GM Robert Hess (2719) - GM Giorgi Margvelashvili (2593) 0.5-0.5 View Game
GM Mikheil Kekelidze (2628) - GM Larry Kaufman (2445) 0.5-0.5 View Game
NM Ian Harris (2342) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2357) 1-0 View Game
NM Joshua Colas (2376) - FM Ralph Zimmer (2304) 0-1 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
Board 1:GM Giorgi Margvelashvili held GM Robert Hess to a draw in a Classical Caro-Kann that saw GM Hess pressing with the white pieces for most of the game. A key moment came in the position after 18... e5:
The audience on chess.com wondered which daring move white would try: 19. Nxc6 or 19. Rxf6. Further analysis shows that after 19. Nxc6 bxc6 20. Qxc6+ Qc7, white probably does not have anything better than the perpetual checks with 21. Qa8+ Qb8 23. Qc6+ etc. Therefore, GM Hess chose 19. Rxf6 and ended up with a rook, a central-placed bishop, and 2 pawns (1 doubled) vs. black's 2 rooks. The game ended when GM Margvelashvili managed to convert the game into a drawn rook and pawn vs. rook ending.
Board 2: In what was the most exciting ending of the match, GM Kaufman and GM Kekelidze agreed to a draw. They played a Nimzo-Indian in which white seemed to dictate play based on his two bishops aiming through the center of the board and toward the black king. After 39... Qxe8, victory was in reach for white with 40. Rxe8+, but a mouse-slip let the rook drop on e3.
A request for a takeback was made, but seeing as both players had less than 5 minutes on their clocks, the request was denied as per Rule C.1.b. GM Kaufman went back to play out the game as at least the rook had not dropped on a square that left it immediately hanging. After 43. Rf3 Qe6, GM Kekelidze offered a draw, which GM Kaufman accepted with 17 seconds left on his clock.
Unfortunately, this left on the table the opportunity to play 44. Qb8! Be8 (44... g6 45. Qh8+ Kg6 46. Qg8+ Kh6 47. Rxf7 or 44... Rg7 45. Bxg7 Kxg7 46. Qf8+ Kh7 47. Rf7+) 45. Re3! and white wins.
Board 3: This game started with the very exciting Ruy Lopez: Schliemann Defense (also known as the Jaenisch Gambit). The key moment came while still in opening theory after 8... Nf6:
NM Harris snatched a second pawn with 9. Nxa7 and never let the slight material advantage slip away as NM Defibaugh was eventually unable to hold back white's advancing pawns.
Board 4: FM Zimmer played an outstanding game that took 2nd place in the Game of the Week contest. In a semi-closed position out of the English: Neo-Catalan Declined, he forced the opening of the center with the nice pawn sacrifice 13. b4!
And he further opened up black's king to attack with 23. Rxf6! in the following position:
GM Alex Yermolinsky has posted a more in-depth analysis of the game in his Game of the Week video on ICC. FM Zimmer's game is covered starting around the 22:30 mark.