Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

8/28/00 - BCE#45a

I've been having problems with my modem again, which is the reason for the lack of posts. Hopefully, I'll get this cleared up soon. I've posted the correction to BCE#45a in the Basic Chess Endings section. This one is another king and pawn ending where Fine overlooks a simple draw.

8/21/00 - 8th Battle of Murfreesboro

I jumped right back on the tournament horse on Saturday for the Grand Prix tournament in Murfreesboro. They had a great turnout, with around 50 players including 4 masters(IM Enrico Sevillano, myself, Jerry Wheeler, and Bill Melvin). I played pretty well, winning my first 4 without much difficulties. In the last round I had Black against Sevillano as the only two players with perfect scores. I thought I was close to equalizing at several points, but he kept a nagging edge, until finally I blundered.

I played 1...Qc8 Now, 2.Qxd6 Qxc3 3.Qxb6 Qxa3 is equal he sidestepped this with 2.Kh2 2...Nc4 3.Nd5 should be better for white because of his healthy queenside pawn majority and the outpost on d5 for his knight, but there would still be some fight left. I didn't appreciate the difference the king on h2 made and played 2...Qc4? 3.Qxd6 Qxc3 4.Qxb6 Qxa3 5.Qa7+! Kg8 6.b5 and Black no longer has the saving check on c1 so White wins easily 6...Qc1 7.bxa6 Qf4+ 8.g3 Qxe4 9.Qb8+ 1-0 White forces Queens off with Qb7+ next move.

Other than that slip, I was very happy with my play. It was kind of strange playing a fast time control (G/75) after all the slow games at the US Open. I thought I might have trouble with time pressure, but didn't. Still, I didn't feel much like analyzing after the games. Maybe the heavy schedule I've had the past couple of months is catching up. I think I'm going to take a little break from tournament chess and try to digest all the games I've played. I'll still keep this site updated.

8/14/00 - US Open Wrapup

I'm back in Tennessee after the US Open. Things turned out kind of disappointing for me after the promising start. In Round 6 I played Black against the junior player Braden Bournival. I declined a draw in a basically equal endgame and eventually found my way through to victory.

51...Rd2+ I think this is an important move, forcing the White king to a bad square. On 51...Rd4 52.Rxd4 Kxd4 53.Kg1, the White king will reach f1 with a probable draw. 52.Kh3 Rd4 53.Rxd4 Kxd4 54.Bc8 Bc3 55.Bb7 Ke3 56.Kg4 f2 57.Ba6 Kd2 58.Kf4 e3 59.Kf3 Bd4 0-1

Also in this round GM Yermolinsky beat GM Shabalov to take clear control of first, thus bringing the Northwest Chess Congress to an end. I was part of a large group of players in 5th place at this point, so I got to collect $25.25. The 25 cents was the unofficial prize based on prizes from the 1900 Northwest Chess Congress, which they adjusted for inflation by multiplying by 100 for the official prize. I was just below the cut again, so in Round 7 I got paired way up to face GM Gregory Serper on the stage (they got my name right this time) with the White pieces. I took on some weaknesses to provoke some weaknesses in his kingside, but we both fell into terrible time pressure. In this position, he just took my d-pawn with 25...Rxd4

26.Qe7 with ideas of bringing the knight in via e5, d6, or b6, he decided to try and kill my counterplay with 26...Be4? which drops two pieces for a rook. 27.Rxc3 bxc3 28.Bxe4 White would be very close to winning if he could swap a pair of rooks, but 28.Rxe4? Rxe4 29.Bxe4 c2 exposes the weak back rank. 28...Rad8 29.Bc2 h5 30.Ne3?! short of time I hallucinated that he was threatening 30...Rd1? 31.Rxd1? Rxd1+ 32.Bxd1 c2. Even if that was the case 30.h3 creating luft is better, but it's not even a threat since on 30...Rd1 31.Bxd1 wins. Now his queen gets back into the game. 30...Qe5 31.h3 Rd2 32.Rf1 R8d7 33.Qe8+ Kg7 34.Nc4 Qc5 35.Nxd2? I should simply hold the position together with 35.Ne3 when White is still better. 35...Rxd2 36.Be4 c2 37.Bxc2 Rxc2 38.h4? The final blunder with only seconds remaining. After 38.Qb5 Qc3 Black is better, but white has chances to hold 38...Rb2 39.Qb8 at the last second I realized 39.Qb5 Qxb5 40.axb5 Rxb3 41.Ra1 Rxb5 guarding a5 was completely hopeless. 39...Qc3 40.Qb5 time control with about 3 seconds left on my clock, but after 40...Rxb3 Black is completely winning since he'll soon round up the a-pawn. I slogged on for awhile but the rest is not of interest.

In round 8, I had Black against another junior, Yelena Gorlin. I played a strong game and reached the following advantageous endgame, when time pressure started playing a factor again.

32.Ng3 Bc5 33.Ne2 a5?! I wanted to get my pawns off of the light squares in anticipation of any light-squared bishop ending, but this move makes it easier for White to trade pawns. Better is 33...Kg7 to use the king in the assualt on White's queenside. 34.Nc1 Bc2 35.Be2 Bd4 36.Bd3 Bd1 37.b4 a4 38.Bxb5 Bb2 39.Nd3 Bxa3 40.f3 f6 time control, but the win has probably passed. Black still has some ideas though, and can draw at his leisure with ...Bc2. 41.Kf2 Bb3 throwing in g4 was probably better. 42.Ke2 Bxb4? I thought the ending with light-squared bishops might still give me a symbolic reason for playing on, but this move practically forces White to win the game. 43.Nxb4 a3 44.Kd3 a2 45.Nxa2 Bxa2 46.Bc4 Bd1+ I didn't think much about the last few moves since they were basically forced and Bxc4 was obviously a lost king and pawn ending. I started looking at things more carefully now and got a sinking feeling as I realized my bishop was trapped. 47.Kd2 f5 if Black had managed ...g4 ...gxf3 gxf3 at some point this would be a draw because of the wrong colored rook pawn, but instead White gets an undeserved full point. 48.Kc1 Bxe4 49.fxe4 f4 50.Be2 Kg7 51.Kd2 Kf6 52.Kc3 Ke6 53.Kc4 1-0

That basically wrecked my tournament. I was really upset with myself, but was able to pull myself together for the last round when I realized that it was just a fluke and I hadn't really been outplayed. I played White against another junior in the final round, Benjamin Gradsky. I thought it was going to be 3-time repetition as he trotted out the first 12 moves of Bereolos-Murray and Bereolos-Sherwood from Round 1. He managed to find a solution that didn't lose a pawn right away, but still landed him in a difficult position. He finally did shed a pawn on move 23 and never really found any compensation. So I ended 6-3, well off the pace. The Yermonator powered through the field yielding only two draws to take clear first with 8-1. 504 participants from 45 states took part. I ended up seeded 29th and played players from 8 different states.

The other Tennesee players scores that I had been following were: Hyatt 6/9, Pennig 5.5/9, Abron 5/9, Knight 4.5/9. Gibson withdrew with 4/8. Mike Abron was the only one in that group that looked like he might win a prize. Gibson also ended up with an undefeated 3.5/5 in the Denker HS championship to tie for 6th. There was a 5-way tie for first with David John of Texas the winner on tiebreaks. The other 4 players all won scholarships to the University of Texas at Dallas. John did not win one since he already had a scholarship to play chess there.

Overall, I think the tournament was a success. The organizing crew did a great job providing nice wood sets for all boards, which were available for purchase at about 50% discount at the end of the tournament. The lighting could have been a bit better, but was passable. The Twin Cities had a lot to offer. During the daytime, we weren't playing, so Doug and I saw the Mall of America, Science Museum, Minnesota History Museum, Cathedral of St. Paul, Canterbury Park horse racing track, and the Minneapolis Zoo. (BTW, a hardy thanks to Doug's friend Thomas Nilson (no relation to Martin) who drove us to alot of those places on the weekends). The only real complaint was a lack of restaurants in St. Paul, especially in the evenings. There was one small 24-hour diner within walking distance of the hotel. On the weekends, it was hard to find anything else. Even room service closed down well before midnight, so it was hard to find a postgame meal since we didn't have a car. I also wasn't very impressed with the USCF bookstore although I did pick up a T-shirt and a couple of books. I would think that the cash-strapped federation could do better by renting out the space to a book seller than by bringing a small subsection of their catalog.

8/10/00 - Northwest Chess Congress

I moved to 4 out of 5 in the US Open last night with a win with White over Larry Cohen from Illinois. I finished him off with a nice direct attack to his king

1.Qh6+ Kg8 2.e5 Qe6 3.Rxd4 eliminating any defense based on Nf5 3...cxd4 4.Ne4 threatening both Nf6+ and Ng5 4...f6 5.Qxg6+ Kh8 6.Ng5 Qg8 7.Qh6+ Qh7 8.Qxh7#

There is a tournament inside the tournament going on. This is the 100 year anniversary of the Northwest Chess Congress, which was the first US Open. In that tournament, play went on until there was a clear leader. For this tournament, there is a separate prize for the top 7 players determined when there is a single player leading. I like this idea since they made the prize large enough ($1500 for the clear leader) that it will encourage fighting chess. The tournament is starting to get close to a point where this prize could be awarded. GMs Yermolinsky and Blatny are the only players in the evening schedule with 5/5. I think the only other players capable of reaching 5/5 are in the five day schedule where GMs Shabalov and Wojtkiewicz were at 3/3 along with IM Burnett and some others. Everything finally merges starting tonight, so it will be much clearer as to what is going on.

There hasn't been much media coverage. There was an article about a couple of the top Minnesota players on the front page of the variety section of the newspaper on the first day, but I haven't seen anything since. The only online presence I've seen is the new US Chess Live which was being manned by some of the GMs on the off schedules. I don't know who will be commenting there now that everyone will be playing at the same time, but I think they are doing that in real time since they have a terminal set up just off of the stage.

Scores of other Tennessee players are Hyatt 4/5, Pennig and Gibson 3/5, and Knight 2.5/5. Gibson has 2/3 in the Denker high school championship.

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8/9/00 - US Open Update

Just a quick update. Two more rounds are in the books here in St. Paul. I won my third round game, a complicated affair versus junior player Ray Kaufman (son of IM Larry Kaufman). That got me on to the stage. I played GM Gregory Kaidanov on Board 1 last night. He beat me pretty miserably for the third straight time. To add insult to injury, they spelled my name wrong on the placard on the side of the table. Oh, well, still plenty of chess left to be played, I'll try to make it back to the stage again, so they can correct their mistake.

Many of the schedules merge tonight. I'm now ranked 20th out of over 400 players on the main wallchart. Other scores of Tennesee players are Hyatt, Pennig and Gibson all 3/4. Jason Knight from Oak Ridge is playing the 7-day schedule and had 0.5/2. Mike Abron, formerly of Knoxville, is playing the 5-day schedule starting today. Gibson also has 1.5/2 in the Denker high school championship. Sorry for no games or fragments, it's hard to post things quickly in a limited time.

8/7/00 - The Drive for Five

Greetings from St. Paul! I'm here this week for the US Open. So far, so good, I have 2 out of 2. My first round opponent, Peter Sherwood, followed the first 16 moves of the game Bereolos-Murray from the Knoxville City Championship Qualifier in March. Unfortunately for him, White is winning a pawn with a decisive endgame advantage at that point. Round 2 was a more complicated affair against local player Don Aldrich. I was starting to gain a large positional advantage with Black when my opponent sacrificed a piece. I found a pretty convincing refutation.

1...c4 2.Rxa6 cxb3! 3.Rxa8 b2+! 4.Kxb2 Rxa8 and I was able to convert the extra piece without too much trouble

They've said that there are about 500 entries. There are multiple schedules, so it will be kind of hard to figure out where I'm ranked overall until Round 6 when everything merges. In the evening schedule, which I am playing, there are about 250. I was on Board 18 in Round 1 and Board 16 in round 2. The top six boards are on a well lighted stage (it's a bit dim in the main playing area). I'm trying to work my way up there.

Doug Hyatt from Knoxville travelled with me and also has a perfect score. Jeff Pennig from Nashville is the only other TN player I recognized. He won his first and I don't know the result of his second game. Carter Gibson from Memphis is the Tennessee representative in the Denker high school championship, which started today. He was a late replacement for Todd Andrews, who couldn't make it because of his new job with Chess in the Schools in New York.

I'll try to post updates when I can. I am typing on a public terminal at the library. It's free, but only 15 minutes per person are allotted. Still, it beats the $25/hour rate at the hotel. You can also follow the action at the official site.

8/1/00 - North Tennessee Winter Open

At the tournament this past weekend I picked up a flyer for the North Tennessee Winter Open to be held January 13-14 in Clarksville. This is a renamed North Tennessee Regional Open, a tournament that I was very critical of this past January. Well, from the flyer, at least one of my criticisms has been answered. The prize fund is unconditionally guaranteed this year and the entry fee was only raised by $5. I think this is a fair tradeoff. It is very rare these days to find an organizer who is willing to raise the payout in a tournament after taking a loss. I think this shows that the organizers are serious about turning this tournament into a replacement for the old Fairfield Glade Open. Hopefully, there will be a large turnout and I'll see many of you in Clarksville in January.

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