Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 7: Tough Draw

        We drew the West-leading Dallas Destiny in a tense match that could have gone either way.
        There was no doubt on board 1 as GM Gata Kamsky smashed GM Julio Sadorra. Gata was better with black after only a dozen moves and converted after Sadorra's desperate piece sac did not yield enough compensation in the resulting endgame.

        NM Qibiao Wang has been a superstar on board 4 this year and moved up to board 3 for the Dallas match. NM Karthik Ramachandran also transitioned from his usual spot as both teams deployed GMs on board 2. Ramachandran was better out of the opening but Qibiao sacrificed his b-pawn for Benko-style compensation. Qibiao seized his best chance of the game, sacrificing his Nd7 to clear a path for his passed c-pawn, forcing Ramachandran to give perpetual check.

         NM Aravind Kumar made his Knights debut with a steady draw on the white side of a King's Indian against NM Atulya Vaidya, giving perpetual .

      The oddest game of the match was on board 3, where GM Pascal Charbonneau had white (and 45 minute time odds!) against GM Conrad Holt. Remarkably, the players followed Molner-Holt USCL 2012 for 26 moves before Pascal deviated with 27. Rb1.

Dynamic equality was broken when Pascal blundered with 32. f4 allowing black to favorably open the position with 32. ..b4!. The weak light squares sealed Pascal's fate and after 37. ..Ng3! 38. Qb5 Qc2! he resigned 8 moves later.

        We face the surging New Jersey Knockouts on Tuesday. The winner will likely seize control of the top seed from the East.

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