Round 7 Report

There are no easy match-ups in the US Chess League!  Round 7 pit the MN Blizzard up against the SF Mechanics.  The Mechanics have a very talented young team with a 20 year old GM on board 1!  Wesley So was back for the Blizzard on board 1 to help him prepare for the Millionaire Open in Las Vegas.

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Board 1:  Wesley and Daniel go into a line that Daniel has played a few times in the past.  Wesley shows outstanding technique with a nearly perfect game.

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[Event "USCL Week 7"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.10.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Naroditsky, Daniel"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C06"]
[WhiteElo "2711"]
[BlackElo "2847"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bd3 c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. O-O
a5 9. Re1 {Naroditsky has plalyed this line more than once. Wesley must have
prepared for this variation!} cxd4 10. cxd4 Qb6 11. a4 {Daniel deviates from a
2013 game where he played Nb1.} Nxd4 12. Nxd4 Qxd4 13. Nf3 Qb6 14. Be3 Nc5 15.
Bb5+ Bd7 16. Nd4 {According to the engine it's a mistake to let Black castle.}
(16. Bxd7+ Kxd7 17. Nd4 {holds equality.}) 16... Bxb5 17. Nxb5 O-O 18. Qg4 Rfc8
19. Bd4 Qa6 20. Nd6 Nb3 $1 {The best move! Wesley sacrifices the exchange.}
21. Nxc8 Rxc8 22. Rad1 Qc4 23. h3 h5 24. Qf4 Qxa4 25. Rd3 Qb4 26. Rb1 {White's
rooks have limited mobility.} Rc7 27. Qe3 a4 28. Bc3 Qe4 29. Qxe4 dxe4 30. Re3
b5 31. Rd1 Rc4 32. Be1 b4 33. Rd7 Bg5 0-1

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Board 2: IM Sean Nagle is back for another game!  He has the White pieces against FM Cameron Wheeler.

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[Event "USCL Week 7"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.10.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nagle, Sean"]
[Black "Wheeler, Cameron"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A27"]
[WhiteElo "2542"]
[BlackElo "2425"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. g3 Ne7 8.
Bg2 O-O 9. O-O d6 10. Qc2 Be6 11. b3 Nf5 12. Bb2 {Sean reaches a nice low-risk
position out of the opening. White has an advantage here due to his better
placed pieces and central mobility. Black is stuck trying to defend a few
weaknesses.} Rb8 13. e3 c5 14. Rfd1 Qe7 {Sean decides to head towards the
endgame with the bishop pair.} 15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. Bxd5 Rfe8 17. Bxg7 Nxg7 18. Qc3
Rb6 19. Qa5 c6 {Positionally this move is questionnable. Now both the c6 and
d6 pawns become weak.} 20. Bg2 Reb8 21. Rd3 Ne8 22. Rad1 Qb7 {Pushing the e
and f-pawns is probably the way to go here instead of sacrificing the exchange.
} 23. Rxd6 (23. e4 f6 24. f4 {Trying to play for e5.}) 23... Nxd6 24. Rxd6 Ra6
25. Qxc5 Rxa2 26. Qd4 Qxb3 27. Rd8+ Rxd8 28. Qxd8+ Kg7 29. Qd4+ Kg8 30. Qd8+
Kg7 31. Qd4+ Kg8 32. Qd8+ 1/2-1/2

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Board 3:  NM Dane Mattson is back from Duluth after his nice performance last week!

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[Event "USCL Week 7"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.10.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Critelli, James"]
[Black "Mattson, Dane"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C00"]
[WhiteElo "2376"]
[BlackElo "2261"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. b3 {A very rare line! Perhaps James prepared this just for the
match.} b6 3. Bb2 Bb7 4. Qe2 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. e5 Bxc3 7. dxc3 Ne4 8. Nh3 Qh4 {
This looks too aggressive. White is going to castle queenside now and have a
nice space advantage.} (8... O-O 9. O-O-O a5 {and hopefully in a few moves
Black can play Qe7 and d6.}) 9. O-O-O Nc5 10. f4 Nc6 11. g3 Qe7 12. Bg2 O-O-O
13. c4 Kb8 14. Rhe1 {White has a clear advantage now even though the material
is even. The bishop pair plus the pressure down the d-file is hard to compete
with.} h6 15. Rf1 Rhe8 16. Qh5 Rf8 17. Rf2 Rh8 18. f5 exf5 19. Qxf5 Rhf8 20.
Bd5 Ne6 (20... Rde8 {is a nice way to fight back in the center.} 21. Re1 f6 22.
Qh5 Nxe5 23. Bxe5 fxe5 24. Rxe5 $11) 21. Kb1 Rde8 22. Re2 Qc5 23. Qg4 Qe7 24.
Nf2 Ng5 25. h4 f5 26. exf6 Qxe2 27. Qxe2 Rxe2 28. fxg7 Rexf2 29. hxg5 hxg5 30.
Bc1 Re8 31. g8=Q Rxg8 32. Bxg8 Rf8 33. Bh7 Rf7 {Both sides were getting low on
time at this point and FM Critelli shows a nice display of the bishop pair's
power.} 34. Bg6 Rg7 35. Bf5 d6 36. Rh1 a5 37. Rh8+ Ka7 38. g4 Ne5 39. Bb2 Re7
40. Rg8 Nf3 41. Bf6 Re1+ 42. Kb2 Be4 43. Rg7 Bxf5 44. gxf5 Nh4 45. Rxc7+ Kb8
46. Rc6 Nxf5 47. Rxb6+ Kc7 48. Rb5 Ne3 49. Bxg5 Nd1+ 50. Ka3 a4 51. Bf4 Nc3 52.
Rf5 axb3 53. axb3 Ne4 54. c5 Ra1+ 55. Kb2 Rd1 56. cxd6+ Kc6 57. Rf7 Rd5 58.
Rc7+ Kb6 59. Be3+ 1-0

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Board 4:  Board 4 features Blog Editor Matt Jensen from Rochester.  Do I have to annotate it? 🙂

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[Event "USCL Week 7"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.10.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Jensen, Matt"]
[Black "Taghizadeh, Rayan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2199"]
[BlackElo "2245"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bg2 dxc4 6. O-O {The Catalan was
what I expected going into the game.} Rb8 7. e3 b5 8. Qe2 Bb7 9. Rd1 Nb4 10. a4
Be4 {At this point I took a long think. My position feels comfortable and I
felt there were two options. The first would be to play 11.axb5 and possibly
sacrifice the exchange if I can get Black's light-squared bishop off the board.
The second option, chosen in the game, involves retreating the knight and
playing solid.} 11. Ne1 $6 (11. axb5 Bd3 12. Rxd3 cxd3 13. Qd1 Rxb5 14. Qa4 {
was the line I analyzed during the game. I felt that Black had more winning
chances here than the 11.Ne1 variation. Looking at the lines now shows I made
the wrong choice! White is doing great in this line and is very passive in
the game line.}) 11... Bxg2 12. Kxg2 a6 13. e4 Be7 14. Nc3 O-O 15. Bf4 Ne8 16.
axb5 axb5 17. Ra5 c6 18. Ra7 Bd6 19. Be3 Ra8 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. Nf3 Nc7 22. Bg5
Qe8 23. Be3 Qd7 24. h4 (24. b3 {At some point here I need to change the
dynamics of the position. 24.h4 had ideas of defending Bg5 in some lines, but
I went down in flames quickly after.}) 24... f5 25. Ne5 Qe8 26. Bf4 Qd8 27. f3
Bxe5 28. dxe5 Nd3 29. Bg5 Qe8 30. b3 Qg6 31. bxc4 bxc4 32. exf5 exf5 33. Kh2
Qe6 34. Bf4 Rb8 35. Rd2 Rb3 36. Rc2 Nd5 37. Nxd5 cxd5 38. Ra2 h6 39. h5 d4 40.
Kh3 Rb8 41. Qd2 Nxf4+ 42. Qxf4 c3 43. Rg2 d3 44. g4 fxg4+ 45. Rxg4 c2 46. Kg3
Rc8 47. Rg6 Qxg6+ 48. hxg6 c1=Q 49. Qf7+ Kh8 50. e6 Qg5+ 51. Kh3 Qd8 52. e7 Qe8
53. Qf5 d2 54. Qd5 Qxe7 55. Qxd2 Qe6+ 0-1

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San Francisco Mechanics Minnesota Blizzard
GM Daniel Naroditsky: 2711 0.0 1.0 GM Wesley So: 2847
FM Cameron Wheeler: 2425 0.5 0.5 IM Sean Nagle: 2542
FM James Critelli: 2376 1.0 0.0 NM Dane Mattson: 2261
FM Rayan Taghizadeh: 2245 1.0 0.0 NM Matt Jensen: 2199
Average Rating: 2439 Average Rating: 2462
San Francisco Total 2.5 1.5 Minnesota Total

 

Western Division

Team W L Game Points Opps Avg Rating
Las Vegas 4.0 3.0 15.0/28 (53%) 2400
Dallas 4.0 3.0 15.0/28 (53%) 2396
Arizona 4.0 3.0 15.0/28 (53%) 2390
St. Louis 4.0 3.0 14.5/28 (51%) 2406
Seattle 3.5 3.5 14.5/28 (51%) 2406
Rio Grande 3.5 3.5 14.5/28 (51%) 2393
Lubbock 3.5 3.5 14.5/28 (51%) 2378
San Francisco 3.5 3.5 12.5/28 (44%) 2404
Minnesota 3.0 4.0 12.5/28 (44%) 2398
San Diego 2.0 5.0 12.0/28 (42%) 2401

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