Thursday, May 17, 2012

2012 US Championships May 17


Nakamura gets a very nice position against Lenderman with an exchange variation QGD Ragozin where both castled queenside. Nakamura is gaining space all over the board. Will Lenderman find a way to slip through? It looks to me like Kasparov has been good for Nakamura. Later in the game, Lenderman seems to get Nakamura blocked up and tied down to defending his e-pawn with a rook stack on the half open e-file.

Seirawan seemed to have walked into Kamsky's preparation and was only able to escape by sacrificing his queen for a knight and rook to stop Kamsky's attack. Kamsky looks good with Sierawan's King feeling a bit of a breeze. Kamsky hoovers up Seirawan's queenside pawns and its 1-0

Akobian does much better with his Caro-Kann against Robson's Panov-Botvinnik than Kats does against Krush. Akobian gets a nice domination of the center, control of the open e-file and a powerful bishop on the open a1-h8 diagonal, while stopping Robson's queenside majority.

Stripunsky's Slav defense came under lots of pressure by Hess and Stripunsky blundered in a position where there were lots of things to track.

Onischuk-Kaidanov had a very symmetric QGD, but it did not turn into a boring game. Onischuk sacrificed the exchange in the endgame for a passed pawn. Will he be able to push that a-pawn home?

Ramirez did not find something totally wild this round, and his game against Shulman seems to be settling into an equal game and quiet position. Maybe they are training for the world championship.

Lots of commentary on the ubiquitous nature of the move g2-g4 in this championship (or g5 for black)

tomorrow Kamsky v Nakamura

Women's Championship

All of today's games were strongly contested and went on for a long time. Lots of endgames to look at.

Goletiani managed a Benoni in reverse with an early b4 against Zatonskih. This could be a critical game for both as Krush should do well against Kats today and Baginskaite Saturday.

Krush-Kats transposed from a symmetrical English into a Panov-Botvinnik Caro-Kann. The game seemed to be settling into a drawish game, but Kats blunders and loses the exchange.

Abrahamyan-Melekhina played a much more interesting Sveshnikov Sicilian than Anand-Gelfand did in the morning. Abrahamyan seems to have escaped Melekhina's kingside attack with a trade of queens and ends up a pawn ahead. Long grind after that with Abrahamyan slowly gaining ground.

Ni chose an interesting line against Foisor's Slav defense that left her king in the center, but seems to control space on all three sides of the board to keep her king safe. If she can trade pieces and keep the pawns, will her space lead to an endgame win?

Zenyuk sacs a pawn against Baginskaite but gets a lonely passed a-pawn. Zenyuk never gets the a-pawn moving and Baginskaite gets her kingside pawn majority rolling down the board.

tomorrow the ladies have off.

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