Monday, October 12, 2009

Fritz 11 Analysis of Kavinayan Sivakumar Vs Eric Rosen

Week 6: Sivakumar,Kavinayan - Rosen,Eric
USCL 2009 05.10.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 a6 6.Bb3 d6 7.0–0 Ba7 8.Nbd2 Ne7 9.Re1 Ng6 10.Nf1 0–0 11.Ng3

[11.Be3 Bxe3 12.fxe3 d5 13.exd5 Nxd5 14.Ng3 Nf6 15.Bc2 Re8 16.d4 Bg4 17.h3 Bxf3 18.Qxf3 Qd5 19.Qxd5 Nxd5 20.c4 Nf6 21.Bxg6 hxg6 22.d5 e4 23.Red1 Nd7 24.Rd4 f5 25.Ne2 Ne5 Pedersen,D (2294)-Shanmugam,R (2156)/Budapest 2006/CBM 113 ext/½–½ (59)]


[11...Be6 12.Bc2 (12.d4 h6 13.h3 Re8 14.Nf5 Qc8 15.g4 exd4 16.N3xd4 Bxb3 17.Qxb3 Rxe4 18.Bxh6 Bxd4 19.Bxg7 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Nxg4 21.Ne7+ Nxe7 22.Rxe7 Qf5 23.Bxd4 Ne5 24.Bxe5 Qg5+ 25.Bg3 Qxe7 26.Qxb7 Qd8 Bhat,V (2431)-Haslinger,S (2410)/Dos Hermanas 2004/CBM 099 ext/½–½ (54)) 12...Re8 13.h3 d5 14.Ng5 Bc8 15.exd5 h6 16.N5e4 Nxd5 17.Qf3 Be6 18.Bb3 Ndf4 19.Bxf4 exf4 20.Nh5 Bxb3 21.Nef6+ gxf6 22.Rxe8+ Qxe8 23.Nxf6+ 1–0 Gunnarsson,J (2366)-Slobodjan,R (2529)/Ohrid 2001/CBM 084]

12.h3 Be6 13.d4!?

[13.Bc2 Preserve bishops. RBR 13...d5 14.exd5 Qxd5 15.Bb3 Qd6 16.Bxe6 Qxe6 17.d4 e4 18.Ng5]


Controls d5

14.Bxe6 fxe6 15.dxe5

[15.Qb3 Qc8±]


[15...Nxe5!? 16.Be3 Nxf3+ 17.Qxf3 Nd5=]


White pins: Qb3xe6

16...Qc8 17.Be3 Bxe3 18.Rxe3 Rd8

[18...c5 19.Rd1²]

19.Ng5 Nf4 20.Nf5 Kf8 21.g3 h6 22.gxf4 hxg5 23.fxg5

[23.Nd6 Rxd6 24.fxe5±]


[¹23...exf5 and Black has air to breath 24.gxf6 f4 25.fxg7+ Kxg7=]

24.Nh4 Nf4 25.Rf3 Kg8 26.Ng2 Nxg2 27.Kxg2 Qd7 28.h4 Rf8

[28...c5 29.g6 b5 30.a4+-]


[29...Qe7 30.Rfd3 Qf7+-]


[29...Rfd8 30.Qh1±]


[30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Qh5 Qf7 32.Qxf7+ Rxf7+-]


[30...g6 31.Rxf8+ Rxf8 32.Rd1±]


[31.Kxf3?! Qf7+ 32.Kg2 Qf4±]

31...Rf8 32.Qg3

[32.Qh5!? Qf7 33.Qxf7+ Kxf7 34.Rd1+-]

32...Rf4± 33.f3 Qd8 34.Qe1 Qd3 35.Qf2 Rf8 36.Re1

[36.Rf1 Rf4±]

36...Rd8 37.Re2 Qd1 38.Qf1 Qd3 39.Qf2 Qd1 40.Rc2 Rd3 41.Qe2 Kf7 42.Qxd1 Rxd1 43.h5 Rd8 44.Kg3 Rd1 45.Rg2 Rh1

Black threatens to win material: Rh1xh5

46.Kg4 a5 47.b3 Ke7 48.c4 b6 49.a3 Kf7 50.Rf2


50...Rg1+= 51.Kh4 Rh1+ 52.Kg4 Rg1+ 53.Kh4 Rh1+ 54.Kg4 Rg1+


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fritz 11 Analysis of Shaun Smith Vs Kavinayan Sivakumar

Week 5: Smith,Shaun (2038) - Sivakumar,Kavinayan (2048)
USCL 2009 30.09.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Be2 b5 6.Be3 Bb7 7.Nd2 Nf6 8.Bd3 d6 9.0–0 Be7 10.N4b3N

Black has a cramped position
[10.h3 0–0 11.c3 Nbd7 12.N4b3 Qc7 13.f4 e5 14.Qe2 Rfe8 15.Qf2 Bf8 16.Rae1 d5 17.Bb1 dxe4 18.fxe5 Qxe5 19.Qh4 Qh5 20.Qxh5 Nxh5 21.Bd4 Ng3 22.Rf4 Bd6 23.Rg4 g6 24.Bf2 Nh5 Mudongo,B (1962)-Ohme,M (2225)/Ekaterinburg 2007/CBM 118 ext/0–1 (51); 10.a4!? b4 11.c3²]


Black castles and improves king safety


Black has a cramped position

11...Nbd7 12.g4 g6

[12...d5 was recommended by IM Bryan Smith after the game. 13.e5 Ne4 14.Qf3 Ndc5 15.Nxc5 Nxc5 16.Bd4 Qc7 17.f5 Bg5 18.Nb3 Ne4=]

13.c3 d5

Black threatens to win material: d5xe4


White threatens to win material: e5xf6


Black can be proud of that piece


White wins space


[15...Qc7 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Qe2=]


[16.Bxe4 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Qxd8 Rfxd8=]


[16...Qc7 17.Qe2³]


[17.Nxe4!? should be considered 17...dxe4 18.Qb1²]

17...Nxd2³ 18.Nxd2 Nb6 19.Bd3 Nc4 20.Bxc4

[20.Nxc4!? bxc4 21.Be2=]

20...dxc4µ 21.Nf3 Bxf3


22.Rxf3³ Qd5

Black threatens to win material: Qd5xf3

23.Qd1 Rfd8

[23...Qe4 24.Rg3³]

24.Qxd5= Rxd5 25.Kf2 Rad8 26.Ke2 Kf8 27.Rff1 Ke8 28.Rad1 b4

[28...Rxd1 29.Rxd1 Rxd1 30.Kxd1=]

29.cxb4 Bxb4 30.Rxd5 exd5

Black has a new passed pawn: d5 [Less advisable is 30...Rxd5 31.Rc1±]


A valuable piece

31...Be7 32.Rf3 Kf8 33.Rh3

White threatens to win material: Rh3xh7

33...Kg8 34.Rf3 Rb8 35.Kd2 a5 36.h4 h6 37.Kc2 a4 38.Rh3 h5 39.Rf3 Ra8 40.a3

White has a new backward pawn: b2

40...Ra5 41.f5 gxf5 42.Rxf5 Bc5

Black threatens to win material: Bc5xd4 [42...Rb5 43.Rf2=]


White threatens to win material: Bc3xa5 [43.Bxc5 Rxc5 44.Kc3 Kg7=]

43...Ra6 44.e6

[44.Rf1!?= is interesting]

44...fxe6µ 45.Rf6

[45.Rf4 Rb6µ]

45...d4 46.Bd2

[46.Rg6+ Kf7 47.Rf6+ Ke7µ]




another step towards the grave [¹47.Ba5 d3+ 48.Kc3µ]

47...e5–+ 48.Rxh5 Rg6 49.Ba5 e4

Black intends d3


[50.Kc1–+ there is nothing better in the position]


[50...d3+ 51.Kd1 Bd4 52.Bf6 Bxf6 53.gxf6–+]


[51.Kd1 e3 52.Ke2 Re6–+]

51...Bg7 52.Be7

[52.Kd1–+ is one last hope]


[52...d3+ 53.Kd1 e3 54.Bc5 e2+ 55.Ke1 Re6 56.Bf2 Bxb2 57.Rh8+ Kxh8 58.Bg3 Re3 59.Kd2 e1Q+ 60.Bxe1 Re2+ 61.Kd1 c3 62.Bxc3+ Bxc3 63.h5 Re1#]

53.Bb4 d3+ 54.Kc1 Be5 55.Bc5

[55.Be1 cannot undo what has already been done 55...Rb6 56.Rh6 Bxb2+ 57.Kb1 Rb3 58.Ba5 Bxa3+ 59.Ka2 d2 60.Rg6+ Kh7 61.Rh6+ Kg7 62.Rc6 d1Q 63.Rc7+ Kg8 64.Rc8+ Bf8 65.Rxf8+ Kxf8 66.Bb4+ Ke8 67.g6 Qb1#]

55...Bf4 56.Kd1

[56.Bb4 doesn't change anything anymore 56...e2+ 57.Kb1 d2 58.Ka2 e1Q 59.Rh6 Rxh6 60.h5 c3 61.b3 d1Q 62.gxh6 axb3#]

56...e2+ 57.Ke1 Re6

[57...Re6 58.Rh8+ Kxh8 59.Bd4+ Kg8 60.Bc5 d2+ 61.Kf2 e1Q+ 62.Kg2 Qg3+ 63.Kf1 d1Q#]


Friday, October 9, 2009

Fritz 11 Analysis of Kavinayan Sivakumar Vs Vadim Martirosov

Week 4: Sivakumar,Kavinayan - Martirosov,Vadim
USCL 2009 , 23.09.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Na5 4.0–0 a6 5.Be2 b5 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bb7 8.Bf3N

[8.Bd3 e6 9.a4 b4 10.Nd2 Qc7 11.Re1 Ne7 12.N2f3 Ng6 13.e5 Bc5 14.Qe2 Qb6 15.Be3 0–0 16.Rad1 Nc6 17.Nxc6 Bxc6 18.Bxc5 Qxc5 19.Be4 f6 20.Bxc6 Qxc6 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.Qe4 d5 Qin Kanying (2501)-Skripchenko,A (2450)/Shenyang 2000/CBM 079/1–0 (56);

8.a4 Bxe4 9.axb5 axb5 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.Ndxb5 Nf6 12.Bf3 d5 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Bxd5 15.Qxd5 Qxd5 16.Nc7+ Kd8 17.Nxd5 e6 18.Nb6 Rb8 19.Rd1+ Ke7 20.Be3 Nb7 21.Ra7 Ke8 22.Nd7 1–0 Teran Alvarez,I (2417)-Vea,O (2147)/Gibraltar 2007/CBM 116 ext; 8.e5 Qc7±]

8...d6 9.Nc3 e6 10.a3

[10.b4!? Nc4 11.a4 bxa4 12.Rxa4 Nf6 13.h4]

10...Nf6² 11.Re1

Black has a cramped position

11...Be7 12.b3

Prevents intrusion on c4

12...0–0 13.Bb2 Rc8 14.Qe2 Nc6 15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.Rad1 Qc7 17.h3

Secures g4 [17.Qe3 h6=]

17...Rfe8 18.g3 Qb7 19.Bg2 a5 20.b4 axb4 21.axb4 Bf8 22.f4

White plans e5 [22.Nb1!?= is worthy of consideration]

22...d5³ 23.e5

This push gains space


[23...Nd7!? 24.Rd4 Nb6µ]

24.Nxe4= dxe4 25.c3

Covers b4 [Inferior is 25.Bxe4 Bxb4 26.Bxc6 Qxc6µ]

25...Red8 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Rd1?

[¹27.Bxe4!? and White has air to breath 27...Bxe4 28.Qxe4 Qxe4 29.Rxe4³]

27...Qa7+µ 28.Kf1??

shortens the misery for White [¹28.Kh2 Rxd1 29.Qxd1–+]


[¹28...Rxd1+ and Black has it in the bag 29.Qxd1 Bd5–+]

29.Rxd3² exd3 30.Qxd3 Bxg2+ 31.Kxg2 Qa2

Black pins: Qa2xb2

32.Qd2 h5 33.Bc1 Qc4 34.Kf2 Be7 35.Qe1 g6 36.Be3 Qd3 37.Bd4


37...Bxb4= 38.cxb4 Qxd4+ 39.Kf3 Qd3+ 40.Kf2

[40.Kg2 Qc2+ 41.Kf3 Qb3+ 42.Kg2 Qd3=]

40...h4³ 41.gxh4 Qxh3 42.Ke2 Qg2+ 43.Ke3 Qc2 44.Qd2 Qb3+ 45.Ke4 Kg7 46.Qd6 Qc4+ 47.Ke3 Qc1+ 48.Qd2 Qg1+ 49.Qf2

White threatens to win material: Qf2xg1

49...Qh1 50.Kd2??

[50.Qe2 Qh3+ 51.Ke4 Qxh4 52.Qxb5 g5³]


ignoring the path to victory [¹50...Qd5+ secures the win 51.Ke2 Qc4+ 52.Kd1 Qxb4–+]

51.Kc2 Qa3

Black threatens to win material: Qa3xb4


[52.Qc5!?³ is an interesting alternative]

52...Qg3µ 53.Kd2 Qxh4



leads to further unpleasantness [54.Ke3!?µ]


[54...g5 and Black can already relax 55.fxg5 Qxb4+ 56.Kc2 Qc4+ 57.Kb1–+]


White crumbles in face of a dire situation [¹55.Kc2–+]

55...Qa1+ 56.Kc2 Qa2+ 57.Kc1 Qc4+ 58.Kd1 Qxb4 59.Qg3 Qb1+ 60.Kd2 Qb2+ 61.Kd1 Qd4+ 62.Kc1 b4 63.Qg5

[63.Kc2–+ the only chance to get some counterplay]

63...b3 64.Qf6+ Kg8 65.f5

[65.Qe7 Qc3+ 66.Kd1 Qd3+ 67.Ke1 b2 68.Qe8+ Kg7 69.Qb8 b1Q+ 70.Qxb1 Qxb1+ 71.Kd2 Qa2+ 72.Ke1 Qa8 73.f5 Qe4+ 74.Kd2 Qxf5 75.Ke3 Qf1 76.Kd2 g5 77.Kc3 Qe1+ 78.Kd4 g4 79.Kc5 Qxe5+ 80.Kc6 g3 81.Kd7 g2 82.Kc8 g1Q 83.Kb7 Qg2+ 84.Kb6 Qb8+ 85.Kc5 Qd5#]

65...Qc3+ 66.Kd1 Qc2+

[66...Qd3+ 67.Ke1 b2 68.Qd8+ Qxd8 69.Kf2 b1Q 70.fxe6 Qd2+ 71.Kg3 Qg1+ 72.Kf3 Qgg2#]

67.Ke1–+ Qxf5 68.Qd8+ Kg7 69.Qb8 Qb1+ 70.Kf2

[70.Kd2 cannot change what is in store for ? 70...Qc2+ 71.Ke3 b2 72.Qd8 Qc1+ 73.Ke2 Qc4+ 74.Ke3 b1Q 75.Qf6+ Kg8 76.Qd8+ Kh7 77.Qd1 Qxd1 78.Kf2 Qdg4 79.Ke3 Qcd4#]

70...Qc2+ 71.Kg3

[71.Kg1 b2 72.Kf1 b1Q+ 73.Qxb1 Qxb1+ 74.Ke2 Qe4+ 75.Kd2 g5 76.Kc3 Qxe5+ 77.Kd3 g4 78.Kd2 g3 79.Kd3 g2 80.Kd2 g1Q 81.Kc2 Qe4+ 82.Kb2 Qd3 83.Ka2 Qgb1#]

71...b2 72.Qd8

[72.Qxb2 Qxb2 73.Kf3 g5 74.Ke3 Qxe5+ 75.Kd3 g4 76.Kd2 g3 77.Kd3 g2 78.Kd2 g1Q 79.Kc2 Qe2+ 80.Kb3 Qd4 81.Ka3 Qeb2#]


[72...Qf5 73.Kg2 Qg4+ 74.Kh2 Qh5+ 75.Kg3 Qxe5+ 76.Kh3 b1Q 77.Qh8+ Kxh8 78.Kg2 Qbe1 79.Kf3 Q1g3#]


Sunday, September 27, 2009

USCL 2009 Week 4: Inventors Photos

Kavinayan Sivakumar playing warm-up blitz with Chess Club Manager Jerome Works

Inventors Member IM Richard Costigan has come to cheer up the team

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Live Blog- Inventors vs. Blitz


All four games begin a sicilian, though sidelines are used in three (all but the Smith-Shmelov game).

Hey All,

It's me Rahul Swaminathan again, liveblogging during this week's match against the Boston Blitz. This is an important match for both teams as the Inventors look to build on their win last week against the Kingfishers, while the Blitz look to erase the memory of 4-0 beating they took against Dallas last week. The match looks evenly matched with strong players on all boards. The notable person missing this week for the Inventors is GM Alex Lenderman who is taking a week off. He is aptly replaced by strong IM Bryan Smith. Let's hope that this week ends like the last: with a great win for the Philly squad!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Philadelphia Inventors - Week 3 Photos

GM Lenderman, Sivakumar and GM Kudrin
(Tommy was on the way when I took this photo. Wanted to take a photo including him once he reached. But the games started immediately. Thought I would take it in the end. Then I could not. Sorry Tommy!)

GM Sergey Kudrin

GM Alex Lenderman

Kavinayan Sivakumar

FM Tommy Bartell

Thursday, September 17, 2009

USCL 2009 Week 3 - Upset of the week Prize

From home page. Please click on the image to see it bigger.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WGM Jennifer Shahade on Inventors Win

Philadelphia Inventors Team Member, Web Editor of, two-time U.S. Women's Champion, author of Chess Books/Columns, host of U.S. Chess Scoop,and co-founder of 9queens - a non-profit to promote chess among women and girls, WGM Jennifer Shahade shares her thoughts about this week games of Inventors at

Photo Courtesy:

Monday, September 14, 2009


We win!! Kavi somehow wins a rook after his opponent blunders. Final score: 2.5-1.5 Philly!!


Kavi suddenly seems to have drawing chances after WIM Battsetseg missed easier wins. For example 27.... Ra1 + would have won on the spot.


Bartell draws ... so we need to draw on board four to equalize the match. Kavi offers a draw.


Kudrin resigns...


Still not looking so good on boards 1 and 4 as Kudrin and Kavin look close to resignation


Lenderman wins!!!


Looks tough for the Inventors with losing positions of boards 1 and 4 and a winning one on board 2. So it all comes down to Bartell winning as black in a slightly better position. His opponent seems to be low on time, giving hope to all the Philly fans out there.


Reason to hope on board two, with Lenderman attempting to squeeze GM Kaufman in a Q + B versus Q + N ending.


With moves like 22. Rd1, 23. Rc3, and 24. Rcd3, Lenderman seems to constantly go against Fritz's suggestions. With the way he's been playing off-late, maybe its time to hound my dad for a new engine...


Board four looks tough for us as Kavi is down a pawn and black seems to be applying pressure.


Boards two and three look promising for us after Bartell simplified and Lenderman made strong, simple moves.

Its looking like a tough match for us as we are worse on boards 1 and 4 and roughly equal on the middle boards. Kudrin employed a weird dragon system with 11.... Nxd4 after the usual Yugaslav setup. Eventually, he sacrificed an exchange to pry open the a- and c- files; possibly an unsound idea. White most likely has enough compensation, but it could peter out to a draw or even a win for the Inventor after a mistake in the dynamic position.

Live Blog - Rahul Swaminathan

Hey all,

Good evening! I am Rahul Swaminathan - the fourth board of the Inventors the past two weeks. I will be looking into the games and offering my (by which I mean Fritz's) opinion on various moves. Let's go Inventors!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

USCL Philadelphia Inventors: Week 2 Commentary – Kavinayan Sivakumar

The second match for the Philadelphia Inventors was disappointing. Even though FM Thomas Bartell on Board 3 won his game as Black and GM Elect Alex Lenderman drew on Board 2, it was not enough for the team. Boards 1 and 4 lost.

GM Elect Alex Lenderman drew with IM Dean Ippolito in a surprising opening 1. a3! You can compare this to FM John Bick’s 1. b3 against Rahul Swaminathan last week. However, Ippolito recovered from the surprise and even won a pawn. Lenderman allowed the opening of the “a” file and exchanged a rook. This led to the weakening of the b4 pawn for white, enabling Ippolito to win it.

Then Lenderman declined Queen exchange. Ippolito’s light squared bishop did not develop at all. Lenderman decided to attack Black’s weak a6 and c6 pawn with his rook, knight and queen. Ippolito stopped Lenderman from taking his rook to b6 by threatening back rank mate after a queen sac. Lenderman could not relieve the back rank threat by creating luft because Ippolito could go Qg5 against h3 and taking h3 pawn in the next move. The move g3 for white would weaken the light squares around the King. This would allow black to get his bishop on h3, his queen on f3. So Lenderman defended back rank mate by defending the square with his Queen.

Lenderman pushed for a win by finally going h3,. He thus avoided back rank mate while also getting queen and rook to the 7th rank. But Ippolito started creating threats against White’s King by getting his bishop to d3 and cutting the white king off. With all the white pieces on the Queen side, white had to bring his Queen back. Finally after exchanging the queens, they settled for a draw. This is the first game to finish. This game can be viewed at

Friedman Vs Bartell game was the next to finish with Bartell winning an instructive pawn end game. Fritz 11 says Friedman could have drawn! I have annotated the game below in detail. This game can also be viewed at

On Board 4, Anna Matlin of NJKO upset Rahul Swaminathan playing Kan Sicilian. Swaminathan pressurized Matlin in the opening not allowing her to castle. She had to exchange dark squared bishop. Then she took her King to safety. Because her rook was on h8, she advanced her h-pawn menacingly. When Matlin pushed her pawn to h5, Swaminathan thought for a long time and then played Rde1. I thought since Swaminathan already played f4 few moves earlier, f5 would have been a better answer.

Still Swaminathan tried to open his rooks with timely e5, but Matlin did not allow it. She simplified the position down to Queen and Rook end game. Matlin got her queen to the third rank, where she forced Swaminathan to trade off queens. Swaminathan went Rf3 trading off rooks into a losing King-Pawn end game. Fritz 11 says White should not have traded queens, but to move it to e1 where it threatens Black’s advanced and weak h5 pawn. The Queen exchange was the turning point of the game in favor of Matlin.

I have played Matlin many times. She is a very solid player, who handles closed positions very well. She did not allow Swaminathan to open up the position until late in the game. When the time was running out, she just simplified the game into her favor. If Swaminathan did f5 push earlier, going for pawn break, his pieces could have become more active. This game can be viewed at

The match was tied with 1 ½ each Benjamin-Kudrin game still going on. Wait, were we not in this situation earlier?

Benjamin played Rossolimo as white against Kudrin’s Sicilian. In this line, light squared bishops were exchanged earlier. Benjamin went c4 preventing d5 pawn break. However, this also weakened the d4 square. Benjamin also played b3 weakening the dark squares little bit more. But he protected his dark squares with his dark square bishop. Kudrin contested a1-h8 diagonal, by placing his bishop on f6. This also controlled d4.

Benjamin did a d4 pawn break to open up the d file for his queen and rook (to double on it). Queen and Rooks were off the board eventually. Fritz 11 says, the game was pretty even until Kudrin did b5 in the end game. It led to liquidation of black’s 2 queenside pawns. Benjamin went up a pawn here and had a passed ‘a’ pawn. Eventually Kudrin had to resign. This game can be viewed at

Inventors have been hanging tight in the games till the end for the last two weeks. The results could have gone either way. However, we were at the unlucky side of the spectrum. We are working hard to change that.

Given below is my detailed annotation of Friedman Vs Bartell.

Aviv Friedman NJ -Tom Bartell PHI
ICC Internet Chess Club, 09.08.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Qb6 7.Nb3 e6 8.Be2 a6 9.0–0 Qc7

[9...Be7 10.Bxf6 (10.a4 Ne5 11.a5 Qc7 12.Be3 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Qxc4 14.Ra4 Qc6 15.Qe2 d5 16.exd5 Nxd5 17.Rc4 Nxc3 18.Rxc3 Qb5 19.Qg4 Qf5 20.Qxf5 exf5 21.Bc5 Be6 22.Bxe7 Kxe7 23.Rc7+ Kf6 24.Nd4 Rab8 Nithander,V (2357)-Gretarsson,H (2168)/Copenhagen 2007/CBM 119 ext/0–1 (67))

10...gxf6 11.Kh1 Bd7 12.f4 h5 13.Bxh5 Rh7 14.a4 0–0–0 15.a5 Qc7 16.Bg4 Rg8 17.Bh3 Kb8 18.Rf3 Nb4 19.Qe2 Rgh8 20.Rd1 Rh4 21.Qd2 f5 22.Nd4 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Qxa5 24.Rb3 Chandler,M (2575)-Gulko,B (2565)/Amsterdam 1987/CBM 003/0–1 (67)-Fritz 11]

10.a4 Be7 11.a5
White pushes one of his queenside pawns, gaining more space, and getting the b6 square for his pieces. White has a preferable position, due to his activity.-Kavin

11...0–0 12.Be3
A funny looking move but with a purpose. White wants to preserve its dark squared bishop so that he could exert more pressure on b6 - Kavin

12... e5
Bartell clearly wants to develop his bishop to a more active position, but this move weakens the d5 square, which Friedman immediately takes advantage of. Better could have been: [12...Bd7 where black will try to go d5 or b5 at some point. Even Nf6-e8 followed by f5 could be an option. -Kavin]

13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Nb8 15.Bb6 Qd7
Already, black has a difficult position.-Kavin

16.c4 Qe8 17.c5
White moves in for the kill...-Kavin

17...Nd7 18.c6
After Friedman played this move, I was immediately puzzled. Didn't black just win a pawn? This is the turning point of the game. I think Friedman may have overlooked black's reply e4! to Bf3. -Kavin [¹18.Bc7 dxc5 19.Rc1± Fritz 11]

18...bxc6 19.dxc6 Nxb6 20.axb6 Qxc6 21.Bf3 e4! 22.Na5 Qxb6 23.Bxe4 Ra7 24.Nc6 Rc7 25.Nxe7+ Rxe7 26.Qd3 g6
Black puts his kingside pawns on the color of the opponent bishop, a useful thing. Now white will be able to take advantage of Bartell's dark squares only by his queen, which does almost nothing by itself.-Kavin

27.b3 a5 28.Bd5 Ba6 29.Bc4 Bb7!?
[29...Bxc4 30.bxc4 Rfe8 31.Rab1 by Kavin]

30.Rfd1 Rd8 31.Qd2 Re5 32.h3 Rde8 33.Ra2
[33.Qxd6?? Re1+!? 34.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 35.Rxe1 Qxd6–+ by Kavin]


34.Bf1 Rd5 35.Qxd5 Qxd5 36.Rxd5 Bxd5 37.Rxa5 Bxb3 38.Ra3 Rb8 39.f4 d5 40.Kf2 Bc4 41.Bxc4 dxc4 42.Rc3 42...Rc8 43.Ke3 Kg7 44.Kd4 Kf6 45.g4

[45.Rxc4 Rxc4+ 46.Kxc4 Kf5–+ Kavin]

45...h5 46.Rxc4??

Even though this looks natural, it loses! Fritz found the amazing [46.Ke4!= where if black checks the white king, he will go to d4, and take the pawn next move on c4 with the rook. If black protects with rc8, then kd4 again. 46...Re8+ 47.Kd4 Rd8+ 48.Ke4!= -Fritz 11]

46...Rxc4+ 47.Kxc4 hxg4 48.hxg4 g5! 49.f5 Ke5 It's over now.- Kavin

50.Kc5 Kf4 51.Kd6 Kxg4 52.Ke5 Kh5 53.Kf6 g4 54.Kxf7 g3 55.f6 g2 56.Ke8 g1Q 57.f7 Qe3+ 58.Kd7 Qd4+ 59.Ke7 Qe5+ 60.Kd7 Qf6 0-1

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My USCL Debut - Rahul Swaminathan

[Rahul is a familiar face in the Tri-state area chess circuit. He lives in NJ. He shares his first experience in playing for Philadelphia Inventors in this humorous article. Photo Courtesy: Rahul playing against NM James West taken from - PK Sivakumar]

My first USCL experience was entertaining, from the drive to the club, to the game, to the postmortem, and the drive back. My dad and I left our house at precisely 6:08 p.m., intending to arrive exactly at 7:15 pm. However, issues arose soon after we left as there was a huge traffic jam on US Route 1. The highlight of this for me was dozing off for 15 minutes and waking up exactly where I had slept in the first place. After a bit of reckless driving, we finally ended up in Philadelphia. The ride seemed a bit like I was on a plane.

In the beginning, I could sense no movement, until we took off and went quite fast. My dad also created much turbulence by skidding and sliding his way to Philly. I made sure to keep my seatbelt securely fastened, located the nearest exit (keeping in mind that it could be behind me), and kept all seat backs and tray tables in their upright and locked position. The only differences were that there were no oxygen masks (which I could have used since my dad had beans before we left) and that we were on the ground. When we got to Philly, my dad taxied for a while, but could not find an affordable parking spot. It might have been useful to have someone directing traffic, but all we had was an irate GPS telling us to “make the next legal U-turn” (in a very annoying, nasally voice, a bit like my brother). After what seemed like an eternity, my dad pulled the car into a parking lot. Unable to read the size 200 font, my father thought that the price was $6.50 for 12 hours. Instead it was $6.50 for 1/2 hour. At this point I was ready to leave the car and walk to the Franklin Merchantile Chess Club to join my teammates.

It was pretty cool for me to be in the same room as Lenderman, Kudrin, and Smith as they’re such good players. I hoped that some of their GM skill would rub off on me, but that was not the case. I was not unduly nervous before the game as I felt that I was sufficiently prepared for what my opponent, FM John Bick, would hit me with. However, by move one I was out of book as he played 1. b3!? Soon I attained a playable position which deteriorated after I exchanged a-pawns and played c5. If I hadn’t played this, I could have perhaps been able to hold the situation. Kudos to Bick for such great preparation because he took me straight out of book and made me uncomfortable by move 1. It was pretty weird to not be able to see my opponent’s face during the game. Usually I look at my opponent’s countenance to see whether he looks uncomfortable or relaxed with the position. To combat this, maybe webcams ought to be installed on all boards…

Next to finish was Alex who crushed IM Burnett on the black side of an advanced Caro-Kann. Burnett seemed unfamiliar with the opening as he spent a lot of time on the initial moves like 8. c4. Alex soon got an extra pawn and wisely steered the game into an endgame. The rest was all technique. He is a great asset to the team as he is very consistent and seems to be quite comfortable with USCL play. IM Smith attained a good position on the white side of a Ruy Lopez. FM Bereolos played a dubious 17…g5, giving White a good position. Prior to that move, Fritz says that the position is roughly equal, but after it, Fritz gives white a clear edge. Instead, black may have been able to play Bg5, preventing f4 without weakening anything. A sample line goes: 17…Bg5 18. Ng4 Re8 and black doesn’t seem to have any problems. Fritz even gives black small advantage here. Eventually the game petered out to a draw as Smith could not quite break through. Qh5 immediately after g5 might have been the best try for a serious advantage.

The draw meant that the result of the match would come down to GM Kudrin vs GM Shabalov. It was quite entertaining to witness the banter between Smith and Lenderman watching the game as the former was very optimistic and the latter pessimistic about GM Kudrin’s chances. For example:

Smith: Kudrin is winning; there is no defense to Rb4 (after Kudrin played Ra4)

Lenderman: Shabalov can just bring his knight back to c7; at this point I’m just hoping for a draw.

Smith: I knew Shabalov would not move his knight back; he doesn’t like to move pieces backwards. Now Kudrin can just move his rook up to a5, with a good position.

Lenderman: That just hangs a knight.

Smith: Black has nothing better than perpetual check though.

Lenderman: It is mate in three.

Smith: S..t!

My Dad: Ke3 wins for Shabalov, right?

**All of us in our minds**- Way too late patzer…

The day was not a good one for me and the team, but we have another chance next week against the NJ Knockouts, which we hope to win. It’s just one match on the course of a long season, one that we hope will end with a championship! I won’t even get into the drive back which started with the GPS causing us to go in circles for an hour and culminated in my dad asking me to throw the GPS out the window. Not such a good day, but hopefully the 2nd match will be the first of many wins for us this season!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2009 Week 1 Commentary – Kavinayan Sivakumar

The first match for the Inventors against the Tennessee Tempo resulted in a 1½ -2½ loss for us. Many people predicted that Philly would win. On our blog poll, 13 people voted for the Inventors and 3 people voted for the Tempo. However, Caissa chose the Tempo to win in this grueling match of wits.

The 4 games were hard fought. Rahul Swaminathan on board 4 lost a good game against FM John Bick. To my surprise, John started out the game with 1.b3! However, Rahul played the opening like a King’s Indian Defense. He pushed his e, f pawns, and fianchettoed his dark squared bishop. Rahul handled the opening well, only allowing Bick to break through on the queenside in the middlegame. Not to take any credit away from Bick’s good game, Rahul’s time trouble may also have contributed to the outcome. Rahul’s game was the first to finish. This game can be viewed at

But the Inventors struck back by winning on board 2 next. GM-elect Alex Lenderman forced IM Ron Burnett to resign playing an advanced Caro Kann. It was a sharp battle, in which Lenderman took a pawn and pressed his advantage in a queenless middlegame. There, he won the exchange as well. Burnett played on a bit, and then called it a day.

IM Brian Smith played to a draw in a Ruy Lopez. With the white pieces, he tried to create an attack on the kingside. But FM Peter Bereolos was not to be shattered, as he effectively created counterplay on the queenside. IM Smith tried one last time for a win as he sacrificed the exchange to get a passed d-pawn on the 6th rank. After getting the exchange back, the passed pawn was not enough, as Smith’s rook on h5 needed time to get back into the game. After Bereolos traded queens, the two agreed to a draw in a rook endgame. By this time, both teams were tied at 1 ½. This game can be viewed at

It all went down to board 1, where GM Sergey Kudrin was playing white against GM Alex Shabalov. Shabalov played the Chinese Dragon which is Kudrin’s favorite Sicilian opening as black. Shabalov is known for playing the openings that his opponents play. The players castled on opposite sides. As expected, Kudrin castled queenside. He tried to create an attack on the enemy king by trading off the dark square bishops and pushing his h-pawn. But Shabalov pushed his queenside as well as keeping his queen on a central square, keeping an eye on white’s attack. Since Kudrin had placed his queen on g5, Shabalov had the possibility of trading queens at any time. He used this to his advantage, as he went to an endgame and expertly activated his pieces. Shabalov advanced his king forward, accompanying his two connected passed pawns. Kudrin took a pawn, and after that his knight could not move anywhere! Kudrin attempted to march his queenside passers. Shabalov quickly controlled the promotion square and stopped the pawn’s advance. Shabalov then forced the enemy king to the back rank where mate could not be avoided. So Kudrin resigned. This game can be viewed at

Congratulations Tennessee Tempo on well-earned match. Good luck to my team Inventors to bounce back next week.

I have given my commentary of Burnett-Lenderman below. Also added are Fritz 11’s suggestions. If time permits, I will try to work on the commentary on the other 3 games.

Burnett - Lenderman [B12]
USCL Philadelphia-Tennessee (1), 09.02.2009
B12: Caro-Kann: Advance Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 The Advanced Caro Kann.

3...Bf5 4.Be2 e6 5.Nf3 c5 6.0–0 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 Black takes use of white's last move and finds its drawback. Now the pawn on b2 is undefended.- Kavin

8.c4? Usually, these kind of moves free up white's position... And usually, there's not a queen on b6 attacking b2... Burnett took a considerable amount of time on this move, so he was probably trying to stir up complications by giving up the rook on a1 and exchanging pawns in the center. This would open up the queen and it would go to b3, trapping the queen if it took the rook. - Kavin

[8.Nc3 c4 9.b3 cxb3 10.axb3 Bg4 11.Na4 Qc7 12.c4 Nge7 13.Nc3 Qd8 14.Nb5 Nf5 15.cxd5 Nxe3 16.fxe3 exd5 17.Ng5 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Qxg5 19.Nc7+ Kd7 20.Nxa8 Be7 21.Qb5 Kc8 22.Nb6+ axb6 Zozulia,A (2347)-Ramon Sanchez Campins,P (1644)/Calvia 2007/CBM 120 ext/1–0 (35);- Fritz 11]

8.b3 could be an alternative. This move would prepare c4 and also stops the Qxb2 idea. - Kavin

Fritz 11 says that black's best bet is to liquidate on d4 and go Bc5. 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Bc5²]

8...Qxb2 Already black is better. - Kavin

9.cxd5 exd5! Some players cannot resist the rook on a1. This move removes any counterplay. Let's say black takes the rook. [9...Qxa1?! 10.dxc6 Qxb1 (10...bxc6 11.Qb3!) 11.Qxb1 Bxb1 12.Rxb1 bxc6 13.dxc5 - Kavin]

10.Nh4 After Burnett played this move, there was a comment on ICC chat that black could win in 10 moves! White is in trouble. His only hope is if black takes the rook, which he could then take the bishop and get some kind of play. [10.Qd2 is going for a queen exchange, and trying to play down a pawn - Kavin. After 10...Qxd2 11.Nbxd2 c4 Fritz 11 thinks black is better because of his extra pawn, which is also passed.]

10...Bc2 [10...cxd4 11.Nxf5 dxe3 12.fxe3 Qxe5–+ - Kavin]

11.Qc1 Qxc1 This gets rid of all complications and gives black a good queenless middlegame. – Kavin [11...Qxa1 12.Qxc2 cxd4 13.Bd2² was what Fritz thought.]

12.Rxc1 cxd4 13.Rxc2 dxe3 14.fxe3 0–0–0 [14...Nxe5 15.Bb5+ and it gets a little tough for black. 15...Kd8 (15...Nd7 16.Rc7) 16.Rd2 Nf6 17.e4! Black should be winning here because he's up two pawns, but white will get some play. - Kavin]

15.Bb5 Nge7 16.Nf3 Kb8 17.Nbd2 a6 18.Ba4 b5 19.Bb3 f6!? An interesting move, since black is voluntarily trading off white's weak pawn. [19...g6 would have been my choice, giving my bishop either h6 or g7. – Kavin]

20.exf6 gxf6 21.Nf1 A prophylactic move. - Kavin

21...Bh6 22.Rd1 Rd6 23.Kf2 Ne5 24.Nd4 f5 25.Ne2 Preventing f4, which would let black's h8 rook get active via the f file. -Kavin

25...Rhd8 26.h3 Kb7 27.Nfg3 27...Nc4–+ 28.Rd3 Bg5 29.Nh5? Sure, f4 would be a good square for a knight, but he should probably attack the c4 knight. [¹29.a4 comes to my mind. 29...Ne5 30.Rdc3 Rc6 trading off a pair of rooks. 31.Rxc6 N5xc6 or else f5 falls. 32.axb5 axb5 33.Nd4 This is a much more active continuation.- Kavin]

29...Nc6–+ 30.Rcc3 N6e5 31.Rd4? [31.Bxc4 dxc4 (‹31...bxc4 32.Rd2–+; 31...Nxc4?! 32.Rb3µ) 32.Rxd6 Rxd6–+ says Fritz 11]

31...b4! 32.Rcd3 Nxd3+ 33.Rxd3 Ne5 34.Rd4 [34.Rd1 Nc6 35.Nd4 Nxd4 36.Rxd4 a5–+ says Fritz 11]

34...Nc6 35.Rd3 d4! Opening up the position for the rooks - Kavin.

36.Nhf4 dxe3+ 37.Rxe3 Rd2 38.Kg3 38...Nd4 39.Re5 Nxb3 40.axb3 Rb2 41.Ne6 [41.Re3 is not much help 41...Rdd2 42.Nc1 Rbc2–+ says Fritz 11]

41...Rd3+ 42.Kh2 Rdd2 43.Nc5+ 43...Kc6 [43...Kc6 44.Ne6 Kd6 45.Nxg5 Kxe5 46.Nf3+ Kf6–+- Fritz 11] 0–1

This game can also be viewed at

I loved watching the games on ICC. There are many funny comments and serious move suggestions on the chat window. This helped me stay awake until the games were finished!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GM Alex Lenderman wins Atlantic Open 2009

Philadelphia Inventors Manager & Captain GM Alex Lenderman won Atlantic Open 2009. Congrats Alex.

Here is the USCHESS.ORG Article about it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Quick Interview with Inventors Captain GM Alex Lenderman

(GM Alex Lenderman is the Manager and Captain of Philadelphia Inventors. He was the MVP of last season (2008) in USCL. He achieved three GM Norms in 2 months recently. Immensely talented from childhood, he won Gold Medal at World Youth Championship and was World Junior Champion. More details about Alex Lenderman and his USCL Games could be found at Diamondback Chess Blog

The following is an e-mail interview conducted by PK Sivakumar with Alex Lenderman. Photo Courtesy: )

What do you think about Inventors team roster for 2009?

I feel like it is a complete team. Any reasonable four-man team that we create from this roster, even with people unavailable we feel like we have a legitimate and realistic chance to win and that is all we can ask for. It is a complete team, with two GMs, a couple of IM's, and a lot of other very strong masters, and of course two young players who are very excited to play and they are only getting better while they also allow us to use very strong first three boards due to their low ratings( but much higher strengths).

What are your plans for the team this year?

My plans for the team are to go as far as we can and do the best we can. My plan is to always use the lineup to have the maximum winning chances.

As Captain and Manager of the team, what are your specific goals to achieve as a team?

My goal as a team is to at least make the playoffs and have a strong season, and rebound after a disappointing 2008 season. I am going to try to do as much as I can to contribute and we also changed the dynamics of the team by adding me and adding two young players.

You had an incredible run at USCL last year winning MVP award. So, apart from team goals, what are your personal goals for USCL in 2009?

I have no real goals for myself. I have a simple job. To lead my team as far as possible and try to create a dynasty.

How would playing for Philadelphia Inventors be positively different for you?

I have a lot of supporters, I was really wanted by Michael Shahade, and I was asked if I wanted to play, back in May or June. That means I was really wanted. And I want to play on a team where I'm wanted.

You have two kids (15 and 13 years respectively) on your team. In what ways, this USCL experience would shape up their chess?

I think for the young kids it is going to be nothing but a great experience and they will always play the best they can because they will enjoy every moment of it and be excited by the nature. It is like a professional league. It would be good both for their chess and their other skills.

Apart from the games, are you planning any other informal team building activities like get-to-gethers, joint preparation etc?

At this point I don't plan to do that many get-togethers but if any one is interested in setting something up they are more than welcome.

What did you tell your teammates regarding preparation and playing?

To play practice games with each other and don't put too much pressure on themselves, just do the best they can.

What else should USCL do to popularize the league?

Maybe try to get more money :) Try to make it more like other sports(hehe). I think it's doing great and Greg and Arun are doing a great job. I think it's getting better and better to be honest.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inventors Roster for 2009

Philadelphia Inventors Roster led by GM Alex Lenderman can be found at

Goodluck and all the very best for a great season!

Welcome to 2009 Season.

This is the official blog for Philadelphia Inventors of US Chess League.

US Chess League website can be viewed at

Philadelphia Inventors Home Page can be viewed at

This blog will provide regular updates/news about our team.

Please support US Chess League and Philadelphia Inventors!

The Roster details for 2009 will be posted here once announced.