Wednesday Workout: Leveling Up Through the US Chess Rapids

This Wednesday Workout is a ropes course through the recent 2021 US Chess Rapids on the Internet Chess Club. See if you can level up through each of the four sections, starting with an oversight in the U1400 section that left some cash on the table! The difficulty naturally ratchets up with each section, and if you can work your up to the Open section, see if you can figure out how the tournament champion GM Aleksandr Lenderman earned top honors. 

U1400

Both at 5/5, Miranda Christ (1272) and Danil McQuillin (1193) met in the sixth round for the chance at perfection, though neither could find their way through to the full point. But did Miranda miss her chance deep in the endgame?

 

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2021 US Chess Rapids U1400
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White to move. Can she earn the full point from here?

 

 

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2021 US Chess Rapids U1400 Part 2
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The game continued to this position, with Black to move. Now can White save the half point? 

 

U1800 

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2021 US Chess Rapids U1800
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White to move.

 

 

U2200 

White’s mistake came earlier, when its greedy queen went pawn hunting on the wing and abandoned control over the center. Black has just correctly broken through on e4 and needs to recollect his rook .. how to continue from here?

 

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2021 US Chess Rapids U2200
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Black to move.

 

Open Section

GMs Aleksandr Lenderman and Gusir Guseinov finished first and second place in the 2021 US Chess Rapids Open section, and met for a drawn-out positional struggle in the fifth round for the right to the top of the standings. Lenderman as White went to great painstaking lengths to reroute his minor pieces to this position. Can you figure out how he earned top honors? 

 

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2021 US Chess Rapids Open
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White to move.

 

 


Answers:

[pgn][Event "2021 US Chess Rapids U1400"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.06"] [Round "6"] [White "queen1234"] [Black "DanilMcQuillin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "1272"] [BlackElo "1193"] [Annotator ""] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/6k1/5Rp1/6Pr/6K1/8/8/8 w - - 0 71"] [PlyCount "18"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] {[#]} {The example above came from this dead drawn position -- that is, until the black rook chose the wrong corner for its escape ..} 71. Rc6 Rh8 $2 72. Rc7+ {White finds the right time to force the rooks off the board.} Kg8 73. Rc8+ Kg7 74. Rxh8 Kxh8 75. Kf4 Kg7 76. Ke5 Kf7 {The position in question ..} 77. Kf4 $2 {Missing the opportunity.} (77. Kd6 $1 {Gaining position with the deep flank. From here, White can dance its way back in until the g-pawn falls.} Kf8 78. Ke6 Kg7 79. Ke7 Kg8 80. Kf6 Kh7 81. Kf7 Kh8 82. Kxg6 Kg8 {Both Kf6 and Kh6 will see the pawn advance to its queening square.} 83. Kh6 Kh8 84. g6 Kg8 85. g7 Kf7 86. Kh7) 77... Ke7 78. Ke5 Kf7 {In the game, White gets a rare second chance to attempt the maneuver..} 79. Kf4 $2 {Fool me twice ..} Ke6 1/2-1/2 [Event "2021 US Chess Rapids U1400 (15 3)"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.06"] [Round "6"] [White "queen1234"] [Black "DanilMcQuillin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "1272"] [BlackElo "1193"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/6k1/5Rp1/6Pr/6K1/8/8/8 w - - 0 71"] [PlyCount "18"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] [TimeControl "900+3"] {[#] The example above came from this dead drawn position -- that is, until the black rook chose the wrong corner for its escape ..} 71. Rc6 Rh8 $2 72. Rc7+ {White finds the right time to force the rooks off the board.} Kg8 73. Rc8+ Kg7 74. Rxh8 Kxh8 75. Kf4 Kg7 76. Ke5 Kf7 {The position in question ..} 77. Kf4 $2 {Missing the opportunity.} (77. Kd6 $1 {Gaining position with the deep flank. From here, White can dance its way back in until the g-pawn falls.} Kf8 78. Ke6 Kg7 79. Ke7 Kg8 80. Kf6 Kh7 81. Kf7 Kh8 82. Kxg6 Kg8 {Both Kf6 and Kh6 will see the pawn advance to its queening square.} 83. Kh6 Kh8 84. g6 Kg8 85. g7 Kf7 86. Kh7) 77... Ke7 78. Ke5 Kf7 {In the game, White gets a rare second chance to attempt the maneuver..} 79. Kf4 $2 {Fool me twice ..} Ke6 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

 

[pgn][Event "2021 US Chess Rapids U1400"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.06"] [Round "6"] [White "queen1234"] [Black "DanilMcQuillin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "1272"] [BlackElo "1193"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/6p1/6k1/8/7K/8/8 w - - 0 83"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] {[#]} 83. Kg3 {Despite Miranda's miss earlier, her technique to save the draw was perfect. With the kings in opposition, the first one to move loses the advantage -- black can't find enough space to get out from in front of the pawn.} Kf5 84. Kf3 Kg5 85. Kg3 Kf5 86. Kf3 g5 {Now the black king can't ever get back in front of the pawn.} 87. Kg3 g4 88. Kg2 {Staying in the path of the pawn.} Ke4 89. Kg3 Kf5 90. Kg2 Kg5 91. Kg3 Kh5 92. Kg2 Kh4 93. Kh2 g3+ 94. Kg2 Kg4 95. Kg1 Kf5 96. Kg2 Kf4 97. Kg1 Kf3 98. Kf1 Kg4 99. Kg2 Kh4 100. Kg1 Kh3 101. Kh1 Kh4 102. Kg2 Kg4 103. Kg1 Kf3 104. Kf1 Ke4 105. Kg2 Kf4 106. Kg1 Kf3 107. Kf1 g2+ 108. Kg1 Ke2 109. Kxg2 {Game drawn because neither player has mating material} 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

 

[pgn][Event "2021 US Chess Rapids U1800"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.06"] [Round "2"] [White "AdityaBang"] [Black "Najeebhadi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C56"] [WhiteElo "1416"] [BlackElo "1700"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1qb1r1k/pp4pp/2p2p2/5b2/2Q2N2/2B1R3/PPP2PPP/R5K1 w - - 0 21"] [PlyCount "7"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] {[#]} 21. Bb4 {With the black rook under attack, the reality is it has no safe place to go. Despite all bad choices, his decision in the game was fatal ..} Rg8 22. Qxg8+ Kxg8 23. Re8+ Kf7 24. Rf8# {Black checkmated. Not a bad combination from a 1416 in the U1800 section - he finished tied for second place.} 1-0 [/pgn]

 

[pgn][Event "2021 US Chess Rapids U2200"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.07"] [Round "4"] [White "MrNormalName"] [Black "Goran21"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2189"] [BlackElo "2190"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r5k1/ppp1r2p/3p2p1/3P1pq1/3QPn2/5P2/PP4PP/2R1RBK1 b - - 0 19"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] {[#]} 19... Rae8 20. Qxa7 {A greedy pawn grab sees the queen leaving her strong centralized position.} fxe4 {Black correctly begins a collapse in the center.} 21. fxe4 Rxe4 22. Rxe4 {The position in question ..} Rxe4 $4 (22... Nh3+ $1 {Making use of the pin. It's the other rook that the queen wants for exchange.} 23. Kh1 Qxc1 24. Rxe8+ Kf7 25. gxh3 {The rook is hanging, but the knight needs to be removed to allow the king's only defense.} Qxf1+ 26. Qg1 Qf3+ 27. Qg2 Qd1+ {And the pawn on d5 falls.}) 23. Qb8+ {Exchanging the wrong rook is a brutal oversight by Black that leaves his king exposed. NM Theo Slade shakes off the temporary scare and converts for a perfect 6/6 tournament. } Kg7 24. Rxc7+ Kh6 25. Qf8+ Kh5 26. Rxh7+ Kg4 27. Qc8+ Qf5 28. Qxf5+ gxf5 29. g3 Ng6 30. Bh3+ Kg5 31. Rxb7 Re2 32. a4 Ne5 33. Rb3 f4 34. gxf4+ Kxf4 35. Bg2 Re1+ 36. Kf2 Ra1 37. Rb4+ Kf5 38. Kg3 Kf6 39. b3 Nd3 40. Rb6 Ke5 41. h4 Nf4 42. Rb8 Ne2+ 43. Kf2 Nd4 44. Re8+ Kf6 45. h5 Ra2+ 46. Kg3 Nf5+ 47. Kh3 Rb2 48. Rb8 Kg5 49. Bf3 Kf4 50. Bg4 Nh6 51. Rf8+ Kg5 52. Bd1 Rd2 53. Bf3 Rd3 54. b4 Rd4 55. Rb8 Rd3 56. Kg2 Nf5 57. Be4 Rd2+ 58. Kf3 Nh4+ 59. Ke3 Ra2 60. a5 Kxh5 61. Rh8+ Kg5 62. Rg8+ Kf6 63. Rg4 Nf5+ 64. Bxf5 Kxf5 65. Rh4 Ra4 66. Kd3 Ra1 67. Kc4 Ke5 68. Rh5+ Ke4 69. Kb5 Rh1 70. Rxh1 Kxd5 71. a6 {Black resigns} 1-0 [/pgn]

 

[pgn][Event "2021 US Chess Rapids Open Section"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2021.02.07"] [Round "5"] [White "manest"] [Black "GGuseinov"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E62"] [WhiteElo "2704"] [BlackElo "2700"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "4q3/1Q1bp2p/3p1nk1/2pP1p2/p1P2P2/P3P1NP/2B2K2/8 b - - 0 46"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+3"] {[#]} 46... h5 47. Nxf5 $1 {Sacrificing either minor piece could work, though the following sequence is more important than the pawn grab.} Bxf5 48. Bxf5+ Kxf5 49. Qb1+ $1 Ne4+ {The only choice left!} 50. Kf3 Qg8 51. Qxe4+ Kf6 { Lenderman's endgame technique from here belongs in a textbook, beginning with his king's two-move retreat to deny the black queen entry into his back line.} 52. Kf2 h4 53. Kf1 Qd8 54. Qe6+ Kg7 55. Ke2 Qc7 56. Kf3 Qb7 57. Kg4 Kf8 58. Kg5 Qb2 59. Kg6 Qg7+ 60. Kh5 Qc3 61. f5 Qxa3 62. f6 exf6 63. Qxf6+ Ke8 64. Qe6+ Kd8 65. Qxd6+ Kc8 66. Qc6+ Kb8 67. Qb6+ Ka8 68. d6 Qxe3 69. Qd8+ Kb7 70. Qc7+ Ka6 71. Qc6+ Ka7 72. d7 Qe5+ 73. Kg6 Qg3+ 74. Kf7 Qf4+ 75. Ke7 Qe5+ 76. Qe6 Qg7+ 77. Kd6 Qd4+ 78. Kc7 Qf4+ 79. Qd6 {Black forfeits on time} 1-0 [/pgn]

 

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