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Lenderman's Lead Grows in U.S. Championship

  • MF MikeKlein
  • on 12/05/14 21:47.

The changing of the guard continued in round five of the 2014 U.S. Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

GM Alex Lenderman held his endgame against GM Sergey Erenburg to move to 4/5, while second place GM Timur Gareev overpressed and lost. Lenderman now leads by one point over Gareev, GM Alex Onischuk, GM Varuzhan Akobian, and defending champion GM Gata Kamsky.

Although the tournament has yet to pass the halfway mark, Kamsky remarked after his game that he expected a new U.S. Champion this year. He has four draws and one win, which represents nearly the opposite of his title run last year. In 2013, he won his first four games before drawing the final five en route to a playoff win.

Gareev seemed to have the upper hand against Akobian, especially after the insipid 11...Qg5 was summarily rebuffed by 12. Nf3. The point is that taking the pawn on g2 is poisonous after 13. Ke2! and the queen is soon trapped.

But Black fought back and eventually won a rook and pawn ending, pulling an undefeated Akobian even with the chase group.

"It just goes to show you one bad move doesn't always cost you the game," GM Maurice Ashley said on the live commentary.

Lenderman's draw with Erenburg didn't feature as many swings. Perhaps slightly worse, he drew without too much of an issue.

He did not consider his play dominating over the first five rounds. "The games were very complicated, sharp battles," he said. Lenderman went on to say that he felt he had been quite lucky so far.

"Against Timur Gareev (in round two), he found the only way to draw. Everything else would have won," Lenderman said. He also would have accepted a draw against GM Josh Friedel in the opening round before going on to win.

GM Alex Lenderman

According to the leader, luck is required to win a tournament like this, "unless of course you're Magnus Carlsen...or maybe Hikaru Nakamura. They could win without being lucky."

He has three wins and two draws despite playing three Blacks in the first five rounds. Lenderman has yet to face top-seeded Kamsky.

The U.S. Championship assigns the winner an automatic qualification spot on the Olympiad team in even-numbered years. In recent times, the free pass has hardly been needed, as Nakamura and Kamsky have wrapped up every title since 2009. When asked if he had begun to think of qualifying, Lenderman said he had heard something about the rule. "I wasn't sure until you told me," he said to Chess.com. "I don't want to think about it and put pressure on myself."

In round six he gets GM Sam Shankland as White. The color is not terribly notable until you consider that he has had Black against Shankland in all eight previous games (scoring a dismal 1.5/8).

Getting back to even was GM Daniel Naroditsky. In a battle of youngsters, he ceded control of the board's only open file but later ensnared GM Ray Robson's knight to win.



Last year's Cinderella, GM Alejandro Ramirez, started meekly in 2013 but ended with a flourish to nearly topple Kamsky in the playoff. This year more of the same - he went winless in the first four rounds before breaking through today against GM Mackenzie Molner. He joins Naroditsky with an even score of 2.5/5.

"This tournament is not the same as last year," Ramirez said. "It is stronger. With it being a closed competition, it's harder to go on a streak." Last year was a 24-player Swiss; this year is a 12-player round robin.

His exchange sacrifice turned the tables. "The only issue is if I could get my knights back in the game," Ramirez said. "I thought if I could consolidate I would be better." The game already decided, Molner slipped and allowed mate. One of those knights did get back in the game - all the way back to his home square for checkmate (Black resigned before it was actually played).

Unlike Lenderman, Ramirez was well aware of the automatic Olympiad berth to the winner. "I've always wanted to play for the U.S." the former Costa Rican Olympiad leader said. "I'm just happy I won a game...at least I'm back in the tournament."

In the 2014 U.S. Women's Championship, GM Irina Krush, opened up a slim lead on her annual rival, IM Anna Zatonskih. Both entered the round on 2.5/3. Today Krush played a blistering attack, which she admitted is a relatively rare occurrence for her.

Krush said allowing the battery on the d-file was probably a mistake for Black. After 19. Ng5 "it's becoming very bad," she said. "The critical move is 19...h6. I was looking at Nxf7 but I like the move Qh5." Her analysis concluded that 20. Qh5 hxg5 21. Rxg5 Ne5 and Black limits losses to a pawn. Instead, if 20...Re7 21. Bf6! "That is really beautiful and it wins. When I saw it I felt confident in my position."

Instead, WGM Camilla Baginskaite poked the knight with her f-pawn, but opening up her king proved fatal and Krush's bishop got to land on f6 after all.

Zatonskih could not keep pace as she drew in a wild affair with struggling WIM Viktorija Ni. In fact the lower-rated player became the hunter in the ending until admitting that Zatonskih's fortress was impregnable. 

The tournament's sensation, 13-year-old Ashritha Eswaran, nearly stayed within a half point. She built up a sizable advantage against FM Alisa Melekhina before settling for a rook and pawn ending, which Eswaran could not win. "I probably messed up the endgame," Eswaran said. She said her expectations are going up as the tournament progresses.

NM Ashritha Eswaran


"She's got good fighting spirit," Krush, the top-seed, said of Eswaran, the bottom seed. "She's not intimidated by the players here. She's got good time management and it shows she's prepared."

All competitors play again Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Central Time (GMT -6). It will be round six for the men and round five for the women. You can view the live games and commentary at www.uschesschamps.com/live or at www.chess.com/tv

U.S. Championship Crosstable:

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Lenderman,Aleksandr 2582 2844 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 1 ½ 4.0/5
2 Gareev,Timur 2653 2671 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 1 1 3.0/5 7.50
3 Akobian,Varuzhan 2643 2648 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.0/5 7.50
4 Kamsky,Gata 2713 2700 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/5 6.25
5 Onischuk,Alexander 2668 2658 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ ½ 3.0/5 6.00
6 Naroditsky,Daniel 2543 2605 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 5.75
7 Ramirez,Alejandro 2595 2598 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.5/5 5.25
8 Friedel,Joshua E 2505 2521 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/5 5.00
9 Shankland,Samuel L 2634 2578 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/5 4.50
10 Robson,Ray 2631 2551 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.0/5 4.00
11 Erenburg,Sergey 2633 2499 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/5 4.50
12 Molner,Mackenzie 2522 2466 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/5 4.00
U.S. Women's Championship Crosstable:
# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Krush,Irina 2489 2532 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/4
2 Zatonskih,Anna 2469 2456 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 ½ 3.0/4
3 Abrahamyan,Tatev 2366 2376 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 2.5/4 4.00
4 Eswaran,Ashritha 1979 2366 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 2.5/4 2.25
5 Zenyuk,Iryna 2249 2401 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/4 5.25
6 Foisor,Sabina-Francesca 2238 2292 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 1 2.0/4 2.00
7 Nemcova,Katerina 2282 2247 0 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 3.00
8 Melekhina,Alisa 2151 2109 0 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1.5/4 2.25
9 Ni,Viktorija 2206 2026 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/4
10 Baginskaite,Camilla 2267 1890 0 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0.5/4

You can find a complete listing of the standings and pairings here.

Thanks to Mike Wilmering of the St Louis Chess Club. Tune into live play-by-play every day at 1 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. ET, 20:00 CET with GMs Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade at Chess.com/TVphpfCo1l0.png


Leído 4986 veces 20 comentarios
3 votos

Comentarios


  • hace 5 meses

    Marcokim

    @MikeKlein, the ratings, are they USCF or FIDE, the seem mixed up. Some look like FIDE ratings on the results table, others look like USCF ratings on the game PGN.

  • hace 5 meses

    Incredibletactic

    Round 5? Round 6?

  • hace 5 meses

    mobidi

    Irina - You are FANTASTIC- playing like Paul Morphy and Paul Keres ! You are my WORLD NUMBER 1 (second Fabiano ,3- Magnus ) .Good Luck!

  • hace 5 meses

    Lawdoginator

    Where's the report for today? I think Akobian caught up to Lenderman. 

  • hace 6 meses

    SummerStorm

    That was a great attack, and very fast, by Krush. Maybe it's one sign she's becoming more comfortable with the GM title.

  • hace 6 meses

    sean42

    Why isn't Nakamura playing?

  • hace 6 meses

    yogiOK

    It is nice to see Alex Lenderman doing so well and I hope he will continue to play as he can. He has remained very active and does little to call attention to himself, which makes for a nice and gentlemanly champion.

  • hace 6 meses

    zaplix

    let us praise irina! Good luck irina and may you win this year's championship! although i also wish good luck to the rest of competitors, whoever wins in the end she will prove worthy of the top prize. 

    irina is incredible and i admire her soo much, she has been studying and playing chess all her life since she was a little girl. she is truly amazing and devoted to her chess profession. she is also a very lovely person. 

     

    let us praise women in chess for their talent and dedication!

    good luck ladies of chess! thank you for being passionate and dedicated to advancing chess among female players, your work will surely serve as an inspiration to other young kinds in the future.

     

    thank you chess.com for providing live coverage of this important entertaining event also. 

    happiness to all

     


  • hace 6 meses

    zaplix

    Lenderman is my favorite to win, i always believe in him and i do hope that he titles this championship. But the competition this year is soo much stronger, too many young talented rising stars, kamsky is having difficulties and probably he will not win this year. i think he has admitted this inevitable outcome already, and that is reasonable as he is being realistic. however kamsky has yet to lose a game! sometimes great grandmasters cannot win tournaments because the competition is very tough and they do not have much chances at winning as they are forced to draws, the more draws you have the less likely that you will win the tournment thus. nonetheless, i would like to see more competitors in the future, the idea of having just 12 strong players does not sound good, it is after all a usa championship, so it should allow other players to compete, even if the results shall lean more in favor of the top gms. on the other hand, however, in selecting only a few players like this tournament presents, you are in effect raising the quality of play, so perhaps that is also valuable as a matter of chess quality play.

    God lenderman! May luck follow you till the end!

     

    "sometimes luck allows for unexpected results to conclude difficult if not virtually impossible events of life"

     

    "a chess player's greatest weapon is luck"

     

    "above all things, trust your instincts and follow your heart when making important or difficult decisions in life"

     

    zaplix

  • hace 6 meses

    MF MikeKlein

    @Markokim - what mistakes do you see?

  • hace 6 meses

    drumdaddy

    For the ninth year in a row Irina and Anna battle for top of the hill. Quite an historic rivalry. 

  • hace 6 meses

    titust

    Go Lenderman!

  • hace 6 meses

    titust

    Nice!

  • hace 6 meses

    Marcokim

    Very well written Mike, but a few too many mistakes on the tables, maybe give the ratings as USCF or FIDE whichever is more consistent. I know Peter Doggers has spoilt us with perfection:)

    However much appreciation and very well written.

  • hace 6 meses

    ErwinSachs

    Really enjoying watching the womens comp....how refreshing Irina Krush is every time I see her being interviewed, she does still look like the one to beat in the US. What can be said about Eswaran....13 & playing so strong.. what strength in 5 years??

    Learning so much just watching the commentary team....Cheers for the free lessons Yasser!

  • hace 6 meses

    Lawdoginator

    It would be great to see a youngster win this thing! Go Alex and Daniel! 

  • hace 6 meses

    MF MikeKlein

    Yep - one of several typos, hopefully all fixed. I submitted my story instead of saving. The journalistic equivalent of a mouse slim, I mean slip.

  • hace 6 meses

    GM gmfinegold

    Did you mean "slim lead?"  

    In the 2014 U.S. Women's ChampionGM Irina Krush, opened up a slip lead on her annual rival, IM Anna Zatonskih. Both entered the round on 2.5/3. today Krush played a blistering attack, which she admitted is a relatively rare occurrence for her.

  • hace 6 meses

    MrMars

    i want to see shanklands games...

  • hace 6 meses

    rav1ndra

    My first time play against GM, i lost but to be proud play againt the former world youth champion.

    http://www.chess.com/blog/rav1ndra/my-first-game-against-gm

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