Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

1/20/07 - North Tennessee Winter Open

I got the 2007 chess season off to a good start last weekend in Clarksville, TN, where I tied for first in the annual North Tennesse Winter Open. I played pretty well, but missed some good opportunities to win the tournament outright. My cleanest game was in the first round with White against Carlos Sims. I got a good knight versus bad bishop position in which he gave up an exchange for the knight plus a pawn and tried to set up a fortress. However, he had too many weaknesses in his position and I found a way to penetrate with my rook after 41. Rf1

41....Bc8 Continuing to wait as he had done for the past several moves Pawn moves trying to block the kingside allow a breakthrough after either 41... f5 42. h5 or 41... h5 42. f5 42. f5 g5 43. hxg5 hxg5 Now the rook can come in through the h-file, or since Black doesn't have e6 available for his bishop, the e-file because of zugzwang 44. Re1 Bd7 45. Kf3 Bc8 45...Kc8 46. Re7 followed by Rf7 and Rxf6 loses more quickly 46. Re8 Bd7 47. Ra8 Ke7 48. Rxa6 Kf7 49. a4 bxa4 50. Rxa4 Ke7 50... c5 51. Ra7 51. Ra6 This type of position is a good example of the kind that give computers problems. At depth 21 Crafty gives the variation 51. Ra1 Be8 52. Ke3 Bd7 53. Re1 Bc8 54. Kd3+ Kf7 55. Ra1 Ke8 56. Ra8 Kd7 57. Ra7+ Ke8 58. Ra1 Bb7 59. Kd2 Kd8 60. Kc3 Bc8 61. Ra7 Bd7 62. Kd3 While it still recognizes White as winning, it has shown no conception of a plan and the last move is even a step in the wrong direction. The winning plan is to involve the king and the only entry point is through b4. 51... Kf7 51... Kd6 52. b5 52. Ke3 Ke7 53. Kd3 Kf7 54. Kc3 Ke7 55. b5 cxb5 56. Kb4 Be8 57. Re6+ Kf7 58. Rxe8 the simplest, the Black king is easily outflanked in the pawn ending. 58... Kxe8 59. Kxb5 Kd7 60. Kc5 Kc7 61. Kxd5 Kd7 62. Kc5 Kc7 63. d5 Kd7 64. d6 Kd8 If it were Black to move, he would be in zugzwang since Kd7 is met by Kd5-e6 and Kc8/e8 is met by Kc6 and d7. So the simplest solution is to triangulate and put Black on move. 65. Kd4 65. d7 is also a winner after 65... Ke7 (65... Kxd7 66. Kd5 Ke7 67. Kc6) 66. d8=Q+ 65... Kc8 66. Kc4 Kd8 67. Kc5 Kc8 68. Kc6 Kd8 69. d7 Ke7 70. Kc7 Kf7 71. d8=Q Kg7 72. Qe7+ Kg8 73. Qxf6 Kh7 74. Qxg5 Kh8 75. f6 Kh7 76. Qg7# [1:0]

In the second round with Black against Alan Kantor, I transposed moves in the opening and wound up in an inferior position with 2 knights against his 2 bishops. However, after I managed to trade off one of the bishops I was able to stabilize the pawn structure and we reached an equal ending. He kept letting me get a little more and eventually he had to surrender his bishop to reach an ending with my rook and knight against his rook and pawn. He had also fallen deeply into time pressure. By the time I rounded up the pawn he had less than 2 minutes remaining, but the 5 second delay was in effect. So for the first time ever I attempted to win with a rook and knight versus a rook. He played it pretty badly at first and let me drive his king to the back rank, but even in what looks like a great position for Black after 69...Kd3

He found the only move 70. Ra1! That was really the only near miss until the end. He found the plan of pinning the knight from behind with the rook and checking the king when it moved into the open. But his time slowly dwindled. He asked the TD for a draw when he had one second left on his clock, but because the delay was in effect, the claim was denied. I decided to let the king off of the back rank and try to trap in on the side since he seemed to have gotten the knack for the defense and it worked when in a position something like W: Kc1, Ra8 B: Ne4, Kd3, Rg7 Instead of Rd8+ or Kb2, he played Kb1? and I won with Nc3+! Kb1 Rg1+! Kb2 Rb1+! and he lost on time before he could lose his rook after Ka3 Ra1+

In the third round I had a very complex battle with top-seeded Ron Burnett. 1. d4 b6 2. c4 e6 3. e4 Bb7 4. Bd3 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 f5 6. Qh5+ I think this is superior to 6. Qe2 as it provokes Black to weaken his kingside. He started going into deep thinks after this move. I remembered that there was a queen sacrifice in this line, so I figured he was just trying to remember the details, but afterwards he said he didn't know it was all theory and he was just trying to figure out a way to unbalance things to try to play for a win since I was a half-point ahead of him. 6... g6 after 23 minutes. He said he also considered 6... Kf8 which has actually been played a few times including once by Blatny, but it doesn't look correct. 7. Qe2 Nf6 another 12 minutes on this rather obvious move 8. Bg5 Apparently most of his thought on the previous move was spent checking 8. e5 Bxg2 9. Bg5, which looks a bit too speculative for White 8... fxe4 10 minutes here. 8... h6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 is a legitimate alternative. 9. Bxe4 Nxe4!? and finally another half hour before taking the plunge, leaving himself with only 34 minutes to finish the remainder of the game. 9... Bxe4 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. Qxe4 is a safe alternative.

10. Bxd8 Nxc3 11. bxc3 11. Qe5 O-O can only get White in trouble, for example 12. Kf1 (12. bxc3 Bxc3+ 13. Kf1 Bxa1 seems to be an inferior version of the game.) 12... Ne4 13. Bh4 Bd6 14. Qb5 Bc6 15. Qb3 Nd2+ As a point of interest, in the analogous position from Larsen's Opening after 1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. f4 Qh4+ 6. g3 Qe7 7. Nf3 Bg4 8. fxe5 Bxe5 9. Nxe5 Bxd1 10. Nxc6 Black has 10...Qg5 covering g7 and meeting 11. Ne5+ with 11...c6, but in the present game 11. Qg4 Ne4+ and White can't block with the c-pawn, so Black gets 3 pieces for the queen after 12...Kxd8. 11... Bxc3+ 12. Kf1 Bxa1 13. Bxc7 Bxd4 A dynamic position. Black has a rook, bishop, and pawn for the queen, plus a better pawn structure and White's development is a bit awkward because of Kf1. 14. Be5 I was eager to eliminate the two bishops, but the computer's suggestion of 14. Bd6 looks reasonable, trying to disrupt Black's coordination. I also found a couple of games which continued 14. Nf3 just getting on with development. 14... Bxe5 15. Qxe5 O-O 16. Nf3!? This allows him to completely destroy my structure, but I was a bit concerned that he could just pile up on my c-pawn with Nc6-a5, Ba6 and wanted to have Nd2 available. Still, this plan could have waited, so possibly the immediate 16. h4 is best 16... Bxf3 17. gxf3 Na6 18. h4 Nc5 19. h5 Rf5 20. Qd4 Raf8 Black could obtained a passed h-pawn with 20... Rxh5 21. Rxh5 gxh5 but White has a perpetual after 22. Qh4 Rf8 23. Qg5+ Kf7 24. Qxh5+ Kg7 25. Qg5+ I think Black needs to try to keep both rooks to maintain winning chances. After an exchange, he can generally keep a compact formation good enough to draw, but White's queen should always be able to deliver perpetual. 21. hxg6 hxg6 21... h5 22. Qd6 and the g6-pawn is unpleasant 22. Rh8+ Kf7 23. Rh7+ Ke8 24. Qd6 R5f7 25. Qb8+ Ke7 26. Rxf7+ Rxf7 27. Kg2 I may have missed an opportunity here. I looked at 27. Qxa7 Rxf3 28. Qxb6 Ne4 (I noticed 28... Nd3 29. Ke2 but missed that I could play the same move anyway) 29. Ke2 (I was more fixed on 29. a4 Rxf2+ 30. Qxf2 Nxf2 which doesn't work since the Black king is within the square of the a-pawn.) 29... Rxf2+ 30. Ke3 d5 31. Qa7+ followed by c5, and White's two passed pawns should give winning chances. Afterwards Ron suggested 27... Rf4 28. Qxb6 Rxc4 as stronger since Black is fine if he can get ...d5 in since the rook and the knight would then be guarded and stop the a-pawn, but White stops this with 29. Qc7 and possibly the a-pawn can cause Black some problems. 27... d6 28. Qxa7+ Nd7 29. Kg3 Rf5 30. f4 30. Qa4 preserves the a-pawn, but it is already too late, as Black has achieved a fortress. 30... Ra5 30... g5 is a little more accurate when positions similar to the game will arise but White will have only one f-pawn. 31. Qb7 Rxa2 32. Qe4 Ra4 33. Qxg6 Ra5 Instead 33... Rxc4 34. f5 is dangerous for Black. Now, Black has a fortress. He can play Ra5-c5-f5 and White has no way to make progress. Another position computers don't understand, it gives White a big edge then just shuffles the pieces around. [½:½]

In round 4, I had Black against Gerald Larson. I managed to fight off his attacking tries and seemed well on the way to victory with 2 extra pawns and an 8-1 edge on the clock. However, after 30. Qf3

I missed the simple 30... Kg7 31. Qxc6 (31. hxg6 fxg6) 31... Nxh5 and instead grabbed a 3rd pawn 30... Nxh5 31. Nxh5 Qxh5+ 32. Qxh5 gxh5 33. Rf5 but my pawn structure was so terrible I didn't manage to generate any chances in the rook ending despite the big material edge.

That created a 4-way tie entering the last round between myself and 3 of my Tennessee Tempo teammates: Burnett, Larson, and Todd Andrews. Since I had played the other two already, I had White against Todd, while Ron had White against Gerald. Surprisingly, this was my first game with Todd in over two years. It wasn't much of a game, however. The prize distribution made it extremely risky for either of us to play for a win. He offered a draw at move one. I wanted to see how the opening progressed. I didn't get much against his Benko this time in a line I knew he had put a lot of work into during the USCL season. I offered a draw on move 13, which he excepted. We got a little extra bonus, when Gerald held Ron to a draw, resulting in the 4-way tie.

1/17/07 - January 2007 FIDE Rating List

The FIDE rating was issued earlier this month. Veselin Topalov (2783) took a fall from the World Championship match, but still keeps the top spot ahead of idle Vishy Anand (2779). World Champion Vladimir Kramnik (2766) is now in the third spot by himself as Peter Svidler (2728) dropped all the way out of the top 10. Former World Junior Champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2754) not only cracked the top 10 (from #12) but moved all the way up to #4. Club 2700 continues to get less exclusive (maybe it needs to become Club 2750) as Krishnan Sasikiran becomes the 21st member.

The US still has only 4 players in the top 100, #19 Kamsky(2705), #40 Onischuk(2663), #54 Nakamura(2651) and #72 Seirawan(2638), but has 4 more above 2600 with Ehlvest(2610), Shulman(2604), Ibragimov(2602) and Shabalov(2602). Kaidanov(2595) and Akobian(2588) round out the top 10.

I dropped 2 points at the Kings Island Open to 2292 putting me at #183 in the US and #6373 on the world list.