Danny Saves Chess.com from Day 1 Sweep!
After a full day of chess for our favorite Chess.com IMs Danny Rensch and David Pruess, day one of the Chess.com GM Challenge goes to the GMs, but not without a fight.
Taking place over the weekend at the Shelby School in Arizona with its legendary American chess scholastic team, of which Danny is a product, our "resident" IMs and favorite Chess.com/TV Hosts can go to bed tonight knowing they struck a blow, albeit a small one, against their GM counterparts.
Facing GMs Alex Yermolinsky and Suat Atalik in any fashion is pretty intimidating, but in a Double Scheveningen style match, meaning David and Danny play each GM with each color, just makes it more interesting.
Here are the pictures of the participating GMs:(Yermolinksy on top, Atalik below)
With the action being relayed from Arizona to our Live Chess Analysis boards thanks to BuddyT, the audience was treated to some awesome games with some awesome tactics, and tomorrow's final two games promise more of the same.
The time controls are 40 moves in 90 Minutes and a 30-second increment throughout the game with a 30-minute addition at move 40, making the games very exciting and up tempo, which they most definitely were.
Round 1 took place this morning at 10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern on the Live Chess Analysis boards and Danny and David drew Black, a problem right off the bat, especially against GMs of this caliber. The games were official as they were USCF rated.
David's game against Alex Yermolinsky was the first one to finish in Round 1, and as you will see from the game below, it wasn't a very pretty sight, as "Yermo" was beastly with his attacking. The game started out with a Queen's Indian with the sidelines of 4. g3.
Danny's game against Atalik didn't go much better, but did go a little longer after an Open Catalan. Atalik spent a very long time in think mode after Black's 11...Nd7. And Danny would do the same before he played 16...d4.
So after the first round, the GMs were each up a point. The games finished up at around 4:30 PM Eastern time, giving the players a little under two-and-a-half hours to prepare for Round 2, which started at 7 PM Eastern.
The players switched partners and colors as now Danny and David had White. There was some conversation in the chat, especially with me and ChristianSoldier007, as to what openings would be played by Danny and David. David, we just knew, would go his favorite KG as he faced Atalik. But Danny, knowing that he is big on the Nimzo, was pretty close to a sure thing, at least it was for me. The problem was Yermo and Atalik play pretty much everything, so it's hard to prepare for, even as White.
Once again, David's game finished first, and with his trusted King's Gambit (KGA: Muzio Gambit) in tow, we were pretty confident that he was ready to play. Sadly though, it didn't turn out the way we had hoped but it was an awesome game as the PGN below will show:
The one problem showing the games this way is that you don't see the times on the clocks before, during, and after each move. David spent an enormous amount of time after the 13th move-set and was down almost an hour before playing 13.Nd5. At that time, he was under 15 minutes on his clock. After 21. Bb5+, he had less than 9 minutes while Atalik had nearly an hour. It was a great game nonetheless and he got a great cheer when he came into the room afterwards. The discussion in the room during his game was incredible. I just wished I would've logged it to give you some idea of the awesomeness that went on.
Now, it's Danny's turn. Going up against Yermo in a Caro-Kann Advance Variation, Danny held the bishop pair but at the cost of both of his knights as the game began to develop even deeper. By move 30, both Queens were off the board, Danny had doubled rooks on the e-file, and once again, the discussion in the room was just incredible.
Here are the scoring tables for each match: (the number colors represent what color the player had with his respective result)
These were some fascinating games and tomorrow's final two rounds again starting at 10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern/6 PM London and 4 PM Pacific/7 PM Eastern/Midnight London, promise to be even more thrilling. Just go to LIVE Chess and check the "EVENTS" tab at the above times and enjoy the show everyone. The Analysis boards are open to ALL members! To find out more about this event, check out my blog entry with more details on it.
I hope to see you all there!