Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

10/31/07 - Colias Memorial - Round 5

The last round was pretty exciting with each section having two players tied for the lead. This meant that 4 of the 6 games were of importance to the race for first place in the respective sections. I had Black against a difficult opponent, Steven Tennant. I had never defeated him, and I don't believe Billy ever managed the feat either. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. d5 I wasn't sure whether he would accept the gambit with 7. dxc5 as I couldn't find any games where he had faced 6...c5. By entering the Benoni through the Kings Indian move order, I avoided his normal set ups versus the Benoni, but this may still have been preparation on his part as he played the opening very quickly. 7... e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5 a6 10. a4 Re8 The immediate 10...Nbd7 is thought to be inaccurate because it allows White to reach his "ideal" formation with his knights on f2 and c3 with 11. Nh3 although I don't really think that is a great tragedy for Black. 11. Nge2 Nbd7 12. Nd1 He's going for the Nf2/Nc3 formation anyway, but it costs him 2 extra tempo to do it this way. 12... Ne5 13. Nec3 Qc7 14. Be2 Rb8 15. O-O Bd7 16. a5 b5!? After some thought, I decided to sacrifice a pawn for activity. 16...Bc8, preparing ...b5 is a more restrained approach, but I usually don't like going backwards in the Benoni. 17. axb6 Rxb6 18. Nf2 He had his first think here, finally going below the 90 minute starting time and decided against allowing me activity after 18. Rxa6 Rxa6 19. Bxa6 Qb6 20. Be2 Qb3 18... Bb5 A inconsistent move. I was willing to sacrifice a pawn to open the b-file then I close it the very next move. Better was 18...Reb8 19. Nxb5 axb5 20. b4 Ned7 21. bxc5 Nxc5?! This was the only move I especially regretted during the whole tournament. I was all prepared to take with the pawn 21... dxc5, but for some reason thought that by not inserting 21. Rfc1 he had given me a better option. Now Black is left with pawn weaknesses and little activity. 22. Rab1 Reb8 23. Rfc1 Qe7 24. Rb4 R6b7 25. Rcb1 Qe8 26. Bd4 Na6 27. R4b2 Nc7 28. Rc2 b4 29. Rc6 Qe7 30. Rb3 Nd7 31. Bxg7 Kxg7 32. Nd3 Ne5 33. Qb2 Qf6 This loses a pawn, but 33...f6 is horrible 34. Nxe5 Qxe5 35. Rxd6 Qxb2 36. Rxb2 Nb5 37. Bxb5 Rxb5 38. Rc6 f5 39. Kf2 I thought I might have some practical drawing chances after 39. exf5 Rxd5 40. fxg6 hxg6 39... Re8 40. Rc4 But now 40. exf5 looks possible since 40...Rxd5 41. fxg6 hxg6 42. Rb6 picks up the b-pawn, so Black would have to try 40... gxf5 41. d6 Rd8 42. Ke3 Rd5 but the 3 vs. 2 with split pawns gives White some chances. 40... b3 41. Rd4 fxe4 42. fxe4 Kf6 43. Ke3 Ke5 44. Rc4 Re7 45. Kd3 Rb6 46. Kc3 Reb7 By this point Strunk was winning, so my hopes of first place looked pretty bleak, but I was pretty sure I was going to hold on to the draw from here. It's hard to believe that Black wins in only 5 more moves.

47. g3?! Depriving the Black king of the f4-square, but seriously weakening f3. 47... Rf6 The correct rook since Black may check on the c-file in some lines. 48. Kd3 Probably it was already time to bail with 48. Rc6 Rf3+ 49. Kc4 Kxe4 = 48... Rf3+ 49. Ke2? 49. Kd2 Rbf7 50. Rb1 Rf2+ 51. Kc3 b2 is only slightly better for Black 49... Rbf7 50. Kd2 Rf2+ 51. Kc3? This loses simply. A tougher nut to crack is 51. Kc1 Rf1+ 52. Kd2 when the obvious 52... R7f2+ 53. Kc3 Rc1+ 54. Kd3! (54. Kxb3? Rxb2+) doesn't seem to yield more than a draw, but 52...R7f3! seems to be a near zugzwang, if Rc4 moves along the file, Black has 53...Kd4, if it moves along the 4th rank, black has 53...R1f2+ 54, Kc1 Rc3+. The other rook and the king don't have any good moves, so White has to start shedding pawns. 51... R7f3+ [0:1]

On the adjoining board, Burgess was White versus Strunk. It seemed like White was holding the ending which saw Black's majority blockaded while White's was doubled. Still, Strunk seemed to making some progress after 48. Kc2

48....Rd3 This gives White a drawing opportunity. The more obvious 48...Rh4 also seems to allow a draw with 49. Rxf5!? Rh2+ 50. Kc3 exf5 51. Kc4 although Black might still have some slight winning chances. Perhaps a neutral move was best. 49. Nc6? Instead, 49. Nxe6 Rf3 50. Ng7! picks up the f-pawn and holds the draw. Perhaps Jon only considered 50. Nd4 Rxf4 when White doesn't have time to pick up the f-pawn since both his rook and knight are hit. 49... Rd5 Black picks up the b5 pawn, and went on to win.

In the final game in this section, Gopal and Karagianis agreed to a draw shortly after the opening. Final Standings: Bereolos, Strunk 4; Tennant, Karagianis, Menon 2; Burgess 1.

In the other section, Dean got a nice position versus McEntee after 17...Re8

18. Nh5+ This leads to the clear win of a pawn, surprisingly, the engines prefer the speculative piece sacrifice 18. Bxg6!? fxg6 19. Qxg6+ Kf8 20. Qxh6+ 18... Kh8 19. Qxb8 Rexb8 20. Nxf6 Nxf6 21. dxc5 Nd7 22. Rc1 Rc8 23. Nd4?! This leads to a very slightly better ending for White, but why not hold the extra pawn with 23. b4. 23... Nxc5 24. Kd2 Bd7 25. Rc2 Nxd3 26. Kxd3 Rxc2 27. Kxc2 Rc8+ 28. Kd2 Kg7 29. Rc1 Rxc1 30. Kxc1 Kf6 31. Kd2 g5 32. hxg5+ Kxg5? Better was 32... hxg5 Now the White kings gets easy access to d4 and Black is saddled with too many weak pawns. 33. Kc3 h5 33... Kf6 34. Nf3 Bg4 35. Ne1 34. Nf3+ Kf5 35. Kd4 Kf6 36. Ne5 Avoiding 36. Kxd5 Bc6+ 37. Kd4 Bxf3 38. gxf3 h4 36... Be6 37. Nd3 with Nf4 to follow. Either h5 or d5 is going, White won without further difficulties.

This meant that Wallach needed to defeat Caveney in order to tie for first. He seemed to be well on his way as Caveney's attack had seemed to have fizzled, leaving White two pawns up after 35...Qf5

36. a4? The White king is still a bit vulnerable, so making luft with 36. h3 is recommended. 36... Rb1+ 37. Rd1 Surrendering the 7th, but 37. Rxb1 Qxb1+ 38. Bf1 (38. Kf2 Qe1+ 39. Kf3 Qe3#) 38... Bh3 39. Rf2 Re1 40. Qa6 Qe4 threatening Rxf1 is untenable for White 37... Rb2 38. Qa3 Ree2 Black could have already delivered mate with 38... Rxg2+ 39. Kxg2 Re2+ 40. Kf1 Qe4 39. Bf3 Qc2 Again missing a forced mate after 39... Qh3, now White was able to prolong the game with a queen sacrifice, 40. Bxe2 Qxe2 41. Qxb2 Qxb2 but it was not sufficient to hold and he finally gave up at move 70.

In the other game, Weber and Chow repeated moves in a level middlegame. Final standings in this section: Dean 4; Wallach 3; McEntee, Caveney 2.5; Chow 2; Weber 1.

10/17/2007 - Colias Memorial - Round 4

In the 4th round I had White against Adam Strunk in the showdown of leaders in my group. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Qd2 cxd4 9. cxd4 Nc6 10. Bb5 10. Rd1 is the normal move, but I have had some success with the text. 10... O-O 11. Ne2 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Rc1 deserves attention 11... Bg4 12. f3 Bd7 13. Rb1 13. O-O runs into 13... Nxd4 13... a6 14. Bxc6 Bxc6 15. d5 Bb5 16. Nd4 Qd7 Playing dynamically. I thought White would be slightly better in the opposite colored bishop ending after 16... Bxd4 17. Bxd4 17. Nxb5 axb5 18. O-O Rfc8

I think this is probably the critical position. I played to try to neutralize his active pieces, but it was probably better to try to gang up on the b-pawns. The direct method doesn't work 19. Qb4 Rxa2 20. Qxb5 Rcc2 21. Bf2 Qxb5 22. Rxb5 Bd4 and Black wins, but White can probably still claim an edge with 19. Rb3 19. Rfc1 Rc4 20. Rxc4 bxc4 21. Bd4?! I start to skirt close to the edge with this move. It is consistent with the idea of reducing the activity of his pieces, but the Black bishop really isn't doing much. Better was 21. Qb4 Rxa2 22. Qxc4 which is about equal 21... Bxd4+ He offered a draw here, but I declined in keeping with my policy in the tournament to decline offers while there was still play. However, it is Black who has all the play now. 22. Qxd4 Rc8 23. Qc3 I considered 23. a4 Rc7 24. a5 but felt it was more important to stop the c-pawn from advancing. 23... b5 24. a3 Qa7+ 25. Kf1 Qc5 26. Ke2 Ra8 27. Qb4 Qxb4 This time I took his draw offer.[½:½] I think White is holding after 28. Rxb4 Rxa3 29. Rxb5 Ra2+ 30. Ke3 (the engines seem to prefer 30. Kf1 c3 31. Rc5 c2 32. Ke1) since White will make a passed d-pawn for counterplay, but there was no reason to have to prove this if I didn't have to.

Tennant got back on track with a win with Black against Karagianis. This was a pretty complex game, Pete went wrong after 29...Qc7-e7

Black just stepped his queen out of the line of fire of White's bishop, but it still looks like Rb8 will keep Black's knights from moving, so that may have contributed to the blunder 30. Rfc1? 30. Nxd6 Qxd6 31. Rfd1 looks about level 30...Nexc4 31. bxc4 Rxb1 32. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 33. Qxb1 Now that the rook is no longer on b8 the knight is free to move, so Black went on to win with his extra pawn after 33...Nxc4

Menon finally got into the win column with White against Burgess. I was told that Gopal's style was attacking and he got to show it off a bit in this game. After 15...Rb8

16. a5!? Qc7 16...Qxa5 looks dangerous, but is hard to refute since taking either way on b4 allows 17...Rxb4 and Black will emerge with 2 pieces for a rook 17. Bxb4 Nxe5 17... Bxb4 18. Nxb4 O-O 19. Qh4 h6 20. Re3 looks promising for White 18. Qf4 Bxb4 19. Nxb4 f6 20. Bxa6 Qd6 Now going for the two pieces doesn't work 20... Rxb4 21. Qxb4 Bxa6 22. Qb6 and Black's position collapses. 21. Bxc8 Rxb4 22. Qd2 Rg4 Trying to avoid 23. Bxe6 Qxe6 24. f4 23. Qe2 O-O 24. Bb7 Qb4 25. a6 Black can't seem to generate enough threats to the White king now, so there doesn't seem to be much answer to the march of this pawn 25... Re4 26. Qd1 Rh4 27. Bxd5 Qb6 28. a7 Rf4 29. a8=Q [1:0]

Going into the last round, the standings in this group were: Bereolos, Strunk 3; Tennant 2; Karagianis, Menon 1.5; Burgess 1.

The other group saw pretty careful draws in the games McEntee-Wallach and Caveney-Chow. This allowed Dean to move into a first place tie with his win as White over Weber. After 15. Ba3 White seemed to have his normal opening advantage in a Stonewall Dutch

Now, 15...Re8 would maintain that assessment. Instead 15...Be7? allowed White to win a pawn for no compensation 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. cxd5 exd5 17... cxd5 18. Qc7 hits d7 and b7 18. bxc6 Bxc6 19. Nxc6 bxc6 20. Qxc6 and Jim went on to win without much difficulty.

The standings in this group entering the final round were Dean, Wallach 3; McEntee 2.5; Chow, Caveney 1.5; Weber 0.5

10/12/07 - Carolina 2 : Tennessee 2

I returned to the Tempo lineup this week against the Carolina Cobras. I wish I could call it a triumphant return, but I lost with Black on Board 3 to Oleg Zaikov. Still, it was a pretty good week for the Tempo. For the second straight week we held our opponents to a draw. We've equaled our match point score from last season with three weeks to go. Our game points percentage is massively ahead of last season with 32% versus last year's anemic 21%.

On Board 1, Ron Burnett was awarded the Game of the Week prize for his inspired win with Black over IM Lev Milman. A thematic exchange sacrifice game him a pawn roller in the center. The position may have been technically equal, but it was much easier to play Black. Ron relentlessly pushed his pawns and he finished off things with a queen sacrifice.

Overshadowed a bit by Ron's award-winning game, Todd Andrews turned in his second straight win on Board 2 versus IM Jonathan Schroer. It seemed like a rather normal IQP position until the bizarre 15...a5 a move that I don't understand at all! Todd quickly punished it with the shot 18. Rxe6! ending up with two pieces for a rook and a technically winning position. He later made it a whole piece and Schroer played on much longer than he normally would because of the match standing, which was 2-1 in Carolina's favor at that point.

I'll talk more about my game below. Board 4 saw the debut of John Bick to the Tempo lineup. I didn't get to follow his game much. It looked like he had a good position out of the opening, but something went seriously wrong and he blundered with 23. g3? leading to an untenable ending a couple of pawns down.

Here are some light notes to my game. I was pretty happy with the opening in my game, but probably got a bit carried away in the middlegame. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. O-O Na6 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bg5 Q e8 10. dxe5 The only Kings Indian game of his in the database continued 10. d5, but I didn't really expect him to repeat that line 10...dxe5 11. h3 h6 12. Bd2 Nf6 13. Be3 Qe7 14. Qc1 Zaikov's teammate Schroer played 14. a3 against me here this summer in the Emory Castle Grand Prix. 14...Kh7 15. c5 c6 16. Bxa6 bxa6 The doubled pawns didn't concern me much, since I got the bishop pair and the White queen is a bit passive compared to other lines that end up with this structure. 17. Rd1 Nh5 18. Rd6 Nf4?! This seems to be too ambitious. Instead, 18... Qb7 should lead to a dynamic fight. 19. Bxf4 exf4 20. Qxf4 Qb7 21. Qd2 Rb8 22. Rc1 Qxb2 23. Rxc6 Qxd2 24. Nxd2 Be5 24... Rb2 25. Nc4 Bxc3 26. Rxc3 Rxa2 27. Nd6 looked pretty bad, so I came up with an idea to give up the two bishops for a rook and a pawn. Unfortunately, it had a gigantic tactical hole in it. 25. Nc4 Bb7? 25...Bf4 26. Rd1 gives the White rook the f6 square after 26...Bb7 27. Rf6. Attempts to cover f6 such as 26...Kg7 allow 27. Nd6 giving White the c7 square as well. Still, these were better than the text. 26. Nxe5 Bxc6 27. Nxc6 Rbc8 28. Ne5 The simple refutation. 28...Rxc5 is met by the fork 29. Nd7, so the game is pretty much over. 28... Rfe8 29. Nd3 f5 I mouse slipped here. I played f5 on the board, but just sort of shoved the pawn with the mouse and it only reached f6. Although it didn't have an affect on the game, my opponent received 5 minutes on the clock, which I thought was a bit excessive. The rules recommend 2 minutes, but leave it up to the discretion of league officials. Since I played the move on the physical board and the slip was immediately reported to my manager and the league officials, I thought the 2 minute penalty would have been more reasonable. I know there has been some additional discussion about mouse slips this season because of an incident in one of the New York matches, so maybe they are cracking down harder. 30. Nd5 Rc6 31. N3b4 1-0

Despite our struggles in our first two seasons, there was still a good sized crowd of spectators at the Nashville Chess Center. I need to award the faithful with a win at some point. Next up are the Miami Sharks.

10/4/07 - Baltimore 2 : Tennessee 2

I got home too late to do a live blog this week's US Chess League action, but it seemed to help the team. Against the Baltimore Kingfishers, the Tempo registered our second draw of the season, once again coming close to securing a victory.

The first game to finish was on Board 3, Jerry Wheeler had Black versus WGM Katerina Rohonyan. His pawn sacrifice in the opening looked a little speculative, but he managed to regain the pawn with a great position after 29. Kb1

Black has several promising ideas here, such as 29...Ne1+ 30. Ka1 Nxg2 or 30..Nxf3. Also, 29...Nb4+ 30. Ka1 Nd3 looks strong. However, Jerry had a 50-10 time disadvantage and things were looking pretty good on the other boards, so he pocketed the half point with 29...Nb4+ 30. Ka1 Nc2+ 31. Kb1 Nd4+ 32. Ka1 Nc2+ 33. Kb1 1/2-1/2

Todd Andrews had White against IM Kaufman on Board 2. He put Black into a very cramped position with a thematic Ruy Lopez piece sacrfice. On top of that Kaufman had severe clock problems. I think he went under a minute around move 35. Still, he put up a strong defense. Giving the piece back and seeming to reach a fortress after 60. Kd4

I don't really see how White breaks through after 60...Nb7. If the White king approaches the queenside, Black will collect the f-pawns and have a passer of his own. Instead, after 60...Kxh4 61.Nxd6 a3 62.Kxc5 a2 63.b7 a1Q 64.b8Q White was a piece ahead. Todd kept the e-pawn under control and avoided perpetual check to bring home the point.

On Board 1, it didn't seem like Ron Burnett was ever in any difficulties with Black against FM Tegshsuen Enkhbat. They reached a rook plus opposite colored bishops ending fairly early and the drawn result was never in doubt.

That left it up to Gerald Larson on Board 4 with White against WFM Tsaagan Battsetseg. This was a somewhat back and forth game. Gerald seemed to have a nice position in the middle game with the two bishops, but then his king position got a bit shaky. Still, it seemed that he had gotten past the worst of it and was looking a bit better with an extra pawn after 41...Qb1

Both players were quite short of time here. Needing only a draw, Gerald went for exchanges with 42. Be3?. Unfortunately, this failed tactically to 42...Qe4+ 43. Kf2 Nd3+ Gerald gamely continued with a queen sacrifice 44.Qxd3 Qxd3 45.Bxf4+ but could not eliminate both of Black's pawns.

The Tempo will try to get into the victory column next week against the Carolina Cobras starting at 8 PM EST on the ICC.