Bhat-SF - Charbonneau-NY [D37]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.Be2 dxc4 10.Bxc4 a6 11.a4 b6 12.0-0 Bb7 13.Ne5
White's opening has not been the most dangerous, and black should be able to equalize without any problems. However, I made this move too quickly, and realized that I was forcing myself to get out of trouble by tactical means after 13...Rc8 14.Rfd1 [14.Qe2 Nd5 15.Nxd5 exd5 16.Rfd1 Bf6] 14...Qe8 15.Qe2! thankfully, and somewhat luckily, the clumsy move I now make allows black to parry ideas of b2-b4 (and of general paralysis otherwise) adequately. 15...Rd8! 16.b4 Rxd1+ 17.Nxd1 Ncd7 18.Bxa6 Bxa6 19.Qxa6 Bxb4 20.Nc6 Bc5 21.Nc3
The game has been well played by both sides so far, and now I saw the most obvious move would lead to a drawn position: 21...e5 [21...Qa8 was natural and better, but I thought our situation was dicey on board 3 - so I decided to keep chances for both sides ... only to land in a position that is much more difficult for black to play than white. 22.Qxa8 (22.Qb5 Rc8 and only black can be better) 22...Rxa8 23.Rd1 Ba3 24.Bg5 Bb2 and white can draw by finding 25.Bxf6 Nxf6 26.Nb5 followed by Rd8+] 22.Bg3 Qe6 23.Qb7 A strong queen move that I underestimated. I somehow thought my queen would get too active, but in fact white's position is too solid here, and I have to find a way to draw. With little time, we both played the final part reasonably well. 23...Qb3 24.Nb5 Qb2 25.Rf1 Qc2 26.Nxe5 Nxe5 27.Bxe5 Qxa4 28.Nc3 Qd7 29.Qf3 Be7 30.Bxf6 Bxf6 31.Nd5 Be5 32.g3 b5 33.Rb1 Rd8 34.e4 h6 35.Qb3 Rb8 36.Kg2 Kh8 37.Qb4 Qe6 38.Qb3 Bd6 39.Qd3 b4 40.Rb3 Qe5 41.Ne3 Be7 42.Nd5 Bf8 43.Qf3 Qe6 44.Qd3 Re8 45.Nxb4 Rb8 46.Nd5 Rxb3 47.Qxb3 Qxe4+ 48.Qf3 Qxf3+ 49.Kxf3 Bc5 1/2-1/2
Herman-NY - Naroditsky-SF [B86]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Nbd7 8.Bg5 Nc5 9.0-0 Be7 10.Re1 0-0 11.f4 h6 12.Bh4 Qd7 13.Bf2 Matt's preparation in this game was good - although it was also clear Naroditsky expected to see the position before ...Qd7 on the board. 13...Nxb3 14.axb3 b6 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Nd5
A very interesting situation has arisen, and it seems that white should be much better with the intended 17.Nxd5 [17.Nf5 however, black can uncork the cool and collected 17...Bb4! 18.Nxd5 (18.Nxh6+ may be best 18...gxh6 19.Qg4+ Kh7 20.Qe4+ is a computer line that actually seems to be white's best play. 20...f5 (20...Kh8 is more human 21.Qh4 Kh7 22.Be3 Nxe3 23.Qxb4 with a crazy mess) 21.exf6+ Kh8 22.Nxd5 Qxd5 23.Qxb4 Bb7 24.Qg4 Rg8 25.c4 Qc6 26.Qh3 Rxg2+ 27.Kf1 Rg6 28.Bd4 with a complex position the computer thinks is drawn!) 18...Qxd5 19.Nxh6+ gxh6 20.Qg4+ Kh7 21.Qxb4 and unleash a deathly counter attack 21...Bb7; 17.Ne4 also deserved attention] 17...Qxd5 18.c4 Qd7 19.Qg4 Bb7 white may not be much worse but positionally he has to be very careful. Short of time, Matt overplayed his hand. 20.Rad1 Qc7 21.Rd3 Rfd8 22.Rg3 Bf8 23.Qh5 Kh7 24.Be3 Be4
25.Rf1 [25.Nf3! was a great opportunity to complicate things 25...Kg8 26.Kh1 Bg6 27.Rxg6 fxg6 28.Qxg6 with a messy position still] 25...Rd7 26.Qg4 Qxe5 27.Bxh6 a blunder in a difficult position 27...Qxd4+ 28.Be3 Qe5 29.Qh4+ Kg8 30.Rh3 f6 31.Qh8+ Kf7 32.Rg3 Rad8 33.Rg5 Qxg5 0-1
(7) Lee-SF - Chandra-NY [B22]
1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 e6 6.cxd4 d6 7.exd6 Bxd6 Playable but I may prefer to take with the queen and put the bishop on e7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.0-0 b6 10.Nc3 Nf6 11.Bg5 Bb7 12.Qe2 Nbd7 13.Rad1 Qb8 [13...Be7 appears safer to me intending ...Nd5 at some point] 14.Rfe1 Nd5 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Be7 leads to a difficult position for black, but it was not easy to suggest something better. 17.Bxe7 Nxe7 18.Qh5 g6 19.Qh4 Nd5 20.Nb5 Ba6 21.Nd6 Bxd3 22.Rxd3 f5!
23.Rxd5!? very interesting sacrifice. White has more than ample compensation for the exchange. However, I'd have been tempted to be more prosaic and control the c-file [23.Rc1 and who knows, the opportunity to sacrifice may arise again after all - while white can move his queen to c4 and play h4-h5 to nudge black a bit] 23...exd5 24.Qd4 [24.Qe7!?] 24...Qc7 25.Qxd5+ Kg7 26.e6 This natural move really lets black off the hook, as the knight on d6 loses his stability [26.h4 would have asked black whether they want to play ...h5 - and kept the pressure] 26...Qe7 27.Qe5+ Kg8 Without stability for the knight, white searches for another outpost, but the worst is over 28.Nb5 [28.Nf7 would have been the practical decision, forcing a drawn but very slightly better endgame after 28...Rxf7 29.exf7+ Qxf7 30.b3 And white's king is a bit safer] 28...Rac8 29.Nc3 Rfe8 30.h4 now Akshat starts playing like a strong grandmaster. 30...Qg7 31.Qb5 Qd4! 32.h5 Qd6!
33.Qb3 Kg7 34.Nb5 Qd2 35.h6+ Kxh6 36.Re3 Rc1+ 37.Kh2 Qxf2 38.Rh3+ Kg7 39.Qa4 Rxe6 40.Qxa7+ Kf6 41.Rf3 Qh4+ 42.Rh3 Qf4+ 43.Rg3 Rh1+ 44.Kxh1 Qxg3 0-1
AKing-NY - Panchanatham-SF [E69]
|Nico and Alex prepare before the game|
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 Re8 9.h3 c6 10.d5 Nc5 11.Re1 a5 12.b3 Nh5 [12...cxd5 13.cxd5 b5! I think poses the question about whether d4-d5 (which is not a common move in that position) is the correct approach.] 13.Be3 now white has a stable edge 13...Na6 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.Qd2 f5 16.Bg5 Qc7 17.Rad1 very well played by Alex. Black is poorly positioned to meet the opening of the lines 17...Bf8 18.exf5 gxf5
19.Nh2 [19.Nd4 not easy to spot but very strong 19...Bd7 (19...exd4 20.Rxe8 dxc3 21.Rxf8+ Kxf8 22.Bh6+ Kg8 23.Qg5+ Ng7 24.Re1 (D)
winning, very nice variation) 20.Ndb5 winning] 19...Be6 20.g4! Ng7 21.gxf5 Nxf5 22.Ne4 All of white's pieces are coming to life 22...Bg7 23.Ng4 Nd4 24.Nef6+ Bxf6 25.Nxf6+ Kf7 26.Nxe8 Rxe8 27.Qc3 Nf5 28.Qf3 Rg8 29.Qh5+ Kf8 30.Kh1 Qg7 31.h4 h6 32.Bxc6 Nc7 33.Bd8 Bf7 34.Qxf5 Ne6 35.Rg1 very solid win by Alex King 1-0
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