U.S. Leads World Senior Teams with Two Rounds to Play

The U.S. 50+ team kept its lead in the World Senior Team Championships on Monday, defeating Israel in the seventh round of play. This was the team’s sixth match victory, with the only team draw coming in Sunday’s sixth round against Iceland 1. Top board and team captain Alexander Shabalov was rested for the Iceland 1 match, leaving the ‘danger squad’ of Benjamin, Novikov, Ehlvest, and Yermolinsky to deal with the dangerous Icelanders. The Americans got off to a good start when Ehlvest won a miniature  against Margeir Petursson.
[pgn]

[Event "World Senior Teams 50+"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.21"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Ehlvest, Jaan"]
[Black "Petursson, Margeir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B76"]
[WhiteElo "2521"]
[BlackElo "2492"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "42"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Iceland"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ISL"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2
Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Bh6 Bxh6 12. Qxh6 Qc7 (12... Qb6) (12... Qa5)
13. h4 dxe4 14. h5 Nxh5 15. Kb1 exf3 $2 {A strange mistake from a well-known
Dragoneer.} (15... Qe5) 16. Rxh5 $1 gxh5 17. Bd3 f5 18. gxf3 Rf7 $2 (18... Qe5
19. Rg1+ Kf7 20. Bc4+ e6 21. Qxh7+) 19. Bc4 e6 {[#]} 20. Qg5+ Rg7 21. Rd8+ Kf7
(21... Kf7 22. Qxf5+ $1 Ke7 23. Qf8#) 1-0

[/pgn]
But Iceland 1 evened the score when, in a brutal battle between Johann Hjartarson and Igor Novikov, the American second board made the last mistake and had to resign just before the time control.
[pgn]

[Event "World Senior Teams 50+"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.21"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Hjartarson, Johann"]
[Black "Novikov, Igor"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B80"]
[WhiteElo "2520"]
[BlackElo "2563"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Iceland"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ISL"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2
Nbd7 9. g4 h6 10. h4 Bb7 11. O-O-O b4 12. Na4 d5 (12... Qa5 {is much more
common.}) 13. Bh3 g5 14. hxg5 hxg5 15. Bxg5 (15. e5 $5) 15... dxe4 16. Bxf6
Nxf6 17. g5 exf3 18. Qf4 $6 (18. Qe3 $1 {threatens Nxe6} Nd5 19. Qe5 Qxg5+ 20.
Qxg5 Bh6 21. Qxh6 Rxh6 22. Bg4 $16) 18... Bd6 19. Qxf6 Qxf6 20. gxf6 O-O-O $2 (
20... Rd8 $1 $132) (20... f2 $1 $132) 21. c3 $2 (21. Nxe6 $1 fxe6 22. Rxd6 $1
Rxd6 23. Bxe6+ Kc7 (23... Rxe6 24. Rxh8+ Kc7 25. f7) 24. Rxh8 f2 25. Bh3 $18)
21... f2 $1 {Forcing White to give back material.} 22. Bxe6+ (22. Rhf1 Bf4+ 23.
Kb1 Be4+ 24. Ka1 Rxh3) 22... fxe6 23. Rhf1 Bf4+ 24. Kc2 Be4+ 25. Kb3 Bg3 26.
Nc5 Bg2 27. Ncxe6 Rd6 28. Kxb4 Bxf1 29. Rxf1 Kd7 $6 (29... Rh7 {controls f7
and prepares a possible rook swing on the 2nd rank.}) 30. Nc5+ Ke8 $2 (30...
Kc7 $11) 31. Ne4 $18 Rb6+ 32. Kc5 Rxb2 33. Nxg3 Rxa2 34. Ne4 Kf7 35. Nxf2 Rc8+
36. Kd6 Kxf6 37. Ne4+ Kg6 38. Rg1+ Kh5 39. Nf5 1-0

[/pgn]
Neither Benjamin nor Yermolinsky could win their games, although it wasn’t for lack of trying.
[pgn]

[Event "World Senior Teams 50+"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.21"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Benjamin, Joel"]
[Black "Olafsson, Helgi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2523"]
[BlackElo "2506"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Iceland"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ISL"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. Bg5 Qa5+ 8. Nd2
Qa6 9. c4 Ne7 (9... Bb4 10. b3 Ne7 11. Ne2 $14 {Shaw}) 10. Ngf3 Nf5 11. O-O Nd7
12. Rfc1 (12. Qc3 $5) 12... dxc4 13. Nxc4 Nb6 14. b3 Ba3 15. Rc2 Nd5 16. Qe4
Be7 $6 17. Bxe7 Ndxe7 18. Nd6+ Nxd6 19. exd6 Nf5 $6 20. d7+ $1 Kxd7 21. Ne5+
Ke8 22. Nxc6 Qb6 (22... bxc6 23. Rxc6 Qa5 24. Rc5 Qd8 25. Rxf5 $18) (22... Nd6
23. Qf4 bxc6 24. Qxd6 $16) 23. Re1 bxc6 (23... Nd6) 24. Rxc6 Qxd4 25. Qxf5 Rh6
26. Qb5 Kf8 27. Qc5+ (27. Rec1 Rd8 28. Rc8 $16) 27... Qxc5 28. Rxc5 a5 29. a4
Ke7 30. Ree5 Rhh8 31. Rxa5 Rxa5 32. Rxa5 Rb8 33. Rxh5 Rxb3 {The active
placement of Black's rook means that White will have a tough time converting
the full point.} 34. Rb5 Ra3 35. a5 f5 36. g3 Kf6 37. Kg2 g5 38. Rc5 gxh4 39.
gxh4 f4 40. h5 e5 41. h6 Kg6 42. Rxe5 Kxh6 43. Rc5 Kg6 44. Rb5 Kf6 45. Rb6+ Kf5
46. a6 Ke5 47. f3 Kd5 48. Kf2 Ra2+ 49. Kf1 Kd4 50. Re6 Kd5 51. Re4 Rxa6 52. Kg2
Rg6+ 53. Kh2 Rh6+ 54. Kg2 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "World Senior Teams 50+"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.21"]
[Round "6.4"]
[White "Thorhallsson, Throstur"]
[Black "Yermolinsky, Alex"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B19"]
[WhiteElo "2425"]
[BlackElo "2508"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Iceland"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ISL"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5
Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bf4 Qa5+ 12. Bd2 Bb4 13. c3 Be7 14. a3 Ngf6 15.
Qe2 O-O 16. Ne5 Rfd8 17. b4 Qd5 18. f4 a5 19. O-O axb4 20. axb4 Rxa1 21. Rxa1
Bxb4 22. Rb1 Bf8 23. Rxb7 c5 24. Rb5 Qa2 25. Nf3 cxd4 26. cxd4 Nd5 27. Ra5 Qb1+
28. Kh2 N7f6 29. Ne5 Qb6 $6 (29... Bd6) (29... Qb2) 30. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 (30... Re8
31. Ne5 Nxf4) 31. Ra6 $1 Ng4+ {Bailing out for the draw.} ({Black could try to
continue with} 31... Nxf4 32. Bxf4 Qb3 {but White has all the fun in this
position, even if it's objectively equal.}) 32. Kh3 Nf2+ 33. Kh2 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
Final score: 2-2. A well and hard-fought draw, and a fair result for both teams. The Americans returned to their winning ways on Monday, eking out a 2.5-1.5 win over Israel. Alex Yermolinsky ground down Yehuda Grunfeld on board four to claim the match for the U.S. team.
[pgn]

[Event "World Senior Teams 50+"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.22"]
[Round "7.4"]
[White "Yermolinsky, Alex"]
[Black "Gruenfeld, Yehuda"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2508"]
[BlackElo "2428"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Israel"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ISR"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Qf3 Bg6 8.
Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Be2 (11. Nh4 {is the theoretically
preferred move, but Yermo's choice does have its merits.}) 11... Nb6 12. O-O
Nc8 13. Nh4 Nd6 14. b4 {Playing for the minority attack.} Nf5 15. Nxg6 hxg6 16.
b5 Bd6 17. g3 Rb8 18. Rab1 O-O 19. a4 Bc7 20. Na2 Ne7 21. Nb4 Ba5 22. Nd3 Bb6
23. Rb3 Rfc8 24. Bf3 Kg7 25. h4 Bc7 26. Rfb1 Bd6 27. Kg2 c5 $5 28. dxc5 Bxc5
29. Rd1 {The d5 pawn is now a target.} Bd6 30. Nb4 Bxb4 31. Rxb4 Rc5 32. Rbd4
Rd8 33. e4 Re8 (33... Rc7 34. exd5 Rd6 35. R1d3 Rcd7 $14) 34. g4 dxe4 35. Rxe4
Rc7 36. Rde1 f5 37. gxf5 gxf5 38. R4e2 Rg8 39. h5 Nc8 (39... Kf6+ $1 40. Kf1
Rd8 $11) 40. Rd2 Kf6+ 41. Kf1 b6 42. Red1 Rc3 43. Rd3 Rxd3 44. Rxd3 Ke7 45. Rc3
Kd8 46. Ke2 Nd6 47. Ke3 Kd7 48. Kf4 Rh8 49. Kg5 Ne4+ 50. Bxe4 fxe4 51. Rh3 Ke6
52. h6 f6+ 53. Kf4 Rh7 54. Kxe4 f5+ 55. Kf4 Kf6 56. Rc3 (56. Rc3 Kg6 (56...
Rxh6 57. Rc6+ Kg7 58. Rxh6 Kxh6 59. Kxf5 $18) 57. Rc6+ Kf7 (57... Kh5 58. Kxf5
$18) 58. Rc7+ Kg8 59. Rxh7 Kxh7 60. Kxf5 $18) 1-0

[/pgn]
Shabalov, Benjamin, and Ehlvest all drew. Shabalov was close to winning at various points along the way, but he forced a draw in the final moves of his game, knowing that Yermolinsky had won and that the draw was sufficient.
[pgn]

[Event "World Senior Teams 50+"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.04.22"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Soffer, Ram"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2486"]
[BlackElo "2510"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Israel"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ISR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
[WhiteClock "0:16:29"]
[BlackClock "0:12:39"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h6 5. g4 Bd7 6. Nc3 Qc8 7. Be2 e6 8. Be3 c5
9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. Qd2 Ne7 11. h5 b6 12. f4 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 Qc5 14. Qd2 b5 15. a3
b4 16. axb4 Qxb4 17. b3 Nbc6 18. Nb5 Qxd2+ 19. Kxd2 O-O 20. Nf3 f6 21. Ke3 d4+
22. Nfxd4 Nd5+ 23. Kd2 Nxf4 24. exf6 Nxe2 25. fxg7 Nexd4 26. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 27.
Nxd4 Nxd4 28. Ra5 Ke7 29. Rha1 Nc6 30. R5a4 a5 31. Ke3 Rg8 32. Rg1 Rg5 33. c3
Be8 34. Raa1 Rc5 35. Rac1 Rb5 36. Rb1 Bf7 37. Kd2 Bg8 38. c4 Rg5 39. Ke3 Bh7
40. Rb2 Re5+ 41. Kf2 Nd4 42. b4 axb4 43. Rxb4 Re2+ 44. Kf1 Be4 (44... Kf6 45.
c5 Re4) 45. Rb3 Rc2 (45... Kf6 $1 $19) 46. Re3 Bb7 47. g5 $1 Nf5 48. Ra3 Rxc4
$6 (48... Be4 49. gxh6 Nxh6 50. Rg7+ Kf6 $19) 49. gxh6 $1 Nxh6 50. Rg7+ Nf7 51.
h6 Kf6 52. Rh3 Rc1+ 53. Kf2 Rh1 {Shabalov knew by now of Yermolinsky's win on
board four, and understood that the match would be won with a draw here.} 54.
Rxh1 Bxh1 55. Rg4 Nxh6 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
The U.S. currently leads the 50+ Championship by two match points. They play Austria on Tuesday.
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. For background on the World Senior Teams, check out our preview of the event.

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[…] Benjamin sent CLO this message after yesterday’s 2.5-1.5 win over […]

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