Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

1/31/04 - GM Goldin Invitational

Last Saturday, I played a one-day G/60 Grand Prix event in Lexington, KY. This was a very well attended event with a crowd that overflowed the main playing room. In the first round, I had White against Hank Rothberger and had another opportunity to examine the complexities of the Botvinnik Variation. 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5 hxg5 10. Bxg5 Nbd7 11. exf6 Bb7 12. g3 Qb6 13. Bg2 O-O-O 14. O-O Bh6

14... c5 would lead back to the main line. The text was played in the high level game Kramnik-Piket Tilburg 1998. In New In Chess Magazine #8 1998, GM Jereon Piket relates the tale of how a Dutch amateur sprung it on him in the last round of a weekend tournament. Piket studied the line and decided to add it to his repertoire. He played Kramnik about a month later achieving a very nice position, but let Kramnik escape with a draw during a time scramble. 15. Bxh6 Rxh6 16. Qd2 Kramnik chose 16. Qc1 which Piket considers dubious. That move sidesteps pins along the d-file and lines the White queen up along the same line as the Black king making queenside pawn breaks work. However, it takes away protection of the d4-pawn, which is why I didn't give it serious consideration. My decision came down between the text and 16. Ne4 16... Rh5 16... Rg6 was the move played in Piket-Okkes, Veenendaal 1998 when Piket thinks that Black is all right. The rook move to h5 looks a bit awkward, but the rook can provide defense to the queenside. For example if now 17. a4 b4 White does not have the move 18. a5. With these types of queenside pawn breaks not looking very favorable, I decided to centralize my rook. 17. Rad1 Nxf6 17... c5 18. dxc5 Rxc5 (worse seem to be 18... Qxc5 19. Bxb7+ Kxb7 20. Ne4 or 18... Nxc5 19. Qxd8+ Qxd8 20. Rxd8+ Kxd8 21. Nxb5 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Nd3 23. Nd6) 19. Bxb7+ Qxb7 and White should have a slight edge since the pressure on his kingside is mostly gone. 18. Qf4 Rf5 19. Qh4 Rg8 19... b4 eventually led to a draw in the game Papenin-Yarmysty, 2001 Ukrainian Jr. Championship. 20. Bh3 Rh5? After this, White gets a clear edge. Interesting is 20... Rf3!? intending to meet 21. Kg2 with 21... c5 22. d5 Nxd5 23. Nxd5 Rd3! so White probably has to settle for a small advantage after 21. Ne4 Nxe4 22. Qxe4 Rf6 21. Bxe6+ fxe6 22. Qxf6 c5 23. d5 I wanted to close the long diagonal, 23. Rfe1 also deserves attention 23... Bxd5 Black has to capture the pawn otherwise d5-d6 is going to be very powerful. The alternative is to capture with the pawn 23... exd5 giving White a choice between 24. Qxb6 axb6 25. Nxb5 and 24. Qf7 24. Nxd5 exd5 24... Rxd5 25. Rxd5 exd5 26. Qf5+ should also win for White. 25. Qf7 As my game with Burghart showed, a major piece ending in the Botvinnik can be very unpleasant for Black because of the exposed nature of his king. 25... Rgh8 26. Rfe1 Qc6 27. Re6 Qd7 28. Re7 Qc6 28... Qh3 29. Rc7+ leads to mate 29. Rde1 Kd8 30. R1e6 R5h7 31. Rxc6 Rxf7 32. Rxf7 d4 33. Rxc5 d3 34. Rxb5 Rh6 35. Rb8# [1:0]

In the second round I had Black against Gabriel Popkin. I played the opening poorly and my position was already in bad shape after 18. f4-f5

18... Bd7 When envisioning this position a few moves before, I had intended the pawn sacrifice 18... d4 19. cxd4 Bxb3 20. axb3 cxd4 21. Qxd4 Rfd8 when I thought I might have a little compensation. When I got to this point, I realized there are many problems with this variation starting with (19. Qg3 and White wins on the spot because of the threat f5-f6 19. Rae1 This doesn't really spoil much, but 19. f6 anyway, is still completely winning for White after 19... Qe6 (19... gxf6 20. Qg3+ Kh8 21. exf6) 20. Nxc5 Even after the text, Black's position is still completely miserable, but at least he is still alive. 19... Rfe8 20. Qf4 Qf8 21. Re3 Ra8 Although I have been given a slight repreive, my position is still critical. I was trying to find some way to generate activity. 21...f6 22. e6 would slow the attack on the king for awhile, but is clearly better for White. On 21... b4 22. cxb4 cxb4 White's knight gets the beautiful d4 square. I didn't like 21... a5 22. Nxa5 Ra8 because of 23. b4 although then 23... d4 might introduce some complications. I decided to try to prepare a5-a4 without sacrifices, but the text leaves the c-pawn with one less defender. 22. Qh4 a5? Consistent, but this move should drop a piece. 23. e6 fxe6 I saw I was losing a piece, but since there are no reasonable alternatives I moved quickly here hoping my opponent would make the automatic recapture and let me escape with only the loss of a pawn. Trying the same idea without the exchange does not work 23... Qe7 24. f6 +- 24. fxe6?! 24. Rh3 threatening mate, guarding his queen and getting his rook out of the potential pin is immediately decisive. 24... Qe7 25. Qxe7 Rxe7 26. Nxc5 Be8 27. Re5 Bc6 28. Nd3 Rae8 29. Nf4 b4 30. cxb4 axb4 31. Rc1 Bb7 32. Rc5 h6 33. Nxd5 Bxd5 34. Rcxd5 Rxe6 35. Rxe6 Rxe6 36. Rb5 Ra6 37. Rxb4 Rxa2 Somehow Black has reached a position with serious practical drawing chances. Both players were under 5 minutes on the clock now. I even managed to win when he blundered his rook to a tactic in a drawn position.

I had White in the third round against John Burgess, a master visiting from England. I had a very small edge out of the opening after 17...Ne6

The game continuation is somewhat reminiscent of the game Bereolos-Atkins, but along the e-file instead of the sixth rank. In the diagram, there doesn't seem to be much danger to the Re8 from the Re1. 18. exf5 gxf5 19. Nh4 f4 19...Nd4? 20. Bxd4 with a pin, so he chases the bishop away first. 20. Bc1 Nd4? 21. Rxd4 exd4 22. Rxe8+ Kf7 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Ne4 Be5 25. Nf3 Re8 26. Nxe5+ Rxe5 and White won without much trouble with the simple plan of bringing the king to f3, capturing the f-pawn and rolling the kingside pawns.

Before the final round, the guest of honor, GM Alexander Goldin, gave a lecture. I believe he was also analyzing participants games and played in the speed chess tournament after the main event. I missed the first part of the lecture, but did get to see him present the beautiful attacking game Goldin-Efimov 1982 USSR Team Cup.

In the final round I had Black against Dennis Gogol. Like the week before, I got a dynamic position with Black, but ended up losing. The position after 26. Ne3

is about even, but I was already down to my final 5 minutes on the clock. 26...d4?! This only drives the knight to a better square. The immediate 26... Be7 should be about equal, although White's position might be easier to play. 27. Ng4 Be7 28. Rfe1 Bxa3 29. bxa3 Kd7?? This terrible blunder loses on the spot. 30. Rxc6 Kxc6 30... bxc6 31. Nxe5+ Ke7 32. Ng6+ +- 31. Nxe5+ Kb6 32. Nxf7 and White won. There was bad weather in the forecast, so I skipped the blitz tournament and headed home, but it seems like this tournament was a success. The organizers spoke about perhaps staging a similar event later this year with the other Lexington-based GM, Gregory Kaidanov.

1/25/04 - North Tennessee Winter Open

I've played tournaments the past two weekends, so I am a little bit behind in my posts. Two weekends ago was the annual NTWO in Clarksville, TN. This was once again a very well attended event, with over 100 players despite no listing in Chess Life. I was seeded third in the open section behind IM Burnett and Andrews. Since I haven't posted much material lately, I'm going to give the full game scores. The notes will be a bit lighter than usual since I'm still working on some of these games.

Round 1 was a rematch of round 1 of the TN Open with Matan Prilleltensky, but this time he had White. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O f6 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 c5 8. Nb3 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Bg4 10. f3 Be6 11. Be3 b6 12. Nc3 Bd6 13. Nd5 I don't think this move is very good. After Black captures, White either loses time or must give up his kingside pawn majority. 13... Bxd5 14. exd5 14. Rxd5 Ne7 14... Ne7 15. c4 Kf7 16. g3 h5 17. f4 Nf5 18. Bd2 I thought 18. Bf2 was better, keeping the Black knight under watch. 18... Rhe8 19. Re1 Bf8 Clearing d6 for the knight to pressure c4. 20. Bc3 Ne3 since he gave me that square instead 21. Nd2 b5

22. a3? After 22. b3 I intended 22... b4 23. Bb2 Nc2 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Rc1 Ne1 when I thought Black has a pull. Instead, the computer suggests 25. Rf1 with the point 25... Ne1 26. Be5!, so instead 25... Re2 26. Rf2 with equality. 22... b4 23. axb4 cxb4 White loses material after 24. Bd4 Nc2 [0:1]

In round 2, I had White vs. Jerry Spinrad 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 cxd4 5. Qa4+ The purpose of this in-between move is to deprive Black of the option 5. Qxd4 Nc6 6. Qd1 exd5 7. Qxd5 Be6 although that variation shouldn't bother White too much. (7... Bd7 transposes back into the game.) 5... Bd7 6. Qxd4 exd5 7. Qxd5 Nf6!? 8. Qd1 grabbing a second pawn with 8. Qxb7 has scored very well in my database, but it looked very risky to me. 8... Bc5 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. e3 Qe7 11. Be2 O-O-O 12. O-O g5 13. a3 13. b4 is the principle theoretical move here giving back the pawn in order to speed development and divert Black's pieces. However, that is not the most obvious move to find over the board, so I took a slower approach. 13... h5 This move seems to be new. Normal is 13... g4 With the text and it's follow-up, Black tries to keep g4 available for his pieces, but eventually finds it necessary to push the pawn to that square. 14. Qc2 Kb8 15. b4 Bd6 16. Bb2 I had a long thought here, mostly looking at 16. b5 Ne5 17. Nd4 but decided to complete development and take aim at the loose pieces on the long diagonal. In some lines the b5 square can be useful for a knight. 16... h4 17. b5 17. Nb5 also came into consideration 17... Ne5 18. Nd4 g4 18... Neg4 would be consistent with his previous play, but 19. Bxg4 Nxg4 20. h3 looks OK for White. 19. Ne4 g3 perhaps 19... Bc7 20. Nxd6 despite the pawns bearing down on my king, I felt very little danger after getting rid of this piece. Now all my pieces are ready to spring to life. 20... Qxd6 21. Rad1 Qe7 22. Nf5 Qe6 23. Rd6

23... gxh2+ Black gets splattered here or on the next move after 23... Qxf5 24. Qxf5 Bxf5 25. Rxd8+ Rxd8 26. Bxe5+, but there isn't much else. 24. Kh1 h3 25. Rxe6 hxg2+ 26. Kxg2 [1:0]

In round 3, I had Black against Alex King 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O f6 I briefly considered deviating from the first round game since Alex and Matan know each other and I suspected they had looked at that game. I decided to play the same way, since I don't think there is much trouble for Black in these lines 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 c5 8. Nb3 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Bg4 10. f3 Be6 11. Nc3 Bd6 12. Be3 b6 13. a4 Kf7 13... 0-0-0 led to a debacle for Spassky in his return match against Fischer in 1992. 14. a5 c4 15. Nd4 b5 16. Nxe6 Kxe6 17. Ne2 Ne7 18. Kf2 Rhd8 19. Bf4 Be5 20. Bxe5 fxe5 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22. Ke3 Nc6 23. f4 Nb4 24. Rc1 Perhaps 24. f5+ should be considered. I didn't capture on f4 on the previous move since I wanted d5 covered to stop his knight from going there, but now Black gets a very nice position. 24... exf4+ 25. Nxf4+ Ke5 26. Ne2

I thought my position was very close to winning here. His rook is tied to defending c2 while his knight has to prevent ...Rd4. So it seemed that I just needed to run him out of moves. The only real idea for him that I saw was b3, trying to activate the rook along the c-file. I avoided moves like ...c5 because of this, but that was a poor decision as the Black pieces would become much more active if White tried this. 26... g6 So that f5 is protected in some lines, but 26... c5 or 26... g5 restraining White's knight were better choices. 27. g3 Rd6 28. Ng1 so his knight can move after all!. 28... Rd7 29. Ne2 g5 30. h3 preventing g4. I was starting to get a bit frustrated here and made a poor move 30... Nc6?! with the idea of Nd4, but this should have been preceded by 30... c5 31. Rf1! Taking the opportunity to activate his rook 31... h6 32. Rf8 Nb4 33. Rf5+ Kd6 34. c3 Nc2+ 35. Kd2 Na1 another example of the cornered knight 36. Rd5+ Ke7 37. Rxd7+ Kxd7 38. Nd4

38... c5 I didn't have a whole lot of time left, so I rejected the move 38... Nb3+!? since the pawn ending 39. Nxb3 cxb3 40. c4 bxc4 or 40... b4 is very difficult to evaluate. Even now, having looked at it a bit, I am still not sure what the result should be. 39. Nf5 Another move that deserves a good look is 39. Nxb5!? Nb3+ 40. Ke3 axb5 (during the game I was considering 40... Nxa5 41. Na3 Ke6 with a slight advantage to White) 41. a6 Kc7 42. e5 Na5 43. Ke4 39... Nb3+ 40. Kc2 40. Ke3 is the only way to try and win, but it is a bit double edged since Black's knight can attack the b-pawn via c6-e5-d3. Instead, my opponent was quite content with a draw. 40... h5 41. h4 gxh4 42. gxh4 Ke6 43. Ng7+ Ke5 44. Nxh5 Kxe4 45. Nf6+ Kf5 46. Nd7 Kg4 47. Nb8 Nxa5 48. Nxa6 Nb7 49. Nc7 Nd6 50. Ne6 Ne4 51. b4 cxb4 52. cxb4 Kxh4 53. Nc7 Nd6 54. Kc3 Kg4 55. Nxb5 Nxb5+ 56. Kxc4 [frac12;:frac12;]

The next morning I had White against Todd Andrews, who had beaten me in the fourth round last year to knock me out of contention. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 After losing badly when I repeated the Zaitsev variation (5.Nc3) for the third time in a row against Todd in 2000, I've been varying my approach to the Benko against him. 2 years ago in Clarksville, I went for the fianchetto variation. It was back to the Zaitsev in Murfreesboro later that year. Todd didn't try the Benko in the Tennessee Open a few weeks later, but now put the challenge to me again. I decided to keep changing things up. 5. b6!? a5 6. Nc3 Ba6 7. f4 d6 8. Nf3 Nbd7 9. e4 Bxf1 10. b7 This in between move helps disrupt Blacks normal flow of development. 10... Rb8 11. Rxf1 White is ready to smash through the center with e4-e5-e6, Black needs to hold this up. 11... Qb6 11... Nb6 was Zsuzsa Polgar's choice against Seirawan in the only high level game to reach this position, but Yaz won that game. Todd's choice looks like it stops White's plan by covering the e6 square, but White has a sequence typically seen in the 4 Pawns Attack. 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Ng4 14. e6 fxe6 15. Ng5!

White has too many threats. Ng4 is loose and White also threatens dxe6 followed by Qa4+ 15... Ndf6 16. Qa4+ the utility of Pb7 makes itself felt after 16... Kd8 17. Nxe6+ [1:0]

That win set me up for a last round showdown with IM Ron Burnett. Strangely enough, even though we are roughly the same age and have both been active tournament players, it was only our 3rd meeting, and the first since the 1986 US Junior Open 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5The Ruy Lopez 3 times in one tournament! I'm not sure the last time that happened. The final stats last year were 4 times out of the 9 games I answered 1.e4 with 1...e5 3... a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Nd3!? I had seen some games with this sharp idea and decided it was worth trying as a winning attempt for Black. 11. Qe2 Nf4 12. Qe3 g5 this agressive move is the point. White's Nd2 doesn't have much scope. His next move prepares Nb3 eyeing the dark squares d4 and c5. 13. Bc2 Bh6 with the idea of g4 followed by Nh3+ 14. Qe1 I thought this move looked awkward. Afterwards, Ron suggested 14. Kh1!? 14... Bg4 15. h3 Qd7 16. e6 This pawn sac looks forced 16. hxg4? Qxg4 17. g3 Qh3 18. gxf4 gxf4 with a quick mate. 16... Bxe6 17. Nb3

17... O-O-O?! I wanted to break the pin to resestablish the threat to sacrifice on h3, but paradoxically, the Black king is much safer on the kingside despite having pushed g5. 17... O-O 18. Bxf4 gxf4 with an unclear position. 18. Bxf4 gxf4 19. Nc5 Qd6Another problem with castling queenside is that the Black queen lacks the c8 retreat and now finds it very difficult to rejoin the kingside attack. 20. b4! better than grabbing the a-pawn. White establishes a dark square bind and his attack comes much faster than Black's. 20... Rde8 A waste of time. It is better to immediately bring a rook to the g-file with 20... Rdg8 20... Rhg8 21. a4 Bxh3 22. Qb1 Rhg8 23. Bf5+ Bxf5 24. Qxf5+ Kb8 25. Nxa6+ Kb7 26. Nc5+ Kb8 27. axb5 Ne7 28. Qh3 Nc8 29. Nd4 [1:0]

1/16/04 - New FIDE Rating List

The FIDE rating list for January 2004 is out. As usual, there is no change at the top with the big 3, Kasparov(2831), Kramnik(2777), and Anand(2766) leading the way. There have been several number 4's in recent times and the latest is 4-time Russian champion Peter Svidler(2747). The usual suspects round out the top 10, with #7 Morozevich(2732) as the biggest gainer and former number 4 (now #14) Bareev(2714) having the biggest drop.

Club 2700 is no longer very exclusive. Now 18 players can claim membership. #19 Akopian(2693) dropped out, but was replaced by #16 Ivan Sokolov(2706) and #18 Vladimir Malakhov(2700). Half of the worlds 2700 players are currently in action at Wijk aan Zee, so the next list could see further shake-up.

The USA now has 6 players in the top 100. #41 Alexander Onischuk(2652) continues to lead the way, but now #69 Alexander Shabalov(2623) who won just about every big US event last year is tied for second with Gregory Kaidanov(2623). #74 Yasser Seirawan(2621) is close behind, but has announced his retirement from playing professionally. #83 Alexander Goldin(2616) and #100 Igor Novikov(2604) round out the US top 100 membership. I notice that Julio Becerra Rivero(2569) is #11 on the US list with 12 games played during the rating period, so it looks like they fixed the problem with his name/country switch.

My rating was unchanged at 2326 with no games in the period. This was enough to move me up a few places to #137 on the US list.