Posts Tagged ‘Oleg Zaikov’

The Fabulous 00s: USCL Round 5 Carolina vs Arizona

September 26, 2008

Round 5:  Neither Team Deserves Kudos

Arizona and Carolina had a hard-fought but horribly blunderful 2-2 draw in Round 5.

On board 4, we were somewhat lucky as Warren Harper scored a win over Craig Jones in a game with numerous errors.  Warren made the proverbial next-to-last mistake.  On board 3, Robby Adamson’s opponent Simpson played a higly dubious opening but Robby tanked and could only get an equal rook ending – and drew.  Our top two boards were a major disappointment.  On board 1, IM Altounian was crushing over IM Milman.  We were hampered here as his computer kept disconnecting to the apparently finicky U of Arizona network.  He missed a mate in two and numerous other wins, to land in a B + 3 pawns vs lone Rook that was drawn, since the B was virtually a tall pawn. And I totally botched my game in mutual time pressure after playing a nice middle-game.

FM Zaikov (CAR) – IM Ginsburg (ARZ)  Round 5 USCL  Bogo-Indian

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 a5 4…Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 Qe7 is quite possible; as is 4…Qe7.  I once shocked Seirawan, World Open 1984, with 4…c5 but many games have been played with that in the meantime.

5.Nc3 d6 6.Qc2 Nbd7 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 At this point, Zaikov’s relayer typed bc3 and the computer, of course, played b2xc3.  The move was “taken back” on ICC and I was given 5 more minutes. USCL rules state this is what happens when there is a typing typo.  I wish he had been given 5 less minutes!

8…Qe7 9.g3 e5 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 Re8 12.e4 b6!? 13.Rae1?! Aggressive but it looks strange.  In the game, since e5 strongpoint is held, the rook winds up doing nothing here.  I would prefer putting it on d1 or c1.

13…h6 Basically a waiting move to tempt white into his next.

14.Nh4 Ba6! If 15. b3 a4!

15.Nf5  Qf8 16.f4 White might as well try this.  He has used most of his time already.  But I have a surprise!

Position after 16. f4.  No need for panic.

16…Bxc4 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.dxe5 Rxe5! A N/f6 move would be bad for black.  The text is virtually forced and also good for me.

19.Bxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxh6+ Kh7 21.Rf5 Qc5+ 22.Kh1 Kxh6 Black has great compensation although white gains the exchange with his next move.

23.b3 Rd8 24.bxc4 Qd4 25.Qc1+ Kh7 26.Ref1 Nfg4 27.Qg5 Rd6 Black has the solid 27…f6 here and I have tremendous chances, especially since white is lower on time.  The text is fine but white counter-sacrifices to reach a draw.

28.h3 Rh6 29.Rxf7! Nxf7 30.Rxf7 Ne3 31.e5! Forcing a draw by interrupting the black queen defense of g7.

Position after 31. e5.

31…Qd1+??? At this point we both had less than a minute (but we get 30 second increment). I thought white had blundered and was looking forward to 32. Kh2 Ng4+ winning the queen and the game.  I didn’t get below 20 seconds here which is a mistake; I should have double-checked this.

Absolutely forced and drawing was the simple 31…Rg6.  If 32. Qh5+ Rh6 33. Qg5 Rg6 repeats.  If 32. Qf4 I can check on the back rank with my queen then take the bishop on g2.  His K will be too open and it’s an immediate draw. If he gets too frisky by running his king up when I check with the queen, I can even win.  I suspect he would have taken the immediate repetition.

32.Bf1! Oh. He had that?   Chess psychologists say the most commonly overlooked moves are the backwards diagonal ones.  G7 and E3 hang and I am lost.   IM Altounian missed the mate in two at some point after this horrendous blunder, so you get a sense for how aggravating this match was.

32…Rg6 33.Qxe3 Black resigns 1-0

Really an irritating collapse and unnecessary defeat.  Consider that it’s hard to construct any position where white has three pawns and a bishop versus a lone rook with no strange starting king placement and white cannot win (which is what happened in Altounian-Milman, as white ‘created a chess puzzle’ to reach a drawn game) and you will sense how incredibly annoying and aggravating (did I mention that? 😛 ) this match was.

An in an Unrelated Matter:  A Strategic Moniker Change for Humpy

Chessbase ran a story about the Humpy Koneru  (or is it Koneru Humpy?) exit from the World Championship cycle.    I think she would do better if she adopted a stage name suggested by an ICC wag:  Swindella McQueen. Many years ago Charlie Hertan adopted the name Mister Donkey in USCF play and such change of monikers makes sense:  as Charlie explained, if he lost, his ego did not suffer.  Only Mr. Donkey had to suffer.  The Chessbase article suggested Humpy had to get mentally tougher.  Well, under my dramatic moniker change, only Swindella has to get tougher.  Humpy can stay the same.    The reason I am suggesting this name change is the same reason the talent agent had way back when he told Penis Van Lesbian to change his name to Dick Van Dyke – the original name just won’t draw the big audience for the singing and dancing.  Just like ‘Humpy’ won’t pack the house in a chess event.

And When The Trend Catches Hold

If the Humpy strategem works out, we might see some other moniker changes.  Here is a set of representative items.

Old:  Elizabeth Vicary  New:   Micah Twinkleton Perth

Old:  Irina Krush  New:   Larabeth “Sandwoman” Gudmundsson

Old:  Anna Zatonskih  New:    Gerta “The Ligatrix” Raus

Old:  Chuchanik Airapetian  New:    Mokra “The Countess” Volovich

Old:  Rusudan Goletiani  New:    Nellie “Say What?” Fourflusher

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The Fabulous 00s: The 2008 USCL Round 2

August 30, 2008

And this fresh on YouTube

This.

Week 1 GOTW Judging Missteps

Even if the judges aren’t good players (and even good players have a hard time if they are not actually playing the game; it’s hard to read players’ thoughts), they need to consult a database/engine (or ask someone!) to see if an outright blunder occurred.  Unfortunately, they did not consult and were “wowed” because a high-rated player played a sacrifice, reminiscent of the monkeys gathering around the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The move-order blunder occurred right after the sacrifice and then white had no chance.  There were many more competitive games in Round 1.  But not very good quality – murky GOTW territory!

They didn’t know (insufficient inquiry) that it was a simple move-order mistake. This thing actually happens all the time in chess when the writers don’t have much time (a deadline).  GM Wolff did know…

The bottom line is the GOTW should feature a tough (not one-sided) battle where both players demonstrate ideas and the game is not essentially decided by an opening omission.  But of course if the judges are laboring under a strict deadline then it gets tougher.  Actually talking to the players helps when that is possible.  Notice though there were very few such games in week 1.  The Altounian game was marred by a resource that could have turned the tables for his opponent.

“Patrick Wolff said…
I am puzzled by this choice for game of the week. Shabalov obviously just forgot to play Bg4 before Qc2, and his move order blunder was easily exploited. I think Black played well to drive the point home but I don’t think it is a “game of the week.”

Greg Braylovskiy said…
I agree with Patrick. In Jorge’s game, first 15 moves are theory; moves 16 to 22 are very close to being forced; and then Alex is just lost. Not sure what’s being rewarded here.”

The fix:  don’t go on the opponents’ ratings and the first impression that someone strong gave up a piece, this guarantees a long fight with interesting chances for both sides- it ain’t so.  Go on the actual moves in the game.

Round 2

Can the spectators really stand more USCL excitement?  It’s almost too much already!

Updates as of Sunday August 31 having just seen the actual rosters.

My Week 2 Predictions

WEEK 2: Wednesday, September 3rd

1. New Jersey Knockouts vs Queens Pioneers               2-2   Both teams are strong.  So there.  My prediction:  numerous fear/respect draw offers that float by unseen and unanswered as strong players get low on time and start flipping out.  Much sturm und drang followed by pax.

Update having seen the roster:

New Jersey Knockouts Queens Pioneers
GM Joel Benjamin: 2644 IM Dmitry Schneider: 2508
NM Mackenzie Molner: 2397 IM Eli Vovsha: 2532
NM Evan Ju: 2292 IM Alex Lenderman: 2528
NM Victor Shen: 2265 Benjamin Katz: 2108
Predicted: 2
2

2. Philadelphia Inventors vs Baltimore Kingfishers      1.5 – 2.5

Update having seen the roster:

Philadelphia Inventors Baltimore Kingfishers
GM Sergey Kudrin: 2600 GM Sergey Erenburg: 2592
FM Thomas Bartell: 2386 IM Larry Kaufman: 2424
NM Daniel Yeager: 2349 FM Ray Kaufman: 2348
NM Elvin Wilson: 2240 FM Ralph Zimmer: 2328
Predicted result: 2


2

3. Boston Blitz vs Carolina Cobras                               2.5 – 1.5 or 3-1  Ratings don’t always matter that much. Carolina will score a nominal upset on one of the boards and may pull off a nominal ‘draw upset’ on another board.

Amusing side-note:  The Lime puts this as Boston 3.5 – Carolina 0.5.  That’s not happening 🙂

Update having seen the roster – the match will be closer than I envisioned and Carolina actually has chances of the ‘mini-upset’ drawn match:

Boston Blitz Carolina Cobras
GM Larry Christiansen: 2670 IM Lev Milman: 2502
SM Denys Shmelov: 2446 FM Oleg Zaikov: 2376
NM Charles Riordan: 2326 FM Ron Simpson: 2346
NM Marc Esserman: 2307 NM Craig Jones: 2320
Predicted: 2.5
1.5

4. Miami Sharks vs New York Knights                    1.5 – 2.5    NY is out to avenge its sickening performance in round 1.  Have a pre-match prep/strategy session, guys!  Don’t play into the opponents’ strengths!  Less talk and more pawns!  More team and less individual!  Prepare, prepare, prepare.  JFern, this means more than bringing snacks.

Update – who the heck is on board 2 for Miami?  The answer (or non-answer) impacts the result greatly:

Miami Sharks
New York Knights
GM Julio Becerra: 2640 GM Pascal Charbonneau: 2524
FM Osmany Perea: 2453 IM Irina Krush: 2534
FM Charles Galofre: 2326 SM Gregory Braylovsky: 2445
NM Eric Rodriguez: 2242 NM Matthew Herman: 2271
Predicted: 1.5
2.5

5. Chicago Blaze vs San Francisco Mechanics               1.5 – 2.5  Chicago is always competitive.  Hopefully Shankland’s opponent will appear this week.

Staring at the actual rosters, I predict a minor “upset” in the form of a 2-2 tie.

Chicago Blaze San Francisco Mechanics
FM Florin Felecan: 2449 IM Josh Friedel: 2595
IM Emory Tate: 2392 IM Vinay Bhat: 2481
FM Mehmed Pasalic: 2375 FM Sam Shankland: 2364
IM Angelo Young: 2356 FM Daniel Naroditsky: 2321
Predicted Upset: 2


2

6. Tennessee Tempo vs Seattle Sluggers                       1.5 – 2.5  Similar to the NY story, Seattle is out to redeem itself.  But the road is not always easy to hoe against the Tempoiacs.  Todd Andrews just needs to be a little more mindful of pins before going hogwild and taking juicy pawns that turn out to be poisoned. Let’s see if GM Jaan “Cornpone” Ehlvest enters the fray to push some pawns, chew some chaw, and choke down some hominy grits.  I apologize in advance for the grotesque substitution of Alabama for Tennessee here.  If Seattle is dead-set on not winning this match and being the Great Bust of 2008, I think they can succeed.  Digression:  unrelated to the team result (1-3), Readey missed a sweet mate on move 31 vs Lugo in Week 1.

Update with roster:- Seattle should cruise (but they have to do something about their graphic logo, the cartoony knight has a mentally ill expression):

ennessee Tempo Seattle Sluggers
FM Todd Andrews: 2350 GM Gregory Serper: 2592
FM Peter Bereolos: 2304 FM Slava Mikhailuk: 2437
FM John Bick: 2249 FM John Readey: 2296
FM Jerry Wheeler: 2204 NM Michael Lee: 2314
Predicted: 1
3

7. Dallas Destiny vs Arizona Scorpions                         2-2    If Levon (or another board 1 we choose to employ) can neutralize in the best style of Petrosian and our board 4 is solid.   The hissing Scorpions will be quite happy to avoid being stepped out in this match (note, Scorpions sometimes survive a direct human step; they just don’t like being smashed by rocks very much).

Update with roster:  This is going to be ultra-tense.  I still see 2-2 as most likely.  The pressure is really on our boards 2 and 4, well, all our boards really.  Whoah. I am really at a loss, btw, to explain why other pundits such as the Lime, Youngovich, and the Sharmanator are picking us as favorites.  I see it as completely equal.

Dallas Destiny Arizona Scorpions
IM Drasko Boskovic: 2504 IM Levon Altounian: 2535
IM John Bartholomew: 2488 FM Danny Rensch: 2411
FM Igor Schneider: 2396 FM Robby Adamson: 2377
WFM Bayaraa Zorigt: 2217 NM Warren Harper: 2351