U.S. Defeats Scotland in World Senior Teams

It wasn’t easy, but the U.S. ground out a 3.5-0.5 win over Scotland to open their accounts in the 2019 World Senior Team Championships 50+ Division. Outrating the Scottish team by nearly 400 points on average, the Americans had to work hard and, in some cases, swindle their opposition to claim match victory. It’s not clear what even happened in the Grant-Shabalov game, which ends abruptly on move 30. Did Grant flag? Did he resign in an equalish position?
[pgn]

[Event "50+ World Senior Team Championship"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2019.04.16"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Grant, Jonathan I M"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A10"]
[WhiteElo "2226"]
[BlackElo "2510"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Scotland"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "SCO"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. c4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. d3 O-O 6. e4 d6 7. Nge2 Nc6 8. O-O
Kh8 9. h3 e5 10. f4 Be6 11. Nd5 Qd7 12. Kh2 Rae8 13. Rb1 Nd8 14. b3 Nh5 15.
exf5 gxf5 16. Ng1 Nf6 17. Nxf6 Bxf6 18. Bb2 Qg7 19. fxe5 dxe5 20. Qf3 c6 21.
Rbe1 Nf7 22. Rf2 h6 23. Kh1 Kh7 24. Qe3 h5 25. Ne2 h4 26. g4 f4 27. Be4+ Kh8
28. Qf3 Ng5 29. Qg2 Rd8 30. Nc3 Be7 0-1

[/pgn]
Igor Novikov was ill-served by his beloved Najdorf against George Neave. Neave had an absolutely crushing position before losing the thread and, somehow, the game.
[pgn]

[Event "50+ World Senior Team Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.16"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Neave, George"]
[Black "Novikov, Igor"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B98"]
[WhiteElo "2101"]
[BlackElo "2563"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Scotland"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "SCO"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qe2
Nbd7 9. O-O-O Qc7 10. g4 b5 11. a3 Bb7 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. g5 Nd7 14. h4 Nb6 15.
Rh3 d5 16. e5 g6 17. h5 O-O-O {[#]} 18. Ncxb5 $1 axb5 19. Qxb5 {Rc3 is the big
threat.} Nd7 20. Rc3 Nc5 21. b4 $1 Ba6 (21... Qd7 22. Qb6) 22. Qxa6+ (22. Qxc5
$1 Bxc5 (22... Bxf1 $4 23. Qxc7#) 23. Bxa6+ Kd7 24. Rxc5 Qb6 (24... Qxc5 25.
bxc5 gxh5) 25. Bb5+ Ke7 26. Nc6+ Kf8 27. Nxd8 Qxd8 28. h6 {and Black cannot
stop the plan of Rd1-d3-c3 and Rc5-c8.}) 22... Nxa6 23. Bxa6+ Kb8 24. Rxc7 Kxc7
25. Rd3 $6 (25. Be2) (25. h6) 25... Kb6 26. b5 {Losing the thread.} Bc5 (26...
Rd7 {wti ...Rd7-c7-c4 followed by doubling the rooks.}) 27. Kb2 $2 {The final
mistake.} Bxd4+ 28. Rxd4 Rd7 $6 (28... gxh5 {avoids potential problems.}) 29.
Kb3 (29. h6 $1 {and lacking pawn breaks, Black may not be able to break a
White fortress.}) 29... Rc7 30. c4 (30. h6 $1) 30... Rxc4 31. Rxc4 dxc4+ 32.
Kxc4 gxh5 {White won't be able to stop the h-pawn, especially after Black
breaks on the kingside with ...h6.} 33. Kd4 (33. Kd4 h4 34. Ke4 h6 $1 35. g6
fxg6 36. a4 g5) 0-1

[/pgn]
Jaan Ehlvest showed his Grandmaster technique in a clean win against Peter Smith. The Scotsman gambited a pawn in the opening without real compensation, and Ehlvest smoothly brought home the full point.
[pgn]

[Event "50+ World Senior Team Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.16"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Ehlvest, Jaan"]
[Black "Smith, Peter R"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[WhiteElo "2521"]
[BlackElo "2038"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Scotland"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "SCO"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. Bc4 Bf5 $6 {Rare and provocative.} 5. Qf3
$1 e6 6. Qxb7 Nd7 7. Bb3 Rb8 8. Qf3 ({White can grab another pawn with} 8. Qxa7
Bc5 9. Qa6 {but Ehlvest is content to stick with the one pawn and develop his
pieces.}) 8... Ngf6 9. Nge2 c5 10. d3 Bd6 11. Ng3 Bg6 12. Nge4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4
Bxe4 14. Qxe4 O-O 15. c3 Qc7 16. h3 a5 17. O-O {White has kept the pawn and
largely caught up in development.} Nb6 18. Re1 Rfd8 19. Re2 Nd5 20. g3 Bxg3 $2
{Desperation.} 21. fxg3 Qxg3+ 22. Qg2 Nf4 23. Bxf4 $18 Qxf4 24. Rf1 Qd6 25. Bc4
Rd7 26. Qh2 Qb6 27. Rxe6 $1 Qd8 (27... fxe6 28. Bxe6+ Qxe6 (28... Kh8 29. Bxd7)
29. Qxb8+ {and mate follows}) 28. Re5 Rb6 29. Qe2 Rg6+ 30. Kh1 1-0

[/pgn]
Author and CLO interviewee Joel Benjamin was forced to split the point with his opponent, Neil Farrell, after Benjamin was unable to breach Farrell’s French Defense.
[pgn]

[Event "50+ World Senior Team Championship"]
[Site "chess24.com"]
[Date "2019.04.16"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Benjamin, Joel"]
[Black "Farrell, Neil"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C06"]
[WhiteElo "2523"]
[BlackElo "2132"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Scotland"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "SCO"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ngf3 f6 8. exf6
Nxf6 9. O-O cxd4 10. Nxd4 Bd6 11. f4 Nxd4 12. cxd4 O-O 13. Nf3 Qb6 14. Qe2 Bd7
15. Be3 Be8 16. Ne5 Rc8 17. Rac1 Rxc1 18. Rxc1 a6 19. Bb1 Bxe5 20. dxe5 d4 21.
exf6 dxe3 22. fxg7 Kxg7 23. Re1 Rxf4 24. Qxe3 Qxe3+ 25. Rxe3 Bb5 26. Bd3 Bxd3
27. Rxd3 Rf7 28. Re3 Re7 29. Kf2 Kf6 30. Kf3 Rd7 31. Ke2 e5 32. Rh3 Rg7 33. g3
Ke6 34. Kd3 Kd5 35. Rh6 Rf7 36. Ke3 Rg7 37. Rf6 Rc7 38. Rb6 Rg7 39. a4 Kc5 40.
a5 Kd5 41. Rb4 Kc5 42. Re4 Kd5 43. g4 Rg6 44. h4 b6 45. h5 Rc6 46. Kd3 bxa5 47.
Ra4 Rb6 48. Rxa5+ Ke6 49. b4 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
Still, a win is a win, and the U.S. sits tied for first with 11 other teams after the first round. They play Germany tomorrow.
Playing Schedule: Round Date                Time (GMT+3) 1          2019/04/16      15:00 2          2019/04/17      15:00 3          2019/04/18      15:00 4          2019/04/19      15:00 5          2019/04/20      15:00 6          2019/04/21      15:00 7          2019/04/22      15:00 8          2019/04/23      15:00 9          2019/04/24      10:30 Pairings and Results: 50+ section: http://chess-results.com/tnr413742.aspx 65+ section: http://chess-results.com/tnr426179.aspx Games will be streamed at chess24.com and photos will be available at the organizer’s Facebook page.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Are there any automatic FIDE Master and Fide Candidate Master titles available?

In reply to by Peter Thau (not verified)

I do not believe that there are. This is a team event.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

This is an open event. There can be any number of teams from a particular country. It is not quite the same as the World Team championship which is an invitational event based on the team results in the prior Olympiad. US Chess is providing some support to a team selected through our regular invitational rules. But other teams can choose to go. All players on a team must have the same FIDE flag.

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