Photo: copyright 2008 by the photographer David Cohen.
International Master Artem Samsonkin (first name pronounced Artiom) was born in Belarus and arrived in Canada in 2007. Previous successes included 1st place, Under 2200 (Section B), Tenkes Kupa, Hungary 2001; Belarus Under 16 Champion in 2004; and the IM title in 2006. In Canada, he tied for 1st place in the 2007 Canadian Championship, and won the 2008 Canadian Junior Championship.
Here is one of his victories from the 2008 Canadian Junior Championship, where he scored 7 wins in the first 7 rounds:
Ling Feng Ye - Artem Samsonkin
Canadian Junior Championship, Toronto, Ontario, 2008.05.11, Round 5
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 O-O 9. O-O a5
This dates to 1949.
10. a4 Nb4
Played successfully by both Kevin Spraggett and Igor Ivanov.
11... d5 !
Novelty. This is a thematic equalizing pawn push in the Sicilian Defence, even though it looks impossible here, with 4 attackers and 3 defenders. Ticianeli-Masculo 1978 was 11... Be6, establishing the book move.
12. exd5 Bf5 13. Rc1 e4 14. Be2 Nbxd5 15. Bd4 Nxc3 16. Bxc3 Qc7 17. Qe1 b6 18. Nd4 Bg6 19. Nb5 Qc6 20. b3 Nd5 21. Bc4
Black outplayed White in the opening, gaining a slight advantage from the central pawn and White's defensively placed rooks. But now Black seeks complications. White handles the next phase well, seizing the initiative and the advantage.
22. Be5 Bg5 23. Qc3 Rfc8 24. Rcd1 Qc5 25. Kh1 Ne6 26. Rd7 Bf4 27. Bxf4 Nxf4 28. Qe3 Qf5 29. Rfd1 ?
White tries to consolidate his advantage with this natural looking move to finally develop his rook and take control of the file. But White overlooks a tactic.
Interference between the rooks who were guarding each other; the attack by Q/f5 on the now undefended R/d7 gains the tempo to threaten ..Nxf2+ winning the exchange from the double attack by N vs. K+R.
30. Rxf7 Bxf7 31. Bxf7+ ?
31. cxd3 Bxc4 32. dxc4 gives White a chance to play on.
31... Qxf7 32. cxd3 Qxb3
The attack on the rook combined with the back rank mate threat means Black will be able to play .. exd3 with a decisive advantage.
Thanks to Artem Samsonkin for biography and photo.
Sources: Chess Canada, 2007-3; Hugh Brodie's database of Canadian Chess games.
This article was originally published by The Chess Federation of Canada in its webzine Chess Canada, 2009.02.02.