Update From Oklahoma
By WIM Alexey Root   
September 6, 2009
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World Senior Champion Larry Kaufman and IM and former Senior Champ Joe Bradford in the background.
The action is in full-swing in Labor Day tournaments across the country. Check out updates, blogs and stories from the Southern California Open in San Diego, the Saint Louis District Championship in Missouri and the New England Open in New Hampshire . In Dallas, Texas Francisco Guadalupe told CLO that the Southwest Open drew 155 players including two GMs and six IMs and that live games are now available on Monroi.com. Now we'll turn it over to WIM Alexey Root in Oklahoma, where two National events, a round robin and an Open are taking place.

World Senior Champion Larry Kaufman, said that this year's field for the 52-player Senior Open is stronger than last year's. Currently, defending champion Kaufman has a perfect 2 of 2, as do 11 others. All the top seeds are in the perfect score group. Tentative pairings for those two-pointer boards for round 3:

Board 1 Shipman vs. Christiansen
Board 2 Gulko vs. Strenzwilk
Board 3 Burke vs. Bradford
Board 4 Kaufman vs. Andreas
Board 5 Schemm vs. Markzon
Board 6 Treger vs. Rogalski

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Bayaara Zorigt
The longest game in round two was in the Women's Open: Zenyuk vs. Vazirova. This five-hour game came down to king and rook vs. king and bishop, and was drawn. Also drawing in round 2 were Saheli Nath and Bayaraa Zorigt. Chouchan Airapetian won against Medina Parilla in round 2, and for a while it looked like Chouchan would be the only perfect score 2/2. However, her round 1 game, which she won with checkmate, was ruled a draw after round 2 was completed. During that round 1 game, her flag had fallen. But her opponent, Julia Jones, had not kept score since move 32. At the same time, Chouchan kept score (omitting only one move) and was getting far behind on the clock because of the time it took to write her moves. Chouchan's flag fell around move 43. Therefore, the floor TD ruled that Chouchan should get 30 seconds on her clock and Julia should start keeping score. At the end of today (Saturday), however, Frank Berry made what he called a King Solomon decision, and gave each player .5 for the game. This reversed the recorded result of the game, and over-ruled the floor TD's action.

I lost a tough game to Iryna Zenyuk in round 1.  



1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Bg5 Na6
Iryna said she saw a game of mine where black played 6....c5 and I played 7. d5. So she decided to vary with 6....Na6 7.Qd2 Qe8 8.Bd3 e5 9.d5 c6 In our post mortem, Iryna thought maybe 9....Nh5 with the idea of ...f5. 10.Bh6 Bd7 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.0-0 Nh5 Iryna thought she should have blocked the center first with 12....c5. She liked my next move, which follows the principle of playing in the center when one's opponent is attacking on the wing. 13.dxc6 Bxc6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.cxd5 Nc5 Here I think I should have played 16. Bc2. The way I played, Iryna got a lot of squares. 16.b4 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Nf4 18.Qb3 Iryna said that if I had played 18. Qe3, she would have tried 18...Rc8 19. Qxa7 Qb5. 18...Rc8 Here I was annoyed that Rc1 is met by Ne2+. 19.Rfe1 Qb5 20.g3 Ne2+ 21.Kg2 Nc3 22.Re3 I offered a draw here. Iryna was much lower on time than I was, so I thought she might consider taking a draw. A better move was 22. Rac1, and Iryna said she might have accepted a draw if I had played that move instead. 22...Na4 23.Nd2 Rc7 24.f4 f6 25.fxe5 fxe5 26.Rf1 Rxf1 27.Nxf1 Rc1 28.Nd2 Nb6 29.a3 a5 30.bxa5 Qxa5 31.Nf3 At this point, I envisioned sinking my N on e6 and playing for a win. On the other hand, I was worried about self-mating with my king march.  31...Qa6 32.Kh3 Nd7 33.Ng5 Iryna thought I should have played Re1 if I wanted to draw. 33...Qf1+ 34.Kh4 h6 35.Ne6+ Kh8 36.Rf3 g5+ 37.Kh5 Maybe Kg4 was a better square. 37...Qh3+ 38.Kg6 I was actually optimistic here until I saw Iryna's move. At this point, we each have about a minute left. The clock has a 30 second increment, though, so it is possible to gain time by moving quickly. 38...Rc8 I found this move very challenging to deal with in time trouble. 39.Qxb7 Rg8+ And here I hallucinated a mate after 40. Kf7 Qh5+ 41. Ke7 Qe8# (I thought). I was so stunned that I didn't move and my flag fell.  (Qe8 is not mate in that variation because of Kxd6, but White is still in deep trouble after 41...Nc5.)

The Okie Open's top seed, IM Michael Brooks, leads the 44-player field with 2 points, along with Fast, Galant, Steiner, Luscomb, and Nigel (all of whom also have 2 of 2). 2nd seed Tom Brownscombe is 1/2 point back with 1.5.

In the round robin invitational section, IM Ray Kaufman has the only perfect score with 2/2. Ray also won the 20-player Fischer Random event with 6.5 of 8. Tied for 2nd and 3rd were Conrad Holt and Bayaraa Zorigt with 6 points. Top under 2000 was David Luscomb with 5 points.

The tournament website is: http://www.geocities.com/okiechessfestival/. Find out more about Dr. WIM Alexey Root on her author page (pdf) and on her Monroi blog.


If you're playing or involved in a Labor Day weekend event and have a story or game to share with CLO, send it to jshahade@uschess.org.