Rd 4 in Astana: U.S. vs. Kazakhstan

There may have been “shots fired” across the board, but it was “U.S.-Kazakhstan Friendship Day” in the World Team Championship today in Astana. Both American teams faced their Kazakh counterparts, and a delegation from the American Embassy was on-hand to help celebrate the occasion. With today being International Women’s Day, the ladies were presented with roses, and Rochelle Wu’s 13th birthday was also marked before the round. The U.S. Open team drew their match against the Kazakhs, leaving them tied for 2nd-4th place and one match-point behind leaders Russia. The Women lost to Kazakhstan by a score of 2.5-1.5, and currently sit tied for 6th-7th place with the tournament hosts. OPEN RESULTS With draws by GMs Dariusz Swiercz and Sam Sevian and a loss by GM Zviad Izoria, it was up to GM Alex Lenderman to save the match by converting a long endgame against GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev. He did not disappoint.
GM Alex Lenderman, Rd 3 (photo Llada)
[pgn]

[Event "12th World Teams 2019"]
[Site "Astana KAZ"]
[Date "2019.03.08"]
[White "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Black "Kazhgaleyev, Murtas"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A41"]
[WhiteElo "2637"]
[BlackElo "2587"]
[PlyCount "179"]

1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. e4 Bg4 5. Be2 Bxf3 6. Bxf3 Nc6 7. Be3 e5 8. d5
Nd4 9. Bxd4 exd4 10. O-O Ne7 11. Nd2 O-O 12. Rb1 c5 13. Be2 f5 14. Bd3 f4 15.
Nf3 Nc8 16. Re1 Qe7 17. b4 cxb4 18. e5 dxe5 19. Nxd4 Nb6 20. Ne6 Rfc8 21. Qb3
Nd7 22. Qxb4 Qxb4 23. Rxb4 b6 24. Rb5 a6 25. Rb3 Bf8 26. g3 Bd6 27. Kg2 Rab8
28. Kf3 fxg3 29. fxg3 Nf6 30. Ng5 Rf8 31. Kg2 Rfe8 32. Rf1 Kg7 33. Be4 Re7 34.
Bc2 e4 35. Ne6+ Rxe6 36. dxe6 Bc5 37. g4 h6 38. h4 Rd8 39. Rd1 Rxd1 40. Bxd1 g5
41. hxg5 hxg5 42. Be2 Kf8 43. Rb1 Ke7 44. Rf1 Kxe6 45. Rf5 Be3 46. c5 b5 47. c6
Bf4 48. Bd1 Ne8 49. Bc2 e3 50. Kf3 Kd6 51. Be4 Nc7 52. Ke2 Ne6 53. Rd5+ Ke7 54.
Rd7+ Kf6 55. Bc2 Nc7 56. Bb3 a5 57. Rf7+ Kg6 58. Rf5 a4 59. Bc2 Kg7 60. Bd3 Ne6
61. Rd5 b4 62. Bc4 Nc7 63. Ra5 b3 64. axb3 axb3 65. Bxb3 Kf6 66. Bd5 Ke7 67.
Bf3 Kd6 68. Kd3 Ke6 69. Kc4 Kd6 70. Ra3 Ke6 71. Rd3 Kf6 72. Rd1 Ke5 73. Rd7 Kf6
74. Kc5 Ne6+ 75. Kb6 Be5 76. c7 Bxc7+ 77. Rxc7 Nd4 78. Rc5 e2 79. Bxe2 Nxe2 80.
Rf5+ Kg6 81. Kc5 Nf4 82. Kd4 Ng2 83. Ke4 Nh4 84. Rf2 Kg7 85. Ke5 Kg6 86. Ke6
Kg7 87. Rf7+ Kg6 88. Rf8 Kg7 89. Ra8 Kh6 90. Kf6 1-0

[/pgn]
Swiercz’s game was notable for its striking pawn configuration (seen here after White's 30th move). If there are precedents for these quintupled pawns in the database, I was unable to find them.
[pgn]

[Event "12th World Teams 2019"]
[Site "Astana KAZ"]
[Date "2019.03.08"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Swiercz, Dariusz"]
[Black "Jumabayev, Rinat"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2655"]
[BlackElo "2609"]
[PlyCount "109"]
[EventDate "2019.03.05"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "Kazakhstan"]
[BlackTeamCountry "KAZ"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. c3 d6 7. a4 O-O 8. Re1 h6
9. h3 Re8 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Bxe6 Rxe6 12. b4 Ba7 13. Qc2 Qd7 14. Nf1 d5 15. Ng3
Rd8 16. Bb2 b5 17. Qb3 dxe4 18. dxe4 Rd6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Nf5 Rd3 21. Rxa7
Rxf3 22. gxf3 Nxa7 23. c4 Qd2 24. Qc3 bxc4 25. Qxd2 Rxd2 26. Bxe5 Nc6 27. Bxf6
gxf6 28. Rc1 Nd4 29. Rxc4 Nxf5 30. exf5 Rb2 31. Kg2 Kf8 32. Kg3 Rb3 33. Kg4 Kg7
34. Kf4 Kf8 35. Kg3 Kg7 36. Kg4 Kf8 37. Kf4 Ke8 38. Re4+ Kf8 39. Rc4 Ke8 40.
Re4+ Kf8 41. Rd4 Ke7 42. Kg4 Kf8 43. Kg3 Rc3 44. Rd8+ Kg7 45. Rd5 Rc4 46. Rb5
Kf8 47. Rb8+ Kg7 48. b5 Kh7 49. Rb7 Kg7 50. f4 Rc3+ 51. Kg2 h5 52. h4 Kf8 53.
b6 cxb6 54. Rxb6 Kg7 55. Ra6 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
WOMENS RESULTS WGM Katerina Nemcova was today’s star player for the American women, defeating IM Dinara Saduakassova with excellent positional play and incisive tactics.
Katerina Nemcova, Rd 3 (photo Emelianova)
[pgn]

[Event "12th World Teams Women"]
[Site "Astana KAZ"]
[Date "2019.03.08"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Nemcova, Katerina"]
[Black "Saduakassova, Dinara"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A47"]
[WhiteElo "2315"]
[BlackElo "2462"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2019.03.05"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "Kazakhstan"]
[BlackTeamCountry "KAZ"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 b6 3. Bf4 Bb7 4. e3 g6 5. Be2 Bg7 6. c4 O-O 7. Nc3 d6 8. Qc2
Nbd7 9. Rd1 Qe8 10. Nb5 Qc8 11. h3 e5 12. Bh2 Nh5 13. O-O h6 14. b4 a6 15. Nc3
Re8 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. Nd5 Nhf6 18. Nxf6+ Bxf6 19. c5 bxc5 20. bxc5 Bc6 21. Bc4
{threatening Qxg6!} Nf8 22. Bd5 (22. e4 Bb5 23. Rd5 Bxc4 24. Qxc4 Re6 25. Bxe5
Bxe5 26. Rxe5 Qe8 {may simplify too much. White retains an advantage but the
game continuation is sharper.}) 22... Bxd5 23. Rxd5 e4 $5 {Freeing the Black
bishop... but also freeing the White one!} 24. Nd4 {The knight begins a long
journey. Nemcova's idea is to play c5-c6, securing b7 and d7, and then to put
the knight on b7 where it influences d8.} Ne6 25. c6 Re7 (25... Nxd4 $5 26.
exd4 Re7 27. Rd1 Qe8 $16) 26. Nb3 Qe8 27. Rfd1 Nf8 28. Na5 Be5 29. Bxe5 Rxe5
30. Nb7 Re6 $2 (30... Rxd5 31. Rxd5 Qe6 32. Rd4 $16) 31. Rd7 $1 Rc8 (31... Nxd7
{loses to} 32. cxd7 Qe7 33. Qxc7 $18) 32. Qc4 Rf6 33. R1d5 Qe6 $2 34. Nd8 $1
Qe8 35. Qd4 Rd6 36. Nxf7 {A nice bit of calculation.} (36. Rxf7 {also wins:}
Qxf7 37. Nxf7 Kxf7 38. Rxd6 cxd6 39. Qxd6 $18) 36... Nxd7 (36... Qxf7 37. Rxf7
Kxf7 38. Rxd6 cxd6 39. Qxd6) 37. Nxd6 cxd6 38. cxd7 Qxd7 39. Rxd6 {Black can't
defend all of the weaknesses.} Rc1+ 40. Kh2 Qc7 41. g3 1-0

[/pgn]
WGM Sabina Foisor drew against WIM Gulmira Dauletova, with the opening mirroring today’s Yu-Ganguly game (more on that shortly) for 13 moves. WGM Tatev Abrahamyan lost to IM Zhansaya Abdumalik, who recently competed in the Cairns Cup. With her third Black in four games, FM Carissa Yip fell to fellow junior and FM Bibisara Assaubayeva. EMBASSY VISIT, WU BIRTHDAY Representatives from the American embassy in Astana were present for the round’s first moves to mark the dual U.S. – Kazakhstan competitions. Deputy Chief of Mission Theodore Lyng, himself a former US Chess member, was on hand along with Counselor for Public Affairs Christian Wright and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Lance Erickson. All three diplomats met with the U.S. delegation and posed for photographs.
Theodore Lyng poses with US teams (photo Llada)
Once a “frustrated young chess player,” Theodore Lyng told official event photographer David Llada that “it has been sort of fulfilling a dream to visit this Championship.” Lyng made the ceremonial first move in WGM Abrahamyan’s game, while Christian Wright did the honors on GM Swiercz’s board. Today marked another auspicious occasion – WCM Rochelle Wu’s birthday! The youngest player in this year’s World Teams, and almost certainly the youngest person to represent the United States in a World Teams or Olympiad, Wu was presented with gifts by the tournament organizers. She was also gifted the day off by Team Captain Melik Khachiyan. NOTEWORTHY GAMES There are interesting games being played in every round in Astana, and two of today’s games are particularly noteworthy. In the first – Safarli (Azerbaijan) vs. Johansson (Sweden) – White essays a tasty looking exchange sacrifice that soon backfires.
[pgn]

[Event "12th World Teams 2019"]
[Site "Astana KAZ"]
[Date "2019.03.08"]
[White "Safarli, Eltaj"]
[Black "Johansson, Linus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C06"]
[WhiteElo "2662"]
[BlackElo "2479"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "82"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ne2 cxd4 8. cxd4
f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. O-O Bd6 11. Nf3 Qc7 12. Nc3 a6 13. Re1 (13. Bg5 O-O 14. Bh4
Nh5) 13... O-O 14. h3 h6 (14... Bd7) 15. a3 g5 $5 16. Bc2 Qg7 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18.
dxe5 Nd7 19. b3 Ndxe5 20. Bb2 d4 21. Ne4 Ng6 22. Nd6 e5 23. Be4 Qf6 24. Nxc8
Raxc8 25. Qd2 Nf4 26. Rac1 Rcd8 27. a4 Qd6 28. Rc4 d3 29. f3 Rfe8 30. Kh2 Qd7
31. Rec1 Ne2 {[#]} 32. Rxc6 $6 {Looks like a strong exchange sac with the open
Black king, but looks can be deceiving!} (32. Rd1 Nf4 {and matters remain
unclear.}) 32... bxc6 33. Rxc6 $2 Qa7 $1 34. Qd1 Qe3 35. Rg6+ Kf7 36. Rxh6 d2
37. Rh7+ Kg8 38. Bc2 Qf4+ 39. Kh1 Ng3+ 40. Kg1 Qe3+ 41. Kh2 Qe1 0-1

[/pgn]
In the second – Yu (China) vs. Ganguly (India) – Black’s dark squared bishop gets quite a workout, windmilling back and forth as Ganguly brings home the full point for his team.
[pgn]

[Event "12th World Teams 2019"]
[Site "Astana KAZ"]
[Date "2019.03.08"]
[White "Yu, Yangyi"]
[Black "Ganguly, Surya Shekhar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2761"]
[BlackElo "2633"]
[PlyCount "132"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Qa4+ Nc6 7. Bg5 h6 8.
Bxf6 Qxf6 9. e3 O-O 10. Be2 Be6 11. O-O a6 12. Rfc1 Bd6 13. Qd1 Ne7 14. Na4 b6
15. b4 a5 16. b5 g5 17. Nb2 Ng6 18. Nd3 Rae8 19. Nfe1 h5 20. Bxh5 Kg7 21. h3
Rh8 {[#]} 22. Bg4 Bxg4 23. hxg4 Rxe3 24. Rc6 Bh2+ 25. Kf1 Bg3 26. Kg1 Bh2+
27. Kf1 Bg3 28. Kg1 Qxd4 29. Nc2 Bh2+ 30. Kh1 Bf4+ 31. Kg1 Bh2+ 32. Kh1 Bf4+
33. Kg1 Qxd3 34. Nxe3 Bh2+ 35. Kh1 Be5+ 36. Kg1 Bh2+ 37. Kh1 Qxb5 38. Rac1 Bg3+
39. Kg1 Bh2+ 40. Kh1 Ne7 41. g3 Nxc6 42. Nf5+ Kf8 43. Kg2 Bxg3 44. Nxg3 Rh6 45.
Nf5 Re6 46. Qf3 Qb2 47. Rh1 Ne7 48. Qg3 Nxf5 49. gxf5 Re2 50. Qf3 Qe5 51. f6
Ke8 52. Rh8+ Kd7 53. Rf8 Qe6 54. Qh5 Qe4+ 55. Qf3 Qxf3+ 56. Kxf3 Rxa2 57. Rxf7+
Ke6 58. Rxc7 Kxf6 59. Rc6+ Kf5 60. Rxb6 Ra3+ 61. Ke2 a4 62. Rd6 Ke4 63. Re6+
Kd4 64. Rg6 Ra2+ 65. Kf3 a3 66. Rxg5 Rc2 0-1

[/pgn]
STANDINGS AFTER RD 4 Open Division: Women’s Division: Tomorrow the U.S. plays Azerbaijan in the Open section, while the Women take on Armenia. Rounds begin at 3pm local time, or 4am EST. Live on-site coverage is available at the official website:  http://kazchess.kz/world_astana2019/

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