Lenderman Wins 2021 US Chess Rapids

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Alex Lenderman (photo Saunders)

 

Grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman won the 2021 US Chess Rapids as the only undefeated player in the Open section, finishing with 5.5/6 and a full point in front of second place. 

The rapid event was one of US Chess’ first events run on the Internet Chess Club (ICC) platform and was held over the weekend of February 6-7. Just under 200 players registered across four sections, with two sections completed on each day – the U1800 and U1400 sections played Saturday, while the U2200 and Open sections met Sunday. The six-round swiss featured games in 15 minutes, with a 3-second increment per move. 

 

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2021 US Chess Rapids Open Standings

 

“One unique feature of the event was that prizes were paid out based on the player’s total points, not based on the place that they finished,” said Brian Yang, the Chief TD of the 2021 Rapids. “In order to cash in this event, players had to end the tournament with a ‘plus-score’ -- or at least 3.5 points. 

“This meant that, going into the last round, all players knew what they had to do in order to receive prize money. The tournament leaders did not have to depend on their neighboring board’s results in order to determine how they should play in their own games.” 

 

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2021 US Chess Rapids Prize Distribution

 

Lenderman needed just the minimum four rounds to ensure his cash prize, but was pressed to earn a larger score, paired against three fellow Grandmasters for his final three games. In this positional back-and-forth with Gadir Guseinov in the fifth round, Lenderman’s minor pieces labored through several reroutes before coming up with 47. Nxf5 and a nifty trick to snatch a pawn. 

 

[pgn][Event "ICC tourney 2379 (15 3)"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.07"] [Round "5"] [White "manest"] [Black "GGuseinov"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E62"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2700"] [PlyCount "157"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Bf5 8. d5 Na5 9. Nh4 Bd7 10. b3 c5 11. Bb2 a6 12. Qd2 b5 13. Nd1 Ne8 14. Bxg7 Nxg7 15. Ne3 Rb8 16. Rab1 Qb6 17. Qc2 Rb7 18. Nf3 Rfb8 19. Nd2 Qd8 20. f4 bxc4 21. bxc4 Rxb1 22. Rxb1 Rb6 23. a3 Qb8 24. Rxb6 Qxb6 25. g4 Nb7 26. Kf2 Nd8 27. h3 f5 28. gxf5 gxf5 29. Nef1 Nf7 30. Ng3 Qb8 31. e3 Qd8 32. Nf3 Qb8 33. Bf1 Nh6 34. Bd3 Qf8 35. Qb2 Qd8 36. Qb7 a5 37. Bc2 Ne8 38. Qb1 Qc8 39. Nh5 Ng7 40. Nxg7 Kxg7 41. Qb6 a4 42. Qa7 Qe8 43. Nd2 Ng8 44. Nf1 Nf6 45. Ng3 Kg6 46. Qb7 h5 47. Nxf5 Bxf5 48. Bxf5+ Kxf5 49. Qb1+ Ne4+ 50. Kf3 Qg8 51. Qxe4+ Kf6 52. Kf2 h4 53. Kf1 Qd8 54. Qe6+ Kg7 55. Ke2 Qc7 56. Kf3 Qb7 57. Kg4 Kf8 58. Kg5 Qb2 59. Kg6 Qg7+ 60. Kh5 Qc3 61. f5 Qxa3 62. f6 exf6 63. Qxf6+ Ke8 64. Qe6+ Kd8 65. Qxd6+ Kc8 66. Qc6+ Kb8 67. Qb6+ Ka8 68. d6 Qxe3 69. Qd8+ Kb7 70. Qc7+ Ka6 71. Qc6+ Ka7 72. d7 Qe5+ 73. Kg6 Qg3+ 74. Kf7 Qf4+ 75. Ke7 Qe5+ 76. Qe6 Qg7+ 77. Kd6 Qd4+ 78. Kc7 Qf4+ 79. Qd6 {Black forfeits on time} 1-0 [/pgn]

Guseinov finished second with 4.5/6, in front of GMs Andrew Tang, Kaiqi Yang and Jakhongir Vakhidov, who tied for third place at 4/6. Punching above his belt was 15-year-old FM Vincent Tsay, who beat the Canadian GM Yang in the final round to finish with 4.5/6, tying Guseinov in second place. 

The biggest prize of the weekend went to NM Theo Slade in the U2200 section, as the only player in the event to score a perfect 6/6. Slade scored $800 for his efforts, and every dollar well-earned: All six of Slade’s opponents finished with plus-scores and their own cash prizes, four of them scoring at least 4/6. In his round four game with Goran Markovic, who finished second with 5/6, Slade’s position looked dire just for a moment at 22. Rxe4, though black’s seemingly innocuous recapture overlooked the vulnerability of his king. 

 

[pgn][Event "ICC tourney 2380 (15 3)"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.07"] [Round "4"] [White "MrNormalName"] [Black "Goran21"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2189"] [BlackElo "2190"] [PlyCount "141"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. Be3 exd4 8. Nxd4 Re8 9. f3 Nc6 10. O-O Nh5 11. Qd2 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Nf4 13. Rfd1 Bxd4+ 14. Qxd4 Qg5 15. Bf1 Be6 16. Nd5 Bxd5 17. cxd5 f5 18. Rac1 Re7 19. Re1 Rae8 20. Qxa7 fxe4 21. fxe4 Rxe4 22. Rxe4 Rxe4 23. Qb8+ Kg7 24. Rxc7+ Kh6 25. Qf8+ Kh5 26. Rxh7+ Kg4 27. Qc8+ Qf5 28. Qxf5+ gxf5 29. g3 Ng6 30. Bh3+ Kg5 31. Rxb7 Re2 32. a4 Ne5 33. Rb3 f4 34. gxf4+ Kxf4 35. Bg2 Re1+ 36. Kf2 Ra1 37. Rb4+ Kf5 38. Kg3 Kf6 39. b3 Nd3 40. Rb6 Ke5 41. h4 Nf4 42. Rb8 Ne2+ 43. Kf2 Nd4 44. Re8+ Kf6 45. h5 Ra2+ 46. Kg3 Nf5+ 47. Kh3 Rb2 48. Rb8 Kg5 49. Bf3 Kf4 50. Bg4 Nh6 51. Rf8+ Kg5 52. Bd1 Rd2 53. Bf3 Rd3 54. b4 Rd4 55. Rb8 Rd3 56. Kg2 Nf5 57. Be4 Rd2+ 58. Kf3 Nh4+ 59. Ke3 Ra2 60. a5 Kxh5 61. Rh8+ Kg5 62. Rg8+ Kf6 63. Rg4 Nf5+ 64. Bxf5 Kxf5 65. Rh4 Ra4 66. Kd3 Ra1 67. Kc4 Ke5 68. Rh5+ Ke4 69. Kb5 Rh1 70. Rxh1 Kxd5 71. a6 {Black resigns} 1-0 [/pgn]

The U1800 pulled in 42 players and was won clear by Anirudha Menon with 5.5/6. Hadi Najeeb and Aditya Bang, rated 1416, tied for second place with 5/6. The two met in the second round, and Bang delivered checkmate on the board from this position – can you find the forcing line? 

 

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Position in US Chess Rapids U1800
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White to move, mate in three.

 

The U1400 section attracted 88 players and was won by Miranda Christ and Danil McQuillin, who finished undefeated at 5.5/6. The two went at each other in the sixth round, but the 109-move barnburner ended peacefully. 

“There were many players that were still new to online chess tournaments – how they are run and necessary requirements, such as webcams,” said Chief TD Yang. “Since it was also the first US Chess event run on the ICC platform, it was a learning opportunity for everyone participating.” 

 

[pgn][Event "ICC tourney 2376 (15 3)"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.06"] [Round "6"] [White "queen1234"] [Black "DanilMcQuillin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "1272"] [BlackElo "1193"] [PlyCount "217"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 6. Bxd5 Qxd5 7. Ng3 Bd6 8. d3 O-O 9. h3 f5 10. O-O Bd7 11. Re1 Rae8 12. b3 e4 13. dxe4 Qxd1 14. Rxd1 fxe4 15. Ne1 Rf7 16. Be3 a6 17. Ne2 Bf5 18. c4 b6 19. Nc2 Ne5 20. Ncd4 Bc8 21. Nc3 Bb7 22. Nd5 b5 23. Nc3 bxc4 24. bxc4 Nxc4 25. Rab1 Nxe3 26. fxe3 c5 27. Nb3 Bf8 28. Na5 Ree7 29. Nxb7 Rxb7 30. Rxb7 Rxb7 31. Nxe4 Rb2 32. a4 Rb4 33. Nc3 Rc4 34. Rd3 g6 35. Kf2 Bg7 36. Nd5 Rxa4 37. Nb6 Ra2+ 38. Kf3 a5 39. Rd8+ Kf7 40. Rd7+ Kf6 41. Nd5+ Ke6 42. Rxg7 Kxd5 43. Rxh7 Rb2 44. e4+ Ke5 45. Re7+ Kf6 46. Ra7 Ra2 47. Ra6+ Kg5 48. e5 c4 49. e6 Kf6 50. g4 Ra3+ 51. Ke4 Rxh3 52. g5+ Ke7 53. Ke5 Re3+ 54. Kd5 c3 55. Ra7+ Kf8 56. Rxa5 c2 57. Ra8+ Ke7 58. Rc8 Rxe6 59. Rxc2 Rd6+ 60. Ke5 Rd7 61. Kf4 Kf7 62. Rc6 Rd5 63. Rf6+ Kg7 64. Kg4 Rd4+ 65. Kf3 Rd5 66. Kg4 Ra5 67. Kf4 Ra1 68. Kg4 Rg1+ 69. Kh4 Rh1+ 70. Kg4 Rh5 71. Rc6 Rh8 72. Rc7+ Kg8 73. Rc8+ Kg7 74. Rxh8 Kxh8 75. Kf4 Kg7 76. Ke5 Kf7 77. Kf4 Ke7 78. Ke5 Kf7 79. Kf4 Ke6 80. Kg4 Ke5 81. Kh4 Kf5 82. Kh3 Kxg5 83. Kg3 Kf5 84. Kf3 Kg5 85. Kg3 Kf5 86. Kf3 g5 87. Kg3 g4 88. Kg2 Ke4 89. Kg3 Kf5 90. Kg2 Kg5 91. Kg3 Kh5 92. Kg2 Kh4 93. Kh2 g3+ 94. Kg2 Kg4 95. Kg1 Kf5 96. Kg2 Kf4 97. Kg1 Kf3 98. Kf1 Kg4 99. Kg2 Kh4 100. Kg1 Kh3 101. Kh1 Kh4 102. Kg2 Kg4 103. Kg1 Kf3 104. Kf1 Ke4 105. Kg2 Kf4 106. Kg1 Kf3 107. Kf1 g2+ 108. Kg1 Ke2 109. Kxg2 { Game drawn because neither player has mating material} 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

The full 2021 US Chess Rapid standings may be found here, and the results with PGNs may be found on the Internet Chess Club website.

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