Can You Calculate Like a U.S. Women's Championship Contender?

The U.S. Women's Championship competitors playing blitz, bughouse, bullet and blindfold on sets created by the artists of the Ladies' Knight exhibition. Photo courtesy of Eric Rosen. The U.S. Women's Championship players compete in blitz, bughouse, and blindfold chess at the World Chess Hall of Fame.                                                                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Eric Rosen, an International Master and talented photographer who is taking over the US Chess Twitter today. 

Tactic #1

Irina Krush vs. Sabina Foisor

Position after 25...Qe7

 [fen]3r1nk1/pp2q1pb/8/2p1p1P1/3pP3/1P1P2QB/P1PB4/R5K1 w - - 0 26[/fen]

White to move.

Level: Easy

Show Solution
[pgn]
[White "Krush, I."]
[Black "Foisor, S."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "2465"]
[BlackElo "2258"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r1nk1/pp2q1pb/8/2p1p1P1/3pP3/1P1P2QB/P1PB4/R5K1 w - - 0 26"]
[PlyCount "5"]
[EventDate "2016.04.14"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "2"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2016.04.18"]26. g6 {Clearing the way for Bg5 with tempo.} Nxg6 27. Bg5 Qe8 28. Bxd8 {and
Krush went on to win.} 1-0[/pgn]
 
Carissa vs. Tatev2 - US Champs 2016 Carissa Yip playing against 3rd seed, Tatev Abrahamyan---a tough game that the youngest competitor was ultimately able to hold.                                                                                                                         Photo courtesy of Austin Fuller.

Tactic #2

Carissa Yip vs. Akshita Gorti

Position after 44...Kh7

[fen]4Q3/3P2pk/7p/p7/8/2N2bP1/P4qPK/8 w - - 0 45[/fen]

White to move.

Level: Intermediate

Show Solution
[pgn][White "Yip, Carissa"]
[Black "Gorti, Akshita"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C04"]
[WhiteElo "2164"]
[BlackElo "2184"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "4Q3/3P2pk/7p/p7/8/2N2bP1/P4qPK/8 w - - 0 45"]
[PlyCount "9"]
[EventDate "2016.04.14"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "2"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2016.04.18"]45. Qg8+ {With Black's pieces breathing down the white king's throat, the
temporary queen sacrifice is forced, but the follow-up requires some precision.
} Kxg8 46. d8=Q+ Kf7 47. Qd7+ Kg8 48. Qc8+ $1 {and Gorti resigned. No matter
where the black king runs, the white queen can create a double attack and win
the bishop.} Kh7 (48... Kf7 49. Qf5+) 49. Qf5+ 1-0

[/pgn]

Tactic #3

Alisa Melekhina vs. Irina Krush

Melekhina's position is much better, but Krush is on the verge of obtaining counterplay. How should White continue?

Position after 23...Rg7+

[fen]5rk1/1p4rp/p2NP3/5P2/3n4/1P5R/P6P/5RK1 w - - 0 36[/fen]

White to move.

Level: Advanced

Show Solution
[pgn]
[White "Melekhina, A."]
[Black "Krush, I."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B00"]
[WhiteElo "2205"]
[BlackElo "2465"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5rk1/1p4rp/p2NP3/5P2/3n4/1P5R/P6P/5RK1 w - - 0 36"]
[PlyCount "19"]
[EventDate "2016.04.14"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[EventCategory "2"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2016.04.18"]36. Rg3 $1 {The exchange sacrifice secures white's advantage.} (36. Kh1 {gives
Black some chances after} Nxe6) 36... Ne2+ 37. Kg2 Nxg3 38. hxg3 Rd8 {and here
Melekhina blundered with} 39. f6 $4 (39. Rd1 {was completely winning. White's
passed pawns are too powerful. For example} Re7 40. Kf3 Kg7 41. f6+ Kxf6 42.
Ne4+ Kxe6 43. Rxd8) 39... Rxd6 40. fxg7 Rxe6 41. Rd1 Re2+ 42. Kf3 Rxa2 43. Rd8+
Kxg7 44. Rd7+ Kg6 45. Rxb7 {and the players agreed to a draw.} 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
  Live games and commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan, WGM Jennifer Shahade, and GM Maurice Ashley are featured at the U.S. Championship Official Website. Rounds are everyday at 1 p.m. CST from April 14th-April 26th. Follow our twitter today @USChess.

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