I was at the JHS Championship as a coach, along with Danny Rohde, of the team from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in NYC; CGPS took 5th Place Team in the K-9 National JHS Championship. Just like last year, we shared our team room with Coach John Fedorowicz and Speyer School of NYC. Speyer finished in 2nd Place Team in the K-9 National JHS Championship.
I also had a chance to watch games by some of the other leading players, as in the beginning part of Round 7, I joined John Bartholomew and Sabina Foisor on the US Chess Twitch channel, featuring analysis of the top 6 boards in each of the two Championship sections.
CATALAN OPENING [E04]
Jason Metpally (2206)
Aydin Turgit (2330)
National K-9 Championship (5), Grapevine, TX, 27.04.2019
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bg2 dxc4 6.Nc3
6.Qa4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Nd5 8.Bxb4 Ndxb4 9.0–0 Rb8 10.Nc3 a6 11.Ne5 0–0 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Qxc4 Qd6 is one very complicated line where Black holds the balance.
6 … Rb8
6. … Bb4 7.0–0 0–0 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Ne4 Qf5 is another line where nothing has been resolved yet.
7.0–0 b5 8.a3
Not so good is 8.e4 Be7 (8. … b4 9.Ne2 Be7 is a successful opening for Black.) 9.d5 exd5 10.exd5 Nb4 11.Ne5 Bd6 is fine for Black.
8.Ne5 Nxe5 9.dxe5 Nd7 (9. … Qxd1 10.Rxd1 Nd7 11.Bc6 a6 12.Be3 is winning for White.) 10.Qd4 has done well for White in practice.
8 … Be7
8. … a5 9.Ne5 is very dangerous as the eventual Bg2–c6 will be powerful.
9.e4 0–0 10.Be3 a5
10. … a6 11.d5 Na5 12.Nd4 and 10. … Na5 11.Qc2 Bb7 12.Rad1 both give White scary central initiatives.
11.d5 b4 12.axb4 axb4 13.dxc6 bxc3 14.bxc3
The very strong pawn on c6 gives White the better chances.
14. … Nxe4 15.Qc2 Qd3 16.Rfc1
White’s initiative lasts into the endgame because of the difficult situation faced by the Black bishop on c8.
16. … Bf6 17.Bd4 Rd8 18.Ne5 Qxc2 19.Rxc2 Nc5 20.Nxc4 Bxd4 21.cxd4 Rxd4
Black maintains an extra pawn for now.
22.Ne5 Na4 23.Rca2 Nb6 24.Ra7 f6 25.Nf3 Rb4 26.Rxc7 Nd5 27.Rca7 Rc4 28.Re1
A super-tricky move to deal with, as it raises the specter of White moving the f3 knight to menace Bg2xd5.
28. … Rxc6
28. … Nb4 leads to some fascinating variations:
(1) 29.Rd1 Nxc6 and the amazing 30.Ne5 (30.Ng5 Rd4 also works for Black.; 30.Rc7 however, creates a lot of difficulties.) is repelled by 30. … Rd4 (on 30. … fxe5 31.Bxc6).
(2) 29.Nd2 Rc2 30.Rd1 (30.c7 Rb6 might not be as dangerous for Black.) 30. … Nxc6 31.Bxc6 Rxc6 32.Ne4 and now:
a) 32. … Bb7 33.Rb1.
b) 32. … Ba6 33.Rdd7 Rb1+ 34.Kg2 Bf1+ 35.Kf3 Rb3+ 36.Kg4 Be2+ (36. … f5+ 37.Kh4) 37.Kh3 Bf1+ 38.Kh4 g5+ 39.Kh5 and White wins.
c) 32. . … h5 33.Nxf6+.
29. … Rc7 loses to 30.Rxc7 Nxc7 31.Nc6; 29. … Ra6 30.Rxa6 Bxa6 31.Nxe6 Nc3 was the way to survive.
30.Bxd5 Rxd5 31.Nc6 Rb7 32.Ra8 Rc7 33.Rxc8+ Rxc8 34.Ne7+ Kf7 35.Nxc8
White emerges a piece up.
35. … e5 36.Nb6 Rd6 37.Nc4 Rd4 38.Ne3 Kg6 39.Rd1 Ra4 40.g4
40.Rd7 h5 41.h4 with Ne3–d5 on the way, is an easier way to make progress.
40. … h5 41.h3 hxg4 42.hxg4 Kg5 43.Kg2 g6 44.Rd8 Rb4 45.Rd5 Ra4 46.Rd6 Rf4 47.Re6 Ra4 48.f3 Rd4 49.Kg3 Rd3 50.Ng2 Rd4 51.Re8 Rd3 52.Nh4 f5 53.Re6 f4+ 54.Kh3
ALAPIN SICILIAN [B22]
Shelev Oberoi (2096)
Milind Maiti (2142)
National K-8 Championship (6), Grapevine, TX, 28.04.2019
1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4
5. … Nc6 is a popular move, not letting White know where the Black light-squared bishop is headed. 6.Bd3 (6.Be2 e6; 6.Na3 however, is a popular retort.) 6. … Bg4 is the point of Black’s deception.
6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6 9.h3 Bh5 10.Nc3 Qd6 11.g4
11.0–0 Be7 12.Qb3 0–0 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 14.a3 a6 15.Rac1 b5 16.d5 Na5 is one line where Black finally extricates himself from the queenside heat originating from White’s queen sortie to b3.
11. … Bg6 12.Ne5 Nd5
12. … Be7 13.0–0 0–0 is satisfactory for Black.
This move is usually preceded by one of the knight trades, thus not allowing a trade to occur on e3.
13. … Nxe3 14.fxe3 Be7 15.h4 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.h5 Qg3+
As enterprising as this move is, it is not actually sharp enough!
17. … Rd8 18.Qa4+ Kf8 (18. … b5 19.Qxb5+ Qxb5 20.Nxb5 Bb4+ 21.Nc3 Bd3 and Black can fight for the advantage.) 19.hxg6 Qxe3+ 20.Be2 Bh4+ (20. … Bc5 21.Ne4 Rd4 22.Nxc5 Rxa4 23.Nxa4 is unclear.) 21.Rxh4 Qg1+ 22.Bf1 Qg3+ 23.Ke2 Qxh4 24.Qb4+ is a mess.
18.Ke2 0–0 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Qf1
Now White has an extra piece to work with, so he begins to surround his own king.
20. … Rad8 21.Rh3 Qd6 22.Rd1 Qb4 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Qc1 Bf6 25.Qc2 Qc4+ 26.Kf2 b5 27.Qe2 Qb4 28.a3 Qa5 29.Ne4
Now White is solidly in control.
29. … Be5 30.Rh1 b4 31.Rd1 Rxd1 32.Qxd1 h6 33.Qd2 Qc7 34.Qxb4 h5 35.gxh5 gxh5 36.Qb3 Qe7 37.Qb5 Qh4+ 38.Ke2 Qh2+ 39.Kd3 Bf6 40.Qe8+ Kh7 41.Nxf6+ gxf6 42.Qxh5+ Qxh5 43.Bxh5 Kh6 44.Bf7 e5 45.Be6 Kg5 46.e4 Kf4 47.b4