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Mystery Analyst Blogs from Turkey Print E-mail
By Mr. X   
November 24, 2007
Louiza Livschitz. Photo Dujiu Yang.
Mr. X, a mystery analyst blogging from the World Youth (Antalya, Turkey, November 18-28) offers exclusive annotations on six of our team's games so far including two from Louiza Livschitz in the Girls Under 16.

Mr. X coming to all you chess fans live from Antalya, Turkey at the World Youth Chess Championships.  I’m sure everyone is eager to know what’s going on here and all the drama that is unfolding!  In this report, I analyze some of the games played by the U.S. team and post them for your enjoyment.   Hopefully the United States will have many medal contenders so there will be many high stakes, dramatic games for our team.  But either way, I certainly will do my best to get the interesting ones up here.

The conditions in Turkey are rough…the food is awful and the rounds are tediously long.  I want to once again thank Abby, Louiza and Elliot for allowing me to publish so many of their games and analyze (criticize) them.  I hope they understand that I am not doing it to be mean, but rather to inform and entertain readers.

Marc Arnold just turned 15. He has cracked 2350 and certainly will continue to climb. 

Marc Arnold– Ahmet Karagollu 

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3
A system usually characterized by slow positional play rather then typical King’s Indian attacks on opposite wings
4... d6 5. Bg2 Nbd7
Certainly not a bad move, but one that seems a bit passive.  Perhaps Black  should have employed the Panno Variation with Nc6 and a6 where Black  intends Rb8 and b5 with an interesting struggle ahead
 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4 e5
By a move order transposition, we have reached the classical fianchetto variation of the King’s Indian Defense.  By playing c6 early, Black  maintains a flexible structure while opening a path for the queen to head to b6 or a5.
9. Re1
Perhaps not the best here, but certainly not bad.  White could consider 9. h3 denying Black ’s pieces the g4 square and preparing Be3. 9...a5
The wrong plan. Black should consider playing b5 in positions like these, therefore committing the pawn to a5 is an error.  Instead, 9…Ng4 is interesting.  There follows 10. d5 c5 11. a3 Nb6 12. Qd3 Bd7 13.h3 Nf6 14 Be3 a5 as in Portisch-Gellar 1961.
 10. h3 Qc7 11. Be3 h6?
This move doesn’t seem to have a purpose, instead exd4 Nxd4 is level.
12. Qd2
Not the best, instead 12.c5! Leads to a very comfortable position for White where he will invade the d6 square.
 Kh7 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Kh2
14.b3 is probably and improvement.
14...exd4 15. Nxd4 Nc5 16. Qc2 Ne6? 17. f4
17. Nxe6! Rxe6 (Bxe6 18. Bf4 Bxc4 19. b3 Be6 20. Bxd6 +/-) 18. c5! +/-]
17...Nh5 18. Qf2 Nf6 19. Nf3 Nf8 20. Bb6 Qe7 21. e5!

Position after 21.e5!

This blow ends the game.
21... dxe5 22. Bc5 Qe6 23. Nxe5 Resigns 1-0.  There is no way to defend against the simple move Nf3. A very good game by a young U.S. talent.

The next two games are by Abby Marshall from the first and third rounds of the Girls Under 16. Abby is a two-time Polgar Invitational   and certainly has the work ethic and natural talent to do big things in this tournament. 

Melodi Dincei (TUR) – Abby Marshall (USA)

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. cxd5 exd5 4. d4 c5
A common transposition into Abby’s pet Tarrasch Variation, which was a frequent guest in Kasparov’s repertoire when he was younger.  Currently the line has faded out of fashion for other systems such as the Semi-Slav and Moscow variations.  By no means does it make the variation unplayable, but with accurate play, White should be able to maintain some advantage.
5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Be3!?
Certainly not the best move.  White should play g3 followed by Bg2 and play against the isolated d5 pawn
6...cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nf6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. e3 O-O
A successful opening for Abby.  White’s poor play with Be3 and Bg5 allowed here to achieve no advantage.
 10. Bd3 Qb6
Perhaps Abby could have tried Nxd4, inflicting White with an isolated pawn of her own.
11. Rb1?
This is not the correct way to play.  The pawn is poisoned because after 11. O-O Qxb2? 12. Ndb5! Qb4 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nxd5 +/-
11...Nxd4 12. exd4 Be6 13. O-O Qd6 14. Qd2 a6 15. b4?


Abby gives this move a ? and I have to agree, White loses what little advantage she has.
15...Rac8 16. Bf4 Qd7 17. f3 Bf5 18. Rfc1 Bxd3 19. Qxd3 Rc4! 20. a3 Rfc8 21. Ne2 b5 22. Rc3 Qa7 23. Rbc1 Nd7
The knight is heading to b6 and c4
 24. Be3 Qc7 25. Bd2 Bf6 [Bd6!?] 26. Be3 Nb6 27. Qf5 Qe7 [=+] 28. Qd3 Rce8

28…Na4! 29. Rxc4 dxc4 -/+
 29. Nf4? Qxe3 30. Qxe3 Rxe3 31. Rc2 Bxd4 0-1.
 A very good game from Abby, though it cannot be said that her opponent put up a strong fight.

Bhakti, Kulkarni (IND) – Marshall, Abby (USA)
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 c5
A frequent guest in Abby's repertoire.
 4. cxd5
The main line and best move, White intends to saddle Black  with an isolated d-pawn and fianchetto the king’s bishop.  In return, Black  has extremely active pieces and play against the e2 pawn.
4... exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Be3
One of the main lines, but my preference goes to Bg5 after which Black  usually takes on d4 and White recaptures with the knight with an interesting struggle ahead.
I’m not sure of the theory here and I am positive Abby knows it better then me, but Ng4 is intriguing to me, or even possibly c4.
 10. Nxd4 Re8
It seems to me that White must be better here.  I am familiar with a similar position that arises from the variation with 9. Bg5 and I believe that White is just up a move in this position.  But is it really that big of a deal.  One sample line after 9. Bg5 instead of 9. Be3 goes 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 h6 11. Be3 Re8, which is extremely similar to the game.  The question is, does the pawn on h7 strengthen of hurt Black ’s position.  I’ll leave that to you to decide.
11. Rc1 Bf8 12. Qa4!
The best move, but one that sharpens the struggle significantly.  Instead, White can play Nxc6 followed by Na4 and invade the c5 square with a comfortable position as well.
12... Na5?! 13. Bg5!
An excellent move, causing significant structural weaknesses.
13... Be6 14. Ncb5
Not the correct plan, instead the simple Rfd1 would leave White clearly better and Abby struggling to draw.  White has ideas with Nxe6 and e4, exploding the position.
14... Nc4 15. b3 Nb6 [a6!?] 16. Qa5 Nbd7 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. Nc7  Re7 19. Bd2 Nb6 20. a4
This is wrong, 20.Ndxe6! fxe6 Bh3! +-
Abby probably should have played Bg4 here with normal counterplay against e2.
 21. Ncxe6 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 fxe6 23. a5 Nbd7 24. Rc7 e5 25. Nf5 Rf7 26. Rxb7 Nc5 27. Rxf7?
Tying up all of black ’s pieces and being up a pawn is probably decisive
 27...Kxf7 28. b4 Nce4 29. Be1 Ke6 30. Ne3 d4 31. Nc2
31. Bh3 was better
31... Nc3 32. Bxc3 dxc3 33. e4 g5?!
There is no need to create further weaknesses.  Ne8 was better.
34. Kf1 Ne8 35. Ke2 Nc7 36. Kd3 Nb5 37. Bh3 Kf6 38. Ne3 Kf7 39. Nd5
Missing 39. Bd7, ending the game.
Bd6! Nxc3 Nxc3 Kxc3 Ke7 with a likely draw with accurate play thanks to bishops of opposite colors.
 40. Kxc3 h5 41. Bd7 Bd6 42. b5 Ne6 43. b6 axb6 44. Bxe6 Kxe6 45. a6!
It’s a miracle that Abby drew this game.
 45...Bb8 46. Nc7
46.Kb4 1-0
46... Kd6 47. Nb5 Kc5 48. a7 Bxa7 49. Nxa7 b5 50. Nc8 b4 51. Kb3  Kd4 52. Nd6 Kd3 53. Kxb4 Ke2 54. Nf7?
54.f4 1-0
54.... Kxf2 55. Nxg5 Kg2 56. Ne7 Kxh2 57. Nxe5 Kxg3 58. Ng6?
58. Nf3!! And once again Black  can resign as the knight is untouchable as White would queen followed by Qa1+ and take Black ’s queen on h1
58... h4 = in many more moves 1/2-1/2

Louiza Livschitz is also playing in the Girls Under 16.  Louiza had a very strong Polgar tournament and was actually in first place until the final round where a win slipped through her grasp. Here are two of her wins from the World Youth so far:

Arusyak Karhanyan (ARM) – Louiza Livschitz (USA)
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nge2 O-O 6. Ng3 Ng4?
6.Nge2 followed by Ng3 characterizes the Hungarian attack.  Black  should probably play e5 instead of Ng4 and after h4 then play Ng4.  A recent high-profile game in this line was Serper-Becerra USCL 2007.  The game ultimately ended in a draw.
 7. Be2 Nh6
Perhaps h5 is better.
 8. h4 f5 9. exf5 Nxf5 10. Nxf5 Bxf5 11. h5 Nc6 12. g4
A good move, gaining space on the kingside and securing White an advantage.
12... Bd7 13. hxg6 hxg6 14. d5?

Position after 14.d5

Instead 14.Be3 gives White a clear edge.
14...Nd4! 15. Bh6 e5 16. exd6 Nxe6 17. Qd3 Qf6
Now Black  has an advantage.
 18. O-O-O Bc6 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Rhf1 Nf4

20...Bg2 and taking the f2 pawn is probably better.
 21. Qd4 Rae8 [-/+] 22. Qxf6 Rxf6 0-1.
 The game did not end here, but the score sheet became difficult to read.

Livschitz (USA)- Rihova (CZE)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 Be6?!

This line is not good for Black , it allows White to play Nc4-e3 and control the d5-square, hence b5 is almost universally played.
 9. Nd5
Missing the opportunity to punish Black  for her faulty play.  Instead, a sample line runs 9. Nc4! Rc8 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Qxd5 which will lead to +- if White plays accurately.
9... Rc8 10. c3 Be7 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nc4 Bxd5 13. Qxd5 Be7 14. Rd1 O-O 15. Be2 Qc7 16. O-O Rcd8 17. Ne3
17.a4 is slightly more precise.
18. Bg5 18. Nf5 Ne7
Instead, g6 is equal.
 19. Nxe7 Bxe7 20. Kh1 Kh8 21. f4 f6?

21...exf4 seems better
22. Rf3 [f5!?] b5 23. Rh3 Qc5 24. Qe6 Qa7 25. Qf5 h6 26. Bg4!

Position after 26.Bg4.

Invading on the light squares.
I don’t understand this move, Qf2 would have been more cool-headed even though White still has a clear +.
 27. Qxd7 Rxd7 28. Bxd7 and White won in a few more moves.
Round two was a difficult one for the United States team, but round 3 saw them bounce back with extreme resiliency. Here are a few games from rounds 2 and three from players who were willing to share their games with me.

Elliot Liu suffered a rough defeat in round 2 against an IM in a Scandinavian defense and then came back and won his 3rd game.  Here it is.

Liu, Elliot (USA) – Al Kasir- Mohamed (SYR)
1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be2
Not the most aggressive set-up, instead Bd3 is sharper.
6... b5 7. O-O Bb7 8. Bf3
I think that if you must play Bf3 before f4, them something went wrong.  But Elliot seems extremely familiar with the arising positions based on the post-mortem analysis.
8... d6
Probably an error, Nc6 seems like a natural move here.
 9. a4! b4 10. Na2 Nf6 11. Re1 Nbd7 12. Nxb4 Nc5 13. Nd5 [ +-] exd5 14. exd5 Kd8 15. Bg5
15. b4 is slightly stronger, but Bg5 is a good move.
15...Ncd7 16. Ra3 h6 17. Rc3?

Position after 17.Rc3?

Not necessarily bad, but I suspect that Elliot forgot that he had already sacrificed a piece.  From what I heard, both players were in extreme time pressure at this stage of the game.
17... hxg5 18. Rxc7 Kxc7 19. Qd2 g4 20. Qc3?
I wonder what deterred Elliot from playing the natural Qa5!+ because if Nb6 then Re3! Is extremely strong, if Kc8 then Bxg4 and if Kb8? Nc6 is 1-0
20...Nc5 21. b4?
Over the past few moves the evaluation has changed from +- to =
21...gxf3 22. bxc5 dxc5 23. Qa5 Kd7 24. Nxf3 Bd6 25. c4 Rab8 26. g3
26. Ne5 is better and nets White his advantage back.
26... Bc8
Threatening Rb4, trapping the queen.
27. Ne5 Bxe5 28. Rxe5 Kd6 29. h4
Time pressure, time to attempt swindles but unfortunately after this move, the best is Kxe5!
29...Rb4 30. Re7 Kxe7?
30...Rb1 is = or maybe even =+
31. Qxc5 Kd8 32. Qxb4 Nd7 33. c5 Re8 34. c6 Re5 35. cxd7 Kxd7 36. Qg4 Kc7 37. d6 Kd8 38. Qxg7

38.Qc4 is a quicker win
38... Re6 39. Qxf7 Rxd6 40. h5 resigns 1-0

Here is one of Elliot's tough losses, from round five.

Elliot Liu (USA) – IM Ivan Saric (CRO)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bc4 Qb6

This move is becoming more popular every year and should probably be considered a main line.
 7. Nb3 e6 8. O-O Be7 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f4 a6 11. Bd3
Prophylactic chess!
11...b5 12. Qf3
It is nice to see Elliot choose an aggressive setup.
12...Bb7 13. Rad1 h5 14. Kh1 O-O-O 15. a4
Ripping the queenside open.
15.. b4
Practically forced as bxa4 Nxa4 is devastating for White.
 16. Ne2
Perhaps Nb5 is good…one sample line could be Nb5 axb5 17. axb5 Nb8 18. b6 with compensation.
16...h4 17. a5! Nxa5 18. Nxa5 Qxa5 19. Ra1 Qh5 20. Bxa6 Bxa6
Worse is 20...Qxf3 because then follows 21. Bxb7 Kxb7 and 22.Ra7+! with an advantage and initiative.
 21. Rxa6 d5? 22. Ra7?
Returning the favor, e5! Leads to a clear advantage.  Elliot told me he missed Nd5 in the following sequence.
22...dxe4 23. Qxh5 Rxh5 24. Rxe7 Nd5 25. Rxf7 Nxe3 26. Ra1 Kb8
26.Rd1+ is better and leads to a slightly better position.
 27. Raa7 Rd1+ 28. Ng1 Nf5 29. Rfb7 Kc8 30. h3
The position is dead level.
30... Ng3+ 31. Kh2 Ra5 32. Rc7 Kd8 33. Rab7 Nf1 34. Kh1 Ng3 35. Kh2 Rad5 36. Rxg7 Rd7 37. Rg8 Ke7 38. Rg7 Ke8 39. Rb8 Rd8 40 Rbb7
 40.Rxb4 leads to the same Nf1-Ng3 draw.
40....R1d7 42. Rg8 Ke7 43. Rg7 Kd6 44. Rb6
Now was the time to trade the g rook and play Rxb4 =
44... Kc5 45. Rxe6 Rf7?
Rd2 is better
 46. Re5 Kd4 47. Rb5 Ke3 48. Rxb4?
48.f5 is the only hope for survival, but it's still grim.
 48...Kf2 49. Rd4 Nf1 50. Kh1 Rg7 51. g4

Position after 51.g4

Elliot could not deny his opponent this pretty mate.
51... hxg3 52. Rxe4 g2#