International Chess Federation
Thursday, 24 Aug 2023 08:59
5th FIDE World Championship for People with Disabilities crosses midpoint

The participants of the 5th FIDE World Championship for People with Disabilities have passed the halfway mark. In the fifth round, two Polish players faced each other on the first board. FM Marcin Molenda was leading the tournament with a perfect score of 4/4 points, while his opponent, GM Marcin Tazbir, was trailing by a half-point (pictured above). Tazbir emerged victorious in this clash, thus dethroning Molenda from the top position. The battle was intense from the very beginning, but a tactical oversight by Molenda in the middlegame allowed his opponent to quickly secure a winning position. 

Tazbir, Marcin – Molenda, Marcin 

The position is roughly equal. White has more space on the board, his pieces are better coordinated, and the c5 pawn is very strong. However, Black possesses a bishop pair, and the correct idea would be activating the light-squared one by 18…Bc6= or 18…b5= (18…b6). Molenda, however, decided to attack the d3-pawn straight away and played 18…Bb5??. Unfortunately for him, it is a huge blunder, as after 19.Nd6!+- Black can't protect his pieces. The game continued with 19…Nxd3 (19…Bxd3 20.Qxe5+-; 19…Bxd6 20.cxd6 Qxd6 21.Qxe5+-) 20.Nxb5 Nxe1 21.Qxe1 Qd7 22.a4. White has two light pieces for a rook and a pawn, but because of black's passiveness and weak structure, Marcin had little problem converting the advantage. The rest of the game was a smooth sail for White: 22…Bd8 23.Nc4 Be7 24.Ne5 Qe8 25.c6! bxc6 26.Bxc6 Bb4 27.Bxe8 Bxe1 28.Bxf7+ Rxf7 29.Nxf7 Bxf2 30.Kxf2 Kxf7 31.Kf3 Black resigned. 1-0

After this win Marcin Tazbir is leading the field (4.5/5 points), followed by four players on 4/5: IM Lukasz Nowak (Poland), FM Marcin Molenda (Poland), and IM Daniel Pulvett. 

Emilia Egeman of Poland (pictured above) tops the women's standings (3/5 points). In Round 5, The 17-year-old defeated a higher-rated Ukrainian opponent Oleksii Filippskikh with a beautiful tactical strike, shattering the defense around the opponent's king.

FIlippskikh, Oleksii – Egeman, Emilia 

26…Rxe4!!-+ 27.Ne6 (27.Bxe4 was objectively the best option for White but after 27…Qh3 White has to give up her queen: 28.Qxd2 Bxd2 29.Bg2 (29.Rb3 Qg4) Qg4 30.Ra4 b5 and Black emerges with an extra piece) Ree2 28.Rf6 Rxg2+ 29.Kf1 Bg7 30.Rfb4?? Qb5+ 0-1

The special guest of the fourth round was FIDE Secretary General Łukasz Turlej. He made the first ceremonial move on the top board. 

FIDE Secretary General Lukasz Turlej makes the first move on the top board FM Marcin Molenda - IM Lukasz Nowak

In the sixth round of the tournament, the sole leader, GM Marcin Tazbir, will take on Nikolay Mukha from Ukraine with Black. On the second board, two International Masters will face each other: Daniel Pulvett from Spain will try to make good use of the white pieces against Lukasz Nowak from Poland. The upcoming rounds will be decisive in determining the champions and the medalists.