“Academy” Graduates with a World Team Diploma

DSC_0438 (1)Monday night, after three days of play, six rounds and 3,500 games of chess, the biggest team chess tournament in the world came down to a single, nerve-racking game—on Board 2 of Table One. GM Kaufman's “Komodo Dragons” and NM Ethan Li's “Academy of Talented Youth 1” had won every match until taking aim at each other. Now, with the team score at 2-1 in favor of “Academy,” FM Karl Dehmelt had to win to put “Komodo” in a tie for first. He completed his assignment with relentless pressure culminating in a rook-sack that forced checkmate.

[Event "World Team"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.02.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Dehmelt, Karl"]
[Black "Qi, Henry"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B09"]
[Annotator "Lawrence,Al"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Nf3 c5 6. dxc5 Qa5 7. Bd3 Qxc5 8. Qe2
Bg4 9. Be3 Qa5 10. O-O O-O 11. a3 Nc6 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Nd7 14. Bd2 Qd8 15.
Kh1 Rc8 16. Rab1 Nb6 17. Rfe1 Na5 18. Nd5 Nac4 19. Bxc4 Nxc4 20. Bc3 Bxc3 21.
Qxc3 Nb6 22. Qd3 Nxd5 {Black saddles himself with a backward pawn
on an open file, but his position was already difficult to play.} 23. exd5 Re8
24. f5 $1 Qd7 25. Rf1 $1 Qa4 26. c3 Qc4 27. Qf3 Rf8 28. Rbd1 Qb5
29. Rf2 Qd7 30. Qg4 Rc7 31. Rdf1 b5 32. Rf4 Kg7 33. Re4 f6 34. Qe2 Re8 35. Re6
Rcc8 36. Rf4 Qb7 37. fxg6 hxg6 38. Qd3 Rc4 39. Rf3 (39. Rfxf6 {is also strong.}
) 39... Rc7 {Now White has a forced mate.} 40. Rg3 $1 g5 41. Rxg5+
{1-0, It's mate in 5; for example--} fxg5 42. Qg6+ Kf8 43. Qf5+ Kg8 44. Rg6+
Kh7 45. Qf7+ Kh8 46. Rh6# 1-0

Dehmelt’s clutch victory also did a service to “ChessNYC All Stars,” with FM Justus Williams on Board 1, and “Wei Yi,” led by GM Robert Hess. The two teams, trailing by a half-point going into the finale, had won their matches and joined a group of four at 5.5. As it turned out, “Academy” took first place on tiebreaks despite Dehmelt’s effort. The final standings: 1st Place: Academy for Talented Youth 1 NM Ethan Li, Henry Qi, Warren Wang and Wesley Wang 2nd Place: Komodo Dragons GM Larry Kaufman, FM Karl Dehmelt, NM Denis Strenzwilk, and William Michael 3rd Place: ChessNYC All Stars FM Justus Williams, NM Isaac Barayev, Matheu Jefferson, Tyrone Davis Tii 4th Place: Wei Yi GM Robert Hess, NM Andrew Ryba, Zachary Weiner, Marcus Sutton “Princeton A,” led by Jason Altschuler, collected the most tie-break points of the 5-1 teams to take fifth-place. According to tradition, the packed main hall voted with applause to award the distinction of Best Name, this year to “Hillary's Email: No Open Files” and gave the Best Gimmick designation to “Knock Out Knights” who danced down the aisle to rap lyrics, in boxing gloves and robes, a la Floyd Mayweather, Jr. DSC_0380 The annual World Team, aka the U.S. Amateur Team-East always attracts a throng of devotees and a host of new competitors. The convention-like gathering is unlike any other chess event. There isn’t a dollar in cash prizes. The team’s the thing, battling for your buddies. This year, nearly 1,200 players, staffing 277 four-person teams, defied the latest New Jersey winter storm. The squads featured 13 GMs, including former champions of Canada, Israel, and the United States. But since each team is limited to a maximum USCF rating average of 2199, titles don’t guarantee success. And upsets happen. This year NM Peter Korning of Stockholm, Sweden, who came farther than any other competitor to play Board 1 for “Attack and Depends,” made it worth the eight-hour flight by scoring a win over GM Leonid Yudasin of “Chessmate’s Dream Team!” [Event "World Amateur Team Ch"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.02.15"] [White "Yudasin, Leonid"] [Black "Korning, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2618"] [BlackElo "2201"] [Annotator "Pete Tamburro"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 {It's always interesting to see which titled players play 4.d3 or 4.d4 or, even more interesting--4.Ng5.} Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. Bb3 a6 {Your annotator had a flashback at this point--going back 43 years! L. Dubeck-P. Tamburro, South Jersey Open, 1973:1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 d6 5.Nf3 a6! 6.Bg5 h6, and, although slightly different the idea was so similar. After 47 moves of struggle, we agreed to a draw in mutual time trouble. Time trouble seems to follow this opening as you will see.} 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bh4 Ba7 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Ba4 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 ({More circumspect was } 12... Bd7) 13. g4 Bg6 14. Qe2 {In the aforementioned game, Dubeck went with queenside expansion starting with b4, then a4, thus the bishop would not block the b-pawn when retreating. Different styles...} b5 $1 15. Bb3 Nb8 {Another playable choice was 15...Na5, giving it that slow Anderssen/Steinitz Ruy Lopez look.} 16. a4 c6 {Thus far, this has been a well-contested game with many possibilities left unchosen. Another White choice would be 17.d4.} 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ra2 {An idea you not infrequently see played by GMs in the Ruy Lopez.} Nbd7 19. Rfa1 Qc7 20. Kg2 Qb7 21. d4 exd4 22. Nxd4 $1 ({Favorable to White would be:} 22. cxd4 Rfe8 23. e5 c5) 22... Bxd4 $1 {No two-bishops worry wart is Black! He knows he's equalized.} 23. Rxa8 Rxa8 24. Rxa8+ Qxa8 25. cxd4 c5 $3 {Any other move would have given White a decent advantage.} (25... Qe8 26. f3 h5 27. Bg3 hxg4 28. hxg4 Qe7 29. Bd1 Nf8 30. Nb3) 26. dxc5 dxc5 27. Bc2 c4 28. Qe3 ({One might have expected} 28. f4 {to mix things up.}) 28... Qc6 $6 ({To be considered was} 28... Qa1 29. Qc3 Qe1 30. Bxf6 Nxf6 31. Qd4 Qc1 32. Bb1 Nh7) 29. Qd4 $6 ({Testing Black's defensive resources would have been} 29. f4 Qc5 30. Qxc5 Nxc5 31. f5 Bh7 32. Bf2 {We get the impression that the clock has become a third player in this game.}) 29... Ne8 30. b3 (30. Bg3) 30... cxb3 $2 (30... Nc5 31. bxc4 Ne6 32. Qe3 bxc4) 31. Bxb3 Nd6 32. f3 $1 {White has stopped the counterattack on e4, has kept the two bishops and he's not letting the b-pawn go anywhere. Black's bishop is without scope. White now has a decided edge.} Qc5 33. Bf2 Qxd4 34. Bxd4 Kf8 35. e5 {Or Bc3 and Bb4.} Ne8 36. f4 {The killer f4 move. It has been looming the entire game, but this moment is particularly deadly.} Bd3 37. Kf3 b4 38. Ke3 Bb5 39. f5 Bc6 40. Ne4 {and White, on the brink of an easy win, falls one move short and forfeits on time. Nevertheless, Black's play against the titled player was exemplary for most of the game and gave his opponent apparently too much to think about! 0-1} [/pgn] This year’s female competitors were made especially welcome with a special place to chat and relax, sponsored by the US Chess Women’s Committee and hosted by Kimberly Doo. DSC_0409 Top Board prizes are a special distinction at The Team. This year, FM Justus Williams of the “ChessNYC All Stars” was king of Board 1. GM Joel Benjamin, a World Team stalwart, took Board 2 honors. DSC_0439 Three scored a perfect 6-0 on Board 3: Daniel Gordon of “Rookie Cookies,” Jason Shi of “Hello Mate!” and James Hiltunen of “Meet Us at Brooklyn Diner.” Board 4 winners were Dan Rade of “Man in the High 0-0,” Evan Ling of “Bb8?? R2D2 Wins Easily,” Tyrone Lii of “ChessNYC All Stars,” and Sally Yu of “Princeton B.” Jason Lu of “West Orange A” was best alternate. “Princeton B” took Best College team. “Millburn Dragons” earned Best High School. “The Sixers (Masterman)” was best Middle School, and “N(Knight)est Knights” was Elementary champ. The aptly-named “No Pawn Left Behind” won Military honors. “CKQ Lethal Weapons” won Mixed Doubles, and “Vasser Chadwick A Train,” a team name in keeping with this year’s jazz theme, won the Seniors award. Tom Bartell and Peter Minear teamed up to win the popular Sunday-night Bughouse tournament. The World Team confers a host of division and special awards, memorializing them with clock and plaques. For a complete listing, go here: www.njscf.org GM Larry Christiansen annotated one of his own trademark attacking wins.

[Event "USATE Parsippany 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.02.13"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Lenchner"]
[Black "Christiansen"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A01"]
[WhiteElo "2150"]
[BlackElo "2658"]
[Annotator "LC"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2015.11.27"]

{My opponent is of my generation and even played in some National High School
Championships back in the early 1970s. I was quite impressed with his
resilience.} 1. b3 d5 2. Bb2 Bg4 3. h3 Bh5 4. Nf3 Bxf3 5. gxf3 {A nicely
unbalanced position. White has the bishop pair but a slightly defective pawn
structure. Black can create play on both sides of the board.} e6 6. e3 Ne7 {
Another option was to play 6...Nf6 followed by ...g6.} 7. c4 c6 8. f4 Nd7 9.
Qf3 $1 Nf5 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Bd3 Nh4 {I now began to slightly regret my Ne7-f5
scheme. How can I develop my bishop?} (11... Nd6) 12. Qg3 a6 13. Nc3 Rc8 14.
O-O-O $6 {I think 14 Ke2 was better, to connect rooks and bring pressure to
bear on the g-file.} (14. Ke2) 14... g6 $1 15. Kb1 Bg7 16. Bc2 O-O 17. d4 ({
White plays to eliminate the possibility of ...d5-d4, but he also dooms his
bishops to passivity. 17 Ne2 looks more logical here.} 17. Ne2 Bxb2 18. Kxb2
Qf6+ 19. d4 Rc6 20. Rc1 Rfc8 21. Qg5 Kg7 $15) 17... Qe7 18. f3 Rc6 {Planning
of course to double rooks on the c-file and follow up with b7-b5.} 19. e4 {Mr.
Lencher rightly seeks play in the center.} Rfc8 20. Rd3 b5 21. Re1 Qd8 ({Even
more effective was} 21... R6c7 {which prevents tricks based on Nxd5.} 22. exd5
Nf5) 22. Re2 Nb6 (22... Nf8) 23. Nd1 f5 ({A more convincing continuation would
be 23...b4 followed by ..a6-a5-a4.} 23... b4 24. Rdd2 a5 25. Ne3 a4 26. f5 a3
27. fxe6 fxe6 28. Ba1 Bh6) 24. Rdd2 {My instinct told me to play 24...Nxf3
which is very strong, but a rusty GM tends to hesitate.} dxe4 (24... Nxf3 $1
25. Qxf3 dxe4 26. Qf2 Nd5 27. Ne3 Nc3+ 28. Bxc3 Rxc3 29. h4 Bxd4 30. Qg2 Qf6
31. Nd1 R3c6 32. Qg5 Kg7 {Should win without too much fanfare.}) 25. fxe4 fxe4
26. Bxe4 {Diagram #} Nd5 $1 27. Bxd5 Qxd5 28. Qd3 ({Not} 28. Qxh4 Qf5+ 29. Ka1
Rc1+ 30. Bxc1 Rxc1+ 31. Kb2 Qb1+ 32. Ka3 Bf8+ {with mate to follow.}) 28... Nf3
29. Rc2 Bxd4 ({I looked at} 29... Ne1 30. Rxc6 Nxd3 31. Rxc8+ Bf8 $15 {but was
not satisfied.}) ({Similar to the game is} 29... Nxd4 $1 30. Bxd4 Bxd4 31. Rxc6
Qxc6 $17) 30. Rxc6 ({Black should win without any difficulty after} 30. Ne3
Bxe3 31. Qxd5 exd5 32. Rxc6 Rxc6 33. Rxe3 Nd2+ 34. Ka1 Ne4) 30... Rxc6 31. Bxd4
Nxd4 32. Re5 $1 {Mr. Lenchner fights back!} Qg2 33. Ne3 $5 (33. Re4 Nf5 {
should be sufficient, e.g.} 34. Qd8+ Kf7 35. Qd7+ Ne7 36. Qd3 Nd5 $19) ({But
the simple defensive retreat offered some prospects, although Black ought to
win with the careful} 33. Re1 $1 Qh2 34. Ne3 Qxf4 35. Rf1 Qd6 36. Rd1 e5 37.
Ng4 h5 38. Nxe5 Qxe5 39. Qxd4 Qxd4 40. Rxd4 Kg7 41. h4 g5 42. hxg5 Kg6 $19 {Of
course 33 Qxd4?? is mated by ...Qc2+ 34 Ka1 Qc1}) 33... Qg1+ 34. Nf1 {Black to
move and win.} Rd6 $2 {No, not that!} (34... Rc2 $1 35. Rxe6 Re2 $1 {Wins
quickly and efficiently.}) ({setting up Nb5 is also crushing.} 34... b4) 35.
Re1 b4 $2 {Timing is everything. Here I mistimed the plan of Nb5 and again
allowed White to offer resistance. I should have re-centralized 35...Nf5 36
Qc2 Qd4!} (35... Nf5 36. Qc2 Qd4) 36. Qc4 $6 ({There is a very good adage in
chess, "When in doubt, centralize!" Here White should have played 36 Qe4! with
pressure against 36 and the prospect of a strong check on a8.} 36. Qe4 Nb5 37.
Qxb4 Qd4 38. Qxd4 Rxd4 39. a4 Nc7 40. Ne3 Rxf4 41. Rc1 Rf3 42. Rxc7 Rxe3 43.
Kc2 Rxh3 44. b4 $132) 36... Qf2 37. Qc8+ $2 ({The final chance was} 37. Qxb4
Qc2+ 38. Ka1 Rd8 $1 39. Ne3 {What else?} Qf2 40. Qc3 $8 Ne2 $1 41. Qc2 $8 {Qa5
} Rd7 42. Nc4 (42. Ng4 Qd4+) (42. Nd1 Qxf4 43. Nc3 Rd2 44. Nxe2 Rxe2) 42... Rd5
{Qb4 Qd4+} 43. Kb1 Nc3+ 44. Ka1 {Kc2 Qf2+} Nb5 45. Kb1 a5 $1 {and wins.}) 37...
Kg7 38. Qc7+ (38. Rc1 Qxf4 39. Qc7+ Kh6 40. Ne3 Nb5 41. Qc5 (41. Ng4+ Qxg4)
41... Na3+ 42. Kb2 Qf6+) 38... Kh6 39. Rc1 Nb5 40. Qc8 Na3+ {Ng4+} 41. Ka1 Qd4+
Pete Tamburro also annotated some fun games and finales:  

[Event "World Amateur Team Ch"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.02.15"]
[White "Wathall, Ned"]
[Black "Tannenbaum, Jeffrey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A60"]
[BlackElo "1972"]
[Annotator "Pete Tamburro"]
[PlyCount "42"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e5 {Don't see this Old Benoni setup much anymore.} 4.
dxe6 (4. Nc3 d6 {And the reason why is:} 5. e4) 4... fxe6 {Since White has
been kind enough to help Black in his quest for the freeing move d5, Black has
equalized already.} 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Bg5 ({Most entertaining (for
Black) would have been:} 7. e4 d4 8. Nd5 Nxd5 9. Bb5+ Nd7 10. Qh5+ Ke7 11. Bc4
(11. Qxd5 Qa5+) 11... N7f6) 7... d4 8. Ne4 Qa5+ ({Many moves are fine here.
White is pretty much lost in this position. Sad.} 8... Nc6) (8... Bf5) (8...
Be7) 9. Qd2 Qxd2+ 10. Nxd2 Nc6 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Rc1 Bf5 13. a3 b6 14. g3 Ne5
15. Bg2 Rd8 16. f4 $4 {It's a wonder the black hole on e3 didn't immediately
swallow up White's pieces.} Ng4 {Naturally.} 17. Bc6+ Kf7 18. h3 $2 {By all
means, help the intruder through the front door.} Ne3 19. g4 Bd7 20. Bf3 Bd6
21. f5 {A multifunction positional move fixing the Black pawn weakness on f6
and restricting the movement of the enemy light-squared bishop. Unfortunately,
there is the matter of the dark-squared bishop...} Bg3# 0-1[/pgn]

[Event "World Amateur Team Ch"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.02.15"]
[White "Ardito, Andrew"]
[Black "Glassman, Jeremy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D00"]
[WhiteElo "2214"]
[BlackElo "2209"]
[Annotator "Pete Tamburro"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bf4 g6 4. f3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O $1 {Yes, he could take, but
this is an in-your-face "I'm castled and you're not." move.} 6. Qd2 ({The pawn
push is not dangerous:} 6. e5 Nfd7 $1 7. Nxd5 (7. e6 fxe6 8. Qd2 e5) 7... c5 8.
dxc5 Nc6) 6... c5 7. Nb5 $2 ({Even after} 7. dxc5 dxe4 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. fxe4 Be6
10. Nf3 Nc6 {White is still lagging a bit behind Black in development. The
opening was blowing a lot of smoke at the beginning, but there was no fire.})
7... cxd4 $1 ({The reflexive and almost routine} 7... Na6 {is OK, but Black's
actual choice is sharp and leads to a distinct advantage for him.}) 8. Nc7 e5
$3 {Perhaps White didn't consider this, because if he did he would have played
8.Bf7 which was less bad, but still bad.} 9. Nxa8 exf4 10. Qxf4 dxe4 11. O-O-O
{Out of the frying pan, into the fire.} Nd5 {There are all sorts of good moves
in this series, and Black keeps picking the best one.} 12. Qxb8 Qf6 {Not
exactly subtle, but effective nonetheless.} 13. Bd3 Ne3 {Disdaining the easy
piece pick-up and having some fun.} 14. Bxe4 d3 15. c3 {None of the three ways
to take it were any good.} Qa6 ({Sometimes you just have to take the piece!
Our teenager gets cute.} 15... Nxd1) 16. Rxd3 (16. Bxd3 Qxa2 17. Ne2 Qa1+ 18.
Kd2 Nxd1 19. Rxd1 Qxb2+ 20. Ke3 {was worth a try for White as he could now
hope for a blunder with 20...Re8+ or 20...Bxc3, but Black is still winning big
time with 20...Qb3 or 20...Bf5.}) 16... Qxa2 ({Keeping the piece was a bit
more efficient, but we think Black is enjoying giving away things--and he can
afford to!} 16... Nc4) 17. Rxe3 Qa1+ $2 ({One of the important things about
winning attacks is not to try to make stunning moves, rather it is to make
moves that wrap up the game quickly. Otherwise, something might go wrong...}
17... Bh6 {was clearly indicated. Black was at this point only attacking with
his queen after having been so generous in previous moves.} 18. f4 Qa1+ 19. Kc2
Bg4 20. Qd6 Bxf4 21. Qd3 Bxe3 22. Nc7 Bc1 23. Nf3 Qxb2+ 24. Kd1 Bf4 {brings in
the rest of the team to finish off White.}) 18. Kc2 Qa4+ $2 ({Again, the Black
queen needed help:} 18... Bh6) 19. Kc1 $4 ({White can now win with:} 19. Kd2 $1
Qa1 20. Ke2 Qxb2+ 21. Kf1 Be6 22. Qc7 b5 23. g3 Bc4+ 24. Re2 Bxc3 25. Qd7 Bf6 (
25... Bxe2+ 26. Nxe2 a5 27. Kf2) 26. Qc6 Rd8 27. Qxc4) 19... Bh6 {A scare for
Black. It was a psychological moment for Black. He was being pummeled here
there and everywhere, and when that happens, quite a few chess players don't
think in terms of winning. They think in terms of survival. That two masters
missed this shows just how much of a human struggle chess still is.} 20. f4
Qa1+ 21. Kc2 Bg4 $1 {Everything is clicking now.} 22. Qxf8+ Kxf8 23. Bf3 Bf5+
24. Kb3 b5 25. Kb4 Qa4+ 26. Kc5 Qc4+ {It's a mate in three.} 0-1

This year’s edition of serious competition and frivolous chess-related fun, emceed by the entertaining showman E. Steven Doyle, in his 41st year of service to the event, came to a close as snow and sleet made the drive home yet another test. Steve’s talented crew always deserves our public thanks: Noreen Davisson, Bernadette Doyle, Bob Garrison, Dov Gorman, Joe Ippolito, Carol Jarecki, Aaron Kiedes, Jabari McGreen, Sophia Rohde, Mike Somers, and Howard Stenzel. They handle the complicated task with good humor and aplomb. Al Lawrence is the Director of the College Chess committee and will also be writing the article for Chess Life Magazine. Rainbow Unicorns won the US Amateur Team West (Sid Banik, Albert Lu, Cameron Wheeler, Alvin Kong) while Chakis-Mate (with John P Nardandrea, Lawrence Storch, Robert Persante and Peter Dyson) won the US Amateur Team South. Look for more details on those competitions coming soon to US Chess. 

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