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CHESS

U.S. second in team tourney

January 17, 2010|By Jack Peters

Jan. 17, 2010

Position No. 6090: White to play and win. From the game Gudmundur Kjartansson-Jason McKenna, Hastings 2009.

Solution to Position No. 6089: White wins with 1 Nxe5!, as 1 . . . Bxd1 allows 2 Nf6+ gxf6 3 Bxf7 mate.

The U.S. team won silver medals at the 10-nation World Team Championship on Wednesday in Bursa, Turkey. The fifth-seeded team far exceeded expectations, leading the tournament until an eighth-round loss to Armenia.

Russia survived a shocking upset against Greece to win the gold medals with a score of 7 1/2 -1 1/2 . India lacked world champion Viswanathan Anand but matched the U.S. score of 6 1/2 -2 1/2 and took third place on tiebreak.

Individual honors went to U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura of Seattle, 6-2 on first board, and Alexander Onischuk of Virginia, 6 1/2 -2 1/2 on second board.

Three-time U.S. champion Gata Kamsky of New York won the traditional New Year's grandmaster tournament in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Kamsky defeated the leader, GM Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, in the final round and edged him on tiebreak. Each scored 6 1/2 -2 1/2 .

The 72nd edition of the great tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, began Friday. World champion Viswanathan Anand, former champion Vladimir Kramnik, top-ranked Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura lead the list of contenders in the Grandmaster "A" group. Varuzhan Akobian of Glendale competes in the "B" group, and 15-year-old Ray Robson of Florida faces other prodigies in the "C" group.

Local news

The Century West Open, held last weekend in Los Angeles, ended in a tie at 4-1 among GM Melikset Khachiyan, IM Andranik Matikozyan, IM Enrico Sevillano and a college student from Texas, IM Puchen Wang. Next at 3 1/2 -1 1/2 were Ron Hermansen, Alexandre Kretchetov, IM Emory Tate and this writer. Ankit Gupta and Konstantin Kavutskiy earned expert honors.

Michael Taylor won the Premier (under 1900) section with 4 1/2 - 1/2 , a half point ahead of Daniel Mousseri and Numan Abdul-Mujeeb. Richard Martin was best under 1700.

James Holder and unrated David Meliksetyan tied for first in the Amateur (under 1400) section.

Inexplicably, only 60 players participated. Nevertheless, the Open section included the full roster of local titled players, resulting in tough pairings.

The turnout of 28 players for the scholastic event was also low. Karl Tolentino took first prize, and Bryan Goldenberg and Matthew Poh shared first in the scholastic reserve section.

The Orange County Open takes place next weekend at Hanley Chess Academy, 7390 Center Ave. in Huntington Beach. It's a five-round tournament, with three games Saturday and two Sunday. Organizer Joe Hanley also plans a one-day tournament and a scholastic event, both on Sunday. For details and online registration, see hanleychessacademy.org.

Today's games

GM Mikhail Ulibin (Russia)-GM Sergey Ivanov (Russia), Stockholm 2009: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 c4 An unusual response to the Sicilian Defense. Nc6 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 Be2 Or 5 d4 cxd4 6 Nxd4 Bb4, with about even chances. d5 6 exd5 exd5 7 d4 Symmetry, surprisingly. Be6 8 cxd5 Nxd5 9 Bb5?! Beginning a time-wasting maneuver. Instead, 9 0-0 Be7 10 dxc5 Nxc3 (worse is 10 . . . Bxc5 11 Ne4 Bb6 12 Neg5) 11 bxc3 Bxc5 12 Qc2, threatening 13 Ng5, develops smoothly, with at least equality. Be7 10 Ne5 Rc8 11 0-0 Perhaps White intended 11 Qa4. However, after the nonchalant 11 . . . 0-0, neither 12 Nxc6 bxc6 13 Bxc6?? Nb6 nor 12 Bxc6 bxc6 13 Nxc6?? Nxc3 14 bxc3 Bd7 works for White. 0-0 12 Nxc6 bxc6 13 Ba6Rb8 14 Nxd5?! A little better is 14 dxc5 Nxc3 15 bxc3 Qa5 16 Qe2 Qxc3 17 Be3. Bxd5 15 dxc5 Bxc5 16 Bd3?! White cannot afford another loss of time. Even the superior 16 Be2 Re8 17 Bf3 is uncomfortable, as 17 . . . Qf6 inhibits White's development. Qh4! 17 Be2 After 17 b3 Rb4!, White must yield a pawn by 18 Bc4 to stop the threat of 18 . . . Rg4. If 18 Be2, Black wins neatly with 18 . . . Rd4 19 Qc2 Rg4! 20 Bxg4 Qxg4 21 g3 Qf3. Rfe8 18 Qd3 White has no follow-up to 18 Qc2 Bd4, while 18 Bf3 drops material to 18 . . . Bc4. Re6 19 g3 Black refutes 19 b3 Rbe8 20 Bf3 by 20 . . . Re1, hitting f2 and foreseeing 21 g3 Bxf2+! 22 Kg2 Bxg3! 23 hxg3 R8e2+, mating. Qh3 20 Bf3 Rxb2! Imagining a variety of brutal finishes, including 21 Bxb2 Rh6; 21 Bxd5 Rxf2 22 Rxf2 Re1+; and 21 Qc3 Bxf3 22 Qxf3 Rxf2. 21 Bf4 Ree2! 22 Bxd5 Bxf2+ 23 Rxf2 Or 23 Kh1 Bd4 24 Bxf7+ Kh8. Rxf2 24 Bxf7+ Kxf7 25 Qc4+ Qe6, White Resigns.

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