Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week 4 Review

What a match the Kingfishers had against Arizona on Monday night!

First, we switched from our usual "Absolutely Quiet Floor" to the Library's Entrance. As the match started at 9PM EDT, we anticipated that any game that went 60+ moves would go past midnight - the Library's closing time - so we used the closest empty tables to the Library Atrium, which is open 24-hours but was nearly full while setting up for the match. The players did have to deal with slightly more noise than usual, but the players seemed mostly unfazed by it. However, the high traffic area did attract more spectators, most of whom (sadly) assumed we were UMBC's (renowned, but apparently mysterious) Chess Team despite the fact that none of this week's players is currently a UMBC student.

Now, as the match began, the players clearly made adjustments for the shorter (60/30) time control as they moved quickly through their openings, especially FM Shinsaku Uesugi, who had specifically prepared much of the Sveshnikov line he played on Board 4. He appeared quite calm and strolled about observing the other three games until about 24. Nb6. He had the worse position until NM Leo Martinez played 37. h4? instead of h3!


The move h4 allows the possibility of 37. ... f2 38. Rgf1? Rxh4+! 39. gxh4 Qe4+ 40. Kh2 Be5+ 41. Kh3 Qf3#. Martinez instead gave up the rook on g1 with 38. Qg4 and Shinsaku went on to convert his advantage for the only win of the match.

IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat's game on board 1 against IM Levon Altounian never seemed to deviate far from even. He tried to fight for an advantage with 16. Nd5.


However, the ensuing trade-offs ended in a three-fold repetition position in which both players had KR+4P's.

Both teams played an alternate this week, so for these players, you may only see them play again once more or not at all for the rest of the 2009 Season. For Arizona, IM Mark Ginsburg played GM Larry Kaufman on Board 2. The opening phase appeared slightly better for white, but Larry managed to win white's f-pawn. He tried hard to convert this advantage, but he go into a Rook and Pawns endgame that gave chances to both sides. The following position was reached:


White could have tried 55. Rg5 Rg8 56. Kf7 Rxg7+ 57. Rxg7 when endgame tablebases assure me that black can draw starting with b5! (only move), but of course, players have not yet memorized 6-piece tablebases, so the result may have gone either way as both players would have been very low on time.

Finally, on Board 3, Baltimore Alternate IM Ray Kaufman faced FM Robby Adamson. Ray has recently had some great tournament results: tied 1st in the Okie Chess Festival's Masters Invitational and the St. John's Masters where he defeated both GM Rohde and GM DeFirmian and drew GM Yudasin, so he was hoping to continue his hot streak into a good USCL performance. Now, in the game, Ray came out to attack by opening up black's king with 22. Rxf6. However, FM Adamson defended well and even had several chances to gain a decisive advantage including in this position:


Black had the exchange-winning 35. ... Kg8! 36. Rg4 fxg4 37. Bxg6 Rd1+ 38. Kh2 Bd6 getting the queen back.

With both players in time trouble, they eventually traded into a Bishop and Pawns endgame that Adamson pressed, as Arizona had lost board 4, until move 119.

Before the trade of rooks on move 44, the Library was announced to be closing at midnight with the lights turned off on us a few times. Actually, all the games were still going at the time. Luckily, these distractions did not prove distrastrous for our players as they came out with the match win 2.5-1.5. Although, we're still looking forward to returning to our "Absolutely Quiet Floor."

1 comment:

Mark Ginsburg said...

If I play 55. Rg5 Larry can just play 55...Kb5, no need to waste a move with 55....Rg8. White's drawing at best.

Earlier Larry and I obviously both missed the crushing 19...Nc5! with the decisive threat of ...Nb3.