Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

8/28/07 - Are You Ready For Some Chess?

The third season of the US Chess League kicked off with Monday Night Chess last night with a 2-2 draw between the two expansion teams New Jersey and Queens. The Tennessee Tempo's second season starts tomorrow night against Dallas. You can come see us in action at the Nashville Chess Center or follow online on the ICC. Look for updates here or on the team's official blog.

With the US Chess League, the upcoming Tennessee Open, and all the driving I have to do for those events, I'll probably fall a bit behind in my reporting here. Keep checking back regularly for reports on those events plus the other 4 rounds of the Colias Memorial. It's a busy chess time!

8/26/07 - 2007 Colias Memorial - Round 1

The first round was Friday night. I drove up from my parent's house in Indiana with my dad. It was nice to have him along with me as he hasn't had many opportunities to watch me play since I moved to Tennessee. Traffic was a bit heavy, but we managed to find the club without too much trouble. Things were a bit disorganized as the TD, Glenn Panner, and a couple of the players were stuck in traffic. Everyone finally arrived and we got started only a few minutes after the scheduled time.

As it seems that happens to me far too often, I had the bottom pairing number, meaning I would start the round robin with two blacks. My opponent was Jon Burgess, who I've played a few times now. I expected a tougher battle than his disaster against me in the previous edition of this event.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Qe2 The Wormald Attack is closely related to the Worrall Attack 5. O-O Be7 6. Qe2 The difference is that White avoids the Open Variation (5...Nxe4). The tradeoff for this is that Black can post his bishop on a more active square. 5... b5 In the 2004 Chicago Open, I transposed back into the Worrall lines against Jon with 5... Be7 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 O-O 8. d3 Normally, White plays 8. O-O when 8... d5 then involves a pawn sacrifice. 8... d5 Jon repeated this line in the next round against Karagianis, where Pete continued here with 8...h6. I don't really like that move, since I don't think Black has much to fear from Bg5. Also, I have bad memories of getting crushed by Boris Men in this variation in the 1995 Kings Island Open by playing ...h6 before White had castled and getting rolled by a quick g4-g5 strike. 9. h3 Now 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Qxe5 Re8 loses the queen 9... dxe4 10. dxe4 Qe7 11. Bg5 Probably not the best square for the bishop as it can sometimes be locked out of the game for a long time following h6 Bh4 g5 11... h6 12. Bh4 Rd8 I also considered the immediate 12... g5 13. Bg3 (13. Nxg5 looks a bit too speculative) 13... Nh5 which should be slightly better for Black, but instead decided to complete my development. 13. O-O Be6 14. Nbd2 Bxb3 15. Nxb3 I thought he might play 15. axb3 putting pressure on the a6 pawn, but his plan is to pressure b5. 15... Bb6 16. a4 Rab8 17. axb5 axb5 18. Kh1 Qe6 19. Bxf6 Qxf6 20. Qxb5 Qe6 20... Bxf2? 21. Qc4 Bb6 22. Nfd4 21. Nc5 avoiding 21. Nfd2? (or 21. Nbd2?) 21... Be3 22. Qe2 Bxd2 23. Nxd2 Rxb2 21... Bxc5 22. Qxc5 Rxb2 23. Ra6 Rd6 24. Rfa1 Kh7 25. Ra8 Rd3 26. R8a6 Rd6 I also considered 26... Rb6 27. Rxb6 cxb6 28. Qxb6 Rxc3 which is very slightly better for Black, but decided to repeat moves one time to see what his intentions were. 26... Rxf3 is only good for a draw after 27. Rxc6 Rxh3+ 28. gxh3 Qxh3+ 29. Kg1 Qg4+

27. Nh4?! Qe7 the dual threats of Qxh4 and Rd1+ forces White's reply. 28. Rxc6 Qxh4 As in our 2004 game a major piece (4th phase of the game) ending has arisen. Although this one is quite a bit better for me than that one was. 29. Rxc7 Rf6 Black could get a better version of the rook ending than appears in the game after 29... Qxf2 30. Qxf2 Rxf2 since the White e-pawn is an additional weakness. However, I think it is right to keep the queens on and play for the attack. 30. Qxe5 30. Rf1 Qxe4 followed by Rg6 and g2 still comes under heavy fire. 30... Rfxf2 31. Rg1

31... f6? I missed a couple of ways to win here, but they were both kind of difficult to find. The immediate 31... Rxg2? fails 32. Qf5+ Rg6 33. Rxf7; 31... Rf4! Now threatens Rxg2 and on 32. Kh2 (32. Ra7 Rxg2) Black crashes in on h3 with 32... Rf3; On the immediate 31... Rf3 I thought White could defend with 32. Qh2 but again Black has a pretty win 32... Rxg2! (32... Rg3 is picturesque, but it isn't clear what Black does after 33. Rxf7) 33. Rxg2 Rxh3 34. Qxh3 Qxh3+ 35. Kg1 Qe3+ 36. Kh1 Qc1+ 37. Rg1 Qf4!! An extremely difficult quiet move to find at the end of a long variation. You can work out for yourself that Black can pick up the loose White rook no matter which square it moves to. 32. Qd6 32. Rxg7+ Kxg7 33. Qe7+ Kg6 34. Qe8+ Kg5 35. Qg8+ Kf4 36. g3+ Kf3 and White can't take the queen because of mate on h2. 32... Qxe4 But now, 32... Rbd2 33. Rxg7+ Kxg7 34. Qe7+ Kg6 35. Qe8+ Kg5 36. Qg8+ Kf4 37. Qb8+ is a perpetual. 33. Qg3 With a draw offer. I declined because I think Black is still slightly better in the double rook ending and I had decided before the tournament to try to keep fighting in positions that still had some life to them. 33... Qg6 34. Kh2 Qxg3+ 35. Kxg3 Kg6

36. Rc1? A bad blunder. I think he thought he was taking advantage of the fact that I hadn't placed my rook behind the passed pawn, but as soon as he picked up the rook he noticed g2 hangs. He held the rook in his hand for about 30 seconds before finally putting it down on c1. Instead, he needed to sit tight. I was going to try advancing my kingside pawns to try and create additional threats to his king. If all else failed, I can always pick up the c-pawn and play out the drawn 3 vs. 2 single rook ending (which sometimes is not so drawn). 36... Rxg2+ 37. Kf3 f5 38. c4 Rbe2 39. c5? The only move was 39. Rf1 but Black still has a big advantage after 39... Kf6 40. c5 g5 Now, I repeated moves once to gain a minute on the clock with the FIDE time control and then double checked the finale. 39... Rgf2+ 40. Kg3 Rg2+ 41. Kf3 Rgf2+ 42. Kg3 Kh5 43. Rc4 g5 [0:1]

The youngest and lowest-rated player, Gopal Menon, nearly caused a sensation with Black against the oldest player, Steve Tennant. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Re8 10. Nd2 Nbd7 11. Re1 Ne5 12. f4 Neg4 13. Bb5? On 13. Bf3 Watson quotes Schneider 13... h5 14. h3 Nh7 with an attack, but I'm not entirely convinced that Black can't go 13... Nxe4!? anyway although it is a bit unclear.. 13... Nxe4 13... Nxd5!? with the same ideas also looks interesting. In that case, White will not have a knight covering f2 as he does in the game. 14. Ndxe4 Bd4+ 15. Kh1 Qh4 16. h3

16... Rxe4? 16... Bxc3 intending ...Rxe4 17. Bxe8 Bxe1 leaves back a clean pawn to the good 17. Nxe4 Bf5? and this completely spoils things. Bxe4 isn't even a threat since White can answer it with Qxg4. Instead, the game should end in a draw with 17... f5 18. Ng5 Nf2+ 19. Kh2 Nxd1 20. Re8+ Kg7 21. Re7+ 18. Be2 Nf2+ 19. Nxf2 Bxf2 20. Rf1 Bxh3 21. Rxf2 Qxf2 22. Qf1 It looks like Black has an initiative after 22. gxh3 Re8 but the same 23. Qf1 quickly extinguishes it. 22... Qxf1+ 23. Bxf1 and Tennant converted the extra piece without further difficulties.

The ending of the other game in my section, Karagianis-Strunk, was a bit strange. Pete won a pawn in the middle game and looked on his way to victory after 50. Rb6

50... h4 This move is a bit unexpected, as normally you do not want to fix your pawns on the same color as the bishops, but he does have a plan 51. Ke2 Bf4 Trying to keep the White king out of the game. 52. Bc3+ It seems better to open a path for the king with 52. f3 in order to get at the weak pawns on the Black kingside 52...e3 and now White should be able to swap the d-pawn for the e-pawn and get a winning 3 vs. 2 position, although some care needs to be taken. For example, 53. Bc5 Ke6 54. Rb4 (54. Bxe3 Rxd6 should be equal) 54... Bxd6 (54... g5 55. Re4+ Kf7 56. Re7+ Rxe7 57. dxe7 Ke8 58. Bxe3 Bxe3 59. Kxe3 Kxe7 60. f4 is a winner for White) 55. Bxd6 (Black seems to hold the pawn ending after 55. Re4+ Kf5 56. Rd4 Ke6 57. Rxd6+ Rxd6 58. Bxd6 Kxd6 59. Kxe3 Ke5) 55...Kxd6 56. Rxh4 (and again 56. Rd4+ Ke6 57. Rxd7 Kxd7 58. Kxe3 Ke6 looks drawn despite the extra White pawn) 56... Re7 57. Re4 +- 52... Ke6 53. Ra6 g5 Another pawn on the dark-squares. It isn't clear to me why not simply 53... Rxd6 Here, they agreed to a draw [:] It seems like White can still go 54. Bb4 with the f3 plan since 54...Bxd6 55. Ke3 wins for White by swapping everything on d6 and playing f4. This game finished after I had left, so I don't really know the circumstances at the end. Later, I heard talk that Strunk had made a nice save, but it seems that Pete still had some ideas to play for a win here. He may have been in time pressure, but with the FIDE time control, that isn't much of a problem in this sort of position as White has plenty of holding moves like Rb6, Rc6, and Ba3 to build up some time before calculating the consequences of f3. I'll be interested to see if either of the players provides some additional notes to this ending.

After 1 round in my section the scores were: Bereolos, Tennant 1; Karagianis, Strunk 0.5; Burgess, Menon 0.

The other section got off to a quieter start. Weber and Caveney repeated moves shortly after the opening. McEntee played an innocuous line versus Chow 1. d4 d6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 dxe5 4. Qxd8+ Kxd8 and nothing much interesting happened. The only decisive game was between Wallach and Dean. Wallach brought out a bunch of new openings for the tournament, but even his foray into the king-pawn openings looked a lot like a Stonewall after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7 6. f4 They also reach a major piece ending after 24. cxd4

Dean went for a double rook ending with 24...Qc2, but this is likely an error. I think he should keep the queens on in order to try for counterplay against the somewhat exposed White king. 25. Rf2 Qxd3+ 26. Kxd3 Here, Black has two weaknesses, h7 and e6 and Wallach neatly ties him down to those. 26...Rc7 27. Rh1 Rg7 28. Rfh2 Rc8 29. Rh6 Rc6 30. R1h2 b5 31. a3 a5 32. Rh1 Black is close to zugzwang. He could delay one more move with 32...a4, but after 33. R1h2 he has to give up the c-file, e6 or allow g6, all of which are bad. Instead, he went 32...b4 33. axb4 axb4 and now White has another file with which to penetrate with a rook and he won without difficulty.

After 1 round in this section, the standings were Wallach 1; Chow, McEntee, Weber, Caveney 0.5; Dean 0

8/21/07 - 3rd Billy Colias Memorial Invitational

After a year hiatus, the third edition of the memorial tournament dedicated to my friend Billy Colias was held last weekend in Chicago. This year's event was divided into two sections, and I tied for first in my section with 3 wins and 2 draws. The field was expanded this year to include two promising Illinois junior players, Adam Strunk, who tied with me, and Gopal Menon. Most of the rest of the field was the same as previous editions with myself, Steve Tennant, Pete Karagianis, and Jon Burgess joining the two juniors in one section. The other section featured previous participants Tim McEntee (who was once again one of the patrons of the event), Albert Chow, and Ken Wallach. They were joined by Len Weber, who played in the first edition, but was one of the organizers two years ago; Geoff Caveny, who was a late replacement for one of the other patrons, Robert Loncarevic; and Jim Dean, who is the type of player that this tournament was created for. Jim and Jason Doss were the next generation of young Indiana masters after the one that included Billy and myself. He is a fixture at most of the big national tournaments, but like many Midwest masters does not get a whole lot of opportunities to play in closed events domestically. Jim shrugged off an opening round loss to rattle off 4 straight wins to take the other section. I should point out that the tournament was not structured as an "A" group and a "B" group, but was instead split into sections that were relatively even rating-wise. I understood that the other reigning co-champion Alex Stamnov had some visa problems that left him out of touch during the organizational process, but he did show up as a spectator. I didn't hear why the other participant in the previous event, Andrew Karklins, did not play this time around.

Besides the new format, another change was the location. Originally the tournament was planned for Joliet Community College. However, fall classes are beginning there this week and the playing site was taken over by meetings. Instead, IM Angelo Young hosted the event at the Touch Move Chess Center on the north side of Chicago. This location lent itself to considerably more spectators than the previous edition as many of the club's regulars stop by to watch.

The other change was with the time control. The FIDE time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move bonus was in effect. I struggled with this time control the first time I played with it, but I think I have adjusted to it now and did not suffer any clock woes.

Glenn Panner once again did an excellent job as the organizer/TD. This year's event went smoothly with no incidents to report. I'm going to provide this event full coverage on this page. As I did with the 2005 event, I'll be analyzing all of my games in full and commenting on the highlights of some of the other games.