SANDS: World, U.S. chess titles up for grabs this week

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Both pawn captures allow 27. Nf5+, but it’s a pity Batsiashvili didn’t try to call White’s bluff with 26. … Kxg6!!?, when 27. Kh1 (Qd3+ f5 28. exf6+ Kxf6 29. Ne4+ Ke7 30. Qxd7+ Kxd7 31. Nxc5+ Kd6 32. Nxe6? Re8 and wins) h6 (White threatened 28. Rg1+ Kh5 29. Qg5 mate) 28. Rg1+ Kh7 29. Rg7+!? Kxg7 30. Nf5+ exf5 31. Qxd7 is still very murky.

Instead, it’s over on 26. … Nxd6? 27. Bc2! (Black’s knight remains pinned, and her king lacks defensive cover) Qc6 (Ne7 is best, but White keeps a big edge with 28. exd6 Ng6 29. Rd1 f5 30. Qg5) 28. exd6 Rd8? (cracking under the strain, but losing in the long run was 28. … Qxf3 29. Re3 Qf6 30. Rg3+ Kh8 31. Qd3 Qh6 32. Qe4 Rd8 33. Bd3 Rxd6 [f5 34. Qe5+ Qf6 35. Qxc5] 34. Qe5+) 29. Qg5+, picking off the rook. Black resigned.

Panasenko-Till, Maryland Open, April 2012

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Ne1 Ne8 10. Be3 f5 11. f3 f4 12. Bf2 g5 13. a4 Nf6 14. a5 Ng6 15. c5 h5 16. cxd6 cxd6 17. Nb5 g4 18. Qc2 Rf7 19. Ra3 g3 20. hxg3 fxg3 21. Bxg3 a6 22. Nc3 h4 23. Bh2 Nh5 24. Rf2 Ngf4 25. Bf1 Qg5 26. Bxf4 Nxf4 27. Kh1 Qg3 28. Nd3 h3 29. Nxf4 Rxf4 30. Ra1 Bg4 31. Rc1 Raf8 32. Kg1 Bxf3 33. Ne2 h2 34. Kh1 Qxf2 35. gxf3 Rh4 36. Bg2 Rxf3 37. Nc3 Bh6 38. Qxf2 Rxf2 39. Rb1 Rg4 40. Bh3 Rg3 41. Be6 Kh8 42. b4 and White resigns.

Gvetadze-Batsiashvili, Georgia Women’s Championship, April 2012

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 c6 5. Qd2 Nd7 6. Nf3 d5 7. a4 b4 8. Nd1 Rb8 9. Bd3 Qc7 10. 0-0 Ngf6 11. Bh6 0-0 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. c3 c5 14. Ne3 e6 15. Rf1 Bb7 16. e5 dxe5 17. dxe5 Ng8 18. Nc4 Bxf3 19. gxf3 Nb6 20. Nd6 bxc3 21. bxc3 Rbd8 22. Rab1 Qe7 23. a5 Nc8 24. Rb7 Rd7 25. Rxd7 Qxd7 26. Bxg6 Nxd6 27. Bc2 Qc6 28. exd6 Rd8 29. Qg5+ Black resigns.

• David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by email at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

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About the Author
David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...

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