Tuesday 2 December 2008

Alexey Kim

Two years ago at the Turin Olympiad, Papua New Guinea finished half a point ahead of South Korea, using the game points system. So when we were paired against them in Round 9 we were feeling fairly confident. That was until someone pointed out to us that they had a GM on Board 1. The GM was Alexey Kim, who was a mystery to us, even though I had recently written an article featuring a couple of his games (both quick wins by the way). With a first name of Alexey, we theorised that there was some Russian in his background, but we weren't quite sure what it was.
A couple of days after the Olympiad finished I came across a story in the Digital Chosunilbo which revealed that his Korean grandfather was forcibly moved by order of Stalin from coastal Siberia to Uzbekistan in 1937. It was this Grandfather that taught Kim how to play chess at the age of 4, and at the age of 11 Kim had won the Moscow Junior Championship. In 2006 he transferred to the Korean Chess Federation, and turned out for them on board 1 at Dresden. (Full story here).
In the following game he won a piece very quickly against Stuart Fancy from PNG, and the game was over in less than an hour. "An old trap" he remarked in the post mortem, referring to his 7th move.

Fancy,S (2128) - Kim,A (2481) [B40]
38th Olympiad Dresden GER (9), 22.11.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.Nxd4 cxd4 6.Ne2 Qg5 7.Nxd4 Qc5 (D)
8.Nxe6 fxe6 9.Be2 e5 10.d3 Nf6 11.0-0 Be7 12.Be3 Qc7 13.f4 Bc5 14.d4 exd4 15.e5 dxe3 16.exf6 gxf6 17.b4 Bxb4 18.Bh5+ Kd8 0-1

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