Chess Room Newsletter #991 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #991

Gens Una Sumus!


Newsletter #991

October 23, 2021


Table of Contents


Chess Clubs From Around the Country: Silver Knights Chess

by Abel Talamantez

We continue to spotlight different chess clubs this week with one of the largest chess organizations: Silver Knights. Providing chess enrichment and tournaments in the Virginia, D.C., and Maryland area, they have weathered the storm of the pandemic and are continuing to provide programs to their community. Here below, Founder and President NM Adam Weissbarth wrote a few paragraphs about his organization. 


The Story of Silver Knights Chess

I realized I wanted to start a company teaching chess to kids in 2005, as I was unenthusiastically finishing a masters degree in statistics.  In 2006, I left my prior career for good and started Silver Knights Chess.  I was a lifelong chess player (and national master) and had done a bunch of teaching - mostly math, but also some chess.  To get started, I cold-called 100 schools in the Philadelphia area.  Four of them answered, and that’s how Silver Knights began.  For the first few months I was a one-man operation teaching chess in schools and community centers; by halfway through the first year, demand for the chess program had grown so much that I was teaching in more than 15 schools and I started hiring other coaches.

After growing that program to more than 1,000 kids weekly and teaching a pair of national scholastic champions, I sold the business to focus full-time on growing a similar organization in the Washington, DC area with my brother Daniel.  We grew pretty steadily for the next ten years.

At the time COVID hit, Silver Knights had grown to teach chess to nearly 4,000 kids per week throughout Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland.  We had more than 100 chess coaches and aides, supported by a team of staff in our office.  In addition to our after-school program in schools, we also ran numerous summer chess camps and weekend tournaments.

Silver Knight's Tournament Training classes prepare students or live tournament play

COVID was devastating -- we lost all of our revenue overnight.  It forced us to put all our energy into developing an online chess program.  We experimented nonstop to see what worked.  After a couple of months, we settled on a format for group lessons and tournaments that worked well for the kids.  With everything online, we were able to do some fun things that hadn’t been possible before, like play matches against clubs from other countries or bring in guest instructors including Judit Polgar, Sam Shankland, and Rochelle Ballantyne and Pobo Efekoro from Brooklyn Castle.

In August 2021 something amazing happened: we joined the Play Magnus Group, the company of world champion Magnus Carlsen!  We’re excited to be part of Magnus’ team, and are inspired by their mission of making the world a smarter place by encouraging more people to play chess.  We’re now very busy restarting after school chess programs in hundreds of schools throughout the DC area, continuing to teach online lessons to a broader audience of kids, and looking forward to introducing more people to chess!


Tuesday Night Marathon Round 7 Report

by Abel Talamantez

The Tuesday Night Marathon played its final round of the September-October edition, with a battle for 2nd place in the top section. FM Ezra Chambers had wrapped up 1st place last week while Sean Kelly rose to the challenge and to the occasion, securing a draw on board 1 against IM Elliott Winslow to take clear 2nd place. A draw between Nicholas Weng and Nathan Fong helped Sean, as Fong finished with 4.5/7 along with winslow and Ako Heidari, who got there with a final round win against an always tough Kevin Sun. 

Sean Kelly and IM Elliott Winslow battle for 2nd place on board 1, Daniel Wang (playing white in the picture to the right) takes clear 1st in the under 1800 section.

In the under 1800 section, Daniel Wang finished the tournament with the same pace he started, getting the win against Christopher Dessert and finishing with 6.5/7, a full point ahead of the field in a large section. Stephen Parsons finished in clear 2nd with 5.5/7 and six players tied for 3rd with 5/7. 

We will have a break next week from our TNM and begin the November-December edition Tuesday November 2nd. IM John Donaldson will give the guest lecture at 5:30pm prior to the round with copies of his latest book Bobby Fischer and His World. To register for the next TNM, click HERE.

Here are some games from the final round, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.

(1) IM Winslow,Elliott (2269) - Kelly,Sean (1786) [D46]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.1), 19.10.2021

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 [Avoiding the even greater complications of the Botvinnik System, 5.Bg5 dxc4 (5...h6 also has its crazy and difficult lines, but at least it lets White avoid the wildest with 6.Bxf6 (6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 goes wholeheartedly into it!) 6...Qxf6 7.e3 (7.g3) ) 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5] 5...Bd6 An interesting transpositional idea, to avoid some other possibilities. [5...Nbd7 has been the traditional move for over a hundred and sixty years! But since the famous game Aronian-Anand,... 6.Bd3 (6.Qc2 Bd6 is common enough) 6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6!?] 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Be2 [8.Bd3] 8...Nbd7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qc2 Qc7 11.Bd2 Bb7 12.Rac1 Setting up some tactical possibilities, but they never quite make it to the board. [Better was, indeed, 12.e4! when after 12...e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.f4 White mobilizes his majority successfully. 15...Bxc3 16.Bxc3 Qb6+ 17.Kh1 c5 18.Bf3 White's advantage is there, but whether it stays significant is up in the air.] 12...a6 13.b4

13...Rae8N Surely this rook will find other files of value!? [This position occured in a grandmaster game eighteen years ago! Probably then the better rook move was played: 13...Rfe8 14.h3 Rac8 15.Qb1 e5 16.Bd3 exd4 17.exd4 Bf4 18.Bxf4 Qxf4 19.Ne2 Qd6 1/2-1/2 (52) Huebner,R (2604)-Shabalov,A (2597) Willemstad 2003] 14.h3 e5 15.dxe5 [15.Bd3+/= was preferrable.] 15...Nxe5= 16.Nd4 Qd7 17.Nb1 Nd5 [17...Bb8=] 18.a3+/= f5 19.Nc3 Nb6 20.Rfd1 [20.Rcd1+/=] 20...Nbc4
[20...Qf7!=] 21.f4 [21.Qa2!?] 21...Nxa3 22.Qb3+
Double Attack 22...Nec4 Strongly threatening ...Kh8. 23.Ra1! Kh8 Hoping for . ..c5. 24.Rxa3 Nxa3 25.Qxa3 a5|^ Black is more active. 26.Nc2 [Wrong is 26.Qxa5? Ra8-+; 26.Nb1= keeps the balance.] 26...axb4-/+ 27.Nxb4
[27...Qe7!-/+ 28.Rb1 Rd8] 28.Bxb5? [28.Nxb5=/+ cxb4 29.Qd3] 28...cxb4-+ 29.Bxd7 bxa3 Black is clearly better after 30. Bxe8 Rxe8 but the players agreed a draw. 1/2-1/2

(2) Weng,Nicholas (2001) - Fong,Nathan (2049) [B33]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.2), 19.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bb7 11...Rb8 is the modern continuation. [11...Ne7; 11...Bg5; 11...0-0] 12.Nc2 Ne7 13.Ncb4 [Better is 13.Nxf6++/- gxf6 14.Bd3] 13...Nxd5 B33: Sicilian: Pelikan and Sveshnikov Variations. 14.Nxd5 0-0 15.a4 [15.Be2+/= Gildardo Garcia - Nijboer, Wijk aan Zee 1996 (in Shaw); And one must always wonder what Vassily is up to: 15.Qb3 Bg5 16.Be2 Kh8 17.0-0 Rb8 18.Rad1 Bc6 19.Bg4 1-0 (39) Ivanchuk,V (2715)-Frolyanov,D (2482) Yerevan 2004] 15...bxa4 [15...Bc6!=] 16.Rxa4+/= White has more of a grip on the light squares. 16...a5 17.Bc4 Bc6 18.Ra1

18...Bg5N [18...Ra7!? 19.b4 (19.0-0!?) 19...Bxd5 20.Bxd5 Qc7 21.0-0 (21.Rc1) 21...Qxc3 22.Qa4?! (22.Ra4!) 22...Bd8 23.Qb5 Qc7 24.Rxa5 Rxa5 25.bxa5 Qxa5 26.Qxa5 Bxa5 is dead even, although somehow 0-1 (63) De Hoop,T-Rijnaarts,S Hengelo 2002] 19.0-0 Kh8 20.Qe2 f5 21.exf5! Rxf5 22.Rfd1 less urgent and later weakens f2 [22.b4; 22.Bd3!? Rf8 23.Be4 is very solid in the center] 22...Rb8 23.b3 Bxd5?! giving up the light squares should end badly [23...g6+/- is a better defense.] 24.Rxd5+- Qb6? [24...Qc7 might work better. 25.Rdxa5 (25.Raxa5 Rbf8+/-) 25...Rbf8] 25.Rb5 Qc7 26.Rxb8+ Qxb8 27.Qg4 g6 28.Rxa5 Second best --
[>=28.Be6! Rf6 29.Qxg5 (29.Rxa5 Kg7+/-) 29...Rxe6 30.Rxa5 is winning as White has b3-b4 next; 30...Qxb3? 31.Ra8+ Kg7 32.Ra7+! is mate shortly.] 28...Bd8 [28...Qd8 objectively puts up a better fight, but Black sees some tactical possibilities with the bishop on b6. 29.b4 Qc8] 29.Ra2! Bb6 30.Bd5? Throwing away the major part of White's advantage. [30.Qe4!+- uses the threat of 31. Ra8 to set up an effective defense (Qe1, g3, Kg2) with tempo. 30...Rf8 (30...Qc7 31.Qd5 Kg7 32.g3) 31.g3] 30...Kg7? [Black has the surprising 30...Qf8!= 31.Bf3 (31.Ra8?? Rxf2!) 31...d5! and Black's threat of ...e4 forces White to head for an ending: 32.Qa4 e4 33.Qc6 Qf6=] 31.Bf3? [31.g3+- Qf8 32.Ra8! Qf6 (32...Rxf2 33.Rxf8 Rf4+ 34.Kg2 Rxg4 35.Rb8 is a smash -- look at Black's rook *and* bishop!) 33.Rg8+ Kh6 34.Be4 White forces Black's pieces to strange squares: 34...Bxf2+ (34...Rxf2?? 35.Qh3+ Kg5 36.Qh4#) 35.Kg2 Rh5 36.Qe2 Bb6 37.h4] 31...Qc7 [31...d5!= 32.Bxd5 e4!] 32.Qb4 Rf4 33.c4 e4! 34.Qc3+ Kh6! The only but adequate square. [34...Kf7 35.Bxe4!+-] 35.Bd1 [35.Qd2!+/= is superior. 35...Qf7 (35...g5 36.h4) 36.Bxe4 (36.Qxd6 Bc7-/+) 36...Bxf2+ 37.Kh1] 35...Qf7 36.Qh3+ Kg7 37.Qc3+ Somewhere around here Nicholas offered a draw, expecting a repetition. 37...Kf8?
[37...Kh6= 38.Qe1 d5] 38.Qd2? [38.Qh8+!+- Ke7 39.Qb8 is probably what White missed. 39...Bxf2+?? 40.Rxf2 Rxf2 41.Qa7+ gets the rook] 38...Ke7?! [Fong avoids 38...Bxf2+?? 39.Qxf2! e3 40.Qe1+-; But 38...Bc5=/+ is a better prep for ...e3. 39.Qe1 e3] 39.Qe1!+/= Kd7? [39...Qe6+/=] 40.Re2? [40.g3+- Rf6 41.Bg4+ Ke7 (41...Kc7 42.c5!! dxc5 (42...Bxc5 43.Qa5+ Bb6 44.Rc2+) 43.Qxe4) 42.Qxe4+ Kf8 43.Qe1+-] 40...e3!= Now another level of tactical precision ensues! 41.fxe3 Ba5!
42.b4! Bxb4! 43.Ba4+ Kd8 [43...Kc7= is more appropriate. 44.Qa1 Bc5] 44.Qd1 [44.Qa1 is more complex. 44...Rf5 (44...Bc5 45.Bc6 Qxc4 46.Re1) 45.g4 Ra5 46.Rf2 Qe7 47.Qh8+ Kc7=] 44...Bc5 The position is equal. 45.Bb3 Qe6 46.Qd3 Qe5 47.Re1 Re4 48.Bc2 Rxe3 49.Rxe3 Bxe3+ 50.Kh1! Qf4 51.Qe2 Bd4 52.g3 Qf2 1/2-1/2

(3) Riese,Kayven (1900) - Svoboda,Steven (1936) [B89]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.5), 19.10.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 0-0 9.0-0-0 a6

This is a classic Velimirovic Attack, which is great to see. It's like hearing some classic 70's music again - it never goes out of style. 10.Rhg1 Nxd4 11.Rxd4 b5 12.Bb3 Bb7!? 13.f3?! [Black's queen still on d8, Time for 13.e5! with an edge] 13...Qc7 [13...Nd7; 13...Qb8!?] 14.g4 b4!? 15.Na4 [15.Rxb4! d5 16.Rxb7! Qxb7 17.g5 Nd7 18.exd5 would be a clear edge for White] 15...Qa5 16.g5 Nd7 17.Bd2?! [17.Qe1!+/-] 17...d5? [17...Qb5!=/+ is safest. White should probably reply with 18. Kd1] 18.exd5 e5
19.d6? Many rook moves, all winning. [19.Rh4+- is the best of them. 19...g6 20.Qe4 controls the center and keeps strong attacking chances] 19...exd4! getting back in the game 20.dxe7 Rfe8 21.g6!? hxg6 22.Rxg6 Ne5?! [22...Qe5!] 23.Rg5 Rxe7 24.f4 Rae8? [24...Qb5!] 25.fxe5 Rxe5
26.Qh5? [26.Bxf7+! Kxf7 (26...Kf8 27.Rxe5 Rxe5 28.Qc4) 27.Qh5+ Kg8 28.Qxe8+ Rxe8 29.Rxa5 wins] 26...Rxg5 27.Bxg5 Bd5?
[27...Re1+ 28.Kd2 Rf1 is very good for Black] 28.Bh4? [28.Bd2!+- Rd8 (28...Qb5 29.Bxd5 Qf1+ 30.Qd1) 29.Bc4! (29.Nb6!) ] 28...Qb5!= 29.Bxd5 Qf1+ 30.Kd2 Qf4+
31.Kd3? too ambitious [31.Kd1= forces Black to take the perpetual.] 31...Re3+ 32.Kc4
32...d3+!-+ 33.Kb3 [33.Kc5 dxc2] 33...dxc2+ 34.Kxc2 Qxh2+ White has three pieces for a rook, but Black has a winning attack. 35.Kd1 Rd3+ 36.Ke1 Qg1+ 37.Ke2 Qd1+ White resigns. A great and entertaining battle! 0-1

(4) Starr,Albert (1500) - Fairchild,JP. (1177) [D02]
MI Sep-Oct TNM u1800 San Francisco (7.21), 19.10.2021

1.d4 What? no 1.b4? 1...Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 The London System. It's very popular when both Magnus Carlsen and Albeert Starr take it up. 3...c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.c3 Bf5 6.Bd3 Bg6 7.0-0 Qb6

Aggressive play by JP. 8.Qc2?! [8.Bxg6 hxg6 9.Nbd2 would be a better way to sacrifice the b-pawn. 9...Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qxa2 11.Rxb7 probably gives White an edge.; 8.dxc5 Qxb2 9.Bxg6 hxg6 10.Qb3 Qxb3 11.axb3 is also possible and about equal] 8...Bxd3 9.Qxd3 Qxb2 10.Nbd2 c4 11.Qf5? charging forward, but it's often bad to lead with the queen [11.Nxc4!? dxc4 12.Qxc4 Qb6 13.d5=] 11...e6-+ Black has just gotten a free developing tempo. Now White should probably retreat with 12. Qb1, but there is no fun or honor in that. 12.Qh3?! Qxc3 13.Rab1 b6 Two pawns ahead for Black should be winning. He is behind in development though. 14.Rfc1 Qa5 15.Rc2 This doesn't help. White really needs to do something and should try 15. e4 or 15. Nxc4 to open lines. It's still very good for Black but it could get tricky. 15...Nb4 16.Rcb2
16...c3! 17.Nb3 Qa4 18.Re2 c2 19.Rc1 Qxa2

A curious position. Black still has the kingside completely undeveloped and has the king in the center, yet is completely winning on the queenside. 20.Nfd2 Nd3 21.Rf1 Rc8 22.Nc1 Nxc1 23.Rxc1 Ba3 finally developing, and with deadly effect 24.e4 Bxc1 25.exd5 Qxd5 26.Re5 Bxd2! The back rank finishes White off. Nice aggessive play by Fairchild. It may make Albert go back to the Orangutan Opening. 0-1

(194) Stafford,Adam (1665) - Gimelfarb,Ilia (1752) [C34]
MI Sep-Oct TNM 1800+ San Francisco (7.7), 19.10.2021

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 OMG, it's the King's Gambit Accepted! Don't these guys know what MILLENIUM this is?? 3.Nf3 The main move, avoiding ridiculous king marches via ...Qh4+; Ke2, or massive material sacrifice with g2-g3. [3.Bc4 There was an article in ChessBase Magazine a few years ago, claiming that only 3.Bc4 held the draw as proved by the strongest computers -- published on April First <ahem>...] 3...d6 Black has tried everything under the sun, and a few things from darker places, but this has become the most popular *if* you conveniently forget a few centuries! [3...g5 has been featured ever since Greco vs. "NN" (i.e. probably made-up games by the 17th Century Italian professional) used it as a foil for many crushing wins -- mostly for White, but Black won a fair share as well. Yes, as NN vs. Greco. In any case, not too many grandmaster games since the turnof the Century/Millenium.] 4.d4 Praxis has been evenly divided, both frequency and overall score, between this and [4.Bc4 , but 4...h6! looks to be quite a troublemaker here, scoring better than three to two for Black.] 4...g5 But here this is the overwhelmingly played return -- blame Kasparov perhaps, for playing it (and winning) against King's Gambit superstar Morozevich in 1995. 5.h4 Morozevich *and* Short, among others 5...g4 6.Ng1 Wait, what? Book move! [6.Ng5?! h6 won the piece, with a clear advantage which Kasparov brought home. (But the computers of now favor 6...f6!? , which might be an easier go.) 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.Bxf4 Bg7 9.Bc4+ Ke8 0-1 (23) Morozevich,A (2630)-Kasparov,G (2795) Paris 1995. But it isn't so easy if your rating is under 2800!] 6...Bh6 The "theoretical" continuation, (dropping to just a couple dozen games though). [Computers have it in for 6...Qf6 -- that is, they like it even more.] 7.Nc3

A good all-purpose move, but not purposeful enough to convince modern analysis that White has a good game. 7...Bd7?!N This gets the old chess proverbs all wrong. It's "Knights Before Bishops," which is a blunt version of "Play the pieces where know where they should go (i.e. knights to f3/c3/f6/c6) and leave the pieces with options (i.e. bishops) alone for a while, to keep those options open." [A fairly recent game featured a well-known GM playing 7...Nc6 8.Qd3 Bd7 9.a3 f5 10.Nge2 fxe4 11.Qxe4+ Qe7 12.Qxe7+ Ngxe7 13.d5 Ne5 14.Bxf4 Bxf4 15.Nxf4 0-0 and it got uncomfortable fast: 0-1 (24) Shytaj,L (2472)-Almasi,Z (2663) Reggio Emilia 2009; Most analysis has 7...c6 when no solid equality -- for White -- quite shows up, although 8.Nge2 Qf6 9.e5 dxe5 10.Ne4 Qg6! 11.N2c3! comes pretty close.; 7...Be6!? 8.d5 Bc8!! is *very* interesting! Giri did something very similar recently, but in the Russian Variation of the Gruenfeld Defense -- and it was rather earth-shaking there as well. 9.Qd4 Nf6 10.Nge2 c5 11.dxc6 Nxc6 (because d6 is guarded!) and *my* computer (and others) gives Black some edge after 12.Qd3 Nh5 I admit, not convincing. 13.Nd5!? (13.Qb5!?) ] 8.Nge2
8...c6?? [The best *try* is 8...f3 except that the computers all raise their digital hands and jump around in their chairs and point out 9.Nf4! Nc6 10.Be3! with a definite advantage, but how big isn't so definite.] 9.Bxf4 [9.Nxf4 ain't bad, either.] 9...Bxf4 10.Nxf4 Qf6 11.Qd2+- White has a dream King's Gambit position. 11...Ne7 12.0-0-0 [12.Nh5 Qg6 13.Ng3 is a nice repositioning as well.] 12...0-0 13.Be2 Not really on point, but plenty good enough. 13...Ng6?! Frying pan 14.Nh5 Fire 14...Qe7 15.Bc4 A conspicous threat [15.Qh6 f6 16.Bd3 is not better enough to make a difference] 15...Kh8 16.Qh6 f5 Here it's too late for the proverb about opening lines for your opponent's better developed pieces to matter. 17.exf5 Bxf5 18.Rde1 Qc7 Well yes, but now ...Nd7 is back off the table. 19.Rhf1 Black is pretty helpless by now. 19...Na6 (else 20.Rxf5)

20.Qg5 [20.Ng3 is too easy.] 20...Qc8 21.Nf6 Stockfish 14 really likes this. [Stockfish 14 really *really* likes 21.Re7] 21...d5 22.Bxa6 bxa6 23.Rxf5 Here one score ends (under five minutes) 23...Nxh4 (here the other says "23...Nxh3") and here we must appeal to the players. It goes on the one sheet: "24.Raf8+ Qxf5 25.Qg7#." Probably: 24.Re7 Qxf5 25.Qg7# An impressive and entertaining (except for Black!) King's Gambit in the "Modern Style," i.e. not too swashbuckling, just solid central control, better structure, play against Black's weakened kingside. Beware double-kingpawn players! 1-0

SwissSys Standings. TNM_finalround: 1800+

# Name ID Rating Fed Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 FM Ezra Chambers 15191101 2314   W22 W17 W6 W3 W4 W5 U--- 6.0 419.00
2 Sean Kelly 16962568 1786   W5 D4 W14 L6 W17 W15 D3 5.0 293.00
3 IM Elliott Winslow 10363365 2269   W18 D19 W20 L1 D14 W6 D2 4.5 84.00
4 Nathan Fong 13001390 2049   W9 D2 H--- W12 L1 W14 D6 4.5 84.00
5 Ako Heidari 15206848 1996   L2 W22 W19 W8 D6 L1 W13 4.5 126.00
6 Nicholas Weng 15499404 2001   W16 W12 L1 W2 D5 L3 D4 4.0  
7 Steven Svoboda 10451671 1936   L12 L16 W11 W22 W8 U--- W15 4.0  
8 James Mahooti 12621393 1800   H--- H--- W15 L5 L7 W10 W14 4.0  
9 Samuel Brownlow 12747074 1795   L4 H--- D13 L15 W19 W16 W18 4.0 126.00
10 Kristian Clemens 13901075 1994   L19 L18 W21 W16 W13 L8 H--- 3.5  
11 Joel Carron 16600505 1676   L17 L15 L7 X21 W22 H--- W20 3.5  
12 Adam Stafford 14257838 1665   W7 L6 W18 L4 L15 D20 W19 3.5  
13 Kevin Sun 16898540 1622   W15 L14 D9 W20 L10 W18 L5 3.5  
14 Guy Argo 12517167 1938   H--- W13 L2 W19 D3 L4 L8 3.0  
15 Kayven Riese 12572270 1900   L13 W11 L8 W9 W12 L2 L7 3.0  
16 Adam Mercado 16571026 1793   L6 W7 L17 L10 B--- L9 X21 3.0  
17 Alex Chin 17050697 1992   W11 L1 W16 H--- L2 U--- U--- 2.5  
18 Anthony Acosta 12633251 1818   L3 W10 L12 H--- W20 L13 L9 2.5  
19 Ilia Gimelfarb 17158733 1752   W10 D3 L5 L14 L9 W22 L12 2.5  
20 Tony Lama 12328450 1805   H--- X21 L3 L13 L18 D12 L11 2.0  
21 Glenn Kaplan 12680193 1766   H--- F20 L10 F11 H--- B--- F16 2.0  
22 Mark Drury 12459313 1830   L1 L5 B--- L7 L11 L19 U--- 1.0  

SwissSys Standings. TNM_finalround: Under 1800

# Name ID Rating Fed Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Total Prize
1 Daniel Wang 15361305 1581   W34 W18 W15 W2 D4 W17 W5 6.5 335.00
2 Stephen Parsons 16566932 1544   W35 W19 W10 L1 W5 D4 W9 5.5 251.00
3 Teodoro Porlares 12773115 1749   W31 L5 W29 L19 W41 W18 W4 5.0 63.00
4 Marty Cortinas 12590374 1720   B--- W39 W16 W14 D1 D2 L3 5.0 63.00
5 Christopher Dessert 15048166 1418   W12 W3 W21 W9 L2 W8 L1 5.0 63.00
6 Matt Long 13377410 1306   L13 W32 W7 W21 H--- D12 W16 5.0 63.00
7 Deandr Stallworth 30255378 unr.   W28 L15 L6 W35 W33 W14 W17 5.0 63.00
8 Anton Maliev 30250562 unr.   L18 W31 W20 W15 W14 L5 W19 5.0 63.00
9 John Chan 12561007 1500   H--- W27 W26 L5 W37 W13 L2 4.5  
10 Aaron Craig 12872385 1451   W11 W45 L2 W42 D13 U--- W27 4.5  
11 Dean Guo 30257083 unr.   L10 W30 W28 L16 W15 H--- W22 4.5  
12 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 unr.   L5 H--- X48 W38 W27 D6 H--- 4.5  
13 Adam Ginzberg 30268083 unr.   W6 L17 W35 W18 D10 L9 W26 4.5  
14 Richard Hack 12796129 1543   W24 W20 W17 L4 L8 L7 W33 4.0  
15 Georgios Tsolias 17266862 1538   W25 W7 L1 L8 L11 W41 W30 4.0  
16 Sebastian Suarez 16875347 1520   W41 W42 L4 W11 L17 W20 L6 4.0  
17 Paul Reed 13373197 1440   W32 W13 L14 W45 W16 L1 L7 4.0  
18 Nursultan Uzakbaev 17137317 1389   W8 L1 W41 L13 W42 L3 W32 4.0  
19 Andrew Imbens 30102682 1318   W37 L2 W43 W3 W22 U--- L8 4.0  
20 Jp Fairchild 30150098 1177   W33 L14 L8 W44 W45 L16 W28 4.0  
21 Romeo Barreyro 17018168 1702   H--- W23 L5 L6 W24 L26 W37 3.5  
22 Nick Casares 10424364 1600   H--- L29 W24 X26 L19 W37 L11 3.5  
23 Tobiah Rex 30164211 1173   W47 L21 D37 L27 L28 W46 W34 3.5  
24 Thomas Gu 17005685 768   L14 W33 L22 X43 L21 X38 D29 3.5  
25 David Nichol 12934283 546   L15 L37 X49 W28 H--- L27 X38 3.5  
26 Eli Chanoff 30204815 unr.   H--- X38 L9 F22 W47 W21 L13 3.5  
27 Adam Laskowitz 30258766 unr.   H--- L9 W34 W23 L12 W25 L10 3.5  
28 Albert Starr 12844781 1500   L7 X48 L11 L25 W23 X45 L20 3.0  
29 Jerry Morgan 13159224 1462   H--- W22 L3 L37 W46 U--- D24 3.0  
30 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1210   L45 L11 W32 L33 W44 X42 L15 3.0  
31 Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1139   L3 L8 L44 W34 W43 L32 W39 3.0  
32 Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 unr.   L17 L6 L30 B--- W39 W31 L18 3.0  
33 Harry Elworthy 30256579 unr.   L20 L24 B--- W30 L7 W35 L14 3.0  
34 Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 1029   L1 H--- L27 L31 B--- X47 L23 2.5  
35 William Thibault 16716976 983   L2 X44 L13 L7 X48 L33 D40 2.5  
36 Vittorio Banfi 30308530 unr.   H--- H--- H--- U--- U--- U--- W46 2.5  
37 Elias Colfax-Lamoureux 30242818 unr.   L19 W25 D23 W29 L9 L22 L21 2.5  
38 Lisa Willis 12601676 1583   H--- F26 W47 L12 H--- F24 F25 2.0  
39 David Olson 13913131 1400   W44 L4 L42 L41 L32 W43 L31 2.0  
40 Pratyush Hule 16317000 825   H--- H--- H--- U--- U--- U--- D35 2.0  
41 Jeffrey Dallatezza 30264869 unr.   L16 X49 L18 W39 L3 L15 U--- 2.0  
42 Jabez Wesly 30210917 unr.   W49 L16 W39 L10 L18 F30 U--- 2.0  
43 James Dorsch 30249167 unr.   H--- H--- L19 F24 L31 L39 B--- 2.0  
44 Ryan Gill 30240310 unr.   L39 F35 W31 L20 L30 B--- F45 2.0  
45 Trent Hancock 30174249 unr.   W30 L10 W46 L17 L20 F28 F44 2.0  
46 Ryan Deal 30281032 unr.   H--- H--- L45 H--- L29 L23 L36 1.5  
47 Samuel White 30269966 unr.   L23 H--- L38 X48 L26 F34 U--- 1.5  
48 Damien Seperi 16757144 1083   H--- F28 F12 F47 F35 U--- U--- 0.5  
49 Paul Krezanoski 16897133 1418   L42 F41 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0  

SwissSys Standings. TNM_finalround: Extra Game

# Name ID Rating Fed Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Total
1 Brendyn Estolas 12869947 2052   U--- W26 U--- U--- U--- U--- W3 U--- 2.0
2 Noah Chambers 16694473 unr.   U--- W23 U--- L9 U--- W11 U--- U--- 2.0
3 Samuel Agdamag 14874734 1448   U--- U--- U--- D19 L11 W26 L1 L5 1.5
4 Gaziz Makhanov 16828914 1893   U--- W22 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
5 Adam Mercado 16571026 1793   U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W3 1.0
6 Marty Cortinas 12590374 1720   W23 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
7 ROMEO BE BARREYRO 17018168 1702   W25 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
8 JERRY MORGAN 13159224 1462   W27 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
9 Natan Gimelfarb 16757673 1090   U--- U--- U--- W2 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
10 Richard Ahrens 16953298 1088   U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W29 U--- U--- 1.0
11 Pratyush Hule 16317000 825   U--- U--- U--- L13 W3 L2 U--- U--- 1.0
12 Judit Sztaray 14708926 807   U--- W28 U--- L17 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
13 Thomas Gu 17005685 768   U--- U--- U--- W11 U--- L15 U--- U--- 1.0
14 David Nichol 12934283 546   U--- U--- W24 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
15 Zian Hu 30297435 unr.   U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- W13 U--- U--- 1.0
16 Samuel White 30269966 unr.   U--- U--- U--- W25 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
17 Ian Atroshchenko 30214657 unr.   U--- U--- U--- W12 U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
18 Benjamin Anderson 30235937 unr.   U--- U--- W30 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 1.0
19 Joel Carron 16600505 1676   U--- U--- U--- D3 U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5
20 Eli Chanoff 30204815 unr.   U--- D21 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5
21 Jeffrey Dallatezza 30264869 unr.   U--- D20 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.5
22 Alex Silvestre 15446526 2131   U--- L4 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
23 TONY A LAMA 12328450 1805   L6 L2 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
24 Cesar Tamondong 12439091 1600   U--- U--- L14 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
25 NICK CASARES JR 10424364 1600   L7 U--- U--- L16 U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
26 Albert Starr 12844781 1500   U--- L1 U--- U--- U--- L3 U--- U--- 0.0
27 JOHN CHAN 12561007 1500   L8 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
28 William Thibault 16716976 983   U--- L12 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0
29 Andrejs Gulbis 16741331 889   U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- L10 U--- U--- 0.0
30 Angad Sharma 30281155 unr.   U--- U--- L18 U--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0


Thursday Night Triathlon Report

by Abel Talamantez

There was some excitement and anticipation prior to the start of the final leg of our first ever Mechanics' Institute Online Chess Triathlon. This tournament experiment, which was a mix of rapid, blitz, and this week's Fischer random was bound to produce surprises, as the format itself is an enigma and part of the fun of this variant is the unknown waters the pieces will lead the players. For those not familiar with Fischer random, also known as Chess 960, it is a variant game in which the pieces in the back row are randomly placed. This challenges players' convention of what should be done at the start of the game, and the ensuing chaos is bound to lead to entertaining action. And did it ever.

Adam Mercado came into the round as the leader after the rapid and blitz rounds, and was just a point ahead of Mansoor Mohammed. Mercado needed all the skill he could muster to hold onto his lead, and he did so with a little luck along the way just to make sure, producing one of the most fantastic tournaments we've broadcast. He finished the Fischer random leg 5.5/6, winning the event with a combined 16.5/21. There was a 3-way tie for 2nd place with 13 points between Mansoor Mohammed, Mark Drury and Sanjeev Anand. Sean Kelly finished with a very impressive 12/21, despite missing the 6 rounds of the 1st rapid leg. Congratulations to tall the participants!

It is a Latin proverb that says fortune favors the brave. To give you a sense of how everything came together for Adam, let's take a look a 2 incredible positions, from round 1 and round 5.

In round 1, Mercado found himself on the ropes, headed for defeat in this position as black against Mark Drury.

Drury in a little bit of time trouble played Be5??, leading Mercado to snap off Qxc2 mate. There were comments in the Twitch chat saying black should have resigned some time ago, but this shows that resilliency can pay off, especially in a format such as this.

Now let's go to the highlight of the evening, definitley must see T.V....

In round 5, Mercado found himself in a seemingly hoplessely lost position here as white against Nilufer Sagat:

Mercado had been tenacious in playing on in this position, delvering check after check looking for opportunities and chasing the opposing king to the other side of the board. Mercado quickly played 1. Qb3 in this position and black quickly captured with Qxb3?? creating a stalemate!

It is worth watching the broadcast and capturing the dramatic moment from the 1:37:00 mark here:

Congratulations to Adam for winning the event and to all the players for participating in this experimental inaugural event. It was a great deal of fun and the chat was lively. We will hold another triathlon in the future, and we hope the tournament showcased the potential for both competition and fun.

Final standings can be found here:

Combined Final Standing

# Name Handle ID Rating Rapid Blitz FR Total
1 Adam Mercado A-boy415 16571026 1756 5.5 5.5 5.5 16.5
2 Mansoor Mohammed Mansoortaj 16086550 1893 4.5 5.5 3 13
3 Mark L Drury BirdOrBust 12459313 1830 5 5 3 13
4 Sanjeev Anand chessp1234 14436451 1753 3 6 4 13
5 Nilufer Sagat snowodis 17256603 unr. 3 5.5 3.5 12
6 Sean Kelly SlowCynicalQuip 16962568 1848 0 7 5 12
7 Casimir Dudek Thechesskid2021 30101045 1733 3 5 3 11
8 Adithya Chitta adichi 16695036 1057 2.5 5 2 9.5
9 Ian Liao victor6688 16738735 1054 2 4 3 9
10 Pratyu Bhingarkar GreenNinja2019 30015889 unr. 2 4 2 8
11 Bruce A Hedman Bruce_Hedman 17344551 unr. 0.5 4 2.5 7
12 Aaron D Craig aaroncraig602 12872385 1416 3 0 3.5 6.5
13 Pras Chandramouli 5upe5 30279272 unr. 3 3 0 6
14 Aryan Renjith SavageAryan 15027127 1241 3 3 0 6
15 Marcus Casaes SucramJman 30290420 unr. 2 3 1 6
16 NM Mike Sailer MikeSailer 12451516 2233 0 4.5 0 4.5
17 Lisa Willis LittlePinkCorvette 12601676 1500 0 4 0 4
18 Aiden Zhu aiden2020 30141156 778 2 2 0 4
19 IM Elliott Winslow ecwinslow 10363365 2276 0 3 0 3
20 Abel Talamantez MechanicsChess 12465386 1800 1.5 1 0 2.5
21 Oskar Zoffer OskarZoffer 16471866 1826 0 2 0 2
22 Judit Sztaray JuditSztaray 14708926 757 1.5 0 0 1.5

MI Member Spotlight: Andrew Imbens

Guido Imbens was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics this year, but his son Andrew Imbens is making his own waves at the Mechanics' Institute. The 15-year old Imbens has been rising up the rating charts after beginning live tournament play this year, making it to 1400 after this recently concluded TNM. I asked him why he plays at Mechanics' Institute, and why he became a member and here is what he shared.

Andrew Imbens (left) and family. Photo by Andrew Brodhead, Stanford University

I became a Mechanics’ Institute member after becoming interested in chess again during the quarantine, and I was looking for somewhere where I could play over-the-board. I really like longer time controls, and the schedule of the tournaments (especially the Tuesday Night Marathons) are very convenient for me to get to after school. I have come to especially appreciate the ability to get to know some of the other players I have met here, by playing the same people again over multiple tournaments, playing blitz games and/or discussing our games between tournament rounds, as well as just seeing familiar faces for each tournament.

Tony's Teasers

Tony challenges with an even tougher problem, white to move and mate in 4!

Mechanics' Institute Events Schedule

Don't Miss our Exciting Upcoming Events!!

The Mechanics' Institute will continue to hold regular and online events. Here is our upcoming schedule for players:

Mechanics' Institute November/December TNM: FIDE Rated. Nov 2- Dec 21, 6:30PM PT. G/120;d5:

Mechanics' Institute October Quads: October 30, 3PM PT. 3 Games G/30;d5:

20th Carroll Capps Memorial Championship: USCF Rated. November 6, 10AM PT. 4SS G/45;d5:

Mechanics' Institute Class Schedule

Click HERE to see our full slate of specialty chess classes, we offer something for everyone!

Scholastic Chess Bulletin

The scholastic news is covered in a dedicated publication:
Mechanics' Institute Scholastic Chess Bulletin

Fresh New 
Scholastic Chess Bulletin #6 is out!

In this issue:

  • Monthly Scholastic In-Person Tournament - 2021 October Report with Player Highlight: Justyn Klot
  • Chess Enrichment Highlight: Alta Vista School
  • Chess Camps on October 11 - Report
  • ChessKid Style by Andrew Ballantyne 
  • Special Event: Halloween Tournament @ Mechanics' Institute on Oct 30
  • Understanding Tournaments - Tiebreaks
  • Upcoming Tournament Schedule
  • Tournament Results & Featured Games analyzed by GM Nick de Firmian

Please click the following LINK to read our latest edition.
Interested in reading the past issues? Click here to see the list of all issues.

All of us at Mechanics' Institute would like to thank you for your support of our scholastic chess programming.

A little more chess in Virginia.

FM Paul Whitehead

[email protected]

Upon arriving in Virginia in 1997, I branched out in a bunch of directions to see what would stick. In Staunton I worked in a camera store downtown (the owner had several weapons within easy reach in case of trouble) and with the Valley Community Services Board working with disabled adults (going swimming in the dead of winter was a bracing, twice-weekly task) but was not given enough hours in either job to make it worth my while.  I then found a job in Charlottesville working with children at the University of Virginia’s Kluge Rehabilitation Center, and before long we moved “over the mountain” where it seemed the economy was a bit stronger and the grass was a bit greener.  Soon after that I found full-time employment working with disabled adults (again) at Region Ten Community Services Board.

I was finally settling in.

I had already played chess in Charlottesville, and while in Staunton I met a fellow who was a mortician by trade and whose son I was giving chess lessons to.  The father enlightened me as to the particulars of his trade, while I tried to pass along the secrets of mine to his son, but at the end of the day neither of us were that interested.  The mysteries of chess, like the secrets of embalming, are not to everyone’s tastes.  We travelled a few times, the father and the son and I, over to the chess club in Charlottesville which met, like many such clubs everywhere do, in the basement of a church one evening a week.

There I met the usual rag-tag assortment of the chess-obsessed: a blues musician, a Russian translator, a lonely student (or two), a fellow who talked only about the game of checkers, a retired banker, a waiter between shifts.

At the end of the day though, chess and I drifted apart.  I played in a few tournaments over the 15 years I spent in Virginia, but that was the extent of my seriousness.  Rather, the game hovered nearby, not too close but never that far away either.  Word got out that a chess master lived in town, and although that never brought me the acclaim and riches I thought I deserved, there was the odd lesson that I gave here and there.

What follows is one such lesson.

Being a cosmopolite, I have always loved the café scene, and Charlottesville, being a college town, had a small one.  I spent much of my free time in the coffee-shops, and invariably would see people playing chess. 

There happened to be a particular individual – who shall remain nameless – from an Eastern European country (which may add a certain bona-fide credential to the local and the credulous) who was not only the self-styled “best chess player in town”, but who was also quite a jerk when you got to know him.  Which might happen if the town was small enough, and if you were unfortunate enough.  Both being true in this case.

One of the great pleasures of chess is beating a braggart, and despite the fact that I wasn’t from a country where chess is taught in the nursery, I schooled that fellow so convincingly the one day we played that he never spoke to me again – an enormous bonus as far as I was concerned.

Despite some friction here and there, and to finally make it clear to the world who was the undisputed boss of the Charlottesville chess scene, a simultaneous display was planned outside of a local bookstore.  I was to take on all comers, there would be music, the sun would shine, a new king would be crowned, and who knows?  I might make a few coins to rub together.  

Here then, is the actual “performance”.  You can find a short clip, music and all, on YouTube here:

Finally, after many years, Charlottesville had soured for me.  Whether it was me or the town, I still cannot rightly say.  Eventually I would have to leave, and start back over again in California.  But, before I left (or fled, depending on how one looks at it) I undertook one more project, and used the artist’s excuse to make shape of one’s experiences, to create something that made sense of what I had gone through.  The result was a 30-minute film, The Charlottesville Kitchen Killers (2009).  Not for young children, it can be found on YouTube here:

I am proud to say it was accepted and shown at the Virginia International Film Festival, alongside the works of David Lynch and John Waters.  And of course chess plays a small part.  Here is a still from my film:

The game of chess weaves its mysterious ways through my life.  Like everything we do, the Royal Game has positive and negative polarities, and I believe the wise person would say: one cannot exist without the other.

Nick de Firmian’s Column

 US Championship Wrap Up

The great battle in St. Louis for the Men’s and Women’s Championship ended this week with the old guard winning again in the Men’s and a new star rising in the Women’s. Wesley So repeated as US Champion, followed by Fabiano Caruana in second place. Young Sam Sevian has shown he has taken his game up a notch by taking third place. In fact the three first places were decided on rapid tie-breaks since So, Caruana and Sevian all scored 6.5/11 in the classical time control round robin. So easily won the playoff by downing both Caruana and Sevian in the tie-break. There is little surprise there as So has shown he can beat anyone in rapid games now, even sometimes Magnus Carlsen.

Our Bay Area players did about as expected – probably they were slightly disappointed. Sam Shankland scored an even 5.5/11 though he showed true grit by battling Caruana in an epic last round encounter where Fabiano needed to find a draw one pawn down in a king ending. Daniel Naroditsky scored a respectable 4.5/11 which is not bad for one of the lower rated players.

A truly exciting event was the Women’s Championship where some of the old stars started to fade and a new young one shone brightly. Eight time champion Irina Krush has always been the favorite to win for the last 20 years. Finally she has a new rival in 18 year old Carissa Yip. I saw Carissa develop her game over the last 10 years as I would coach at the World Youth Championships where she started to play in the girls under 8, then under 10 and under 12 year old championships. She won a couple of silver medals and could easily have won gold. Her aggressive coach for many years, Larry Christiansen, taught her how to attack. This gives her a delightful aggressive style. This year she dusted the competition to take her first US Women’s title. I think many more are to come.

(1) GM Caruana,Fabiano - GM So,Wesley [A28]
US Chp. Playoff, 18.10.2021

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e4!? Fabiano takes the opening to rare territory. 4...Bb4 5.d3 d6 6.a3 Bc5 7.b4 Bb6 8.Be3 0-0 9.Be2 Bxe3 10.fxe3 Ne7! 11.0-0 Ng6

The game is equal from the opening. Now it is a battle of the two best Americans in a random position to decide who is champion. 12.Qd2 Re8 13.Rae1 a5 14.b5 c6 15.Bd1 h6 16.d4 Qe7 17.Bc2 Bd7 18.d5 cxb5 19.cxb5 Rec8 20.Bd3 a4 21.Qb2 Qd8! retreating to find a good diagonal on the queenside. Black is taking the initiative. 22.Qb4 Qa5 23.Qxa5 Rxa5 24.Rc1 Raa8 25.Na2 Ng4 26.Rfe1 Kf8 27.Nb4 Ke8 28.h3 Nf6 29.Nd2 Ke7 30.Nc4 Rc5?! 31.Nb6 Ra5 32.Rxc5 dxc5
33.Nc6+! bxc6 34.bxc6 Bxc6 35.dxc6 Kd8 36.Nd5 Nxd5 37.exd5 Ne7! Best defense in a difficult position. 38.e4 [38.Rf1!] 38...Nc8! 39.Rb1 Nd6 40.Kf2 c4 41.Bc2 f5! 42.Ke3 Kc7
43.Rb4?! 43. exf5 would have been better. It is nice to play the black side with the great knight on d6. 43...fxe4 44.Bxe4 c3 45.Bc2? The move that loses the championship (though time of course was a factor and So was ahead) [45.Kd3!] 45...Rxd5 46.Rxa4 White lost on time here, but 46....Rd2 is easily winning anyway. 0-1

(2) GM Caruana,Fabiano - GM Shankland,Sam [E05]
US Chp. last round, 17.10.2021

Caruana had a lot to play for here. A win gives him a clear first title. A draw gives him a playoff and a loss sends him down. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.Bg5 Nbd7 11.Rd1 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Nbd2 a5 14.Qd3 Bb4 15.e4 Qe7 16.Ne5 Bd7 17.Ndc4 Rfd8 18.Qe3 Be8

This is a true heavyweight battle. I must put Sam in the heavyweight class (along with Caruana of course). White is a tad better in this Catalan Opening. 19.h4 Nd7 20.Nxd7 Bxd7 21.e5 Rab8 22.Be4 Be8 23.Qf3 f5 24.exf6 Qxf6 25.Qe3 Bg6 26.Rd3 Bf5 27.Rc1 c6 28.Rc2 Rd7 29.Ne5 Rd6 30.Nc4 Rd7 31.Ne5 Rd6 32.Kg2 Rbd8 33.f3 Bxe4 34.fxe4
34...Qxe5?! objectively this is not the best but if gives lively practical chances. 35.dxe5 Rxd3 36.Qa7! White is better now in the queen vs bishop and rook ending 36...Be1 37.Qxb7 Rxg3+ 38.Kh2 Rdd3 39.Qc8+ Kh7 40.Qxe6 Rg6 41.Qf5 pinning the rook reduces Blacks activity and is the best defense for the white king 41...Bg3+ 42.Kg2 Bxh4+ 43.Kf1 Re3 44.Rc1 c5 45.Rd1 c4
An interesting position and a kind of mutual zugzwang. If Black were to move the rook on e3 would have to go someplace and White could play 46. Rd6 without worrying about 46....Re1 mate. But it is White to move. 46.e6 Reg3 47.Rd7 Rg1+ 48.Ke2 R1g5 49.e7?! [49.Rxg7+! Kxg7 50.Qf7+ Kh8 51.e7 Rg2+ 52.Ke3 Bxe7 53.Qxe7 would be a bit bettter for White in the queen vs. two rook ending. Now Sam gets the edge.] 49...Rxf5 50.exf5 Rg1! 51.f6 [51.e8Q? Re1+] 51...Re1+ 52.Kd2 Re6! 53.f7 Bxe7 54.Rxe7 Rf6 Now Black has the edge in the endgame. 55.Kc3 Kg6 56.Kxc4 Rxf7 57.Rxf7! Kxf7 58.b4!
Caruana finds a drawing line a pawn down in the king ending. 58...Ke6 [58...axb4? 59.a5 wins] 59.b5 Kd6 60.Kd4 h5 61.Ke4 g5 62.Kf5 h4 63.Kg4 Kc5 64.Kh3 Kd6 65.Kg4 Kc5 66.Kh3 Kd6 Drawn by repitition. The black king must stay near the protected passed b-pawn so cannot help the black g and h pawns advance. 1/2-1/2

(3) IM Paikidze,Nazi - IM Yip,Carissa [B06]
US Women's Chp,, 17.10.2021

1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 a6 5.a4 Nd7 6.Bc4 e6! 7.Bg5 Ne7 8.Qd2 h6 9.Be3 b6 10.h3 Bb7

Carissa plays the Hippopotimas! Spassky tried this once, but it was more difficult against Petrosian. Black is slightly worse but gives White a lot of room to go wrong. 11.0-0 Nf6 12.d5 e5 13.Nh2 Nh5 14.Rfe1 g5 15.g3 Ng6 16.Qd1 Nf6 17.Bf1 Bc8 18.a5?! This move locks the queenside, which takes away some worries for Black. 18...b5 19.Bg2 Bd7 20.Nf1 Qc8 21.Kh2 h5!
The pressure is on! White is worried to take the g-pawn because of the complications of 22.f4? suicidal [22.Bxg5 h4 23.g4 Bxg4 24.hxg4 Nxg4+ 25.Kg1 h3 but 26. Ng3 now would not be worse for White] 22...gxf4 23.gxf4 exf4 24.e5 Ng4+! 25.hxg4 hxg4+ 26.Kg1 dxe5 27.Bc5 Qd8 28.Ne4 f5 29.d6 c6 30.Bb6 Qh4

look at those black pawns. White cannot deal with them all. 31.Bf2 Qh5 32.Qd3 fxe4 33.Bxe4 Nf8 34.Bd4 f3! ...Qh1 is the threat 35.Bxf3 gxf3 White resigned in this hopeless positon. 0-1

Solution to Tony's Teaser

1. Rff6!!  Be7  2. Rbd6  Bxd6  3. Rxd6  Kxh2  4. Rh6#


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