St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Round #3 (Friday, 3 April 2015)
|1||GM Onischuk, Alexander||1.0||2665||GM Troff, Kayden W||1.0||2532||½-½|
|2||GM Holt, Conrad||1.0||2530||GM Robson, Ray||1.5||2656||0-1|
|3||GM Akobian, Varuzhan||1.0||2622||GM Gareev, Timur||0.5||2604||½-½|
|4||GM Kamsky, Gata||1.0||2683||GM Nakamura, Hikaru||2.0||2798||½-½|
|5||GM So, Wesley||2.0||2788||GM Sevian, Samuel||0.5||2531||0-1|
|6||GM Naroditsky, Daniel||0.0||2633||GM Shankland, Samuel L||0.5||2661||½-½|
|1||WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev||0.0||2322||WCM Virkud, Apurva||1.5||2132||1-0|
|2||WFM Yu, Jennifer R||1.0||2180||FM Melekhina, Alisa||1.0||2235||½-½|
|3||WGM Nemcova, Katerina||1.5||2279||WIM Wang, Annie||1.0||1901||1-0|
|4||WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca||0.5||2235||WGM Sharevich, Anna||1.0||2267||1-0|
|5||WIM Ni, Viktorija||0.5||2188||IM Goletiani, Rusudan||1.5||2311||0-1|
|6||IM Paikidze, Nazi||1.0||2333||GM Krush, Irina||1.5||2477||1-0|
Big result today in the men’s section as Wesley So lost to the youngest competitor in the top section. In a complicated Slav, Sam Sevian answered the challenge and waded the waters of theory with a top ten player. That shows quite a bit of courage, but it paid off. Sevian followed the path of Viswanathan Anand’s game against Levon Aronian. So avoid Aronian’s debacle and decided to vary with 13.Bxh7+ instead of 13.Nxh7+. The piece sacrifice that followed seemed to give the Filipino a good initiative, but Sevian had a nice resource with 22.Rcxg5!
At that point, black’s pieces were swarming the board and gained a strong initiative against the white king. By the time, the queen rook got into the game with 33.Rf1, it was too late… three pieces were far too much for the rook to bear. Ultimately black’s pieces morphed into an mating unstoppable force and the upset was complete! Here is how Sevian described it.
Video by CCSCSL.
Hikaru Nakamura missed an opportunity to put distance between himself and the field when allowing Gata Kamsky a tactical recourse in a position that was clearly worse. Ray Robson got a nice win against Conrad Holt in his pet Grunfeld Defense. If this is all theory, it shows how far the Grunfeld has become since its popularity in the 70s. It appeared that white had quite an attack after 16.h5, but black calculated very deeply and was able to gain strong counterplay with a passed d-pawn. The win puts him in a tie for first.
Akobian-Gareev went 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 h6 3.e4 g5 4.Bc4 Bg7 ala Michael Basman. The strange thing was that white never exploited this type of play and they calmly split the point. Daniel Naroditsky has been having a bad tournament with two losses and it appeared as if he would face another loss after 28.Be6 Qh4 29.Bxc8 Qxf2+ 30.Kh1 Bxc8. However, Naroditsky found the drawing line and salvaged the game. Onischuk-Troff was a very interesting positional draw. White tortured black for 20-30 moves with a passed d-pawn, but it appeared Onischuk missed his chances later on.
On the women’s side, the story of the round had to be Nazi Paikidze who upset Irina Krush in impressive fashion. The game looked like a Modern Benoni reversed and the Georgian-born IM started her aggression with 18.g4!? Krush, who does not seem to be in top form side-stepped the challenge (18…f5) with the passive 18…Nf8 and Paikidze kept coming with 19.g5.
After 19…h5, white cracked off the a pawn with 20.Nxe5! since 20…Nxe5 21.f4 regains material. Some moves later, white piled her heavy pieces on the g-file to pry open the kingside. Besides the roving rooks, white had two menacing connected pawns. In fact in the final position, it became three connected pawns and Krush had seen enough. It appears that Krush may have gotten a wake-up call.
Viktorija Ni was hoping to improve on last year’s sour result, but has fared even worse thus far. Her game against Rusudan Goletiani was a matter of her forgetting the move order and getting into trouble out of the opening. In this line, white often sacks a pawn with d5 only to recover with an improvement in space. Ni forgot an intermezzo 13…Nc6! and is already busted after 14.cxd5 Ne5. Horrible white game.
IM Rusudan Goletiani is back from a one-year hiatus and appears to be rejuvenated. Photo by Lennart Ootes.
Annie Wang had success in the first round, but she is now learning how tough it can be playing strong players each round. She took a harsh lesson from Katerina Nemcova in a clinical performance. The game ended with white mating the black king. How did it happen? In the Exchange French, black seemed to equalize quite well in the opening, but began to slip in the middlegame after meeting 26.Bxd5 with 26…Rxd5? After 27.Rxe7 got two rooks on the 7th and ended up with a strong attack with mating patterns galore. Under immense pressure, Wang’s king fell after 34.Bc5+ Ke8 35.Rce7+ Kd8 36.Bb6+ with mate to follow.
Apurva Virkud also got a lesson from the experienced Tatev Abrahamyan in the Sicilian Najdorf. The game seemed to follow familiar terrain, but 20…e5? had to be a mistake. White battered the light squares and the black king was a sitting duck in the middle of the board. The black king eventually made a dash for the queenside, but not before the kingside was plundered. White ate the pawns and her f- and g-pawns had a clear path to glory. A much-needed win for Tatev.
Tatev Abrahamyan was in a must-win situation against 16-year old National Master Apurva Virkud. Photo by Lennart Ootes.
Yu-Melekhina was level all the way through as white’s slight edge petered out and it was black who was looking for winning chances. These chances evaporated after 42…f5? when 42…a4! may have kept the game going. Finally Foiser-Sharevich was another disaster as black’s position was structurally ruined out of the opening. Black suffered mightily as her position was likened to Swiss cheese it had so many holes. With no shelter for the king, white chased the black’s king across the board where it would wait to be mated. Well-played!
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