Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 1962 Candidates 2.c3 Sicilian 2.f4 Sicilian 2011 European Team Championship 2011 Russian Championship 2012 Capablanca Memorial 2012 Chess Olympiad 2012 European Women's Championship 2012 London Chess Classic 2012 U.S. Junior Championship 2012 U.S. Women's Championship 2012 US Championship 2012 Women's World Chess Championship 2012 World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 Alekhine Memorial 2013 Beijing Grand Prix 2013 European Club Cup 2013 European Team Championship 2013 FIDE World Cup 2013 Kings Tournament 2013 London Chess Classic 2013 Russian Championship 2013 Tal Memorial 2013 U.S. Championship 2013 Women's World Championship 2013 World Blitz Championship 2013 World Championship 2013 World Rapid Championship 2013 World Team Championship 2014 Capablanca Memorial 2014 Chess Olympiad 2014 London Chess Classic 2014 Petrosian Memorial 2014 Rapid & Blitz World Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 2014 Sinquefield Cup 2014 Tigran Petrosian Memorial 2014 U.S. Championship 2014 U.S. Open 2014 Women's World Championship 2014 World Championship 2014 World Junior Championships 2014 World Rapid Championship 2016 World Championship 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Stripunsky Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi Amber 2010 Amber 2011 Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Antoaneta Stefanova apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Artur Yusupov Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Baadur Jobava Bacrot Baku Grand Prix 2014 Bangkok Chess Club Open Bazna 2011 Becerra Beliavsky Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bobby Fischer Bogo-Indian Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Branimiir Maksimovic Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello Budapest Bundesliga California Chess Reporter Camilla Baginskaite Campomanes Candidates 2011 Candidates 2011 Candidates 2012 Candidates 2013 Candidates 2014 Capablanca Carlsen Caro-Kann cartoons Caruana Catalan Cebalo Charlie Rose cheating Cheparinov chess and education chess and marketing chess cartoons chess engines chess history chess in fiction chess in film Chess Informant chess lessons chess psychology chess ratings chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Christiansen Christmas Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniil Dubov Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Dejan Antic Delchev Ding Liren Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dominic Lawson Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dunning-Kruger Effect Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Club Cup 2012 European Club Cup 2014 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE Grand Prix FIDE Presidential Election FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Ftacnik Gadir Guseinov Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gata Kamsky Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Georg Meier GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Giri Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hannes Langrock Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Haworth Hedgehog Hennig-Schara Gambit Henrique Mecking HHou Yifan highway robbery Hikaru Nakamura Hilton Hjorvar Gretarsson Hort Horwitz Bishops Hou Yifan Houdini Houdini 1.5a Howard Staunton humor Humpy Koneru Ian Nepomniachtchi Icelandic Gambit Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Nyzhnyk Imre Hera Informant Informant 113 Informant 114 Informant 115 Informant 116 Informant 117 Informant 118 Informant 119 Informant 120 Informant 121 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Timman Jay Whitehead Jeremy Silman Jimmy Quon John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Jose Diaz Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leonid Kritz lessons Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 Loek van Wely Lombardy London 2009 London 2010 London 2011 London Grand Prix London System Lothar Schmid Luke McShane Macieja Magnus Carlsen Main Line Ruy Malakhov Malcolm Pein Mamedyarov Marc Arnold Marc Lang Marin Mariya Muzychuk Mark Crowther Mark Dvoretsky Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Max Euwe Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles Minev miniatures Miso Cebalo MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Navara Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian NNotre Dame football Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix passed pawns Paul Keres Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play pawn structures Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 problems progressive chess QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Gambit Declined Queen's Indian Defense Radjabov Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein Rubinstein French rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Sakaev Sam Collins Sam Sevian Samuel Reshevsky Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012 satire Savchenko Schliemann Scotch Four Knights Searching for Bobby Fischer Seirawan self-destruction Sergei Tiiviakov Sergey Fedorchuk Sergey Karjakin Sergey Shipov Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shankland Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Invitational stalemate Staunton Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Sutovsky Sveshnikov Sveshnikov Sicilian Svetozar Gligoric Svidler sweeper sealer twist Swiercz tactics Tactics Taimanov Tal Tal Memorial 2009 Tal Memorial 2010 Tal Memorial 2011 Tal Memorial 2012 Tal Memorial 2012 Tarjan Tarrasch Tarrasch Defense Tashkent Tashkent Grand Prix TED talks Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps Tromso Olympics 2014 TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer underpromotion Unive 2012 University of Notre Dame upsets US Championship 2010 US Championship 2011 US Chess League USCF ratings USCL V. Onischuk Vachier-Lagrave Valentina Gunina Vallejo van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vladislav Artemiev Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yoshiharu Habu Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Yuriy Kuzubov Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014

    Entries in 2012 U.S. Women's Championship (7)

    Sunday
    May202012

    Krush Wins Women's Title in a Ghoulish Tiebreak

    Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush were tied at the end of the U.S. Women's Championship round-robin, so today they played a tiebreaker. It would go to an Armageddon game if necessary, but first they played a pair of G/25 (plus 5 second increments per move) rapid games. In the first, Zatonskih got nothing with White, pressed anyway, and lost. In the rematch, however, she played very well and obtained a winning attack. To break the attack, Krush offered an exchange, but Zatonskih went for more. Krush's reply was a blunder, and with a simple two-mover her opponent would win a rook, equalize the scores, and go on to the Armageddon game.

    Instead, after thinking for three minutes, Zatonskih missed it. By this point Krush had seen it and could be seen exhaling in relief, though even after this her position was awful. Zatonskih didn't handle the technical task to perfection, but was slowly but surely getting the job done. And then...she simply hung a rook. Maybe it was the sort of OTB equivalent of "pre-move": she expected that Krush was going to do something else, and simply carried out her intended move anyway, not noticing before reflexively executing what was now a blunder.

    A horrific reminder, in case anyone needed it, that errare humanum est.

    Sunday
    May202012

    Nakamura Wins the 2012 U.S. Championship; Women's Title Undetermined

    The 2012 U.S. Championship is over, and Hikaru Nakamura made sure that the title would be his without a playoff. He had White against Yasser Seirawan, and won convincingly in an offbeat French (1.e4 e6 2.f4). As a result it didn't matter how Gata Kamsky did - even if Kamsky beat Robert Hess with Black, Nakamura would still finish half a point ahead. As it turned out, Hess drew, and so the final margin was a full point. Both players gained rating points, too, and now Nakamura is #6 in the world with a live rating of 2782.6. (If Anand draws a few more games with Gelfand, or loses one without winning any, Nakamura hits #5.)

    In other results, Onischuk-Shulman was a battle for third. The game was drawn, and so the players finished third and (tied for) fourth, respectively. Alex Lenderman and Varuzhan Akobian both won with Black, against Alejandro Ramirez and Gregory Kaidanov, respectively. As a result, they joined Shulman in that tie for fourth. Ray Robson would have joined them with a win over Alex Stripunsky, but their game was drawn.

    Final Standings:

    1. Nakamura 8.5 (of 11)
    2. Kamsky 7.5
    3. Onischuk 6.5
    4-6. Akobian, Lenderman, Shulman 6
    7. Robson 5.5
    8. Hess 5
    9-10. Kaidanov, Ramirez 4
    11-12. Seirawan, Stripunsky 3.5

    In the women's event, Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush both won, and finished the round robin tied for first with 7/9. As a result, they'll have a 2-game rapid (25' + 5") playoff on Sunday, and if that fails to determine a winner they'll have an Armageddon game with the players bidding on time.

    Friday
    May182012

    Other Events: Caruana Wins Sigeman & Co., Kamsky Leads the U.S. Championship

    First things first: Sigeman & Co. finished Wednesday, and Fabiano Caruana finished strongly with a second straight win to take clear first. He needed that win, as Peter Leko also won his last two, and scored 3.5 points in his final four games, to finish just half a point back. Caruana's final tally was 5.5/7, Leko's 5, and the next closest competitors had 4 points apiece.

    Still ongoing is the U.S. Championship, which is a two-horse race between Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura. Kamsky is in beautiful form, and with three wins in a row has taken the lead with two rounds to go. In round 8 he ground down Alex Lenderman with Black in a Chebanenko Slav of sorts. It always looks terribly passive when he plays it, but he almost invariably finds a way to break out, and so he did on this occasion as well. Interestingly, Lenderman confessed after the game that at a certain moment "[t]he position was just too complicated for me". There's a reason Kamsky has achieved as much as he has in his career! Moving to round 9, Kamsky uncorked some strong anti-Caro-Kann preparation against Yasser Seirawan and defeated him pretty convincingly.

    Nakamura, meanwhile, won a remarkable battle in round 8 with Alex Stripunsky. Most spectators, including GMs, thought that White - Stripunsky - stood better, but Kamsky opined otherwise, and was right. Rather than wait for Nakamura to keep improving his position until he would be defenseless, Stripunsky started sacrificing things: a piece, and exchange, and then later another exchange. There finally arose an ending where Stripunsky had five pawns - all passed, with two pairs of connected passers - against Nakamura's rook and two pawns. At first it seemed as if White was winning, but Nakamura had calculated everything perfectly and won. At that point he was still tied with Kamsky, but in round 8 he dropped half a point back. He tried and tried and tried to beat Lenderman, but while he made some progress late in the game he had to call it a day after 120(!) moves.

    Kamsky has 7/9, Nakamura 6.5. Onischuk has 5.5 points and could theoretically catch them, but it's pretty unlikely with just two rounds to go. In round 10, we get the big match: Kamsky will have White against Nakamura. In the last round the pairings favor Nakamura, who has White against Seirawan while Kamsky is due for Black against Hess. Here are the full round 10 pairings:

    Seirawan (3) - Kaidanov (3.5)
    Akobian (4.5) - Onischuk (5.5)
    Shulman (5) - Robson (4.5)
    Stripunsky (3) - Ramirez (3)
    Lenderman (4.5) - Hess (4)
    Kamsky (7) - Nakamura (6.5)

    In the women's championship, Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush came into the 7th round tied for first, and they maintained the same placements over the next two rounds. They played in round 7 and drew, and in round 8 both defeated their opponents. They, but not the men, have tomorrow off, and then play the last round on Saturday. Zatonskih and Krush both have 6/8 and lead their closest pursuers by a point and a half. In the last round, Zatonskih will have White against Tatev Abrahamyan, who is doing well with 4.5, tied for third. Krush has Black, but against Camilla Baginskaite, who has had a terrible tournament - her score is just 2/8. (On the other hand, her one win in the event came in round 8, with Black over early co-leader Iryna Zenyuk.)

    Tuesday
    May152012

    The Rest of the Day: Caruana Reclaims Clear First in Sigeman & Co., Kamsky Catches Nakamura in the U.S. Champs

    At the Sigeman & Co. tournament in Malmo, Sweden, Nils Grandelius' slow, patient ascent to the summit met a setback. After a long chase he finally caught up with Fabiano Caruana heading into the penultimate round and was tied for first. The result: he played Caruana and lost. Caruana leads heading into the last round with 4.5/6; Peter Leko is in clear second with 4 points. Both Caruana and Leko will have the black pieces in the last round, but as they're playing Jonny Hector (second-lowest rated player, tied for last) and Li Chao (over 2700), respectively, Caruana's chances of finishing clear first look pretty good.

    At the U.S. Championship leader and top seed Hikaru Nakamura finally failed to win a game with White. He pushed long and hard against the ever-solid Yuri Shulman, but despite winning a pawn in the endgame couldn't break his resistance. Gata Kamsky did manage to grind out the full point against Alex Stripunsky, though, and as a result he has caught Nakamura in first place. Both have 5/7, good for a full-point lead over Shulman, Alex Lenderman (who drew Yasser Seirawan) and Alexander Onischuk (who drew Ray Robson). In other games, Varuzhan Akobian ground out a win with Black in a Caro-Kann(!) against Robert Hess, while Gregoy Kaidanov lost his third game in a row in a most painful fashion.

    His battle with Alejandro Ramirez was a wild tactical slugfest, but when the dust settled Kaidanov was the exchange ahead for a pawn in an unloseable position. (At least it in the normal course of things.) Kaidanov refused numerous repetitions - correctly - but it's possible to try too hard. His 51st move didn't lose the game yet, but was the prelude to the intended blunder next move. Kaidanov missed a little skewer trick that cost him his rook, and there were no further chances.

    Round 8 Pairings:

    Seirawan (2.5) - Onischuk (4)
    Kaidanov (3) - Robson (3)
    Akobian (3.5) - Ramirez (2.5)
    Shulman (4) - Hess (2.5)
    Stripunsky (3) - Nakamura (5)
    Lenderman (4) - Kamsky (5)

    In the women's championship, there are co-leaders after six rounds. Irina Krush had been in clear first, but could only draw against Rusudan Goletiani - with effort. Two-time defending Anna Zatonskih came into the round half a point behind, but her convincing win over Iryna Zenyuk let her catch Krush in first; both women have 4.5 points. Goletiani, Alisa Melekhina and Tatev Abrahamyan are a point behind with 3.5/6.

    Monday
    May142012

    The Speedy Sunday Summary: St. Louis, Sigeman & Co, and Senor Capablanca's Memorial

    (Always avoid alliteration!)

    The World Championship match had its first rest day, but the other three major ongoing events saw action.

    In the U.S. Championship saw the top seeds, Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, both draw and maintain clear first and second, respectively. Nakamura drew with Varuzhan Akobian while Kamsky drew with Yuri Shulman (who is tied for third and, like Nakamura but not Kamsky*, is undefeated). The favorites both had Black and failed to put their opponents in any danger.

    In the first five rounds the proportion of decisive games was extremely high, but there were only two winners today. Robert Hess beat Gregory Kaidanov with Black in a middlegame with imbalanced material; his minor pieces wound up dominating Kaidanov's queen. Also winning was Yasser Seirawan, who has yet to draw a game in the tournament. His game with Ray Robson went from the opening to an endgame almost immediately, and Seirawan displayed his technical prowess on the way to a badly needed win.

    The other two games - Stripunsky-Lenderman and Onischuk-Ramirez - were drawn.

    Round 7 Pairings:

    Lenderman (3.5) - Seirawan (2)
    Kamsky (4) - Stripunsky (3)
    Nakamura (4.5) - Shulman (3.5)
    Hess (2.5) - Akobian (2.5)
    Ramirez (1.5) - Kaidanov (3)
    Robson (2.5) - Onischuk (3.5)

    In the Women's Championship, the three-way tie for first is over. Iryna Zenyuk lost to Rusudan Goletiani and Anna Zatonskih drew with Viktorija Ni, which allowed Irina Krush to take the sole lead by defeating Tatev Abrahamyan. She has 4/5, Zatonskih 3.5 and Zenyuk, Goletiani and Sabina-Francesca Foisor all have 3.

    Going down south a bit, the penultimate round of the 47th Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba, saw the leaders square off. Vassily Ivanchuk led Ian Nepomniachtchi by half a point coming into the round, but with the latter having White in their game the tournament remained very much up for grabs. It still is, but Ivanchuk held very comfortably with the black pieces to maintain his lead. As he'll have White against tailender Viktor Laznicka while Nepomniachtchi will have Black against the third-placed Leinier Dominguez one must like Ivanchuk's chances for finishing in clear first.

    Finally, in Sigeman & Co. event in Malmo, Sweden Fabiano Caruana drew and continues to lead with 3/4, but Nils Grandelius (who also drew) and 2700s Li Chao and Peter Leko (who both won their games, with Black) are all nipping at his heels, just half a point behind. Three rounds remain there.

    * Correcting an earlier error (see five of the comments!).

    Saturday
    May122012

    The Best of the Rest: The U.S. Championship and the Capablanca Memorial

    The World Championship has already been discussed and Sigeman & Co. had the day off (but check out the first video on the latter website for a cute practical joke), so the remaining news focuses on the U.S. Championship and the Women's Championship, along with the Capablanca Memorial in Havana.

    In the U.S. Championship, the big game saw the leaders square off. Hikaru Nakamura had White against Gregory Kaidanov, and parlayed it into a never-ending ending promising Black nothing but misery. Maybe there was some way for Kaidanov to hold the draw (though I wouldn't bet on it), but as a practical matter it was hopeless. It looked like a model technical win, well worth studying.

    Gata Kamsky bounced back from yesterday's loss to Kaidanov to defeat Varuzhan Akobian, and as a result he's in clear second, half a point behind Nakamura. I can't recall seeing Akobian play anything against 1.e4 but the French and an occasional 1...d6, but maybe last year's loss to Kamsky in the French encouraged him to try something new. His choice of the Berlin made sure he wouldn't lose quickly, but Kamsky seemed far more comfortable in the "Wall" endgame and he won anyway. It takes time to properly "feel" the Berlin, and it was a tall order for Akobian against a player of Kamsky's stature.

    It was a "bloody" day in general, and it wasn't just the favorites who won. Third seed Alexander Onischuk won with Black against Robert Hess in one of his signature openings, the Archangelsk (White should have played 7.d3!); Alexander Stripunsky continued his comeback from an 0-2 start at the expense of the other slow starter, Yasser Seirawan. The end of that game was rather curious, as Seirawan's cluster of pieces on White's queenside first tied his opponent's forces down, but then wound up trapped and lost. Also committing chess suicide was Alejandro Ramirez, who rightly pushed in a better rook ending against Ray Robson before finally going too far and losing. The only draw of the day was between Alex Lenderman and Yuri Shulman, who both fell a full point behind Nakamura as a result.

    Round 6 Pairings:

    Seirawan (1) - Robson (2.5)
    Onischuk (3) - Ramirez (1)
    Kaidanov (3) - Hess (1.5)
    Akobian (2) - Nakamura (4)
    Shulman (3) - Kamsky (3.5)
    Stripunsky (2.5) - Lenderman (3)

    In round four of the women's championship, the three leaders all drew: Anna Zatonskih with Alisa Melekhina and Irina Krush and Iryna Zenyuk with each other. They continue to lead with 3/4, half a point ahead of Foisor and Abrahamyan.

    In Havana, having White against tailender Yuniesky Quesada wasn't enough to propel Vassily Ivanchuk to a win, but his draw kept him in clear first, half a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi. "Nepo" beat Viktor Laznicka, and with White next against Ivanchuk the final standings are very much up in the air.

    Thursday
    May102012

    "Garry's Choice": A Great Succesor!

    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.