“Come here, my little sweet candy!” : Week 7 in Div1 Review

“Come here, my little sweet candy!” : Week 7 in Div1 Review

AlexanderMatlak
AlexanderMatlak
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FM Vjacheslav Witik @Witik, chess coach from Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, player of Team Russia and well-known streamer is famous for the slogan in the heading.

He always shouts it out when his opponent`s position is close to resign.

The slogan became popular not only among Russian players on chess.com but Ukrainian as well so we could hear it many times from both sides during LCWL supermatch Ukraine - Russia.

This time it was heard more often from Ukrainian side. 

Team Ukraine is a winner of regular season! Hooray!

I am very proud for my team, that day we had the strongest ever squad and performed best ever match in 11-years history of Team Ukraine.

We had another notable event in Round 7: a real slugfest Argentina-Kazakhstan finished with a score 2-1.

That`s an unique case as for division 1! Without it the crosstable would be monotonous and boring.

Any miracles had happened in Serbia-France match. Srbia Tim as a favorite in this pair got a confident win and deserved the last ticket into Champions Pool. Congratulations!

Players of Team Iceland left almost without job in this round. Most of them could watch supermatch Ukraine - Russia instead of playing their own games versus Team Slovakia.

 

  • Match of the Season: Ukraine vs Russia

Some of my colleagues among LCWL admins asked me what was the secret of that bloody strength of Team Ukraine.

Actually all the secrets are well-known.

Admin of Bangladesh @ME_Mosharrof in his remarkable blogpost has expressed a key point:

“Presence of titled players greatly motivates the players in the squad”

Among 270 Ukrainian players ready to fight we had:

  • 100 players rated over 2000 in Blitz (vs 67 in opponent)
  • 32 titled players                                (vs 16 in opponent)
  • 10 Grandmasters                              (vs 3 in opponent),

           namely:


GM Pavel Eljanov @eljanov (Kharkiv) – 2-times winner of Olympiad (2004, 2010)

GM Alexander Zubov @Alexander_Zubov (Mykolaiv)– top-10 blitzer in the World

GM Kirill Shevchenko @kirillshevchenko (Kyiv) – Junior champion of Europe and Ukraine

GM Eldar Gasanov @ElGasanov (Kharkiv) - Junior champion of Ukraine (2002)

GM Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko @hitaman (Lviv) – Champion of Ukraine (2016)

Youtube chess blogger  Trainer: Understanding Chess Tactics

GM Mikhail Golubev @mikhail_golubev (Odessa) - Champion of Ukraine (1996)

Author List of Books Journalist https://mikhailgolubev.wordpress.com/

 GM Evgeny Sharapov @cherepzhenya (Evpatoria)

WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova @jenia84 (Kharkiv) – Champion of Ukraine 2009

WGM Anna Zozulia @WGMAnna (Kyiv) - U-16 World Champion (1996) Champion of Belgium (2011)

WGM Myroslava Hrabinska @mirochka (Lviv) – bronze medalist of Ukrainian Championship (2002, 2004)

 Thanks a lot for your support, our chess heroes!

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Otherwise, squad of Team Russia was great but not the strongest ever.

In our previous  Epic Battle on 242 boards in Season 3 superfinal, Russian squad was a little bit stronger than last Sunday.

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Regarding mentioned above @ME_Mosharrof blogpost author was not precise only in this point:

Russia vs Ukraine is the greatest live chess rivalry ever produced by LCWL”

Dear Mosharrof!

Russia vs Ukraine chess confrontation lasts around 100 (!) years, probably since Alekhine vs Bogoljubov or Botvinnik vs Bohatyrchuk rivalries.

Match Russia vs Ukraine in chess is probably the same as Brasil vs Argentina in football!

So other LCWL teams shouldn`t be so shocked with such a monster-like squads because both Russia and Ukraine are capable to gather it only versus each other.

I hope guys I was clear enough that the issue is more complex here than not just to win Live Chess World League.

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But let`s better turn to chess context of this match.

GM Pavel Eljanov is probably the greatest chess player has ever played in LCWL.

He was ranked number 6 in the World with a peak FIDE rating of 2765 (!)

Besides that GM Eljanov acted as a second for Boris Gelfand and Magnus Carlsen in their World Chess Championship matches.

Recently he helped as a coach for GM Anna Muzychuk and GM Mariya Muzychuk in Candidates Tournament.

On photo: GM Pavel Eljanov is fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with GM Vassily Ivanchuk and GM Yuriy Kryvoruchko in match Team Ukraine vs Team Russia (not LCWL, but .....Chess Olympiad!)

I am very proud to be familiar with this outstanding Grandmaster.

Last year I was an organizer of Pavel Eljanov Cup – big training event of Team Ukraine.

And Pavel made a precious gift for our team – top-10 winners of the tournament got as a prize chess books from private collection (!) of The Eljanov family with an autograph of GM Eljanov.

Probably you know that Pavel`s father – Vladimir Veneaminovich Eljanov (1951-2013) was IM, FIDE senior trainer and the biggest publisher and collector of chess books in Ukraine.

As an organizer I deserved a personal present – book “Profession: Chessplayer: Grandmaster at Work” by another famous Ukrainian Grandmaster and coach Vladimir Tukmakov.

In the match GM Pavel Eljanov participated in Blitz section and won both his games.

In difficult position his opponent made a fatal mistake 22…Qxg5.

Probably he hoped after 23.Re8+ Rf8 24.Rxf8+? Rxf8 25.Ne6 he could escape after 25….Qf5! But 24.Ne6! was killing for Black

 

GM Alexander Zubov @Alexander_Zubov is a leader of Team Ukraine, one of strongest blitz-players in the World with sky-high rating over 3000 both on chess.com and Lichess

He became widely known after beating World Champion Magnus Carlsen in World Rapid Championship-2018

He has become a streamer on Youtube recently and his channel got the biggest audience during the match

We are very thankful to this top-player for his regular support of Team Ukraine in decisive matches.

In Rapid section he has overplayed his opponent positionally and then captures his knight with an unusual smart trick 41.Rd7! and 42.Qf3!

@Alexander_Zubov has also became a hero of funny situation.

Episode 1. Treacherous mouse

In bullet section GM Zubov won his first game against a strong Russian blitzer FM Matvey Galchenko (Murmansk) @ MatthewG-p4p.

But in the second game his mouse has broken in the most decisive moment and he lost by timeout.

What a nightmare!

Thanks God our advantage was big enough otherwise some of our fans could suffer from heart attack…

WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova @Jenia84, Champion of Ukraine – 2009 and member of National Team of Ukraine, joined Team Ukraine as early as in Season 2 of LCWL.

From our side we try to support our member on important OTB events like 87th Ukrainian Chess Championship (Kyiv, December-2018)

As WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova plays on chess.com relatively seldom she is obviously underrated.

So she had a very big advantage in class over her opponents in the match.

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From Russian side one of the best performers was FM Vjacheslav Witik @Witik who scored 4 out 6.

Besides it he drew attention to himself as a hero of another funny moment

Episode 2.  “Come here, my little sweet candy!”

IM Kirill Reshetkov (Odessa) @reshetkov and FM Vjacheslav Witik @Witik played dozens of games versus each other on chess.com before.

It seems gentlemen were glad to face again in the match.

While playing both went on trolling each other: Reshetkov – in the chat-room, Witik – in his stream

Screenshot of the chat room: “Glory to Ukraine”, “Glory to Russia” and…..”Witik, come here!”

In the second bullet game played very well by both rivals @Witik managed to seize initiative and transform it into decisive advantage.

So it was hightime for FM Witik screaming his sacral slogan: “Come here, my little sweet candy!”

But almost immediately after that he made a big mistake 57.Qd6 because of mouse slip losing a big portion of his advantage.

Eventually the game was won by @Witik.

In euphoric mood Vjacheslav considering what a decent deposit he contributed into the victory of Team Russia until some of his spectators told him what was the score….

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GM Roman Ovetchkin @Roman_Ovetchkin from Tyumen is a well-known chess author and streamer.

In bullet section he faced a talented Ukrainian junior Olexiy Bilych @olexiybilych from Chernivtsi.

In the first game experienced Russian grandmaster gave a master-class to his younger opponent how to fight against Benko gambit starting with 10.h4!

But in the second game GM Ovetchkin blundered a piece and the score became 1-1.

Then we witnessed another funny situation

Episode 3. ”Bullet section lasts 20 minutes!”

Despite bullet section finished after 2 consecutive games battle Ovetchkin vs Bilych went on.
GM @Roman_Ovetchkin decided that bullet  would last 20 minutes (???) and sent another challenge to his opponent.

Video starts when GM Ovetchkin lost the third (!) bullet game and kept trying to equilize the score.

Sending another challenge he didn`t notices that his opponent in the fourth (!) bullet game was not @olexiybilych any more but his compatriot under Russian tricolor.

Considering that he was still playing in Ukraine vs Russia match, GM @Roman_Ovetchkin pushed hard to transform his extra quality into a point for his team.

He didn`t stop even after icon come up on the center of chessboard showing that the match has been finished.

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  • Match 2: Argentina vs Kazakhstan

In my previous blogpost I told that Argentina theoretically could enter Champions Pool in case of winning 3-0 against Kazakhstan while Serbia losing to France 0-3.

But even players of Argentina Live Chess didn`t believe such a scenario come true.

After winning Bullet and Blitz in a very close fighting, majority of Argentinians left the match before rapid section.

Hence Team Kazakhstan was an upper side in Random-960 and  got a confident win.

Great! Finally we`ve got a match in Division 1 finished with a score different from 3-0.

I liked the most combination by Kazhakh player @Aktauchess.

Mate in 3 after Queen sac 35….Qh2+!! – just amazing!

Why not to add it into Puzzle Rush database?

Interesting game of two masters was won by Argentinian player FM @Usurpov

His opponent @FM_KhairoshevN had a chance to take advantage in the opening after 10.g4?! – 10…Nfxd4! as Bishop on c1 was hanging.

But let`s take into account that in was a bullet game. After that FM @Usurpov pushed very hard and deserved a decent win.

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  • Match 3: Serbia vs France

Sensation here could happened if Team France strengthen its squad sufficiently while strong players of Srbija Tim ignore the match. Neither the first nor the second hasn`t taken place.

Anyway, the match was interesting especially its rapid section.

I`d like distinguish a French player @yoda-grosnase.

First, he became a co-author of masterpiece by Serbian player Nicola Matic @crnijahac with Queen sac after 18….Rh8! and 19….Rxg3!

Sometimes in random-960 it happens that some pieces stay on its initial position up to the end like Knight on a1.

Then @yoda-grosnase won a very good game by himself against strong master Nemanja Zivkovic @ZivkovicN, punishing him for bluffing sac 20….Nxb2?!

 

  • Match 4: Iceland vs Slovakia

This match was played at the same date and time as Ukraine vs Russia.

Nevertheless I saw some Icelandic players in the chat-room of our supermatch.

Unfortunately another lost by forfeit of Team Slovakia.

Only 17 boards were employed in the match while Team Iceland usually comes with around 50 players.

Some of Slovak players should be distinguished as they fought for their Team up to the end.

For instance, Renata @Miss_Tical

She`s got a big advantage over a strong Icelandic master FM Jón Kristinn Þorgeirsson (from Akureyri)

@jokksi99

In one moment White was a piece up and after 19.g3! their advantage would be decisive.

Instead @Miss_Tical made a harakiri moving her King under mating attack

But then she won an excellent game in Blitz versus a player stronger her by 300 rating points.

Very good attacking maneuver was 28.Rxg4! and then 29.Bg3!

Bravo!

 

Well, the most interesting battles of Season 4 are ahead!

Four best teams of Live Chess World League (Ukraine, Russia, Iceland, Serbia) will compete in Champions Pool for the Title of Absolute Champion of chess.com

No doubts all Candidates will get even stronger than they used to be during regular tournament.

We have already negotiated our schedule with colleagues:

Team Ukraine – Srbija Tim:        29th of September

Team Ukraine – Team Iceland:  13th of October

Team Ukraine – Team Russia:    20th of October

 

So I expect your patience to read another 3 my long and boring blogposts!