SANDS: Princeton chess squad tops crowded field at Amateur East

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White tries a different approach to scaling Kramnik’s dreaded “Berlin Wall” in the 3…Nf6 Ruy Lopez variation, and an unbalanced position with challenges for both sides actually develops. But perhaps dulled by the drawfest that had proceeded the game, Kramnik overlooks a tactical trick and goes down to defeat.

Thus: 20. Rc6 Ne2 (Nxh3!? is more in the spirit of Zurich, leading to a draw after 21. gxh3 Qd7 22. Rac1 Qxh3+ 23. Kg1 Qg4+ 34. Kf1 Qh5, when White has nothing better than 35. Kg1 Qg4+) 21. Qd5 Qb8?? (Qxd5 22. exd5 Re7 23. d6 cxd6 24. Rxd6 e4 is fine for Black) 22. Rxa6! Rxa6 (Ng3+ 23. fxg3 Rxa6 24. Qxd3 Qxb2 25. Rb1 Rd6 26. Rxb2 Rxd3 27. Nc4 and White is winning) 23. Qxd3, with a double attack on the rook and knight.

After 26. Qb5 c6 27. Qb2, a demoralized Kramnik packs it in. The White knight and bishop dominate his rook, and Anand’s a-pawn proves lethal in lines like 27…Qe6 [Qxa5 28. Nc4] 28. a6 h6 29. a7 Rdd8 30. Qb8 Rxb8 31. Rxb8 Qc8 32. Rxc8 Rxc8 33. Nc4 Ra8 34. Nxe5 and 27…Qxb2 28. Rxb2 Ra8 29. a6 Rxa6 30. Rb8+.

Wei-Fedorchuk, 2nd Indonesian Open Championship, Jakarta, October 2012

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. d3 a6 6. Ba4 O-O 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 b5 9. Bb3 Be7 10. a4 Rb8 11. h3 d6 12. axb5 axb5 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nd5 g6 15. O-O Bg7 16. Qd2 Kh7 17. c3 Bb7 18. d4 exd4 19. cxd4 Ne7 20. Rac1 c6 21. Nxe7 Qxe7 22. Qb4 Rfe8 23. Rfe1 Bf8 24. e5 Qd7 25. Qd2 Rbd8 26. Qf4 d5 27. Bc2 Ra8 28. h4 Kg8 29. h5 g5 30. Nxg5 hxg5 31. Qxg5+ Kh8 32. Re3 Qe6 33. h6 Bxh6 34. Qh4 Kg7 35. Rg3+ Kf8 36. Bf5 Bxc1 37. Bxe6 Rxe6 38. f4 c5 39. f5 Rh6 40. Qg4 cxd4 41. Qxd4 Ra1 42. Qc5+ Ke8 43. Rg8+ Kd7 44. e6+ Black resigns.

Anand-Kramnik, Zurich Chess Challenge, March 2013

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. O-O Re8 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Kh1 a5 10. a4 b6 11. Be3 Bb4 12. Nfd2 b5 13. axb5 cxb5 14. c3 bxc4 15. cxb4 cxd3 16. bxa5 Ba6 17. Qb3 Nf6 18. h3 Nh5 19. Rfc1 Nf4 20. Rc6 Ne2 21. Qd5 Qb8 22. Rxa6 Rxa6 23. Qxd3 Qxb2 24. Rb1 Rd6 25. Qxe2 Qa2 26. Qb5 c6 27. Qb2 Black resigns.

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by email at

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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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