Posts Tagged ‘Gurevich’

The Fabulous 10s: Trying the Ugly at the US Championship

May 21, 2010

News Flash May 22, 2010

Listen to my Chess.FM Video of Game of the Day, Round 8, US Chess Championship, St. Louis.

I’ll be doing Round 9 tomorrow (Sunday) also.

It’s free for everyone, including non-ICC members.

When Ugly Goes Unpunished

Young GM Ray Robson let fly with a very ugly opening (a Bad Blumenfeld) against veteran GM Gregory Kaidanov, quickly reached a lost game as a result of his choice, and then Gregory uncharacteristically let him escape.   I have noticed a theme:  when Slav players try to learn a second opening, they often choose berserker openings that, let’s just say, give them a handicap.  Chairman Mao would have labeled Ray a “reckless adventurer” in this game giving Kaidanov numerous white to play and win puzzles. Let’s see it!

[Event “2010 U.S. Championship”]
[Site “Saint Louis”]
[Date “2010.05.20”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Kaidanov, Gregory”]
[Black “Robson, Ray”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “E10”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 b5 This opening is actually not so bad, it is really black’s 6th move that is a culprit.

5. Bg5 Qa5+ 6. Nc3 Ne4? A terrible line moving the knight twice for no gain.  Marginally better, but still ugly, is 6… b4 7. Bxf6 gxf6 8. Ne4 Be7 9. Qd2 f5 10. Ng3 Bb7 11. e3 d6 12. Be2 and white enjoys a small but definite plus.6… bxc4 7. Bxf6 gxf6 8. Nd2 is also a pleasant white plus.

7. Bd2?

Not the right reaction. 7. cxb5!  refutes black’s 6th move.  7… Nxg5 (very instructive is the bust to 7… Bb7? which is 8. dxe6 fxe6 9. Bd2 Nxd2 10. Nxd2 d5 11. e4! and it’s totally lost for black as in Borovikov,V (2472)-Sharapov,E (2387)/Sevastopol 2000) 8. Nxg5 Be7 9. Qd2 and white has a big plus.   7…Nxc3 8. bxc3 Qxc3+ 9. Bd2 Qf6 10. e4 and white, again, has a big plus.

7… Nxd2 8. Nxd2 b4 9. Nce4?! 9. Nb3 is better.  The text gives black free tempi.

9…f5 10. Ng5 Be7 11. Ngf3 Bf6 12. Qb3 O-O 13. e4 Re8? Better is 13… d6.

14. e5 Bxe5 15. Nxe5 exd5 16. O-O-O Rxe5 17. cxd5 Ba6 18. Bxa6 Qxa6 19. Rhe1 Qf6 20. Nc4 Re4 21. f3 Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Na6 23. d6 Rc8? Over-sharp craziness.  This should lose in multiple ways.  Necessary was 23…Qd4.  Uncharacteristically, white gets very confused now, perhaps precisely due to the surfeit of wins?

24. Re7 Nb8 Black was hosed no matter what.  For example, 24…Kh8 25. Qe3 and wins.  Now it should all be over very soon.

Can white not win?

25. f4? The first perplexing miscue.  The elementary 25. Ne5+ c4  (black’s “point”) 26. Qxb4 wins in short order.

25… h6 26. Ne5+ c4 27. Qg3? White has a strange allergy to 27. Qxb4! winning.

For example, 27…c3 28. Qb3+ Kh7 29. Rf7! Qxd6 30. Rxg7+! Kxg7 31. Qf7+ Kh8 32. Ng6+ Qxg6 33. Qxg6 and white wins.

27… Nc6? A blunder in return. 28. Rf7? And a blunder in return! 28. Rxd7! wins immediately.

28… Qxe5 Forced, but this should lose.

29. fxe5 Kxf7 30. Qf4? Oh, no!  30. e6+! is a nice clearance motif that wins. 30… Kxe6 (30… dxe6 31. d7 Rd8 32. Qc7 loses trivially as a piece hangs) 31. Qxg7 Kxd6 32. Qxh6+ and white wins easily with the passed h-pawn.  Now black survives!   White, like Vince Carter, missed some free throws to clinch the game (at several moments!).

30… Ke6 31. Qxc4+ Kxe5 32. Kd2 Rf8 33. Qd3 g5 34. h4 gxh4 35. Qe3+ Kd5 36. Qf4 Rg8 37. Qxf5+ Kxd6 38. Qf4+ Kc5 39. Qe3+ Kb5 40. Qf3 Rg3 41. Qf2 d5 42. Ke1 d4 43. Qf5+ Kb6 44. Kf2 Re3 45. Qh5 1/2-1/2

And for Something Different

King’s Gambit Action from the online blitz qualifier for Dos Hermanas, earlier this year!

White is former World Junior Champion Ilya Gurevich.  Black is strong German GM Jan Gustafsson. The game was “just” a 3/0 blitz game, but interesting nonetheless!

[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[Date “2010.02.26”]
[Round “8”]
[White “junior”]
[Black “GodGusti”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ICCResult “Black resigns”]
[WhiteElo “2931”]
[BlackElo “2923”]
[Opening “KGA: Kieseritsky, Berlin defense”]
[ECO “C39”]
[NIC “KG.01”]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. d4 d6 7. Nd3 Nc6 8. c3 Nxe4 9. Bxf4 d5 10. Nd2 Bf5 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe5 f6 14. Bb5+ c6 15. O-O fxe5 16. Rxf5 cxb5 17. Rxe5+ Be7 18. Qxg4 Qd6 19. Re1 Kd8 20. Qxe4 {Black resigns} 1-0

The Fabulous 10s: The US Championship Begins!

May 14, 2010

The US Championship is underway in St. Louis!

Rex Sinquefield’s gala event has started at the new USA Chess Mecca, St. Louis!

Let’s first take a look at the Ben Finegold of yesteryear (Belgium, 1989).

Ben Finegold and Marc Geenen, Belgium, 1989

Let’s kick things off with two cagey veterans battling:

[Event “US Champ 2010”]
[Site “St Louis”]
[Date “2010.05.14”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Christiansen, Larry”]
[Black “Gurevich, Dmitry”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B60”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 Dmitry remains true to his Classical Sicilian.

6. Bg5 Larry also has lots of experience with the Sozin 6. Bc4.

6…Qb6 7. Nb3 e6 8. Qe2!? Unusual.  I think GM Lanka used to teach people like Shirov to put queens on e2 in Sicilians.


Black misses a very cute potential tactic.  Stronger is 8…Be7! hoping for 9. O-O-O O-O 10. g4 – plausible, right?

This would seem to be the idea of 8. Qe2, since it occurred in the game too. Take a look at this for a second.

Position after 10. g4 - analysis.

Now black has the amazing shot 10…Nd5!! and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that move in this type of position.  It at least equalizes in all lines!  Rybka points out here the ingenious 10…Nd5!!  11. Nxd5 Bxg5+ 12. f4 exd5 13. fxg5 and now guess the right move that leads to a small edge for black!  Hint: it’s not obvious.  Also note the nice positional line 10…Nd5!! 11. Bd2 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 e5! with …Bc8-e6 coming and black is very happy.  Finally, 10…Nd5!! 11. Bxe7? Nxc3 is terrible for white.

9. O-O-O Be7 10. g4 Qc7 11. Be3 b5 12. f4 b4 13. Na4 Rb8 14. Bg2 Na5 15. g5 Nd7 16. Nxa5 Qxa5 17. b3 Bb7 18. Kb1 Bc6?! A little dubious.  18…Qb5 is better.

19. Nb2 Bb5 20. Qf2 Qc7 21. h4 Rc8 22. Rd2 a5 23. h5 a4 24. bxa4 Ba6 25. Bf1 Bxf1 26. Qxf1 Qb7 27. Qg2 Nc5 28. Bxc5 Rxc5 29. Rf1 O-O 30. f5 Re8 31. Qg4?

It was very unLarry-like to miss 31. f6!! Bf8 (31… Bd8 32. Rxd6 wins prosaically) 32. g6!! (Very aesthetic!) and wins.  This position deserves a diagram.

Position after 32. g6!! - analysis. White wins.

That would have been a real cruncher!  The bone crushing conclusion would likely have won white the round’s brilliancy prize (I am saying this not knowing if there is one):  32. g6!! hxg6 33. hxg6 gxf6 (what else) 34. gxf7++ Kxf7 35. Rxf6+! (Of course!) 35…Kxf6 (35…Ke7 36. Rdf2 wins) 36. e5+! and wins the black queen – clearance motif!  I will leave it as an exercise to the readers to work out the win after 32. g6!! Rc7.

31… exf5 32. exf5 Bf8 33. g6 Re4? Now black is lost again. The centralizing 33… Qe4! puts up a good fight and the issue is not yet resolved.  If white trades queens or avoids it he’s only working with a small edge.

34. Qg2 hxg6 35. hxg6 fxg6 36. fxg6 Rf5 37. Qh3 Rxf1+ 38. Rd1 1-0

In Other Round 1 Action

GM Stripunsky uncorked a howler on move 2 vs Nakamura:


1. e4 e6 2. f4?? White crumbles on move 2, losing a tempo. Memo to Nakamura’s future opponents;  see what winning chances he can generate after 2. d4! d5 3. Nd2!.  If the goal in the Championship is to maximize points, the 3. Nd2! variation fits the bill.    Play it for white, it’s not scary!  The goal is not to make an ugly pawn move right out of the gate!  Naturally, Nakamura went on to win this game.  I’ve noticed quite often that players deviate vs. high rated opposition.  But as Yermo teaches us, the main lines are the best lines!    This lesson was also learned the hard way by Joel Benjamin who avoided Closed Ruy main lines for no reason against Onischuk, choosing a deferred exchange sideline which might be good in blitz but is not good to maximize result expectation in a serious game.  Joel got nothing and went on to lose later.  Play into the main Closed Ruys!  They are not scary!

And for Something Different

Twilight: New Moon

I got this photo from ChessBase covering the Corus “C” group in 2010.  It’s Nils Grandelius from Sweden; wouldn’t he fit into the Twilight series?

Room for some Comedy Here?

Philosophy Comedy

Click several times to enlarge until the riotous comedy emerges.   Source article.

Search Engine Terms

Readers used these search terms to reach my site.  Note, as always, the immense popularity of Russian supermodel Anne V.    Some of the more mysterious phrases include “model boxing” and “levon altounian lightning.”

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The Fabulous 70s and The Fabulous 90s: Two Chestnuts

March 20, 2010

Chestnut 1

The scene:  Fairfax, VA.  1976 US Open.  Smoking allowed!  GM Bill Lombardy, 1957 World Junior Champion (he won every game), puffing away on a cigar versus young upstart John Fedorowicz.

Thanks to Bill Whited for finding this game.  I had confused it in another post on the US Open 1976 with a Lombardy-Diesen encounter.  I think the time control was the bizarre 50 moves in 150 minutes (need to check that).  I played in this event, drawing Wozney and Blocker (Ohio power!) but drawing an old lady (a photo of me vs. old lady graced the pages of The Washington Post).  The skittles room was dominated by a loud, blustery, rather irritating man who would shush people left and right – I later found out it was Hanken.  Smoke filled the tournament room.  Good times.  Trivia fact: Kurt Stein informs me that National HS Champ Ric Kaner was hassled/almost mugged in DC walking from a train station.

[Event “US op Fairfax (5), 1976”]
[Date “1976.08.??”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Lombardy, William”]
[Black “Fedorowicz, John P”]
[Result “0-1”]
[WhiteElo “2520”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 Qb6 7. Nb3 e6 8. Be2 a6 9. O-O Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 10…gxf6! = has stood the test of time.

11. Qxd6 Black doesn’t have enough for the pawn but it’s entertaining.

11…Be5 12. Qd2 O-O 13. Kh1 Rd8 14. Bd3 Bd7 15. f4 Bb8

16. a3? 16. Rad1 is better.

16…Na5 17. Nxa5 Qxa5 18. Qe1 Ba7 19. b4 19. e5 is stronger than this lunge. While not totally horrible, the text move does not give a good impression.

19…Qc7 20. a4 Rac8 21. Ne2 Bb6 22. Ra3 Bc6 23. b5 Ba5 24. Qb1 Be8 25. Rb3 axb5 26. axb5 f6! Now black is fine.

27. e5 fxe5 28. c4 g6 29. fxe5 Qxe5 30. Ng1 Bc7 31. Nf3 Qh5 32. Qe1 Bd7 33. Be4 Rf8 34. g3 34. h3 was much tidier.

34…Ra8 Black gets frisky.  34…b6 is equal.

Can white snap on b7?

35. Kg2? Falling for what essentially was a bluff. Surprisingly, and this is not easy to see in time trouble, 35. Bxb7! Ra2 36. Nh4! is good for white.

35…Ra2+ 35…Bb6, waiting, was a good alternative.  The text lets white make a couple of quick moves and keep control.

36. Rf2 Rxf2+ 37. Qxf2 Qg4 38. Qd4 Weirdly, 38. Qe1 keeps a definite edge.

38…Bc8 While nothing special, 38…Bb6! works tactically and would cause white to take some time.

39. b6? Falling for a devilish tactical trick; the typical fate of a time-trouble addict. 39. c5! was good for white with the nice variation: 39. c5! Rd8 40. Qe3 e5 41. b6! with a big plus.  I am sure white envisioned something like this but mixed up the order of the pawn moves.

39…Bxb6! 40. h3?? Completing a collapse. 40. Qd3 equal, or 40. Rxb6 Rxf3 41. Rb2 equal. Bill had the unfortunate habit of minimizing his results in time trouble. As Korchnoi said, “In time trouble, there are no heroes.”

40..Qxf3+ Winning a full piece.  Disgruntled and disgusted and not hiding his emotions, Lombardy plays on.

41. Bxf3 Bxd4 42. Bxb7 Bxb7+ 43. Rxb7 e5 44. g4 h6 45. Rc7 e4 46. Re7 e3 47. Re4 Bc5 48. Re5 Rc8 49. Kf3 Kf7 50. Ke2 Kf6 51. Rd5 0-1 It may be (needs confirmation) that Lombardy adjourned at this point and forced his opponent to attend an early morning resumption the next day – whereas Bill did not show up. An interesting “gambit”. I can see Korchnoi pulling this stunt too. In the old days, we had quaint things like “adjournments” and “resumptions”.

In a 1977 Lone Pine, CA rematch, Lombardy had every chance to gain revenge, but again (probably time trouble!) let the win slip away and only drew.

Chestnut 2

Not for the faint of heart.  The scene:  Glendale, CA. World Student Teams, 1994.  The USA-Armenia match. 

[Event “USA-ARM”]
[Site “Glendale”]
[Date “1994.??.??”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Anastasian, Ashot”]
[Black “Gurevich, Ilya”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A15”]
[WhiteElo “2545”]
[BlackElo “2585”]
[EventDate “1994.05.??”]
[EventType “team”]
[EventRounds “4”]
[EventCountry “USA”]
[Source “ChessBase”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. b4 Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. e3 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. d3 a5 8. b5 Nbd7 9. O-O a4 10. a3 Nc5 11. Nbd2 Re8 12. Qc2 Bf5 13. Rad1 c6 14. Qc3 cxb5 15. d4
Nce4 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Qb4 bxc4 18. Bxc4 Qb8 19. Bd5! exd4 20. Bxd4 Nc5 21. Ng5 Be6 22. Qc3! Bxd4 23. exd4 Bxd5 24. dxc5 Bb3 25. Rxd6
With excellent play up to here, white has gained a large edge. Black’s king is very lonely.

25…h6 26. Nf3 Qc7 27. Ne5 Be6
28. Rc1 Rac8 29. Qd2 Qe7 30. Qd4 Bf5 31. f4 h5 32. h3 Qh4 33. Kh2 Red8 34. Rf1 Be6 35. Nf3 Qe7 36. Rd1 Re8 37. Re1 Qc7 38. Re5 Bb3

It’s all roses from white’s point of view.  He has maneuvered very well and his pieces are all in optimal attacking positions.  Now, 39. Rxh5! is evident and wins immediately.

White to play and win (2 solutions)

39. Ng5?? The first major miscue.  It won’t be the last.  To point out how terrible white’s 39th move was, also winning was the easy 39. Rd7! Qc6 (39… Qa5 40. Rg5 Rc6 41. f5! wins) 40. Rxe8+ Rxe8 41. Ne5 Qf6 42. Rxb7 and wins.

39… Rxe5 40. Qxe5 Bc2 41. Qd5 Re8 42. Qd4 Qc8 43. Rd7?

Tacticians will spot 43. Nxf7! Kxf7 44. Rf6+winning; for example 44…Kg8 45. Qd5+ Kh8 46. Rf7 Qd8 47. Qxb7 g5 48. Qb2+!

43… Bb3 44. Ne4 Rxe4 45.Rd8+ Re8 46. Rxc8 Rxc8

White has won the queen.  He’s still winning, of course.

A matter of technique.

47. g4? Simplest is a move to break up the pawns:  47. f5! gxf5 48. Kg3! and white wins with no problems.  Such a move begs to be played.

47… hxg4 48. hxg4 Rc6 49. Kg3 Kf8 50. Qd8+ Kg7 51. Kh4 Kh7 52. Qd4 Kg8 53. Kg3 Kf8 54. Qd8+ Kg7 55. Kf3 Be6 56. f5 gxf5 57. Qg5+ Kf8 58. gxf5 Bd5+
59. Ke3 Ke8 60. Kd4?
60. Qf4! and the critical b7 pawn falls; white wins. White seems to moving aimlessly (time trouble?).  Maybe he’s not winning. But is he losing?  That is a stretch…

60… Bb3 61. Qf4 Kd7 62. Qb8 Rc7 63. Qa7 Kc8 64. Qa8+ Kd7 65. f6 Kc6 66. Qe8+ Rd7+ 67. Kc3 Be6 68. Kb4 Kc7 69. Kxa4 Rd8 70. Qe7+ Rd7 71. Qf8 Rd4+ 72. Ka5?? Oh no!  72. Kb5 Bd7+ 73. c6! (Clearance to avoid mate!) 73…Bxc6+ 74. Kc5 Rd7 75. Kb4 and white can continue aimless shuffling without losing.

72… Bd7 0-1 Suddenly, white is mated.  A game that goes beyond the pale of your everyday garden-variety swindle.