Four Grandmasters and a Young IM Lead at US Open

2016OPEN-0550 (4)Photo Anne Buskirk
Update 8/7/16: Congratulations to GMs Gil Popiliski and Alexander Shabalov, who tied for first in the US Open with 8/9 each. Full story coming soon. Editor's Note: the US Open results page is back up!   Four Grandmasters and one young IM lead after eight rounds of the US Open in Indianapolis, Indiana.  GMs Aleksandr Lenderman, Gil Popilski, Alexander Shabalov and Joel Benjamin all stand with 7/8. 14-year-old IM Ruifeng Li, who has been in the clear lead for most of the tournament, is also in the leader's pack. Half a point behind are GMs Illia Nyzhnyk, Vasif Durarbayli, Yaroslav Zherebukh, Kayden Troff, Fidel Corrales-Jiminez, Vladimir Grabinsky and another young IM, Akshat Chandra. The final and decisive round - round 9- starts at 3pm EST.
Round 8's Game of the Day was produced by GM Fidel Corrales-Jiminez, who entered into a slightly offbeat anti-Sicilian line and proved that opposite colored bishops do not always equal a draw.

[Site "Indianapolis, Indian"]
[Date "2016.08.06"]
[White "Corrales-Jimenez, Fidel"]
[Black "Tiglon, Bryce"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B53"]
[WhiteElo "2598"]
[BlackElo "2395"]
[Annotator "Karagianis,Pete"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qe3 {Avoiding some of the main
theoretical lines. White aims to setup a Maroczy-ish bind while avoiding some
of the simplifications that usually occur after 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Qd3, which has
similar ideas.} Nf6 6. c4 g6 7. Be2 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. h3 Be6 10. Rd1 Qc8 {
The first new move. Previously, a6 was seen in Faisal-So, 2011 (1/2-1/2). Qc8
appears to have two aims: preparing a potential Na5 while also keeping
pressure on h3. Nonetheless, probably a rook belongs on c8, not a queen.} (
10... Rc8) (10... Nd7 11. Nc3 Rc8 12. Bd2) 11. Bd2 Nd7 12. Nc3 {It is unusual
to me that white did not continue with Bc3. It seems black (by not playing Nd7
the move prior) allowed white this chance to exchange black's strong g7 bishop.
However, the move Nc3 is consistent with white's earlier strategy of avoiding
early simplifications.} Nde5 13. b3 Nxf3+ {Logical - typically the side with
less space is well advised to trade pieces. This move also attempts to secure
d4 for black's other knight.} 14. Bxf3 Nd4 15. Rac1 Nxf3+ {Grabbing the two
bishops, but objectively not the best move.} (15... Qd7 {to bring a rook to c8,
for example.}) 16. Qxf3 Qc6 17. Qd3 Rfc8 18. Re1 Bxc3 {A curious exchange, but
logical. The knight on d5 would be very strong. Another thought is that black
may have been trying to equalize by achieving the famous "opposite color
bishops." However, despite their reputation, opposite color bishop
middle-games are rarely equal and even more rarely drawn. Typically, the side
who can establish the initiative will have excellent winning chances.
Corrales-Jiminez does that expertly, here.} 19. Bxc3 a6 20. f4 {There is no
direct "threat", per se, but black reacts anyway, trying to blunt the diagonal
to his king. This, however, creates problems and allows white to establish the
initiative.} f6 21. a4 Qb6+ 22. Bd4 Qb4 23. Kh2 Rab8 24. Qe3 (24. f5 {
immediately was also good. But white spends a move first to maneuver the queen.
}) 24... Rc6 25. Rc3 Rbc8 26. Rec1 Qa5 27. f5 Bf7 {At last, f5 appears. White
is not "winning" but he has some activity which is not easy to handle,} 28. Qh6
{More an optical threat than anything- if we ask, "what is white's follow-up?"
it's not easy to answer. Perhaps Rg3, with an exchange sacrifice? Or h4-h5
(though that seems slow)? At any rate, the following blunder is an example of
how "pressure" plays a role in chess, even at high levels. White stations his
queen near the black king and black over-reacts:} gxf5 {? Willingly opening
the line to his own king. Black's punishment is swift.} 29. Rg3+ Bg6 30. b4 {
A nice deflection tactic. Black loses a piece and his king's shelter is also
destroyed.} 1-0 [/pgn]
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