3-Way Tie at Liberty Bell Open
By Jennifer Shahade   
January 30, 2008
Philadelphia skyline
In the Liberty Bell Open (Philadelphia, Jan.18-21), there was a three way tie for first between GM Timur Gareev, GM Sergei Kudrin and Ray Kaufman. There was no playoff, but Ray won the title on tiebreaks, calculated based on the scores of the winners' opponents. Scroll down for complete standings. Here is Ray's last round game against IM Jay Bonin, along with light annotations by Ray:

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. g3 e5 4. Nc3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d3 Nge7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. Bd2 d6 9.a3 h6 10.Rb1 a5 11. Ne1 Be6 12. Nd5 Rb8 13. b4 axb4 14. axb4 Bxd5 15. cxd5 Nxb4 16. Bxb4 cxb4 17. Rxb4 b5 18. Qb3 Qa5 19. Nc2 Rfc8 20. Rb1 Rc5 21. Ne3 h5 22. Nc4 Qc7 23. e4 Kh7 24. Qa3 Bh6 25. Qa6? bxc4! 26. Rxb8 c3 27. Qa8 c2 28. Rh8+ Kg7 29. Rc1
(If 29. Qf8+ Kf6 30. Rxh6 cxb1(Q)+ 31. Bf1 Qc8 wins) Nc8 (If 29...Bxc1? 30. Qf8+ Kf6 31. Rh7 Black can draw at best) 30. Rxh6 Qa7!? 31. Qxa7 Nxa7 32. Rxg6+ fxg6 33. d4 (only chance) exd4 34.Kf1 Nb5 35. Ke2 Rc3 36. Kd2 Na3 37. Bf1 Rf3 (37...Nb1+ 38. Ke1 d3 39. Bxd3 Rxd3 40. Rxc2 Nc3 wins more quickly) 38. h4 Rxf2+ 39. Kd3 Rf3+ 40. Kxd4 Rb3! 41. Bd3 Rb1 42. Rxb1 cxb1(Q) 43. Bxb1 Nxb1 44. e5 dxe5+ 45. Kxe5 Nd2! 46. g4 (if 46. d6 Nc4+ 47. Ke6 Nxd6 48. Kxd6 Kf6 is winning.) Nc4+ 47. Kf4 (47. Kd4 hxg4 wins) Kf6 and White resigned. 
Ray also won against IM David Vigorito:

 Vigorito also had a decent tournament, though he missed his chance for first place by half a point. David explained two of his games for CLO readers.  The following games that David annotates are with Black, but his two Liberty Bell wins with White were both in the Qc2 variation of the Nimzo, which David wrote a book on.

David Vigorito with his book, Challenging the Nimzo-Indian . Photo Elizabeth Vicary

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 e5 6.Bb5+

6.Nb3 is played more often now 6...Be6 (6...d5 7.Bg5 Be6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Qxd5 Bxd5 11.Nc3) 7.c4]
 6...Nbd7 7.Nb3?!
This does not go well with 7.Bb5. Normal is 7.Nf5 d5 when Black sacks a pawn with 8.exd5 a6.
 7...Be7 8.Be3 0–0 9.Be2
White wants to play c4, but a tempo is a tempo
 9...Nb6! 10.c4 Be6
the attack on the c4-pawn is awkward. White does not have time for Nc3-d5.
the knight is loose here and this is quickly exploited. Better was 11.Na3 Rc8 12.Rc1 Nh5 13.Qd2

12.Nxb7 Qc7 13.Bxb6 (13.cxd5 Nbxd5 14.exd5 Nxd5)13...Qxb6 14.cxd5 Qxb2 15.Nd2
(15.dxe6 Qxa1) 15...Bb4 with a winning position for Black
 12...Nbxd5 13.Bd2
13.Nxb7 Qc7 14.exd5 Nxd5! followed by ...Qxb7 gives Black an overwhelming position. 13...Nf4
This was a tough decision. 13...Nb4 was also tempting. I decided that 14.Nc4 Nd3+ (there are other moves too) 15.Bxd3 Qxd3 16.Nxe5 Qb5 17.Bc3 Rfd8 18.Qe2 was not as good, even though Black clearly has good compensation. Why give up a pawn?
 14.Bxf4 Qxa5+ 15.Bd2 Qb6 16.Nc3 Rfd8 17.Qc1
17.Na4 Qc6! 18.Rc1 (18.0–0 Rxd2 (18...Rd4 wins too) 19.Qxd2 Qxa4–+) 18...Rxd2! 19.Kxd2 Nxe4+! (over the board I had seen 19...Rd8+ which is good too) 20.Ke1 (20.fxe4 Bg5+) 20...Bb4+ 21.Kf1 Nd2+ 22.Qxd2 Bxd2 23.Rxc6 bxc6 and Black has a big edge.
17...Rac8 18.Be3 Bc5 19.Kf2 Bxe3+
I spent some time on 19...Bd4 but the text is simpler.
 20.Qxe3 Qxb2 21.Rhd1 Rxd1
I felt like I rushed this move and started regretting it after I did it, but it may be the best move anyway
Now Nc3-d5 is coming, so I have to make sure White doesn't get any meaningful counterplay
22...h6 23.Nd5 Rc2! 24.Kf1
24.Nxf6+ gxf6 25.Kf1 Kg7–+ …26.f4 Rxe2
Alternatives were 24...Nd7 and; 24...Nxd5 25.exd5 Bd7 which may be the strongest.
25.g3 was necessary, although 25...b5 is still –+
25...Nf4–+ 26.Nxf4 exf4 27.Qd3
27.Qxf4 Rxe2 28.Rxe2 Bc4 29.Qe3 Qxa2; 27.Qxa7 Rxe2 28.Rxe2 Bc4 29.Qf2 Qxa2
27...Rd2 28.Rb1
28.Qb5 Qxb5 29.Bxb5 Rxa2 is easy
 28...Qxa2 29.Qb5 Rxe2 0–1

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 Nge7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Qd2 Nd4 10.Nd1 Be6 11.c3

11.Nc1 is another idea, but Black has a pleasant game in any case.
 11...Nxe2+ 12.Qxe2 Rc8 13.c4
Of course this has to be equal, yet White's position falls apart very quickly.
 13...Rb8 14.Nc3 Nc6 15.Nd5 b5 16.Rab1?!
 A big strategic mistake  16.b3=; After 16.cxb5 Nd4 I was considering sacking a pawn with (but the simple 16...Rxb5 17.d4 Qb8 18.dxc5 dxc5= is also pleasant for Black) 17.Bxd4 exd4 18.a4 Bxd5 19.exd5 a6 20.bxa6 Qa5.
16...bxc4 17.dxc4 Nd4
 now taking on d4 gives Black a passed pawn, and there is a clear plan of playing a minority attack on thequeenside
18.Bxd4 exd4 with the idea of...Bxd5, ...Rb4, ...Qb6, ...a5-a4
18...Bxd5 19.cxd5
19.exd5 a5 and Black has a nice edge.
 19...Rb4 20.Bxd4
It may have been better to sit, but it is difficult to offer suggestions
The most ambitious. 20...Rxd4 is also very nice for Black because White's only lever f2-f4 opens up Black's bishop.
This allows Black to get his pawns moving very quickly.21.Rbc1 Qb6 22.b3 a5 is also good for Black.
 21...Qb6 22.f5
22.Kh1 c4
 22...Bf6 or 22...Rb8 23.f6 Bf8 24.b3 c4 are also good for Black. 
23.f6 c3 24.Qg5
24.Qd3 Bh6–+; 24.Qc1 Bxf6! 25.Rxf6 Rxb2 26.Ra1 (26.Rxb2 cxb2 27.Qb1 Rc8 28.Rf1 d3+ 29.Kh1 d2–+)
24...d3+ 25.Kh1 Bh8!
25...Bxf6 26.Qxf6 c2 27.Rbc1 Qd4 (27...Rxb2? 28.Qc3) 28.Qxd4 Rxd4 29.Bf3 Rc8 30.Bd1 Rxe4–+
 26.Qh6 c2 27.Rbc1 Rxb2
27...Qd4 28.b3 d2? (28...Bxf6–+) 29.Rxc2! …d1Q?? 30.Qxf8+ Kxf8 31.Rc8#
 28.Rf5 Rb1
There are other ways to win, but I calculated this to the end [28...Bxf6–+]
29.Rh5 Rxc1+ 30.Bf1 Rxf1+ 31.Kg2 Rf2+
The strongest way, although the comical 31...Qf2+ 32.Kh3 Qxg3+! also wins, as shown by the computer 33.Kxg3 (33.hxg3 Rh1+) 33...Rg1+ 34.Kf2 gxh5]
32.Kh3 Rxh2+ 33.Kxh2 Qf2+ 34.Kh3 Qf1+ 35.Kh2 Qe2+ 0–1

On the same weekend as the Liberty Bell Open, a Philadelphia non-profit, ASAP, (After Schools Activities Partnership) hosted a family chess day at the African-American history museum,  in honor of Martin Luther King Day weekend. There was a large turnout, and Congressman Chaka Fattah even played a sucessfull simul against 8-12 of the participants.

To find out what was going on on the other coast during Martin Luther King Day, be sure to check out Jerry Hanken's report on the Western State Class Championships. To conclude, here are the final standings. Surprisingly, there were clear winners in all seven sections, from U2100 to U900.


Liberty Bell Open Final Standings

1-3- GM Sergey Kudrin, GM Timur Gareev
and Raymond S. Kaufman (winner on tiebreak)
4-8- GM Alexander Shabalov, GM Lenoid Yudasin, IM Dean Ippolito, IM David Vigorito and IM Bryan Smith

 Hana Itkis
David Samuel Sherman

Joel Amos Fagliano

Nikolas J. Theiss

M. Ian Campbell

Nathan Durant

Shaw Levin