Mouflon Chess Challenge April 2020: Isaakidis through to the Finals
Alexandros Isaakidis is the second player to qualify for the Mouflon Chess Challenge April 2020 Final. Alexandros Isaakidis won against Ioannis Damianou 6,5-3,5 in yesterday’s Semi-Final Match. After a 3-3 draw in the 5+3 section, and in the 3+2 section Alexandros Isaakidis stormed to three victories in a row and secured a place in the Final and then drew the last game.
Game 1: Alexandros Isaakidis 1-0 Ioannis Damianou
In the first game Alexandros Isaakidis won against Ioannis Damianou Sicilian Taimanov. Black’s position went bad from the opening due to 9. … Be7? Black missed an amazing equalizing move in 28. … a5!! after White’s mistake 28. Qd2?
Game 2: Ioannis Damianou 1/2-1/2 Alexandros Isaakidis
In the second game after the English Opening was played on the board, pieces were exchanged quickly and by move 28 we had an equal rook endgame which was drawn on move 45.
Game 3: Alexandros Isaakidis 1/2-1/2 Ioannis Damianou
In the third game we saw the Open Ruy Lopez in which Black had a slight advantage. After 24. … Nd2?! Black’s advantage evaporated as Alexandros Isaakidis found a nice way to rattle the position down to an equal endgame and force a repetition.
Game 4: Ioannis Damianou 1-0 Alexandros Isaakidis
Ioannis Damianou equalized the match with a fine 4th game win of the match. Ioannis had a comfortable advantage from the opening which dissapeared at around move 28 due to Ioannis encountering time trouble and making inaccuracies. In mutual time trouble both players made many mistakes and in the end Ioannis Damianou came out on top and bagged the point.
Game 5: Alexandros Isaakidis 1-0 Ioannis Damianou
Alexandros Isaakidis took the lead back in game 5 as Ioannis Damianou blundered with 10. … Ng4?? Alexandros Isaakidis took unnecessary risks towards the end of the game where Ioannis had some chances to equalize the game which he missed as it is not easy to play such difficult positions short on time and thus Alexandros Isaakidis in the end won the game.
Game 6: Ioannis Damianou 1-0 Alexandros Isaakidis
With Ioannis Damianou needing to win this match to keep chances alive of making it into the Finals, we saw a very sharp Maroczy Bind. Alexandros Isaakidis went for the b2-pawn and after 15. Na4 he responded with the 15. … Qxa1? sacrifice which was refuted by Ioannis Damianou fine play.
|1||Alexandros Isaakidis||2220||Paphos Chess Club||1||1/2||1/2||0||1||0||3 / 6|
|2||Ioannis Damianou||2212||Nicosia Chess Club||0||1/2||1/2||1||0||1||3 / 6|
Game 7: Alexandros Isaakidis 1-0 Ioannis Damianou
After a small break the players started the 3+2 tiebreak match. The game started out as a Ruy Lopez Archangelsk and Moeller Defences. Out of the opening White gets a slight advantage. Ioannis Damianou tried an interesting rook sacrifice which unfortunately does not work as he doesn’t have enough time to get … e5 played.
Game 8: Ioannis Damianou 0-1 Alexandros Isaakidis
Alexandros Isaakidis takes a two point lead and thus secures at least a draw. The Sicilian Sveshnikov was played and we got to see another very sharp game. Black went for the risky 15. … f5!? and after White’s 17. g3?! Black equalized. During crazy complications and variations Ioannis Damianou went for the intermediary 23. Bd5?? which loses instead of immediately capturing the rook 23. Bxa8!
Game 9: Alexandros Isaakidis 1-0 Ioannis Damianou
With a third victory in a row Alexandros Isaakidis secured match victory and a place in the Finals. It was the shortest game of the match as Black went wrong quite early on with the natural looking 14. … c5? Alexandros Isaakidis wrapped the game quickly and flawlessly.
Game 10: Ioannis Damianou 1/2-1/2 Alexandros Isaakidis
The last game of the match was the longest and ended in a draw. It was very eventful as White had a comfortable advantage in the Opening. After 19. Nd5 White lost a pawn. Alexandros Isaakidis slowly increased his advantage to a winning advantage but in time trouble missed several crucial moves leading to an equal position. In an equal rook endgame in mutual time trouble a lot of mistakes were played from both sides where they missed winning and drawing opportunities and in the end we had a draw due to insufficient material.
|1||Alexandros Isaakidis||2220||Paphos Chess Club||1||1||1||1/2||3,5 / 4|
|2||Ioannis Damianou||2212||Nicosia Chess Club||0||0||0||1/2||0,5 / 4|