Princeton Takes World Amateur Team
By Al Lawrence   
February 19, 2013
Three days of convention-atmosphere fun and intense competition came to a close tonight as “Princeton University A” won its sixth and final round against the only other 5-0 team, Knightmare III, to bag a perfect score and take clear first at the “World Amateur Team Championship.” Also known as the U.S. Amateur Team, the granddaddy of all American team events beckoned 281 teams and 1,201 players to Parsippany, New Jersey. Princeton’s top squad ranked only 19th at the start of the event, but the top 25 entrants were bunched within 20 points of the maximum team average of 2199.

In this crucial and tense last-round confrontation of the two leaders, human error factored big-time. With the team score at 2-1 in favor of Princeton and only the second board still in play, the two opposing masters stunned onlookers with their 30th moves. White counted on a cross-pin tactic to allow him to expose his queen to attack. But had Black seen the simple 30. … Rxe5, the two teams would have finished with equal scores of 5.5-5.5!

Andrew Ng, 2295 (Princeton University A)-Praveen Balakrishnan, 2206 (Knightmare III)


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bd3 0–0 9.0–0 Nc6 10.a3 Nf6 11.Re1 b6 12.Bg5 Bb7 13.Bc2 Rc8 14.Qd3 g6 15.Rad1 Nd5 16.h4 Nxc3 17.bxc3 Na5 18.Bh6 Re8 19.h5 Nc4 
19...Qd5 20.hxg6 hxg6
20.hxg6 hxg6 
Now White has a sham rook-sac that’s fairly easy to find and can’t be accepted.
21.Rxe6! Bf6 22.Rxe8+ Qxe8 23.Re1 Qc6 24.Bb3 b5 25.Bf4 Kg7 26.Bxc4 bxc4 27.Qe3 Rh8 28.Be5 Rh5 29.Qf4 Rf5 

30.Qh4? Bxe5? 
Of course, just 30...Rxe5 and White would resign, and it would truly be a Princeton Knightmare!
31.dxe5 Rh5 32.Qg3 
32...Qc8 33.Nd4 Qh8 34.Kf1 Qh6 
35.Ke2 Rg5 
36.Qf4 Qh5+ 37.Kd2 Rxg2 38.e6 g5 39.Qe5+ f6 40.Qc7+ Kh8 41.Qb8+ Kh7 42.Qxb7+ Kh8 and 1-0

Round 5 saw an unusual game against two masters on their teams’ top board. By the way, “Rg3 Offensive Rook of the Year,” a reference to Robert Griffin, III, taking football’s rookie of the year, won best team name. As always that choice was made by “applause meter.” The crowd decides!

William Fisher, 2455 (Open Magnum Style)-Evan Rosenberg, 2267 (Rg3 Offensive Rook of the Year )


1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 Bg4 4.Be2 Nf6 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Bxf3 d4 7.Ne2 d3 8.cxd3 Qxd3 9.Nf4 Qb5 10.d4 e5 11.dxe5 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 Qb4+ 13.Kf1 Qxe4 14.e6 14.Qc4+ 15.Kg1

15....Be7 16.Qg4 Na6 17.Ng6 Qxg4 18.exf7+ Kd7 19.f8N+ 

19...Bxf8 20.hxg4 Rg8 21.Rxh7 Re8 22.Nxf8+ Rexf8 23.Be3 Kc7 24.Rd1 Rf7 25.a4 b6 26.g3 Nb4 27.Bf4+ Kb7 28.Be5 Nd5 29.g5 Ka6 30.f4 Ka5 31.b3 Re7 32.Kf2 Rf7 33.Rd4 Nb4 34.Rd6 b5 35.g6 Re7 36.Bc3 bxa4 37.Rh5+ Kb6 38.Bxb4 axb3 39.Rd3 Re6 40.Rxb3 Rxg6 41.Bd6+ 1-0

Overall prizes lined up like this:

Princeton University A
Cornell A
Obama: No Change Variation
Cruising Zingardiums
Master Maters

Top College was won by the Texas Tech Knight Raiders (Ed.Note- Al Lawrence is the new program director at Texas Tech), who came all the way from Lubbock to compete for the first time.

Best Gimmick was won by “Knights of the Roman Forum,” whose legionnaire costumes and witty takeoff on Russell Crowe’s pre-battle address to his troops in the film “Gladiator” left little doubt among the 1,000 or so voters.


Find full list of winners on the New Jersey Chess Federation website. 

Organizer Steve Doyle and Chief TD Carol Jarecki did their annually spectacular job of setting an impossible standard for fun and competition. Doyle’s inimitable emceeing style, as he gives away door prizes and friendly barbs at a rapid pace, keeps the crowd relaxed before their big games.  NTDs Steve Immit and Sophia Rohde helped keep the 1200-player tournament under control without quashing the good time. It was Steve Doyle's 40th anniversary at the team and Carol's 35th.  We also celebrated the remarkable achievement of Steve Immit's 25 years of weekly Manhattan tournaments.

Also look for Al Lawrence's report in Chess Life Magazine and upcoming video from the World Amateur on our YouTube channel.