Xiong Wins 2019 Winter Classic

In years past a Category 16 Grandmaster round-robin would have been huge news in American chess. Now it’s just another day at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Saint Louis has been running quarterly “Chess Classics” for three years now, and Jeffery Xiong has played in seven of them. On Sunday he won the A Group of the 2019 Winter Chess Classic with a 5.5/9 score. This is his third tournament victory in the series, with the others coming in the 2019 Spring and 2018 Spring editions. The top rated player in the field at 2712, Xiong entered the final day of play tied for first place with Rinat Jumabayev. After Xiong drew with Grigory Oparin, Jumabayev could take first place with a win over Daniel Naroditsky. But Jumabayev improbably dropped a full piece in the middlegame, giving Xiong sole possession of first place and sending him into a four-way tie for second with Naroditsky, Alexey Sarana, and Sam Sevian.
[pgn]

[Event "St Louis Winter A 2019"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2019.11.18"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Jumabayev, Rinat"]
[Black "Naroditsky, Daniel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E62"]
[WhiteElo "2641"]
[BlackElo "2613"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2019.11.10"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O c6 7. Nc3 Bf5 8. Ng5
h6 9. e4 Bg4 10. Nf3 e5 11. d5 cxd5 12. cxd5 Na6 13. Be3 Qd7 14. Qd2 Kh7 15.
Ne1 Bh3 16. Bxh3 Qxh3 17. f3 Qd7 18. Nd3 Rfc8 19. Rfc1 Ne8 20. Qf2 f5 21. Bxa7
b5 22. Be3 Nf6 23. Qg2 fxe4 24. fxe4 Ng4 25. Qh3 Rc7 26. Nf2 $4 Nxe3 27. Qxd7
Rxd7 28. Nxb5 Nb4 29. Rc3 Nec2 30. Rc1 Ra5 31. a4 Nd4 32. Nxd4 exd4 33. Rc4 Rb7
34. Ra1 d3 35. Ra3 d2 36. Nd1 Na6 37. Kf1 Bxb2 38. Rf3 Nc5 39. Ke2 Rxa4 0-1

[/pgn]
photo Crystal Fuller
Xiong showed excellent technique in this Round 5 win over Sarana.
[pgn]

[Event "St Louis Winter A 2019"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2019.11.14"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Sarana, Alexey"]
[Black "Xiong, Jeffery"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A42"]
[WhiteElo "2664"]
[BlackElo "2712"]
[PlyCount "104"]
[EventDate "2019.11.10"]

1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. c4 d6 4. Nc3 e5 5. d5 a5 6. Bd3 Na6 7. a3 Nc5 8. Bc2 Ne7
9. Rb1 f5 10. b4 axb4 11. axb4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. Ne2 e3 14. Bxe3 Nf5 15.
Ba4+ Bd7 16. Bxd7+ Qxd7 17. O-O O-O 18. Nc3 Nxe3 19. fxe3 Rxf1+ 20. Qxf1 e4 21.
Nxe4 Qe7 22. Qd3 Re8 23. Nc3 Bxc3 24. Qxc3 Qxe3+ 25. Qxe3 Rxe3 26. Ra1 Rc3 27.
Ra7 Rxc4 28. Rxb7 Kf7 29. b5 Kf6 30. b6 cxb6 31. Rxb6 Ke5 32. Rb7 h5 33. Rg7
Rg4 34. Kf2 Kxd5 35. g3 Kd4 36. Kf3 Rg5 37. h3 Rf5+ 38. Ke2 Re5+ 39. Kf3 Re6
40. g4 d5 41. gxh5 gxh5 42. h4 Re3+ 43. Kf2 Re4 44. Ra7 Rf4+ 45. Kg3 Rf5 46.
Kg2 Ke4 47. Re7+ Kd3 48. Rg7 d4 49. Rg8 Ke4 50. Re8+ Re5 51. Rd8 Ke3 52. Kf1
Re4 0-1

[/pgn]
Emilio Cordova won the B Group with a score of 6.5/9. He was followed by Sergei Azaraov at 6/9 and Federico Perez Ponsa at 5.5/9.
photo Austin Fuller
Cordova’s best win was perhaps his Round 5 victory over Melik Khachiyan, where his neat 27. c6! breakthrough netted him the full point.
[pgn]

[Event "St Louis Winter B 2019"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2019.11.14"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Cordova, Emilio"]
[Black "Khachiyan, Melikset"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D34"]
[WhiteElo "2570"]
[BlackElo "2493"]
[Annotator "Hartmann,John"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2019.11.10"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 c5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nc3
O-O 9. dxc5 d4 10. Na4 Bf5 11. Bf4 Be4 12. Rc1 Qd5 13. a3 Rfd8 14. b4 Rac8 15.
Re1 h6 16. b5 Na5 17. b6 a6 18. Bc7 Rd7 19. Bh3 Bf5 20. Bxf5 Qxf5 21. Qd3 Qh3
22. Ne5 Ng4 23. Nxg4 Qxg4 24. Nb2 Rd5 25. c6 $1 Nxc6 26. Rxc6 bxc6 27. b7 Rb5
$2 (27... Rf8 $1 28. b8=Q $6 (28. Qxa6 $16) 28... Rxb8 29. Bxb8 Rb5 $1) 28. Qe4
Qxe4 29. bxc8=Q+ Kh7 30. Nd3 Bxa3 31. Qxa6 Be7 32. Bf4 h5 33. Qc8 h4 34. f3 Qd5
35. Ra1 Bf6 36. Rc1 1-0

[/pgn]
Aleksey Sorokin, who at 2513 is surely the world’s strongest FIDE master, very nearly achieved his third and final GM norm in this tournament. After losing a pretty miniature to Elshan Moradiabadi in round eight, Sorokin had to defeat Justin Wang in the ninth and final round to earn his norm. He came close, but could not break down Wang’s defenses.
[pgn]

[Event "St Louis Winter B 2019"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2019.11.18"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Sorokin, Aleksey"]
[Black "Wang, Justin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2513"]
[BlackElo "2459"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "2019.11.10"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. a3 c5 8. cxd5
exd5 9. Be2 c4 10. Ne5 Qa5 11. O-O Rd8 12. b4 Qb6 13. Bg5 Nf8 14. f4 Ne6 15.
Kh1 a5 16. b5 Nc7 17. f5 a4 18. Bh5 Rf8 19. Bf3 Rd8 20. Qc2 Qa5 21. Ng4 Qb6 22.
Nxf6+ gxf6 23. Bh4 Qa5 24. Be1 Qb6 25. Bg3 Bd6 26. Bh4 Bf8 27. Rab1 Bxa3 28.
Nxa4 Rxa4 29. Qxa4 Bf8 30. Qc2 Bh6 31. Rfe1 Ne8 32. Bf2 Qa5 33. Red1 Nd6 34.
Be1 Qb6 35. g4 Bxe3 36. Bxd5 Bd7 37. Bg2 Bxb5 38. Bc3 Qc7 39. d5 Rc8 40. Re1
Bf4 41. Qf2 Be5 42. Bxe5 fxe5 43. f6 Kh8 44. Qh4 Ba4 45. Rbc1 Qb6 46. Rxe5 Qd4
47. Rce1 Bc2 48. Qg5 Bg6 49. h4 Rg8 50. Kh2 Qc3 51. Qh6 Qd4 52. h5 Bd3 53. Re8
Nxe8 54. Rxe8 Qxg4 55. Qg7+ Qxg7 56. fxg7+ Kxg7 57. h6+ Kh8 58. Re7 Rg6 59.
Re8+ Rg8 60. Re7 Rg6 61. Re8+ 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
International competition returns to the Saint Louis Chess Campus beginning tomorrow, November 21st, with the 2019 Saint Louis International. Two 10 player round-robins will kick off on Thursday, with play continuing through Tuesday November 26th. The Club will also be open around-the-clock for the duration of the 2019 Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz, the final tour leg before the GCT Finals in London. Rounds start at 2:30am CST (14:00 local time in Kolkata, India), and the Club will host special events in the wee hours of the morning. Night owls will want to check the Club event schedule for late-night blitz and bughouse tournaments. CLO will have results from both India and Saint Louis in the days ahead.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Ugh another prodigy story. I want more articles about 600 rated players who overcame touch move syndrome.

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