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Liao Represents in California Match Play Print E-mail
By Taras McKey   
September 30, 2012
Liao vs. White

Two Southern California chess teams faced on Sunday, September 23, 2012 just a short distance from the famed Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga, California.  The visiting La Palma Chess Team battled their hosts, the Inland Empire Chess Team. All games were G/120 with alternating colors determined by coin toss.  Inland Empire won the match 7-5, with the two point edge coming on forfeits.  The ten contested games featured exciting chess with the teams trading blows throughout the day.   

Playing on Board 1, La Palma’s Craig Faber (2205) and Inland Empire team captain Hugo Villanueva (2271) grinded out a draw in a tight battle.  
Faber vs. Villanueva

On Board 3, the 2012 US representative to the World Juniors, 13-year-old Simone Liao (2123) beat La Palma’s Wes White (1980).

Liao,Simone (2115) - White,Wes (1921) [C16]
Inland Empire vs. La Palma Match (1.3), 23.09.2012

Annotations by IM Tibor Karolyi
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 b6 5.Qg4
5.a3 is more often played and white scores somewhat better with it.
5...Bf8 6.Nf3
6.Bb5+ Scores well. 6...c6 7.Ba4; 6.Nh3!?
6...Qd7 7.Be2
I would consider 7.h4 as Black should play h5 which gives up the g5–square.
 7...Ba6 8.0–0 Ne7 9.a4!?

I like it as it generates the idea to take on e2, which accelerates the knight's transfer to the kingside.
9...Nf5 10.a5
10.Nxe2 a5 11.Ng3 c5 12.c3

12.Nh5!? Fixing the bishop to defend the g7–pawn is attractive. 12...Ng6 (12...Nf5 13.dxc5 (13.c3 Nc6) 13...bxc5 14.Nh4 Removes the defender piece of the g7–pawn. 14...Nxh4 15.Qxh4 Nc6 16.Qg5!? I prefer this as it stops long castle.) 13.Bh6 f5 14.exf6 gxh6 15.Rfe1 White has tremendous play for the piece.
12...Nbc6 13.Be3 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nf5 15.Nxf5

Gains an edge, but sometimes in the French or in the Caro Kann it can be dangerous to vacate the e6–square, as Black might get to play ...g5.
15...exf5 16.Qg3 h6
16...Nd8!? 17.Rfc1 Ne6 Looks playable for Black.
Planning to transfer the knight to b5 shows a nice vision. [17.Ne1! Transferring the knight to f4 is also a good plan. 17...Rc8 (17...Nb4 18.Bd2! g6 19.Rc1 Be7 20.Bxb4 Bxb4 21.Qb3 The d5 is weak.) 18.Rc1 (18.h4) 18...g6 (18...Nb4 19.Rxc8+ Qxc8 20.Bd2) 19.Nd3 Bg7 20.Nf4 0–0 21.h4 Black is clearly worse.]
17...g6 18.Rac1
 It is a waste of time in case White intends to take back on c3 by the pawn. [18.Nb1! Bb4 19.Nc3 White is a tempo ahead of the game.
18...Qe6 19.Nb1!
A very nice idea, aiming for b5.
19...Bb4 20.Nc3 Bxc3 21.bxc3
It is not in harmony with the previous move. [21.Rxc3 Rc8 22.Rfc1 g5 23.f4 g4 24.h3 h5 White has an advantage. He may transfer the queen to b5. 25.Bf2]
21...Kd7? 22.Rb1 Rab8 23.Qf3
23.Bc1!? Why not  transfer the bishop to d6 first?
23...g5 24.Rb5 Ne7
25.Bc1! Rhc8 26.Ba3 wins.
25...g4 26.Qe2 Rhc8 27.c5 bxc5 28.dxc5 Nc6 29.Rfb1 Qxe5 30.Qd2 Rxb5
30...Qe4 Would avoid collapsing.
31.axb5 Nb4 32.c6+ Nxc6 33.bxc6+ Rxc6 34.Qxa5 Qe4 35.Rd1 Ke6 36.Bxh6 Qc4 37.Re1+ Kd7 38.Qa7+ Rc7 39.Qe3 Qe4 40.Qd2 Qc4
41.Qg5! is faster. White should go for a checkmate.
41...Qe4 42.Rxc7+ Kxc7 43.Qf4+ Kc6 44.Qxe4 fxe4 45.Be3 Kb5 46.Kf1 Kc4 47.Ke2 d4 48.Bf4 d3+ 49.Kd2 f5 50.h4 gxh3 51.gxh3 Kd5 52.h4 Ke6 53.h5 Kf6 54.h6 Kg6 55.Kc3 Kh7 56.Kd4 Kg6 57.Ke5 Kh7 58.Kxf5 1–0

The matchups and results were:

        La Palma                     Inland Empire
Board 1    Craig Faber (2205)        ½ - ½        Hugo Villanueva (2271)
Board 2    John Rinaldo (2100)        1  -  0        Albert Lu (2178)
Board 3    Wes White (1980)        0  -  1        Simone Liao (2123)
Board 4    Leigh Hunt (1949)        ½ - ½        David Pensoneau (2126)
Board 5    Joe Warhula (1911)        ½ - ½        Romeo Reario (2004)
Board 6    Shyam Gandhi (1905)        1  -  0        Annie Wang (1978)
Board 7    Mike Henebry (1888)        1  -  0        Tom Scharwark (1970)
Board 8    Vic Alfaro (1835)        0  -  1        Kele Perkins (1728)
Board 9    Brenda Nardi(1725        0  -  1        Joaquin Perkins (1727)
Board 10    Brian Scanlon (1621)        ½ - ½        Charles Clark (1520)

Both clubs have participated in other matches this year.  La Palma, with its long established club history, finished 2nd in the team championships at Chess Palace of Garden Grove, California in January, while Inland Empire, a new team formed just this year, was victorious in March against a strong team from Hemet, California.  Both teams enjoyed today’s event and plan to participate in more team matches in the future.  Meanwhile, Inland Empire team organizers are hard at work trying to grow the club team match concept to include more clubs in California and adding a scholastic element to the mix.

Find Simone Liao's website here.

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