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Norm-Hunting at the Chicago Invitational Print E-mail
August 25, 2009
After six rounds of the 23rd FIDE International in Skokie, IL, IMs Ray Robson and Ben Finegold lead together with GM Giorgi Kacheishvili with 4.5/6. Ray is after his second GM norm while Finegold just needs one more to qualify for the title. However, Ray has played enough GMs and foreigners to meet the requirements, but Finegold must play two GMs in the last two rounds to have a chance.

The grandmaster norm hunting continues as the rapid events of the weekend concluded. In the G/60, 125 played in seven sections with Jeremy Kane winning the master section. See full MSA here. In the G/30, Michael Auger and William Brock tied for first with 4/5 each. See the MSA here. 

William Brock stuck around to watch the Grandmaster action, and annotated Ray's crucial round four win over GM Zviad Izoria: 
IM Ray Robson, Photo Betsy Dynako

GM Zviad Izoria, Photo Betsy Dynako


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6

 The move 3...g6 was popularized by former World Champion Smyslov. Izoria wants to fortify e5 as a central stronghold. In response, Robson blows open the center.
4.d4 exd4 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.0–0 c5 10.Qe3

Grabbing the center pawn appears to be a new move. It looks dangerous, but unsurprisingly, the computer suggests it's fully playable. [10...b6 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.Rad1 0–0= 1/2–1/2 Guseinov, G (2573)-Petrosian,T (2599)/Iran 2005/CBM 106 ext (60)]
11.Re1 f5 12.Nfd2!
Threatening f3.
12...Be6 13.Nb3!

13.f3 Nxd2 14.Nxd2 Kf7
 13...Kf7 14.f3 Nf6 15.Nxc5 Rhe8 16.Nc3 b6 17.Nd3 Kf8 18.Qg5 Kg7 19.Nb5 Qd7 20.a4 h6?!
 It wasn't clear what the queen was going to accomplish on g5 until Black weakened the g6 square. 

 Robson attacks c7 while maintaining the pressure on g6.
21...Bf7, protecting g6, keeps Black in the game: Robson would have enjoyed a slight advantage after 22.Qxc7 (Another try is 22.Ne5 Qd5 23.b4! (23.Nxc7?? Qc5+) 23...Nh5 24.Nxc7! Nxg3 25.Nxd5) 22...Qxc7 23.Nxc7 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Rc8 25.Nb5 Rxc2 26.Re7 Nd5 27.Rxa7;After a6, both Ne5 and Nxc7 spell out the end for Black so he resigned without further ado.  

Another rising young IM, Sam Shankland, started out the tournament in a hurry. He woke up five minutes before his plane left, and packed and dressed so fast that he wore two different shoes!

Sam Shankland's shoes, Photo Betsy Dynako 

IM Ben Finegold reported from the tournament site on the first couple rounds:

"The time control of G/90 with 30 sec increments led to some fast finishes.  Zviad Izoria won a very long game against IM Angelo Young, and my opponent, young FM Gauri Shankar was doing well the whole game, then, decided to play too aggressively with less than five minutes, and his position deteriorated."

IM Ben Finegold Photo Betsy Dynako

According to Finegold, "Otherwise my games have been pretty boring," except for the following win over IM Angelo Young.  

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.0–0 d6 6.Nc3

Angelo goes his own way in the openings.  But, two can play that game!
6...Na6!? 7.h3 c5 8.e4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nc5 10.Be3 Bd7 11.Qd2 Rc8 12.Rfe1 Re8 13.Kh2 a6

 So far, not too exciting. Now Angelo loses patience and makes an error.

14...Bxh6! 15.Qxh6 Qb6

 Angelo said he missed this. As usual, he is quite resourceful!
16.Rab1 Na4
 I analyzed 16..Ncxe4 for a long time, and thought White would be all right, but Rybka does not agree!  I like the text move, because I get a clear advantage without any difficulties. 16...Ncxe4 17.Nxe4 Qxd4 18.c3 Qb6 19.Nxf6+ exf6 I thought White was all right here, so I played 16...Na4.
 17.Qe3 Nxc3 18.bxc3 Qc7 19.Rb3?!

Too passive.
19...b5 20.Qh6?

 the h6 square was not kind to Angelo this game.  White had to play 20.e5 to get some counterplay.
20...Qc5 21.f4 e5! 22.Nf3 exf4?!
Better was 22...Be6 23.Qxf4 Kg7 24.e5 Nh5!? I simply missed 25.Qd2 pins the d pawn.  Luckily, I am still better!
25.Qd2 Be6! 26.g4 Bxb3 27.cxb3 Qxc3 28.Qxc3 Rxc3 29.gxh5 dxe5 30.Re2?

Angelo, as usual, was VERY low on time.  Better was 30.Rxe5 Rxe5 31.Nxe5 Rc2.
30...e4–+ 31.Ng5 f5 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.Rd2 Kf6 34.h4 Ke5 35.Bf1 Rec8 36.Kg1 Rc2 37.Rd7 Rxa2 38.Re7+ Kf4 39.Ne6+ Ke3 40.Rg7 Rc1 41.Rxg6 f4 42.Ng7 f3 43.Nf5+ Kf4 44.Ng3 0–1

GM Megsen Amanov Photo Betsy Dynako

Finegold was also impressed by the following Semi-Slav novelty in Vigorito-Amanov, which he annotates below:

Vigorito,D - Amanov,M [D44]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.g3 Bb7 12.Bg2 Qb6 13.exf6 c5 14.d5 0–0–0 15.0–0 b4 16.Rb1 Qa6 17.dxe6 Bxg2 18.e7 Bxf1 19.Qd5

 I do not know the move order of the first five moves.  The rest is right. Amanov analyzed this variation for a long time before the game.  This new move seems to equalize easily, and, White may even be worse.
Vigorito finds the best response.
IM David Vigorito Photo Betsy Dynako

20...Bh6 21.Nd6+ Kc7 22.Nxe8+ Rxe8
White has done well so far.  Now he makes the losing move.  Probably 23.Bxh6 is best.  White is still fighting for equality though after
23.Bxh6 Bh3! 24.Bf4+ Kb6 23.Qxf7??


The game ended quickly from here, as Black has the nasty threat of 24...Qc6 and 25..Qg2 mate! 0–1

Michael Thaler scored wins over IM Marc Arnold and GM Mesgen Amanov, and despite losing his first game of the tournament in round six against IM Michael Mulyar, he has good chances for an IM norm. Stay up to date on the action on the official website and look for a final report on CLO.

Photo Gallery by Betsy Dynako from the FIDE Invitational

GM Giorgi Kacheishvili,

IM Angelo Young 

Albert Chow

FM Darwin Yang

IM-elect Florin Felecan

Michael Thaler

IM Sam Shankland

Alex Velikanov

Jomo Oitterson

IM Marc Arnold


August - Chess Life Online 2009

Experience Beats Youth in Amsterdam Back to School with Ask GM Joel Lenderman Takes Atlantic OpenU.S. Women's Team Off to China! U.S. Chess Scoop #6 Ian Rogers on Beliavsky-CaruanaBlindfold Chess is Book of the Year Final Photo Gallery From Chicago Saint Louis to Host 2010 U.S. Championship Letter From Jerry Nash Nakamura Falters Against Ljubojevic Kosteniuk Simul at The National K-12 Robson Nets Norm #2 in Chicago Norm-Hunting at the Chicago InvitationalChess Journalists of America AwardsGM Ian Rogers on Amsterdam Adult Membership Dues Change Chess Action Begins in Chicago Nakamura Scores but Experience Maintains Lead Five Golds for the US Team in Argentina! Nakamura in Amsterdam Team Experience Wins Round 1 in Amsterdam Gold for Tanuj in Pan-Am Youth!!Finegold on the Summer Chess Academy Rising Stars vs. Experience Starts Tomorrow Arthur, Annie and Tanuj Still Perfect in Argentina Five Perfect at the Pan-Am Youth Friedel on Missing Out in Brazil Baseball at 10 Boards an Hour 23 Americans in Argentina for Pan-Am YouthHow to Score a Summer Upset The Final Five in IndianaRobson Nets Norm and Ties for First in Norway! USCF Revokes Memberships of Polgar and TruongSix Tie in U.S. Open; Gurevich Wins Official Title Lenderman and Kudrin Lead in IndianaU.S. Chess Scoop #5Roaming the Halls in Indiana Mulyar Perfect as Stars Join in IndianaAmerican Teens Abroad: Ray Leads in Norway; Ostrovskiy in Curacao Abby Marshall on her Denker Win Two Michaels on Perfect Scores at the U.S. OpenU.S. Championship Flashback Antal Tops Tournament of College ChampsICC Interview with Greg Shahade Abby Marshall: First Female to Win Denker! Abby 5-0 in Denker; 11 Still Perfect in Open Greg Nolan wins 7th Holly Heisman fundraiserBig Upset in the Open; Abby and Patrick Lead Denker Five Lead in WCL Tournament of College ChampsIvanov and Shabalov Advance to World Cup Denker Heats up Fast; Wide Gaps in Main Event