Match Fixing Singapore Style
by ICCF IM Junior Tay

It was the Asian Team Chess Championships 1995 held in National University of Singapore. We had just pipped the Malaysian Team in Round 7 2.5-1.5, Now we were up against Qatar in an hour's time. I can't really recall how but we somewhat came up with the idea that a 2-2 draw in this penultimate round would be ideal. After all, in Round 6, we were walloped 4-0 by Uzbekistan with their 3 Grandmasters and 1 International Master. I remember Meng Kong telling me that after 20 moves or so against GM Nenashev (now Graf), he was so utterly lost he thought he could then drive back home in time to beat the ERP cash deduction. So, perhaps, by scoring only 2 points in this round,  we should miss the biggies (i.e  Philippines/ Kazakhstan) in the last round.

Cue in the night before. To kill time, I  showed IM Hsu Li Yang, FM Terry Toh and CM Malcolm Tan an unusual and unsound line played by FM Chris Dunworth (the founder of England's 4NCL team event). Chris had showed up in Singapore and I even got him to play for my team in the Interclubs. He scored a win against Ong Yew Chiang and drew against FM Wong Foong Yin.

Have you heard about the Dunworth Defence? It goes 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d5?! or ?? depending on whether you think the shock value is worth the "!".

Position after 3...d7-d5

We had a very good time laughing at the cheap continuations the line generated. By the morning, Terry and Malcolm had decided to play it against Qatar. As for Li Yang, he shrugged his shoulders and gave a disapproving look. Meng Kong was not involved in this at all. He probably would have given us a piece of his mind if he knew we were going to 'kelong' 2 games to the Qataris.

And so here's how Round 8 went...

Saleh,Maher - Tan Chun,Malcolm (2260)
Asian Team Chess Championships, 1995
Notes by Junior Tay

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d5

4.cxd5 c6 5.dxc6

The cautious 5.Nc3 cxd5 6.exd5 (6.Nxd5 e6 7.Nc3 Bxd4 8.Nge2 with a slightly better position for White) 6...Nf6 transposes into the Panov Botvinnik Attack in the Caro Kann 7.Bb5+ Nbd7 8.Bxd7+?! Qxd7 9.Qf3 b6 10.Nge2 Bb7 11.Nf4 Rd8 12.Be3 Nxd5 13.Nfxd5 Bxd5 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 15.Qxd5 Rxd5 and Black went on to win in Dive,R-Olesen,M/Cafe Baroque Interna 1994 (56). 


Now the threat (non-existent) of Bxf2 winning the Queen is bound to alarm some folks. 


Very cautious...but now Black takes over. 6.Nf3?? Bxf2+! would never happen in an International Event. OK..maybe in a junior event.; 6.c7 Bxf2+ 7.Ke2 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 with preferable play for Black is also unlikely to happen.; 6.cxb7 Bxb7 (6...Bxf2+ 7.Kxf2 Qxd1 8.bxc8Q++-) 7.Bd3 Qb6 8.Qe2 and Black's initiative is insufficient for this pawn deficit.


6...Qb6 is even stronger!

7.Qb3?! Bg7 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Ng5?! 0–0

This looks like a Grunfeld gone very, very wrong for White.

10.Bc4 Ne5 11.Nd2 h6 12.Ngf3 Nxc4 13.Qxc4 Be6 14.Qb4

14...Qd3! 15.Ne5 Qa6 16.f3 Nh5 17.Nec4 Rac8 18.Ne3 Nf4

Mate on e2, Queen fork on d3...take your pick! 0–1

Hmmm...the game plan isn't working out. A quick win in less than half an hour. But it's ok..because Terry Toh is playing utter crap by then.

Mossa,Issa - Toh,Terry (2320)
Asian Team Chess Championships, 1995
Notes by Junior Tay

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3

Darn! No more Dunworth Defence. Now Terry has to make it up as he goes along and play something equally crappy.

3...c6 4.e4 d6 5.Be3


I think this qualifies as rather flimsy.


Once again, White plays cautiously. 6.exf5 Bxf5 7.Bd3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 Nf6 9.Nf3 0–0 10.0–0 and White is better due to the weakness on e6. If Black gets in e5, he is likely to end up with an isolated e pawn or backward d-pawn.


Trying his best to play badly. 6...fxe4! 7.Nxe4 (7.fxe4 Nf6 8.Nf3 0–0=) 7...Nh6!


7.e5! dxe5 8.dxe5 Nfd7 9.f4 with preferable game for White.

7...fxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 Be6

Undeniably dubious. 9...d5! was better.


10.d5! should have been played.

10...Qb6 11.Qd2 0–0 12.Ne2 d5?!

Terry is really trying to unbalance the White's favour.

13.c5 Qd8 14.0–0

Now White has a nice space advantage on the Queenside and if he can exchange the dark squared Bishops, it will be very difficult for Black to unravel.

14...Bf5 15.Nf4 e5 16.Bxf5 exf4 17.Be6+ Kh8 18.Bf2 Na6 19.Rfe1 Qf6 20.Rab1 Nc7 21.Bh3 Rae8 22.a4 Ne6 23.Bxe6 Rxe6 24.Rxe6 Qxe6 25.Re1 Qf6 26.Qd3 h5 27.b4 g5 28.b5± g4 29.Qe2


29...g3! 30.hxg3 fxg3 31.Bxg3 Qxd4+ 32.Bf2 Qxa4 33.Qe7!?

White sacrifices a pawn in an attempt to get at the Black King.

33...Qxb5 34.Qg5 Qb2 35.Re7 Qa1+ 36.Kh2 a5 37.Bg3!

It's almost over..with the fat lady getting up to the mike...

37...h4 38.Bd6

38.Be5 and the best move is to stop the clock and resign.

38...Qf6 39.Rxg7 Qxg5 40.Rxg5 Ra8 41.Kh3 a4 42.Kxh4 a3 43.Kh5 a2 44.Be5+ Kh7 45.Ba1

45.Rg7+ Kh8 46.Kg6 and kaput...


Shocked by the turn of events, White cannot adjust psychologically


46.Bxd4 a1Q 47.Rg7+ Kh8 48.Bxa1 Rxa1 49.Rxb7+-




47...Rc4 48.Rg5 Ra4 49.Re5 d3 50.Re7+?

50.Re8 and Black gets mated on his backside.

50...Kg8 51.Rxb7 d2 52.Kg6 Rxf4

and poof...there goes the win for White.

53.Rd7 Rg4+ 54.Kf6 Rxg2 55.Rd8+ Kh7 56.Kf7?? Kh6 57.Rd3 Kg5 58.Rd4 Rg1 59.Rxd2 Rxa1 60.Kg7 Kf4 0–1 As he resigned, Mr. Moussa told Terry: "You are not a chess player!".

And instead of losing the two Black games, we won both! What's more, Meng Kong and Li Yang beat IM (now GM) Al-Modiakhi and  Maher Saleh respectively with the White pieces!

Wong Meng Kong (2430) - Al Modiahki,Mohamad (2445)
Asian Team Chess Championships, 1995

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b3 Bg7 4.Bb2 c5 5.e3 0–0 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0–0 d6 8.d4 Ne4 9.Qc1 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 e5 12.Bb2 Qg5 13.Nc3 Nc5 14.Rd1 Bh3 15.Bf3 f5 16.Bd5+ Kh8

17.f4 Qh5 18.gxh3 e4 19.Nb5 Nd3 20.Bxg7+ Kxg7 21.Qc3+ Kh6 22.Rxd3 exd3 23.Qxd3 Qxh3 24.Rf1 Rad8 25.Nc7 Rf6 26.Qc3 Qg4+ 27.Bg2 Rf7 28.Ne6 Re8 29.Ng5 1–0

Hsu Li Yang (2430) - Khalil,Y.
Asian Team Chess Championships, 1995

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 O-O 6. a3 Bxc5 7. Nf3 b6 8. e3
Bb7 9. Bd3 h6 10. O-O Na6 11. b4 Be7 12. Bb2 Rc8 13. Qe2 Nc7 14. Rfd1 a6 15.
Rac1 d6 16. Bb1 Nce8

17. Na4 Qc7 18. Bd4 Nd7 19. e4 Nef6 20. Nd2 e5 21. Be3 b5 22. Nb2 Bc6 23. f3 Qb8 24. Bd3 Rfe8 25. Nb3 Bd8 26. Rd2 Bc7 27. Nd1 Qa8 28.Rdc2 Bb6 29. Nc3 Bxe3+ 30. Qxe3 bxc4 31. Bxc4

31...d5 32. exd5

32....Bxd5 33. Nxd5 Nxd5 34. Bxd5 Qb8 35. Rxc8 Rxc8 36. Nc5 Nf6 37. Be4 Qb6 38. Qc3 Rd8 39. Qxe5 a5 40. Qc3 axb4 41. axb4 Nd5 42. Bxd5 Rxd5 43. Re1 Qd6 44. Qc2 Qd8 45. Qe2 Qg5 46. h4 Qg3 47. Qe8+ Kh7 48. Qe3 f6 49. f4 Qxh4 50. g3 Qh3 51. Qe4+ Rf5 52. Re3 h5 53.Nd3 Qg4 54. Nf2 Qg6 55. Kh2 Rb5 56. Qxg6+ Kxg6 57. Rb3 Kf5 58. Kg2 g5 59. Kf3 g4+ 60. Ke3 h4 61. gxh4 g3 62. Ne4 g2 63. Ng3+ Kg4 64. Kf2 Kxh4 65. Kxg2 Kg4 66. Ne2 f5 67. Kf2 Rb6 68. b5 Kh4 69. Ke3 Re6+ 70. Kd3 Rd6+ 71. Kc4 Re6 72. Nd4 Re4 73. b6 1-0

So instead of the 2-2 result, we went 4-0 instead. Of course, we cursed silently when we saw the Round 9 pairings. We were paired against Kazakhstan who were playing for the title together with Philippines, China and Uzbekistan. I am glad to report that we took 1.5 points off them courtesy of Meng Kong holding ELO 2605-rated GM Tkachiev and your scribe managed to bluff IM Boris Katalymov. But that's a story for another day.

To check out what happened at the Asian Team Championships 1995, check this page - courtesy of Olimpbase.

[Published July 22, 2010]

© Junior Tay & S'pore Chess News. All Rights Reserved 2010

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