Round 3 Report

After two weeks the MN Blizzard are right in the middle of the West division with 1/2.  Week 3 faces the Blizzard off against the Lubbock Tornadoes, a new team this year.  This is a big match for the Blizzard as they look to move into a playoff spot down the stretch.  Lineups for these matches must be submitted by a certain deadline, and the Tornadoes were late to submit their roster.  The Blizzard were awarded a time bonus with the clocks showing 84 minutes (Blizzard) - 66 minutes (Tornadoes).  A nice start to the match!  Let's dig into the games.

Lubbock Tornadoes Minnesota Blizzard
GM Andrey Baryshpolets: 2608 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
FM Steven Breckenridge: 2414 IM John Bartholomew: 2555
WIM Irina Andrenko: 2323 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
WGM Carla Heredia: 2227 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2393 Average Rating: 2386

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GM Flores played board 1 for the Blizzard again after taking a week off.  He had the very nice win against Keaton Kiewra with the Black pieces in the first match and now finds himself against GM Andrey Baryshpolets.

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[Event "ICC 66 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Baryshpolet-LUB"]
[Black "Flores-MIN"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D97"]
[WhiteElo "2608"]
[BlackElo "2565"]
[Annotator "Jensen,Matthew"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 a6 8. Be2
b5 9. Qb3 c5 10. dxc5 Be6 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. Be3 Rc8 13. Rd1 b4 {Up until this
point we've been following a main line Grunfeld. White deviates from the
standard 14.Nd5.} 14. Na4 Qa5 $1 {A very nice reply threatening ...b3+ and ...
Nxe4!} 15. O-O Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Qxa4 17. Ng5 Nxc5 18. Qh4 (18. Bxc5 Rxc5 19. Nxe6
Re5 $1 20. Qb7 Rxe6 {gives Black a slight edge.}) 18... h6 19. Nxe6 Nxe6 20.
Bc4 {A good move. White puts immediate pressure on the e6-knight.} Bf6 {
Attacking the queen, which must remain in defense of c4.} 21. Qe4 Kg7 {
Mauricio must give back the pawn, leading to a drawn endgame.} 22. Bxe6 fxe6
23. Qxe6 Qc6 24. Qh3 h5 {The players have been following Morozevich -
Kasimdzhanov 2012, which continued 25.b3. That game ended in a draw.} 25. Bd4
Rfd8 26. Qe3 Rd7 27. Bxf6+ exf6 {We now reach a symmetric position that is
headed for a draw.} 28. Rxd7+ Qxd7 29. Qb6 Qb5 30. Qa7+ Kh6 31. h3 Rc2 32. Qd4
Kg7 33. Qa7+ Kh6 34. Qe3+ g5 35. Qe7 Qb6 36. Qf8+ Kg6 37. Qe8+ Kh6 38. Qh8+ Kg6
39. Qg8+ Kh6 40. Qf8+ Kg6 41. Qg8+ 1/2-1/2

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Board 2 featured IM John Bartholomew, hot off a 3rd place GOTW performance last week.  John won his previous match with White and now had the White pieces against FM Breckenridge.

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[Event "ICC 84 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Bartholomew-MIN"]
[Black "Breckenridg-LUB"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2555"]
[BlackElo "2414"]
[PlyCount "109"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 c6 7. e3 Nbd7 {This
game is following a standard Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) setup. Black has
chosen a solid pawn formation with the c-pawn on c6 instead of pushing to c5.}
8. a3 Nh5 {John makes an interesting decision here giving up the bishop pair
and accepting an isolated pawn on d4. Is he crazy?! After looking deeper
into the position it appears he gets the exact position he was aiming for.} 9.
Bd3 Nxf4 10. exf4 dxc4 11. Bxc4 {It's time to start focusing on the pawn
breaks. If Black isn't able to safely play ...c5 or ...e5 White will have
complete control of the position.} Nb6 ({I would like to see Black go for
quicker development of the light square bishop. For example:} 11... b5 12. Bd3
a6 13. O-O Bb7 14. Qe2 c5 {White has a slight advantage still, but one could
argue Black is close to equal.}) 12. Bd3 Nd5 13. g3 Nxc3 14. Rxc3 {White is
gaining control of the dark squares.} b6 $2 {The c6-pawn becomes too weak
after this move. If Black has time to play ...c5 next it should be fine but
John doesn't allow it.} 15. Be4 Bb7 16. Ne5 Rc8 17. O-O ({Taking the pawn too
soon doesn't work.} 17. Nxc6 Bxc6 18. Rxc6 Rxc6 19. Bxc6 Bf6 20. d5 exd5 $11)
17... Bf6 18. Qa4 a5 19. Rfc1 b5 20. Qc2 g6 21. Bxc6 Bxe5 22. dxe5 {John is up
a pawn now and has more active major pieces. The downside for him is that the
extra pawn could be hard to mobilize down the stretch.} Rxc6 23. Rxc6 Qd5 24.
Qc5 Qf3 {A very aggressive move for Black keeping the light square threats on
the board. 25...Rd8 is the threat.} 25. Qxb5 Rb8 26. Qb6 Kg7 27. Qc7 a4 28. h4
h5 29. Qxb8 Bxc6 30. Rxc6 Qxc6 {John should feel comfortable now once he gets
out of the checks.} 31. Qb4 Qc1+ 32. Kg2 Qc6+ 33. Kf1 Qc1+ 34. Ke2 Qc2+ 35. Ke3
Qc1+ 36. Qd2 Qc5+ 37. Qd4 Qc2 38. Qc3 Qd1 39. Qd2 Qb3+ 40. Ke2 Qb5+ 41. Ke1 Qc4
42. Qb4 Qc1+ 43. Ke2 Qc2+ 44. Kf1 Qc1+ 45. Kg2 Qc6+ 46. Kh2 Qc2 47. Qd4 Qe2 48.
Kg1 Qe1+ {A mistake for Black switching the queen to the dark squares.} (48...
Qc2 49. Qc3 Qd1+ 50. Kg2 Qd5+ {makes it difficult for White to improve.}) 49.
Kg2 Qa5 50. Qc4 Qa8+ 51. Kg1 Qa5 52. Qb4 Qc7 (52... Qa6 53. b3 axb3 54. Qxb3 {
is also winning.}) 53. Qxa4 Qc1+ 54. Kg2 Qxb2 55. Qa8 1-0

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Board 3 for the Blizzard this week was IM Andrew Tang.  Andrew also won his last match with the Black pieces in week 1.  This week he is playing WIM Irina Andrenko.

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[Event "ICC 66 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Andrenko-LUB"]
[Black "Tang-MIN"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2323"]
[BlackElo "2475"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {The Scotch Opening. Employed this year by
Minnesota's own Wesley So in January vs. Aronian.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6
bxc6 6. Qe2 {6.e5 is the main move here. Now Black can safely play ...d6.} d6
7. g3 Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O Nd7 10. f4 Re8 11. Nc3 Rb8 12. Rb1 Bb7 13. Be3 Bf6
14. Nd1 c5 15. Nf2 Bc6 {Andrew obtains a solid position out of the opening
with equality.} 16. c4 $6 {Creating some weaknesses.} Qc8 17. b3 Qb7 18. Qd3
Re7 19. Rfe1 Rbe8 20. Re2 g6 21. Rbe1 Bg7 22. Bh3 Nf8 23. e5 (23. Bc1 {is
better according to Stockfish. Black still has a small edge.}) 23... Bf3 $1
24. Rc2 f5 25. exf6 Bxf6 26. Rcc1 Bd4 27. Bd2 Be2 28. Rxe2 Rxe2 29. Rf1 Qe4 30.
Qxe4 R8xe4 31. Bg2 Re7 32. Bd5+ Kg7 33. Ba5 Rxa2 34. b4 cxb4 35. Bxb4 c5 36.
Be1 Rxe1 0-1

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Board 4 featured Saumik against WGM Heredia.

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[Event "ICC 84 30 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2015.09.08"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Narayanan-MIN"]
[Black "Heredia-LUB"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A52"]
[WhiteElo "1949"]
[BlackElo "2227"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 Bc5 {Budapest Gambit.} 5. e3 Nc6 6. b3
O-O 7. Bb2 Re8 8. Be2 a5 9. O-O Ncxe5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Nd2 Ra6 12. Nf3 Nxf3+
13. Bxf3 Rh6 {Black is playing extremely aggressive.} 14. g3 d6 15. Bg4 Re4 16.
Bxc8 Qxc8 17. Qf3 Qh3 18. Qg2 Qe6 19. Rad1 Rg6 20. Bd4 b6 21. Bxc5 bxc5 22. Rd5
a4 23. Rfd1 h6 24. Qf3 Rf6 25. Qe2 a3 26. R1d2 g5 27. Qd1 g4 28. Qc1 Qe8 29.
Re2 Qa8 30. Qc3 Rfe6 31. Qd2 Kg7 32. Qc3+ Kg6 33. Qd3 f5 34. Qc2 h5 35. h4 gxh3
36. Kh2 R4e5 37. Qd3 Qd8 38. Rxe5 Rxe5 39. e4 Qg5 {The game has been close to
equal, but here Black missed the fork!} 40. exf5+ (40. f4 fxe4 41. Rxe4 {and
White is winning.}) 40... Qxf5 {Now the tables have turned and Black is
winning.} 41. Qxf5+ Kxf5 42. Rxe5+ Kxe5 43. Kxh3 c6 44. Kh4 d5 45. Kxh5 d4 46.
f4+ Kf5 47. g4+ Kxf4 48. g5 d3 49. g6 d2 50. g7 d1=Q+ 51. Kg6 Qg4+ 52. Kf7 Qd7+
53. Kf8 Qd8+ 54. Kf7 Ke3 55. g8=Q Qxg8+ 56. Kxg8 Kd3 57. Kf7 Kc3 58. Ke6 Kb2
59. Kd6 Kxa2 60. Kxc6 Kxb3 61. Kxc5 a2 62. Kd5 a1=Q 63. c5 Qa8+ 64. c6 Kb4 65.
Kd6 Qc8 0-1

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Lubbock Tornadoes Minnesota Blizzard
GM Andrey Baryshpolets: 2608 0.5 0.5 GM Mauricio Flores: 2565
FM Steven Breckenridge: 2414 0.0 1.0 IM John Bartholomew: 2555
WIM Irina Andrenko: 2323 0.0 1.0 IM Andrew Tang: 2475
WGM Carla Heredia: 2227 1.0 0.0 Saumik Narayanan: 1949
Average Rating: 2393 Average Rating: 2386
Lubbock Total 1.5 2.5 Minnesota Total

Minnesota has moved to 2-1 now!  See you next week.

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