Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

1/22/06 - North Tennessee Winter Open

Last weekend was the annual North Tennessee Winter Open in Clarksville. I got promising positions in all of my games, but some imprecisions left me with the same score as last year, although I faced tougher opponents this time around.

In round 1, I had White against Tom Tucker. He asked me if we had played before, and while his name seemed familiar, I didn't recall that we had. It turns out that I had beaten him at the inaugural edition of this event back in 2000 when it was called the North Tennessee Regional Open. In the present game, I had a nice position after 17...Rc7

I considered 18. Qf4 to prevent 18...Nbd7 because of 19. Ng6+ winning the exchange, but was a bit lazy in my calculation of 18...Qa3+ (18...Rc8 as in the game, gets smashed by 19. Rxg7) 19. Kb1 Qxc3 and now White escapes the checks after 20. Bxf6 (or the more spectacular 20. Qxf6) 20... Qb4+ 21. Kc2 Qa4+ 22. Kd2 Qb4+ 23. Ke3 Qa3+ 24. Rd3 +- Instead, I opted for a dark-squared bind with 18. Bg3 Rc8 19. c5 bxc5 20. dxc5 Nbd7 21. Nxd7 Nxd7 22. Bd6 when White is better but Black can put up a fight. I won when he blundered a few moves later.

I avenged my only defeat from last years event in Round two against Tony Cao when he misplayed the opening after 8. Nbd2?!

I was able to snag the Spanish bishop with 8...Nxd4 9. cxd4 9. Nxd4 exd4 10. Bxd7 dxc3 11. Ba4 cxd2 leaves Black a pawn up 9... Bxb5 and a pawn after 10. a4? 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nxe5 maintains material equality, but the two bishops give Black a nice edge after 11...Bd6 or 11... Bc5 10... Bc6 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bxe4 and I eventually converted the extra pawn.

In round 3, I had another chance for revenge, when I had the White pieces versus Ron Burnett, who beat me in the Tennessee Open. I had many possibilities after 12...Ne5

In addition to the move I played 13. f4 I also considered 13. Rab1, 13. Qb3, 13. e4, and 13. Rfd1. I think all of these moves maintain White's opening edge. 13... Nc4 14. e4 Ne3 15. e5 Nxf1 16. exf6 Taking the other knight also deserves attention 16. Rxf1 h6 17. Bh4 (17. exf6 hxg5 18. fxg5) 17... Qd7 18. Qxd7 Nxd7 19. f5 g5 20. fxe6 fxe6; 16. Bxf1 h6 17. Bh4 (the main idea is that 17...Qd7 can now be met with 18. Bb5) 17... g5 18. fxg5 Ne4 19. gxh6 Qc7. I think in all of these lines, White has full compensation for the exchange, but probably no more. The Black king position is open, but the White queen is a long way from landing on g7. 16... gxf6 17. Bh6 Ne3 18. Bxf8 Qxf8 with a draw offer that I accepted. Black can't make much use of his extra pawn. After the obvious 19. Re1 Nxg2 20. Kxg2 I thought 20...Qd6 intending Bd7 and Re8 was about equal. The computer gives the following line leading to perpetual check 20... Qc5 21. Nxe6 Qxc3 22. f5 Qd2+ 23. Kh3 Qh6+ 24. Kg2 Qd2+ [½:½]

The next morning I had Black against Jerry Wheeler. We followed a 1996 game between McShane and Adams through 17...Na6

Here, Jerry tried to target the b-pawn, but missed a tactic. 18. Bd3 McShane tried the traditional Ruy Lopez rerouting of the knight with 18. Nf1 but Adams secured a great square for his knight with 18...Nc5 19. Ne3 a4 18... Bd7 19. Qe2 Qe8 20. a4 Nb4 Perhaps a common type of oversight. The knight returns to a square that it recently was forced from and which was guarded before White played his last move. 21. axb5 White has to yield the bishop pair because of the fork on c2. 21. Bxb5 Bxb5 22. axb5 Nc2 23. Nc4 Nxe1 21... Nxd3 22. Qxd3 Bxb5 23. Qe3 Qb8 24. b3 Rc8 Now it was my turn to miss a tactic. I considered the superior 24... f5 trying to open the position for my bishops, but decided to try and play for Bb6 first, which gives White time to equalize because of tricks involving Nxe5. We agreed to a draw after 25. Ba3 Nd7 26. Rec1 Rxc1+ 27. Rxc1 Bd8 28. Nc4 Bxc4 29. Rxc4 a logical conclusion would be 29... Bb6 30. Qc3 Bc5 31. Bxc5 Nxc5 32. Nxe5 (32. b4 is also equal) 32... Qxb3 33. Qxb3 Nxb3 with a level ending. [½:½]

In the final round, I had White against Trevor Jackson. I built up a very strong position, but after 23...Ne8 I started going astray.

24. Nb5? 24. Nxf7 is a clean win since 24...Rxd2 25. Qxd2 Kxf7 26. Qf4+ nets White the exchange. The sad thing is that the moves Nxf7, Nf5 and even Ne8 had been part of my considerations ever since the knight landed on d6. 24... Qa5 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rxd8 Qxd8 27. Nxa7 The computer suggestion of 27. Qa3 looks better. The c-pawn is more valuable than the a-pawn and the knight stays centralized. If Black defends with 27...Qb6 then 28. Qxa7 and Black doesn't have any counterplay. 27... Qd1+ 28. Kg2 Nf6 29. f3? A terrible weakening of the White king position. I was going to play 29. Qe5 then saw some ghosts and decided to prevent his knight from jumping to e4 or g4. Now, he accurately steered his way to the draw 29... h5 30. h4 30. Nc6 h4 31. gxh4 Nh5 didn't seem to promise me anything either. 30... e5 31. Qxe5 Allowing e4 would leave a big hole on g4 for the Black knight 31...Qd2+ 32. Kg1 Qxa2 33. Qxc5 Qxb3 34. Kg2 Qc2+ 35. Kg1 [½:½]

1/8/06 - Bereolos-Yermolinsky, 1999 Land of the Sky

My game against GM Alex Yermolinsky featured a 4th phase of the game position after 26. f5

In my original notes I suggested that white is threatening f6+ or fxg6 with an attack here and commented that earlier Kh1 may have been more appropriate to avoid a queen exchange by 26...Qb6 as played in the game. However, I may have been too optimistic about White's attack. Instead, Black could try 26... Rxa4!? 27. f6+ (27. fxg6 hxg6 28. Qf6+ Kg8 doesn't seem to leave White with a good followup) 27... Kg8. but it looks like White has a draw after 28. Qe3 Qd8 29. Qh6 Qf8. Now, the most forcing way to reach a draw is the pawn down rook ending after 30. Qxf8+ Kxf8 31. b3 Rb4 (31... Ra3 32. Rd1 Rxb3 33. Rxd5 Ke8 34. Rxa5 Rb6 =) 32. Ra1 Rb5 33. b4! Rxb4 34. Rxa5 Ke8 35. Rxd5 Rb6 36. h4 but that might not be everyone's cup of tea, so White could try to maintain his active queen with 30. Qg5 when Black has the option of repetition with 30...Qd6 31. Qh6 or trying for more with 30...d4. There doesn't seem to be any significant difference in these variations if the White king is on h1.

1/7/06 - January 2006 FIDE Rating List

The recently released FIDE Rating List looks to be historic for a couple of reasons. First, unless he comes out of retirement, it will likely be the last appearance for Garry Kasparov (2812). Bigger news is that FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov (2801) became the third player in history to crack the 2800 barrier. Topalov is followed by the runners-up in the FIDE World Championship, Vishy Anand (2792) and Peter Svidler (2765). Meanwhile, the young winner of the FIDE KO tournament, now called the World Cup, Lev Aronian (2752) shoots up from tenth to fifth. He's mostly accumulated his rating in national leagues and opens, but will get his first taste of a big time closed round robin this year at Wijk aan Zee. Meanwhile, the classical World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik (2741), finally posted a rating gain after dropping for 5 straight lists. That gain may be short-lived since he stumbled to an even score in the recently concluded Russian Championship. Peter Leko (2740) took a fall after his poor showing in the FIDE World Championship. Vassily Ivanchuk (2729) also took a big drop this period. Boris Gelfand (2723) returns to the top 10 for the first time since 2002 and Ruslan Ponomariov (2723) rounds out the top 10. Once again the average of the top 100 was a record at 2665 a point better than last period.

The US top 10 was unchanged, but the places shuffled a bit. Gata Kamsky (2686, world #25) dropped a few points, but remained at the top. Alexander Onischuk (2650, world #56) passed US Champ Hikaru Nakamura (2644, world #65), who suffered setbacks at the World Cup and Lausanne Young Masters. Ildar Ibragimov (2635, world #73) climbed into a tie for the 4th spot with idle Yasser Seirawan. The US top ten is rounded out by Alexander Ivanov (2606), Gregory Kaidanov (2603), Varuzhan Akobian (2600), and Alexander Goldin (2598), Alexander Shabalov (2595).

I picked up 2 points at the Colias Memorial and 1 point at Kings Island (where my result was rated correctly for a change) to 2307. I gained one spot for each point on the US list to rise to #161 and almost 200 places on the world list to #5481.