Baljakin wins dutch championship 2010

Alexander Baljakin

In supreme style Alexander Baljakin defended his title in the dutch championship 2010. He scored 17 points in 11 games, 4 more than Boomstra, Meurs and Dolfing. Using simple strategies Baljakin outplayed many of his opponents. Often it seemed like his opponents were unaware of the danger they were in until it was already too late. Let us have a look at his games.

Alexander Baljakin - Jasper Lemmen 2-0 2010.04.09

1.33-29 17-21 2.39-33 21-26 3.44-39 11-17 4.32-28 17-21 5.38-32 20-24 6.29x20 15x24 7.31-27 10-15 8.43-38 18-23 9.49-43 12-18 10.27-22 18x27 11.37-31 26x37 12.42x22 21-26 13.47-42 7-12 14.41-37 1-7 15.50-44 12-18 16.37-31 26x37 17.42x31 18x27 18.31x22 7-12 19.46-41 12-18 20.34-29 23x34 21.40x20 18x27 22.32x21 16x27 23.41-37 15x24 24.28-23 19x28 25.33x31 13-18 26.45-40 8-12 27.40-34 5-10 28.39-33 14-19 29.44-39 10-14 30.37-32

diagram 1
diagram 1

At this moment there is little evidence that white will win the game. White has a 6 tempo advantage, but the black defense is solid enough to compensate for that. In the next couple of moves black needlessly gives away more terrain.

14-20(?) 31.31-27 9-13 32.36-31 2-7 33.31-26 3-8 34.34-30 20-25 35.48-42 25x34 36.39x30 18-23 37.43-39 4-9 38.39-34 6-11 39.27-21 12-18

As was indicated by Harm Wiersma here   11-17? was not possible due to the combination 40.33-29! 24x33 41.38x18 13x22 42.32-27 22x31 43.26x37 17x26 44.37-31 26x48 45.30-25 48x30 46.35x11 and now for example 12-18 47.11-7 18-23 48.7-1 23-28 49.1-29 28-32 50.29-42 9-14 51.42-15 32-37 52.15-47 14-19 53.25-20 19-23 54.20-15 23-29 55.47x24! 37-41 56.24-19! W+.

  40.33-29! 24x33 41.38x29

The tempo difference has grown into +10 for white. Nothing is lost for black yet, but slowly his position is getting a bit dangerous.

8-12 42.30-25 11-17 43.25-20 9-14 44.20x9 13x4 45.42-38 17-22(?) 46.32-27! 22x31 47.26x37

diagram 2
diagram 1

Using a subtle backwards exchange Baljakin increases the pressure on the black position. Lemmen still has many different ways to make a draw, but a safe way to make a draw is no longer available.

4-9 48.38-33 9-13!?

After this move white can advance to make a king at the cost of only one piece. An alternative way to make a draw was   9-14 and now for example 49.35-30 14-20 50.37-31 7-11 51.21-16 11-17 52.31-26 20-25 53.29-24 17-22 54.24x13 18x9 55.16-11 23-28 56.33-29 12-17!! 57.11-6 17-21 58.26x17 22x11 59.6x17 28-32 etc. But one can imagine that the black player didn't trust such variants.

  49.35-30! 23-28 50.33x22 18x16 51.29-24 19-23 52.24-20 23-28 53.20-15 28-33 54.15-10 33-38 55.10-4 12-18?

Here black needed to give three pieces to secure a draw. After   12-17!! 56.4x2 38-43 a 4 against 2 endgame results that cannot be won because of the vulnerable position of the white pieces. But who can blame a black player for not spotting the wonderful way in which Baljakin claims the victory after the last move? It's almost like an endgame composition.

  56.34-29! 16-21 57.30-25! 21-27 58.4-15! 18-22 59.15-24!! 13-18 60.24-2! 7-12 61.2-16!!

Now 27-31 fails due to the little combination 62.37x26! 38-42 63.16-27 22x31 64.26x48 W+

  27-32 62.37x8 38-42 63.16-38

Kees Thijssen - Alexander Baljakin 1-1 2010.04.10

1.32-28 17-22 2.28x17 12x21 3.31-26 7-12 4.26x17 12x21 5.36-31 19-23 6.31-27 21x32 7.37x19 14x23 8.41-37 1-7 9.46-41 7-12 10.34-29 23x34 11.39x30 11-17 12.44-39 16-21 13.37-32 6-11 14.41-37 20-24 15.30x19 13x24 16.50-44 10-14 17.33-29 24x33 18.38x29 14-19 19.35-30 9-13 20.39-33 4-9 21.43-38 5-10 22.30-25 10-14 23.44-39 2-7 24.39-34 21-27 25.32x21 17x26 26.34-30 11-17 27.49-44 17-22 28.40-35 22-27 29.44-40

diagram 3
diagram 3

18-23 30.29x18 13x22 31.30-24 19x30 32.35x24 12-18 33.24-20 15x24 34.33-28 22x33 35.38x20 9-13 36.20x9 3x14 37.40-34 13-19 38.37-32 27x38 39.42x33 7-12 40.34-30 8-13 41.45-40 26-31 42.48-42

Alexander Baljakin - Pim Meurs 1-1 2010.04.10

1.32-28 20-25 2.37-32 15-20 3.41-37 10-15 4.46-41 5-10 5.31-27 19-23 6.28x19 14x23 7.33-28 9-14 8.28x19 14x23 9.39-33 10-14 10.44-39 13-19 11.50-44 17-21 12.33-28 21-26 13.39-33 8-13 14.44-39 4-9 15.33-29 2-8 16.39-33 12-17

diagram 4
diagram 4

In two earlier occasions Kalmakow now played the exchange 17.29-24 19x39 18.28x10 15x4 19.43x34. Baljakin's next move seems to be new.

  17.34-30 23x34 18.30x39 17-21 19.35-30 25x34 20.40x29 7-12 21.36-31 1-7 22.41-36

After 18-23 23.29x18 12x23 24.39-34 black has little hope to keep the white position under control. And so Meurs decides to simplify the position.

  18-22 23.27x18 12x34 24.39x30 20-25 25.49-44 25x34 26.44-40 11-17 27.40x29 17-22 28.28x17 21x12 29.32-28 14-20 30.43-39 12-18 31.37-32 26x37 32.42x31 20-24 33.29x20 15x24 34.28-22 18x27 35.31x22 7-12 36.47-42 12-18 37.32-28 18x27 38.28-23 19x28 39.33x31 13-19 40.31-27 8-13 41.36-31 6-11

Auke Scholma - Alexander Baljakin 1-1 2010.04.11

1.31-27 19-23 2.33-28 17-21 3.28x19 14x23 4.38-33 13-19

Baljakin is not interested in theoretical opening discussions, and this is an effective way to avoid that.

5.33-28 21-26 6.39-33 10-14 7.44-39 9-13 8.34-30 11-17 9.43-38 17-22 10.28x17 12x21 11.33-28 4-9 12.30-25 20-24 13.37-31 26x37 14.42x31 6-11 15.49-43 5-10 16.47-42 7-12 17.39-33 21-26 18.43-39 26x37 19.42x31

diagram 5
diagram 5

In this classical position both players have same weaknesses. But it seems that the white position is more out of balance than the black one, due to the inactive pieces on 41 and 46 and the missing pieces on 42 and 43.

12-17 20.50-44 2-7 21.48-43 15-20 22.39-34 10-15 23.34-29 23x34 24.40x29 8-12 25.44-39 18-23 26.29x18 13x22 27.27x18 12x23 28.31-26 9-13 29.41-37 7-12 30.36-31 1-6 31.31-27 3-8 32.27-22!

diagram 6
diagram 6

Scholma has neutralized the weaknesses in his position. If black plays 16-21 white can respond with 33.37-31!

  17-21 33.26x17 12x21 34.46-41 11-17 35.22x11 16x7 36.37-31 21-26 37.41-36 26x37 38.32x41 23x32 39.38x27 24-29 40.33x24 20x29 41.35-30 19-23 42.43-38 23-28 43.27-22 28x17 44.39-33 29-34 45.30x39 13-19 46.36-31 7-12 47.31-27 12-18 48.41-36 8-13 49.33-28 18-23 50.38-32 23-29 51.39-33 29x38 52.32x43 13-18

Alexander Baljakin - Sven Winkel 2-0 2010.04.12

1.32-28 16-21 2.31-26 11-16 3.34-29 19-23 4.28x19 14x34 5.39x30 7-11 6.44-39 1-7 7.36-31 20-25 8.41-36 25x34 9.40x29 10-14 10.46-41 14-20 11.45-40 5-10 12.40-34 9-14 13.37-32 3-9 14.32-28 21-27!? 15.31x22 18x27

diagram 7
diagram 7

Winkel follows a risky strategy. He invites Baljakin to a massive attack through the center under almost ideal circumstances.

16.35-30 20-25 17.28-23 14-20 18.50-44 13-18 19.30-24 9-13 20.41-37 10-14 21.44-40 17-21 22.26x17 11x22 23.49-44!

Baljakin accepts a weakness, to avoid the simplifications after   23.37-31 13-19 24.24x13 8x28 25.29-24 20x29 26.34x21 16x27.

  14-19 24.23x14 20x9 25.37-31 18-23 26.29x18 12x23 27.31-26 13-18 28.40-35 23-28 29.34-29

The white strategy is now completely centered around the move 26-21. Without this move his position would be a complete wreck.

8-12(?)

It is not clear why Winkel preferred this move above the more logical   7-12. Then after 30.26-21 25-30 31.21x23 30x28 the center piece is under less pressure than in the game. Another good alternative was   9-13 30.26-21 27-31 31.36x27 22x31 32.33x22 16x27 33.38-33 13-19 34.24x13 18x9 35.42-37 27x18 36.37x26 with an equalized position.

  30.26-21 25-30 31.21x23 30x28 32.36-31!

White moves the piece from 36 to 26, to slow down the development of the black right wing.

9-13(?) 33.31-26! 4-10

Perhaps black should have played   2-8 34.42-37 16-21 35.26x17 22x11 36.33x22 18x27. But it doesn't look attractive for black due to his weak left wing.

  34.42-37 2-8 35.35-30 10-14 36.30-25 7-11?

Here   6-11 was necessary. The difference with the game is that after 37.48-42 11-17 38.38-32 is not possible due to 15-20 39.32x23 20-24 40.29x9 18x40 41.9x27. Of course white still has a significant advantage after   37.37-31.

diagram 8
diagram 8

37.44-40?

The correct move was   37.48-42! Then after 11-17 38.38-32 black will simply lose the piece on 28. And after   15-20 (to bring 38.38-32? 20-24 39.29x9 13x4 40.32x23 18x40 into play)   38.44-40 black will eventually lose due to the weakness of his left wing.

  11-17 38.38-32 16-21?

Winkel must have made a big miscalculation. After   13-19 39.32x23 19x28 40.43-38 black can immediately make a draw using 18-23! 41.29x7 8-12 42.7x27 16-21 43.33x11 21x45. But also after   8-13 41.40-34 16-21 42.34-30 21-27 the white advantage is only marginal.

  39.32x23 21-27 40.43-38!

Now the planned attack 13-19 fails due to 41.25-20! Therefore black definitively stays a piece behind and loses the game.

  6-11 41.37-32 11-16 42.32x21 16x27 43.48-42 13-19 44.25-20 14x25 45.23x14 15-20 46.42-37 20x9 47.37-32 9-13 48.32x21 13-19 49.21-16 19-23 50.29-24 22-27 51.47-41 8-13 52.41-37 27-31 53.40-35 31x42 54.38x47 23-29 55.24-20 29x38 56.20-15 18-23 57.15-10 23-29 58.10-4

Roel Boomstra - Alexander Baljakin 0-2 2010.04.13

1.32-28 17-22 2.28x17 12x21 3.34-29 7-12 4.40-34 1-7 5.45-40 21-26 6.50-45 19-24 7.38-32 14-19 8.32-28 20-25 9.29x20 25x14 10.37-32 26x37 11.42x31 15-20 12.43-38 19-23 13.28x19 14x23 14.49-43 10-14 15.41-37 5-10

diagram 9
diagram 9

The way Baljakin wins this game is very instructive. In this position Boomstra chooses a passive plan, and will be punished severely for that. Tjalling Goedemoed noted on the World Draughts Forum that 16.34-29 23x34 17.40x29 was much better than what Boomstra does in the game.

  16.46-41 13-19 17.47-42 8-13 18.32-28 23x32 19.37x28 20-24 20.42-37 16-21 21.31-26 2-8! 22.26x17 11x22 23.28x17 12x21

Baljakin gains 4 valuable tempo's with this double forward exchange. It also weakens the white left wing further, thus accentuating the imbalance of the white position.

24.36-31 21-26 25.31-27 7-11 26.34-29 10-15! 27.29x20 15x24

Another forward exchange.

28.40-34 11-17 29.37-32 6-11 30.41-37 18-22! 31.27x18 13x22

And yet another one!

32.48-42

diagram 10
diagram 10

White now faces two problems. First of all his left wing is very weak. White misses control over 47 and/or 36, which causes the left wing to be paralyzed. The second problem is that white is four tempo's behind. It is easy to win some tempo's back using 33-28 or 33-29, but in both cases the left wing is further weakened.

8-12 33.34-30 11-16 34.33-29? 24x33 35.39x28 22x33 36.38x29

This exchange surely doesn't look good, but what else could white do? To illustrate the white problems, consider for example   34.45-40 22-27 35.32x21 16x27 36.37-32(?) 17-21 37.42-37 9-13 38.37-31 26x28 39.33x31 21-26 40.31-27 13-18 41.38-33 or? 18-23 42.40-34 12-17! 43.30-25 17-21! 44.27x16 23-28 45.33x22 24-29 46.34x23 19x17 with a lost endgame.

  12-18!

It is very well possible that the white position is already lost here. White can hardly afford to let black play 19-23 on the next move. And after 37.32-28 18-22 38.30-24 19x30 39.35x24 22x33 40.29x38 17-22 41.44-39 14-19 42.24x13 9x18 the best option for white is to let black advance to 36, since after 43.39-33 22-27 44.37-32(?) the white left wing is blown up using 18-23 45.32x21 16x27 46.42-37 23-29! 47.33x24 27-31 B+.

  37.30-24 19x30 38.35x24 17-21 39.43-38 18-22 40.38-33 14-19! 41.24x13 9x18

A perfect forward exchange that gives the black attack even more power. White is now completely defenseless.

42.45-40 21-27 43.32x21 16x27 44.40-34 27-31 45.42-38 31x42 46.38x47 26-31 47.34-30 31-37 48.30-24 22-27

Alexander Baljakin - Ron Heusdens 1-1 2010.04.14

1.32-28 17-21 2.34-29 21-26 3.40-34 18-22 4.28x17 11x22 5.45-40 20-25 6.31-27 22x31 7.36x27 15-20 8.29-24 20x29 9.33x24 19x30 10.35x24 14-19 11.40-35 19x30 12.35x24 10-14 13.24-20 6-11 14.20-15 11-17 15.37-31 26x37 16.41x32 14-19 17.46-41 7-11 18.41-37 9-14 19.38-33 13-18 20.33-28 1-6 21.43-38 2-7 22.47-41 17-22 23.28x17 11x31 24.37x26 8-13 25.41-36 3-8 26.42-37 6-11 27.37-31 11-17 28.49-43 5-10 29.34-29 17-21 30.26x17 12x21 31.32-27 21x32 32.38x27

diagram 11
diagram 11

White chooses an original plan to take advantage of the undeveloped pieces on 10 and 14. The game appears to be in balance during the rest of the game.

8-12 33.44-40 12-17 34.48-42 7-12 35.31-26 19-23 36.40-34 17-22 37.39-33 22x31 38.36x27 12-17 39.42-37 17-22 40.37-32 22x31 41.26x37 16-21 42.43-38 14-19 43.37-31 10-14 Note that the actual game did not end here, but on the website the notation stops.

Boudewijn Derkx - Alexander Baljakin 0-2 2010.04.14

1.32-28 17-22 2.28x17 12x21 3.31-26 7-12 4.26x17 12x21 5.36-31 19-23 6.34-29 23x34 7.39x30 20-24 8.30x19 14x23 9.37-32 1-7 10.31-27 7-12 11.44-39 11-17 12.50-44 10-14 13.40-34 15-20 14.34-30 2-7 15.30-25 7-11 16.44-40 14-19 17.25x14 9x20 18.40-34 5-10 19.49-44 10-14

diagram 12
diagram 12

The white position doesn't have weaknesses. But black has a tempo advantage of +8 and that causes pressure on the white position.

20.34-29 23x34 21.39x30 21-26 22.30-25 17-22 23.41-36 22x31 24.36x27 12-17 25.46-41 8-12

diagram 13
diagram 13

In this position white has difficulties finding an acceptable plan. Derkx doesn't come up with a solution, and will be outplayed. Perhaps the best plan for white is to play some central moves and just hang in to see what is coming. For example 26.45-40 19-23 27.41-36 (and not   27.44-39? due to 23-29 28.33x15 4-10 29.15x4 13-19 30.4x22 17x46 B+)   20-24 28.44-39 14-19 29.40-34! and the break-through 24-29? 30.33x24 19x30 31.35x24 23-28 32.32x23 18x40 fails due to 33.27-22 17x28 34.39-33 28x39 35.43x45.

  26.43-39 20-24 27.41-37 19-23 28.33-28 14-19

All black pieces are brought into play. This in big contrast with the inactive white corner pieces on 25, 35 and 45.

29.47-41? 3-8!

diagram 14
diagram 14

Maybe white saw too late that 30.41-36? now fails due to the combination 17-22 31.28x17 11x31 32.36x27 24-30 33.25x34 23-28 34.32x14 13-19 35.14x23 18x49 B+. Fact is that after the next exchange the white position is practically lost. It takes Baljakin only 9 moves to finish the job.

  30.48-43 17-22 31.28x17 11x31 32.32-28 23x32 33.38x36 6-11 34.39-33 19-23 35.43-38 23-28 36.33x22 18x27 37.45-40 12-18 38.40-34 18-23 39.44-39 23-28 40.34-30 16-21 41.30x19 13x24

Alexander Baljakin - Cor van Dusseldorp 2-0 2010.04.15

1.34-30 20-25 2.30-24 19x30 3.35x24 18-22 4.31-26 14-19 5.40-35 19x30 6.35x24 10-14 7.24-20 15x24 8.33-28 22x33 9.38x20 12-18 10.20-15 14-19 11.37-31 7-12 12.42-38 19-24 13.47-42 13-19 14.41-37 8-13 15.46-41 5-10 16.39-33 10-14 17.44-39 2-8 18.49-44 1-7

diagram 15
diagram 15

19.32-28!

Baljakin fixates the somewhat unfortunate structure of the black left wing.

17-21 20.26x17 12x21 21.37-32 21-26 22.41-37 16-21 23.31-27 11-16 24.45-40 7-12 25.40-34 24-29

The black strategy has become a failure and so van Dusseldorp decides to switch to a defensive strategy.

26.33x24 19x30 27.38-33 14-19 28.43-38 30-35 29.34-29 19-24 30.29x20 25x14 31.39-34 12-17 32.44-40 35x44 33.50x39

diagram 16
diagram 16

Like in his other games Baljakin plays simple and effective moves. He manages to keep the pressure on the black position until his opponent collapses.

17-22 34.28x17 21x12 35.32-28 14-19 36.38-32 19-24

At first sight it looks like black has gained back some kind of control over his left wing. But Baljakin has looked further.

37.34-29! 24-30 38.42-38 30-35?

Here   6-11! looked like a better defense. Then 39.29-23 18x29 40.33x35 doesn't work due to the counter combination 26-31 41.37x26 16-21 42.27x18 13x44 with a draw. But also in this case white could keep the pressure on the black position using   39.48-43!

  39.39-34 13-19

An alternative defense was   6-11 40.48-43 11-17 41.27-21 16x27 42.32x21, but that doesn't look good for black either.

  40.48-43 9-13 41.43-39 6-11 42.36-31!!

diagram 17
diagram 17

3-9 43.34-30(?)

Just when his piece of art is almost finished Baljakin makes a small mistake. The correct continuation was   43.28-23! 19x28 44.32x23 11-17 45.15-10! 4x15 46.23-19 13x24 47.29x20 15x24 48.37-32 26x28 49.33x4 24-30 50.34x25 35-40 51.39-34 40x29 52.4-10 29-34 53.10-28 17-21 54.38-32 with a winning endgame.

  35x24 44.29x20 18-23! 45.27-22 12-18?

With   11-17 46.22x11 16x7 47.28-22 7-11 48.31-27 11-16 49.39-34 12-17 50.22x11 16x7 51.33-28 7-12!! black could have escaped with an unlikely draw.

  46.31-27 11-17(?) 47.22x11 16x7 48.20-14

Pieter Steijlen - Alexander Baljakin 0-2 2010.04.16

1.32-28 17-21 2.37-32 11-17 3.31-26 7-11 4.36-31 19-23 5.28x19 14x23 6.33-28 21-27 7.31x22 18x27 8.28x19 13x24 9.32x21 16x27 10.41-37 10-14 11.46-41 1-7 12.39-33 9-13 13.44-39 4-9 14.50-44 5-10 15.33-28 11-16 16.38-33 7-11 17.34-30 2-7 18.30x19 14x32 19.37x28 17-22 20.28x17 12x21 21.26x17 11x22

diagram 18
diagram 18

With his last exchange Baljakin increases his tempo advantage to +8. Again this turns out to be the foundation for a solid victory.

22.35-30 10-14 23.30-25 7-12 24.43-38 12-18 25.48-43 16-21 26.41-37 21-26 27.33-29 6-11 28.39-33 13-19 29.44-39 8-13

diagram 19
diagram 20

Both players have nicely developed their positions. Now the time has come that real decisions must be made.

30.39-34?!

In many occasions this is the correct plan. But now that white is so much behind in development it seemed more realistic to take the forward exchange   30.38-32 27x38 31.43x32. Nevertheless the white strategy seems to be OK.

  11-16! 31.40-35 27-31 32.34-30 19-23 33.49-44 23x34 34.30x39 13-19 35.45-40 16-21 36.40-34 21-27 37.34-29 9-13 38.35-30 31-36!

diagram 20
diagram 20

39.29-24?

Steijlen has played very well during the last phase of the game, but finally he makes a mistake. With   39.44-40! 19-23 40.39-34 he could further developed his pieces with an almost equal position.

  20x29 40.33x24 22-28! 41.39-34?

White misses the hidden combination that Baljakin has brought into play, and that brings him the title. But also after   41.44-40 19-23! (and not   18-23 42.24-20 15x33 43.38x20 27-32 44.20-15! 32x41 45.15-10! 41-46 46.10-4! and the black king is so restricted that black has no opportunities to win)   42.38-33 (what else?) 18-22 43.40-34 27-32 44.33-29 32x41 45.29x20 41-46! white would have lost the game.

  28-32 42.37x28 18-22 43.28x17 13-18 44.24x31 26x50

Alexander Baljakin - Martin Dolfing 1-1 2010.04.17

1.32-28 17-22 2.28x17 12x21 3.31-26 7-12 4.26x17 12x21 5.37-31 1-7 6.31-27 21x32 7.38x27 18-22 8.27x18 13x22 9.41-37 16-21 10.43-38 21-26 11.33-28 22x33 12.39x28 19-23 13.28x19 14x23 14.34-29 23x34 15.40x29 20-24 16.29x20 15x24 17.44-39 10-14 18.45-40 5-10 19.40-34 7-12 20.50-44 12-18 21.39-33 11-17 22.44-39 6-11 23.47-41 8-12 24.37-31 26x37 25.41x32 14-19 26.36-31 10-14 27.31-26 19-23 28.49-43 24-29 29.33x24 23-28 30.32x23 18x20 31.46-41 14-19 32.39-33 12-18 33.43-39 2-8 34.42-37 9-13 35.37-32 19-23 36.32-27 20-24 37.48-43 4-9??

diagram 21
diagram 21

Martin Dolfing needed one more draw to obtain a grandmaster result, and Baljakin didn't try hard to spoil it for him. These are the basic ingredients for a quick and uninteresting draw. And at first sight that is all there is to say about this game. But as Gerrit Boom noticed the 38th black move was a huge mistake. With the 'silent' move 38.41-36! white could have won the game almost at once. First of all 13-19? fails due to the simple combination 39.26-21 17x26 40.36-31 26x37 41.38-32 37x28 42.33x4 W+. Secondly   23-28? 39.33x22 17x28 simply loses a piece due to 40.38-33 etc. Thirdly after   17-22 39.34-30 22x31 40.30x28 31-37 41.26-21! 8-12 42.33-29! black has no compensation for the lost piece. And finally after   11-16 white can wait another time with 39.38-32! and black is out of moves.

  38.34-29 23x34 39.39x19 13x24 40.41-37 9-14 41.43-39

© Wieger Wesselink http://10x10.org