GM Smirnov’s simul

Recently there was “a sportsman’s day” in Russia. I was invited to give a simul in the central park of the city.

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The most talented young players were given a chance to test their skills against a Grandmaster. I played a few interesting games that I’d like to share with you today.

NOTE: I’m playing White in all of these games.

Game #1

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White’s turn

White has a dominating position and has several promising continuations. What is the most powerful way to end the game?

PLEASE, THINK ABOUT THE POSITION AND MAKE YOUR CHOICE. AFTER THAT YOU MAY CONTINUE READING.

Of course, White can grab the pawn 1.Qb7; however, there’s a much easier way for a win.

Remember this: the f7 square is the weakest point in Black’s position. White can take advantage of it in different opening lines.

That said, White can also play 1.Bc4-Rf8, 2.Rh8!

Game #1

 Smirnov-simul11

Black’s turn

No matter what Black plays, White will continue with Qf7 on the next move. This wins the game immediately.

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Game #2

Smirnov-simul3

White’s turn

White is more active, but Black is a pawn up and has built defensive fortifications. Is there any way for White to break through?

At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to the solutions for all of the examples.

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Game #3

 Smirnov-simul2

White’s turn

This is a funny example. This might be the shortest game I’ve ever played.

Obviously White is winning. Nevertheless, when you give a simul and have A LOT of games to play – you really need to beat weak opponents quickly. Then you’ll be able to focus on the games against tough rivals.

So, what is the quickest way for a victory?

Below is me, thinking about it. Please think about that yourself, too, and then check the solution below.

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The initial impulse is to capture Black’s bishop somehow (1.fe or 1.Ne7). However, White can deliver a smothered mate: 1.fg-Rg8, 2.Nf6#

Game #3

 Smirnov-simul42

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The previous example was simple. Now let’s test your skills in a much more complex position.

Game #4

 Smirnov-simul5

Black’s turn

When I played my last move 1.Rd7, honestly, I thought that Black should resign. White is attacking Black’s king side pawns, and if Black protects them somehow (1…Kf6, for instance) – White continues 2.Rb7 getting two connected passed pawns on the queen side.

Do you think Black actually resigned? Not at all! He found a sudden way “to stay in the game”. Can you find Black’s defensive idea?

Below is the photo of me, playing against this really persistent opponent.

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 Surprisingly, this was the longest game in the simul!

At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to the solutions for all of the examples.

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I was really impressed by some of the participants. In the following game, my opponent has set up a REALLY tricky snare!

Game #5

 Smirnov-simul6

White’s turn

It seems that White can win easily: 1.Bb5 (installing a pin) -Bb7, 2.Qc3

Black is losing his c6-knight and should resign, shouldn’t he?

Game #5

 Smirnov-simul63

Black’s turn

Can you find any way for Black to escape?

 P1040247

This boy almost caught me in a REALLY tricky snare!

In the above diagram, Black has a shocking move 2…Nd4! – getting a huge advantage!

Game #5

 Smirnov-simul64

You can download all the games from this article here:  Smirnov_simul

Note: If you don’t know how to open *.pgn files – please read this FAQ: LINK

If you are curious about the final result of the simul, there was one draw, while I managed to win the other games.

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Perhaps you’ve heard about a Russian chess school. Let me reveal some of its secrets 

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The cute female on the right (who has just presented me the trophy) is president of a city chess club!

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To conclude, I have a good new for you : We’ll open our own ONLINE PLATFORM soon !!!

It will offer many options like :

  • An online access to my courses
  • Live training
  • Tracking your performances 
  • And many other options !

The platform will be ready till September and i’ll let you know it.

I have also a second good new : A new WEBINAR will be conducted the 31 August ! So be careful :)

Note: We are the Remote Chess Academy Official Affiliate Partner. This article is from GM Igor Smirnov.

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