Damir Studen Earns IM Norm at US Masters

GM Rauf Mamedov sat down to play GM Bartlomiej Macieja on board one in the last round of the US Masters trailing by half a point. To win the tournament Rauf would have to win the game, which is exactly what happened. Three other players had a chance to finish with seven points. GM’s Alejandro Ramirez and Yuniesky Quesada Perez drew their game, thus finishing with 6 ½, while GM Alojzije Jankovic, with a chance to finish first, took a HALF POINT BYE in the last round, the second half point bye he had taken in the tournament. Jankovic lost to Macieja in the penultimate round.
The official website tried to broadcast three games, but usually there were only two, or one, game live, because of “tech issues.” I followed the last game, which could have been drawn with better play from the loser. One game never made it to the web. The game in which I had the most interest, the board three game between GM Georg Meier and NM Daniel Gurevich, of Atlanta, was being broadcast until it, too, had “tech issues.” After losing two of his first three games, NM Gurevich won in the fourth round, followed by a draw with IM John Cox. Daniel then ripped off three wins in a row, including GM Alex Fishbein in round seven and GM Alex Shabalov in the penultimate round. Reeling with the feeling and playing Black versus GM Meier, Gurevich played like a wild man swinging wildly by pushing his g-pawn and thereby weakening his position. It was the kind of impetuous move a chess teacher would advise a student against playing. A few moves later the game disappeared and I regretted not copying the moves that had been displayed.
The big news locally is that LM Damir Studen, who literally grew up at the House of Pain, earned an IM norm with his 5 ½ points with his last round draw with the aforementioned IM John Cox. His tournament included three wins, five draws, and only one loss, that a round five loss to LSM Denys Shmelov. He drew with GM’s Alex Fishbein and Georg Meier, and defeated GM John Federowicz. Damir and Daniel finished in the fourth score group, tying for twelfth place with many others. Years ago when both of these young men were up and comers I showed there was still life left in this old dog by defeating both of them in a nightly quick-play event at the Atlanta Chess Center. I mention this because I have read many times that one should “get them on the way up,” and have always wanted to put it into print. The game with Damir was particularly exciting because I had to play many moves with only one second left on my clock. Fortunately there was a five second delay. Both would, no doubt, eat me alive now. I congratulate both of these players for their outstanding result. Damir gained 48 rating points to move close to Senior Master level at 2384. Daniel increased his rating 51 points to move to 2344.
When the tournament first began there were updates often, and the pictures were like being onsite. I have not seen many of the players, like GM Michael Rohde, in years, so the pictures on the website were nice to see. Someone was taking a picture of the results page every “15-20 minutes.” That stopped, unfortunately. Combine that with the myriad technical problems and general lack of games, and I quickly lost interest. The internet was down most of the final day and I did not seem to mind because the results were not forthcoming, often for far too long. To a chess fan the coverage showed much promise initially, but sputtered and ground to a halt. In chess terms it would be like a player winning his first round and then losing all of his next games.
Since there have been so few games from the US Masters I would like to present a game given by Olimpiu Urcan & Other Epistolarians from, Chess: A Singapore Column of September 1, 2013. (http://sgchess.net/2013/09/01/871-a-scandinavian-crash/). This one is for you, future IM Studen!
A Scandinavian Crash
Along with his brief annotations and comments, Napoleon Recososa submits the interesting game below, played in the fourth round of the Inaugural Teck Ghee CSC Community Chess Championship (August 25, 2013):
Napoleon Recososa – Kanagenthiran Premnath [B01]
Inaugural Teck Ghee CSC Community Chess, Round 4, 25 August 2013
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bc4 c6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.Be3 e6 9.g4 Bg6 10.Ne5 Nbd7 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Qe2 b5 13.Bd3 Qb4?! A waste of time since White, with his next move, castles queenside anyway. Perhaps 13…Be7 was better. 14.0–0–0 a5? Premature activity. He failed to consider the king’s safety. Maybe he underestimated the lurking dangers in the center as his c6 and e6-pawns controlled the d5 square and, furthermore, White’s bishop on e3 covered the e-file. 15.g5 Nh5 [see diagram] If 15…Nd5 White planned 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.Bf4+ Qe7 (17…Be7 18.c3; 17…Kd8 18.Rhe1) 18.Qf3 and now if 18…0–0–0 then 19.Bxb5! cxb5 20.Qxd5 looks strong. 16.d5! Nf4 After 16…cxd5 17.Nxd5 Qd6 (17…exd5 allows 18.Bc5+) 18.Nb6 (18.Bxb5 was interesting too but I had doubts about 18…exd5 19.Bc5+ Qe6) 18…Nf4 19.Qf3 White’s just winning. 17.Bxf4 Qxf4+ 18.Kb1 Nc5 If 18…Ne5 then White had a pleasant choice between 19.dxe6 fxe6 20.Bxg6+ or the more crude 19.dxc6 b4 20.Nb5. 19.Bxb5 Rc8 19…cxb5 loses to 20.Qxb5+ Kd8 (20…Ke7 21.d6+ Kd8 22.Qxc5) 21.dxe6+ Kc8 (21…Kc7 is met by the simple 22.Nd5+ or 22.Rd7+) 22.Qc6+. 20.Bxc6+ Rxc6 21.dxc6 Qc7 21…Qxg5 fails because of 22.c7! 22.Qg4? Better was 22.Qb5 followed by 23.Na4. I was distracted by my opponent’s time trouble. 22…Qxc6 23.f3 Be7 24.h4 a4 25.Ne4 a3 26.Nxc5 Bxc5 27.h5 Qb5 28.b3 gxh5 29.Qe4! Call it a sense of danger or pure luck but I noticed that after 29.Rxh5 Rxh5 30.Qxh5 there is the sneaky 30…Qe2! 31.Qh8+ Bf8 32.Qh1 Qe5. 29…Ke7 29…0–0 30.Rxh5 is losing too. 30.g6 f6 30…f5 leads to a forced mate after 31.Qh4+. 31.Rhe1 Qb6 3. Qd5 and with just six seconds left, my opponent resigned in this hopeless position. 1–0

GM Baskaran Adhiban Wins Sants Open

GM Baskaran Adhiban of India finished first in the Sants Open held in Barcelona with a score of 8 ½ out of ten. The field contained 23 GM’s and 28 IM’s. What made the winner’s tournament interesting is that it was bookended with miniatures in the first and last rounds.
Marc Balague (2090) vs GM Adhiban (2567), round one
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nc7 7. O-O e5 8. d3 Be7 9. e4 O-O 10. Ne1 Be6 11. f4 f6 12. b3 Qd4+ 0-1
GM Adhiban vs GM Vladimir Burmakin (2565), round nine
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O h6 7. c3 Nd7 8. Na3 Bh7 9. Nc2 c5 10. dxc5 Nc6 11. b4 Bxc2 12. Qxc2 Ndxe5 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. c4 Nxc4 15. Bxc4 dxc4 16. Rd1 Qc7 17. Bb2 h5 18. Qxc4 h4 19. Be5 Qc6 20. b5 Qxc5 21. Qd3 Be7 22. Qd7+ Kf8 23. Rac1 1-0

US Masters Update

GM Alonso Zapata is playing GM Alex Lenderman on board one of the fifth round of the US Masters, each with 3 ½ out of four. Raja Panjwani, playing on board two, also has 3 ½. This is his round four game:
Quesada Perez, Yuni (2636) vs Zapata, Alonso (2496)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4 d6 8. Qf3 a6 9. O-O-O Be7 10. Bd3 O-O 11. Rhe1 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 e5 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 exd4 15. Qe4 g6 16. Qxe7 Qa5 17. Kb1 Bg4 18. Rc1 Qxd5 19. Be4 Qc5 20. h3 Be6 21. g4 Rfe8 22. Qh4 Bxa2+ 23. Kxa2 Rxe4 24. Kb1 Rxf4 25. Re7 d3 26. cxd3 Qd5 27. Re3 Ra4 28. Rc7 Qa5 29. Rc4 Ra1+ 30. Kc2 d5 31. Qg5 0-1
Tim Brookshear (2034) upset NM Michael Mestres (2229) by winning from the Black side of a Caro Kann advance variation and is tied with five others at the top of the thirty three player NC Open. The Legendary Georgia Ironman is playing on second board tonight.
The board one game in round five just ended:
Zapata, Alonso vs Lenderman, Aleksand (2527)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Nh3 Nf6 7. Bc4 e6 8. c3 Bd6 9. Nf4 Nbd7 10. Qf3 Qc7 11. Bb3 a5 12. a3 a4 13. Ba2 Nd5 14. Nxg6 hxg6 15. O-O b5 16. Re1 N7b6 17. Bg5 Bf4 18. Bxf4 Qxf4 19. Qxf4 Nxf4 20. Ne4 Ke7 21. g3 Nfd5 22. Re2 Nf6 23. Ng5 Nbd5 24. Rae1 Rac8 25. f4 Rc7 26. Bb1 Kd6 27. Nf3 Nb6 28. Ne5 Nfd5 29. Be4 Rhc8 30. Bg2 Ke7 31. h4 Kf8 32. Bf3 Nf6 33. Rh2 c5 34. dxc5 Rxc5 35. Rd1 Ke7 36. Re2 Nc4 37. Nxc4 bxc4 38. Rd4 Nd7 39. Red2 Nb6 40. Kf2 Rb5 41. Ke2 Rb8 42. Kd1 Nd5 43. Kc1 Nb6 44. Be2 Rc5 45. Bd1 Rd5 46. Bf3 Rxd4 47. Rxd4 Rc8 48. Kd2 Rc5 49. Be2 f6 50. Kc1 Rc8 ½-1/2