Americans in Canada
By Jennifer Shahade   
August 25, 2008
Irina Krush and Pascal Charbonneau, Photo 2006
U.S. Champion Yury Shulman, GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Varuzhan Akobian have arrived in Canada for the 9th Montreal International Empresa round-robin (August 24-September 2.)  For pairings and games, check out the official website (in French) ; you can also find live games (5 PM EST start) on the Internet Chess Club.

The two American favorites, Shulman and Nakamura drew their first round battle--34.Bc7 forces a variation that leads to perpetual check. If White tries 36.hxg3 it transposes after Bxe4 Qxe4 and Qh3 while 36.Bg1?? loses instantly to Be4 and g2. 


The first round also featured some hot King's Indian theory cooked up by Canadian-American GM Pascal Charbonneau and IM Irina Krush. Pascal told CLO "It's the first time ever I have had someone walk right into (home prep) like that...where it happens to be totally crushing. The final position is actually in our files." Pascal also gave his "second" in Montreal, Irina due credit: "Irina found Nh4." Nh4 contains the threat Bh3!, "it's really super complex." In the final position White resigned in view of the devastating entry of the queen into the attack after hxg1+ Rxg1 Qh4.


In another victory for USA, Varuzhan Akobian defeated GM Igor Zugic in a Bf4 Grunfeld.