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UT-Dallas and Texas Tech Tie for Texas Collegiate Champs Print E-mail
By Al Lawrence   
November 28, 2013
Kovalyov-Zherbukh-milovanov.jpg
Zherebukh (Tx Tech) wearing glasses, and Kovalyov (UTB) playing on the next board facing two UTD players in hoodies, with Coach Rade (UTD) in the background.
Three of the top-ranked college chess teams call Texas home. So in a state filled with vast roadside cotton fields, the annual championship, which determines both team and individual honors, is no easy pickin's. Among this year's competitors in Houston were 10 GMs, four IMs (including two IMs "elect"), two WGMs, and one WIM.

UT-Dallas' program director James Stallings has put together a systematic, comprehensive program of recruiting and training-much like rivals Texas Tech and UT-Brownsville-but there's no argument that his team is deepest in titled players drafted from all over the world. Six of the 10 GMs competing this year were from UTD. But on any given Sunday, the other two top schools, Texas Tech and UT-Brownsville, are capable of reaching for the brass ring. The last round of State turned out to be that "given Sunday."

Texas Tech students scored 4-0 in the last round-a feat with longer than 80-1 odds- to catch UTD and share the co-championship. Each of the two teams garnered 13.5 points from their top four scorers. UT-Dallas's Ioan Chirila and Texas Tech's Elshan Moradiabadi shared the individual championship, each scoring four points. 
Moradiabadi-Hernandez.jpg
Moradiabadi vs. Hernandez

"The tournament was very strong, and GM Chirila is a tough chess fighter," UT-Dallas Chess Coach Rade Milovanovic said.

"Although we fielded only two grandmasters, we played some of our new recruits, who performed spectacularly under pressure," Texas Tech Coach Alex Onischuk, coach of the Texas Tech chess team, said.
Gorovets-Cornejo.jpg
Gorovets vs. Cornejo
IM Gorovets and GMs Onischuk & Chirila all annotated games for CLO:

IM David Berczes (UT-Dallas) - IM Andrei Gorovets (Texas Tech)

Reti Opening [A09]
17th Annual Texas Collegiate Championship
November 10, 2013, Round 4
(Comments by IM Gorovets)                                              

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4
The most principled move. The advantage of this move is the reduction of White's possibilities. (2...e6 leads to a quite passive position in the Catalan or Queen's Gambit; 2...c6 permits White a wide choice of possible continuations: 3.d4 (3.b3; 3.e3!?; 3.g3!?).
3.b4! 
3b4.jpg
3.e3 Nc6 4.exd4 Nxd4 5.Nxd4 Qxd4 6.d3 c6 7.Nc3-this line was popular some time ago, but Black found ... 7...Nh6!. This modern approach refutes White's hopes for an advantage.
3...e6
When I played this move, I was thinking about an old classic game between two uncompromising players, Paul Keres (White) and Mikhail Botvinnik (Black), The Hague, 1948. It would be very useful to recall the opening of this game: 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 d4 4. b4 c5 5. b5? (a mistake; White closes the b-file, rejecting the idea of pressure along this line) 5. ... e5 6. d3 Bd6 7. e4? (now White closes the long diagonal for his bishop) 7. ... Qc7 8. Ne2 h5! (a great move; Botvinnik causes White's h2-h4-after that, Black will be the owner of g4-square, creating a permanent weakness in the White camp) 9. h4 Nh6,  and later Black won. 

However, the main line here is 3...f6, and then 4.e3 e5 5.c5! a5 6.Bb5+!? (6.Nxe5 fxe5 7.Qh5+ Kd7 8.Qf5+ Ke8 9.Qh5+ Kd7 10.Qf5+=, with perpetual) 6...c6 7.Bc4∞, with a very sharp position.
4.Bb2 c5 5.e3! dxe3 6.fxe3 cxb4
Now we have the Blumenfeld Gambit with reversed colors and extra tempi for White. Black should play very precisely. White has a strong initiative.
7.d4 Nf6 8.Bd3 Nbd7
8...Nc6?! 9.e4!, with the attack.
9.0-0 b6
Here white has two ways of playing-fast or slow.
10.e4
The slow way is 10.Qe2 Bb7 11.Nbd2 Be7 12.e4 0-0 (12...e5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Nd7 15.e6) 13.e5 Nh5 14.Qe3 g6 15.g4 Ng7. The slow way of handling the initiative after a sacrifice has a big practical power. The idea is to play the position as if nothing has happened and both sides have equal material. Boris Spassky and Garry Kasparov were great practitioners of this method. For example: Spassky- Fischer, Mar del Plata 1960 (2) 1-0 and Karpov, A - Kasparov, G, World Championship, KK2, 1985 (16) 0-1]
10...e5
10...e5Goro.jpg
The only move, trying to disrupt White's harmonious pawn structure-for example, 10...Bb7? 11.Ng5!? (11.e5 also good) 11...h6 12.Nxf7! Kxf7 13.e5‚ with a super-strong attack.
11.Qa4!
The fast way. White tries to cause a crisis on the board and then just smash Black.
11...Bd6
My first intention was to play 11...a6!?, with the idea to play at some moment b5 and Nd7-b6 12.c5!? (a human move-the computer suggests another continuation, 12.a3!?.) 12...Be7 13.Nxe5 b5 14.Bxb5 axb5 15.Qxa8 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Ng4, with a very interesting position where the hunter and the game switch their roles.
12.c5!
12.Qc6? Qc7 13.Qxa8 0-0 14.Nbd2
a) 14.dxe5? Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Ng4 16.a3 Bb7 17.Qxf8+ (17.Qxa7 b5) 17...Bxf8 18.axb4 Ndxe5 19.Nxe5 Nxe5 20.Be2 Nxc4 21.Rc1 Qf4 22.Rxc4 b5!-/+;
b) 14.Nxe5? Nxe5 15.dxe5 Bc5+ 16.Kh1 Ng4-+; 14...Ba6 15.Qxf8+ Bxf8-/+. Black's position is fine. After swapping pawns on d4 and e5, White will have a lot of weak spots in the position.]
12...Bc7 
The only move: 12...bxc5? 13.dxe5 c4 14.Bxc4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Ng4 16.e6, with a strong attack)
13.cxb6
13.dxe5 0-0! (the point of black's play) ... Kd7-c5 is my main resource in many variations here. 14.exf6 Nxc5 15.Qxb4 Nxd3 16.Qc3 Ba6 17.fxg7 Re8µ; 13.c6 Nc5-/+; 13.Nxe5 0-0 14.Nxd7 Nxd7! 15.c6 Nc5 16.Qc2 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Qd6-/+.
13...Bxb6 14.Nxe5 0-0 15.Nc6 Qc7 16.Nd2!
16.Nxb4? Ng4 17.g3 Nc5 18.Qa3 (18.dxc5 Qxc5+ 19.Kh1 Nf2+-+) 18...Nxd3 19.Qxd3 Qd6 20.Nd5 Ba6-+]
16...Bb7 17.Rac1 Qd6
17...Qd6.jpg
18.Kh1?
After this Black has a huge advantage. The only right way is: 18.Qxb4 Qxb4 19.Nxb4 Ne5 20.Bb1 Rad8 21.Nf3 Nxf3+ 22.gxf3 Bxd4+ 23.Bxd4 Rxd4= , with a dry position]
18...Rfc8 19.d5 Ng4 20.e5 Ndxe5 21.Ne4
21Ne4.jpg
21...Qh6?? 
Blunder! 21...Bxc6! 22.Rxc6 Qxd5 23.Rd6 Qxd3!? (23...Qa5-/+ is calm and also good-for example,  24.Qb3 Rd8 25.Bxe5 Nxe5 26.Bc4 Kh8 27.Bxf7 Rxd6 28.Nxd6 Rf8, and Black has a healthy extra pawn) 24.Rxd3 Nxd3-/+ , when Black has a very powerful position.
22.Bxe5?
22.Ne7+! this is an immediate win 22...Kf8 (22...Kh8 23.Rxc8+ Rxc8 24.Bxe5 Nxe5 25.Nxc8) 23.Rxc8+ Bxc8 24.Bxe5 Nxe5 25.Qxb4.
22...Bxc6 23.Rxc6 Rxc6 24.Bf4!
24bf4.jpg
24...g5?!
24...Qxh2+!? a good practical attempt to save the game in time trouble, but it's still insufficient: 25.Bxh2 Rh6 26.Nf2 Nxh2 (26...Rxh2+ 27.Kg1 Rh6 28.Be2! Nxf2 29.Rxf2 Rf6 30.Bf3) 27.Nh3 Nxf1
25.Bg3 Rcc8
Black's position is so ragged that White has a winning position despite the loss of an Exchange.
26.Nd6?
26.Qd7!+-  is winning-for example, 26...Qh5 27.Qxg4 Qxg4 28.Nf6+.
26...Bc7?
26...Nf2+! 27.Bxf2 Bc7! and Black is on the top again.
27.Nxf7  
The rest requires no comment.
27...Qh5 28.d6 Bb6 29.Qb3 Rc3 30.Qd5 Kg7 31.Nxg5 Rf8 32.Qb7+ Kh6 33.Qxh7+ Kxg5 34.h4+ 1-0
34h4.jpg

So our reciprocally rather nervous play in time trouble (each of us had one minute each) helped decide the result of this game, and the final standings of our universities-a tie for first place.

Holden Hernandez (UT-Brownsville) - Elshan Moradiabadi (Texas Tech)
[E43] Nimzo-Indian
17th Annual Texas Collegiate Championship
November 10, 2013, Round 5
(Notes by Grandmaster Alex Onischuk, Head Coach, Texas Tech University)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.e3 Bb7 6.Bd3 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.Na4
White's move is a well-known and strong idea. White is nearly forcing Black to exchange on d4; additionally, the knight will support the c5-pawn in case of Black's d7-d5.
8...cxd4 9.exd4 Re8
If 9...Be7, White would play 10.a3 and b4.
10.a3 Bf8 11.Bg5 d6
11d6.jpg
After this move, Black's position is pretty solid but passive. The natural ... d5 would be met by c5, with advantage to White.
12.Nc3 Nbd7 13.Ne1!?
A grandmaster move. The knight goes to e3, where it will have an excellent position and support the f2-f4-f5 maneuver.
13...a6?!
This seems a bit too slow to me. Black should have tried to get off the hook with 13...Be7!, with the idea of playing... d5 -for example, 14.b4 h6 15.Bh4 d5 16.c5 e5, with good counter-play.
14.Nc2 Qc7 15.Ne3 g6 16.d5
16.f4 also looks pretty strong.
16...Bg7 17.dxe6 fxe6 18.Rc1 Nc5 19.b4 Nxd3 20.Qxd3
20qd3.jpg
White is better now, but one should not underestimate the black bishops.
20...Rad8 21.Qd4?!
The idea to trade bishops is very natural, but something simple like f3 was probably better: f3, Ne2, rfd1, Bg5-h4 looks like a very good set up to me.
21...Rf8 22.Qh4 Rde8 23.Bh6 Nh5 24.Bxg7 Qxg7 25.Rfd1 Rf4 26.Qh3?
26qh3.jpg
26.Ng4 was White's only option. It is, however, hard to play such a move.
26...Qf6
Holden probably missed this move. Now White is in trouble.
27.g3
The only move to stop Rh4.
27...Rxc4!
Elshan finds such moves in seconds.
28.Nxc4 Qf3 29.Nd5 Bxd5 30.Rxd5
30rd5.jpg
30...Nf4!
Unfortunately for White, Black has this move. Now it is all over.
31.Qf1 Ne2+ 32.Qxe2 Qxe2 33.Rd2 Qf3 34.Rcd1 d5 35.Rd3 Qe2 36.Nxb6 Rf8 37.R1d2 Qe1+ 38.Kg2 Qe4+ 39.Kg1 Rf3 40.Rd4 Qe1+ 41.Kg2 Rxa3 42.Nd7 Ra1 43.Kh3 Rc1 44.f4 Rc4 45.R4d3 Qf1+ 46.Kg4 Kg7 47.Ne5 Re4 48.Nf3 Kf6 49.Rd1 Qg2 50.Rg1 h5+ 51.Kh4 g5+
g5.jpg

 
GM Yaroslav Zherebukh (Texas Tech)- GM Ioan Cristian Chirila (UT-Dallas)
Trompowsky [D03]
17th Annual Texas Collegiate Championship

November 10, 2013, Round 4
(Comments by GM Ioan Cristian)
In the penultimate round I got paired against one of the top seeds of the tournament. I knew he was a very strong opponent, but my recent results gave me enough confidence to go into the game with a positive attitude.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5
The Trompovsky! I have to admit that I never prepared seriously against this opening. The night before the game I had a feeling that he would try to surprise me, so I decided to prepare a bit against it.
2...d5 3.Nd2
3.Bxf6 is currently considered to be the main line: 3...gxf6 (3...exf6!?) 4.e3 c5 5.dxc5 e6 6.c4 (6.Nf3 Nd7 7.c4 dxc4 8.c6 Nb6 9.Nbd2 c3 10.bxc3 bxc6∞, Carlsen-Kramnik, 2013, 1-0. Black finally lost this game, but I don't think he should be worse in this position. The bishop pair should compensate his worse structure.
3...Nbd7 4.Ngf3 c5 5.e3 e6 6.c3 Be7 7.Bd3 b6
7...0-0 8.0-0 b6 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd7 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.f4 f6
8.0-0 Bb7 9.Qb1!
9.dxc5 bxc5 10.Qc2 0-0 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.c4 h6=
9...h6 10.Bh4
10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.b4 Qc7 12.a4 0-0 13.a5 Rab8 (13...Rac8?! 14.axb6 axb6 15.bxc5 bxc5 16.Ra7 Rb8 17.Ba6+/=, when White retains some pressure) 14.h3 e5
10...0-0 11.b4
11b4Chir.jpg
Black's position looks quite solid, but this clever pawn expansion is not easy to refute. And if Black doesn't do something about it, his position could easily become very unpleasant.
11...cxb4
11...c4!? 12.Bc2 a5 13.a3 (13.bxa5?! Rxa5=?+) 13...b5 14.Qb2 Qc7 15.Bg3 Bd6, and Black has a pleasant position. He's solved all his opening problems.
12.cxb4 Ne4?
A big blunder. White could have seized the initiative and obtained a big advantage with a fairly simple sequence of moves. I am sure my opponent saw the refutation, but probably considered the game continuation to be more effective.
13.Bxe7?
Returning the favor, much better was 13.Nxe4 Bxh4 (13...dxe4 14.Bxe4 Bxe4 15.Qxe4 Bxh4 16.Nxh4 Nf6 17.Qb1 Nd5 18.Nf3±) 14.Nd6 Rb8 15.Nxh4 Qxh4 16.Qc2 Qd8 17.Rfc1, and after Qc7, Black's position is close to lost.]
13...Qxe7 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Bxe4 Bxe4 16.Qxe4 Qxb4 17.Qb7
17Qb7.jpg
17...Qa4
17...Qd6?! 18.Rfc1 Rfb8 19.Qc7 Qd5 20.Rc6+/=, when White keeps a very unpleasant pressure along the 7th rank and the c-file.
18.Rfc1 Rab8
18...Rfd8! was a bit more precise. The point is that if White plays 19.Qc7 (19.Rc6?? Nc5! 20.Qc7 Rd7-+) 19...Qa6=, when I win an important tempo compared to the game.
19.Qc7 Rfd8 20.Rc6 Qa6 21.Rac1 Qxa2 22.h3
22.Rd6!? Rdc8! (22...Qa6? 23.Rxd7 Rdc8 24.h3!, and here winning the queen is not enough-24...Rxc7 25.Rcxc7 Rf8 26.Ne5 Qa2 27.Rxa7 Qb2 28.Nxf7±) 23.Qxc8+ Rxc8 24.Rxc8+ Kh7 25.h3 Nf6 26.Ne5 Ne4 27.Rdd8 Qxf2+ 28.Kh2 Qg3+ 29.Kh1 Qe1+=.
22...Qa6
22Qa6Chir.jpg

23.d5!
My opponent demonstrates a great understanding of the concept of initiative. He is sacrificing the second pawn in order to create a powerful central square for his knight, as well as clearing the sixth rank for his rook to join the attack against my king (23.Rd6 Qb7=/+).
23...exd5
23...Qb7 24.dxe6 fxe6 25.Rd1 Qxc7 26.Rxc7 Nc5 27.Rxd8+ Rxd8 28.Rxa7=. I saw this line, but I already considered my position promising, especially given the fact that I had a good amount of extra time on my clock; therefore complications would be beneficial to me.
24.Nd4 Rbc8 25.Qxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxc8+ Kh7 27.R1c7 Ne5
27Ne5.jpg
28.Ra8?
28.Re8 Nc4 29.Kh2!. The only move that gives White the advantage, in my opinion. This move is very hard to spot (29.Ree7 Nd2 30.Kh2 Nf1+ 31.Kg1 Qa1=) 29...Nd2 30.h4!+-, and White's king escapes the perpetual. Now Black will have a hard time dealing with the rook battery along the seventh rank.
28...Qa1+ 29.Kh2 Qf1 30.Rc2
My opponent had only a few seconds left on his clock at this point. The position is very hard to defend even without being in time trouble: 30.Re8 Nd3 31.Nf3 (31.Rxf7 Ne1-+) 31...Nxf2 32.Kg3 Ne4+ 33.Kh2 Qf2-/+]
30...a5 31.Ra7 Nc4 32.Re2 Kg6?!
32...b5 is much more precise: 33.Rxf7 a4 34.Rb7 a3 35.Rxb5 Qxe2 36.Nxe2 a2-+
33.Rd7 a4 34.Rxd5 a3
34a3chir.jpg
35.Rb5?
35.Rc2! was the last chance to survive. Now the win is not that close anymore: 35...Qd1 36.Rxc4 a2 37.Nf5! Qxd5 38.Ne7+ Kh7 39.Nxd5 a1Q 40.Rd4 (40.Nxb6!? Qe5+ 41.Kg1 Qb5 42.Rc7 Qxb6 43.Rxf7 Qb1+-/+) 40...b5 41.Nb4. White can hope to obtain a blockade, even though I would have played another hundred moves to try and win!
35...Qxe2 36.Nxe2 a2 0-1
finalchir.jpg
Not a perfect game at all, but a very complex battle. In the end it was White who made the last mistake, which proved decisive.

Russell Harwood, program director of UT-Brownsville and USCF College Chess Chairman, has also built one of the best teams in the nation. This year he's acquired GM Coach GM Bartek Macieja. "We were hoping for a higher finish," Harwood said, "but on paper we were the third strongest team, so I guess we finished about as expected.  I think we are very fortunate to have such strong collegiate chess programs in Texas!"

Texas Tech, thanks in part to funding from its Knight Raiders' Chess Club was able to send 10 competitors, the most from any school.

The ever-busy-and-supportive Dallas Chess Club organized the event. Forrest Marler, USCF Executive Director Franc Guadalupe, and Luis Salinas directed the 17th Annual Texas Collegiate Championship, November 8-10. See complete results here. 

Texas Tech to Host "World Series of Chess" 


The Texas Tech Chess Program and the Texas Tech Knight Raiders Chess Team will host the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship Dec. 27-30 at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock, Texas. It will be the first time the "World Series of Chess" has been held in Lubbock. Colleges from all over the hemisphere will compete for titles in five divisions, as well as other titles, such as Best Small College (under 5,000), Best International Team, Best Women's Team, and biggest Team and Individual Upset. All the top teams are expected to compete. More than 25 teams have already signed up.

The Texas Tech University Chess Program-part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & and Community Engagement-offers outreach programs to more than a dozen area schools and can provide teaching materials and other assistance on request.

For information on the 2013 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, go here.
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/ttuchess/panam.php Or contact Al Lawrence at al.lawrence@ttu.edu or 806-742-7040.
 
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