Posts Tagged ‘Emory Tate’

The Fabulous 00s: The Scrappy Western Chess Congress 2009

March 9, 2009

Nostalgia in Concord

It was quite enjoyable play in a Bill Goichberg event in Concord, CA.  There was a lot of nostalgia.  For example, I saw IM Walter Shipman battling on the black side of a stodgy Cozio in the last round vs NM Yulia Cardona and the position looked like a stodgy game where I played Walter in the 1989 Manhattan CC Championship!  (I failed to win, narrowly, and missed tying for first in that ’89 event).   By the time I left, it looked like Yulia too would not breach Walter’s tough defensive line.  I also saw Dmitry Zilberstein.  The last time I played Dmitry (not counting an Az – Ca CoC online US Champ. qualifier matchup that he won), it was the 2000 “Universe Open” in San Francisco and we were busy dropping “powerbombs” on each other in a wildly inaccurate King’s Indian.  Many “name” players didn’t do well and dropped out before the end:  Donaldson, Mezentsev, Shankland.  Strugatsky also had big problems and didn’t wind up with a prize.

In the notes that follow, “The Computer” stands for Rybka 3.1.

Big Kid and Little Kid

The event was won by Daniel “Kid” Naroditsky with 4 out of 5.  It is my fault, I squandered a white against him in Round 4 in a misfired attempt to “surprise” and could only produce an anemic draw.   Naroditsky did produce a nice win earlier, soundly defeating Shankland’s mishandled Scheveningen (I have no doubts we will see that game annotated elsewhere).

I also saw an even younger and littler kid (yes, this is possible) David Adelberg, rated only 2095, who produced a big score of 3.5 out 5 (same as me; we tied for 2nd along with Tate, Zilberstein, and De Guzman).   In my last round encounter, I frustratingly mixed up the middlegame move order in a not terribly tricky position and all my winning chances disappeared vs NM Zierk.

Here is a funny Adelberg game from the last round. I might have the introductory move order wrong but at any rate take a look at the crazy position that resulted right out of the opening:

Yanayt had 2.5 out of 4 going into this and Adelberg had 3.  There was a big class prize for Adelberg on the line!

NM Eugene Yanayt (2298) – David Adelberg (2095)  King’s Indian Western Chess Congress, Round 5.  40/2, SD/1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nc3 Nbd7 4. e4 e5 5. Nf3 c6 6. Be2 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. Qc2  O-O Maxim Dlugy used to pay rent by squeezing hapless opposition after 9. d5.  Maxim loved static space advantages.

9. Rd1 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Qc7?! This is a very dubious and passive spot for the queen.

11. Be3 Nc5?! 12. b4 Ne6

Black’s treatment, omitting the “necessary” a7-a5,  looks highly dubious.  Thus far he looks like a victim on the wrong side of a simul. Yanayt goes for what looks like a quick kill.  If he had played 13. Nb3, he could have established a huge edge positionally.

13. Nxe6 Bxe6 14. Bf4 Rfd8 15. c5 Ne8 16. cxd6 Nxd6  17. Nb5

A nice (even if obvious) double pin.  Game over?

Is the Kid Dead Meat?

Is the Kid Dead Meat?

17…Qe7! Game not over!  The kid has a funny “kid” habit of banging out blitz type moves like this very emphatically; shades of a young Jay Whitehead.

18. Bxd6 Rxd6 19. Nxd6 Bxa1

Last chance for Yanayt to continue the fight with a small edge.

20. Nxf7?

Wrong.    I will leave the right plan as an exercise to the reader. After the text move, black had no problems drawing in short order after 20…Bxf7.

The right choice to continue the battle was the difficult 20. f4! Bg7 21. e5.  By leaving the N on d6, white poses practical problems. For example, 21…a5?! 22. b5! +=. Or, 21…Rd8 22. Bc4! Bxc4 23. Qxc4 Qe6 24. Qxe6 fxe6 25. Kf2 +=. The right reaction for black is 21…g5! but this is hard to decide on in a position where it looks like there are safe alternatives. After 21…g5 22. g3 gxf4 23. gxf4 Qh4! 24. Rf1 a5! black has enough counterplay.  This is not an obvious line and deviations give white the edge.

Stay tuned, I will present some interesting games I played vs Gutman, IM De Guzman, FM Naroditsky, Yanayt, and Zieck.

And now my own games.

Josh Gutman (2190) – M. Ginsburg, Round 1.
Sicilian Kan

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qc7 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. Qe2 Nc6(!) It’s really a Taimanov now, but one where it looks like black has solved his problems.

8.  Nb3 This decentralizing move cannot offer anything.  On the other hand, after 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. e5 Nd5 10. O-O Be7 11. h3 O-O 12. Qe4 g6 13. Bh6 Re8 black is OK too.

8…Be7 9. f4

Could try something strange now

Could try something strange now

9…d6 It’s noteworth that  the computer likes the surprising 9… h5!? that I never considered.  If 10. h3 (10. e5!? Ng4 11. h3?! (11. O-O b5 (11… Nb4?! 12. Be4 d6 13. a3) 12. h3 Qa7+ 13. Kh1 Bb7 14. a4 b4 15. Ne4 f5 16. Nd6+ Bxd6 17. exd6 Kf7 18. c3 Kg6 with a strange game) 11… Bh4+! 12. Kf1 Nf2 13. Rg1 Nxd3 14. cxd3 d6 and black is very happy) 10…d6 11. Be3 b5 12. O-O Bb7 and black is all right.

10. Be3 b5 Hunting down the B/d3 with 10… Nb4?! 11. O-O O-O 12. a3 Nxd3 13. cxd3 Bd7 14. Rac1 Bc6 15. Nd4 gives white an easy position to play.

11. a4 This plan is slow and black equalizes with no problems.

11…b4 12. Nb1 12. Nd1 e5 13. O-O O-O 14. Nf2 d5 15. f5 Rd8 16. a5 d4 17. Bd2 Bb7 is fine for black.  Basically, once the N/c3 has left, black has a lot of say in the center.

12… O-O 13. O-O Bb7 The immediate 13… e5! is nice.  I did not consider it.  Black can make do without the fianchetto on b7. For example, 14. N1d2 exf4 15. Bxf4 Ng4 16. h3 Nge5 17. Nc4 Be6 with equal chances.

14. N1d2 e5 Someone like Ulf Andersson would play 14… Rfe8! which is more psychologically clever – delaying e5, and hoping  white misplaces his pieces. For example, 15. a5 e5 16. f5 d5 17. Bb6 Qb8.  The text is OK, it just reduces the possibilities.

15. Nc4  d5 Here black had the evident 15… exf4 which is good enough for equality. 16. Bxf4 (16. Rxf4 Ne5 17. Bb6 Qd7 18. Nba5 Nxc4 19. Bxc4 d5 is interesting but not forced) 16… Rfe8 17. a5 Ne5 18. Nb6 Rad8 and black is comfortable.

16. Nb6? A bad tactical miscue.  One good move was 16. Bb6! forcing the black queen back first.  Then, 16…Qb8 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Bxh7+ Kxh7 19. Qd3+ Kg8 20. Qxd5 exf4 21. Qe4 f3!? with bizarre complications.  White also had the simple capture 16. exd5 Nxd5 17. fxe5 (Not now 17. Bxh7+? Kxh7 18. Qd3+ Kg8 19. Qxd5 Nd4! and witness the following powerful sequence: 20. Qxe5 Qc6!  21. Rf2 Bh4!! 22. Rd2 (22. Raf1 Bxf2+ 23. Rxf2 Rfe8 24. Qxd4 Rad8 25. Nba5 Rxd4 26. Nxc6 Rd1+ 27. Rf1 Rxf1+ 28. Kxf1 Bxc6 29. b3 Bd5 30. Bd2 Bxc4+ 31. bxc4 a5) 22… Nf3+!!  23. gxf3 Qxf3 and wins! – a very nice sideline) 17… Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 19. Bd4 Qc7! and it’s about even in the middlegame.  On the other hand, the queen trade 19… Qxe2? is very bad; 20. Bxe2  is a good ending for white.

16… dxe4! Now white quickly goes down the drain.

17. Bc4 White has to play this depressing move; the point is that 17. Nxa8 exd3! 18. Nxc7 dxe2! wins since the N on c7 gets trapped.  For example,  19. Rfe1 Bd6 20. Bc5 (20. Nb5 axb5 21. axb5 Nd4 22. Bxd4 exd4 23. Rxe2 Bxf4 24. Nxd4 Ng4 25. Nf3 Be3+ 26. Kf1 (26. Kh1 Bc5) 26… Bb6 wins) 20… Bxc7 21. Bxf8 Kxf8 22. Rxe2 exf4 and wins.  White played his 16th move too quickly not seeing the N/c7 cannot get back.

17… Rad8 Now, with …Nd4 threatened and a solid extra center pawn for black, white is just lost.

18. fxe5 Black wins after 18. a5 Nd4 19. Nxd4 exd4 20. Bf2 Rfe8 21. Kh1 Bc5.

18… Nxe5 19. Bxa6

Nothing helps.  If 19. h3 Rd6 20. a5 Rc6!  is a self-blocking, computer-style move that… wins.

19… Neg4! A typical Kan overloading.  White must lose heavy material.

20. Rxf6 Qxh2+ 21. Kf1 Nxe3+ 0-1

Round 2. I continue my winning ways briefly before going on a drawing rampage in rounds 3 through 5.

IM M. Ginsburg – NM E. Yanayt   King’s Indian, Saemisch, 6. Bg5

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. f3 O-O 6. Bg5 My old favorite from the 1980s; I defeated IM Israel Zilber in Canada in a sharp game and Marcel Piket in Holland (GM Jeroen Piket’s brother).

6…c5 I faced 6…Nc6!? vs. Danny Edelman OTB and versus Naroditsky in ICC blitz.  White should probably not react hyper-aggressively as I did with 7. d5 Ne5 8. f4 as I did in those games.

7. d5 e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5 a6 10. a4 h6 11. Be3

White might get a small edge after 11. Bxh6 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Qh4+
13. g3 Qxh6 14. Qxh6 Bxh6 15. Nxd6 Nd7.

11… Nbd7 12. Nh3 Kh7 Some prior games have featured h5, Nh7, and f5 with a wild game.

13. Nf2 Rb8 14. Be2 Qc7 15. O-O c4?

This is an over-ambitious idea, donating d4 to white.   Black can hang tough with 15… b6 16. b3 Re8.

Vacuum on d4

Vacuum on d4

16. Bd4! Filling the vacuum. 16. a5  is also a good move but the move in the game might be stronger.  The computer gives the nice regrouping 16. a5  b5 17. axb6 Nxb6 18. Bd4 Re8 19. Rfc1 h5 20. Ncd1! Bh6 21. Ne3 Nfd7 22. Qa5 with a big edge.

16… Nc5? On 16… b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ra7! Qd8 19. b4!? (or 19. Rfa1) white is much better.   Still he should try this as the text just drops material.

17. Bxc4 Nxa4 18. Nxa4 Qxc4?! This loses quickly.  Relatively best was 18… b5 19. Be2 (The computer’s choice – also 19. Bxb5 axb5 20. Rfc1 Qb7 21. Nb6 is great for white) 19… bxa4 20. Rxa4 Nh5 21. Rc1 Qd7 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Qd4+ Kh7 24. Nd3 Bb7 25. f4 Ng7 26. Rb4 Rfe8 27. Bf3 will win; this line is just more complicated than 19. Bxb5.

19. Ba7 Bd7 20. Rfc1 Qb5 21. Nc3 Qc4 22. Ne2! The queen is caught with Ne2-d4 coming up.

1-0

Round 3. The start of my drawing “reign of terror.”

IM De Guzman (2396) – IM Ginsburg  Modern Defense

1. d4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. c3 d6 4. e4 Nf6 5. Bd3 O-O 6. O-O Nc6! A long time ago in the 1970s I tried this as white versus IM Sal Matera and got nothing.

7. Bg5 Nd7 8. Nbd2 Qe8 9. Re1 e5 10. Nb3! Excellent play.  I had only anticipated exchanging on e5 with a level game.

Position after 10. Nb3!

Position after 10. Nb3!

10… h6 11. Bh4 b6?! Not a good reaction but I was feeling uncomfortable.    I spent a lot of time and came up with this awkward move.  Better was the accurate 11… exd4 12. cxd4 a5! 13. a4 (13. Rc1 a4 14. Nbd2 a3 15. b3 g5 with sharp play) 13…Nb4 14. Rc1 c6! neutralizing the c-file and black has ‘tidied up’ nicely.

12. Bb5 Bb7 13. Qd3!? Very interesting.  White operates with Qc4 threats.

13…exd4 I didn’t understand that 13… a6!? was playable after all –  14. Bxc6 Bxc6 15. Qc4 Nf6 16. d5 Bb5 17. Qxc7 Qb8 18. Qxb8 Raxb8 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 with quite decent compensation.

14. cxd4 Rc8 15. Rac1 Ncb8 16. a4 a6 17. Bc4 Nc6 18. Qd2 Nd8 19. Qe2 Ne6!? I am just flipping pieces around and now make this semi- bluff.  I am just waiting for my chances.  I didn’t like the looks of 19… a5 20. h3 Ne6 21. Qd2 and black is suffering.

20. Bg3? The only clear error by White in this game.  He believes black’s semi-bluff and moves his bishop onto a bad square.  Correct was the grab  20. Bxa6! Bxa6 21. Qxa6 g5?! (21… Nf6 22. Qc4 Ra8 23. Ra1 Qd7 24. Bxf6 Bxf6 25. e5 d5 26. Qb5 c6 27. Qd3 Be7 28. Nbd2 Nf4 29. Qc3) 22. Bg3 g4 23. Nh4 Nxd4 24. Nxd4 Bxd4 25. Qe2 h5 26. Nf5 Bf6 27. h3 and white is better.  If he had played 20. Bxa6, I would not have played the committal g6-g5-g4 idea; rather, I would have kept pressure on the queenside pawns and hoped for some kind of compensation.

20…Nf6! Now black is very much OK.

21. d5 Ng5!? The computer likes 21… Nc5 22. Nxc5 bxc5 23. b3 Rb8.    The text is also quite good.  Black has excellent dynamic play.

22. Nxg5 hxg5 23. Ra1 If 23. Bxa6 Bxa6 24. Qxa6 Nh5 (24… Ra8 25. Qd3 Rxa4 26. Rxc7 Rxe4 27. Rf1 Qd8 28. Rc6 Rfe8 29. Rxd6 Nd7 30. Qb5) 25. a5 Bxb2 26. Rc2 Nxg3 27. hxg3 Be5 28. axb6 Ra8 29. Qb7 cxb6 30. Rc6 g4 31. Qxb6 Qb8)

23… Nh5! Black offered a draw and white accepted.  I could have played on since after  24. Bxa6 Nxg3 25. hxg3 Bxa6 26. Qxa6 Bxb2 although chances are equal black has the easier game to handle with the strong unopposed bishop.

1/2-1/2

Round 4.

Ginsburg – Naroditsky  King’s Indian Defense   “Smyslov Bg5”

The kid was ‘en fuego’ fresh off a convincing win over Shankland.  My job was to calm him down.

1.. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. Bg5 Unfortunately this sideline is harmless as black demonstrates quickly in the game.

5…d6 6. e3 c5 7. d5

What happens if White avoids 7. d5?  Here’s a cautionary tale between an ex-WC and a fellow who once tied Botvinnik in a WC match: 7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O Bf5 9. dxc5 dxc5 10. Qxd8 Rfxd8 11. Rad1 Ne4 12. Nxe4 Bxe4 13. b3 h6 14. Bf4 Nb4! 15. a3 Na2! 16. Rxd8+ Rxd8 17. Rd1 Rxd1+ 18. Bxd1 Nc3 19. Nd2 Bd3! and white resigned due to 20. Bf3 e5! winning a piece, Smyslov-D. Bronstein, Teeside 1975. Elegant geometry by Bronstein. White also had zero after 7. Be2 cxd4 8. exd4 h6 9. Bf4 Bf5 and black won eventually, Smyslov-Epishin Rostov 1993. We start to get the sense that 7. d5 is the only “test” but it’s not much of a test.

7…Qb6!
A very well motivated and computer-looking move to avoid the g5-d8 pin.

Position after 7...Qb6!

Position after 7...Qb6!

It was too much to hope for junior crudity with  7…h6 8. Bh4 g5? and white got a crushing advantage on the light squares in Ehlvest-Liu, Marshall CC Summer International 2008 (although Ehlvest blew numerous wins then gave Liu a forced mate which he missed; talk about adventure).

8. Qc2(?!) Ehlvest elected 8. Rb1 and this might be a little more challenging. After 8. Rb1 Na6 9. Nd2 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Bf5 12. e4 black should have retreated with 12…Bg6 keeping good chances, but he went for 12…Nxe4?! and lost in Ehlvest-Garcia Luque, San Roque 1996.

8…e5 Black is also OK after 8… Na6 9. a3 Bf5 10. Bd3 (10. e4 Bd7) 10… Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Qxb2 12. O-O Qb6 13. Rab1 Qc7)

9. dxe6 9. Be2 Na6 is zero.

9… Bxe6 10. Rd1 Nc6! 11. a3 Weirdly the computer indicates 11. Rxd6(?) Nd4! 12. Rxd4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Rae8 14. Nxe6 Rxe6 as being all right for white but what human would like that?

11… Rad8 Black is also doing well after 11… Na5.

12. Bd3 I hated my game here so i offered a draw.

I was afraid of 12…Na5! and black is starting to build a nice initiative.  After this, if 13. Nd5 I’d definitely rather be black. Naroditsky was focusing more on the rather inferior 12…h6 so he accepted.
Next time I will try a main line with Nd2 or Ne1!

1/2-1/2

Round 5. It all come down to this.  Since on other boards De Guzman was drawing Naroditsky and Tate was drawing Zilberstein, I needed to win.  And at a certain moment I had my chances…

NM S. Zierk – M. Ginsburg   Sicilian Kan

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Qb6 6. Nb3 Qc7 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. O-O b5!? 9. f4 Bb7 10. e5 Nd5 I was modeling my play after some vague recollection of DeFirmian-Charbonneau, where black won a nice positional game  (World Open, I think, a few years ago).

11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qe2 Nc6 13. c3 d6 Black is fully OK – so the opening is a success.  Conversely, from white’s point of view, he has not played in the most challenging way.

14. exd6 Bxd6 15. Be3 O-O 16. Nd2 Na5 17. Ne4 Be7 18. f5 exf5 19. Rxf5 Bc4 The computer indicates the fearless 19… Rad8 20. Rd1 Nc4.  The text is very safe.

20. Rh5? Very weak.  Now I have real chances to win the tournament.  Once upon a time I put a piece offside vs GM Jan Smejkal and he just smirked and won by technique.  Let’s see my technique…
White would do better with e.g. 20. Bd4 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 and it’s equal.

20… g6 Since this move helps black, white’s last move was pointless.
21. Rh3 Really *the* moment of the tournament for me.

zierk0

Position after 21. Rh3.

21…Rad8? What a frustrating inaccuracy this will turn out to be!  The obvious 21… Bxd3 22. Qxd3 Nc4 23. Bd4 f5!  gives initiative and a great structure.  For example,  24. Nf2 Bc5 25. b3 Bxd4 26. Qxd4 Rad8.   The nature of black’s edge is fantastic piece coordination along with the nice h7,g6,f5 pawn structure.

22. Bd4 f5 23. Nd2 Bf6 Black has no winning chances anymore after this lame move.  The tactical blackout I had on move 21 was 23… Bxd3?? 24. Qe6+ Rf7 25. Qxg6+ ! and white wins.  I made the offside rook on the h-file make sense!  So I am *not* getting off the d3 bishop with no problems anymore.   A tournament winner needs to be alert!  The last chance by the way to keep the game going here was 23….Bd5.

24. Bxf6 Rxf6 25. Bxc4+ Now the game is dead . Boo!  First place was $1200 and second place was $900.  A whole slew of not terribly alert players tied for second (Tate missed an easy win vs Zilberstein).
If I had won, i would have tied for first with Naroditsky.

25…Nxc4 26. Nxc4 bxc4 27. Re1 Rfd6 28. Rh4 Rd2 29. Qxc4+ Qxc4 30. Rxc4 R8d7! Cute, but it’s still a draw.

31. Kf1 Rxb2 32. Re2 Rd1+ 33. Kf2 Rdd2 34. Rxd2 Rxd2+ 35. Kf3 Rxa2 36. Rc7 Black has won a pawn and according to the well known rule of rook endings, it is still hopelessly drawn.

36…Rc2 37. h4 a5 38. g4 fxg4+ 39. Kxg4 a4 40. Ra7 Rxc3 41. Rxa4 White offers a draw and black out of inertia “tries” a few more moves.

41…h5+ 42. Kg5 Rg3+ 43. Kh6 Kf7 44. Ra6 Rg4 45. Rb6 Rxh4 46. Rxg6 Rh1 47. Ra6 h4 48. Kh5 Draw agreed.  The five
players with 3.5 out of 5 (MG, Zierk, Tate, Zilberstein, De Guzman) each win
the paltry sum of $340.  Chess doesn’t pay well to the unalert ones.

1/2-1/2

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11th North American FIDE Invitational

May 22, 2008

Selected Games from the 11th North American FIDE Invitational

Here are some games from the 11th North American FIDE Invitational, held at IM Angelo Young’s Touch Move Chess Center on Ashland Avenue in Andersonville, Chicago.

Round 1

M. Ginsburg – NM Stamnov Semi-Slav

1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Be2 O-O 8.O-O dxc4 9.Rd1 Qe7 10.a4!? e5! 11.Nd2 exd4 12.Nxc4 Bc7 Black doesn’t want to grab a pawn and surrender the two bishops just yet.

13.Rxd4 Ne5 14.b3 Nxc4 15.Rxc4 Rd8 16.Nb5 Bxh2+!? But now he goes for it. The situation is murky.

17.Kxh2 cxb5 18.Rf4 Nd5 19.Rd4 bxa4 20.Raxa4 Be6 21.Qd2 Qc7 22.g3 Nb6? Moving this horse to c3 would cause white problems!

23.Rxa7! Did black miss this simple move?

23…Rxd4 24.Rxa8 Nxa8 25.Qxd4 Bxb3 26.Bb2 f6 27.Bd3 Bf7 28.Qe4 Bg6 29.Bc4 Kh8 30.Qe6 Qd8 31.Bd4 I’m doing all sorts of good things but am low on time. The game toddles on.

31…h5 32.f4 Nc7 33.Qb6 Be4 34.Be2 Bc6 35.Qc5 g6 Black’s pawns are rickety but when I go after them, the queens come off and my winning chances disappear.

36.Qg5 Kh7 37.Qxf6 Qxf6 38.Bxf6 Be4! Black has achieved safety.

39.Kg1 Kg8 40.Kf2 Kf7 41.Be5 Ne6 42.Bc4 1/2-1/2

Stamnov played pretty solidly in this first round encounter. Two rounds later, he went a little nuts, though:

Loncarevic, Robert (2100) – NM Stamnov Two Knights Defense Round 3.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Ng5 Bc5? The famous uhhh unsound line. What do they call it, the Traxler? The Wilkes-Barre? It’s not good. The simple and time-tested 4….d5 5. exd5 Na5! gives black ample compensation. Even Fischer had to admit this in his white experimentations.

5.d4?! “As every Russian schoolboy knows”, after the correct 5. Bxf7+! Ke7 6. Bd5! black has insufficient compensation and the lines aren’t that complicated – I refer the readers to a comprehensive deconstruction of this variation in a New In Chess treatise. It pays to study the refutations of the more common bad lines, because they do crop up now and again.

5…Bxd4 6.c3 Bb6 7.Nxf7 Bxf2+ For some reason, black was playing all his moves instantly as if he were a Kasparovian “monster with a thousand eyes.”

8.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 9.Kg1 Qh4 10.g3 Nxg3 11.Nxh8 Nxh1 12.Qd5! Ne7? This lu-lu was also played immediately. White took his sweet time over the sobering response.

13.Qf7+ And mate next move on f8.

1-0

In my 2nd round, I was able to use a system I had used previously to score a solid draw vs. the dangerous Danny Rensch in an Arizona event a year or so back.

Round 2

Dennis Monokroussos – M. Ginsburg Sicilian Taimonov

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Qd2 Bb4! Versus the English Attack set-up, it makes a lot of sense to speed things up and omit a7-a6. In a later round, versus Pasalic (see Round 6 below), for some reason I went for 5…d6 and avoided a possible repeat of this line. My tentative conclusion is that if white is really gunning all-out for an English Attack, this setup (without a6) is a very effective antidote – not possible, of course, from a Najdorf because there, a7-a6 has occurred on the 5th move!

8.f3 Nxd4 9.Bxd4 It is probably better to take with the queen here. People like GM Yannick Pelletier have shown that black has good play, though.

9…e5 10.Be3 Bxc3 11.Qxc3 11. bxc3 is possible with level chances.

11…Qxc3+ 12.bxc3 d6 13.c4 And here it might be more circumspect to leave this pawn where it is. White is drifting into an uncomfortable ending situation.

13… Be6 14.Rb1 b6 15.a4 Ke7 The king is great in this ending-type of middlegame in the middle of the board.

16.a5 Nd7 17.Kd2 Rhc8 18.Bd3 bxa5 19.Ra1 Bxc4 20.Rxa5 Bxd3 21.Kxd3 a6 22.Rb1 Rc6 23.Rb7 Kd8 24.h4 Kc8 25.Rb2 Kc7 26.Rba2 Nf8 27.h5 Ne6 28.R5a4 g6 29.h6 f5 30.Rb4 fxe4+ 31.fxe4 White is getting low on time which simplifies the technical task.

31…a5 32.Rb1 Nc5 I can’t make progress without trading knight for bishop, so I get that over with.

33.Bxc5 Rxc5 34.Rab2 Kd7 35.Rf1 Rc7 36.c4 a4 37.Kc3 Ke6 38.Rbf2 a3 39.Ra1 Ra4 This finishes it.

40.Kb3 Rcxc4 41.Raf1 Rcb4 42.Kc3 Rxe4 43.Rf6 Kd5 44.Rf7 Rf4 45.Rd1 Rad4 46.Rxf4 Rxd1 47.Ra4 Rh1 48.Rxa3 Rxh6 0-1

Round 5

IM Mark Ginsburg – IM Angelo Young Sicilian Kan

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 c5 3.e4! Trying to recreate my win over Dzindzi that occurred in a Kan 29 years ago (!!!) in Chicago December 1979.

3…cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6!? Not knowing this line, I wondered about 5. Nb5 with the idea of 5…Bc5 6. Be3. However, 5…a6 6. Be3 Qa5+ seems to be a significant objection. After my response, it is most likely to transpose to a conventional Kan aka Modern Paulsen.

5.Nb3 Qc7 6.Bd3 Bb4+? Terrible. This move loses a full tempo.

7.Nc3! Since black cannot seriously contemplate eating on c3, the bishop move proves futile.

7…Nf6 8.O-O a6 9.Bd2 Be7 10.f4 d6 11.Qf3 Nc6 12.Kh1 Bd7 13.Rae1 h5 Black cannot move his king to the kingside so makes a semi-aggressive waiting move. But this allows white to break in the middle and get a big edge.

14.e5! Ng4 Clearly 14…dxe5?? 15. fxe5 Nxe5 16. Rxe5! Qxe5 17. Bf4! traps the black queen and wins instantly. So the text is forced.

15.exd6 Qxd6 16.Ne4! Qc7 17.Bc3! All these moves are logical and strong. Black must now “gambit” and hope for the best.

17…O-O-O Forced.

18.Nec5? White misses the very strong capture 18. Bxg7! Rhg8 19. Bc3 Nb4 (what I had feared, gaining the 2 bishops) 20. h3! and white is much better. The point is that the N/g4, the key to black’s game, must retreat and that spells disaster. It’s OK to give up the Bishop on d3, opening the c-file and keeping the all-important Bishop on c3. For some reason, I had only looked at 20. Bxb4? (horrible) donating black permanent compensation on the dark squares and so dismissed this entire line. I start making one bad move after another and lose all my advantage.

18…Bxc5 19.Nxc5 Nce5 20.fxe5? 20. Qxb7! is correct and white keeps an extra pawn in a rather drawish ending after a lengthy set of mutual captures.

20…Qxc5 21.Be4? An outright blunder.

21…Bb5! Oops. 22. Qxf7? Rd7! wins for black so I must go back.

22.Bd3 1/2-1/2 Black can even play on with the simple Bxd3 but decided to call it a day; as owner/operator of the club Angelo has definite socialization duties with visitors.

Round 6

FM Mehmed Pasalic – IM M. Ginsburg, Sicilian Scheveningen

1.e4 c5 2.Ne2 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 Be7 8.Qd2!? O-O 9.O-O-O a6 10.f4 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Nd7! Angling for …e5 to equalize in certain positions.

12.Kb1 b5 13.h4!? Rb8! It’s correct to drive the N/c3 off then hit in the center with ….e5 if possible.

14.h5!? b4 15.Na4 h6 I thought it made most sense to halt white’s h-pawn advance.

16.Qd3 Qa5 17.b3 Bb7 18.e5! White avoids danger with this move.

18…Nc5! 18…d5? closing the B/b7 off is too risky.

19.Nxc5 dxc5 20.Bf3 Rfd8 21.Qe2 Qc7 22.g4 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 c4 24.Qe4 cxb3 24…c3? would be bad; black cannot attack and white simply carries on with a kingside advance.

25.axb3 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 Rd8 Although white has space here it’s very hard for him to attempt anything. Likewise black also has nothing particular to do.

27.Rd4 Rxd4 28.Bxd4 Qc8 White declined a draw around here but a few moves later he offers one.

29.f5 Bf8 30.Bb2 Qc5 31.Bd4 Qc8 32.Bb2 1/2-1/2 This felt like a very logical game.

Round 8

IM M. Ginsburg – IM Emory Tate Round 8. Budapest Gambit. G/90 + 30 sec increment. Budapest Gambit.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 Emory was rather late and then blitzed off this Budapest.

3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bf4 Bb4 6.Nc3 Qe7 7.Qd5 O-O? But what’s this? 7….f6 is necessary.

8.h3 Nh6 9.e3 Nf5 10.Bd3 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Nh4 12.Nxh4 Qxh4 13.O-O Re8 14.Bg3 Qh6 15.Rad1 a5 16.c5 a4 17.Bc4 Qe6 18.Qxe6 fxe6 19.Rb1 Ne7 20.e4 g5 21.h4 c6! Emory ingeniously makes some counterplay on the queenside.

22.hxg5 Ra5 23.f4 Rxc5 24.Bd3 Rxc3 25.Rbd1 c5 26.Rf3 Nc6 27.Bb5 Rxf3 28.gxf3 Nd4 29.Bxa4 Ne2+ 30.Kg2 Nc3 31.Bxd7 Forced but strong.

31…Nxd1 If 31…Rf8, 32. Bxc8! Nxd1 33. Bxe6+ wins quickly. And of course if 31…Rd8? 32. Bxe6+ wins.

32.Bxe8 Fortunately for white, the king side pawn majority is too strong.

32...Kf8 33.g6! hxg6 34.Bxg6 Kg7 35.Be8 Kf8 36.Ba4 Nc3 37.Bc2 Nxa2 38.Be1 b5 39.Bd2 b4 40.Bb3 Nc3 41.Bxc3 Also 41. Be3 of course but this simplification is decisive.

41…bxc3 42.Kf2 Ke7 43.Ke3 Bd7 44.Bc2 Bb5 45.f5 Bf1 46.f4 The pawn box!

46…Kd7 47.Bb3 exf5 48.exf5 Bh3 49.Be6 Kc6 50.Kd3 c4 51.Kxc3 Kc5 52.Bc8 Bg2 53.f6 Bd5 54.f5 Bg8 1-0

After this game, Mehmed Pasalic, hanging around outside, was congratulated by Emory and me as he made his final IM norm in this event with a clinching draw. Bravo. He had beaten Stamnov in a “double-header” (Stamnov game played immediately after a long draw with Loncarevic).

Round 9

Loncarevic, Robert – Ginsburg, Mark Modern Defense

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be2 a6 5.h4?! I don’t like this move. It causes problems for white in the game; it hangs in certain lines, and it doesn’t help get the king to safety.

5…h5! One time I made the mistake of allowing h4-h5 versus Sherzer and lost an agonizing middlegame.

6.Be3 b5 7.a4?! b4 8.Na2 a5 9.c3 bxc3 10.Nxc3 So the horse winds up on c3 again but black has gained open lines on the queenside.

10…Nf6 11.f3 Nc6 12.Bc4 O-O 13.Nge2 Nb4 14.Nf4 This all looks very artificial.

14...c6(!) Less interesting but OK was 14…Ba6.

15.d5? White could have tried to confuse here with 15. e5. But of course not 15. Nxg6?? d5 and wins material and the game (the knight gets trapped on f8).  Even so, 15. e5 Nfd5! (the best) 16. Ncxd5 cxd5 17. Nxd5 Nxd5 18. Bxd5 Rb8 19. e6 Bxe6! 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. Qd3 Rf5! with advantage to black.

15…cxd5 16.Nfxd5? Last chance but of course bad for white was 16. exd5 Bf5. Now black’s initiative grows unopposed and it’s all over.

16…Nfxd5 17.Nxd5 Nxd5 18.Bxd5 Rb8 19.Bd4 Bxd4 20.Qxd4 Rb4 21.Qc3 Qb6 22.b3 Ba6 0-1

White cannot finish developing and the upcoming e6 and Rfc8 will be decisive (in either order). A rout.

Postscript: My Loss Pops Up in the Blogosphere

I was pleased to see my only loss in the event (to FM Tom Bartell) well annotated by Michael Goeller in ‘The Kenilworthian’.  These annotations taught me information I really should have known before the game, but the last time I had tried it out was quite a while ago!