- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 30, 2002

We have something new and something old on offer for our annual Thanksgiving column on reasons to be grateful for chess.
Three Americans, all hailing from New York, turned in very respectable performances at the World Youth Championships, which ended Monday in Heraklio, Greece, a cause for moderate celebration after the dismal showing of the grown-up U.S. men's team at the Olympiad in Slovenia.
In the marquee Under-18 Boys event, IM Dmitry Schneider finished in a tie for sixth at 7-3, 1 points behind co-winners Ferenc Berkes of Hungary and Shahriyar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan. In the Under-16 Boys competition, U.S. cadet champ Aaron Pixton tied for third, while young Brooklyn native Fabiano Caruana, whose upset win over GM Alex Wojtkiewicz was featured here a few months back, came in fourth in the Under-10 Boys section.
The Under-18 Girls competition was won by Germany's Elisabeth Paehtz.
Schneider's best performance featured a nice positional exchange sacrifice against Damir Husnutdinov, a young Uzbek master. Black's play shows unexpected maturity as he patiently builds on his initiative to break down his opponent's tough resistance.
Schneider plays this Tarrasch French aggressively, accepting a backward e-pawn with 8. cxd4 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 in hopes of exploiting the half-open f-file. White's plan is to build up pressure methodically on the c- and e-files, when an unexpected shot puts him on the defensive for the balance of the game.
Thus: 18. h3 Nh6 19. Qd2 Rxf3! 20. gxf3 (declining the offer with 20. Qxh6 is met by 20…Rd3 21. Nh5!? Qxd4! [and not 21…gxh5? 22. Qg5+ Kf7 23. Qxh5+ Kf8 24. Qh6+ Ke8 25. Qh5+, and Black's king can never flee from the back rank because of 25…Ke7? 26. Qxh7+, picking off the rook on d3], turning back the White attack) Nf7 21. Rfe1 Bd7 22. Rac1 Rf8.
Black's bishop is locked in, but it does an excellent defensive job shutting down the White rooks. Black's queen, rook and knight, meanwhile, continually probe the busted White king-side for soft spots, driving Husnutdinov into a passive defensive shell.
White declines to seek a threefold repetition, and Schneider seizes the opportunity to open the game to the benefit of his better-placed pieces: 38. Qc3 Qf7 39. Ng3?! (White might at least have tested Black's willingness to split the point with 39. Qd3) Qf6 40. Qc5 e5! 41. dxe5 Nxe5 42. Rff1?! (Re3 was more solid) Nd3.
By 45. Kg1 d4 46. Qd2 c5, all of Black's pieces enjoy superb scope, while the White forces have nothing constructive to do. The buzzing Black threats produce an immediate error from White, who was facing a long-term defensive slog in any case: 47. Ne2? (Rh2, shoring up the second rank, was called for here) Nh3+ 48. Kg2 Qxh4 49. Rxf7+ Kxf7 50. Rf1+ Kg7 51. Qe1.
The offer to trade queens comes a little too late, and Schneider concludes forcefully with 51…Bc6+ 52. Kh2 Nf2+ 53. Kg1 Qh1+!, when 54. Kxf2 Qg2 is mate; White resigned.

Each Thanksgiving, we try to resuscitate in this column a forgotten masterpiece, which we "research" by happily wasting several hours flipping through old Informants.
This year's offering, won by Peruvian GM Orestes Rodriguez over Chilean master Javier Campos Moreno at a 1988 tournament in Leon, Spain, does not technically rate as a masterpiece, for the winner should have lost, the loser should have won, and both sides make mistakes along the way. Still, it's a rollicking good fight and an entertaining show.
This sharp Queen's Gambit line, in which Black gets three pawns for a knight right out of the opening, almost guarantees a good battle. Rodriguez's 13…e5!? (Na5 was the book line) was a new move at the time.
Black walks a defensive tightrope, and one slip throws him off: 15. Qb3 Na5! 16. Bxf7+ Kf8 17. Qd3 (mandatory, as 17. Qd5? Bc6 18. Qxd8+ Rxd8 19. Nxf6 Bxf3! wins for Black) Bb5 18. Qd2 Kxf7 19. Qh6! Bc6 20. Nxe5+! fxe5 21. Qh5+ Ke6 22. Qg4+.
Rodriguez should have modestly accepted the draw offer with 22…Kf7, but instead pushes the game into the realm of the memorable with an ill-advised king walk: 22…Ke5? 23. Rxd4+!! (this should be decisive, but the follow-up is not easy, even with the Black king stranded in the middle of the board) exd4 (Kxd4? is a mate in six: 24. Rd1+ Kc4 25. Qe2+ Kb4 26. a3+ Ka4 27. Nc3+ Kb3 28. Qc2+ Kc4 29. Nd5+ Kb5 30. a4 mate) 24. Qf5+ Kc4 25. Rc1+ Kb4 (see diagram).
Black's king proves devilishly hard to run to ground, and it is precisely here that White misses the winning shot: 26. Bxe7+! Qxe7 27. a3+ Ka4 28. Nc5+ Qxc5 29. Rxc5 b5 (or 29…Be4+ 30. Qxe4 Rxc5 31. Qxd4+ Rc4 32. Qxh8) 30. Qc2+ Nb3 31. Ka2 Bd5 32. Rxc8 d3 Qc3!. Black instead scrambles into port after 26. a3+? Ka4 27. Nc5+ Bxc5 28. Qc2+ (Bxd8 Rhxd8 29. Rxc5 Be4+ 30. Qxe4 Rxc5 is also good for Black) Nb3 29. Qc4+ Ka5 30. Bxd8 Rhxd8 31. Qxb3 b5!.
White has won the queen, but Black has two powerful bishops and a rook in exchange. Campos Moreno's game goes steadily downhill as Black works to open lines for his pieces and invades. By the end, the Black rook and bishop duos can't be stopped; e.g. 45. Qxd4 Rb3+ 46. Kc2 Rxa3 47. f5 Ra2+ 48. Kc1 Rg1+! 49. Qxg1 Ra1+, spearing the queen.
Campos Moreno resigned, but, in a bit of poetic justice, still managed to win the tournament.

World Youth Championships, Heraklio, Greece,
November 2002

1. e4e628. Rf1Ng4
2. d4d529. Qc3Qc7
3. Nd2Nf630. Ne2Rf8
4. Bd3c531. Rf3Qd8
5. e5Nfd732. Rh1Qf6
6. c3Nc633. Rg3h5
7. Ne2cxd434. Qd3Kg7
8. cxd4f635. Rf3Qe7
9. exf6Nxf636. Qc3Qf7
10. Nf3Qc737. Qd3Qe7
11. 0-0Bd638. Qc3Qf7
12. Bg50-039. Ng3Qf6
13. Bh4g640. Qc5e5
14. Bg3Ng441. dxe5Nxe5
15. Bb5Bxg342. Rff1Nd3
16. Nxg3Qb643. Qxa7Rf7
17. Bxc6bxc644. Qe3Nxf4+
18. h3Nh645. Kg1d4
19. Qd2Rxf346. Qd2c5
20. gxf3Nf747. Ne2Nh3+
21. Rfe1Bd748. Kg2Qxh4
22. Rac1Rf849. Rxf7+Kxf7
23. h4Nd650. Rf1+Kg7
24. b3Rxf351. Qe1Bc6+
25. Kg2Rf652. Kh2Nf2+
26. Qe3Nf753. Kg1Qh1+
27. f4Nh6White resigns

Leon, Spain, 1988

1. d4d523. Rxd4+exd4
2. c4e624. Qf5+Kc4
3. Nf3Nf625. Rc1+Kb4
4. Bg5Bb4+26. a3+Ka4
5. Nc3dxc427. Nc5+Bxc5
6. e4c528. Qc2+Nb3
7. e5cxd429. Qc4+Ka5
8. Qa4+Nc630. Bxd8+Rhxd8
9. 0-0-0Bd731. Qxb3b5
10. Ne4Be732. Qe6Kb6
11. exf6gxf633. b4Bf8
12. Bh4Rc834. Rd1Rc7
13. Kb1e535. Kb2Rd5
14. Bxc4a636. Rd3Bd6
15. Qb3Na537. g3Re7
16. Bxf7+Kf838. Qg4Bc7
17. Qd3Bb539. h4h5
18. Qd2Kxf740. Qd1Rde5
19. Qh6Bc641. Rd2Kb7
20. Nxe5+fxe542. f4Re3
21. Qh5+Ke643. Qxh5Rxg3
22. Qg4+Kd544. Qc5Ree3
White resigns

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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