Saturday, 29 June 2013

Fighting for the d5 square with IM Mas - by Junior Tay

I would like to draw readers' attention to the following games of IM Mas Hafizulhelmi from the Malaysian Masters. After a hiatus from tournament chess in mid 2012, he has started playing more regularly this year and in this event, he demonstrated the class that made him the top Malaysian player for the past 2 decades.

Pitted against the 2012 Malaysian National Closed Champion Roshan Ajeet Singh, Mas kept absolute control of d5 and used his space advantage to soften the Black Kingside. Finally when Roshan initiated complications in the centre, Mas simpy overpowered him with an exchange sacrifice.

Mas used a similar ploy in the Sicilian Najdorf to exert control of d5. By castling long, the IM invited Fong to launch his Queenside pawns as Fong relinquished his centre to get his Bf6 to take aim. When Fong flung his pawns forward, Mas calmly picked them off and still kept total control to win comprehensively.
Instructive examples, don't you think?

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