Upset Alert: Tarjan Defeats Kramnik in Isle of Man

Grandmaster James Tarjan, Photo Maria Emelianova / Chess.com
The Isle of Man International (September 23-October 1)  started with a bang for American chess fans, as Fabiano Caruana defeated Former World Champ Vladimir Kramnik in the first round.
[pgn]

[Event "Chess.com Isle of Man International"]
[Date "2017.09.23"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
[WhiteClock "1:40:30"]
[BlackClock "1:40:30"]

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 h6 7. Bh4 Be7 8. e3
O-O 9. Bd3 Re8 10. Nge2 Nh5 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. h3 a5 13. a3 Nd7 14. Na4 Qh4 15.
g3 Qd8 16. g4 Nhf6 17. Ng3 Nf8 18. O-O-O b6 19. Kb1 Bd7 20. Nf5 c5 21. dxc5
Bxa4 22. Qxa4 bxc5 23. Bb5 Re6 24. Qc2 Rb6 25. a4 Ne6 26. h4 Nc7 27. Qxc5 Nxb5
28. axb5 Qb8 29. g5 Rxb5 30. Qc2 Ne4 31. Ne7+ Kh8 32. Rxd5 Rxd5 33. Nxd5 Qe5
34. Rd1 Rd8 35. Rd4 Rxd5 36. Rxe4 Rd1+ 37. Ka2 Qd5+ 38. Qc4 hxg5 39. hxg5 Kh7
40. Qxd5 Rxd5 41. f4 Kg6 42. Rd4 Rb5 43. Ka3 Kf5 44. b3 f6 45. Ka4 Rb7 46. Rc4
Ra7 47. Rc5+ Ke4 48. Rxa5 Re7 49. gxf6 gxf6 50. Ra6 Kf5 51. Rd6 Ra7+ 52. Kb5
Rb7+ 53. Kc4 Rc7+ 54. Kd4 Rb7 55. e4+ Kxf4 56. Rxf6+ Kg5 57. Rf5+ Kg4 58. Kc4
Re7 59. Rd5 Kf4 60. e5 Kf5 61. b4 Ke6 62. b5 Ra7 63. b6 Rb7 64. Rb5 Kd7 65. Kd5
Kc8 66. e6 Kd8 67. Kc6 1-0

[/pgn]
The two elite Grandmasters and Candidate hopefuls were paired due to an innovative system, which randomized first round pairings. Frequent US Chess contributor Greg Shahade blogged about that topic here, while we also asked for your opinions in our own twitter poll. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/911737947401199616 Things got far more intriguing for US Chess in round three, as American Grandmaster James Tarjan, 65, defeated Vladimir Kramnik in a sensational upset. The key moment came when Kramnik played 30...Bf3
Now after 31. Bxf3! Qxf1 seems to fail to Be2, trapping the queen!  Instead Kramnik tried ...Nxg3 but got a lost endgame after 32. fxg3 Qxf1 33.Bf2. Black did have a cool defense after 31. Bxf3 Qxf1 32. Be2 Nxg3, which would have led to a draw by perpetual.
[pgn]

[Event "Chess.com Isle of Man International"]
[Date "2017.09.25"]
[White "Tarjan, James E"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2412"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "4r1k1/1p3pp1/4r2p/pq1p3b/3Pn3/PP4PP/2R2PBK/2Q1BR2 b - - 0 30"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]

30... Bf3 31. Bxf3 Nxg3 (31... Qxf1 32. Be2 Nxg3 33. Bxf1 Nxf1+ 34. Kg2 Rxe1
35. Qf4 (35. Qb2 R8e6 36. Rc8+ Kh7 37. Rc7 $2 (37. Rc1 Rg6+ 38. Kh1 (38. Kf3
Nh2+ 39. Kf4 Re4+ 40. Kf5 Rg5#) 38... Ng3+ 39. Kh2 Nf1+ 40. Kh1 Ng3+) 37...
Rg6+ 38. Kf3 Nh2+ 39. Kf4 Re4+ 40. Kf5 Rg5#) 35... R8e6 36. Qc7 Rg6+ 37. Kf3
Rf6+ 38. Kg2 (38. Kg4 Re4+ 39. Kh5 (39. f4 Ne3+ 40. Kg3 Nxc2 41. Qxc2 Rexf4 $19
) 39... Rf5#) 38... Rg6+ $11 39. Kf3 (39. Kh1 Ne3+ 40. Kh2 Rg2#)) 32. fxg3 Qxf1
33. Bf2 Qd3 34. Rc3 Qf5 35. Kg2 Rf6 36. Qc2 Qd7 37. g4 Rc6 38. Rc5 Rd8 39. Qf5
Rxc5 40. Qxd7 Rxd7 41. dxc5 d4 42. Kf1 d3 43. Ke1 d2+ 44. Kd1 Kf8 45. Bg3 Ke7
46. Bd6+ Ke6 47. Kxd2 b6 48. Ke3 bxc5 49. Bxc5 Rd8 50. b4 axb4 51. axb4 f5 52.
b5 fxg4 53. hxg4 g6 54. b6 h5 55. g5 Kd7 56. b7 1-0 [/pgn]
https://twitter.com/johnchess/status/912378976970199040 Tarjan unretired from competitive chess just a few years ago, and the sensational upset captured everyone's attention, including Hikaru Nakamura: https://twitter.com/GMHikaru/status/912350231802638336 https://twitter.com/vinmcc/status/912397950713602048 International Arbiter Chris Bird pointed out how Tarjan's win knocks down Kramnik's rating, helping Wesley So and Caruana to qualify for the Candidates (set for Berlin, March 10-28, 2018). https://twitter.com/ChrisBirdIA/status/912375520993710080 Although Tarjan naturally captured all the headlines, US Open Champion Aleksander Lenderman also had an amazing day, scoring an upset victory over Spanish GM Francisco Pons Vallejo. After emerging victorious from the famous rook and bishop vs. rook endgame, Lenderman is now tied for the lead with a perfect 3-0, along with  Pavel Eljanov, Rustam Kasimshanov and World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
[pgn]

[Event "Chess.com Isle of Man International"]
[Date "2017.09.25"]
[White "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2565"]
[BlackElo "2717"]
[PlyCount "143"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Spain"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ESP"]
[WhiteClock "0:37:28"]
[BlackClock "0:00:32"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Nd2 O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. b3
Qe7 9. Bb2 a5 10. a3 Bd6 11. Qc2 Na6 12. Nh4 c5 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Ne4 Rac8 15.
Nxd6 Qxd6 16. Qd3 Rfd8 17. Rac1 Qe7 18. Rfd1 h6 19. Nf3 Nf6 20. Ne5 cxd4 21.
Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Bxd4 Rd8 23. Qb5 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Qb7+ 25. Qc6 Qxc6+ 26. Nxc6 Rd6
27. Rc1 Nd7 28. Be3 Kh7 29. b4 axb4 30. axb4 f6 31. Bf4 e5 32. Be3 b5 33. f4
exf4 34. gxf4 f5 35. Kf3 g5 36. h3 Kg6 37. Bd4 Kf7 38. e3 Nf6 39. Be5 Rd2 40.
Nd4 Nxb4 41. Nxf5 gxf4 42. Nxh6+ Kg6 43. Bxf6 fxe3 44. Bc3 Rf2+ 45. Kxe3 Rh2
46. Bxb4 Rxh3+ 47. Kf4 Kxh6 48. Rc6+ Kg7 49. Bd6 Kf7 50. Be5 b4 51. Kf5 Rh5+
52. Ke4 Rh1 53. Kd5 Rd1+ 54. Bd4 b3 55. Rf6+ Ke7 56. Rb6 b2 57. Rxb2 Kf7 58.
Rg2 Ke7 59. Rg7+ Kf8 60. Ra7 Ke8 61. Rh7 Kf8 62. Ke5 Kg8 63. Rd7 Rc1 64. Kf5
Kf8 65. Be5 Rf1+ 66. Ke6 Kg8 67. Rg7+ Kf8 68. Rh7 Ke8 69. Rc7 Kd8 70. Rc2 Re1
71. Rg2 Kc8 72. Rb2 1-0

[/pgn]
Jeffery Xiong also had an exciting day in IOM, though he was unable to score an upset of his own against Magnus Carlsen. Magnus got a great opening, and played aggressively in Jeffery's time pressure to take down the American World Junior Champ.
[pgn]

[Event "Chess.com Isle of Man International"]
[Date "2017.09.25"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Xiong, Jeffery"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2827"]
[BlackElo "2633"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
[WhiteClock "0:30:19"]
[BlackClock "0:05:12"]

1. Nf3 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. d4 e6 4. Bg5 d5 5. e3 h6 6. Bh4 Nc6 7. Nbd2 a6 8. Bd3
Be7 9. O-O Nd7 10. Bxe7 Nxe7 11. Ne5 cxd4 12. exd4 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Bd7 14. Re1
Rc8 15. Nf3 b5 16. h4 a5 17. a3 Qb6 18. Qd2 b4 19. cxb4 axb4 20. a4 Ra8 21. b3
O-O 22. Rac1 Rfc8 23. h5 Kf8 24. g4 Rc3 25. g5 hxg5 26. Rxc3 bxc3 27. Qxg5 Nf5
28. Bxf5 exf5 29. e6 Bxe6 30. h6 gxh6 31. Qf6 Kg8 32. Qxh6 Qb4 33. Kh1 1-0

[/pgn]
Nakamura and Caruana both stand on 2.5/3. Find full results after 3 rounds here. Follow the Isle of Man Chess International on the official website, along with live commentary.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Can the perpetual check possibility in the Tarjan game be elaborated on? I don't understand.

In reply to by mark ashland (not verified)

There are actually a couple cool variations that lead to perpetual after 31…Qxf1 32.Be2 Nxg3 33.Bxf1 Nxf1+34.Kg2 Rxe1, one with the knight (after 35.Qb2) and one with the rook (after 35.Qf4). I added a few more sub-variations to the play through diagram above so you can play through them yourself!

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