IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2509) - GM Alexander Ivanov (2656) 0.5-0.5 View Game
GM Larry Kaufman (2445) - IM David Vigorito (2548) 0.5-0.5 View Game
NM Jared Defibaugh (2357) - NM Andrew Wang (2302) 1-0 View Game
FM Ralph Zimmer (2304) - Bennet Pellows (2152) 0.5-0.5 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers score their first match victory this season.
Board 1:This game began as a Catalan in which black played 3... Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Be7 and then the game transposed into a Bogo-Indian Defense. GM Ivanov gained space on the kingside with g5 and f5 and soon won a pawn after white allowed the opening of the g-file. Black was perhaps a little too quick to aim at the white king with 29... Rg3:
White could have won an exchange with 30. Bxf4 Qxf4 31. hxg3 Qxg3 32. Bg2! and it will be white who will have the upperhand as his rooks will quickly occupy the open files on the kingside. However, IM Enkhbat chose a more defensive strategy with 30. Rg1 and managed to hold the draw, which clinched the match victory as the last game to finish.
Board 2:These two played an Exchange Slav, Trifunovic variation in which black seemed at least equal out of the opening, especially as white's king stayed in the center. Later, GM Kaufman won the e4 pawn and began marching his d-pawn all the way to d2. In time trouble, he could not find a clear win and accepted a draw as FM Zimmer had just drawn and IM Enkhbat looked to be holding his game. In fact, the final position is a win for black but the best line includes a rather suprising second move. Can you find it?
38. Bd3+ Kg1 39. Kh7! Rxc8 40. Rxc8 Qf2 (40... Qxc8 41. Qe3+ Kh1 42. Qe1+ Rxe1 43. dxe1=R#) 41. Rc1 Bb3 42. Bc4 and white will soon lose with his pieces tied down in order to block the d-pawn.
Board 3:This game featured a King's Indian: Gligoric-Taimanov variation. The e and f files opened up quickly but the game continued fairly even for both sides without any particularly dangerous tactics. NM Defibaugh did have the unusual tripled g-pawns but had a space advantage to make up for it.
Black should be fine after 27... Bf8, but NM Andrew Wang blundered with 27... Kf7? 28. Qe7+ Qxe7 29. Rxe7+ Kf8 30. Rxb7 and black resigns seeing as he has to play Rg6 to keep the bishop but his queenside pawns will fall.
Board 4:The players started off with a Leningrad Dutch that got very exciting when they decided to go for the odd material imbalance of Rook, Knight, and Pawn for a Queen. At first, it seemed white should be better with black's pieces relatively undeveloped and a not-quite-open position for black's queen to take advantage. However, as the bishops and a pair of rooks were traded, black's queen came alive. White tried to use his rook and two knights to trap the black king and possibly mate but this gave black the opportunity to win the game.
It turns out 36... Qxa4 as played in the game lets the win slip away, but the immediate 36... Qe4 wins by nullifying white's attack while intending to promote the c-pawn. For instance, if 37. Nce6 Qh7+ ( 37... c4 38. Rg6 c3 39. Ng5 Qxg6 40. Nxg6+ Kg7 41. Nf4 c2 42. Nge6+ Kf7 43. Ne2 is probably better for white ) 38. Nh5 c4 39. g4 c3 40. Nf8 c2 41. Nxh7 Nxh7! (only move) and the c-pawn will queen with no tricky mate threats against the black king. Allowing white the extra move turned out to be just enough to draw so the players repeated moves.