GM Conrad Holt (2639) - GM Niclas Huschenbeth (2610) 1-0 View Game
FM Jeffery Xiong (2485) - GM Larry Kaufman (2401) 1-0 View Game
NM Ruifeng Li (2348) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2297) 0-1 View Game
NM Sarah Chiang (2213) - FM Ralph Zimmer (2244) 0.5-0.5 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Dallas Destiny stay perfect on the season as they defeated the Baltimore Kingfishers by a 2.5-1.5 game score. Baltimore missed a chance to gain some ground on the 2nd playoff spot in the Northeast Division as both the Connecticut Dreadnoughts and Boston Blitz lost this week. Baltimore (0.5-3.5) will battle the Boston Blitz (2.0-2.0) next Wednesday.
Board 1: GM Conrad Holt vs. GM Niclas Huschenbeth. The top board showcased a Main line Semi-Slav Defense: Noteboom varation. The game started approximately 18 minutes late (due to connectivity issues for Dallas) but got quickly underway as both players blitzed out the opening theory. GM Huschenbeth varied first with the novelty 14... Ne4. Then, black sacrificed a bishop for white's two central pawns. A queen trade was soon allowed and black was still pressing, but simply could not get the connected passed pawns on the a-file and b-file going. GM Holt was able to slowly consolidate his position and eventually force more piece trades. Black resigned down a bishop in the endgame.
Board 2: GM Larry Kaufman vs. FM Jeffery Xiong. The second board featured a Queen's Gambit Declined. FM Xiong played the novelty 9... b6. GM Kaufman began to aim his pieces at black's kingside. However, the attack never came to fruition as black started to get play on the queenside with a knight on c4 threatening to fork the queen and rooks after 19... g5 20. Bg3 Nxe3. Several trades ensued until each side was left with a queen, rook and 6 pawns though with black holding onto a dangerous passed d-pawn. Black was allowed to queen that d-pawn and FM Xiong immediately sacrificed it for a mating combination.
Board 3: NM Ruifeng Li vs. NM Jared Defibaugh. On the third board, NM Defibaugh chose to defend against e4 with Alekhine's Defense: Modern, Schmid Variation (4... Nb6). NM Defibaugh started with few minutes time advantage presumably due to the previously mentioned connectivity issues. The game transformed into something that looked more like it came from a King's Indian. NM Li played the novelty 14. Nd5. NM Defibaugh then was able to push pawns to f4 and e3, constricting white's position. Then, NM Li sacrificed an exchange in order to try to defend. For awhile, it looked possible he might just do that with 3 menacing queenside pawns against a single b-pawn for black. He missed an incredible try with 45. a5 Rf8 (45... Kg5 46. a6 bxa6 47. c6 Rf8 48. c7 Rc8 49. Bd3 and white is the one playing for a win) 46. a6 bxa6 47. c6 a5 48. b5 a4 49. c7 a3 50. Bb1 Ba5 51. b6 and it's unclear if black can win this position. Instead white soon sacrificed his knight for the e-pawn and b-pawn and quickly fell to black's remaining forces.
Board 4: FM Ralph Zimmer vs. NM Sarah Chiang. The final board began with an English Opening: Neo-Catalan Declined. Due to a late lineup change and the connectivity issues, FM Zimmer started with 84 minutes to NM Sarah Chiang's 60 minutes. FM Zimmer played the novelty 14. Bg5. Although white seemed slightly better from the opening, his Qf5-h3-f1 maneuver took quite a few tempi and allowed black to gain control and space in the center. However, after a pair of bishops and the queens were traded, much of the pressure was gone and white again seemed better after 31. Nd3. That advantage again slipped away after 40. Nxg7 when FM Zimmer was expecting NM Sarah Chiang to recapture the g7-knight instead of the c5-knight. PLay went on until both players were down to king, knight, and pawn and a draw by 3-fold repetition was called.
Reposted at: Chess.com blogs