## Vegas and Chess, Makes Sense

A true American classic – this year’s edition of the Bill Goichberg North American Open (at Bally’s Hotel, Las Vegas) was very hard fought in all seven rounds.

The abridged standings (click here for the complete standings as reported by the CCA):

1 | GM Varuzhan Akobian | 2690 | CA | W48 | W27 | W41 | D5 | W12 | D3 | D4 | 5½ |

2 | GM Alexander Shabalov | 2669 | PA | W69 | W29 | D18 | L12 | W62 | W19 | W15 | 5½ |

3 | GM Victor Mikhalevski | 2666 | ISR | W92 | D42 | W31 | W18 | D15 | D1 | W16 | 5½ |

4 | GM Joshua Ed Friedel | 2609 | NH | L23 | W25 | W76 | W32 | W21 | W11 | D1 | 5½ |

5 | GM Alex Yermolinsky | 2583 | SD | W37 | W45 | W49 | D1 | D11 | D12 | W14 | 5½ |

6 | GM Sundarajan Kidambi | 2616 | IND | W59 | W43 | L12 | W29 | D13 | D18 | W27 | 5 |

7 | GM Dmitry Gurevich | 2526 | IL | W79 | W35 | D13 | D19 | D41 | W42 | D12 | 5 |

8 | IM Lev Milman | 2510 | NY | W78 | D31 | D32 | D34 | W53 | W22 | D9 | 5 |

9 | IM Mark Ginsburg | 2427 | AZ | W38 | D33 | H— | W47 | D44 | W28 | D8 | 5 |

10 | FM Kazim Gulamali | 2418 | GA | W80 | W36 | D44 | L13 | W31 | D34 | W30 | 5 |

11 | FM Steven C Zierk | 2387 | CA | W25 | D23 | W33 | W17 | D5 | L4 | W34 | 5 |

12 | FM Daniel Naroditsky | 2375 | CA | W62 | W94 | W6 | W2 | L1 | D5 | D7 | 5 |

13 | David Alan Zimbeck | 2293 | CA | W53 | W90 | D7 | W10 | D6 | D15 | D18 | 5 |

14 | Siddharth Ravichandran | 2489 | NY | L49 | W93 | W78 | W43 | D22 | W40 | L5 | 4½ |

15 | GM Mesgen Amanov | 2448 | IL | W24 | D32 | W58 | W28 | D3 | D13 | L2 | 4½ |

16 | FM Alexander Kretchetov | 2444 | CA | D60 | W51 | D47 | W45 | D42 | W41 | L3 | 4½ |

17 | FM Charles R Riordan | 2411 | MA | W50 | D47 | X23 | L11 | L34 | W55 | W46 | 4½ |

18 | FM Michael Lee | 2399 | WA | W61 | W34 | D2 | L3 | W36 | D6 | D13 | 4½ |

19 | IM Emory A Tate | 2375 | CA | D70 | W64 | W56 | D7 | D40 | L2 | W39 | 4½ |

20 | FM Darwin Yang | 2370 | TX | L63 | L62 | W99 | W94 | W49 | W44 | D23 | 4½ |

21 | GM Anatoly Y Lein | 2355 | OH | W71 | D66 | H— | W49 | L4 | D24 | W48 | 4½ |

22 | Alex Cherniack | 2280 | MA | H— | W65 | D52 | W60 | D14 | L8 | W45 | 4½ |

23 | FM William J Schill | 2203 | WA | W4 | D11 | F17 | D77 | W66 | W68 | D20 | 4½ |

24 | Ryan J Moon | 2188 | GA | L15 | W84 | W26 | L41 | W57 | D21 | W42 | 4½ |

25 | Christopher Heung | 2168 | FL | L11 | L4 | W84 | W87 | W43 | D45 | W44 | 4½ |

Here are my games. I took a bye in the 3rd round to drink and gamble, making my effort a 6-rounder.

### Round 1.

**M. Ginsburg – S. Higgins** (attended some Robby Adamson camps)

**1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. a3 d6?! 5. Nc3 g6 6. d5! ** This move gives an edge in all lines. As black, I like to try the Tango a little differently: in ICC blitz 4…g6!? 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. e4 d5!? is recommended with crazy Gruenfeld-like complications. I haven’t looked up if that particular try has been seen OTB.

** 6…Ne7 7. e4 e5 8. c5! Bg7 9. Bb5+ Nd7 ** 9..Bd7 is quite playable.

**10. b4** The computer is quick to point out the logical 10. cxd6 cxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Be3 f5 13. Ng5 but the text move is all right.

**10… O-O 11. O-O h6 12. Bb2 f5 13. Bc4 Kh8 14. Rc1 Nf6 15. exf5?!** Cleaner is 15. Nd2! with the possible line 15…f4 16. Be2 g5 17. cxd6 cxd6 18. Nb5 Ne8 19. Bh5!! (a fantastic move to gain c7) 19…Nf6 20. h3 a6 21. Nc7 Rb8 22. Be2 and white is dominating; he can choose when to play Ne6 with crushing effect. This is exactly what white wants – a route to e6.

**15… g5?!**

**16. Re1?** Very weak. The computer points out the elementary tactic 16. h4! g4

17. Ng5! hxg5 18. hxg5 Bxf5 19. gxf6 Bxf6 with a big edge to white. For whatever reason, I played my move fast, never bothering to look for anything. A sign of first-round laziness? At least I was well ahead on time at this point. I had some vague notions of Bishop back to f1 and clearing the c-file.

**16… Bxf5 17. Bf1** 17. h3!? Ng6 18. Qb3 Qd7 19. c6!? bxc6 20. dxc6 Qxc6! 21. Bd5 Qe8 22. Bxa8 Qxa8 and black has good compensation.

**17… Bg4 18. Be2 Bf5 19. Qb3 Ne8? ** No reason for this retreat. 19… g4 20. Nd2 h5 is all right.

**20. Nd2 Ng6 21. Bf1?!** A continuation of a second-best idea. The obvious reflex denying the f4 square, 21. g3! gives white a pleasant edge.

**21… Nf4 22. Nde4 Qe7 23. Nd1** Nothing wrong with the solid 23. f3! — the game move somehow works out after a pair of knights comes off the board.

**23… Nf6 24. Nxf6 Rxf6 25. Ne3 Bd7?** Now white breaks through and should be winning. But since both players are in time trouble, black more than white, crazy adventures await.

**26. cxd6 cxd6 27. Rc7 Qd8 28. Rec1 b6 29. Qc2 Rf8 30. g3! **After the game, I thought this move was terrible giving black all kinds of chances, but it’s actually correct and the fastest win.

A more practical move is 30. Qe4 with domination. Black can barely move.

**30… Nh3+ 31. Bxh3 Bxh3 32. Qg6? ** A huge lemon. Consistent is 32. g4! locking out the bishop on h3. 32. g4! Qf6 (note that 32… Rf4 is met by an unusually nice combination: 33. Qg6 Qf6 34. Rc8+ Rxc8 35. Rxc8+ Bf8 36. Qxf6+ Rxf6

37. Bxe5!! {Wow!} dxe5 38. d6 Rxd6 39. Rxf8+ Kh7 40. Rf3 and wins the errant bishop!

Returning to 32. g4 Qf6, 33. Nf5 Rg8 34. f3 h5 35. Qe4 and white has things under control and wins.

**32… Qf6 **My preliminary calculation had 32…Rg8 33. Qh5 “with the dual threat of Qxh3 and Rxh6 mating” — but the rook on c7 really cannot jump to h6 like that. Also I hadn’t even noticed the game defense.

** 33. Qxf6 Rxf6 34. g4** Late, but still good. Not as good, though.

**34…Raf8 35. Nf5 Rg6?! **A better try is 35… h5! 36. Rxg7 (The optically “nice” 36. R1c2 is insufficient due to a fantastic resource: 36… Bxg4 37. f4 (37. Nxd6 Kxg7 38. Bxe5 Kg6 39. Bxf6 Kxf6 40. Ne4+ Kf5 41. Nd2 Ke5 42. Rc7 Rc8! is equal) 37…Rxf5 38. Rcc7 Rc8!! {Wow!} 39. Rh7+ Kg8 40. Rcg7+ Kf8 41. Rd7 Kg8 and draw!

**36. f3?! **Another miscue. The players have no time. Correct is the difficult 36. R1c6!! Bxg4 37. Nxd6 Bf3 (37… Kg8 38. Rxa7 Rf4 39. Rcc7 Bf8 40. Nc4 Bh3 41. Ne3 Re4 42. Rc6 and wins) 38. Nf7+ Kh7 39. Nxe5 Rxc6 40. Nxc6 Rg8 41. Bxg7 Rxg7 42. Ne7 and wins. This is the kind of line that needs a little time to see.

**36… h5! ** Very confusing.

**37. Nxd6? ** White has become totally confused. He should play 37. gxh5! Rgf6 38. Rxg7! forced — (38. Nxg7?? Rxf3 wins for black: 39. Nf5 R3xf5 40. Rc8 Rxc8 41. Rxc8+ Kh7 42. Rc1 Kh6 and wins) 38…Rxf5 (if 38…Bxf5 39. Rxa7 and white should win) 39. Rcc7! R8f6 {Forced. But now comes an amazing combination:

40. Rh7+ Kg8 41. Rcg7+ Kf8 42. h6 Rf7 A good tactics puzzle now. White to play and win.

Note in passing 42… Rxh6 43. Rxh6 Rxf3 44. Rxh3 Rxh3 45. Rxa7 and white wins.

43. Bxe5!! {A great shot.} dxe5 (43… Rxf3 44. Rxf7+ Rxf7 45. Rxf7+ Kxf7 46. h7 wins) 44. d6 Rxf3 (44… Rxg7 45. hxg7+ Kg8 (45… Kf7 46. d7) 46. d7 A quite unusual combination hanging the rook and having black’s pieces blocked from the promotion by interference! 46…Kxh7 47. d8=Q Kxg7 48. Qd7+ Kg6 49. Qxa7 Rxf3 50. Qxb6+ Kf5 51. Qa6 and wins) 45. Rh8 mate!)

**37… hxg4? **Black only had seconds left. 37… Rxd6 38. Rxg7 Kxg7 39. Bxe5+ Rdf6 (or 39… Rff6 40. gxh5 Kf7 41. Bxd6 Rxd6 42. Rc7+ and white might draw) 40. gxh5 Kf7 41. Rc7+ Ke8 42. Bxf6 Rxf6 43. Kf2 with chances to draw. That would be embarrassing indeed but at least white is not totally lost.

**38. Nf7+ Kg8 39. Nxe5 Rgf6 **

**40. Rxg7+!** Nasty. At least I saw this one on the last move of the time control. White wins now.

**40…Kxg7 41. Nd7** The black bishop “sight” to d7 was blocked by the pawn on g4.

**41…gxf3 42. Nxf6 Kg6 43. Kf2 1-0**

It was very strange how the two behind the scenes combinations that occurred in the analysis both involved the star move Bxe5!!.

Stay tuned, I will post Rounds 2, 4, 5, and 7.

**Round 2**

**FM E. Yanayt – M. Ginsburg**

To prepare for my half-point bye in round 3, I had this virtually unplayed game in Round 2.

**1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+** The best winning attempt here is 3…c5.

**4. Bd2 Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 d5 6. Nf3 Qe7 7. Bg2 O-O** Somehow 7…Ne4 and then the Qe7-b4+ follow-up didn’t look very impressive.

** 8. O-O Rd8!**

I have seen this line a lot (I was always white) in ICC blitz versus eastern-bloc GM’s. It’s a very solid system.

**9. Qc2 c5 10. cxd5 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Na6!? **Seems good, with the idea to pop into b4. The game is about even.

**1/2 – 1/2**

### Round 3

During my bye-round, the following reversal of fortune occurred.

**D. Naroditsky – GM S. Kidambi (2616)**

Black may have been hexed in this game due to the fact I have never heard of him although he has a high rating.

**1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6 Nxf6 7.Bc4 Bf5 8.O-O e6 9.c3 Bd6 10.Qe2 Qc7 11.h3 O-O 12.Nh4 c5 13.Nxf5 exf5 14.Bd3 g6 15.Bg5 Rfe8 16.Qd2 Ne4 17.Bxe4 fxe4 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.Rad1 Re6 20.Be3 Rd6 21.Qe2 Bxe3 22.fxe3 Rad8 23.Rd4 Rxd4 24.cxd4 f5 25.Qd2 Rc8 26.Qb4 b6 27.Qb3 Kg7 28.Qe6 Rf8 29.Kh1 Rf6 30.Qe8 Rc6 31.d5 Rc2 32.Rd1 Qg3 **

This obvious move places white into an unbreakable zugzwang and it is hard to fathom that black did not win, much less lost.

**33.Qe7 Kh6 34.Qf8 Kh5 35.Rg1 Rd2 36.Qf7 h6 37.b4**

Black is completely winning. But, I am guessing he had not much time left. Even so, what follows is a complete botchery.

**37…Rxa2? ** Why? 37…a5 preserves the zugzwang situation. The even simpler solution 37…Qxe3 was also completely winning. White cannot make any threats.

**38.d6 Rd2 39.d7 Qd6? **Time-trouble? It was safe to play 39…Qxe3 and black should win.

** 40.Rf1? **Maybe mutual time-trouble. 40. Qg7 was equal. The text aims for a cheapo but should lose.

** 40…Qxd7?? **OK probably time-trouble. I was drinking and gambling at the Bellaggio and didn’t witness this debacle. 40…Kg5! eliminates all cheapoes and wins easily.

** 41.Rxf5+ ** Oops. White wins. Black must have felt sick, given he had iron-clad zugzwang a few moves ago.

**41…Qxf5 42.g4+ **How embarrassing. Black totters on a few moves.

**42…Kh4 43.gxf5 Kxh3 44.Qxg6 Rd1 45.Qg1 Rxg1 46.Kxg1 a5 47.bxa5 bxa5 48.f6 1-0**

### Round 4

**M. Ginsburg – H. Liou Dutch NIC SOS Special
**

**1. d4 f5 2. Qd3** I saw this in a New in Chess “SOS” supplement; the game in question occurred in the “B” section of the German Bundesliga.

**2…d6** As the NIC states, Leningrad players are reluctant to play the strongest move in the position, 2….d5. Now, white gains enormous white square pressure with the game sequence.

**3. g4 fxg4 4. h3 Nf6 5. hxg4 Bxg4 6. Bg5! Be6** This unhealthy retreat signals black already has problems. White was threatening the crude Bxf6 and Qe4.

**7. Nc3 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6** I would prefer 8…exf6 to try to keep white’s plus to manageable proportions.

**9. Rxh7 Rxh7 10. Qxh7 Qa5 11. Bh3 Bf7 12. O-O-O Na6 13. d5! ** This move cutoffs black’s queen from the kingside for the time being.

**13…cxd5 14. Nf3 d4 15. Nxd4 Qh5 16. Qd3 Nb4 17. Qb5+** The smoke clears and white is left with a huge advantage due to light square control. How many Dutch games have been lost due to black not being able to observe the squares he weakened on move 1? I recommend readers get the tournament book San Antonio 1972 and read Petrosian’s comments to Petrosian-Larsen.

**17…Qxb5 18. Ncxb5 Kd8 19. Ne6+ Bxe6 20. Bxe6** Black is now totally paralyzed.

**20…a6 21. Nc3 Bh6+? ** Making matters worse, but it was very bad anyway. The ill-fated bishop gets trapped shortly.

**22. e3 Kc7 23. a3 Nc6 24. Nd5+ Kb8 25. Nb6** A complete rout. I would resign as black now.

**25…Ra7 26. Rh1 Nd8 27. Bb3 Bg5 28. f4 Kc7 29. fxg5 fxg5 30. Rh8 e6 31. Nc4 d5 32. Rh7+ Kc6 33. Ne5+ Kd6 34. Nf7+ Nxf7 35. Rxf7 Ke5 36. Kd2 Ra8 37. Rg7 Kf6 38. Rxb7 g4 39. Ke2 Kg5 40. e4 Rd8 41. exd5 exd5 42. Ke3 Re8+ 43. Kd4 g3 44. Bxd5 Kf6 45. Rb3 1-0**

### Round 5

I could not overcome the solid Hungarian I. Somogyi!

**I. Somogyi – M. Ginsburg King’s Indian g3 line**

**1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. Nf3 c6
7. O-O Bf5 **As successfully played in Schroer-Benjamin, USCL 2009. White in my game plays more strongly.

**8. Nh4! Be6 9. d5! Bd7 10. e4 Na6 11. h3 cxd5 12. cxd5 Nc5 13. Be3 Qa5
14. Rb1 Na4!** Keeping the balance.

**15. Nxa4 Bxa4 16. b3 Bb5 17. Re1 Qa3 18. Qd2 Rac8 19. Bd4 Nd7 20.
Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Nf3 Ne5! ** Still equal.

**22. Nxe5 **

Black survives the dangerous attempt 22. Nd4!? Ba6 23. Qg5!? Rce8! (23…Rc7 is all right is black is careful: 24. Nf5+ Kh8 25. Nxe7 f6 26. Qh6 Rf7? 27. Rbc1! wins nicely – I saw that during the game; but 26…Re8 holds) 26…24. Nf5+ Kh8 25. Nxe7 f6 26. Qh6 Rf7 27. f4 Rfxe7 28. fxe5 fxe5)

**22… dxe5 23. Rbc1 f6 24. h4 Bd7 25. Kh2 Qd6 26. Rxc8 Rxc8 27. Rc1 e6?** Careless. Correct is 27… Rxc1! 28. Qxc1 e6 =

**28. Rxc8 Bxc8 29. Qc3? **29. Bh3! sets a great trap. If 29…Bd7? (correct is 29… b6! 30. Qd3 Qc5 31. Kg2 exd5 32. Bxc8 Qxc8 33. exd5 Kf7 34. h5 =) 30. Qa5! and black has big problems. If 30… exd5? (30… Qb6 31. Qxb6 axb6 32. dxe6 Bc6 33. f3 Kf8 34. Kg1 Ke7 35. Kf2 is very good for white as black cannot round up the e6 pawn) 31. Qd8 suddenly wins!

**29… Bd7 30. dxe6 Bxe6 31. Bh3 Bf7 32. Bf1 Be6 33. Bh3 1/2-1/2**

**Round 6**

Interestingly, in othe Round 6 action, Friedel played what appeared to many to be a ludicrous variation of the 2 Knights – but it worked and his opponent, NM Zierk, blundered and lost. I have posted elsewhere on this opening (2 Knights “Ulvestad”); it looks very bad for black and I think its days are numbered.

**M. Ginsburg – FM J. Dean Main line Tarrasch Defense
**

**1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O c5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. d4 Nc6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 h6 11. Be3 Re8 12. Qb3!**

** **

** **GM Lajos Portisch’s excellent treatment, I believe covered in one of Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors volumes. When the Queen is chased by the knight, the knight winds up not having a happy home. Similarly, if the black knight on f6 chases the B/e3, it also does not have a happy home after the bishop moves away.

**12…Na5 13. Qc2 Nc4 14. Bf4** White looks better here. The Black knight on c4 is very unstable and that is one of the my points of 12. Qb3.

**14…Be6 15. Rad1 Qc8** Black has problems. The most normal move, 15… Rc8 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Qg6 Kh8 18. b3! Nd6 19. Be5 leaves white with a simple plus.

**16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. e4?** A big lemon! It’s always right to kick the advanced knight with 17. b3! (obvious) 17… Nd6 18. Rc1 Rf8 19. Qd3 Qe8 20. Rfd1 Rc8 21. e4 Ndxe4 22. Nxe4 dxe4 23. Bxe4 and white is much better.

** 17… e5! **This move completely escaped my attention. White is still better, but not as much.

**18. Bc1 d4 19. Nd5 Nd6 20. Qd3? **Another significant inaccuracy. 20. Qb3! Nc4 and only NOW 21. Qd3 leaves white with a plus.

**20… Nxd5 21. exd5 Bf6! ** I totally bothced it. Black is fine. The center pawns are mobile. Black’s only problem is a severe lack of time.

**22. Qg6?** Practically speaking with black having less time, white should play 22. Rfe1 Qd7 23. Bd2 Rac8 but of course Black is all right.

**22… Qf5! 23. Qxf5 Nxf5 24. Be4 Nd6 25. Bg6 Re7 26. Rfe1 e4?? **Any reasonable queen rook move is equal. Unfortunately, black was in severe time trouble already. This move loses a pawn and the game.

**27. Bf4 Be5** 27…Rd8 28. Bxd6 loses for black in the long run. Although there are bishops of opposite colors, too much material remains. It’s similar to Yermolinsky-Naroditsky North American Open 2009 except there white fell into a last-ditch stalemate trick and Naroditsky saved it!

**28. Bxe5 Rxe5 29. Rxd4 Rd8 30. Bxe4 Nxe4 31. Rexe4 ** Black has no chances in the single rook ending.

**31…Rxe4 32. Rxe4 Rxd5 33. Re7 Rb5 34. b3 a5 35. Kg2 a4 36. bxa4 Rb4 37. a5 Rb5 38. Re8+ Kh7 39. Ra8 Rb2 40. a6** Black resigned.

**1-0**

The move 40. a4! also wins: 40…Ra2 41. a6 b6 42. Rb8 Rxa4 43. Rxb6 and wins.

In the game, black can try a last-gasp 40… b5! move. Suggested by Siddharth Ravichandran (rating=2489) after the game as drawing – and indeed this is a great try!

There is only a study-like refutation: 41. a4!! – only after he suggested 40…b5 (which I did not see in the game) did I notice this move which is a nice interference theme, and white wins.

Also in Round 6, this amusing error-fest:

**Zierk – Friedel 2 Knights, Refuted Silly Ulvestad Line
**

**1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 ** I would pay more attention to Karpov’s legendary logic here and try 3…Bc5.

**4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5(?) **Very illogical! Good in the 1800s, maybe.

**6.Bf1 h6 **(might as well, 6…Nd4 leads to a bad game too) ** 7.Nf3?**

I don’t want to be a wet blanket, but the fairly obvious 7. Nxf7! results in a big edge for white. This was shown in other examples recently. At least black is not playing the refuted mainline with 6…Nd4.

** 7…Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qe6 9.Bxb5 Bb7 10.O-O O-O-O 11.Re1 Bc5 12.Qe2 Nd4 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 14.Nd1 Nd5 15.Bc4 Qg6 16.Bxd5 Bxd5 17.Ne3 Bxe3 18.fxe3 Qxc2 19.d4 Qe4 20.b3 Rhe8 21.Bb2 Re6 22.Qd2 Bb7 23.Rac1 Rdd6 24.Rf1 Rf6 25.Rfe1 Rc6 26.dxe5 Rxc1 27.Bxc1 Rg6 28.Re2 Rc6 29.e6 Rxe6 30.Qc2 Rc6 31.Qb2 Qd3 32.Rf2 Ba6 33.Bd2 Rc2 34.Qd4 Rxd2 0-1**

### Round 7

**Lev Milman – M. Ginsburg Sicilian Scheveningen
**

**1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be2 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8.
O-O Nc6 9. f4 Bd7** A rare sideline.

**10. Qe1** Conventional thinking has 10. Nb3, avoiding exchanges, as white’s best bet.

**10…Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. Qg3 g6 13. Qe3 Qa5** Black is threatening is all right.

**14. e5 dxe5 15. fxe5 Nd5 16. Nxd5 Qxd5 17. Bf3 Qc4?** 17… Qb5 is more accurate. 18. a4 Qb4 19. Bxc6 bxc6 20. b3 c5 21. Bc3 Qb7 and black has equal chances.

**18. b3 Qa6 19. c4 Qa3 20. Kh1 Kg7 21. Rf2** 21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. Qe4! places black in a passive situation.

**21… h6 ** Here, best was 21… a5! with equal chances.

**22. Bxc6 bxc6 23. Raf1 Rad8?** With a draw offer. But this move is a blunder.

**24. g3? ** A blunder in return. Surprisingly, white can take. 24. Bxa7! c5 25. Bb6 Rd7 and now the amazing resource 26. Rf3 Rb7 27. Qf2!! and wins. The f7-point collapses.

**24… Bg5 25. Qe4 h5 26. Bc3?! **White can preserve something with 26. Rf3 Rd7 (26… Qxa2?? 27. Bc5! winning) 27. Bg1)

**26… Qc5 27. b4 Qe3! ** Judging from white’s reaction, he might have missed this.

** 28. Qxe3 Bxe3 29. Rf3 Bd4 30. b5!** With a draw offer.

When I made my 29th move, I thought black was much better because of the white weak pawns. However, white’s 30th generates plenty of activity and it’s in fact equal!

For example, 30…Bxc3 (30… cxb5 31. cxb5 Rd5 32. Bb4!) 31. Rxc3 cxb5 (31… Rc8 32. a4) 32. cxb5 Rd5 33. a4 Rd4 34. Rf4! =.

**1/2 – 1/2**

## Tournament Postscript – The Cheater’s Clock Gambit

For completeness, here is amusing cheating I heard about in the skittles room. In a lower section, someone had 28 minutes left versus 28 seconds left in sudden death in a complicated position. The person with 28 seconds left simply pressed the clock without making a move. Rattled, the person with 28 minutes left upon returning to the board assumed the guy with 28 seconds left had made some kind of move and made a move in return. The guy with 28 seconds left then called the TD and said “I get 2 more minutes on my clock because he made 2 moves in a row.” In the absence of witnesses, the TD upheld this ludicrous “gambit”. The guy with 28 seconds left got 2 more minutes on his clock and that was enough for him to win the game. This kind of stuff can only happen in American Swisses. Why is that? Well, that’s not strictly true. After all, a many time US Champion did exactly the same thing in a US Championship round-robin invitational. But we won’t get into that.

** **

Tags: Adamson, Benjamin, Dean, Goichberg, Higgins, Las Vegas, Naroditsky, North American Open, Schroer, Somogyi, Tarrasch, Two Knights Tango, Yermolinsky

January 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm |

Since the USCF rules read that a move is completed upon pressing the clock, I think a strict interpretation of the rules should make the t.d. not reward the real offender — the player who pressed the clock button without making a move. This should definitely be addressed directly in the next edition of The Rules so that any attempt at trickery to gain more time on the clock or pressing the clock button without making a move with under a certain number of minutes on the clock constitutes forfeiture. Of course then the player with more time on his clock plays a move, fails to hit the button, walks away and accuses the time-pressured opponent of hitting without moving. So we get another level of problem. So I guess if no determination can be made as to who is cheating on the button, the t.d. should take back the double-move without penalty and start the time-pressured players clock without penalty and, if possible, stand guard for the remainder of the game.

I would not walk away from the board when the opponent has so little time on his clock. Why not sit there and put the pressure on him, (and enforce the flag fall the moment it happens)? But I tend not to wander too much during the game unless it is to go to the can. Thanks for sharing though — just one more thing to keep an eye on.

February 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm |

Woooo yeah! Go Arizona Scorpions. Come on dad, you got this…don’t lose your hard edge. From your daughter, the mystery women

April 30, 2010 at 7:29 pm |

[…] by Mark Ginsburg A very pro-White analysis refuting the Ulvestad. See also his comments on Zierk – Friedel, […]