- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Congratulations to New Jersey high schooler David Hua, who outran of a pack of pursuers to win this weekend’s 44th Atlantic Open premier section.

The 2325-rated Hua, a rising sophomore at Princeton High School, drew GM John Fedorowicz and then beat IM Justin Sarkar in the final two rounds to finish at 4½-½, a half-point clear of Marylanders GM Larry Kaufman, NM Alex Barnett, expert Kenneth McDonald and Pennsylvania master Kevin Mo.

McDonald, whose only loss in the event was to the tournament winner, took home the Top Expert prize as well.

We’ll have some action and results from all seven sections of the Atlantic here next week.

It got a bit lost in the shuffle, but young California FM John Bryant put in what might be a breakthrough performance with his tie for first in the 113th U.S. Open, held earlier this month in Vancouver, Wash. The 20-year-old Bryant bested a number of top grandmasters to finish in a three-way tie for first with Mexican GM Manuel Leon Hoyos and veteran U.S. GM Dmitry Gurevich, only losing out on the title in an “Armageddon” playoff game against Leon Hoyos.

Unlike wrestling, chess awards no points for “reversals,” but Bryant may have earned one anyway in his last-round escape against experienced NM Yaacov Norowitz, the win that got the Californian into the playoff.

Things don’t begin promisingly for Black in this Schmid Benoni, and after 8. Bg5 Kd8?! (a panicky-looking move when the simpler 8. … 0-0 9. e4 d6 was available) 9. Rc1 Nc6 10. d5 Nb4 11. d6! e6 (exd6? 12. a3 Nc6 13. Nd5 is winning) 12. a3 Nbd5 13. Nxd5 exd5, Bryant’s position is downright ugly and will take many moves to sort out.

But Norowitz fails to capitalize on his early edge — more forcing was 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. f4 b6 17. g3 Bb7 18. Rc7 Bc6 19. Bh3, maintaining the bind — and Black slowly works his way back into the game. Black’s king, surrounded by White’s pawns and pieces in the center of the board, is oddly effective, while the once-pathetic Black d-pawn becomes a tower of strength on 25. Bxe4 fxe4 26. Ne5 d4!.

Black sacrifices the exchange to open the position for his bishops, and White, understandably dejected by the unpleasant turn of events, fails to put up the toughest defense: 32. Kd2 Rc5! 33. Rf1 Rxe5 34. fxe5 Bxe5 35. Kc1? (White can fight on after 35. Bd8! a4 36. Ba5 Bxb2 37. Bb4 c3+ 38. Bxc3 Bxa3 39. Rf6+ Kd5, though Black remains in charge) d2+! 36. Kxd2 Bxb2 37. Bd8 c3+ 38. Ke1 c2 39. Kd2 a4, and there’s no stopping the swarm of Black pawns.

In the final position, after 50. Ra8 d5, Norowitz has had enough, and Fritz even sees a mate in 16 for Black beginning with the line 51. Ra3+ Bb3 52. Ra5 d4 53. exd4 e3 54. Rc5+ Kb4 55. Kb2 e2, and a pawn must queen.

“The Stress of Chess … and Its Infinite Finesse” (New In Chess, 463 pages, $34.95) is the cool title of the fine new game collection/autobiography by Australian-born American grandmaster Walter Browne.

The six-time American champion, one of the best players in the world in the 1970s, was an attacking demon and a time-trouble addict in his heyday, making for some spectacular and spectacularly uneven contests among the 101 densely annotated games presented here. The selection, along with photos and many anecdotes, features games against the likes of Fischer, Spassky, Tal, Larsen and every major American player of note in the second half of the 20th century.

One of the most remarkable games from Browne’s prime was his win over veteran U.S. GM Arthur Bisguier in the 1974 U.S. Championship in Chicago, where White finds two jaw-dropping ideas in the space of four moves in a Petroff Defense line long thought to be drained of any drama. The game later would be voted the second best of the year by Informator magazine.

Black’s game after 11. Re1 f5 12. Nc3 (world champ Viswanathan Anand later would find the provocative 12. g4!? in this position) Nxc3 13. Qxc3 c6? had long been thought to be perfectly acceptable (play usually followed with the placid 14. Bd2, with minimal advantage for White) but after a 45-minute think, Browne proves otherwise: 14. Bxh6!! (the basic idea is to gain a tempo to play Re5 and Rae1, but the complications soon become head-spinning) Rg8 (after a complementary 45-minute ponder; 16. … gxh6 17. Re5 Qd7 16. Rae1 Be6 d5!, eyeing the loose rook on h8, is the idea, with 17. … cxd5? [0-0-0 18. dxe6 fxe6 19. Rxe6 Rhe8 20. Qc2 is better for White] 18. Rxe6 fxe6 19. Qxh8+ Bf8 20. Qf6 producing a quick knockout) 15. Re5 Qd7 16. Rae1 Be6 (gxh6 17. Rxe7+ Qxe7 18. Rxe7+ Kxe7 19. Qc5+ Kf6 20. Qe5+ Kg6 21. Nh4+) 17. Ng5!! (another stunning move that invites 17. … Bxg5 18. Bxg5 h6 19. Bh4 g5 20. Bg3 0-0-0 [Kf8 21. Rxe6 fxe6 22. d5 cxd5 23. Qf6+ Qf7 24. Bd6+, or 20. … Rg6 21. Rc5 0-0-0 22. Qa5 f5 23. Be5 b6 24. Qa6+ Qb7 25. Rxc6+ and wins] 21. d5 Bxd5 22. Re7, with a huge edge) 18. Nxf7!, a piece sacrifice that Black can’t refuse.

On 18. … Bxf7 (gxh6 19. Rxe6 Rde8 20. Qe3 Rg7 21. Nd6+ cleans up) 19. Rxe7 Qxd4 20. Rxf7 Qxc3 21. bxc3 gxh6 22. Rb1 Rg5 23. h4 Rb5 24. Rxb5 cxb5 25. Rxh7, the smoke has cleared with Browne a clear pawn up and boasting a much better pawn structure. Though the opposing flank pawn race gets a bit hairy, White keeps control to the end.

Thus: 32. g4 b4 (Browne writes that 32. Rf3+ 33. Kh4 Rxc3, was tougher, but White prevails on 34. Rd8 Rc7 35. g5 b4 36. g6 b3 37. h7 b2 38. Rd1 Rc1 39. h8=Q b1=Q 40. Qd8+ Ka6 41. Qf6+ Ka7 42. Qf2+ Kb8 [Ka6 43. Qf1+] 43. Qf4=+ and wins) 33. cxb4 axb4 34. Re8 Rf1 (b3 35. h7 b2 36. h8=Q b1=Q 37. Qd4+) 35. Kg2 Rf7 36. g5 Rf5 37. h7 Rxg5+ 38. Kf3 Rh5 39. h8=Q Rxh8 40. Rxh8, and Bisguier resigns as the rook will corral his b-pawn.

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

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