Zhao Jun on maximum points at Hastings Chess Congress

Zhao Jun

Zhao Jun

The Chinese GM Zhao Jun emerged as the only player on maximum points going into round five of the Hastings Masters after he had despatched GM Maxime Lagarde in short order.

11.Bf1 is a new move, unambitious-looking, but suggesting that the pawn on e5 gives White a good game.

13…Nc5 provokes a fight, but Black’s position is suspect once the bishop on c6 is exchanged and his kingside remains undeveloped.

Perhaps instead 13…Be7 14.b4 a5 15.b5 Nc3 16.bxc6 Nxd1 17.cxd7+ Rxd7 or 13…Be7 14.b4 a5 15.b5 Nc3 16.Qb3 Bd5 17.Nc4 Ne4 18.Qc2, but Black’s knights look vulnerable.

There was a crazy line: 15…Qxc6 16.b4 Ncd3 17.Re3 Be7 18.g3 Qh1+ 19.Kxh1 Nxf2+ 20.Kg1 Nxd1 21.Re1 Nd5 22.Rxd1 Ne3 23.Bb5+ Kf8 24.Rf1 Nxf1 25.Bxf1, but White is better in the endgame.

Zhao Jun – M. Lagarde

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.a3 Bd7 8.Bd3 Bc6 9.0–0 Nd7 10.Re1 Qc7 11.Bf1 Rd8 12.Nbd2 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nc5 14.Nd4 Nf4 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.Qc2 Nfd3 17.Re3 Nxe5 18.b4 Ncd7 21.Nc4

(h2–h3 is a terrible threat. The knight on g4 has no good squares and if 21…Be7 22.h3 Nh6 23.Be5 Qc8 24.Rxg7) 21…Rd5 22.h3 h5 (Desperation) 23.hxg4 hxg4 24.Be5 Qd8 25.Re3 Nd7 26.g3 Qg5 27.Bg2 Nxe5 28.Bxd5 Nxc4 29.Bxc6+ 1–0

Sengupta – Sowray, round four. 40.Rd6 Ra8 41.Ke2 Re8+ 42.Kf2 Ra8 is a draw, but White found advantage. How?

White to play

Top seed Maxim Rodshtein was massacred by Hungarian IM Miklos Galyas, a game that we will look at tomorrow. Jonathan Hawkins is in a group of players on 3.5/4. For live updates, please follow my Twitter feed @telegraphchess.

Answer: 40.Rc6+!! Rxc6 41.a8Q Rc5 (White should win after 41…d1Q 42.Qxc6+ Kxb3 43.Qb5+ Kc3 44.Qxf5) 42.Qa3 Rc6 (Promoting leads to the line above and every square loses 42…Rc8 43.Qa5+ Kc2 44.Qxf5+; 42…Rd5 43.b4+ Kc2 44.Qa2+; 42…Re5 43.b4+ Kc2 44.Qa2+ Kc1 45.Qa1+) 43.b4+ Kc2 44.Qa4+ Kb2 45.Ke2 Rd6 46.Kd1 f4 47.b5 1–0

For live updates, please follow my Twitter feed @telegraphchess.

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