Upsets Continue: Zatonskih Defeats Gelfand

Magnus Carlsen is all smiles as he leads the tournament. Photo: Chess.com / Maria Emelianova
Magnus Carlsen is currently in clear 1st at the Isle of Man Open with 5.5 out of 6. Meanwhile, four Americans are tied for 3rd place with a large group, trailing by a point with 3 rounds to go. One of those players is four-time U.S. Women's Champion Anna Zatonskih, who is having a spectacular tournament so far with a 2600+ performance rating and a victory over GM Boris Gelfand. Can you find the tactic Zatonskih used to defeat the former World Championship Challenger?

Puzzle #1

Boris Gelfand vs. Anna Zatonskih

Black to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "Isle of Man Open"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2017.09.28"]
[Round "6.19"]
[White "Boris Gelfand"]
[Black "Anna Zatonskih"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2737"]
[BlackElo "2424"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r4/6kp/1p3q2/pN1r1pn1/2QP4/P5P1/1P3R1P/3R3K b - - 0 35"]
[PlyCount "5"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]35... Rc5 $1 {By clearing the h1-a8 diagonal with tempo, Zatonskih prepares a double attack on the white king and knight} 36. Qe2 Qc6+ 37. Rg2 Rxb5 0-1[/pgn]
Hikaru Nakamura vs. Aleksandr Lenderman. They ultimately drew. Photo: Chess.com / Maria Emelianova
Both Hikaru Nakamura and Aleksandr Lenderman are also tied for 3rd with 4.5 points.

Puzzle #2

Neelotpal Das vs. Hikaru Nakamura

Nakamura has sacrificed two pawns to obtain this double-edged attacking position where both queens are threatened. How did he win the game?
Black to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "Isle of Man Open"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2017.09.23"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Neelotpal Das"]
[Black "Hikaru Nakamura"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B32"]
[WhiteElo "2448"]
[BlackElo "2781"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/5pk1/5np1/1p1P3p/1P1RB2P/2P3PK/r3QP2/1q6 b - - 0 64"]
[PlyCount "3"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]64... Qg1 $1 {Material is nothing in the face of checkmate.} 65. Qxa2 Nxe4 {
threatening both 66...Qh1# and 66...Nxf2+. White resigned.} 0-1[/pgn]

Puzzle #3

Aleksandr Lenderman vs. Francisco Vallejo Pons

Are you familiar with your rook + bishop vs. rook endings? Lenderman continues his streak from the World Cup by demonstrating how to play for the win in this very tricky endgame. Black has made a mistake, allowing Lenderman a mating combination. Can you find it?
White to move.
Show Solution
Hint: Threaten a checkmate with every move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "Isle of Man Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco "]
[Result "1-0"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3k4/2R5/4K3/4B3/8/8/8/5r2 w - - 0 70"]
[PlyCount "5"]70. Rc2 Re1 ({White is threatening checkmate in 2 (or a win of the Black rook).
For example,} 70... Rg1 $2 71. Bf6+ Ke8 72. Rc8#) 71. Rg2 Kc8 72. Rb2 {and
Rb8# cannot be stopped unless Black gives up his rook. Black resigned.} 1-0[/pgn]
Fabiano Caruana vs. Jeffery Xiong. Photo: John Sanders
Fabiano Caruana, who tied for 1st last year, is undefeated, winning all of his games with white and drawing all of his games with black.

Puzzle #4

Fabiano Caruana vs. Jeffery Xiong

How did the current U.S. #1 gain a material advantage over the top American prodigy?
White to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "Isle of Man Open"]
[Site "Douglas ENG"]
[Date "2017.09.27"]
[Round "5.4"]
[White "Fabiano Caruana"]
[Black "Jeffery Xiong"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D41"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2633"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/p2P2p1/1p2p2p/2n1Nr2/q7/6P1/P3QP1P/3RR1K1 w - - 0 23"]
[PlyCount "19"]
[EventDate "2017.09.23"]23. Rd6 Rxe5 ({Caruana's threat, Nc6, is very difficult to prevent. For
example,} 23... Kh7 24. Red1 Ne4 25. R6d4 Nc3 26. Qf1 Qxa2 27. R1d2 Qb1 28. Nc6
) 24. Qxe5 {and the game soon finished with:} Rxd7 25. Rxd7 Qxd7 26. Qe2 Qd4
27. Rd1 Qf6 28. h4 Kh8 29. h5 Qg5 30. Qf3 Kh7 31. Rd4 Qe5 32. Rd8 1-0[/pgn]

Standings (after round 6)

top 20

Round 7 Pairings

top 10 boards
The Isle of Man Masters runs from Saturday, September 23, to Sunday, October 1st, with rounds every day, starting at 8:30 a.m. EST. Watch live games and commentary on Chess.com TV and the Official Website.  
About the Author
Vanessa West is a regular writer and digital assistant for US Chess News. She won the 2017 Chess Journalist of the Year award. Follow her on Twitter: @Vanessa__West  

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