GM Giorgi Margvelashvili (2593) - FM Costin Cozianu (2508) 1-0 View Game
IM Nazi Paikidze (2444) - FM Slava Mikhailuk (2415) 0-1 View Game
NM Adithya Balasubramanian (2345) - FM Curt Collyer (2294) 0.5-0.5 View Game
NM Ricky Selzler (2242) - NM Joshua Sinanan (2263) 0-1 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
White wins all...almost, as the Seattle Sluggers edge the Baltimore Kingfishers with a 2.5-1.5 score.
Board 1: The game began with a King's Indian: Smyslov Variation, which turned into a semi-closed game that focused early on the queenside. Black gave away his a-pawn to prevent a b4-break by white. Once the b-file was blockaded, FM Cozianu turned his attention to breaking open the kingside. However, GM Margvelashvili was able to parry the attack, and finally, it was black's king who seemed more vulnerable as white preferred to open up the center with 40. e5 to immediately taking the offered exchange with 40. Ne7 (Both moves are winning). Position before 40. e5 and Black resigns:
Board 2: The Reti Opening transformed into a King's Indian Attack. They traded queens early, and then, FM Mikhailuk built up pressure on the queenside. He eventually won the a-pawn and began marching all his pawns slowly forward as black's pieces struggled to find sure-footing. Black resigned in the following position:
Board 3: This game started with the unusual Owen Defense. White maintained an edge well into the middle game. NM Balasubramanian won a pawn on move 34, but missed a chance to win more material (although it is far from obvious) after 36... Bc8:
37. Rbc1! Ree8 (37... Rc6 38. R1xc6 Qxc6 39. Qxf7+! Rxf7 40. Rxc6 and white is up a clear two pawns) 38. Qf3 Rd8 39. Bb4 winning the exchange as black must guard f7 from the queen invasion. However, white still had a slight advantage until 66. Qe5? in the following diagram:
White missed the deflection 66... a5! FM Collyer now had chances to play for a win, but seeing as it was the last game going and a draw clinched a match victory for Seattle, the game ended in a repetition of checks.
Board 4: Oddly enough in an East Coast vs. West Coast matchup, these two players are familiar with one another as NM Selzler originally hails from Washington state. In fact, NM Selzler mentioned having been on the Sluggers team (as an alternate in 2007) while NM Sinanan was on the roster, but NM Selzler had never actually played in a match for them. The USCL world turns out to be closer than realized.
Anyway, the game was a Queen's Gambit: Semi-slav Defense. The result centered around the complications that arose just after opening theory. The position after 13. Bg5:
Black played sharply with 13... b4 but ended up losing the pawn after 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Nd4 Bc5 16. Na4 Bxd4 17. Rxd4 h6 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Rxb4. After that, NM Sinanan kept the pressure up, especially with the rooks controlling the d-file. White's Queen, Bishop, and Knight finally overwhelmed Black's King position and black resigned with mate coming.