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Robert Hungaski Wins Gold! Print E-mail
By R.Hungaski/J.Shahade   
August 29, 2007
Photo courtesy Robert Hungaski
IM Robert Hungaski just won a gold medal for the United States at the Pan-American Junior Championship (August 18-24) in Riobamba, Ecuador. With this result he also earns his first GM norm and the right to play in the World Juniors in Yerevan, Armenia. Robert was born in Stamford, CT Dec. 8, 1987, but after his parents' divorce, he moved to Buenos Aires to live and go to school. This is why he hasn't been as visible in the U.S. Chess scene as other top juniors- in addition to playing in American tournaments while visiting his father for several months a year, he plays frequently in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. A bonus of this globetrotting lifestyle is that Robert is fluent in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese. Robert tells CLO about his victory in Ecuador: "I had a very strong positive attitude and I'm sure that helped a lot,as did the unconditional support of my friends and family, especially my mother."

Pan-American World Juniors
Final Standings

1. IM Robert Hungaski (USA) -7.5/9
2. IM Damian Lemos (ARG)- 7/9
3. FM Pena Alfredo (COL), Andres Gallego (COL) and Bryan Murillo Macias (ECU)- 6/9

Access complete standings here.

Robert currently spends almost half of his time with his father in Connecticut and is considering moving to New York to study International Relations.

Hungaski at the U.S. Chess School. Photo Rebekah Silver

Robert was featured in a CLO story by Daniel Rensch about the [NEWS:7:234] U.S. Chess School, [/NEWS] Robert drew caricatures of the participants, including one of himself, which we reprint below.

Robert enjoyed playing in Riobamba, a picturesque city where the tournament was held. "From any spot in town you could get a clear view of the neighboring volcanoes, which are among the largest active volcanoes in the world."

Now Robert is currently focusing on the World Juniors and finding his second GM norm. Below, he offers CLO readers in-depth annotations to his crucial victory over the tournament's top seed, IM Damian Lemos (2456 FIDE).


Annotations by Robert Hungaski

This was undoubtedly the most important, the most critical game of the tournament. After starting poorly, having drawn my first two games, in completely lost positions I managed to win three straight games and reach the tournament leader. My opponent, a strong, young IM from Argentina, had a full point lead over me with a perfect score of 5/5 so this meant I was in a "forced to win" situation. Luckily for me he is a very dynamic player which meant I would get my shot!

I'm usually more of an 1 e4 player, but I knew my opponent would play the King's Indian and I could not resist the opportunity to surprise him!
1...Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh6 11.d5 f5 12.exf5 g4!

Position after 12...g4

12...Nxf5?! 13.Nd2! Nd4 14.0-0 Bf5 15.Nde4 Nd7 16.Bg4 1-0 Gross,S-Golod,V/Ceske Budejovice 1993/EXT 97; 12...Bxf5?! 13.h4 g4 14.Ng5 Qe7 15.Bd3 e4 16.Ncxe4 Bxb2 17.Rb1 Bc3+ 18.Kf1 1-0 Najer,E-Chiong,L/Philadelphia USA 2002/The Week in Chess 402
13.Nd2 Bxf5 14.Nde4
14.Nf1!? Was quite popular for some time. The idea is to play Ne3 and pressure the g4-pawn.
14...Nd7 15.0-0 Qe8!?N

Position after 15...Qe8

A novelty according to my database. Black's idea is to eliminate White's strong blockader on e4, simplifying the position. Precedents only show: 15...a5 16.a3 Qe7 17.Bd3 (17.Re1!? delaying the transfer of the bishop to d3 and thus keeping pressure on g4. 17...Nf6 18.Bh4! not allowing back his typical plan of playing ...Nh5-f4 which would give him some very dangerous counterplay. 18...Qe8 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.c5 1-0 Zhao Xue-Xiu Deshun/Jinan CHN 2005/The Week in Chess 546. 17...Kh8 18.Qe2 (18.Qc2 Bg6!? -- with the idea of playing ...Nf5-d4) 18...a4!? 19.Rad1! (19.Qc2 Nb6 20.Nd1 Bg6 21.Ne3 Nf5! Zivanic,M-Zimmerman,Y/Budapest 2000/EXT 2002 (37)) 19...Bg6 20.Rfe1 Bh5 21.Nb5! Rfc8 22.c5!
16.Bd3 Qg6 17.Qc2
If White were to play carelessly, let's say: 17.b4?! then he would lose control over the important e4-square. 17...Nf6 18.Nxf6+ (18.Qc2 Nh5! with initiative.) 18...Bxf6 19.Bxf5 Nxf5 and Black is a little better.
Now if: 17...Nf6 18.Nxf6+ Bxf6 19.Ne4 and all is well.

Position after 18. Rad1

I did not want to rush into playing: 18.b4 Nf6 19.c5 (19.Nxf6 Bxd3+) 19...Nh5 is again quite unclear.
18...Nf6 19.Nxf6 Bxd3 20.Qxd3 Qxd3 21.Rxd3 Bxf6 22.f3! and Black will have some trouble getting his h6-knight into play.
19.Rfe1 Nf6 20.Nxf6 Qxf6 21.Ne4 Bxe4 22.Bxe4 Nf5 23.c5 Nd4 24.Rxd4! exd4 25.cxd6 cxd6 26.Bxh7 and White's compensation was not clear enough for me.; If White could exchange his g3-bishop for Black's knight on f6 this would be quite an accomplishment. But on: 19.Bh4 Qh5 and White just seems to lose a tempo. (19...Nf6?! 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.c5)
19...a5 20.a3 axb4 21.axb4 Nf6 22.Nxf6 (22.Ra1 Nh5) 22...Qxf6 23.Be4! Qg6 24.Ra1 Bxe4 25.Qxe4 (25.Nxe4 Nf5 26.c5 Nd4 27.Qd3 Rxa1 28.Rxa1 c6!) 25...Nf5)
20.Nxf6 Qxf6 21.Ne4 Bxe4 22.Bxe4 Nf5 23.Qd3!

Position after 23.Qd3

Not allowing Black to settle his knight on d4 just yet.
23.c5 Nd4= 24.Rxd4?! exd4 25.Bxh7 a5
23...Nd4? 24.Bxh7
24.f3 Nxg3 25.hxg3 Qg5 26.Kf2
Now I'm looking to double up on the h-file and put pressure on h5.
This careless move allows White to enter a very comfortable endgame. 26...Bh6 allows 27.Rh1 Rf6 28.Rh2 a5 29.b5 Rg8 30.Rg1 with the idea of Ke2 and Rgh1. Black had to play: 26...a5! 27.b5 gxf3 (27...b6 28.Qe3 Qxe3+ 29.Kxe3 Bh6+ 30.Kf2 Kg7 31.Rh1 Rh8 and Black might just hold the endgame though he will suffer.; 27...Bh6 28.Rh1 b6 29.Rh2 Rg8 30.Rdh1 gxf3 31.Rh3!! fxg2 32.Kxg2 followed by Rxh5) 28.gxf3 h4! 29.gxh4 Qf4 and Black stands quite well since White's pawn on h4 serves as great protection for the Black King.
27.Qe3! Qxe3+ 28.Kxe3 Bh6+ 29.Kf2
29.Ke2 Rg8 and white has some problems with his g3-pawn.
29...Kg7 30.Rh1 Rh8 31.Ke2 Bg5?
A sad necessity but Black had to play: 31...gxf3+ 32.gxf3 Bg5 followed by .. Rfh6 and h4, and White is much better but Black is holding for the time being.
32.fxg4 hxg4 33.Rxh8 Kxh8 34.a4
I think my opponent underestimated this endgame. Black's pieces have very poor prospects. His rook has no entry on the f-file nor the h-file, while his bishop is in similar circumstances. White, on the other hand, is free to generate weaknesses on the queen-side and/or create a passed pawn which would easily decide the game. 34...Kg7
34...b6 35.a5 bxa5 36.bxa5 Rf8 37.Rb1 and White will get his rook to b7 when Black's position collapses.
35.a5 Rf8 36.Rh1 Bh6
36...Rh8 37.Rb1!? (37.Rxh8 Kxh8 38.Bf5 Bc1 39.Kd3) ]
37.Rb1 b6 38.c5! dxc5
38...b5 39.Rh1
39.bxc5 b5
39...bxc5 40.Rb7 Rf7 41.Ra7+- where the a-pawn will decide.
40.Rh1 Rf7 41.c6!?
Being close to time trouble I decided to commit to an interesting plan. I want to have some d6 followed by c7 along with some Bd3-xb5 ideas at hand. This is quite compromising though, since if black reaches the d6 square with either his bishop or king my winning chances will practically dissappear. 41.Rh5 Bc1 42.Rxe5 (42.Rh7+ Kg8 43.Rxf7 Kxf7 44.d6 cxd6 45.c6 Ke7) 42...Ba3 43.Rg5+ Kf8 44.Rg6
Black frees his king from the defensive task the h6-bishop posed him. Here I knew I could not allow him to reach d6 so extreme measures had to be taken!

Position after 42.Rf1

After calculating for quite a while I found this incredible move which simplifies the position to a won opposite colors bishops ending.
Black had to play: 42...Rd6 but then he would not be able to transfer his king to the queen-side. 43.Rf5 Bc1 44.Rxe5 Kf7 45.Rh5 Bb2 46.Kd3 is very close to winning for white.; 42...Bg5 43.Rxf6 Bxf6 44.d6 Bd8 45.d7 Kf6 46.Bd3
43.Kxf1 Bg5
Only move since otherwise white would win easily with d6. If 43...Be3? 44.d6+- 44.d6 Bd8 45.d7 Kf6
This is the critical position I was analyzing on move 42.
46.Bd3 Ke6 47.Bxb5 Kd6 48.Bxa6 Kxc6

Position after 48...Kxc6

49.Bc8 Kb5 50.a6 Kb6= and Black has enough counterplay. The c8-bishop stands poorly and Black's c-pawn will prove to be enough to hold the draw.
49...Kxd7 50.Bxg4+ Kc6 51.a6 Kb6 52.Be2+-

Position after 52. Be2

This apparently drawish endgame is totally winning for White! The e-bishop easily controls Black's c and e pawns while all white must do is queen his g-pawn since Black's king is enslaved to the a-pawn.
52...Bg5 53.Kf2 e4 54.g4 Bf4?

Position after 54...Bxf4

The final mistake.
Black had to hold tight with: 54...Ka7 55.Ke1 Kb6 56.Kd1 Ka7 57.Kc2 Kb6 58.Kb3 Ka7 59.Bf1!After analyzing the game this proved to be an important move, White's bishop must be as far away as possible from the black king. 59.Kc4 (Kxa6 60.Kd5+ Ka5 61.Kxe4 Kb4 62.Kf5 Bc1 63.g5 Bb2 64.Ke6 Kc3 65.Kf7 Kd2 wins a tempo with respect to the mainline.) 59...Kb6 60.Kc4 Kxa6 61.Kd5+ Ka5 62.Kxe4 Kb4 63.Kf5 Bc1 64.g5 Kc5 65.g6 Bh6 65...Kd6 66.g7; 65...Bb2 66.Ke6+- when Black's king has no way of getting to the g2-pawn. 66.Kf6 Kd4 67.g4!+-
55.g5!+- Bxg5 56.Kg3
Now White wins easily with his g-pawn since he managed to activate his king. 56...Be3 57.Kg4 Kc6 58.Kf5 Kd6
58...Kd5 59.g4 c5 60.g5 c4 61.Bxc4+! Kxc4 62.g6+-
59.Kxe4 Bb6 60.Kf5 Ke7 61.Bc4 Kf8 62.Kg6 Bd4 63.g4 Bb6 64.Kh7

Position after 64. Kh7

I was very happy with this game which put me tied for first place with 5/6 and a winning streak that I would hold for 6 straight games! 1-0