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Texas College Rumble: UT Brownsville & Texas Tech Tie for 1st Print E-mail
By Al Lawrence   
November 4, 2014
The Texas Tech Knight Raiders are getting to be a heart-attack squad. And the University of Texas-Brownsville is giving notice that it's looking beyond state titles.

Going into the final round, UT-Brownsville and UT-Dallas were tied for the lead Sunday night, a point-and-a-half ahead of the field at the 18th Annual Texas Collegiate Championship in Irving, just outside of Dallas. Texas Tech had to perform perfectly to tie for the championship. This was a near replay of last year, when Texas Tech won their final match-ups 4-0 to tie with UT-Dallas for the state crown.

"Texas is home to three of the top four college teams in the nation" Texas Tech Head Coach Alex Onischuk said, "so it's by far the toughest collegiate chess state championship." Indeed, 10 competitors boasted the highest title possible in chess-international grandmaster (GM). Another seven had achieved the second-highest title, international master (IM). Texas Tech's last-round surge tied them with the University of Texas-Brownsville for state honors, and set the University of Texas-Dallas powerhouse team back to third place, just a half-point off pace. The tournament pairs as an individual event, taking the top four scorers at the end to tally team points. UT-D fell victim to some especially tough last-round pairings-two of its top players had to play each other. Texas Tech's B-team finished fourth.

UT-Brownsville's GM Andrey Stukopin won the individual championship with a score of 4.5-.5. UT-B's coach, Grandmaster Bartek Macieja, has made some savvy recruiting moves to beef up his squad. After being kept out of the Final Four of College Chess for three years, UT-B is looking to qualify when they host the Pan-American Intercollegiate Championships this year at South Padre Island, December 27-30.

IM Andre Gorovets and GM Yaro Zherebukh (Texas Tech), IM Denis Kadric and IM Kacper Drozdowski (UT-D) tied for second place in the individual standings with 4-1.

IM Max Cornejo (UT-B)- GM Yaro Zherebukh (Texas Tech) [C41]

Texas State Collegiate Championship, 11.02.2014

In this last-round match-up, Texas Tech's top board has black in a must-win situation against UT-Brownsville's IM Max Cornejo. Yaro pulls an old opening out of his toolkit to keep the pieces on the board for a long time.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 c6 8.a4 a5 9.h3 h6 10.Bf1 Re8 11.Be3 Qc7 12.Qd2 Nf8 13.Rad1 Ng6 14.Qc1 Bd7 15.Nd2 exd4!

The first exchange of the game is a best-move by black.
16.Bxd4 d5= 17.exd5


17. e5 Nh5=/+ 18.g3 Bg5 19.Be2 Nxg3 20.fxg3 Bxh3 21.Kh2 Bd7, when White has to give up his center pawn, his kingside is shredded, and his queen is buried on c1. Play could continue: 22.Bd3 Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Rxe5 24.Rxe5 Qxe5.
17...Nxd5 18.Nxd5 cxd5 19.b3 Bg5 20.Rxe8+

20.  c4!? is unclear (GM Onishcuk).
20...Rxe8 21.Qb2?


This natural move is a mistake-all of the sudden black gets a strong initiative (GM Onischuk).
21...Nh4! 22.c4

22.Bxg7 Qb6!! (GM Zherebukh) (22...Bxh3? 23.Bh8 f5 24.Qc3!) 23.Bd4 Qg6.

22...Bxh3 is Houdini's find but would be a risky human decision with so much at stake for the team. A sample line: 23.gxh3 Bxd2 24.Rxd2 Nf3+ 25.Kg2 Qf4 26.Be3 Ne1+ 27.Kg1 Rxe3 28.fxe3 Qg3+ 29.Kh1 Nf3. Yaro also looked at 23. ... Bxh3. "But if I don't see one single move, I risk spoiling the whole game."
23.Qc3 Bf5 24.c5

24.Qg3 (GM Onischuk).
24...Qg6-/+ 25.Nf3 Nxf3+ 26.Qxf3 Bc2 27.Ra1 Re4 28.Bc3 d4!-+

29.Bxa5 d3 30.Re1

30.Bc3 d2 31.Be2 Qe6 32.Bc4 Qe7 -+.
30...d2 31.Bxd2 Bxd2 32.Rxe4 Qxe4 33.Qg3 Bf4 34.Qc3 Be5 35.Qd2 Bd4 36.Bc4 Bxc5 37.Bd5 Qd3 38.Qxd3 Bxd3

Black's ending is won, but in a team event, given the circumstances, White understandably plays on.
39.Bxb7 Bb4 40.Bd5 Kf8 41.g4 f6 42.Kg2 Ke7 43.Kf3 Kd6 44.Be4 Bf1

Black keeps his bishop pair to force further loss of material.
45.h4 Ke5 46.Bg6 Ba6 47.Bf7 Bb7+ 48.Ke3 Bc5+ 49.Ke2 Kf4 50.Be6 Ba6+ 51.Kd2 Bb4+ 52.Kc2 g5 53.hxg5

53. h5 Be2.
53...hxg5 0-1


It's now hopeless. If 54. Bd7 or 54. Bf5, Black plays 54. ... Kf3.  

GM Conrad Holt  (UT-D)- GM Holden Hernandez (UT-B) [E32]

Texas State Collegiate Championship, 11.02.2014

Comments by GM Alex Onischuk, Head Coach, Texas Tech University.

Since UT-Dallas and UT-Brownsville were going into the last round tied for the title, this game between two GMs was critical. 
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.e4


A favorite line of Conrad's.
5...d5 6.e5 Ne4 7.Bd3 c5 8.Nf3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nd7 10.Bf4 Qh4 11.g3 Qh5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.f3

A new move (GM Onischuk).
13...Nec5 14.Be2 Ne6 15.0-0-0 Nxf4 16.gxf4 Nb6! 17.Kb1 Bd7 18.f5 Rac8 19.f4 Qh6 20.Qd2 Na4 21.Rc1 Qb6 22.Ka1?


22.Nxa4 Bxa4 23.Qd3 Bc5 24.Nc2 was the only way to play in this position (GM Onischuk).
22...Nxb2! 23.f6 Rxc3 24.Qxb2 Qxd4 25.Rcd1 Qe4 26.Rhg1 g6 0-1


GM Holden Hernandez (UT-B) - IM Denis Kadric (UT-D) [E95]

Texas State Collegiate Championship, 11.02.2014
Comments by IM Rade Milovanovic, Head Coach, UT- Dallas

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Nbd7

More popular is 7.e5. 
7.0-0 e5 8.Re1 Re8 9.Bf1 a6 10.Rb1 [10.d5] 10...exd4 11.Nxd4 Nc5


12.f3 c6 13.Be3 Ne6 14.Qd2 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 b5 16.Rbd1 Be6 17.Bf2



17...Bf8 is solid, but it looks like Black is playing to win!
18.Qxd6 b4 19.Nd5?!

With complications. Better is 19.Ne2 Bxc4.
19...cxd5 20.cxd5 Bf8 21.Qe5 Ng4!? 22.fxg4 Bxg4 23.Qf4 Bxd1 24.Rxd1


White's two bishops look like compensation.
A computer engine will take the pawn on a2, of course!
25.d6 Be5 26.Qf3 Re6! 27.Rd5 Qd8 28.d7 Qf6

[29.Bc5] 29...Qe7! 30.Bc4 Bxg3 31.hxg3 Rd8 32.e5 Rc6 33.b3? Rc7
The d7-pawn is lost and the game is over.
34.e6? Qxe6 35.Rc5 Qe1+ 36.Kh2 Rcxd7 37.Rc6 Rf8 38.Qg4 Rd1 0-1
White resigned. After 39.Rxg6  black plays ... Kh8 (39...hxg6? 40.Qxg6+=).

Al Lawrence's next piece will cover the new publication, the Journal of Chess Research.