Week 3 Review: Manhattan Applesauce vs. Baltimore Kingfishers
Manhattan Applesauce vs. Baltimore Kingfishers 2-2
GM Zviad Izoria (2624) - IM Levan Bregadze (2469) 0.5-0.5 View Game
IM Dmitry Schneider (2516) - IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (2492) 0-1 View Game
FM Rico Salimbagat (2259) - NM Jared Defibaugh (2297) 0.5-0.5 View Game
NM Ryan Goldenberg (2348) - NM Ian Schoch (2294) 1-0 View Game
Note: Players in italic have the white pieces.
The Week 3 match between the Manhattan Applesauce and Baltimore Kingfishers ended in a 2-2 tie. With all the other Northeast Division teams winning their matches this week, the Baltimore Kingfishers are now half a match point farther behind in the playoff race. The top 2 team in each division make the playoffs, so Baltimore is 2.0 match points back. There are still 7 weeks left in the season, so plenty of time to catch up, but it won't be easy especially as Baltimore faces the undefeated Dallas Destiny next week.
Board 1: GM Zviad Izoria vs. IM Levan Bregadze. The top board saw a Pirc Defense: 150 Attack. GM Izoria's 10. f4 appears to be a novelty. Black's knights were soon traded away and his pawn structure was quite unusual with doubled c-pawns and 3 other isolated pawns. White then chose to trade dark-squared bishops and jettison his f-pawn and e-pawn to attack the black king. However, the king was safe enough and the players settled for a draw by threefold repetition.
Board 2: IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat vs. IM Dmitry Schneider. The 2nd board started as a Queen's Gambit: Declined that transposed into an Open Catalan. IM Enkhbat played the novelty 12. Bf4. He then moved a rook to assert control of the d-file, which turned out to be a very important aspect of the game. The white knight danced in the center of the board provoking black to create weaknesses, especially on the dark squares. White managed to get a passed pawn on d6, which ended up deciding the game when it was finally allowed to be pushed toward promotion on the final move of the game before black resigned.
Board 3: FM Rico Salimbagat vs. NM Jared Defibaugh. NM Defibaugh played a rare variation of the Ruy Lopez called the Cozio Defense Deferred (3... a6 4. Ba4 Nge7). They were still following some master-level games until NM Salimbagat varied with 12. Bg5. Black seemed to be in trouble after allowing 22. Qf6+ and NM Defibaugh was more than half-an-hour down on time soon after that. However, after a series of exchanges, black had survived down just a pawn. Black's pieces were starting to get active when NM Salimbagat decided to go for complications with 37. e6!? allowing a knight to be en prise. However, he missed another incredible shot with 39. Nd7! Bxd7 40. Rc7! (not 40. Rc8+? Kg7 41. Rd8 Rd2 42. Rxd7 Rxg2+ 42. Kh1 Re2 -/+) Be8 41. Rc8 f5 42. Rxe8+ Kf7 43. Rd8 with white going up an exchange +/-. Instead, the players traded down into a Rook and pawns ending and agreed to a draw.
Board 4: NM Ian Schoch vs. NM Ryan Goldenberg. The bottom board began with the French Defense: Exchange variation. 9... Ne4 was the novelty played by NM Goldenberg. NM Schoch offered a draw around move 12. This did not incur USCL Rule F.6 against short draws as the match had been going on for more than 90 minutes by that time. Mate threats on g2 and g7 were exchanged as were pieces and the game changed into an opposite-colored bishops ending. Black was up a (doubled-)pawn and he nursed that material advantage into a win when white allowed his bishop to be trapped on a5. Black forced white release his own trapped bishop but allow black a 2nd passed pawn for which white would eventually have to sacrifice the bishop and concede the game.
TRIVIA ANSWER: GM Timur Gareev (Seattle Sluggers), GM Giorgi Margvelashvili (Dallas Destiny), GM Eugene Perelshteyn (Boston Blitz), GM Pascal Charbonneau (New York Knights), NM Ryan Goldenberg (Manhattan Applesauce), and NM Ian Harris (Manager of Connecticut Dreadnoughts) have all attended UMBC and are currently on other USCL Team Rosters. GM Niclas Huschenbeth, IM Levan Bregadze, and NM Ben Krause are the 3 players on the Baltimore Kingfishers who are currently attending UMBC, and also our manager, WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg, is an alumnus of UMBC.
For more information about the US Chess League, check out: http://www.uschessleague.com/
For archived blog posts, see: http://baltimorekingfishers.blogspot.com/