US Chess League 2009-2010 Archives
2009 US Chess League
AZ vs Chichago, Magness-Adelberg [30:32]
AZ vs Chichago Ramirez-Mitkov [26:52]
AZ Vs Chicago-Adamson-Pasalic [26:45]
AZ-TENN Altounian vs Burnett [19:54]
AZ-TENN Adelberg vs Justice [14:44]
AZ-TENN Ehlvest vs Ramirez [15:26]
AZ-TENN Andrews vs. Adamson [12:35]
USCL R2 Josh Friedel vs. Mark Zivanic [11:56]
AZ-SEATTLE SLUGGERS [29:02]
Sinanan vs Martinez Wk3 [14:52]
AZ vs Detroit Martinez-Uesugi [33:48]
AZ vs Dallas Zogrit vs Adelberg [24:13]
WK4 Inkhbat vs Altounian [14:21]
WK4 Mark Ginsberg vs L Kaufman [25:54]
WK4 R Kaufman vs Robby Adamson [24:18]
WK5 Scorpion-Dallas Destiny Wrap-up [24:51]
Scorpions WEEK 6 GAME OF THE WEEK [18:04]
Scorpions WEEK 6 WRAP-UP [32:17]
Scorpions Week 7 Barcenilla vs Bhat [48:25]
WK 9 Nakamura vs Alejandro Ramirez [59:19]
Lev Altounian vs Slava Mikhailuk [13:30]
WK 9 Milat vs Adamson [11:37]
WK 9 Amanda Mateer vs Josh Sinanan [25:28]
MIAMI-ARIZONA - The Good [34:49]
WK 10 MIAMI-ARIZONA - The Bad [6:55]
WK 10 MIAMI-ARIZONA - The Ugly [15:18]
Nakamura's 12 Move Loss [13:12]
Bhat-Rensch--Wild West Shootout [44:20]
2010 US Championship Games
2010 US Championship - Joel Benjamin vs Sam Shankland - A classic clash of a veteran player against the young Sam Shankland. This is a good illustration of the Maroczy Bind, in this one though, the players quickly exchange the light-squared bishops which makes for an interesting struggle.
Championship - Kraai vs Benjamin This is a wild and complex game.
Jesse let's his king stay in the center for a little bit too long and the
wily veteran, Joel Benjamin, show's why he holds the title of Grandmaster!
2010 US Championship - Robson vs Yermolinsky - White seems to deviate early in a Sicilian and Yermolinsky does not let this go unpunished. There were lots of sharp tactics that we not played on the board and by declining the tactics White just ends up in a lost position.
2010 US Championship - Irina Krush vs Kaidanov - Irina takes the game into a Carlsbad pawn structure, while this is usually a boring opening but not in this case. From a superior endgame position Irina unleashes a wonderful combination to close the deal.
Champinoship - Stripunsky vs Nakamura - Nakamura has a style all his
own, probably because no one else views chess the way he does. Still, this
unique style often leaves his opponents bewildered and slipping into a poor
position - such is the case here. In this case Naka gave up a pawn for
chances to attack his opponent's castled position and White did not find a
way to survive.
2010 US Championship - Hess vs Shankland - Here we have a Sicilian Najdorf with Be2 - Karpov's pet line. This game illustrates the diversity available to White in this line and the dangers that Black can face. One or two careless moves is all it takes.
2010 US Championship - Christiansen vs Gurevich - This was a big battle in the Richter-Rauzer line of the Sicilian. The game soon takes the flavor of the Main Line Najdorf after several moves and it seems that White was again getting the better of things. Indeed, the pressure that White puts on the Black castled position becomes too much to bear. This is another game that Larry could throw into his next book on Storming the Barricades.
2010 US Championship - Kudrin vs Onishuck - A modern Modern Defense. The game gets very tactical early on and gives us a complex game to look at. This game illustrates that an advance on the win should be best met by action in the center in a variation that was not played. Soon thereafter it seemed as though White was going to roll his opponent off the board, but chess is a fickle game and the tables were turned to black's favor. This game was wild all the way to the very end.
US Ch 2010 R2 Khachiyan vs Kamsky [15:52] - We get a King's Indian from one of my favorite modern day players, Gata Kamsky. Gata gives up a pawn on the queenside to fracture White's kingside pawns. Nakamura would later use a similar idea at the 2010 Olympiad. White, getting into time pressure, makes a couple of questionable moves, but they take Kamsky's ability to exploit his opponent's ideas.
2011 US Chess LeagueWk 1 Aldama vs Lugo [27:06]
Becerra vs Barcenilla [31:22]
Wk 2 Altounian-Cozianu [13:17]
Wk 2 - Adamson-Rohoyan [22:53]
Wk 3 - Barcenilla-Khachiyan [12:53]
Wk 3-GOTW-Rensch vs Abrahamyan [13:06]
Wk 3 - Tanaka-Mateer [12:34]
Wk 3 - Banawa-Aldama [24:50]
Wk 4--Harper-Sadorra [12:50]
Wk 4 - Bercys-Altounian [24:32]
Wk 4 Kiewra-Adamson [21:41]
Wk 4 - Adelberg-Zorigt [26:49]
Wk 5-Scorps-Blaze 3 game frag [25:22]
Wk 5-D Gurevich-Barcenilla [41:26]
Wk 6-Scorpions vs Kingfishers [34:49]
Wk 6 - A Draw Wont Do Any Good! [18:13]
Wk 7- Rensch vs Pruess [16:27] Danny Rensch plays what every amateur wanted to play in this particular line of the Caro-Kann but didn't have the cajones to do it! Danny's early Rh3 was either a dare from a teammate, a dare to his opponent, or simply Sam Shankland has been feeding Danny misinformation on a 'good' opening novelty! ;)
Wk 7- Naroditsky vs Adamson [10:56] Daniel Naroditsky came out with a King's Indian Attack against the aggressive Robby Adamson, but even this mild approach was not enough to take Robby off of his form. Just as Robby was about to demonstrate his endgame technique, tactics got in the way... in a favorable way.
Wk 7 AZ vs SF--Kraai-Barcenilla Part One [25:50] These two got into a main line King's Indian Defense and I must say that when Rogelio gets a pattern going he doesn't stop. Last week against Erenburg, Rogelio had to play for a win in a drawn position and it seemed like he was in that mindset in this game as well, though, Arizona would have been more than happy with a draw in this game.
Wk 7 AZ vs SF--Kraai-Barcenilla Part Two [14:01] In this game we pick things up at one of the main tabyias of the King's Indian Defense in the battle on Board One. For those who do not want to sit through some basic King's Indian Defense opening lecture, you can get right to the heart of the matter with this video.
Wk 7--Adelberg vs Liou [15:08] In this game David Adelberg has White against Yian Liou. As time was running out in this game the situation for San Francisco was becoming hopeless. Yian, in a level position, had to play on for a win. David left the door open a couple of times for Yian to grab the advantage, but these usually involved some trades that the San Francisco player did not want to venture into. David played carefully and secured the draw after a long tough battle. This draw secured 1st Place in the Western Division. All that was left was for St. Louis to score a win against the Chicago Blaze who trail Arizona by 1/2 point.
Wk 8- Shankar vs Gurzack [13:47]
Wk 8 - Young-Aldama [16:24]
Wk 8 - Altounian-Amanov [12:54]
Wk 9- Rensch vs B Finegold [15:50] Far out ranked on the top three boards, Danny felt pressure to perform and overextended himself in this game.
Wk 9- Barcenilla-Nakamura Pt 1 [16:01]
Barcenilla-Nakamura Part 2 [20:53] Rogelio has white against one of the toughest opponents in the league and Banjo fights Naka's odd style with his own off-beat line. The super-hyper-neo-accelerated Maroczy. This video is in two parts as there is a fantastic endgame to look at in part two.
Wk9 Yuri Shulman-Aldama [29:04]The tactical monster known as Dionisio Aldama has the black pieces against the second former US Champion on the St. Louis Team, Yuri Shulmam. A wild and complex Benoni Defense is the sword that Aldama chooses in this game, and indeed, this sword has a sharp edge.
Wk9 S. Finegold vs A. Mateer [12:12]
This is the only board on which
Arizona could claim
a rating advantage, and Amanda did not disappoint! This was a confusing game to me, the opening play by Amanda was bizarre in some ways, but that
helped to confuse her opponent as well. Both players kept pretty close to one another on the clock, but by the time these two reached move 15 or 16 all the
other games were pretty much coming out of the opening phases, the nice thing about this is that Amanda could hold back and see what was demanded of her, did she need to win? Well, it turned out that Arizona did need a win on this board as Aldama playing on Board 2, though he looked better, seemed to lose the thread. Our Lady of 9 Queens did not disappoint and managed to pull off a victory clinching 1st place in the Western Division with still one week of regular season play to go - Nice job, Amanda!
Quarter Finals Monday Games [38:40]
Quarter Finals - Miami vs Chicago [24:19]
Quarter Finals - AZ vs Seattle [59:51]
This video is a long one, about an hour in length, but in it I try to do my best to bring you the games as the players were playing them, we rotate through all the games over and over, so that you can get inside the player's mind of what is required of them in any given moment. The practice of 'team play' is difficult and often heartbreaking. This match-up is one of the best, if not the best, of the 2010 USCL season.
On Board 1 we see Lev Altounian hold his own against one of America's top players, Varuzhan Akobian. Black was slightly better throughout the whole game, but Lev thrives in this sort of pressure and never let his opponent the chance to improve his position, a draw was a just result in this game.
On Board 2 Costin Cozianu held Rogelio Barcenilla to a little less than nothing throughout the entire opening and middlegame. But it looked like nothing was going to be enough for Rogelio to hold a draw. Time pressure slipped into the game and Rogelio made a couple of very minor errors and Costin was able to finally break through and won a fundamental K+P ending after a nice little combination.
Board 3... well let's talk about Board 4 first! On the fourth board Michael Wang had White against Nick Thompson. White' opening play was uncoordinated and Black soon found himself in a very nice position. Nick had pressure on the opponent's castled position and on the other side of the board as well where he sac'd a pawn to gain a protected passed pawn. The players entered into an ending where each had a Q and 2 bishops, but Michael made mistakes (the first, trading queens was fatal, the second the result of the game was easily predicted), with poor endgame play Nick scored a much needed point against Seattle.
Board 3, only now can we talk about the game Adamson vs Mikhailuk! This game went 109 moves and all of them very tense indeed! Robby got a good game out of the opening and held a slight advantage for most of that phase. In the middle game Slava started to climb back into the game. By move 40 Slava was pressing hard. By this time the decisions on the other boards were easy to predict and Robby needed a draw (at least) while Slava had to win, nothing else would help Seattle. Slava kept pressing and pressing like a man possessed. But time trouble reared it's ugly head once again (for both players who got down to mere seconds on the clock). There were about three times that Slava could have pulled off the point, but then again, there were about three or four times late in the game that he could have lost or walked into a perpetual check himself. In the end Robby held things together and saved the draw, sending Arizona on to face Miami next week in the Semi-Finals.
Semi--New England-Boston [75:59] New England has had a record season by the USCL historical data, scoring 9.5-0.5 - absolutely incredible. But, are they ready to take on the talented Boston Blitz? Boston finished the season with a 7.0-3.0 score, an impressive record of their own.
Sam Shankland had Black against Larry Christiansen. Sam played a tough game and then decided to sacrifice his queen for a rook and a minor that didn't quite work out. Sam lost that game, however, Alex Cherniack and Robert Hungaski won their games. When Christopher Chase lost to Mark Esserman, the match ended up in a tie and since New England held the Draw-Odds advantage, they would proceed on to the Championship Match.
Semi-Final AZ vs Miami [62:21] Arizona joined the US Chess League in 2008 and this has by far been their best season. Last year Arizona pinned their hopes on having Alejandro Ramirez there to fight for them on Board 1, but this year there was no big-time player to fill the top board. But Arizona proved to be creative with the different line-ups they fielded and while the top boards were not heavy-hitters, the all-around strength of the team was solid. Even when teams 'stacked' the boards with three higher rated players and one very low rated player Arizona remained calm and managed to pull out some big wins, notably St. Louis and Seattle failed to gain wins with their stacked roster. So Credit the Scorpions for their tenacity and fighting spirit this season. Arizona led the Western Division for most of the season and clinched the Division Title (6.5-3.5) with one full match to spare to give them draw odds in this match-up with the Miami Sharks.
Miami had a rough start to the season and managed to sneak their way into playoff contention with a regular season score of 5.5-4.5. It seems that Arizona is the odds on favorite in this match to the death, but, Miami had beaten Arizona earlier in the season.
Well, as the games will show, this was quite a fight, and this time is was the lower boards that, throughout the year served the Scorpions well, proved to be their Achilles heel. Rosenthal on Board 4 had a tremendous game against Nick Thompson and after this loss Robby Adamson found himself under pressure so thick you could peel it back with the wrong side of a knife. The pressure proved too much for Robby and he committed a mistake while trying to force a win in an otherwise drawn ending, proving that a magician can hide only so many bunnies in the hat.
2010 US Chess League Championship [68:00]
Lot's of interesting stuff in this match-up. Obviously, New England with their fantastic season behind them were the favorites to win this match, however, that all needed to be proved over the chessboard. And prove it they did.
Things did not start out well when Charles Galofre had car problems and had to forfeit his game on Board 3. On Board 1 Sam Shankland was paired against Julio Becerra, probably the toughest player in USCL history to beat. Sam followed a line that gave him the edge and they headed into a bishops-of-opposite-color ending where Sam was a pawn up. Many kibitzers on the ICC thought that Becerra had an easy draw, but I was not so sure, I thought that Sam had good winning chances and at the worst would draw if he slipped up. This was one of the most fascinating endgames I have seen in a long time and Sam proved the nay-sayers wrong and proved this was a win with superb endgame technique.
Miami did have some glory in this match on Boards 2 and 4. On Board 4 Nicholas Rosenthal completely dismantled his higher rated opponent, Alex Cherniack and wrapped up the game with a crowd pleasing combination.
It was up to Board 2 where Robert Hungaski, for New England had the Black pieces against Marcel Martinez. Marcel held a slight edge through most of the game, but Robert played tough and made some daring calls at the right time. Marcel missed his chance to play the move 32. f5!? which would have really piled the pressure on Robert's position. Then, later in the game Marcel thought he was heading for a series of exchanges that would leave him two pawns up, only to find himself in a helpless position. Had he seen what was coming at him he did have the ability to trade off a piece for the two pawns and steer the game into unclear channels. As it was, Marcel was ground down by Robert's exacting play giving New England a landslide victory of 3-1 - who knows how things would have ended up if Galofre had made it to the playing site on time.
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