Home Page Chess Life Online 2008 November Onischuk and Rohonyan Score Big Wins
|Onischuk and Rohonyan Score Big Wins|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|November 20, 2008|
After a morale-boosting 4-0 win over Romania at the Dresden Olympiad , the U.S. women's team scored 2-2 against the top-seeded Chinese team. Meanwhile, the men scored their most impressive match victory so far by defeating the #5 ranked Hungarian team. Early on, a match victory also looked likely for the women. Rusudan Goletiani was the first to finish. She achieved a perfect Benko style endgame, but it did not turn out to be enough to press for the win.
Anna Zatonskih won a pawn against Zhao Xue, but strangely enough, her subsequent queen invasion worked against her as Zhao was able to force a queen swap and trade into a drawish endgame.
Katerina Rohonyan was the heroine of the round- it looked like her game was heading toward equality, but on move 41, her opponent, Zhongyi Tan, blundered:
Most likely, Black wasn't totally sure if she made enough moves to get her extra half hour and chose the quick but fatal recapture, Rxc5?? allowing Ne8+ forking the king and pawn. (dxc5+ would have been OK for Black because Ke5 is bad in view of Nc4+ picking up a3.) Rohonyan went on to convert smoothly.
On the other hand, in Hou-Krush, things started to go very awry just after Irina reached time control--Kh8 would have been a better try than Kh7- the problem with h7 is that Irina can't play Qb6 after Rg3 in view of Ne7! when Qf5+ will hit c8 and h7. After Qf6, Hou forced herself in with Bg5 and Bh6 and Irina had no more chances.
The U.S. men scored 2.5-1.5 over #5 seeded Hungary. Early on, our positions on boards 1 and 2 did not look so great, with Nakamura down a pawn and Leko mounting an attack. Nakamura held the endgame while Kamsky-Leko quickly petered out into a perpetual.
Shulman's game also ended in a variation of perpetual, a desirable result since his opponent had a better structure. Meanwhile, Onischuk came through to win a long endgame, finally reaching the following position after 73 moves:
Onischuk played 73.Rh5! and Black resigned in view of Rc3+ Rc5.
In round 8, both the women and men will face formidable Russian squads. Watch the games live on the official website starting at 9 AM EST.