Zhao Jun made it five wins in a row as his avalanche of pawns engulfed Sandeep Gupta at Hastings.
The Chinese GM faces Romain Eduard in the sixth round after the latter exploited a miscalculation from England’s Jonathan Hawkins to become the only player on 4.5/5.
In round four, the top seed Maxim Rodshtein was thashed by Hungarian IM Miklos Galyas.
5…Qe7 is a little odd, but not necessarily bad. I wonder if after 5…a5, the main line, Rodshtein was worried about White heading for a draw with 6.Nxe5 fxe5 7.Qh5+ Kd7 8.Qf5+, as 7…g6 8.Qxe5+ Qe7 9.Qxh8 Nf6 10.Bb2 Be6 11.Bxd4 seems good for White.
M. Galyas – M. Rodshtein
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 3.b4 f6 4.e3 e5 5.c5 Qe7 6.Bb5+ c6 7.Bc4 Be6 (7…a5!?) 8.Qb3 Bxc4 9.Qxc4 dxe3 10.fxe3 a5 11.0–0 axb4 12.d4 Na6 (Black’s kingside pieces take a long time to emerge and so trying to cling on to an extra pawn is very ambitious. 12…Nd7) 13.a3! bxa3 14.Rxa3 g6? (Missing White’s brilliant idea 14…Nh6 15.Nc3 Nf7) 15.Nc3 e4 (15…Bg7 16.Ne4 to d6) 16.Nd2 f5
17.Ndxe4!! fxe4 18.Nxe4! Qd7 (18…Qxe4 19.Qf7+ Kd8 20.Qxf8+ Qe8 21.Qd6+ Kc8 22.Rf8) 19.Nd6+ Bxd6 20.cxd6 Nh6 21.e4! (They do say knights on the rim are dim)
21…Qxd6 22.Bxh6! Qxa3 23.Qf7+ Kd8 24.Qxb7 Nc7 25.Bg5+ Kd7 26.Rf7+ Ke6 27.Qxc7 Qa1+ 28.Rf1 Qxd4+ 29.Kh1 1-0 29.Kh1 Rhe8 30.Qxc6+ Qd6 31.Rf6+; 29.Kh1 Qxe4 30.Qe7+ Kd5 31.Rd1+.
Littlewood, White, to play envisaged this position and victory after 20.Nf5.
What had the ‘Patriarch of Soviet Chess’ prepared?
Answer: 20.Nf5 c2+! 21.Kxc2 Qc8+ or 21.Ka1 Qxd1+.