Photo: copyright 2008 by Nikolay Noritsyn.
International Master Nikolay Noritsyn is a Grade 12 student from Richmond Hill, Ontario. He was born in Russia, and arrived in Canada from Israel in 1999. Noritsyn earned his IM title in 2007 by winning the Canadian Championship at age 16, the second youngest ever to capture the crown. Following this triumph, he was voted 2007 Canadian Chess Player of the Year. In early 2008, Noritsyn accomplished a rare 'picket fence' in the cross-table: a perfect string of ones, beating all 9 other players in the Toronto Closed Championship. Later in 2008, he represented Canada at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany.
Here is Noritsyn's win in the first game of the two game playoff that earned him the title of Canadian Champion:
Artem Samsonkin - Nikolay Noritsyn
Canadian Closed Championship, Playoff Final, Round 1, Kitchener, Ontario, 2007.08.06
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Bg7 6. Be3 Qb6
This dates back to 1958.
7. Nb5 Qa5 8. Bd2
Following De Wit-Knoppert, 1993, which is rarely played, as results are favourable to Black. White had more success with the natural developing move 8. N1c3.
8... Qd8 9. Bc3 Nf6 10. Nd2 O-O
Novelty. Previous games went 11. Be2. Common themes are the weaknesses in White's king position after castling kingside; and the eventual push of Black's centre pawns. See the conclusion, a queen sacrifice and a mate by 2 knights!: 11... d6 12. O-O a6 13. Nd4 Qb6 14. Nc2 Be6 15. Rb1 Rac8 16. a4 Nd7 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. b4 a5 19. bxa5 Qxa5 20. Ne3 Qa7 21. Nd5 Nc5 22. Nb6 Rc7 23. Rb5 f6 24. Qa1 Bf7 25. Nd5 Bxd5 26. cxd5 Ne5 27. Rb4 Ra8 28. Bb5 Ncd3 29. Rb3 Rc1 30. Rb1 Nxf2 31. h3 Nxh3+ 32. Kh2 Qe3 33. Rbxc1 Ng4+ 34. Kh1 Qg1+ 35. Rxg1 Nhf2# (De Wit-Knoppert, 1993, 0-1)
11... d6 12. O-O a6 13. Na3 Bd7 14. Qe2 Qb6 15. Nc2 Rfe8 16. Kh1 Ne5 17. Ne3
17... Nxd3 !?
An interesting choice. Why trade off White's bad bishop, which is hemmed in by P/c4,e4? There are several good reasons. First, every exchange brings Black closer to an endgame with a more favourable pawn structure. Second, White aims for middlegame play, beginning with f4, which will permit the pawns to move forward, thereby opening up the game for the bishop; best to remove it before this occurs. Third, Black gains some initiative attacking the pawns formerly defended by the bishop. Moreover, it is the queen which takes its place. With the queen busy defending these loose pawns, then it isn't as useful as it would be attacking elsewhere.
18. Qxd3 Rac8 19. Rac1 Bc6 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. exd5 Nd7 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Qc3 Kg8 24. f4 Nf6 25. Qd3 Qa5 26. a3 b5 27. b4 ?
A blunder which effectively decides the game.
27... bxc4 !
Black's queen is attacked. However, this in-between move gains time to clear the 5th rank, giving the queen added mobility.
With the elimination of the guardian of P/d5, Black snaps up the insufficiently defended pawn. If 28. bxa5 cxd3 -+ as all of White's loose pawns fall.
28... Qxd5 29. Rd4 Qb5 30. Qb3 Qe2 31. Kg1 Ng4 32. Rd3 Ne3 33. Rxe3 Qxd2 34. f5 Rc1 35. Ref3 Qd4 36. Kh1 Rxf1 37. Rxf1 gxf5 38. h3 e6 39. Rd1 Qe5 40. Qd3 a5 41. bxa5 d5 !
Black's passed pawns must be preserved. White's a-pawns cannot be defended and will fall easily enough.
42. a6 Ra8 43. Qd2 f4 44. Rf1 Rxa6 45. Rxf4 Rxa3 46. Rf1 Ra1 47. Rxa1 Qxa1 48. Kh2 Qe5 49. Kh1 d4 50. Qb2 h5 51. Qd2 Kg7 52. Qd3 h4 53. Qc4 Qe1 54. Kh2 Qg3 55. Kh1 d3 56. Qc3 Kh7 57. Qf6 Kg8 58. Qd8 Kg7 59. Qd4 e5 60. Qd8 Qe3 61. Qxh4 Qc1 62. Kh2
On 62... Qf4+ Black forces a queen trade and promotes the d-pawn; the White king is stranded outside the square and cannot catch it.
Thanks to Nikolay Noritsyn for assistance, biography information and photo; Bob Armstrong and Hugh Brodie.
Sources: MonRoi; Chess Canada Echecs, Vol.33 No.4, 2005.08; Scarborough Community of Toronto Chess News & Views, Volume 10, No. 7, 2008.12.01; 2008 Olympiad web page on the web site of the Chess Federation of Canada.
This article was originally published by The Chess Federation of Canada in its webzine Chess Canada, 2009.01.26.