Ivanov and Kudrin Lead US Senior
By GM Larry Kaufman   
August 26, 2010
After four rounds of the US Senior Open, the standings are pretty much in order of rating. GMs Alexander Ivanov and Sergei Kudrin both have four points, having defeated respectively IMs Joseph Bradford and Emory Tate in the fourth round. Ivanov's win was apparently all preparation up to reaching a winning position, while Kudrin's win was a nice exploitation of the advantage of the bishop pair.

I'm in clear third with 3 1/2 points having won rather easily in the fourth round against Expert Stephen Chase.

I failed to win an easily won game in the third round (I saw the win but chose a different move order wrongly thinking it was a surer win) but this might have been a good "move" as it meant getting an Expert instead of a GM in round 4.

So now in round five Kudrin will have White against Ivanov; they play frequently, Ivanov having a small plus score he told me. I would expect Kudrin to go all out for a win as in case of a draw he should have Black in the final round while Ivanov will have White.

I should get Black in round five against Bradford, who leads a small group of players with 3 points including Tate, LaRota, and Acosta, who apparently was given a draw by IM John Watson in a hopeless piece-down endgame. John was short of time, but with a 30" increment this was hardly a plausible explanation; I'll have to ask John about this. So the fight for the US championship spot and the Senior championship is probably between Ivanov and Kudrin, though I still have an outside chance. As for the World Senior slot (age 60 minimum), my only rival at this point is Acosta, and since he took a bye in the final round it mostly depends on my own results in the last two rounds. I only recall having played Bradford once before, a draw back in the late Jurassic period I believe. Back then computers that played chess cost a million dollars and could be given queen odds successfully. How things have changed!

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