979. Hari Raya Haji Rating 2013

FIDE Master Liu Xiangyi (right) at the Hari Raya Haji Rating Chess Tournament 2013

FIDE Master Liu Xiangyi, a Chinese-born member of Singapore’s Under 16 World Youth Olympic team, won the 2013 edition of the Hari Raya Haji Rating Chess Tournament (SCF, October 12-15, 2013, 90 minutes/player). After four consecutive victories in the early rounds, in the last two games Liu drew two Malaysian players: Lawrence Yi Hearn Teoh (second) and Fong Yit San (third) both securing higher tiebreaks than the Filipino Napoleon Recososa in the final standings (4.5/6). Below is the winner’s last round game against Fong Yit San:

Liu Xiangyi – Fong Yit San [B50]

Hari Raya Haji Rating Tournament, Singapore, Round 6, 15 October 2013

After 13…Ne8-c7

1.e4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 d6 4.c3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.0–0 Nf6 7.d4 0–0 7…Nxe4? 8.d5! f5 9.dxc6 bxc6 10.Ng5 d5 is too risky for Black. 8.Qe2 Bg4 9.dxc5 dxc5 10.h3 Be6 11.Ng5 Qc8 12.e5 Ne8 12…Nd5!? 13.Rd1 Rd8 14.f4 h6 15.Nxe6 Qxe6 was a good choice as well. 13.f4 Nc7 [see diagram] 14.Be3 This wins a pawn but not without some compensation for Black, especially for a last-round game. 14…Bd5 14…Bd7!? 15.g4! (15.Bxc5 allows 15…h6 16.Ne4 Bxh3) 15…h6 16.Ne4 b6 17.Na3 with a clear space advantage for White. 15.Bxc5 Bxg2 16.Qxg2 Ne6 17.Nxe6 Qxe6 18.Nd2 Rfd8 19.Nb3 Qc4! Due to Black’s active pieces, White’s extra pawn does not mean much. 20.Rfd1 Bf8 21.Qf1 Qe4 22.Nd4 e6 23.Bxf8 Kxf8 24.Qg2 Deciding to exchange Black’s very active queen. 24.Nb5!? would have accomplished little after 24…Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Qc2 26.b4 a6! 27.Rc1 Qxa2 28.Nd6 Qd2 29.Nxb7 Qe3+ 30.Kg2 Qd2+ 31.Kh1 a5! and Black gets serious counterplay. 24…Qxg2+ 25.Kxg2 Nxd4 26.cxd4 Rac8 27.Rd2 Rd5 28.Rad1 Ra5! 29.a3 Rb5 30.Kf2 Rb3 31.Re1 h5 32.Re3 Rxe3 32…Rb5! was a more solid choice. 33.Kxe3 Rc1 34.h4 White could have tried 34.d5!? exd5 35.Rxd5 Ke7 36.Rd3. 34…Rg1 35.Kf3 Rf1+ 36.Rf2 Rc1 37.Ke4 Ke7 38.Rf3 Kd7 39.Rc3 Rg1 40.a4 Ra1 41.b3 Rd1 42.Rd3 Re1+ 43.Kf3 Kc6 44.Rc3+ Kd7 44…Kd5! 45.Rc7 Rf1+ 46.Kg2 Rb1 47.Rxb7 Ke4 48.a5 Ke3! was equally good even if it looks slightly risky. 45.Rd3 Kc6 46.Rc3+ Kd7 Drawn.