Gems and GMs at the Berkeley International
By Jennifer Shahade   
December 18, 2008
IM David Pruess. Photo IM Irina Krush
Four rounds into the Berkeley International (December 14-23), GMs Zviad Izoria, Giorgi Kacheishvili and FM Daniel Rensch lead with 3/4. You can watch the games live on the Internet Chess Club at 5 PM EST (Finger EastBay08) until the final, tenth round on December 23. There have been a number of hard-fought and interesting games, including the following two sacrificial gems by tournament organizer IM David Pruess over GM Jesse Kraai and FM Dale Haessel of Canada. Pruess is tied for 4th-8th; Scroll down for complete standings. Clearly all the extra duties that come with organizing an event including cleaning toilets (CLO spared you the photos) is not impacting Pruess's form so far.

White to Move and Win

Show Solution

Try to guess what opening this all came from before playing through the full game:

After a classic Bh7+ sacrifice in the Classical line of the French Defense, Pruess found himself in the following position against GM Kraai. How did he proceed?
Position after 23...Nb4. Pruess-Kraai
 White to Move 

Show Solution

Here is the full game:

WIM Iryna Zenyuk and GM Jesse Kraai, Photo IM Irina Krush

The following draw between Iryna Zenyuk and Jesse Kraai took over six hours (from 2 PM PST to 8 PM PST), which was unfortunate for Jesse, as he had a date at 7 PM!

GM Josh Friede, Photo IM Irina Krush

In Josh Friedel's game against IM Lev Milman, his pre-game prayer led him to victory:

FM Marc Esserman and GM Zviad Izoria in their post-mortem,
Photo IM Irina Krush

Berkeley International

Standings after 10 rounds

1-3.  GM Zviad Izoria, GM Giorgi Kacheishivili and FM Daniel Rensch- 3/4
4-8.  GM Josh Friedel, IM Irina Krush, IM David Pruess, GM Dashzegve Sharavdorj and FM Marc Esserman- 2.5/4
9-11.  GM Vinay Bhat, IM Justin Sarkar, FM Daniel Naroditsky- 2/4
12-16. GM Jesse Kraai, IM Lev Milman, FM Bela Evans, WIM Iryna Zenyuk, FM Dale Haessel- 1.5/4
17-19. IM Sandor Kustar, Shivkumar Shivaji, Salar Jahedi- 0.5/4