Reflections 2021: GM Kenny Solomon

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It has been quite some time since I sent some chess reflections to you. It has been heartening to see that some semblance of chess activity is slowly returning. We had some OTB chess over the last months, but the increase in Europe has been substantial. My reflection today looks at an event in Italy that was held in the town of Pordenone.

The tournament was divided into sections and in the A section there were two grandmasters and a number of strong young players. GM Kenny Solomon won the event and scored 6.5/ 7.

GM Kenny sent me a great game from the event. It was played against A. Delorme (2480). Gm Kenny also sent us his notes. Let us have a look at the game and enjoy the game and notes.

(1) Solomon,K – Delorme ,A [E11]

Villavarda Pordenone Podenone (1), 04.07.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2 0–0 5.a3 Be7 6.e4 d6 7.Be2 Nfd7 8.b4 Aiming for a space advantage always reminds me of some of Tarrasch games. [ 8.Qc2 I played this a few months ago and is probably what my opponent prepared against.; 8.0–0]

8…e5 9.d5 a5 10.Bb2 axb4 11.axb4 Rxa1 12.Qxa1 I do not think my opponent knew this line as he started to consume lots of time and also went for the wrong plan. 12…g5?! I think such moves are a result of bullet games. His idea is white Castles, then goes g4 Bg5. But the drawbacks of weakening the f5 square is a long-term defect.

13.h3! Prophylaxis and planning to navigate the White squares on the King side. My long term plan was to exchange the light squared bishop keeping in mind that with a space advantage one should avoid exchanges of minor pieces. 13…f5 14.exf5 Rxf5 15.Nh2 Nf8 16.Ng4 Kg7

This is forced. The black king is unhappy on the long diagonal, but he can endure this for now as white cannot hit with f4 any time soon. 17.Ne3 Rf7 18.Bg4!

There are many moves for white here but I thought stick to my plan and play consistently. 18…Ng6

19.g3 Qf8 20.Ne4 Qd8 21.Bc3!

A waiting move, nothing special in itself but practically strong in my opinion as black in a cramped position is suffering to see the same picture while heading into time trouble. 21…Nd7 He cracks [21…Rf8 22.Bd2+-] 22.Be6 Rf8 23.Nf5+ Kh8 24.Bd2! Perhaps I should have waited a bit more, but I felt it was time to play more concretely to breakthrough. I too was starting to burn time though a good 10 to 15 minute advantage over the clock.

24…Nf6 25.Nxg5 Nxd5 26.Nxe7


[26.Nf7+ Rxf7 27.Bxf7 Nxb4 28.Qb1 Nc6 29.Bd5 was much stronger. I did not see the Qb1 move.]

26…Ndxe7 27.Qd1 Nf5 28.Nf7+ Rxf7 29.Bxf7 Qf6 30.Bd5!

Trying to regroup and consolidate. 30…c6 31.Be4 Qe6 32.Qc2 Nd4 33.Qd3 d5 34.cxd5 cxd5 35.Bg2 The rest of the game as they say plays itself.

35…Bd7 36.0–0 Bb5 37.Qa3 Bxf1 38.Qa8+ Kg7 39.Qxb7+ Ne7 40.Kxf1 Kg6 41.g4 Nb3 42.Be3 e4 43.Qb6 Qxb6 44.Bxb6 Kf7 45.f3 Nc6 46.fxe4 d4 47.b5 Nb4 48.Bc7 Ke6 49.b6 Kd7 50.e5 d3 51.e6+ Kxe6 52.b7 d2 53.Bf3 Na6

The two Bishops are decisive.

54.b8Q Nxb8 55.Bxb8 1–0

A great triumph for GM Kenny. Thanks also to him for sharing this game and his notes for the broader public. We wish him well in his next events. The game was played on the day as Italy won the Euros.

Regards

Dr Lyndon Bouah

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