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The Fogies Fight Back

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Things hotted up at the NH Tournament in round six. The youth team had white on all boards but somewhere along the line they forgot that was supposed to be an advantage after the novel 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 (!!). After two wins for each side the Rising Stars team still leads the Experience team by a single point.

Smeets-Nikolic was the only draw but it was entertaining to the end. Smeets and Cheparinov are still in striking range of first place with +1. After barely doing more than showing up in the first half of the event, Khalifman shook off the cobwebs to beat Stellwagen on the black side of a Lopez. White's 25.Rb1 was out-zwischenzugged by 25..Bf6! and Black wins material. Khalifman added to his collection of excuses for his previous five rounds of attendance with, "Sometimes people forget that a draw is a natural result in a chess game." Profound, and it was also wise of him not to add, "now where can I go cash my paycheck?"

Negi, no chicken Parimarjan, did everything right against Beliavsky in another Lopez and was ready to collect a well-deserved first win. On move 39 he had his choice of wins: the subtle 39.Nf6+ Kg7 40.Rd8! (with Rd7 to follow) or the hammer to the forebrain 39.Ne7+ Kg7 40.Nxg6. Instead he played for the mate in two with 39.Qf6 (threat Rxf8+) only to see all his threats disappear after the entirely forced 39..Rc8! That loses the black queen to 40.Nc7 but actually turns the tables thanks to the passed a-pawn and the horribly out of play white queen. An amazing swindle. It's a little surprising how easily Black won the queen endgame with an extra pawn. 46..d5!?! was a risky-looking way to try to end things quicker by keeping the extra bishop.) Negi tried to keep his queen active instead of bringing it back for defense and it was only a spectator for the rest of the game. The youngest player is now on -3, but not for a lack of stretches of good chess.

Cheparinov scored his first win by beating Jussupow, who was leading the individual standings. White was making progress and then won instantly when Black whoopsed 34.Rg3. Ouchie. I'm sure I'll be lecturing in the newsletters about the hazards of pushing the pawns in front of your king thanks to Jussupow's inexplicable 27..g6. Of the many reasons to love Ljubo is that he plays my dear old Accelerated Dragon. He quickly went way off the beaten track, however, with 11..b5 against Karjakin. This is the sort of move you can describe as only being good with an inordinate amount of cooperation from your opponent. Karjakin played it safe with 12.a3 when the obvious 12.e5 dxe5 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.fxe5 looks very strong. But after 14..Nh5 it's not so easy. In the game Karjakin got two pieces for a rook and turned it into a nice queenless king assault to win. With +2 the top seed is now in the lead to get the ticket to next year's Melody Amber in Monaco.

Better Know Moldova™: The 2008 World Almanac for Kids has a "Did You Know?" entry for every country. For Moldova it is: "On March 1, Moldovans celebrate the beginning of spring by wearing a pin with braided threads of red (symbolizing blood) and white (symbolizing life)."

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 29, 2007 1:50 AM.

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