Mouflon Chess Challenge April 2020: Michaelides beats Nichlos

by Mark Bryan

by Mark Bryan

FIDE Instructor | FIDE Arbiter | ECU Certified School Chess Teacher

3-time Cyprus Chess Champion Konstantinos Michaelides joins Ioannis Damianou & Alexandros Isaakidis in the Mouflon Chess Challenge April 2020 Semi-Final. Konstantinos Michaelides won against Michalis Nichlos 6-0 in yesterday’s Quarter-Final Match. Konstantinos Michaelides dominated the match, as he secured match victory with two games to spare. On the other hand, Michalis Nichlos missed quite a few winning opportunities. 

Game 1: Konstantinos Michaelides 1-0 Michalis Nichlos

On the board in the first game of the match we had the King’s Indian the pet line of Michalis Nichlos. Konstantinos Michaelides came out of the opening with an advantage as black’s pieces were very passive. Michalis Nichlos in desperation to find counterplay tried to spice the game up with a sacrifice which did not work out and lost the game.

Game 2: Michalis Nichlos 0-1 Konstantinos Michaelides

The French Defence was played in which the game quickly liquidated into a bishop vs knight endgame with six pawns each in which black was slighlty better. Michalis Nichlos seemed to be holding until Konstantinos Michaelides upped the pressure and with 10 seconds remaining Michalis Nichlos could not keep up with finding all the right moves succumbed to the pressure.

Game 3: Konstantinos Michaelides 1-0 Michalis Nichlos

The third game was a thriller as Konstantinos came out of the opening with a clear advantage which evaporated after the questionable 14. exf6?! move. After equalizing Michalis Nichlos launched an attack on the queenside which gave him at some point a clear advantage which he misplayed and gave the game back to Konstantinos Michaelides. In time-trouble both players missed severaal winning/drawing opportunities and in the end Konstantinos kept his cool and took the full point.

Game 4: Michalis Nichlos 0-1 Konstantinos Michaelides

Again the French Defence employed but this time Michalis Nichlos changed strategy and played 10.Nxd4 instead of 10. Bxd4 which did not really pay off as just two moves down he blundered with 12. Bc5?? a piece. After 12 more moves Michalis Nichlos through in the towel and thus Konstantinos Michaelides secured match victory like the other two Quarter-Final matches before in the 4th game.

Game 5: Konstantinos Michaelides 1-0 Michalis Nichlos

This game was quite strange as it seemed Black solved his problems from the opening but it wasn’t the case. So we had an English to begin with where queens and dark squared bishops were exchanged. Black hat a backward pawn on d6 which he got rid of with … d5. Although Black got rid of that bad pawn, his lack of development caused him many unpleasant problems and tru to his nature Michalis Nichlos could not defend passively and tried to find active counterplay only to bump into superb play by Konstantinos Michaelides who eventually wrapped the game up on move 51.

Game 6: Michalis Nichlos 0-1 Konstantinos Michaelides

The last game was another thriller this time we saw another French and again Michalis Nichlos was the first person to deviate with 9. 0-0. Michalis Nichlos came out of the opening with a comfortable advantage. Konstantinos Michaelides made several mistakes starting with 17. … Qb6. Michalis Nichlos did not punish him for those mistakes and the game became equal again. After 22. … Bb5 the tide turned again in White’s favor and Michalis Nichlos played the wonderful 23. Nxe6! but again in time pressure he misstepped with 25. Nxg5+ which gave Black the advantage. After Konstantinos’ 27. … Rh8?? Michalis missed a nice mating attack and Konstantinos Michaelides who was also in time pressure did not respond well and the game went back to winning for White just for Michalis Nichlos to play 32. Rf3?? missing mate in one and Konstantinos also missing mate in one but still with his 32. … Rde8 the game is winning for Konstantinos where the time ran out for White.

# Flag Name Rating Club 1 2 3 4 5 6 Score
1 flag, country, cyprus-1040575 Konstantinos Michaelides 2260 Larnaca Chess Club 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 / 6
2 map, greece, flag-1020110 Michalis Nichlos 1639 Nicosia Chess Club 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 / 6

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