Posts Tagged ‘Sinquefield’

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.

8…a6(?!)

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:

Stripunsky-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 20th Century: Some Photos

June 7, 2009

The News from All Over Department

In an attempt to get our minds off the nauseating lawsuits of USCF politics, let’s see some mirthful photos from days of yore.

Lenk, Switzerland 2000

Lenk, Switzerland 2000

On board one in the background we have Romanian GM Florin Gheorghiu (partially obscured) on the left playing GM Vladimir Tukmakov.

On board two it is GM Andrei Sokolov on the left playing, I believe, GM Lothar Vogt.

On board three it’s WGM Kachiani. a lady GM, I forget her name… readers?

I played in this event (Lenk 2000) also, so did Hungarian GM Attila Grozpeter and others. What a fun time!  How to get there from Basel?   Transfer in Zurich for a slow-moving train through the Alps to arrive at the fairy-tale town!

The Alpine Village of Lenk > Philly World Open

The Alpine Village of Lenk > Philly World Open

Moving back to 1985, here is a typical (for that time) World Open tableau.

World Open Tableau

World Open Tableau

From left to right, future US Champion and future GM Michael Wilder, New Jersey personality Steve Anderson (aka Henderson), Canadian stalwart Ian Findlay, an anonymous semi-naked individual, and IM Vince McCambridge.

Zooming back to the early 2000s, here is GM Tal Shaked with California chess enthusiast Simone Sobel.

shaked

Nudging the clock back two years to 1999, here I am demonstrating the religion menu on display in Angel Island, California (a massive Japanese displacement/internment camp during World War II).

Where's Marxist, Buddhist, Shinto, etc.?

Where's Marxist, Buddhist, Shinto, etc.?

And now going waaay back (OK not so far back) to the early 1990s, here is a snapshot from the Nigel Short-Garry Kasparov World Championship match in London with what appears to be a very severe arbiter in the middle. I don’t know who took this photo.

The Royal Rumble in London

The Royal Rumble in London

Now moving up again to the year 2000, this author at the famous site of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany where American athlete Jesse Owens shocked the Aryans with numerous track and field gold medals.  In a very sporting move, the stadium’s street is now called “Jesse Owens Allee!”

Jesse Owens got a Street!

Jesse Owens got a Street!

And in the grand tradition of ending an article with Yet Another Unrelated Photo, here is an artistic photograph of Claire Lev at Paige Stockley’s wedding in the pleasant nature state of Washington.  This was also from the early 2000s timeframe.  Either the official wedding photographer or I took that photo. It looks too artistic to be me, but stranger things have happened.

Everybody Likes a Wedding

Everybody Likes a Wedding

Afterthought on USCF Politics and Dante’s Inferno

Any USCF board member committing the absurd act of suing the USCF should be automatically relegated to the “Legal Committee”, a thinly veiled reference to Dante’s Purgatory.  If he or she does not retract the lawsuit within 24 hours (give them time to come off their “bad high”), they are then relegated to a new Federation, name of their choosing, where they run the show and are the only members (can offer a fill in the blank option here, only caveat is that the new name must be completely original – I don’t want to see NewCF because New contains the “U” sound).  Since the new Federation does not allow membership in other Federations, we are rid of the blight. This is a thinly veiled reference to Dante’s Hell.

Can Wealthy People Rescue the USCF?

This just in from media maven John Henderson in one of his daily e-mail blasts (over a billion served if you multiply the # of sends by the # of recipients):

Going, Going, Gone To Rex Sinquefield!


It was all over in seconds. Bobby Fischer’s library filled three glass cases in on the Mezzanine level of Bonhams nd Butterfieldsauction house on Madison Avenue in New York. The hundreds of chess books in various languages, issues of chess-related periodicals, proofs for Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games, and assorted notes and other miscellanea were sold in one lot for a “hammer price” of USD $50,000, plus a $21,000 Bonhams commission…

The collection was bought by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis founder and 2009 US Championship sponsor, Rex Sinquefield, and announced today in a press release (entitled “Sinquefields Purchase Bobby Fischer’s Chess Collection”) from the group.  ICC Chess.FM has exclusive video coverage of the auction now at www.Chess.fm/blog
Some comments:  A)  Quite the racket Bonhams is in, a $21,000 commission on a $50,000 bid?  That’s ridiculous!   Work out the percentage at home, readers.  I don’t think John Bonham, sadly deceased Led Zeppelin drummer, would have approved.    Wait… this just in…. correction from John H: FYI…
It was $11,000 in Bonhams’ commission, NOT $21,000 as original stated.”.
Well it’s still high, but OK I an accept that number better!  The one guy who is spinning in his grave is Fischer.  He hated third parties profiting on his name. I would suggest that “Bonhams” contribute some of their commission to a charity of one of Fischer’s living relative’s choosing.  Is that likely to happen?  Actually, the entire sale is fairly dubious – why not bestow it to a mobile Fischer exhibit, for example.  Who had the right to sell his stuff?   B) The name “Rex Sinquefield” sounds completely made up, but I have to give kudos for this cool “secret agent” name.   Actually it’s an interesting phenomenon that wealthy people often pop up in out of the way places then become gigantic benefactors to a forlorn cause.  For example, the Hartz Flea Collar baron donated a lot of money to NYU and got an entire business school named after him.  C) Can  wonder-bidder “Rex” rescue the USCF?  Maybe he can issue a cease and desist order to all the lawsuit-happy individuals backed up by his good name and fortune.   Somehow I think quite a few of these lawsuit-prone individuals would sit very straight up in their chair and respect an edict if it stems from money.  They are not listening to good sense since lawsuits cause absurd legal expenses, weakening the poor non-profit’s capital position every day the lawsuits exist.  The only winners are the lawyers in Fake Sam Sloan cases, as lurid as they might be.