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Photo Essay from Atlanta Print E-mail
By Elizabeth Vicary   
April 23, 2008
RobbyAdamson.jpg Robby Adamson, coach of Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson Arizona and pictured to the left, has reason to be happy. His school has won or shared first in High School Nationals (click here for final results ) for the last two years. This year, the winning Catalina squad consisted of two masters, Landon Brownell and Vaishnav Aradhyula, both of whom scored 5.5/7, Kevin Zhang (4.5) and Victor Yee and Eli Aster (4.0) Vaishnav's clutch last round win and picture are below:


Vaishnav Aradhyula

Last round drama
Warren Harper prepares for his last round game

A strange thing happened on board two in the last round. Warren Harper (2340) was white against Adam Weser (2105); they reached this position:


Harper played 9. g6 and Weser responded 9… f5. Harper now attempted to play 10. gxf5 e.p., which obviously is illegal. Weser pointed this out and added 2 minutes to his clock, but did not claim touch move. Harper played 10. Qf4 and the game continued for two more moves, at which point Weser realized he should have claimed touch move earlier. He called over the section chief, who ruled that since ten moves had not gone by, the players should return to the position after 9…f5, and white had to move his g pawn. (Clearly, this was an incorrect ruling—the ten move statute of limitations applies to illegal moves but not to touch move claims, which must be made immediately.)
Since his queen was in take, Harper immediately resigned. He then asked if he could appeal, and the TD, who was reportedly beginning to have second thoughts about his own ruling, said that would not be necessary but rather that he himself would ask Chief Floor TD for his opinion ( Correction:  The original article said that Franc Guadalupe was the Chief Floor TD.  He was not the Floor Chief nor the Section Chief and was not involved in the decisions.). The Chief Floor TD immediately reversed the decision, and the two players, who had by this point packed up their stuff and left the tournament room, were summoned back and instructed to continue the game from the point where Weser had made the touch move claim. Weser “seemed rattled” according to Harper, but did not protest. The game continued as “a complicated middlegame, which became a slightly better (for white) ending, at the end of which Weser blundered a piece” (Harper). 


After the game was restarted, one of Weser’s parents protested the ruling, which resulted in Adam being given an extra half point after losing. While this bonus seems like a reasonable compensation for the TD’s mistake, it’s very strange to me that a parent has any right to make a protest at all at the high school level. Needless to say, not quite as surprising as a 2300 not understanding en passant, an expert not understanding touch move, or a section chief making such an obviously incorrect ruling.

On his way into the awards ceremony to receive his third place trophy, Harper half-jokingly remarked, “I hope this doesn’t give me bad karma.”

Yeager scores 7-0

Daniel Yeager went 7-0 in the High School Nationals. In his final round game against Michael Thaler, Daniel won an exciting Sicilian that featured a queen vs. two rooks imbalance. (CLO editor Jennifer Shahade will talk more about this game in an upcoming blog entry.)
Thoughts from the top-seed


Marc Arnold is famous for his unusually relaxed attitude towards chess. He jokes around, watches other games, and plays ball during games, and at this tournament was spotted sharing Ipod headphones with a player at a neighboring board while waiting for an opponent. Marc says he tries to have a good time at tournaments, and feels he plays better when relaxed. His 5.5/7 result was “very disappointing,” since he was the heavy pre- tournament favorite and was coming off an excellent, IM norm performance in a Chicago round robin. His favorite game was his second round win against Thomas Paradis in a bishop ending, in which he slowly cut off squares from his opponent’s bishop and king.


James Canty

James Canty III learned chess from his father five years ago. Now 2130 and in tenth grade, he studies with IM Ben Finegold. James finished in 6th place with 5.5/7, losing only to tournament winner Daniel Yaeger (play over the game here.) Canty was most proud of his last round draw against Matt Perry, in which he saved an endgame down four pawns for a piece. 


Jacob Maneth


In the Under 1600 section, Jacob Maneth tied for first with 6.5/7 with Derek Sachs, a sixth-grader from Wisconsin. Jacob won the first place trophy on tiebreaks. A ninth grader at Gilbert High School of Arizona (which won the team award in this section), Jacob is coached by Michael Reading. His best game was a last round Colle, in which he developed an attack and then his opponent blundered, allowing a curious forced mate. Jacob felt his ability to adjust to the slow time control was an important factor in his success. 


Derek Sachs annotated the following win for CLO:

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4 4.c4 c6 5.Qb3 Qb6

 I've never seen this before.
 6.Ne5 Qxb3
He gave me a half open file.
7.axb3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.c5 Nbd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Be2 e5!
 A great move.
12.0–0 Be7 13.Re1 Bf6 14.b4 0–0
He couldn't win the pawn because if he takes, I take back, and if he takes back, I go Bb4 with the discovery.
 15.dxe5 Nxe5 16.f3 Nd3 17.Bxd3 Bxd3 18.Ne2 Bxe2
He shouldn't give up the two bishops.
19.Rxe2 Rfe8 20.Kf2 a6 21.Ra2 Rad8 22.b3 d4 23.e4

 Making his pawn isolated.
A bad move because now his pawn is hard to protect.
 24.Re1 Bd4+ 25.Be3 Bc3 26.Bd2 Bxd2 27.Rxd2 Rd4 28.Red1 Rxb4 29.Rxd3 Kf8 30.Rd7!
Getting my rook on the seventh rank.
 30...Rc8 31.R1d3 b6?
A bad move because now I get both of my rooks on the seventh rank.
 32.cxb6 Rxb6 33.Ra7! c5 34.Rdd7!!
I got both of my rooks on the seventh rank!
34...Rf6 35.Rab7 35...Ke8 36.Re7+ Kf8 37.Red7 Ke8 38.e5 Rf5 39.Re7+ Kf8 40.e6! Re8 41.Rxf7+ Rxf7 42.Rxf7+ Kg8 43.Rc7 Rxe6 44.Rxc5 Rb6 45.Ra5 Kf7 46.b4 Ke6 47.Rc5 Kd6 48.Rc4 Kd5 49.Rc7!
I like this move a lot.
 49...Rxb4 50.Rxg7 h6

He couldn't play a5 because of Rh5+.
 51.Rg6 a5 52.Rxh6
 I win another pawn!
52...Kc4 53.Ra6 a4 54.h4?
 A mistake.
 54...Kb5 55.Ra8 Rxh4 56.g4 Rh6 57.g5 Ra6??
A blunder that loses. He should have went Rg6 instead.
A winning move.
 58...Kxa6 59.g6 a3 60.g7 a2 61.g8Q Kb7 62.Qxa2 Black Resigns. 1–0

A brave play by Fatema

Fatema Elisa (right) with Farzana Ahmed

In the under 1200 section, Fatema Elias, a junior at Bronx Science High School in the Bronx, reached the following position:

Position after 28...b2

Fatema made the brave (or carefully calculated) decision to play 29.Rxh5!, allowing black’s pawn to queen because her mate on h8 is unstoppable.

Effective Teaching


Charlie Rosado (1277) played the following game in round 5 after being shown Fischer – Reshevsky US ch 1958.



Additional Photos


I.S. 318 students Darrian Robinson and Angelica Berrios go over some last-minute lines.

Dakim Vanderpool is definitely not camera-shy.

Look for Michael Klein's in-depth report on the High School Nationals in the August Chess Life Magazine. Among other things, Klein will provide more insight into the Harper-Weser scandal.

April - Chess Life Online 2008

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