- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2005

The dog days of August are howling with activity in the chess world.Even as the 106th running of the U.S. Open is winding down in Phoenix, local players are gearing up for the 37th annual Atlantic Open, to be played next weekend at the Wyndham downtown at 1400 M St. NW.

Along with the Eastern Open in late December, the Atlantic is one of the biggest open events the area has to offer, with seven sections and a prize fund of at least $20,000. In the past, a number of grandmasters have dropped in to compete with the best local players.

Play begins Friday evening and wraps up late Sunday. Spectating is free, and chess books, boards and other equipment will be for sale. Call 845/496-9658 or check the Web site at www.chesstour.com for more information.

We’ll have highlights and action from the U.S. Open and Atlantic in upcoming columns.

• • •

We revive a semiregular August tradition this week with a slew of recent miniatures, a tightly edited highlight reel of car wrecks on the chessboard. To quote a past column: “With the heat and humidity causing your clock buttons to stick and your polyurethane board to melt, who needs deep analysis and subtle endgames?”

Accidents can happen even to the best of us, as Norwegian wunderkind Magnus Carlsen learned at the Biel Chess Festival last month in Switzerland. Against French GM Yannick Pelletier, the 13-year-old Carlsen, the world’s youngest grandmaster, had what might be called a “junior moment” after 10. 0-0-0 Nd7 11. Bb5.

We can only speculate that Black was fixated on meeting White’s “threat” of 12. Be3, for his 11…0-0?? overlooks the bishop’s more dangerous discovery: 12. Bc3! (Black may have been banking on 12. Be3? Qb4 13. Bxd7 Bxe3+ 14. fxe3 Bxd7 15. Rxd7? Rac8 wins for Black) Qxf2 13. Qxf2 Bxf2 14. Bxd7 Be3+ 15. Kc2 Rb8 and Black is a piece down without compensation. Carlsen resigned.

Canadian GM Mark Bluvshtein scored a sensational upset win over Spanish super-GM Alexei Shirov at last month’s Canadian Open, but he also fell victim to a brief, crushing attack from Russian teenage GM Alex Moiseenko in the same event. In one of the sharpest QGD lines, White sacrifices a piece to arrive at 14. bxc3 cxd3 15. Rxd3 Qe8 16. Nxg5 f5 (f6 17. Ne4 e5 18. f4 exf4 19. Nd6 Qd8 20. Qe4+ Be6 [Kd7 21. Nb5 mate!] 21. Nf5+ Kf7 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. g8=Q+ Rxg8 24. Nh6+, winning) 17. Qh4!, and there’s no escape from the crushing discovered check.

After 17…Qg6 18. Ne4+ Kf7 (Ke8 19. Qd8+ Kf7 20. Qc7+ Bd7 21. Rxd7+ Ke8 22. Nd6 mate) 19. Nd6+ Kxg7 20. Qe7+, Bluvshtein resigns rather than endure 20…Kh6 21. Rh3+ Qh5 22. Qf6+ Rg6 23. Nf7+ Kh7 24. Qh8 mate.

German GM Alex Graf’s miniature over Azeri IM Namig Gouliev is a classic swindle, as Black’s 13. Ne5 a6 14. d5! Bxc3? (see diagram) misses the real point of White’s move: 15. Nxf7! (ouch) Kxf7 16. dxe6+ Kf8 17. Bd6+ Re7 18. exd7 Ba5 19. Qe6!, and a trussed-up Gouliev quit rather than proceed with 19…Nd5 20. Bxd5 Bxd5 21. Bxe7+ Qxe7 22. Rc8+ Rxc8 23. dxc8=Q+ Qe8 24. Qcxe8 mate.

Similarly, U.S. master Alan Stein sets a trap that snares his higher-rated opponent, Armenian IM Andranik Matikozian, at the National Open, held in June in Las Vegas. A moment’s inattention — 15…Nh6?? (Qc7! 16. Nxf7 Bc5+ 17. Kh1 0-0 18. Nxc5 Qxc5 19. h3 [Ng5 Qxe5!] Ngxe5 20. Nxe5 Qxe5 21. Be3 keeps it competitive) — spells disaster after 16. Nxe6!, when 16…fxe6 17. Qh5+ Ke7 18. Bg5+ Nf6 19. exf6+ Kd7 20. Rad1 is hopeless.

Also, here’s a small shout-out to California expert Craig Clawitter, who badly mishandles his game from the recent Southern California championship against IM Enrico Sevillano but is gracious enough to play the game out to its satisfying conclusion.

In a combination reminiscent of Morphy’s immortal win in the opera box, Black allows 18. Rd6 Nxc6! (Black might as well play this, as White’s bind is already asphyxiating) 19. Qd8+! Nxd8 20. Rxd8 mate.

Biel Chess Festival, Biel, Switzerland, July 2005


1. d4Nf69. e4Qd4

2. c4e610. 0-0-0Nd7

3. Nc3Bb411. Bb50-0

4. Qc2d512. Bc3Qxf2

5. cxd5c513. Qxf2Bxf2

6. dxc5Nxd514. Bxd7Be3+

7. Bd2Bxc515. Kc2Rb8

8. Nxd5Qxd5Black resigns

Canadian Open, Edmonton, Alberta, July 2005


1. d4Nf611. Qh7Ke7

2. c4e612. Rd1d3

3. Nf3d513. Bxd3Bxc3+

4. Nc3dxc414. bxc3cxd3

5. e4Bb415. Rxd3Qe8

6. Bg5c516. Nxg5f5

7. e5h617. Qh4Qg6

8. exf6hxg518. Ne4+Kf7

9. fxg7Rg819. Nd6+Kxg7

10. Qc2cxd420. Qe7+Black


European Individual Chess Championship, Warsaw, Poland, June 2005


1. d4d511. Rac1Ndb7

2. c4dxc412. Rfd1Re8

3. Nf3Nf613. Ne5a6

4. e3e614. d5Bxc3

5. Bxc4c515. Nxf7Kxf7

6. Qe2cxd416. dxe6+Kf8

7. exd4Bb4+17. Bd6+Re7

8. Nc30-018. exd7Ba5

9. 0-0b619. Qe6Black

10. Bf4Bb7resigns

National Open, Las Vegas, June 2005


1. e4c510. e5Bxf3

2. Nf3d611. Nxf3dxe5

3. d4cxd412. fxe5Ng4

4. Nxd4Nf613. Qe2b4

5. Nc3a614. Na4h5

6. Be2e615. Ng5Nh6

7. 0-0Nbd716. Nxe6Qc8

8. f4b517. Nxf8Nxf8

9. Bf3Bb718. Nb6Black


Southern California Championship, Century City, Calif., July 2005


1. e4e611. Bg5Qf8

2. d4d512. Qf6Nc6

3. Nc3Bb413. d5Nce7

4. Qd3Ne714. Bb5+c6

5. a3Bxc3+15. dxc6a6

6. bxc3b616. Ba4b5

7. Qg3dxe417. 0-0-0Rg8

8. Qxg7Ng618. Rd6Nxc6

9. h4h519. Qd8+Nxd8

10. Nh3Qe720. Rxd8 mate

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at dsands@washington times.com.



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