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 http://www.uschessleague.com/games/bickswaminathan09.htm
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 http://www.uschessleague.com/games/bsmithbereolos09.htm
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 http://www.uschessleague.com/games/kudrinshabalov09.htm
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 http://www.uschessleague.com/games/burnettlenderman09.htm
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!