Onischuk on Mexican Endgames
April 21, 2009
GM Alexander Onischuk
GM Alexander Onischuk just won the Mexican Open Championship with 7.5/9 on tiebreak over GMs Emilio Cordova and Manuel Leon Hoyos. Alexander played to prepare for the 2009 U.S. Championship (Saint Louis, May 7-17) . He pointed out two key endgame moments that interested him in the event. In the final game against IM Rodney Perez, which secured Onischuk the title, he was happy with 41. Bh6. (in the position below) " I don't think this is the only move that wins but I'm sure it's the most technical solution."

Position after 40...Bd6

"The idea is to stop ...h5, if I play 41.f5 first, he takes and 41...h5 and it is not so easy to win. After 41.Bh6, 41.. Kd4 is too slow, I play f5 anyway. " (For example, if  41... Kd4 42. f5 gxf5 43. gxf5 Kc3 44. Bg7+ Kc2 45. f6 Kb1 46. a4 Ka2 47. axb5 axb5 48. f7 Kxb3 49. f8=Q Bxf8 50. Bxf8 and White's bishop is the right color.)


In his fourth round game against GM Manuel Hoyos, Onischuk tried the Dutch Opening, "which I played when I was young and brave :)"

The position turned into a drawish endgame anyway, but according to Onischuk, Hoyos began to make a series of detrimental mistakes.

Position after 26...Bxb3

"He played Kf2 in the positive above, allowing me to play d5. Instead he should have played e4 and I cannot break through, and of course, e4, when he sacrificed a pawn, was a final mistake."

See Onischuk's February 09 Chess Life Online article, "Onischuk on Scorching Moscow", and read the press release about the top participants in the U.S. Championship.