GM Niclas Huschenbeth (2603) - GM Wesley So (2751) 0.5-0.5 View Game
IM Levan Bregadze (2530) - GM Le Quang Liem (2785) 0-1 View Game
NM Jared Defibaugh (2325) - NM Mathew Larson (2251) 1-0 View Game
NM Andrew Zheng (2208) - Jacob Wilkins (1909) 1-0 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Baltimore Kingfishers defeated the division-leading St. Louis Arch Bishops with a 2.5-1.5 score. Baltimore took victories on the bottom two boards and drew on the top board while St. Louis struck back with a win on board 2. Combined with the Miami Sharks' 2.5-1.5 victory over the Connecticut Dreadnoughts, Baltimore (3.0-3.0 match record) managed to leap into 2nd place in the Southern Division. Now, they are only a half-match-point behind the St. Louis Arch Bishops (3.5-2.5 match record) in the standings. There is also a crowd of 3 teams (Atlanta Kings, Connecticut Dreadnoughts, Miami Sharks) tied for 3rd place at (2.5-3.5 match record), which is just a half-match-point behind Baltimore. Finally, the Carolina Cobras (1.0-5.0 match record) sit at the bottom of the Southern Division, but they are not out of the playoff picture yet.
Board 1: GM Niclas Huschenbeth vs. GM Wesley So. The top board showcased a very interesting Najdorf Sicilian. GM Wesley So played the novelty 11... b5. In the middlegame, GM Huschenbeth maneuvered to attack the black kingside, but GM Wesley So managed to parry the threats. As pieces were traded in the center, it soon looked like white's king might be the more vulnerable one. Then, GM Huschenbeth regained an edge in the game with the strong 32. Rxc3! though it was not enough to convert to a victory. They played until bare kings on move 60.
Note: I did not do analysis of this game beyond the novelty search and finding interesting stem games as GM Niclas Huschenbeth has already posted his own spectacular in-depth analysis of the game on YouTube (Runtime: 34:56). Be sure to check it out below!
Board 2: GM Le Quang Liem vs. IM Levan Bregadze. The second board featured a King's Indian with opposite-side castling. GM Le Quang Liem played the novelty 11. h4 to begin his assault of the black kingside. IM Levan Bregadze soon countered with his a-pawn push against white's long-castled king. Complications arose as the center opened up. Black appeared worse by being down two pawns, but the power of the fianchettoed-bishop and a rook on the 2nd rank provided drawing chances and maybe more. Perhaps that chance for more was on IM Bregadze's mind when he played 26... Bd4, which was a mistake that GM Le Quang Liem pounced upon to seize a victory in 33 moves.
Reposted at: Chess.com blogs