Feb 18, 2010

Linares 2010: Topalov Leads

Topalov has taken charge at Linares. After 5 rounds, he's the only player with a plus score. Aronian, Grischuk, and Gashimov are chasing a point back. Today, Topalov won with the rarely played 6.h3 (after a feint and a ruse) in the Najdorf. Compare to game 41 below where the game transposed to a Keres Attack with 6...e6.

Feb 17, 2010

Aeroflot Open: A Nice Finish

While we wait for something to happen at Linares, Le Quang Liem (VIE) finished strong at Aeroflot to take lone first. You'll be interested in the game, certainly to the extent that you're interested in the Symmetrical English, but the ending is instructive, too. Korobov (UKR) defeated Nguyen Ngoc Truong (VIE) to take clear second. Kamsky finished 32nd, two full points back, and Ehlvest finished 47th, three points back, with his only win being against Kamsky.

Feb 14, 2010

Linares 2010: Nimzowitsch, Rubinstein

Grischuk beat Gelfand today and Topalov bested Gashimov. They take the early lead at Linares.

Feb 13, 2010

Aeroflot Open: A Wild Modern

Boris Grachev joined Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son at the top of the Aeroflot crosstable with 4 out of 5. Cheparinov and Wesley So lead a large chase pack at 3 1/2. Shabalov won a wild game in the Modern (below) and is at 2. Kamsky has 3 points and Ehlvest 2 1/2.

Feb 11, 2010

Aeroflot Open: A Minature Philidor

Le Quang Liem of Vietnam has the only perfect score at Aeroflot, chased by Nguyen Ngoc Troung Son, Timofeev, and Cheparinov, a half point back. Kamsky and Ehlvest flew almost 5,000 miles to play each other in round 2 with Ehlvest prevailing. He's at 2. The below game suggests a couple of lessons: 1) Even GMs miss tactical shots; 2) Always calculate the forcing lines.

Feb 8, 2010

USCF Absolute 2009

One game remaining, everything at stake.


USCF/WS/09A01TD Dunne, Alex
1USA514439 Walters, Gary2158½½1½½½½½11118.544.501
2USA514324 Wilson, Abe L. ½½½½½½11½1½184302
3USA511587 Sogin, David2287½ ½.½½½11½1½17.539.513
4IRL260162 O'Hare, Ciaran23690½.½½1½½11117.536.514
5USA511061SMBrandhorst, Wesley T.2293½½½½½½½½½1½1737.505
6USA514476 Ballow, John ½½½½½½½½½½11737.2506
7USA514434 Van Enk, Steven2301½½½0½½½½½½116.533.7507
8USA512456 Anderson, Laurence A.2281½00½½½½½1½½1631.508
9USA511025IMMiettinen, Kristo S.2291½00½½½½½½11½630.509
10USA510155 Greene, Sanford I.22950½½0½½½0½11½5.527.5010
11USA514553 Rhodes, James 00000½½½00½1313011
12USA514679 Poole, Kenneth 0½½0½00½00½02.515.75012
13USA511601 Shipman, Joseph221900000000½½0128.25013

Feb 4, 2010

Gibtelcom Results: Lenderman the Fighter

As the first prize at Gibraltar cannot be shared, there was a four-player playoff among Adams, Gustafsson, Sandipan, and Vallejo Pons. Adams defeated Gustaffson in one semi-final, and Vallejo Pons won the other. Adams then defeated Vallejo Pons to take first. Kamsky and Lenderman also tied with 7.5 after the 10 rounds, but missed out on the playoff on tiebreaks. Lenderman gets the fighter's award. Of the 90 games played by those tied for first, only three games were lost, and two of those were by Lenderman. That says just as much, of course, about his number of wins. Had the tiebreak system rewarded victories as we see in some tournaments, Lenderman would have won the event. See his final round win below.

1GM Gustafsson, Jan7.5GERM26272769+1.88111½1½½1½½
2GM Adams, Michael7.5ENGM26942764+0.97111½1½½½1½
3GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco7.5ESPM27052726+0.3311½½½11½1½
4GM Sandipan, Chanda7.5INDM26222720+1.2911½1½1½½½1
5GM Kamsky, Gata7.5USAM26932719+0.3811½½1½1½½1
6GM Bacrot, Etienne7.5FRAM27132713+0.11½111½½½1½1
7GM Movsesian, Sergei7.5SVKM27082708+0.071½1½1½1½1½
8GM Geetha Narayanan Gopal7.5INDM25842656+0.9511½101½½11
9IM Lenderman, Alex7.5USAM25602652+1.3310111½1011

USCF Politics: Who Should Select the Executive Board?

Below is a post I made today on the USCF Issues Forum. The post responds to various ideas of who should be on the Executive Board (EB) of the USCF and how they should be selected. A motion is being proposed for this summer that would change the composition of the board and potentially pre-select certain persons (such as perhaps the President of the Chess Journalists of America) to always be a member of the board. There are many other suggestions, including from one delegate or another that all or some portion of the board should be selected by the USCF's delegates rather than by the USCF's members. (As background, see the One Member, One Vote posts on this blog, or better, have a read on the USCF's Issues Forum.) Others are for having persons from private industry join the board. Some want the Dean of American Chess (Bisguier at present) and whomever is in that position to be automatically on the board. Some want 7 board members, others want 11, and there will be many other reasoned opinions of how many and who should be on the board. I'm not knocking any of these proposals, or the suggested people as EB members, and I don't really doubt that they would make good EB members. That's not the point....

The members of the USCF should select the USCF EB. It's not just that it's the members' Federation--it is--but it's that the best way to elect an EB that will serve the membership is to let the members select the EB. I, for one, want to vote for who will lead the USCF. I appreciate that there are many who don't want to vote, and that's their choice. I don't think I'm alone; however, because if the last election is any indication, there are several thousand members who wish to vote. If someone wants a particular person on the board, let them nominate that person, and let that person run for and win an election. The process requires the nominee to be introduced to the membership and allows the membership to hear why the nominee should be elected. Those are good things.

Finally, if anyone wants to change the way we select the EB, he or she should expressly state why we need change, and then explain how the proposed change to the selection process addresses the "why."

by Grayson on Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:09 pm #180034 [on the USCF Issues Forum]

If ten in the know persons were to identify the "factions" within the USCF and describe the tensions among them, the answers would be all over the map. Identify the problem(s) first...and accept that there will be some tensions between competing interests. I agree--to the extent anyone is saying it--that the persons elected to the board need to be able to work through these tensions for the good of chess.

The members elect the EB. While the delegates can change this, I'm not a fan of the change. Let those who have influence, and there are many who do, go out and educate and persuade the voters. The best ideas, and for that matter, people, should win. That's the proper role of influence.

There is likely a need for some structural change to the USCF's governance. It's not proper to suggest that change, however, without stating why the change is needed and how the change is going to respond to whatever that need might be. Put slightly differently, it is not correct to assume that the problems are fully understood and that any required change is obvious.

Note: I could have laced the above (and anything else I say or write) with "IMOs" and even "IMHOs," but I rather hope that all will understand that should be the case for everything written here.

Feb 3, 2010

Gibtelcom Last Round: And a Rossolimo For Good Measure

Movesian, Vallejo Pons, Adams, and Gustafsson have the inside track going into the final round as shown below. Kamsky is within striking range, and Lenderman rebounded following his loss to Bacrot.

Feb 1, 2010

8th Gibtelcom Chess Festival: Kamsky, Lenderman, and 9

After 7 rounds in Gibraltor both Kamsky and Lenderman have a piece of the lead.  Tomorrow promises to be interesting.  Kamsky will have white against Adams, and Lenderman is "paired down" with black facing Bacrot.  Krush has held her own, too, and unfortunately will play Bhat.  Following the pairings below is a minature by Lenderman.  About a move after equalizing, his opponent self destructed spectacularly.  Lenderman saw the way clearly.