Monday, April 29

Warsaw triangular tournament, Round 3: Duras defeats Flamberg, assumes lead at halfway mark

Oldrich Duras, playing Black in a Ruy Lopez, defeated Alexander Flamberg in a sharp heavy-piece endgame to claim the lead at the halfway mark of the Warsaw triangular Masters' tournament.  The Czech Master conducted the game in vigorous style, sacrificing a pawn with 16...d5 to deprive White of his castling privilege and secure for himself control of the open e-file.  In fact, it would appear that Duras might have crowned his efforts far earlier had he chosen 22...Rxa1 instead of 22...Bd7, the former move leading to a pretty mating variation first pointed out by the 75-year old veteran Master Szymon Winawer, in attendance at the game.  As played, Duras, still a pawn in arrears, was required to extend himself to the full in order to maintain the initiative in the face of his opponent's determined counterplay.  By the 38th move each player was left with Queen and Rook, with each in possession of an advanced passed pawn on the d-file, a situation fraught with tension and mutual danger.  It has been said that skill in endgames with major pieces is one sure sign of a true Master, and we would encourage  our readers to study carefully the concluding ten moves of this struggle, as the means by which Duras, showing his class, decided matters in his favor are both instructive and highly entertaining.  We present the game below, with notes by the Polish player Belzitzman.

Scores after 3 rounds: Duras 1 1/2; Flamberg 1; Lowtzky 1/2.


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