GM Moradiabadi Annotates His Victories from the Washington Congress

GM Elshan Moradiabadi, the 2017 Washington Congress Champion
The annotations of the games are provided courtesy of GM Moradiabadi.  The tournament coverage is from David Hater. GM Elshan Moradiabadi won clear first at the Washington Chess Congress held from October 6th through 9th at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  In past years, the event was a GM/IM norm event, but this year the hotel was not available for the entire time, so CCA was not able to schedule a 9 round open section.  Nonetheless, attendance was still good as there were 213 players in five sections. The Premier section may not have been quite as powerful as past norm events, but was still quite strong.  Five GMs, one IM, and six FMs headlined the 47 player Premier section.  Moradiabadi scored 6-1 to take clear first.  This is an even more significant achievement as his only two half points were a half point bye and a draw in the last round to secure clear first place.  He played three GMs in six games, scoring 2 ½.  His performance rating for the tournament was 2899, and he picked up 20 rating points, which is a huge number for a GM whose USCF rating is close to 2600! Moradiabadi had some off results last year and dipped below 2600 USCF.  He is now back to his previous form, winning tournaments and increasing his rating back up to the mid 2600 range (USCF).  Perhaps more importantly, Elshan recently became a US citizen, and while FIDE has recognized him as a US player for several years, this is the first tournament Elshan won as a US citizen. Congratulations Elshan! Moradiabadi started with a routine win in round one and then took a half point bye in round two. Moradiabadi wanted to take a half point bye at some point in the faster two day schedule and opted for round two as he thought he might be paired up as early as round two! That turned out not to be correct, but the extra rest must have done him well! After winning in round three, he faced GM Jesse Kraai in round four and again came away with the win.  In round 5, Elshan benefited from Swiss pairings.  There was only one perfect score:  GM Denis Kadric was 4-0.  There were two players at 3 ½: GM Mark Paragua and GM Moradiabadi.  Paragua was higher rated and played Kadric while Moradiabadi got paired down by scoregroup and rating to FM Andrew Samuelson.  Moradiabadi defeated Samuelson. Here is a critical position from Moradiabadi versus Samuelson with notes from GM Moradiabadi:
[pgn][Event "Washington Congress"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.10.07"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Moradiabadi, E."]
[Black "Samuelson, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A46"]
[Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1r3k1/p2nbppp/3ppn2/N2q2B1/3P4/2P2NP1/1P2QP1P/R4RK1 b - - 0 17"]
[PlyCount "30"]
[EventDate "2011.05.18"]
[SourceDate "2015.04.04"]17... Nb6 {White has a better pawn structure. Black should try to create
some counter play in the center but instead decides to liquidate material
which gives white a long-lasting advantage.} 18. Rfc1 Nc4 $2 19. Nxc4 Qxc4 20.
Qxc4 Rxc4 21. Ra6 Rc7 {This gives white a great positional shot that for years
younger players can learn from.} 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. d5 $3 {(#) White destroys
black pawn structure and will win a good knight vs bad bishop endgame.} Rb8 24.
Rc2 Rb6 25. Rxb6 axb6 26. Nd4 exd5 27. Rd2 {None of black's pawns defend each
other and they will fall one after the other!} Bf8 28. Nf5 Rc5 29. Rd4 h5 30.
Rb4 Kh7 31. Rxb6 d4 32. Nxd4 1-0[/pgn]
Paragua defeated Kadric in the following game to maintain pace with Moradiabadi as the leaders going into the final day.
[pgn][Event "Washington Chess Congress"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.10.08"]
[Round "5.4"]
[White "Paragua, Mark"]
[Black "Kadric, Denis"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E61"]
[WhiteElo "2621"]
[BlackElo "2571"]
[Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2015.04.04"]1. d4 {Paragua faced Kadric in the fifith round. The latter was leading with
perfect 4-0 at the time.} d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nd7 5. e3 e5 6. Be2
Ngf6 7. O-O {Now we have a reverse King's Indian attack!} O-O 8. b4 Re8 9. a4
e4 10. Ne1 (10. Nd2 {is the mainline.}) 10... Nf8 11. a5 h5 12. b5 Bg4 (12...
N8h7 {is the typical move here.}) 13. Nc2 c5 $1 {Kadric takes advantage of
white's vulnerability along the a1-h8 diagonal.} 14. bxc6 bxc6 15. Bxg4 $5 {
risky decision. Now black has a clear Idea of Maneuvering his knight to f3 via
h7 and g5 to create a mate net on light squares.} hxg4 16. a6 N8h7 17. Rb1 Rc8
18. Rb7 Qa5 $6 {Innovative but maybe insufficient.} (18... Rc7 19. Nb4 Rxb7 20.
axb7 Qb6 21. Qa4 c5 {looks good for black.}) 19. Nb4 Qh5 20. Ne2 (20. Rxa7 Ng5
21. Kh1 {and I do not see how black can continute his attack except with Kh7.}
Kh7 22. Ne2 Rh8 23. Nf4 Qh4 24. g3 Qh6 25. h4 Nf3 26. Kg2 g5 27. Rxf7 gxf4 28.
exf4 Qg6 {with an unclear game.}) 20... Ng5 21. Kh1 Nf3 22. gxf3 {Kadric
missed a small tactic.} gxf3 23. Nf4 Qh4 24. Rg1 g5 (24... Ng4 25. Rxg4 Qxg4
26. Qg1 {with winning position for white. because a7 will fall.}) 25. Nh3 $3 {
A deep tactical finess which Paragua might have prepared when he played Kh1.}
g4 $2 {Kadric blunders in disbelief.} (25... Qxh3 26. Rxg5 Kh8 27. Rg3 (27.
Rxf7 $4 Rg8 28. Qg1 Bh6 29. Rg3 Qe6 30. Rxa7 Rxg3 31. Qxg3 Nh5 32. Qh4 Qxc4 {
and black is winning!}) 27... Qh5 28. d5 Rg8 29. Nxc6 Ng4 30. Qg1 {with an
unclear game!}) 26. Nf4 Bh6 27. Rg3 Kg7 28. Qg1 {now white is a healthy piece
up.} Rh8 29. Rh3 Qxh3 30. Nxh3 Rh7 31. d5 1-0[/pgn]
This left Paragua and Moradiabadi leading the tournament at 4 ½ out of 5 going into the last day.  In the penultimate round, Moradiabadi defeated Paragua to put himself in clear first place entering the last round. Here are Moradiabadi’s notes to this critical game.
[pgn][Event "Washington Congress"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.05.29"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Moradiabadi, E."]
[Black "Paragua, Mark"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C67"]
[Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2010.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2015.04.04"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5
8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. b3 Be7 12. Bb2 Be6 13. Ne2 Rd8 14. Rad1
Rxd1 15. Rxd1 g5 16. Nfd4 Nxd4 17. Nxd4 {(#) In a calm Berlin defense endgame
where draw is the most probable result, GM Paragua got relaxed too early:} Bc5
18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. Bd4 Bxd4 (19... Bb6 {is definitely better.}) 20. Rxd4 Ke7 21.
Kf1 c5 22. Rc4 b6 23. Ke2 (23. b4 Rd8 24. bxc5 b5 {and now it is white who has
a bad pawn structure.}) 23... Kd7 $4 {Probably a losing blunder.} 24. h4 $1 {
Undermining kingside.} Rg8 (24... g4 25. Rf4 Ke7 26. Rf6 Rf8 27. Rxf8 Kxf8 28.
f3 {and the pawn endgame is primitively winning as black cannot create any
passed pawn from his crippled majority on the queenside.}) 25. g4 $1 {This
beatuiful breakthrough decides the game. Now white wins some material by force
and dictates his majoirty on the kingside.} Kc6 26. gxh5 g4 27. Re4 g3 28. fxg3
Rxg3 29. Kf2 Rg8 30. Kf3 Rf8+ 31. Kg4 Rg8+ 32. Kf4 Kd7 33. Re3 Ke7 34. Rg3 Rf8+
35. Ke4 Rh8 36. Rg5 Kf7 37. Kf4 b5 38. Kg4 b4 39. Rg6 Rd8 40. Rf6+ Kg8 41. Rxe6
Rd2 42. Re7 Rxc2 43. h6 Rxa2 44. Kh5 1-0[/pgn]
In the last round, Moradiabadi would face the only player who had 5 points: GM Denis Kadric.  A draw would give Moradiabadi clear first place, and that is exactly what happened.  Kadric would then finish in second place with 5 ½ points and could be joined in the tie for second by up to two players:  the winners in Paragua – Gareyev and Krai – Balakrishnan would finish in the tie for second.  Interestingly, black won both games as Gareyev and Balakrishnan were decisive.   Here are the games.
[pgn][Event "Washington Chess Congress"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.10.09"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Paragua, Mark"]
[Black "Gareyev, Timur"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E43"]
[WhiteElo "2621"]
[BlackElo "2679"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2015.04.04"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 b6 5. f3 Nc6 6. Bd3 e5 7. Nge2 Bxc3+ 8.
bxc3 d6 9. O-O O-O 10. e4 Ba6 11. f4 Nd7 12. c5 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 exd4 14. cxb6 Nc5
15. Qb5 d3 16. Ng3 Qd7 17. bxc7 Qxc7 18. Qc4 Rfe8 19. Be3 Na5 20. Qd5 Qc6 21.
Qxc6 Nxc6 22. Rad1 Rad8 23. e5 f6 24. Bxc5 dxc5 25. Ne4 fxe5 26. Nxc5 exf4 27.
Nxd3 g5 28. h4 h6 29. hxg5 hxg5 30. Nf2 Kg7 31. Rxd8 Rxd8 32. Re1 Rd5 33. Re6
Ne5 34. Nh3 Ng4 35. Kf1 Ra5 36. Re2 Kf6 37. Nf2 Ne3+ 38. Kg1 Kf5 39. g3 Rb5 40.
gxf4 Rb1+ 41. Kh2 g4 42. a4 0-1[/pgn]
[pgn][Event "Washington Chess Congress"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.10.09"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Kraai, Jesse"]
[Black "Balakrishnan, Praveen"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A35"]
[WhiteElo "2564"]
[BlackElo "2518"]
[Annotator "GM ELshan Moradiabadi "]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2015.04.04"]1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8.
Qb3 e6 9. Bb5 Bg7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bxc6 bxc6 {This line earned recent
populairty after Le Quang Liem won a game in it against Caruana in St Louis
Grand Prix rapid and blitz.} 12. Na4 Qc7 (12... Qd6 13. Re1 Rb8 14. Qd1 c5 15.
Nxc5 Bb7 16. Bg5 Ba8 17. Qd2 Rb5 18. Rac1 Nb4 19. a4 Rb6 20. Bf4 Qd8 21. Ne5
Na2 22. Rcd1 Qd5 23. f3 Rd8 24. Qf2 Rb4 25. Re4 h6 26. h4 Qxc5 27. dxc5 Rxd1+
28. Re1 Rxe1+ 29. Qxe1 Rxf4 30. c6 Nb4 31. Qe3 Nd5 32. Qxa7 Bxe5 33. Qxa8+ Kg7
34. a5 Rb4 35. a6 Rxb2 36. a7 Ra2 37. Qb7 Bd4+ 38. Kh2 Rxa7 39. Qb3 Be5+ 40. g3
Ra6 41. f4 Bc7 42. Qc4 Ra3 43. Qd4+ Kg8 44. Qc5 Rc3 45. Qb5 Ne7 46. h5 Rxc6 47.
hxg6 Rc2+ 48. Kh3 Nxg6 49. Qb3 Rc5 50. Qb4 Bd6 51. Qd4 Rd5 52. Qc4 h5 53. Qc8+
Kg7 54. Qc3+ Kh7 55. Qf6 Rf5 56. Qd4 Be7 57. Qd7 h4 58. gxh4 Rxf4 59. h5 Rh4+ {
0-1 (59) Caruana,F (2807)-Le,Q (2739) Saint Louis 2017}) 13. Bd2 Rb8 14. Qa3
Rb5 (14... f6 15. Rac1 g5 16. Ne1 Nf4 17. Bxf4 Qxf4 18. Nc2 Rf7 19. Qc3 Bf8 20.
b3 h5 21. Nc5 h4 22. Nd3 Qd6 23. h3 Ba6 24. Rfe1 Rd8 25. Nc5 Bc8 26. Rcd1 Bg7
27. Qf3 f5 28. Qh5 g4 29. Rd3 gxh3 30. Rxh3 e5 31. Rxh4 exd4 32. Nd3 Re7 33.
Qh7+ Kf8 34. Nf4 Rxe1+ 35. Nxe1 Be6 36. Nf3 Bf7 37. Qxf5 Qf6 38. Qd3 Re8 39.
Nh5 Bxh5 40. Rxh5 Qe6 41. Rh4 Qd5 42. Qg6 {1-0 (42) Nepomniachtchi,I (2705)
-Areshchenko,A (2682) Reykjavik 2015}) 15. Rac1 Rd8 16. Rfd1 (16. Rfe1 {with
the idea of Ne5 is what computer prefers.}) 16... Bd7 17. Qd3 Be8 18. b3 Bf8
19. Nc5 Bxc5 20. dxc5 e5 $1 {It is necessary for black to put his pawns on
dark square in order to avoid immediate checkmate threats on dark squares.} 21.
Ng5 Nf4 22. Qf3 Nd3 {(#) GM Kraai missed a big tactical shot:} 23. Rb1 (23.
Nxh7 $3 Nxc1 (23... Kxh7 24. Bg5 Nxc1 25. Qh3+ Kg8 26. Bxd8 {follows by Bf6
when mate is inevitable.}) 24. Nf6+ Kg7 25. Rxc1 $1 {Now you cannot touch the
bishop on d2 due to the fork on e8.} Qe7 (25... Bd7 26. Bg5 Rh8 27. Nxd7 Qxd7
28. Bf6+ $18) 26. Bh6+ $1 Kxh6 27. Ng8+) 23... Nxc5 24. Be3 Rxd1+ 25. Rxd1 Qe7
{White has enough compensation.} 26. h4 Ne6 27. Nxe6 Qxe6 28. Rd8 f6 29. Ra8 a5
30. Bh6 Rd5 31. Qe3 Rd6 $4 32. Kh2 $4 (32. Qc5 Rd1+ 33. Kh2 Qf7 34. Qxc6 Rd7
35. Qa6 {with winning positin for white.}) 32... Rd4 33. f4 Kf7 34. fxe5 Qxe5+
35. Qxe5 fxe5 36. Rxa5 $4 {an inconceivable blunder.} Rxh4+ 0-1[/pgn]
The Under 2100 section was won by none other than Robert J. Fischer.  No, not THAT Robert J. Fischer!  This Robert J. Fischer lives in suburban Washington, D.C. and is a frequent competitor in CCA events.  He is a former National Master, but his current rating dipped below 2100 making him eligible for this section.  He started slow by drawing two Class A players in rounds one and two.  He then won five in a row to finish at 6-1 and take clear first and the $2000 first prize. Every section had a clear winner as Dmitry Agron went 6 ½ -1/2 in the Under 1700 section winning $1700, and John Sanberg went 6 ½ -1/2 in the Under 1300 section winning $1000. GM Mark Paragua did not win a top prize in the Premier section as he tied for 5th and only won $100. However, he did choose a good mixed doubles partner.  His partner Rachana Bhanuprasad scored 5 ½ points in the under 1300 section.  Added to Paragua’s 4 ½, the 10 points for the mixed doubles team earned each player $500. GM Timur Gareyev started the blitz tournament with a half point bye, then won the rest of his games to finish 7-1 and take the $95 first prize. The section winners were:
Under 2100

Robert J. Fischer, 6-1, $2000

Under 1700

Dmitry Agron, 6 ½ - ½, $1700

Under 1300

John Sandberg, 6-1, $1000

Mixed Doubles

Rachana Bhanuprasad & GM Mark Paragua, 10-4, $500 each  

Blitz Tournament

GM Timur Gareyev, 7-1, $95

National Tournament Director Steve Immitt directed for CCA assisted by Andy Rea and Anand Dommalapati. Full tournament details can be found at Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at

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