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Ice Cream, Two Minute and Norm Hopefuls at the University of Texas at Dallas Print E-mail
By WIM Alexey Root   
November 24, 2009
From November 21-29, 2009, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Chess Program is sponsoring two norm-opportunity tournaments for its students. To make norms possible, these 10-player round robin tournaments include four invited players (GMs Zviad Izoria and Giorgi Kacheishvili in the GM-norm tournament, and GMs Babakuli Annakov and Ildar Ibragimov in the IM-norm tournament). Since I am writing this report after round three of nine rounds, it is not yet clear which students, if any, will make norms. TD Jon Haskel tells me that it takes 6 points to make a GM norm in the GM-norm round robin. It takes 6.5 points to make an IM norm in the IM-norm round robin. Also in the IM-norm tournament, WFM Bayaraa Zorigt can make a WIM norm with 4 points and Zorigt and WIM Karina Vazirova need 6 points for a WGM norm.

Opening Ceremony


After speeches by dignitaries, the highlight of the opening ceremony was to be a two-minute, touch-move, two-game speed chess match (the Richardson Cup) between defending cup champion GM Babakuli Annakov and GM Amon Simutowe. When the time for the match came, UTD Chess Advisory Board President Rodney Thomas and visiting Chess Drum Web master Daaim Shabazz searched their cell phones for the missing Simutowe's phone number.
cellphoneserarch.jpg

It soon became clear that Simutowe would arrive too late. So IM Jacek Stopa stepped in on short notice. In game one, Stopa had K and B and 3 Ps vs. Annakov's same material, but touched his king when he meant to touch his bishop. Annakov pointed out Stopa’s touch move, captured the bishop, and won the game. The second game was dominated by Annakov, who forced resignation after using just 46 seconds on his clock.

Leading the tournaments


After three rounds, the GM-norm tournament is led by GM Zviad Izoria, who had a win, a draw, and then a forfeit win over Simutowe in round 3. For the past 3.5 years, Izoria has called Brooklyn, NY home. He maintains his Georgian chess federation membership, however, and competed as part of the Georgian Olympiad team in 2008 and in two prior Olympiads as well. This is Izoria’s second time participating in the UTD norm tournaments; he previously played in 2007. He and compatriot GM Giorgi Kacheishvili are enjoying the warm Dallas weather and local restaurants before each evening’s 6 p.m. game.

The leader board of the GM tournament may change after Friday morning. Two of the round three games (GM Puchen Wang vs. IM Jacek Stopa, and IM Marko Zivanic vs. GM Alejandro Ramirez) have been postponed from Monday night because of these students’ university classes. Leading the IM-norm tournament after three rounds are NM Tautvydas Vedrickas, GM Ildar Ibragimov, and WFM Bayaraa Zorigt with 2.5 of 3.

Ship me an IM norm

Before the IM-norm tournament, UTD junior Tautvydas (Taut) Vedrickas posted on Facebook, “Ship me an IM norm please, thank you very much.” I asked Taut if he had any previous IM norms. He said he had a 2449 performance at one event, but 2450 is the IM norm. So, no, he didn’t have any norms. Taut is off to a good start this tournament, winning round one, drawing round two, and winning round three. Taut showed me his first round win over National Master Mihail Bantic. (Taut's comments in italics.)

TautBantic.jpg
Mihail Bantic and Tautvydas Vedrickas



 
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5

Taut explained his thinking behind 3….c5. Bantic is not a lifelong d4 player. So he might not know the Blumenfeld Gambit.
4.Nc3
Bantic needed to play 4. d5 for this to turn into the Blumenfeld. Now I didn’t want to play 4….d5 because you have to know a lot of Tarrasch theory for Black.

4….cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6
By playing 5….a6 I am following how Sal Bercys plays the Paulsen Sicilian. It’s not exactly the same, because White does not have e4 in. But Sal is a really smart dude. I am also trying for a Hedgehog formation.

6.Bg5 Qc7
After the game, I could only find 6….Qc7 played twice previously and Black won those games. But those results don’t mean too much because Black had the higher rating in both cases. More common is 6….Be7.

7.Bxf6 gxf6
gxf6.jpg
I used to play the French so I don’t mind doubled f-pawns.

8.e3
Taut liked this move by Mihail, as 8. e4 would allow Black’s dark-squared bishop free rein.
8….Nc6 9.Nxc6
Taut was surprised that Mihail exchanged here. He expected instead 9. Be2.
9….dxc6 10.Bd3 Bd7 11.O-O c5 12.Qf3 f5 13.e4 Bc6 14.Qh3
afterqh3.jpg
This is a key point in the game. Black could now choose 14….fxe4 with equality. But Taut decided on
14….Rg8
Taut gave the following line 15. Qxh7 Rg6 (with the idea of Rh6) 16. g3 0-0-0 17. Rad1 Bg7 with hopes of trapping the white queen.
15.Nd5
Taut said that Mihail played this piece sacrifice in a minute and a half. Taut spent 45 minutes thinking of his next move. When he considered not taking the sacrifice, he found only bad lines. So he thought to himself, “I don’t think I made any bad moves this game but maybe now I’m losing by force.” Ultimately, he decided he could take the piece and so played
15….exd5 16.exd5 Bd7 17.Qxh7
This is the best move. If instead 17. Re1+ Kd8 18. Qxh7 Rg7 19. Qh8 Qd6 and Black is fine. Or if instead 17. Qh4 Be7 18. Re1 Qd6 and Black holds.
17….Rg6
 Now if instead 17....Rg7 18. Qh4 Be7 19. Re1 Qd8 20. Qh8# with mate to follow.
18.Rae1 Kd8 19.Qxf7 Qd6 20.Bxf5
after20bf5.jpg
Taut saw this far in his 45-minute think, but thought he could play 20....Rf6. But this fails to 21. Qxd7 Qxd7 22. Bxd7 Kxd7 and the ending favors White.
 20....Rg7 21.Qh5 Kc7 22.Bxd7

Better for White are simple moves such as 22. b3 where Black is tied up. It would be hard for Black to develop.
 22....Qxd7 23.Re6 Bd6 24.Rfe1 Rh7 25.Rh6 Rah8 26.Ree6 Qg7 27.Reg6
This was the only move for White.
 27....Qf7 28.Qg4
Taut says that his analysis engine, consulted after the game, showed the surprising 28. g4! as the best move. Then if 28....Qxg6 29. Qxg6 Rxh6 30. Qf7+ Kb8 31. g5 Rxh2 32. g6 Rh1+ 33. Kg2 R8h2+ 34. Kf3 Rf1 35. Ke2 R(2)xf2 36. Qxf2 Rxf2 37. Kxf2 and White can draw this endgame.
 28....Bxh2 29.Kf1 Be5 30.Rxh7 Rxh7 31.g3

This move forecloses the possibility of Qg3+. So Black does not have to maneuver his king to a7, and can instead win more quickly.
31....Bd4 32.d6 Kb8 33.Qf4
33.Qf4.jpg
Mihail played this move very quickly. If 33....Qxg6 then 34. d7 discovered check works for White.
33....Qxc4+ 34.Kg2 Qd5+ 35.f3 Ka7 36.Rg4 Bxb2 37.Rh4 Be5 38.Qe4 0-1

I scream for ice cream


After round 2 of the IM-norm tournament, I gave UTD freshman Tyler Hughes and John Daniel Bryant a ride from the Marriott Quorum tournament location. This ride, I said as we departed the hotel, will be a great opportunity to get your comments on your games. John replied, “I think you should talk to the people who won about their games.” Tyler chimed in, “Yeah, we are zero for four.” As we approached UTD, the pair suggested that I instead drop them at Braum’s Ice Cream restaurant. After round one Tyler and John had a competitive eating contest there on hamburgers and ice cream, but for round two Tyler said they would go straight for the ice cream. Tyler added, “I always get ice cream after I lose.” I asked, “Then how do you do the next day?” Tyler replied, “Usually about the same.” On the bright side, John and Tyler were paired for round 3 so one of them had to get on the scoreboard. As it turned out, both did when they drew.
ICECREAM.jpg
Tyler Hughes and John Daniel Bryant



Dr. Alexey Root, WIM is the author of Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators. Her blog is on the MonRoi site. Root is also teaching a series of online classes in Chess Education. Registration for Spring 2010 classes is now open.

Check out tournament details and live games on Monroi. The events are directed by Jon Haskel.

 
 
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