Tales from Atlanta: Advait on a Perfect Score
By Todd Andrews   
April 29, 2014
Advait “Addie” Patel
The final day of a National event is bittersweet for players, coaches and their families. Exhaustion is typical on the third and final day, so naturally players and coaches are relieved when the event concludes. However, many students find themselves slightly disappointed as they are moving up to the 10th grade next year and this will be their last event of this kind. Other students are preparing to move off to new schools and sadness sets in as they realize this is the last time they will be a part of this team. Then, of course, some students wonder if they could have done better. 

Next, tournament players start to ponder the good that came out of this year’s experience at nationals. Those same kids disappointed about getting older and moving on to new teams realize that they just learned more about the game of chess in a single weekend than they probably did in months. 

They think about the fun they had checking out the 4-D show at the Coca-Cola museum, or the home run they saw at the Braves game, or the killer checkmate pattern that their team mate properly demonstrated to help get their team into a top 10 trophy. Sure they did not win every game, but a national event is a memory you will never forget.

For one young man, Advait “Addie” Patel of West Virginia, his 7th grade year is one that he will not soon forget as he won both his section in the 7th grade Nationals and this year’s largest Championship section in Atlanta: the K-8 Championship.

Addie is a regular to both this event and the K-12 Grade Championships that are held in December. He has played in these events regularly for nearly four years now. One of our Nashville team members has played him so much, they have become good friends! Advait is a well spoken, young man not shy at all to tell me all about his chess career even in a moment overcome with complete joy and what had to be an intense adrenaline rush.

Addie was born in India and moved to the US when he was very young. He had immense praise for the time he spent working with his coach David Saville in West Virginia. Of course, no kid becomes national champion without a strong support system and you could clearly see the relief from his mom and dad, Ruhi and Rapal, when they found out that their son was the newest National chess champion.

Advait also could not wait to tell his grandfather who lives back in India. He owes a lot to him as his grandfather taught him the game when he was a little boy. Advait and his family are hoping to take him to the World Youth championships later this year.  I asked him to share his best game with us and this was his choice, because of the comeback from a tough position.



Two great lessons in this battle: how to handle the IQP and an interesting N + P endgame.
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7
This sort of early queen move is designed to keep the dark squared bishop from getting to the active h2-b8 square. So white tries to reinforce that square with...
6.Ne2 Bg4 7.f3 Bd7 8.Bf4 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5
...and now the game takes on the all so familiar characteristics of an isolated queen-pawn position. Black hopes to create attacking possibilities with his more open position. White hopes to blockade and destroy the weak d5 pawn in the endgame. It is a very famous debate in chess.
10.Bc2 Bd6 11.Ba4 
White looks to trade off a pair of the bishops and limit the amoun of attackers for the black side.
11...Bc6 was seen in a game between grandmaster Yudasin and Kacheishvili in 2004. This way if white wants to trade off the light squared bishops, he gives black the choice to strengthen his center with ...bxc6.
12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.0–0 0–0 14.Nd2

 I would prefer the black side here. The moves f3 and c3 have created some soft spots in white's position and white just does not seem to have the best coordination between his pieces right now.
14...Bc5+ 15.Nd4 Nd3!
The knight enters his dream square on d3. Fortunately for Addie, he does not have an anchor to support him there, so white should be able to drive him off. Hopefully without having to suffer any damage.
16.Bg5 Bxd4+ 17.cxd4 Qf5 18.Qb3 Qxg5?!

18...Nh5! This is a tough move to find. The knight "bounces off the wall" and lands on the f4 square. Next, it appears that black will be able to dominate via the e-file since the d3 knight makes it impossible for white to challenge the file. 19.Bh4 Nhf4 20.Kh1 Rae8–+ This is the type of activity you look for when manning the IQP (Isolated Queen Pawn).
19.Qxd3 Nh5 20.Bb3 Bf4 21.Qd2 Rfe8 22.Rfe1
Now the position sits fairly even. Both players have the IQP and in this line, white is able to fight for the important e-file.
22...Nh3+ 23.Kf1 Qxd2 24.Bxd2 Bf4 25.Rxe8+ Rxe8 26.Nb3 Nd3 27.Nc5 Re3 28.Nxb7 Nxb2 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Kxe1
This is dead even, but masters just have a way of squeezing wins out of even endgames.
30...Bc4! Cutting off the king's path at d2...
 31.Na5 Nd3+?
This move appears to be the beginning of the end for black. This plan seems to just chase the white king into a more active position. [31...Ba4 32.Kd2 a6 ...not (32...Ke7 33.Bc6+) 33.Bc6 Bb6 (33...Ke8 34.Bb4) 34.Kc3 Bc4 35.Bb4 Be3 36.Bxa6 Bxg2 37.Bb4 Bf4; 31...Ke8! is the best according to the computer. 32.Bc6 Bc4 33.Bxa7 Be3 34.Kf2 Bd1+ 35.Kf1 Bc3 36.a3 Kd7 37.Kf2]
...and from this point on, the young man from the Mountain State plays flawlessly.
32...Nf4 33.g3 Ne6 34.Nc6 a6 35.Kc3 Ke8 36.f4 f5 37.a4 Kd7 38.Nb8+ Kc7 39.Nxa6+ Kb6 40.Nc5 Nc7 41.Kb4 g6 42.Nd7+ Kc6 43.Nf8 Kb6 44.Nxh7 Ne6 45.Nf6 Kc6 46.Kc3 Nc7 47.Nh7 Ne6 48.Ng5 Nf8 49.Kb4 Kb6 50.a5+ Kc6 51.Nf3 Kd6 52.Kb5 Kd7 
...and here the score sheet ends. White should be easily winning with the following variation:
53.a6 Kc7 54.Ne5 Ne6 55.Nc6 g5 56.fxg5 Nxg5 57.Ne7 Ne6 58.Nxd5+ Kb8 59.Kb6 Nd8 60.a7+ Kc8 61.a8Q+ 1–0

What a great game. Also notable was Jennifer Yu's 6.5/7 score, for clear 2nd in the K-8. She drew her first game and won the following six!

In the team portion of the K-8, Canyon Vista Middle School (pictured below) from Texas maintained first place. It is way tougher to stay in first than it is to shoot up past a team with tougher pairings. So well done to these students. 


In the K-9 Championship, Masterman High School of Philadelphia won their second straight national title. 

Masterman High School of Philadelphia

Vignesh Panchanatham of California and Andrew Liu of Massachusetts topped the crosstable in the K-9 with 6.5/7, with Vignesh taking the first place trophy on tiebreaks.

Vignesh Panchanatham

Congrats to our three teams from middle-Tennessee that broke the top 10 in the K-9 Championship! My own Montgomery Bell Academy finished 5th while my other team University School of Nashville (which was nearly all K-6 players) finished 9th and the Campbell Home School finished 10th. 

Todd Andrews coaching his teams Montgomery Bell Academy & University School of Nashville

Find complete standings here and the rated crossstables on MSA.