Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

5/29/01 - 2001 Chicago Open

I had a very good result in the Chicago Open over the holiday weekend. I scored 5 out of 7 to be part of a 5-way tie for the Under 2400 prize in the Open section. My two losses were both to GMs, a disaster against Igor Novikov and a long struggle against Normunds Meizis. Overall, I didn't think my play was very great. In only one game did I feel I got out of the opening with a better position. Still, I must have been doing something right since I beat 4 masters. As near as I can figure, the last time I beat 4 masters in one tournament was the 1989 Indiana Masters Invitational. I also went 3-2 against FIDE rated players, which should now give me enough games for the FIDE Master title.

I was a bit surprised that there were such a large number of players tied with me. In past years, 4.5 was enough to win the U2400 prize. In 1997, I was in a 3-way tie for the U2400 prize with 4.5 points. Last year, 4 points gave me a share of fourth place U2400. I think this was partially caused by upsets. The 4 players who tied with me all pulled off last round upsets, 3 of them beating players over 2400.

The tournament seemed about as strong as in past years with 15 GMs participating (also a few IMs, but I didn't get a count of their numbers. There were over 100 players in the open section and over 900 in all the sections. GMs Julian Hodgson and Alexander Goldin split the first prize in the Open section with 6 points each.

As a treat to my readers, who have patiently endured the last several months of lean coverage (and to answer criticism of my minimal coverage of last year's Chicago Open), I'm going to annotate and post all of my games over the next few weeks. I'll try to get one out every few days.

5/21/01 - Bereolos-Fields 1984 Indiana State Championship

In my column for 4/01/01, I looked at my game with Paul Fields. While I was mainly interested in showing the opening there, I did add a comment at the end showing a line to give White an small edge in the endgame. My opponent in that game emailed me to point out a major hole in that analysis. After 17.a4 Qa6 18.Qc4 Qxc4 19.Rxc4 Black should not go for 19...Nxf4 (although even there White's advantage may not be as much as I thought), but should instead retreat 19...Nb6 when White's rook is hit and both his a- and d-pawns are ready to fall. Black should have a considerable edge there. It looks like White's best try would be 20.Rxc6 bxc6 21.Bxc6, but he should not have enough compensation for the exchange. Thus, all in all, my decision to accept the draw was correct and my plan at the time 17.Bxd5 looks to be best. I wish I could say that my analysis was a April Fool's Joke, but it was just a case of sloppy analysis and can be added as another example of why you should always question published analysis.

5/7/01 - Knoxville vs. Cumberland County

A couple of weeks ago our chess club took on some players from Cumberland County, which was supplemented by Clarkrange High School. We out-rated them on every board, sometimes by large margins, but they still put up a respectable fight going down 7-3 in the 10 board match. I had the Black pieces against Chuck Lovingood on Board 1. Bill Hall was a bit higher rated than Chuck, but had played me several times in the past. Chuck who has only recently begun playing tournaments after a long inactive period had never played me, but wanted a crack. Since this was a rather friendly match, there was no problem with the switch. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Nc3 The Gioucio Pianissimo is rarely seen outside of scholastic circles 5...d6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nd5 Qd8 I tried the sacrificial 8...Qg6 once a long time ago. Even though I won that game, I don't think the continuation is sound 9.c3 O-O 9...a6 preserving the bishop pair is probably a better way to try for an advantage 10.b4 Bb6 11.a4 a5 12.Nxb6 cxb6 13.bxa5 Nxa5 14.Bd5 At first glance, White would appear to be better because of the dominating position of his bishop and Black's wrecked pawn structure. However, Black has some assets as well. White's a- pawn is a weakness on the open file, while the knight guards key squares b3 and b7. The c3 pawn can also prove to be a weakness. Black will attack it on the open c- file and if it gets pushed to c4 then the bishop on d5 gets blocked and the black knight may eventually work itself to the d4 square. All in all, the position is equal. Chuck mentioned after the game that we were following a game where Ivanovic had beaten Anand. A check of the database revealed that he was only half right. Those players reached this position in the 1990 Manila Interzonal, but that game ended in a draw. 14....Bd7 Anand played 14...Bg4 to capture the white knight before it finds better squares and aiming for an ending with a good knight against a bad bishop 15.O-O Kh8 A useful move to avoid any later pin along the a2-g8 diagonal. 16.Nd2 Qc7 17.Nc4 An alternative is to play c4 hoping to maneuver Nd2-f1-e3, but that would give up the d4 square. 17....Be6 [17...Nxc4 18.Bxc4 Be6 19.Bxe6 fe would leave Black a tempo behind the game, but would deprive White of an option on his next move] 18.Bxe6 The pawn sacrifice 18.Ne3!? Qxc3 19.Rc1 is very interesting. 18....fxe6 19.Nxa5 Rxa5 20.Qb3 Rfa8 21.Qxe6?! Maybe not a blunder, but I think he overlooked my reply. He certainly didn't follow up correctly. 21.Rab1 should be about equal 21....b5 Now Black obtains an outside passed pawn. Of course not 21...Rxa4?? 22.Rxa4 Rxa4 23.Qe8+ 22.Ra3? Playing for the same trick. I thought the correct way to follow up was 22.f4 when he may have some counterplay on the kingside 22....bxa4 23.Rfa1 b5 24.c4 b4! Falling for his trap 25.Rxa4 Rxa4 26.Rxa4 Rb8! again 26...Rxa4?? 27.Qe8+; now White is lost 27.Qd5 b3 28.Ra1 b2 29.Rb1

29...Qb6?! after long thought I couldn't find the right continuation after 29...Qa7 30.Qxd6 when I couldn't figure out where to put my rook to play Qa1. The way to go was 30...Ra8 31.Qxe5 Qa1 when I missed 32.Qxb2 Qxb2 33.Rxb2 Ra1+ Fortunately, the position is still clearly better for Black because of the pawn on b2. He also had very little time left on his clock. I spend the rest of the game somewhat floundering around trying to find the right way to organize my pieces. Even with a 5 second delay on the clock he couldn't find a way to hold things. 30.c5 dc 31.Kf1 Qa6 32.Qc4 Qa3 32...Qa1 was a bit better to make his queen passive. 33.Ke2 Rb3 34.Qe6 Rb8 35.Qc4 Qa1 36.Qc2 Qa2 37.Kd2 Kh7 38.Kc3?? A total howler, but he had less than 10 seconds left. 38....Qa5+ 39.Kc4 Rb4+ 40.Kd5 c4+ 41.Ke6 g6 42.Rxb2 Qb6+ 43.Ke7 Rxb2 [0:1]