Donald Byrne - Penn State Masters
Day Five

Round Six

This was probably the best round of chess played in this tournament. All games were hard for except for one understandable result. Norman "Pete" Rogers clinched his second IM norm by drawing with IM Formanek. Rogers truly deserved the norm and has continued to play inspired chess. However, IM Chiong surpassed Rogers with an impressive win over Belorusov. With one round left to play, Chiong is 6½-1½ (plays Schneider) ; Rogers is 6-2 (plays Adu). 


Belorusov-Chiong, 0-1. This was a game that should win an award for it weirdness. The Russian played an unusual line of the Alapin Sicilian and played a Steinetz-like move in 12.Ke2!? He then proceeded to orchestrate a rather crude attack by playing 17.Bh6, doubling the rooks on the g-file and then prying open the g-file. The Filipino was far too sophisticated to fall prey to this and smartly beat back the attack. When the smoke cleared, black had two pawn rollers on the kingside. Aided by the king, these pawns were too much too handle. White's knight stayed on a3 for more than 20 moves after moving only once!!

Formanek-Rogers, ½-½. This game featured two old rivals from the Philadelphia area. These two must've played countless blood battles, but this one would end peacefully after 10 moves  and "Pete" would earn his 2nd IM norm. Congratulations to Norman Rogers!!

Schneider-Kriventsov, 0-1. The two players produced a very exciting match out of the Sicilian Paulsen.  Schneider's pieces didn't look right and Kriventsov quickly equalized and attempted to snatch the initiative with 11… h5. Some very enterprising play followed and it appeared that the young Schneider had regrouped and gained an edge in space after 31.Rfb1. Was Kriventsov in trouble here? Perhaps, but got some life after 33… f5! and now the tide turned. White tried counterattacking left his back rank vulnerable and after black's 42… Ra8, he took his last check 43.Qd7+ and then resigned in lieu of multiple back rank threats.

Charbonneau-Muhammad, ½-½.
  A hard-fought game from the Scotch Opening. Although Muhammad is very familiar with these lines, white got a comfortable position and weakened black's king position after playing 21.f6. White had a strong attack and Muhammad had to sacrifice an exchange to survive. Despite the material advantage, Charbonneau was unable to make ground and after a bit more probing with his rooks, he agreed to a draw.

Adu-Simpson, ½-½. Fireworks at its best! The game started as a normal Center Counter, but Simpson decided to make it interesting and played  20… Rh2!?  This exchange was designed to draw the queen away from the king so black could begin tactical ambitions. White was defending for several moves and all seemed well  until Simpson offered another zinger with 32… Bd3!? Adu maintained his composure, and after a series of exchanges, the game ended with only the slightest of chances for either side.  Draw.

Standings: Chiong, 6½; Rogers, 6; Kriventsov, 5; Charbonneau, 4½; Formanek, ; Adu, 3; Belorusov, 2½; Muhammad, Simpson, 2; Schneider, 1.

Games from Round Six (link to Penn State)
Player Photo Gallery

Round Eight

This round saw the tournament's organizer FM "Stas" Kriventsov earn his second IM norm.  There will probably be a third when FM Pascal Charbonneau meets Kriventsov tomorrow. That game will probably be a very quick draw resulting in the tournament's third norm.


Schneider-Chiong, ½-½. An intriguing battle despite the disparity in tournament standings. Schneider fought with the tournament's front-runner toe-to-toe in an exciting Najdorf Sicilian. There was nothing particularly threatening in this position although white's pieces were a bit better in the end. This draw clinched a tie for first for the Filipino master.

Adu-Rogers, ½-½. Both players appeared eager to close out the tournament and a quick draw resulted. NM Rogers capped off a fine tournament with another norm and overall solid play. He will certainly hit the Spring and Summer circuit to earn the last of his IM norms and get the required 2400 FIDE rating. Adu had seven draws (!) and played somewhat cautiously.  In an interview late last year, the Nigerian claimed to be working himself back into top form.

Kriventsov-Simpson, 1-0. This game had the makings of a bloodbath. Stas went after the jugular with pawn storm ending with 16.g6! White maintained a slight advantage for  much of the opening, but seized a chance to simplify into a favorable ending with 27.Rxf5! exf5 28.Be6+ Rd7 29.Bxf5. Entering a knight vs. bishop ending it appeared that Simpson could've held this position, 40.d5+! gave white a 3 vs. 1 pawn majority of the queenside. This pawn majority eventually broke through and black scurried back to catch the pawn only to be put in zugzwang a couple of moves later. This victory earned Stas the norm… it must satisfying to organize a tournament and then get a norm in it.  Congrats!

Charbonneau-Formanek, 1-0. This game featured another French Defense, the tournament's most popular opening. Formanek has been playing it for years. The young Canadian played "correct" chess and built up a good position. Before long, Formanek's kingside looked like Swiss chess as the dark squares around his king were naked.  This would prove to be fatal as white's queen invaded and stole a piece on move 42… perhaps in time pressure.

Belorusov-Muhammad, 1-0.  In this old-style Guioco Piano, rapid combat  occurred and on move 17, only  two rooks and a bishop remained for both sides… white had a more fluid pawn structure. Belorusov took advantage of black's weak pawns by fixing one on h6 and eventually wrestling it away from Muhammad. Another pawn fell and it proved to be too much of a deficit in the ensuing R+P ending. Black resigned.

Standings: Chiong, 7; Rogers, 6½; Kriventsov, 6; Charbonneau, 5½; Adu, Belorusov, Formanek, ; Muhammad, Simpson, 2 Schneider, 1½.

Games from Round  Eight (link to Penn State)
Player Photo Gallery