacrifice of a pawn. In return, Black will enjoy active pieces and the opportunity to exploit the overextended nature of White's position.  

24. cxb5 axb5 25. Rbc1 Nb6  26. Nxb5 d5! 27. e5 Nc4 28. Rxc4  dxc4 29. Nd6

Time to light the blue touchpaper...

29 ...Nxe5! 30. Bxa8 c3  31. Qc2?

A mistake. It turns out the queen needed to keep protecting the bishop with either 31 Qc1 or Qe2. Vaganian must have realised the game was slipping away at this point as he offered a draw. This was a further mistake, giving Steve confidence to continue. Steve's masterstroke was to decline the draw in fluent Russian!

31 ...Rxd6 32. Rxd6 Nc4!

The tempo gained on the undefended bishop is important. If 33 Rd4, then 33 ...Nxe3 34 Rxe3 Bd4! is painful for White. The pin would not have worked if the queen had been able to capture the knight on e3.

33. Ra6 Nxe3 34. Qe4 

Black is winning now and Steve brings home the point in style.

34 ...c2!

With the brilliant point that 35 Qxe3 loses to 35 ...Bd4! Vaganian continues to flail but Steve does not let things slip.

35. Ne2 Qb5 36. Qxe3 Qxa6 37.Bf3 Rd8 38. Kg2 Bb2 0-1

A fabulous victory!

Incidentally, I know how it feels to be rolled over by Steve's Hedgehog System. 

Marsh - Giddins, Cleveland Open 1991  
I had sacrificed a pawn and was hoping to win it back with 23 Na4. The plan backfired badly after 23 ...Rxd1+ 24 Rxd1 Qe4!

A terrific move, winning material. My queen cannot continue to defend my rook and 25 Qxe4 is met by 25 ...Rxd1+ and then 26 ...Nxe4. I had to resign just a couple of moves later.

Good examples of what Friday's participants could be up against!

No comments:

Post a Comment