This is more of interest to readers in my area, but many readers might enjoy a browse. Bob Banta has (legally!) uploaded some old issues of Chess In Indiana and its predecessors, the Indiana Chess Quarterly. Readers might find the lead article in the March 2004 issue of Chess In Indiana of interest, but I'll let you dig in to see why!
Lest I stay up all night, here's a quick survey of the day's other chess results.
1. U.S. Championship: Hikaru Nakamura continued the professional pattern of winning with White and drawing with Black. Today it was the draw's turn, as he split the point with third seed Alexander Onischuk. He had been tied for first with Gata Kamsky, but Kamsky lost with Black to Gregory Kaidanov, and now it's Kaidanov who is tied with Nakamura; both players have 3/4.
In other results, Ray Robson defeated Robert Hess while Yasser Seirawan finally got on the scoreboard with a long win over Alejandro Ramirez. If either Alex Lenderman or Yuri Shulman had won their games, they would have joined the tie for first, but they drew with Varuzhan Akobian and Alexander Stripunsky, respectively.
Round 5 Pairings:
Stripunsky (1.5) - Seirawan (1)
Lenderman (2.5) - Shulman (2.5)
Kamsky (2.5) - Akobian (2)
Nakamura (3) - Kaidanov (3)
Hess (1.5) - Onischuk (2)
Ramirez (1) - Robson (1.5)
The women's event has only 10 players rather than 12, so they had the day off today.
2. Sigeman & Co.:
Three of the seven rounds are finished, and Fabiano Caruana could not make a "row" - his winning streak stopped at two games. Still, his draw with Peter Leko was enough to keep him in clear first, half a point ahead of Nils Grandelius. Five players have 1.5 points, which means, surprisingly, that the tournament's plus scores are all balanced on one man's shoulders: Hans Tikkanen has opened the tournament by castling queenside.
Vassily Ivanchuk rolls on! By defeating Leinier Dominguez in round 7 - with the black pieces, no less - he pushed his lead to a full point with three rounds to go. His score of 5/7 has him a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi, and has moved him up to #8 on the live rating list.
There's probably little that's new for my readers in this article from The Atlantic (HT: Ross Hytnen) but it's worth a minute or two just in case. (Maybe less.) One hypothesis not considered in the article is that the USCF promotes scholastic chess heavily - which is good - but then does virtually nothing to encourage young adults to keep at it. The college situation is rather bleak as well: there are a handful of powerhouse schools - some of which, sadly, would rather give scholarships to middle-aged foreigners than young Americans - but again, practically nothing to promote the game among rank and file college chess players.
The problem with American chess hasn't been creating new members; it has been keeping those members. Kids don't play chess because of what Bobby Fischer did 40 years ago and they don't quit as young adults because the FIDE President likes to visit Middle Eastern dictators. Unfortunately, general interest publications aren't going to dig deep enough to learn that, so we can expect to see more stories like this every so often for years and years to come.
Okay, let's give it a go! I'm going to charge $12 for the series (coming to a buck a game), in part to compensate for PayPal's taking a "tip" from most accounts.
After each game, I'll send an email with my analysis in both PGN and PDF formats, along with a link to download my video of that game. The video won't include every single variation in the analysis (if it did, it would go for a long, long time); rather, I'll give a good general overview of the game while focusing on what seem to me the critical moments.
I'd like this to be a collaborative affair. If it turns out that I've missed some fantastic line you or your computer has found, or that you find in the work of other commentators, let me know and I'll revise the notes. Maybe by match's end, if not sooner, I'll distribute either a revised version of the file or else a briefer "from the readers" version for everyone's benefit.
To sign up, please click on the PayPal link on the right sidebar. Be sure to include a valid email account and specify that the funds are for the World Championship analysis. I might wait until around midnight (Eastern Time in the U.S.) tonight to send the first batch, so I don't have to keep re-sending materials every few minutes, but for future rounds I'll most likely have it sent out earlier in the day.
Finally, while it's obviously unenforceable, please don't distribute the materials. I'm obviously not going to get rich off of this, so please help make this experiment worthwhile for everyone involved.
Thank you, and I hope you'll enjoy it!
Rather oddly, too. Gelfand got in the first surprise of the world championship by playing the Gruenfeld Defense, an opening he used to love crushing in years past.
The second surprise came a few moves later, when after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 Anand played 8.Bb5+. Perhaps this was a one-off idea, a stopgap measure prepared in the seemingly unlikely event that Gelfand prepared the Gruenfeld. Whatever the case, Gelfand reacted very well and even enjoyed the slightly better chances thanks to the bishop pair and an outside passed a-pawn.
The third surprise was the disappointing finish. Gelfand made a pair of unambitious moves at the end and then offered a draw, which was of course accepted. Maybe he didn't have much, but ...Bd7 on moves 22 or 23 seemed to keep an edge; at a minimum, it kept the onus on Anand to neutralize Black's bishops. But it was not to be, and the game was drawn after 24 moves.
Game 1 starts at 1500 (3 p.m.) Moscow time, 7 a.m. ET in the U.S., and this 12-game World Championship match starts with the champion, Viswanathan Anand, manning the white pieces.
On another note, I've had a fair number of positive responses to my proposal to provide subscribers with (deep) annotations in PGN and PDF formats while also offering video recaps as well. A fair number, but not yet enough, so if you're interested in paying about $10 for it (maybe $12, for the number of games in the match?) now's the time to let me know! Either post a comment here or write to me through the Contact form on the right sidebar. If there are enough respondents, I'll get to work; if not, I'm going to enjoy the match solely as a fan, like the rest of you!
The "Quick Ruy" series will have to wait; with the Anand-Gelfand match starting in just a few hours, it seemed appropriate to do a little intro video to build on the mounting excitement. Thus in this week's ChessVideos show I say a little about their head-to-head matchup and the possible opening matchups (though I realize now that I forgot to say that in case Anand plays 1.e4, the Najdorf and the Petroff are the likeliest openings), and then present a pair of their early games.
First, I show Gelfand-Anand, Linares 1993, won by Anand in a very sharp Queen's Gambit Accepted. Next, I show Gelfand's fifth - and so far last - victory over the champ in classical chess. This game was Gelfand-Anand from the Biel Interzonal in 1993, a Meran that saw Anand make it through the first hurdles of a Gelfand novelty, but stumble a step or two before the finish.
The show is free, as always (free registration required) and will be available on-demand for the next month or so.
In my review of Informant 113 I noted a new column by Garry Kasparov entitled "Garry's Choice", where he looks at pretty much whatever suits his fancy. I subsequently elaborated on the subject of his first column, where he found a beautiful queen sac that could have arisen in the recent game Paragua-Debashis, New Delhi 2012, but, alas, was missed. He was unable to think of any suitable predecessor, but that's only because the remarkable game MacDonald-Burn, which isn't in the best-known commercial database, had escaped his attention.
What's even more remarkable, perhaps, is that today's action at the U.S. Women's Championship provided a great successor, or at least the potential for one. (A big tip of the lid to Danny Olim for mentioning this game.) Here's the position after White's 34th move in the game Alena Kats - Camilla Baginskaite:
Black's last move was 33...b2-b1Q, to which White replied by smashing the door with 34.Nf4xg6. The door may be smashed, but the doorway is not yet open and the invaders remain outside. Baginskaite couldn't find a solution, and resigned after 34...Qxh2+ 35.Kxh2 Qc2+ 36.Kh1. Alas, she missed her chance. The right move was...well, you've probably already guessed it, based on the previous posts, but try to work out all the details for yourself before checking out the solution. Interestingly, part of the solution itself has a "great predecessor", and I think that predecessor bears some resemblance to the tactic Kasparov highlighted in his column. We've come full circle, and so I'll disembark the merry-go-round here.
A quick roundup:
1. In the Sigeman & Co. event in Malmo, Sweden, Fabiano Caruana won his second consecutive game (this time over Hans Tikkanen in a Fianchetto Gruenfeld), and leads by half a point over Nils Grandelius and Jonny Hector. 2700s Peter Leko and Li Chao have both drawn twice, while Anish Giri drew today after losing in the first round.
2. The second lap of the double round-robin Capablanca Memorial started today, but despite the rest day two of the three games (Laznicka-Dominguez and Potkin-Ivanchuk) were short draws. Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated Yuniesky Quesada, and now he's tied with Dominguez at 3.5/6, half a point behind Ivanchuk.
3. Finally, there's a three-way tie for first in the U.S. Women's Championship. Anna Zatonskih was held to a draw by Sabina-Francesca Foisor, and so Irina Krush and Iryna Zenyuk caught Zatonskih at 2.5/3 by defeating Viktorija Ni and Tatev Abrahamyan, respectively.