2014 Week 2 Review: Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Carolina Cobras
Baltimore Kingfishers vs. Carolina Cobras 1-3
IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2450) - IM Kassa Korley (2486) 0-1 View Game
GM Larry Kaufman (2405) - NM Ilker Bozkurt (2383) 0-1 View Game
NM Jared Defibaugh (2325) - NM Kevin Mo (2334) 0-1 View Game
NM Andrew Zheng (2208) - FM Robin Cunningham (2268) 1-0 View Game
Note: Players in italic had the white pieces.
The Carolina Cobras defeated the Baltimore Kingfishers by a 3-1 score. Carolina scored victories on the top three boards while Baltimore recouped a win on Board 4. Carolina moves into 4th place in the USCL's Southern Division while Baltimore drops into 5th place.
Board 1: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. IM Kassa Korley. The first board featured a Closed Catalan Opening with a novelty, 7... Na5, played by IM Kassa Korley. Rather suddenly, the a-file opened up and a multitude of exchanges were made until an opposite-colored bishop ending appeared on the board. Black was able to press due to his outside passed b-pawn being a promotion threat despite IM Korley never moving it farther than b5! In the end, he was able to advance his two kingside pawns and guarantee promotions before IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat resigned.
Board 2: NM Ilker Bozkurt vs. GM Larry Kaufman. The second board exhibited a French Defense: McCutcheon Variation with 8. Qg4 Kf8. Black playing Na5 was the novelty in this game as well though it occurred on move 17 here. Shortly after, there was a takeback incident when 21. exf6 gxf6 appeared on the board. Apparently, NM Ilker Bozkurt was playing with a physical board and writing moves on a scoresheet, and after 20... f6 was played, he instinctively typed "f6" to record the move rather than writing it on his scoresheet. The chess interface interpreted this as a move. After the onsite TD for Carolina verified that 21. exf6 was not played on the physical board and discussed it with the USCL TD, the takeback was granted with extra time given to GM Larry Kaufman per the USCL Rules, Section C. As the game resumed, black pressed on the queenside while white manuevered on the kingside. Black seemed to be making more progress until 34. g4 opened up possibilities on the kingside. Playing in time pressure, GM Larry Kaufman missed NM Bozkrurt's checkmate idea until the final position appeared, and then, his time ran out.
Board 3: NM Jared Defibaugh vs. NM Kevin Mo. Board 3 saw a sharp opening with a Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Meran Variation, Shirov-Shabalov Gambit (7. g4). The novelty was 12. Bd2, played by NM Jared Defibaugh. A game between two former USCL players, IM Daniel Fernandez and IM Lev Milman, saw 12. g5 played (See analysis board below for full game). Perhaps wanting to avoid losing an exchange, NM Defibaugh played the line starting with 15. Ne5, which dropped a pawn. The line 15. Be2 Nxd2 16. Rxd2 Bf4 17. Kb1 Bxd2 18. Qxd2 offers white compensation for the exchange as white retains a presence in the middle of the board and black does not have a clearly good way to break into white's side of the board. NM Defibaugh tried to hold on while down a pawn for about 50 moves, but NM Kevin Mo sure-handedly converted the rook and pawns endgame.
Board 4: FM Robin Cunningham vs. NM Andrew Zheng. Board 4 showcased another French Defense though this game was a Steinitz Variation with 5. Nf3. NM Andrew Zheng played the novelty 9... Qb6. FM Robin Cunningham offered the b-pawn and NM Zheng took it thinking it was not as poisoned as in other openings. NM Cunningham tried to play energetically (i.e. 15. Bb5), but black calmly defended solidly. There must have been some miscalculation on white's part as the game ended with him down 2 rooks.
Note that NM Kevin Mo chalked up his first points and victory in the USCL while NM Ilker Bozkurt scored his first victory as well.
Next week, the Baltimore Kingfishers face the Los Angeles Vibe for the first time ever on Tuesday, September 9th starting at 9PM EDT.
Check out all the US Chess League action at: http://www.uschessleague.com/
For archived blog posts, see: http://baltimorekingfishers.blogspot.com/