Dominators: Telex Championship Results!

By Mike Basman, February 2021

In late 2020, three Telex (long distance) tournaments took place between Wey Valley players, which is the Surrey Primary School Chess Association. The top group, the ‘Dominators’ was won by Aarav Gupta with 13/15 points. Scroll to the end for the full results table.

This is the decisive game in the Telex Dominators Championship. Prior to the game, Aarav had 3 wins out of 3, and Sebastian Mohkber-Garcia and Praneeta Karjodkar each had three wins, a loss and a draw out of four games. So one of them would have to beat Aarav to win the tournament.

White:  Aarav Gupta                             Black:  Sebastian Mokhber-Garcia

  1. e4, e5
  2. Nf3, Nc6
  3. Nc3, Nf6
  4. d3, Bc5
Position after 4… Bc5 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

The standard package for junior games. They put a couple of pawns in the centre, bring out their knights and bishops, and castle, but then don’t have a clue what to do with their rooks.

Black’s last move, 4… Bc5, allows white a temporary piece sacrifice to help him gain more central control.

5. Nxe5! Nxe5
6. d4, Bd6
7. dxe5, Bxe5
8. Bd3, d5!

Position after 8… d5! (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Black reacts aggressively against white’s central control.

9. Bg5, Bxc3+
10. bxc3, dxc4

Position after 10… dxe4 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

White is feeling the pressure here. His best chance might be 11. Bxe4! since after 11… Qxd1+ 12. Rxd1, Nxe4?? he can play 13. Rd8++

If instead black plays 12… Bg4, 13. Bxb7, Rb8 14. Bc6+, Ke7 15. Rc1 just about keeps in the shop on the road.

11. Bxf6?

This leads to the loss of a pawn and a dire position.

11… Qxf6
12. Bxe4, Qxc3+
13. Kf1, 0-0

Position after 13… 0-0 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

A pawn down and without castling rights, white’s prospects are bleak.

14. Rb1, c6

Even better was 14… Be6, to complete the rout of the white king.

15. Rb3! Qe5
16. Re3!

White puts one rook in a powerful position, while the other languishes at home.

Position after 16. Re3! (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

16… Qc7
17. h4, f5
18. Bf3, f4
19. Rd3, Bf5
20. Rc3, Qb6
21. Be2, Rad8
22. Qc1, a6
23. Rb3, Qa5
24. Qa1, b5
25. Qc3, Qxc3
26. Rxc3, Be4
27. f3, Bd5
28. a3, Rfe8
29. Kf2, Re6

Position after 29… Re6 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

White has made some progress. He has managed to free his rook on the kingside, and he has exchanged the queens, which makes the white king feel safer; but he still has the problem of being a pawn down in an ending.

30. Re1??

This could be the decisive mistake as it lands the bishop in an unbreakable pin after black’s next move. 30. Bd3 should have been played.

30… Rde8!

Position after 30… Rde8! (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Now the rook at e1 cannot move because of the loss of the bishop, and the bishop cannot move because it loses a rook. White can try 31. Rd3, Bc4 32. Rd2, but then black just swaps all the pieces off for a won king and pawn ending.

31. Kf1, Ba4??

Position after 31… Bc4 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

A small slip on the smooth road to victory. Black should have prefaced this move with 31… Kf8!

We shall soon see why.

32. Bxc4!

Now black cannot take the rook at e1 because his own rook is pinned! On such slight differences are contests won and lost. Black is hoisted with his own petard (or pinnard).

32… bxc4
33. Rxe6, Rxe6
34. Rxc4

Position after 34. Rxc4 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Now white has the advantage, as black’s pawns are the weaker, and white’s rook is dominant.

34… Rf6
35. Kf2?

White would have done better to use the king more aggressively with 35. Ke2!

35… Kf7
36. g3?

And this needlessly splits the white pawns.

36… fxg3+
37. Kxg3

Position after 37. Kxg3 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

37… Ke7
38. Rd4, Rd6
39. Re4+, Re6
40. Kf4, Kd6
41. Rxe6+, Kxe6

Position after 41. Kxe6 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

The king and pawn ending is finely balanced. Can white break through?

42. Ke4, c5
43. c4?

43. h5 was a better winning chance.

43… g6
44. a4, a5
45. f4, h5
46. Ke3, Kf5
47. Kf3, Kf6
48. Kg3

Position after 48. Kg3 (Diagram courtesy of chess.com)

And here the players agreed a draw.

Aarav then drew his game with Praneeta Karjodkar, which secured him the winner’s trophy. These three players, Aarav, Sebastian and Praneeta, now head the junior leader board in the February Invisible Army ranking list.

Full Results

 Competitor123456Total
1. Aarav Guptax2233313
2. Praneeta Karjodkar2x133312
3. Sebastian Mokhber-Garcia23x13312
4. Nathaniel Butcher113x139
5. Brahman Kurunathan1113x17
6. Melanie Norris11113x7

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