Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Capablanca-Molina, Buenos Aires 1911

Capablanca’s opponent was not of the world elite, but he was one of the strongest players at the Buenos Aires Chess Club. This exhibition game is a good example of what happens when a competent master meets a future World Champion.

Capablanca - Molina
Buenos Aires, 1911

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5

More usual (and probably better) is 7. ... exd5, but it’s really a matter of taste.

8. Bxe7 Nxe7 9. Bd3 c5 10. 0–0 0–0 11. dxc5 Nxc5

As Capa points out (In “My Chess Career”), it is surprising for such a combination to arise without some error from the opponent. It works here because of Black’s backward development; his Queenside is hard to untangle, and White can quickly swing two more pieces over to the Kingside.

12. Bxh7+ Kxh7 13. Ng5+ Kg6

Forced, as 13. ... Kh6 14. Nxf7+ and 13. ... Kg8 14. Qh5 lose immediately.

14. Qg4 f5

Capablanca saw that the plausible 14. ... e5? Loses horribly to 15. Ne6+! Kf6 16. f4 e4 (16. ... Bxe6 17. Qg5#; 16. ... Nxe6 17. Ne4#) 17. Qg5+ Kxe6 18. Qe5+ Kd7 19. Rfd1+ Nd3 20. Nxe4 Kc6 21. Rxd3 Qxd3 22. Rc1+ Kb6 23. Qc7+.

15. Qg3 Kh6 16. Qh4+ Kg6 17. Qh7+

Now the seemingly undefended Knight leads a charmed life.


17. ... Kf6

Mate soon follows after 17. ... Kxg5 18. Qxg7+ Kh5 19. f4 Ng8 20. Rf3.

18. e4 Ng6 19. exf5

Capa later preferred 19. f4, with the idea of 19. … fxe4 20. Rad1 Qb6 21. Rd6.

19. ... exf5 20. Rad1 Nd3

Black still can’t get his pieces out, as 20. ... Bd7 fails to 21. Nd5+ Ke5 (21. ... Kxg5 22. f4+ Nxf4 23. h4+) 22. Qxg6.

21. Qh3 Ndf4 22. Qg3 Qc7 23. Rfe1 Ne2+

Loses quickly, but thre isn’t a good alternative -- 23. ... Be6 24. Rxe6+ Nxe6 25. Nd5# or 23. ... Bd7 24. Nd5+ Nxd5 25. Nh7+ Kf7 26. Qxc7 Nxc7 27. Rxd7+ Kg8 28. Nxf8.

24. Rxe2 Qxg3 25. Nh7+ Kf7 26. hxg3 Rh8 27. Ng5+ Kf6 28. f4 1–0

There is nothing to be done about the threat of Rd6.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Westwood Fall Open final

Top-rated GM Melikset Khachiyan swept the field with 5-0 at the Westwoed Fall Open, held at the Los Angeles Chess Club November 8. Next at 3.5 were Alexandre Kretchetov, Garush Manukyan, Garnik Baghdasaryan (all Khachiyan's victims) and Ryan Porter. In the Reserve (U1800) section, three players tied for first with 4-1: Al Pena, Mitchell Jayson, and top U1600 Karl Tolentino. Click here for complete standings.

Prize Winners
1st: GM Melikset Khachiyan, 5-0; 2nd-3rd: Alexandre Kretchetov, Garush Manukyan, Ryan Porter, Garnik Baghdasaryan, 3½-1½; U2200: Robert Akopian, 3½-1½; U2000: Jeff Cohen, 2½-2½.

1st-2nd: Al Pena Jr, Michell Jayson, 4-1; U1600: Karl Tolentino, 4-1; U1400/Unrated: Andrew Wang, Andy Caen; 3-2; U1200: Blake Isara, 2-3.

Alexandre Kretchetov (2439) – GM Melikset Khachiyan (2607)

Westwood Fall Open, Los Angeles 2009


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0–0 10.0–0 Qc7 11.dxc5 Ne5 12.Bb3 Ng4 13.Bf4 Qxc5 14.Qc2 Be5 15.Rad1 Bxf4 16.Nxf4 Qe5 17.g3 Nf6 18.Rfe1 Bg4 19.Rc1 Bf3 20.Re3 Bxe4 21.Qe2 Qf5 22.f3 Bc6 23.Rxe7 Rae8 24.Kg2 Rxe7 25.Qxe7 g5 26.Bc2 Qg4 27.Bd1 gxf4 28.Qxf6 fxg3 29.hxg3 Qh5 30.Be2 Re8 31.Bc4 Qg6 32.Qd4 Qf5 33.Rf1 Qe5 34.Qxa7 Qxc3 35.Bb3 Re2+ 36.Kg1 Qe5 0–1

Westwood Fall Open

This 1-day event at the LA Chess Club drew 44, not quite a record but still a good turnout. Early favorites are top-rated GM Melikset Khachiyan, Alexandre Kretchetov, and IM Tim Taylor. Standings are posted, and will be updated throughout the day.

GM Melikset Khachiyan (2607) – Show Kitagami (2146)

Westwood Fall Open, Los Angeles 2009

[C13] French Defense, Alekhine-Chatard Attack

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 a6 7.Qg4 Kf8 8.0–0–0 c5 9.dxc5 Nxc5 10.Bxe7+ Qxe7 11.Nxd5 Qd8 12.Qb4 Nbd7 13.Nb6 Qe7 14.Rd6 Nxb6 15.Qxc5 Nd7 16.Qc7 h5 17.Nf3 Rh6 18.Be2 Kg8 19.Rhd1 Qe8 20.Ng5 b5 21.Bf3 1–0