Best of CLO 2018 #6-US Chess School in San Fran by Shlyakhtenko

The #6 article in Best of CLO 2018 is US Chess School in San Fran: Sam Takes the Chocolate by NM Robert Shlyakhtenko. Judges praised Robert's humor and the instructional value of his article, which gave an inside look into the 46th edition of the US Chess School, held in August 2018 at the Mechanics Chess Club.
In the afternoon Greg took us to a chocolate store nearby; Everyone got free samples and Greg bought a box of chocolates for the winner of the blitz tournament. As any of the cashiers would tell you, there is nothing more frightening than having twelve kids walk into your store all at once; when leaving, I heard one of them sigh: “Oh my Lord…” Once we got back to the camp, Sam showed us a series of positions entitled “Beat Sam”, in which his opponents were either winning or at least had a serious advantage, but missed the correct continuation and failed to convert.

[Event "Danzhou 9th"]
[Site "Danzhou"]
[Date "2018.07.27"]
[White "Bu, Xiangzhi"]
[Black "Shankland, Samuel L"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D73"]
[WhiteElo "2712"]
[BlackElo "2727"]
[Annotator "Shlyakhtenko,Robert"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2018.07.27"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "CHN"]
[EventCategory "20"]
[SourceTitle "CB32_2018"]
[SourceDate "2018.08.08"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.08.08"]
[SourceQuality "1"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 Nf6 5. c4 dxc4 6. Qa4+ Nfd7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8.
Nxc4 c5 9. dxc5 Nxc5 10. Qa3 Nba6 11. Bf4 Be6 12. Rc1 b5 13. Nce5 Rc8 14. O-O
b4 15. Qe3 Bxa2 16. Ra1 Bd5 17. Rfd1 e6 18. Bh6 Qf6 19. Ng4 Qxb2 20. Nfe5 f5
21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Bxd5 exd5 {Diagram [#]} 23. Nd3 $1 (23. Rxa6 $2 {was played
in the game. After} Nxa6 24. Nd3 Qc3 25. Rc1 Qxc1+ 26. Nxc1 fxg4 {Black
eventually held a draw.} 27. Nd3 h5 28. Qxa7+ Nc7 29. Nf4 Kh7 30. Qb7 b3 31.
Qxb3 Rxf4 32. gxf4 Ne6 33. e3 Rc5 34. Qb6 Rc1+ 35. Kg2 Ng7 36. Qb7 d4 37. e4
Rc3 $1 {so that on f5 there is Rf3.} 38. e5 d3 39. Qd7 Rc4 40. Qxd3 Rxf4 41.
Qd5 Rf8 42. Qd7 Re8 43. Qc7 Kh6 44. Qc1+ Kh7 45. Qc7 Kh6 46. Qc1+ Kh7) ({
The tempting} 23. Qh6+ $2 {also doesn't work:} Kg8 24. Rdb1 Qc3 25. Rc1 Qd4 26.
Rxa6 fxg4 (26... Nxa6 27. Nf6+) 27. Rxa7 $2 (27. Rxg6+ hxg6 28. Qxg6+ {still
draws.}) 27... Qxf2+ 28. Kh1 Nb7 $3 {and black wins after} (28... Nd7 {also
works.}) 29. Rxb7 Rxc1+ 30. Qxc1 Qxe2 {.}) 23... Nxd3 24. Rab1 $1 {The key
intermediate move.} Qc3 25. Rxd3 {and the queen is forced to leave the a1-h8
diagonal.} Qc6 26. Qe5+ {Black is forced to sacrifice material to avoid mate.}
You can find out more about the US Chess School on twitter, facebook, instagram and founder IM Greg Shahade's YouTube channel, where he posts videos of USCS blitz and bullet tournaments.
Robert plays blitz with Eric Li, much to the delight of the Hey Zap employees, who hosted USCS participants
The Judges Sound Off    This just sounded like a fun time.  I enjoyed the quotes, as well as the humor   of the author- GM Josh Friedel  As the young correspondent points out, the overriding theme of this camp is to "Beat Sam," as in the reigning US Champion. Apparently a 2700 can solve difficult puzzles and win rook endgames down a pawn, but has difficulty giving blitz simuls to strong master level kids. Nonetheless, the nine puzzles included in the report are highly recommended for chess parents, coaches and advanced students. -Michael "f-pawn" Aigner Best of CLO Countdown  10. Arthur Guo and Winston Ni Win Big in Atlanta by Vanessa Sun and Michael Rohde  (Judging Article) 9. FM Resika on the US Senior: Singing and Chess are Icing on Cake by FM Nathan Resika (Judging Article) 8.  Caruana Misses a Chance, Draws Game 8 vs. Carlsen by IM Kostya Kavutskiy (Judging Article) 7. Eyes Wide Open: Gareyev Wins 2018 U.S. Open by Al Al Lawrence 6. US Chess School in San Fran: Sam Takes the Chocolate by NM Robert Shlyakhtenko

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