Monday, May 26, 2008

2008 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, Day 3

IM Andranik Matikozyan and GM Melikset Khachiyan tied for first in the Memorial Day Classic with 5-1. Khachiyan took the trophy on tiebreak. (See photo, in which Khachiyan (r) seizes the trophy from his rival.)

Taking clear third with 4 1/2 - 1/2 was expert Craig Faber. Faber's excellent result was the story of the tournament, as he upset IMs Taylor and Peters and drew with Matikozyan, losing only to Khachiyan.

In other action, Eric Zhang topped the Premier (U2000) section with 5-1, Jerry Yee scored 5 1/2 - 1/2 in the Amateur (U1800), and Danny Machuca and Hector Valdez tied in the Reserve (U1600). Side events saw Cau Duong Le and Prospero Buenavista tie with 4-1 in the 22-player Action, while William Pennucci (who played in the Action simultaneously!) took first place in the Hexes. Complete standings may be found here.

GM Melikset Khachiyan – Gregg Small
2008 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, Los Angeles 2008
B85 SICILIAN DEFENSE, Scheveningen Varaition

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Be3 d6 9.Kh1 Be7 10.f4 0–0 11.Qe1 Bd7 12.Qg3 b5 13.a3 b4 14.axb4 Nxb4 15.e5 Ne8 16.Rad1 dxe5 17.fxe5 a5 18.Ne4 a4 19.Bg5 Bxg5 20.Nxg5 h6 21.Ngxe6 1–0

Sunday, May 25, 2008

2008 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, Day 2

The second day of the tournament saw the two-day players join the fray, bringing the total attendance to 106. In the three-day, IM Tim Taylor lost to expert Craig Faber, setting up the first-board encounter between Faber and GM Melikset Khachiyan (see photo). Also on Sunday was the 38-player Scholastic, in which Sean Manross scored 5-0 in the Open, while Ishan Bose-Pine took the Reserve on tiebreak with 4-1. Standings for all sections may be found here.

IM Tim Taylor – Craig Faber
2008 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, Los Angeles 2008

1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 c6 3.Nf3 Qb6 4.Nbd2 d6 5.e3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.Bb3 Nf6 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Qe2 h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nf8 12.Nc4 Qc7 13.Nfd2 h5 14.f3 h4 15.Bf2 Ng6 16.e4 Nf4 17.Qe1 fxe4 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.fxe4 Bg4 20.e5 0–0–0 21.Qe3 b5 22.Na3 dxe5 23.d5 e4 24.Rfe1 Bxb2 25.Nxb5 cxb5 26.Rab1 Bc3 27.Qxe4 Bxe1 28.Rxe1 Rhf8 29.a4 Rd6 30.axb5 Rdf6 31.d6 Rxd6 32.b6 Rxb6 33.Bc4 Qc6 34.Bxb6 Qxe4 35.Rxe4 axb6 36.Rxe7 Rf6 37.h3 Bd7 38.Rg7 b5 39.Bf1 Rg6 40.Rh7 Rd6 41.Rg7 Rd5 42.Kf2 Rc5 43.Ke3 Rc3+ 44.Ke4 Ne6 45.Rg8+ Kc7 46.Bd3 Kd6 47.Rb8 Rc5 48.Ke3 Bc6 49.Rb6 Ke5 50.Kf2 Nf4 0–1

Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, Day 1

Ninety-three players have registered so far, with entries still open for the two-day schedule. In the three-day schedule, IMs Jack Peters and Tim Taylor lead the pack, but will face stiff competition tomorrow when GM Melikset Khachiyan and IM Andranik Matikozyan join the fray. Round-by-round standings will be available throughout the tournament here.

Jeremy Stein – IM Tim Taylor
Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic, Los Angeles, 2008

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.c4 Bg4 4.cxd5 Bxf3 5.gxf3 Qxd5 6.e3 e5 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Bd2 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nf6 10.Rg1 exd4 11.cxd4 0–0 12.Rc1 Rfe8 13.Be2 Qxa2 14.Rc5 Rad8 15.Bc3 Nd5 16.Ba1 Ncb4 17.e4 Nf4 18.Bc3 Nxe2 19.Rxg7+ Kxg7 20.Rg5+ Kh6 21.Bd2 Rxd4 22.Be3 Rxd1+ 23.Kxd1 Nc3+ 0–1

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chigorin-Pollock, New York 1889

Though he pioneered many ideas in advance of his time, Chigorin was best known in his own era as a fierce attacker. Here he makes good use of one of his favorite weapons, the Evans Gambit, in which White sacrifices a flank pawn—which may become of importance in the endgame—for rapid development and a strong pawn center.

Chigorin – Pollock
New York, 1889

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Bc5

Inaccurate. The most reliable answer to the Evans is 5. ... Ba5 6. d4 exd4 7. 0-0, and now not the greedy 7. ... dxc3 (the “Compromised Defense”) but rather development with 7. ... Nge78. cxd4 d5.

6. 0-0 d6 7. d4 exd4 8. cxd4 Bb6 9. Nc3 Na5

At the time a popular defense in the “Normal Position” of the Evans. It eventually became clear that, while eliminating the Bc4 was desirable in principle, Black in his undeveloped state could not afford the time lost.

10. Bg5 f6 11. Bf4 Nxc4 12. Qa4+ Kf7 13. Qxc4+ Be6 14. d5 Bd7 15. Ne2 Qe8 16. a4 Ne7 17. Be3 Ng6 18. Bxb6 cxb6 19. Qb4 Qe7 20. Ng3 Rac8 21. Nd4 Rc5 22. f4 Rhc8 23. Qd2 Rc4 24. Ne6 Nh4 25. Qd1 Bxe6 26. dxe6+ Kg8

Black has eliminated the intrusive Knight at e6, but the pawn that replaces it is at least as annoying. Instead, 26. … Qxe6 27. Qh5+ Ng6 28. f5 gives Black several pawns for the piece, but his King remains unsafe. He should have tried 23. ... Nf8.

27. Qg4 Ng6 28. Nf5 Qc7 29. e7 Kf7 30. Rad1 Qc5+ 31. Kh1 Rc6


32. e5

Breakthrough! With all the Black pieces tied down—the Knight must shield the g7 pawn, and the Queen and Rook are tied to the defense of the d6 pawn—White opens lines to the Black King.

32. ... fxe5

No better was 32. ... dxe5, in view of 33. Rd8 (threatening 34. e8Q+) Nxe7 34. Qxg7+ Ke6 35. Nxe7, and there is no good defense to 36. f4-f5 mate.

33. Nxd6+ Rxd6 34. fxe5+ Rf6 35. e8=Q+ Kxe8 36. Qd7+ Kf8 37. exf6, Black resigns

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Alekhine-Sterk, Budapest 1921

Alekhine considered this game a good example of his individual style, as Queenside maneuvers divert the Black pieces, setting the stage for a surprising mating attack with threats on both sides of the board.

Alekhine – Sterk
Budapest, 1921


1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. e3 Bd6 6. Nb5 Be7 7. Qc2 c6 8. Nc3 0-0 9. Bd3 dxc4

Black has gained a move over a position that could arise from the Semi-Slav Defense (1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 Nf6), a formation known to be satisfactory for Black. Alekhine now displays his ingenuity in trying to squeeze out an opening advantage.
10. Bxc4 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. 0-0 b6 13. e4 Bb7 14. Bg5 Qc8 15. Qe2 Bb4 16. Bd3 Bxc3 17. Rfc1 Nxe4
The main variation Alekhine analyzed was 17. ... Nc5 18. Rxc3 Bxe4 19. Bxf6 Bxd3 20. Qe3 gxf6 21. b4 Bg6 22. bxc5 bxc5 23. Rxc5, with good attacking chances for the pawn.
18. Bxe4 Bxe4 19. Qxe4 Nc5 20. Qe2 Ba5 21. Rab1 Qa6


22. Rc4 Na4 23. Bf6
Now if 23. ... h5 24. Rg4 Qxe2 25. Rxg7+ Kh8 26. Ng5, and there is no defense to 27. Rh7+ and 28. Rh8 mate. On 23. ... h6, 24. Ne5 decides, with the threat of 25. Qg4 g6 26. Nxg6.
23. ... Rfc8 24. Qe5
The main idea is 24. ... Qxc4 25. Qg5 Kf8 26. Qxg7+ Ke8 27. Qg8+ Kd7 28. Ne5+ Kc7 29. Qxf7+ and 30. Nxc4.
24. ... Rc5 25. Qg3 g6 26. Rxa4 Qd3 27. Rf1 Qf5 28. Qf4 Qc2 29. Qh6, Black resigns