Thursday, October 01, 2009

Opening preparation is very important in the US Chess League and last night New York was very well prepared indeed picking up two points almost straight out of the opening. We will need to do better against Miami next week.

New York 3 vs San Francisco 1

1. GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (NY) vs GM Josh Friedel (SF) 1-0
2. GM Jesse Kraai (SF) vs IM Irina Krush (NY) 1/2-1/2
3. NM Matthew Herman (NY) vs FM Daniel Naroditsky (SF) 1-0
4. NM Yian Liou (SF) vs NM Yaacov Norowitz (NY) 1/2-1/2

Kacheishvili,Giorgi (2666) - Friedel,Josh (2612) [E45]
USCL (5) 2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 Ba6 6.a3 Be7 7.Nf4 d5 8.cxd5 Bxf1 9.dxe6 Ba6 10.exf7+ Kxf7 11.e4

This is much stronger than 11.Qb3+.

11…c5 12.e5

This move, it would seem first played by Aronian, is a substantial improvement over 12.Be3 of Lombardy-Keres, Mar Del Plata 1957.

12… Nc6

This looks like a novelty. White is 3-0 after 12…Re8 and 12…Qxd4. The latter has been suggested as possibly Black’s best with the line running 13. e6+ Kg8 14.Qf3 Nc6 15.Qxc6 Rc8 17.Qf3 Qe5+ 17.Be3 Bc4 with slightly better chances for White. Likely Kacheishvili has an improvement in store.

13.exf6 Bxf6 14.Qb3+ c4 15.Qa4 Qe8+ 16.Be3 Na5

All of this is analysis by Gavrikov in ChessBase (in his comments to Kharlov-Zaja, Warsaw 2005) where he gives only 17.Qxe8+ Rhe8 and “White is only a little better”. He didn’t have the new version of Rybka at hand which gives a strong preference for 17.Qc2 awarding White with a sizeable advantage.

17.Qc2! Nb3 18.Rd1 Nxd4 19.Rxd4!

This exchange sacrifice breaks Black’s position.

19…Bxd4 20.Qf5+ Bf6 21.Qd5+ Kf8 22.0-0

22.Ne6+ might have been even more precise ending Black’s suffering straightaway. As it is Josh fights on for the team but the result is never in doubt.

22…Rd8 23.Ne6+ Ke7 24.Nxd8 Qxd8 25.Bc5+ bxc5 26.Qxc5+ Kf7 27.Qxa7+ Qe7 28.Qxa6 Qe6 29.Qxe6+ Kxe6 30.Re1+ Kf5 31.Ne4 Bxb2 32.Nd6+ Kf6 33.Nxc4 Bd4 34.Re4 Bc5 35.a4 Ra8 36.Ne3 Rb8 37.g3 Rb2 38.Kg2 h5 39.h4 g6 40.Kf3 Kf7 41.Re5 Bd4 42.Rd5 Rb4 43.Nc2 Rb3+ 44.Ke2 Bf6 45.Rb5 Rc3 46.Rb2 Bd8 47.Nb4 Ba5 48.Nd5 Ra3 49.Rb7+ Ke6 50.Nf4+ Kf6 51.Ra7 Ra2+ 52.Kf1 Ra1+ 53.Kg2 Be1 54.Ra6+ Kf7 55.Nxg6

Kraai,Jesse (2552) - Krush,Irina (2478) [D27]
USCL (5), 2009

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nbd2 Ke7 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.Nb3 Bd6 12.Nfd4 Nb6 13.Na5 e5 14.Ndb3 Rb8 15.f3 Be6 16.e4 Rhc8 17.Be3 Nc4 18.Bxc4 Bxc4 19.Rfc1 Bxb3 20.axb3 Rxc1+ 21.Rxc1 Nd7 22.Rc4 Nf8 23.Ba7 Ra8 24.Bb6 Nd7 25.Be3 b6 26.Nc6+ Ke6 27.Kf2 a5 28.Ke2 Nc5 29.b4

Due to the circumstances of the match (we were down 2-0) Jesse had to play for a win from a position in which he had a tiny edge at best. At this point he has already over played his hand but maybe 29.Rc3 planning to meet 29….Kd7 with 30.Nxa5 Rxa5 31.b4 was a better practical try to draw.

29…axb4 30.Kd2 Nb3+ 31.Kd3 Na5 32.Rc2 Kd7 33.Nxa5 bxa5 34.b3 a4 35.bxa4 Rxa4 36.Bd2 Ra1 37.Rb2 Rg1 38.Bxb4 Bxb4 39.Rxb4 Rxg2 40.Rb7+ Ke6 41.Rb6+ Ke7 42.Rb7+ Kf6 43.h4 g6 44.Rb6+ Kg7 45.Rb5 Rh2 46.Rxe5 Rxh4 47.Ke3 Rh2

By now the match was already decided ( 2.5-.5 for New York) but the interesting rook ending that has now arisen still provided interest for spectators. Three versus two Rook endings are usually easy draws unless one side has a passed pawn. Almost inevitably when four versus three endgames simplify down the best the superior side can hope for is a passed e-pawn with both sides having g and h pawns. You can find hundreds of examples of such endings in Mega Database. The structure that has arisen in the game, where Black has a passed h-pawn is much, much rarer. This makes sense - how many times does ones g and h pawns disappear from the board without at least one of the opponent’s kingside pawns missing as well.

If White’s pawns were on f2 and f3 ( instead of f3 and e4) and his King were on g2, the position would be an easy draw ( see for example the classical example Suetin-Kholmov, USSR 1954 – colors reversed.

The text does not seem to be well covered in the literature. Emms in his The Survival Guide to Rook Endings. Gives to examples but neither seems completely relevant. In the first example White is much more active than in the game and in the second ( with colors reversed) Black’s King and Rook are horribly misplaced. The text does not seem to be well covered in the literature. Emms in his The Survival Guide to Rook Endings. Gives two examples ( Anderson - Hug, Las Palmas 1973, and Korchnoi - Lputian, Sarajevo 1988), but neither seems completely relevant. In the first example White is much more active than in the game and in the second ( with colors reversed) Black’s King and Rook are horribly misplaced.

During the game I was thinking it made sense to leave the pawns on f3 and e4 for the moment and instead improve the position of the White King and Rook ( say the King on g3 and the Rook on the 7th rank) but I don’t see how to do it – 48.Kf4 Rg2 cuts the King off.

The position is now almost identical to: Cuellar – Jimenez, Havana 1966, except Irina’s h-pawn is further advanced.


With the h-pawn further advanced Irina has a possibility not available to Jimenez. As Josh pointed after the game Black didn’t have to get out off the way of the threatened e6. Instead 50…h3 was possible. After 51.e6 Black has 51…Re2+! which looks like it wins after 52.Kxe2 h2 but White saves himself with 53.Rxf7+ Kg8 54.Rh7!. Black is a pawn up in the resulting Queen ending after 54…Kxh7 55.e7 h1 (Q) 56.e8(Q) Qh2+ 57.Ke3 Qg3+ but the position is drawn.

51.Ra7 h3 52.Kf3 Rb2 53.Kg3 h2 54.Ra8+ Ke7

This looks like the better route for the King than …Kg7-h6 as played by Jimenez.

55.Rh8 Ke6 56.Rh7

56.Kg4 doesn’t help White as Black simply plays 56…Kd5.

56… Kd5 ?

Now this is a mistake. Instead 56…Ra2 wins a tempo as either the Rook has to remove its attack on f7 or the King can no longer keep attacking g3. Black will play 57…Kd5 with …Ke4/…g5 in the offing. I believe Black should be winning.

57.Rxh2 Rxh2 58.Kxh2 g5 59.fxg5 Kxe5 60.Kg3 Kf5 61.Kh4 f6 62.gxf6 Kxf6 1/2-1/2

Just like board one Hermann rattled his opening moves off very quickly and by move 15 was 40 minutes ahead on the clock, but unlike the other game matters were quite tense and only resolved when Black found himself short of time and blundered with 25…Nd7.

This game will undoubtedly be analyzed for a long time so the following are just preliminary observations.

While White’s attack looks extremely strong there appear to be some interesting resources for Black. One example is taking the Bishop right away without inserting …a3. For example 20…exd5 21.hxg7 Re8 22.Qh2 Bh4 23.Nf5 bxa2 24.Nxa2 a3 looks exciting or in the game instead of 24…dxe4 allowing White to activate his Rook maybe 24…Nxb3+ is possible with the idea 25.Kb1 dxe4 26.Rxd6 Qc8 27.Nxh4 exf3 28.Nxg6 Qf5+. Both of these variations are difficult to see with only a few minutes on the clock.

Herman,Matthew (2275) - Naroditsky,Daniel (2371) [B87]
USCL(5), 2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.f3 Nbd7 9.Be3 Nc5 10.Qd2 Bb7 11.0-0-0 Be7 12.g4 Nfd7 13.g5 Ne5 14.h4 0-0 15.h5 b4 16.Nce2 a5 17.g6 a4 18.h6 Nxg6 19.Bd5 b3 20.Nc3 a3 21.cxb3 exd5 22.hxg7 Re8 23.Qh2 Bh4 24.Nf5 dxe4 25.Rxd6 Nd7 26.f4 Re6 27.Bd4 axb2+ 28.Kb1 h5 29.Rxe6 fxe6 30.Nh6+ Kh7 31.g8Q+ Qxg8 32.Nxg8 Rxg8 33.Rg1 Ndf8 34.f5 1-0

Halfway through the season Yian Liou and Yaacov Norowitz have established themselves as two of the top fourth boards in the League. Their game last night was evenly contested throughout with first Black and later White having a very small advantage. A draw was a fair result.

Liou,Yian (2149) - Norowitz,Yaacov (2354) [B16]
USCL (5) 2009

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.c3 Qd5 7.c4 Qe4+ 8.Be3 e5 9.Ne2 Na6 10.Nc3 Qg6 11.a3 Bf5 12.d5 Nc5 13.Bxc5 Bxc5 14.Qf3 0-0 15.Be2 Rac8 16.g4 Bc2 17.h4 Bd4 18.Rc1 e4 19.Qf4 Bxc3+ 20.bxc3 Bd3 21.d6 Rcd8 22.Bxd3 exd3 23.Kd2 f5 24.gxf5 Qxd6 25.Rcg1+ Kh8 26.Qxd6 Rxd6 27.Rh3 Rfd8 28.Rgg3 Rf6 29.Rf3 Kg7 30.Rhg3+ Kf8 31.Rf4 c5 32.Rfg4 Rdd6 33.Rg8+ Ke7 34.Re3+ Kd7 35.Re5 Rh6 36.Rf8 Rxh4 37.Rxf7+ Kc6 38.Ree7 Rxc4 39.Rc7+ Kd5 40.Kxd3 b6 41.Rxh7 Rf4 42.Rhe7 b5 43.Rxa7 Rf3+ 44.Ke2 Rxc3 45.Rab7 Rxa3 46.Rxb5 Rf6 47.Rc7 Rc3 48.Kd2 Rc4 1/2-1/2


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