By Jennifer Shahade
November 27, 2006
by Jennifer Shahade
Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura is back with a vengeance. His first outing since enrolling at Dickinson College was the National Chess Congress (Philadelphia, November 24-26) He started the top heavy event with a 5-0 sweep, ceding a draw to Zviad Izoria in the final round to win clear first in a field of 11 Grandmasters. "Not a bad start" admitted Hikaru, who will annotate one of his games in Philly for Chess Life Online. (Check back for that!)
In the following victory over King's Island winner Justin Sarkar in Round 3, Hikaru shows the long term value of extracting kingside weaknesses.
And here Hikaru tries a somewhat offbeat line in the French against Ivanov, throwing him off balance and extracting the full point.
As usual, many young talents on school breaks visited the National Chess Congress. Here's a fascinating face off between U.S. Junior runner-up Jake Kleiman and Pan-American silver medalist Ray Robson.
Sergey Kudrin's solid style and consistent, well analyzed opening repertoire makes him a kind of "professor" for up and coming masters. The following win over Ray Robson is a case in point.
Tying for second were GMs Alexander Shabalov and Jaan Ehvlest and
IM Justin Sarkar. Sarkar is obviously still buzzing from his King
Island victory last week. He won all his games save his loss against
Hikaru, including a last round win against Leonid Yudasin.
only first would please Shabalov or Elvhest in a weekend Swiss, but in
such a strong field, tying for second must also be considered as an
excellent result: In the last round, Shabalov defeated Ildar Ibragimov
while Jaan Ehlvest beat Alexander Ivanov.
Final National Chess Congress Premier Section Standings
of the GMs in Philly didn't even make it to the three board stage!
Pictured here sitting are GMs Ildar Ibragimov, Zviad Izoria and Jaan
Ehvlest. Meanwhile, IM Anna Zatonskih gets some clock assistance from
TD Michael Atkins.
U.S. Chess League commissioner Greg Shahade, WFM Elizabeth Vicary and GM Alexander Shabalov in an impromptu monopoly game between rounds.
IM Justin Sarkar
The tournament was held in downtown Philadelphia, right near City Hall. Photo Jacob Okada.
Read and play through the entire contents of the November Chess Life Magazine online, including bonus material from the U.S. Open.