Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Webster sweeps; UMBC, Illinois and Texas Tech advance

Webster University chess team, l. to r., Maraani Kamphorst, Georg Meier, Manuel Leon Hoyos, Anatoly Bykhovsky, Le Quang Liem, Vitaly Neimer, Susan Polgar, Inna Agrest, University President Beth Stroble, Fidel Corrales, Andre Diamant, Ray Robson, Wesley So, Jake Banawa and Denes Boros. Photo courtesy of Webster University S.P.I.C.E.

The final standings are located here.

The 60th Pan American Intercollegiate chess tournament is over and the teams in the Final Four of college chess (known as the President's Cup) are determined! UMBC, Illinois and Texas Tech, along with the undefeated Webster University A-team, will compete in the Spring at a time and place to be announced (most likely in the Washington, D.C. area in early April - last year was in Herndon, VA). The Webster University A-team swept the tournament with a 6-0 match score, while the Webster-B team also scored well enough to qualify.

It is a long standing tradition that each college or university is limited to one team in the Final Four. National TD and FIDE Zonal President Franc Guadalupe was the chief tournament director. A total of 42 teams from 27 schools represented by 23 grandmasters, four WGMs, 12 IMs and six WIMs competed.

University of Illinois Chess Team, l. to r., Eric Rosen, Michael Auger, Akshay Indusekar and Leo Luo.

For the second year in a row, the team from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shocked the experts. Last year, with four wins and two draws in six total matches, the Illinois team garnered five out of six possible points and wound up in a 5-way tie for first place in the tournament. They repeated their spectacular 5-1 result again this year. It was the only team among the five that had no coach and no grandmasters. The team’s four players are Eric Rosen (2379), Michael Auger (2233), Xin “Leo” Luo (2202), and Akshay Indusekar (2094). All of the players except Indusekar were on last year's Illinois PanAm team.

NM Eric Rosen, the 2011 U.S. National K-12 champion (pictured above), led the Illinois team on Board 1 for the second year in a row. Source: Chicago tribune

GM Wesley So of Webster University, by way of the Philippines, and reigning World University Champion, won the first place prize on Board #3 and the best individual performance award with a perfect 6-0 score and a performance rating of 2894. GM Ray Robson, also of Webster, was the top rated US-born player in the tournament and took the first board #4 prize with the only other 6-0 score.

GMs Le Quang Liem of Webster's A-team, Fidel Corrales Jimenez of Webster's B-team, Niclas Huschenbeth or UMBC, WIM Mariam Danelia University of Texas at Dallas C-team and Yaroslav Zherebukh of Texas Tech all finished at 5-1 on Board #1. Zherebukh received the trophy on tiebreaks. GM Anatoly Bykhovsky of Webster-B was the clear winner on Board #2 with 5.5 points. The "Best Female" prize went to Mariam Danelia of UT-D, losing only to GM Anton Kavalyov (2704) of University of Texas at Brownsville.

Suprisingly, both UT-Dallas and UT-Brownsville fell short of advancing to the Final Four this year. Additional team prizes were awarded to University of Toronto (Division II), Harvard University (Div III), Oberlin College (Div IV), and UMBC-B team (Div V). Miami-Dade was the top community college. UMBC-B also received the biggest team upset prize for their win over Florida State University. The individual biggest upset was by Robert Huie IV (rated 1189) of UMBC-B. Huie defeated USCF Rated Expert Embert Lin (2005) of NYU in Round 1.

According to Texas Tech chess program director Al Lawrence, "The championship is rich in college tradition. The first Pan-Ams took place in 1946 (but the championship traces its heritage to a U.S. university championship going back even further) and was held biennially until 1962, when the event was made annual and has indeed been held every year since then."

Congratulations to all of the teams who made the trip to Lubbock for this year's tournament, especially to the host team from Texas Tech University for putting on such a great event in addition to qualifying for the Final Four.

Members of the Texas Tech University Chess Team with their coach, GM Alex Onischuk (rear).
Photo courtesy of Texas Tech University chess program

Games from Round 6:

Le (Webs-A),Q - Kovalyov (UTB),A [E06]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.d4 0-0 6.Nbd2 b6 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Bb7 9.e4 Na6 10.a3 dxc4 11.Nxc4 b5 12.Ne3 c5 13.d5 exd5 14.exd5 Nxd5 15.Nf5 c4 16.Rd1 Re8 17.Bf4 Nc5 18.Ne5 Rc8 19.Nxf7 Qd7 20.Ne5 Qe6 21.Rxd5 Bxd5 22.Nd4 Qd6 23.Nxb5 Qe6 24.Nd4 Qd6 25.Nf5 Qe6 26.Bh3 Qa6 27.Nxe7+ Rxe7 28.Bxc8 Qxc8 29.Rd1 Qe6 30.f3 Re8 31.h4 Nd7 32.Nxd7 Bxf3 33.Ne5 Bxd1 34.Qxd1 h6 35.Nf3 Qb6+ 36.Qd4 Re1+ 37.Kf2 Qxd4+ 38.Nxd4 Rb1 39.Bd2 Rxb2 40.Ke3 Kf7 41.a4 a6 42.Bc3 Rg2 43.Kf3 Ra2 44.a5 g6 45.Ke4 Rg2 46.Kf3 Ra2 47.Ke3 Rg2 48.Be1 Ra2 49.Nc6 Ke6 50.Bc3 Rg2 51.Kf4 Rf2+ 52.Ke4 Rg2 53.Nd4+ Kd7 54.Be1 Kd6 55.Bb4+ Kd7 56.Kf3 Ra2 57.Kf4 Rf2+ 58.Ke3 Ra2 59.Ne2 Ke6 60.Nf4+ Kf5 61.Kf3 h5 62.Ng2 Ra4 63.Ne3+ Ke6 64.Be1 Ra3 65.Bb4 Rb3 66.Be1 Ke5 67.Ke2 Rb2+ 68.Kd1 Rb1+ 69.Ke2 Rb2+ 70.Kd1 Rb1+ 71.Ke2 Rb2+ 72.Kd1 Rb1+ ½-½

Hernandez (UTB),H - Meier (Webs-A),G [D30]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.Be2 b6 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Bb5 Bb7 12.Qa4 Rfd8 13.Bc6 Bxc6 14.Qxc6 Nb4 15.Qa4 Nd5 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.bxc3 c5 18.e4 Nf6 19.Rfe1 cxd4 20.cxd4 Rac8 21.Qa6 Rc2 22.h3 Rdc8 23.Rad1 R8c4 24.Ne5 Rc7 25.d5 exd5 26.exd5 Qc5 27.Nd3 Qxd5 28.Nb4 Qc4 29.Qxc4 R2xc4 30.Rd8+ Kh7 31.Nd5 Nxd5 32.Rxd5 Rc1 33.Rdd1 Rxd1 34.Rxd1 Kg6 35.Rd3 Kf6 36.g4 Ke6 37.Kg2 Rd7 38.Rc3 Rd4 39.Kf3 Ra4 40.a3 g6 41.Kg3 b5 42.f3 Kd5 43.h4 a5 44.Rc7 Rxa3 45.Rxf7 b4 46.Rb7 b3 0-1

So (Webs-A),W - Cornejo (UTB),M [E32]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d6 7.Nf3 b6 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Nd2 Bb7 10.f3 c5 11.e4 cxd4 12.Qxd4 Qc7 13.Be2 d5 14.exd5 exd5 15.0-0 Rfe8 16.Rfe1 Qe5 17.Qxe5 Rxe5 18.Bf4 Ree8 19.Bf1 Nc5 20.b4 Ne6 21.Be5 Red8 22.Rac1 Rac8 23.Kf2 Ne8 24.a4 Nd6 25.cxd5 Rxc1 26.Rxc1 Bxd5 27.Nb1 Bb3 28.a5 bxa5 29.bxa5 f6 30.Bc3 Rc8 31.Na3 Kf7 32.Bd2 Rxc1 33.Bxc1 Nd4 34.Be3 Nc6 35.a6 Ke6 36.g4 g6 37.h4 Kd5 38.Bf4 Bc4 39.Nxc4 Nxc4 40.Bd3 Nb4 41.Be4+ Ke6 42.Kg3 Ne5 43.Bb7 Nd5 44.Bc1 Nc4 45.h5 g5 1-0

Nemcova (UTB),K - Robson (Webs-A),R [B85]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7 8.f4 0-0 9.Kh1 Bd7 10.Be3 a6 11.a4 Rc8 12.Nb3 Na5 13.e5 Ne8 14.Nxa5 Qxa5 15.Qd2 Bc6 16.Bd4 dxe5 17.fxe5 Nc7 18.Bd3 Nd5 19.Rf3 f5 20.exf6 Nxf6 21.Bc4 Kh8 22.Bxe6 Rcd8 23.Rd3 Nh5 24.Re1

24...Nf4 25.Bd5 Nxd5 26.Nxd5 Qxd2 27.Rxd2 Rxd5 28.c4 Rd6 0-1

Corrales Jimenez (Webs-B),F - Zherebukh (TTU),Y [B46]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Qd2 Bb4 8.f3 d5 9.a3 Ba5 10.Nb3 Bxc3 11.Qxc3 e5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Qd2 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.0-0-0 0-0 17.Rxd3 ½-½

Steingrimsson (TTU),H - Bykhovsky (Webs-B),A [B36]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.f3 0-0 10.Qd2 a5 11.Na4 Nd7 12.Be2 b6 13.0-0 Nc5 14.Nc3 Bb7 15.Rfd1 Qd7 16.Rac1 Rfc8 17.b3 Qe8 18.Bf1 h5 19.Kh1 Kh7 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 Bf6 22.g3 Rc7 23.Re1 Qd7 24.h4 Qf5 25.Qd1 Kg7 26.Rc2 Qc8 27.Kh2 Qb7 28.f4 Kg8 29.Bf2 Na6 30.Re3 Kg7 31.f5 Qc8 32.Bh3 Qh8 33.fxg6 fxg6 34.Rce2 Rf8 35.Rf3 Nc5 36.Bd4 Kh7 37.Ref2 Qg7 38.Rf1 Ra7 39.Qe2 Raa8 40.Be6 Bxd4 41.Rf7 Rxf7 42.Rxf7 Rf8 43.Rxg7+ Kxg7 44.Kh3 Rf2 45.Qe1 Rxa2 46.Bf5 Be5 47.Bxg6 Rb2 48.Bxh5 Rxb3 49.Kg4 Rxg3+ 50.Kf5 a4 51.Bg4 a3 52.Qd2 Bf6 53.h5 Nb3 54.h6+ Kh8 55.Qf2 Nd4+ 56.Kf4 Rc3 57.Bh5 Rc2 58.Qg1 Ne2+ 59.Bxe2 Rxe2 60.Qg6

60...a2 61.Qe8+ Kh7 62.Qf7+ Kxh6 63.Qf8+ Bg7 64.Qc8 Rh2 65.Qg4 Rh5 66.Qe6+ Bf6 67.Qg8 a1Q 68.Qf8+ Bg7 0-1

Hoyos (Webs-B),M - Moradiabadi (TTU),E [A05]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b6 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.0-0 e6 5.c4 Be7 6.Nc3 0-0 7.d3 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bd2 c5 10.a3 Nd7 11.b4 Rc8 12.Qb3 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 Bd5 14.Qb2 Bf6 15.Rfc1 c4 16.e4 Bxc3 17.Rxc3 Bb7 18.Rxc4 Rxc4 19.dxc4 Bxe4 20.Qd4 Nf6 21.Rd1 Qa8 22.Ne1 Bxg2 23.Nxg2 Rc8 24.Ne3 h6 25.Qf4 Qc6 26.Rd6 Qa4 27.Rd3 Qc6 28.Qd4 Qc7 29.Qa1 Nd7 30.f4 Nf6 31.Qf1 h5 32.Qf3 a5 33.f5 e5 34.Rd1 axb4 35.axb4 Qe7 36.b5 Qa3 37.Qe2 Qb3 38.Qd3 Qb2 39.Qd2 Qa3 40.Qe2 Qb3 41.Qd3 Qa2 42.Qd2 Qa4 43.Qe2 Qb4 44.Kh1 Qb3 45.Rd3 Qb4 46.Rd1 Qa4 47.Qb2 Qa8+ 48.Qg2 Qa3 49.Qe2 Re8 50.Nd5 Qc5 51.Kg2 e4 52.Nxf6+ gxf6 53.Rd5 Qc7 54.Rd4 Qe5 55.Qe3 Qxf5 56.Rd5 Re5 57.Rd4 Kg7 58.Rd6 Re6 59.Rd5 Qg6 60.c5 bxc5 61.Rxc5 Qg4 62.Rc6 Re5 63.b6 Rb5 64.Rc2 h4 65.h3 Qe6 66.Re2

66...Rb3 67.Qxe4 Rxg3+ 68.Kf1 Qxh3+ 69.Ke1 Rg1+ 70.Kd2 Qd7+ 71.Kc2 Qd1+ 72.Kc3 Qa1+ 73.Kc4 Qa6+ 74.Kc5 Rg5+ 75.Kc6 Qc8+ 76.Kd6 Qc5+ 77.Kd7 Rd5+ 0-1

Gorovets (TTU),A - Boros (Webs-B),D [D11]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Qb3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Qd1 ½-½

Huschenbeth (UMBC),N - Margvelashvili (UTD),G [B12]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.0-0 Bg6 7.Nbd2 Nh6 8.Nb3 Nf5 9.Bd2 Be7 10.g4 Nh6 11.h3 0-0 12.c3 Kh8 13.Ne1 Ng8 14.Nd3 f6 15.f4 fxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Qb6+ 18.Kh2 a5 19.a4 Be4 20.Nd4 c5 21.Nb5 c4 22.Qe1 Bc5 23.Bxc4 Ne7 24.b4 axb4 25.cxb4 dxc4 26.Qxe4 Rad8 27.Rad1 Rxd2+ 28.Rxd2 Bxb4 29.Rd4 Bc5 30.Rxc4 Nd5 31.Rfc1 Be7 32.Qd4 1-0

Professor and director of the chess program Alan Sherman (standing, center) with the team that represented UMBC at the 2013 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship in Lubbock, Texas. UMBC is one of the top four qualifying schools from the PanAm qualified to go on to compete in the Final Four of college chess, held in the Spring. The winner is considered national champion and takes home the President’s Cup. Team coach GM Sam Palatnik is standing of Prof. Sherman's left.
Photo courtesy of University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Sadorra (UTD),J - Kore (UMBC),A [A41]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.e4 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Nd4 9.Bxd4 exd4 10.Nd2 Ne7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Be2 c6 13.Bd3 Nc8 14.f4 Nb6 15.b4 Nd7 16.Nb3 Re8 17.Rc1 Rc8 18.dxc6 Rxc6 19.c5 dxc5 20.bxc5 Qe7 21.e5 Rd8 22.Bb5 Rc7 23.Bxd7 Qxd7 24.Rc4 Bf8 25.Kh1 d3 26.Rf3 Qf5 27.Qd2 Rcd7 28.h3 Rd5 29.Rf2 Qe6 30.Re4 Bxc5 31.f5 Qe8 32.Nxc5 Rxc5 33.e6 Rc2 34.Qh6 Rxf2 35.Rh4 d2

36.Qxh7+ Kf8 37.Qh6+ Ke7 38.Qg5+ Kd6 39.Qg3+ Ke7 40.Qg5+ Kd6 41.Qg3+ Kd5 42.Qd3+ Ke5 43.Re4+ Kxf5 44.g4+ Kf6 45.Qc3+ Ke7 46.Qc5+ Rd6 47.Qc7+ Kf6 48.Qc3+ Kg5 49.Qe3+ Kf6 50.Qc3+ Ke7 51.Qc7+ Kf8 52.Qxd6+ Kg8 53.Kg1 Rf6 54.Qxd2 Rxe6 55.Rd4 Re2 56.Qd3

56...Qe5 57.Rf4 Rxa2 58.Rf2 Rxf2 59.Kxf2 Qc5+ 60.Kg3 Qe5+ 61.Kh4 Kg7 62.Qd7 Qe1+ 63.Kg5 Qe3+ 64.Kh4 Qf2+ 65.Kg5 Qf6# 0-1

Bregadze (UMBC),L - Yotov (UTD),V [A11]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.d4 e6 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 c5 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Qe2 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Qb8 12.a3 Bd6 13.dxc5 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Nxc5 15.Bc2 Bxh2+ 16.Kh1 Be5 17.Qc6+ Ncd7 18.Ne4 0-0 19.Rxd7 Nxd7 20.Qxd7 Rd8 21.Qe7 Ra7 22.Qh4 Rc7 23.Nc3 g6 24.e4 a5 25.Bg5 Rdc8 26.Bd3 b4 27.axb4 Qxb4 28.Rb1 Rd7 29.f4 Bg7 30.Qh3 h6 31.Nd5 Rxd5 32.exd5 hxg5 33.dxe6 f5 34.fxg5 Qf4 35.Bf1 Rc1 36.Rxc1 Qxc1 37.Qd3 Qxg5 38.g3 Be5 39.Kg2 f4 ½-½

Holt (UTD),C - Paikidze (UMBC),N [D38]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (6), 30.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Qa4+ Nc6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 dxc4 10.0-0 a6 11.Bxc4 Bd6 12.Rfd1 Rb8 13.Qc2 b5 14.Be2 Bb7 15.a3 e5 16.d5 Ne7 17.Rac1 Qg6 18.Bd3 f5 19.e4 f4 20.a4 b4 21.Nb1 Qf6 22.Nbd2 g5 23.Nb3 g4 24.Nfd2 g3 25.Nc5 gxh2+ 26.Kh1 Bc8 27.Nxa6 Rb6 28.Nxc7 f3 29.Nxf3 Bg4 30.Qe2 Ng6 31.Qe3 Bxc7 32.Rxc7 Nf4 33.Bf1 Kh8 34.Rdc1 Bxf3 35.Qxf3 Qg5 36.Qg3 Qxg3 37.fxg3 Nh5 38.Kxh2 Nf6 39.Rc8 Rxc8 40.Rxc8+ Kg7 41.a5 Rd6 42.a6 Rd7 43.Bb5 Ng4+ 44.Kg1 Rf7 45.d6 Rf2 46.Bd7 1-0

Webster University A-team, pictured above, finished with a perfect 6-0 match score and a combined record of 19 wins, 0 losses and 5 draws in their collective games. Pictured, l. to r., are Ray Robson, Le Quang Liem, Wesley So, Georg Meier, Susan Polgar (coach) and P.J. Truong (alternate).
Photo courtesy of Susan Polgar Daily News & Information

Monday, December 30, 2013

PanAm update: Five teams fighting for 3 remaining spots...

Webster University defeated University of Texas at Dallas at the 2013 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship with three wins and a draw in their round five match to clinch a spot in the Final Four of College chess. Five other schools (all tied with 4 match points) are still in the running for the remaining three spots: University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Tech University, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, University of Texas at Dallas and University of Illinois. In order to advance, Texas Tech must defeat the Webster University B-team, which also has 4 points through the first five rounds.

Webster has clinched clear first because even if the A-team loses in the final round to University of Texas at Brownsville, creating a possible multi-way a tie at the top in match points, none of the other teams can catch them in tiebreak points. The sixth and final round is scheduled for today (Sunday) at 9 AM central time.

Round 5

UTD A vs Webster University A
GM Leonid Kritz (2676) W - GM Quang Liem Le (2786)
GM George Margvelashvili (2626) B - GM Georg Meier (2700)
GM Conrad Holt (2613) W - GM Wesley So (2743)
GM Ioan Cristian Chirila (2621) B - GM Ray Robson (2693)

Game scores from the top match:

Kritz (UTD-A),L (2676) - Le (Webs-A),Q (2786) [B23]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (5), 29.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nge2 Nf6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 g6 6.d3 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.h3 Nd7 9.f4 b6 10.g4 Bb7 11.Ng3 e6 12.Nce2 Qc7 13.c3 f5 14.Be3 Rae8 15.Qd2 Ne7 16.Rad1 b5 17.Kh1 Nb6 18.Bg1 Kh8 19.Rde1 Rd8 20.Qc2 Qc8 21.Be3 Rde8 22.Bc1 e5 23.gxf5 gxf5 24.Nh5 Rf7 25.Neg3 Rg8 26.Kh2 Qf8 27.Re2 Bh6 28.Ref2 Nd7 29.fxe5 Nxe5 30.Bxh6 Qxh6 31.exf5 Bxg2 32.Rxg2 Nd5 33.Qd2 Ne3 34.Rff2 Qg5 35.Rg1 Nf3+ 36.Rxf3 Nf1+ 37.Rgxf1 Qxd2+ 38.R1f2 Qc1 39.Re2 Qg5 40.f6 Qd5 41.Rfe3 Qxa2 42.Re8 Qd5 43.Nf4 Qf3 0-1

Holt (UTD-A),C (2613) - So (Webs-A),W (2743) [D43]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (5), 29.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 g6 10.0-0 Bg7 11.Rc1 0-0 12.e4 Rd8 13.e5 Qe7 14.Re1 b5 15.Bd3 Bb7 16.Ne4 c5 17.Nxc5 Nxc5 18.dxc5 Qc7 19.Re3 Bxf3 20.Qxf3 Bxe5 21.Rc2 Bxh2+ 22.Kf1 Be5 23.Bxb5 Rab8 24.Qe2 Rd5 25.b4 Qd8 26.Ke1 Qh4 27.Re4 Qh1+ 28.Qf1 Qh5 29.g4 Qg5 30.Qe2 Qh4 31.Bd3 Rbd8 32.g5 Bf4 33.Qf3 Rxd3 34.Rxf4 Qh2 0-1

Meier (Webs-A),G (2700) - Margvelashvili (UTD-A),G (2626) [E11]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (5), 29.12.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 e6 3.c4 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Nbxd2 0-0 7.Bg2 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.0-0 b6 10.e4 Bb7 11.e5 Ne8 12.c5 bxc5 13.dxc5 a5 14.Rfe1 Nc7 15.Bf1 Ba6 16.Nd4 Nb8 17.f4 Bxf1 18.Rxf1 Nb5 19.N4f3 a4 20.Ng5 g6 21.h4 Nd7 22.Rac1 Qe7 23.Ngf3 Qd8 ½-½

Robson (Webs-A),R (2693) - Chirila (UTD-A),I (2621) [C92]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (5), 29.12.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Nd7 11.Nbd2 exd4 12.cxd4 Bf6 13.Nf1 Na5 14.Bc2 Re8 15.Bf4 c5 16.e5 dxe5 17.dxe5 Bxf3

18.Qd3 Nxe5 19.Qxh7+ Kf8 20.Ng3 Ng6 21.Nf5 Re2 22.Rxe2 Bxe2 23.Re1 Bd3 24.Nh6 Ne5 25.Qg8+ Ke7 26.Qxf7+ Kd6 27.Bxd3 gxh6 28.Be4 Nac6 29.Rd1+ Nd4 30.Bxa8 1-0

Standings after round 5:
{click on image to enlarge}

Individual cross table after round 5:

Competing coaches Rade Milovanovic of UT-Dallas (standing on left) and Susan Polgar of Webster University (standing on right) watch their teams (UTD in green, Webster in blue) as they clash in round 5 of the 2013 Pan American Intercollegiate chess championship. Webster won the match to clinch a spot in the Final Four of College chess. The remaining three teams will be determined by today's matches. Photo courtesy of the Texas Tech chess program.

Round 6 pairings:

Related Links:
Official pairings and results, including wall charts
TTU tournament web site
Round 1 Games
Round 2 Games
Round 3 Games
Round 4 Games
Round 5 Games
Round 6 Games - watch live beginning at 9 AM today!!
Round 6 - games will be located here after the round is completed
Program booklet
Susan Polgar Daily News and Information
US Chess Federation coverage by Al Lawrence
Additional USCF Coverage (FSU)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Webster takes big match with Texas Tech; UT-Dallas also at 4-0

Photo courtesy of Sustina Jolie on Facebook

Webster University beat Texas Tech, 3-1, to advance to 4-0 with two rounds to go in the 2013 Pan American Intercollegiate chess championship. On board 1, Grandmasters Quang Liem Le and Yaroslav Zherebukh fought to a 55-move draw, as did GM Hedinn Steingrimsson and GM Georg Meier (in 57 moves) on board 2. But wins on the bottom two boards by GMs Wesley So and Ray Robson against GM Elshan Moradiabadi and IM Andrey Gorovets, repectively, turned the match in the defending champions' favor. The top four teams will advance to a separate tournament next Spring known as the Final Four of College Chess.

Round 5 pairings:

Watch the games live.

Games from Round 1 here.
Round 2 games with UT-T DGT Applet to play over the games, courtesy of Luis Salinas

Photo of playing hall at Overton Hotel in Lubbock Texas, courtesy of Texas Tech University chess program

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top teams face off in rd. 4 of PanAm Intercollegiate

As in college basketball, where the past two champions (Kentucky and Louisville) faced off this afternoon, the two most recent college chess champions, Webster and Texas Tech, are paired against each other tomorrow morning in round 4 of the 2013 Pan American Championships in Lubbock, TX. Both teams are 3-0 so far.

Webster University - Texas Tech University
GM Le Quang Liem (2786) (W) - GM Yaroslav Zherebukh (2692)
GM Georg Meier (2700) (B) - GM Hedinn Steingrimsson (2618)
GM Wesley So (2743) (W) - GM Elshan Moradiabadi (2647)
GM Ray Robson (2693) (B) - IM Andrey Gorovets (2627)

42 teams from 27 different colleges and universities are represented.

The games from the current round can be watched live while in progress here.

Click on images below to enlarge.

Online coverage of the 2013 PanAms can be found here and here.

Local TV coverage.

Local newspaper coverage.

Games from Round 1:

Winter (Chicago),C (2786) - Le (Webs-A),Q (2103) [D77]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 dxc4 7.Na3 Nc6 8.Nxc4 Be6 9.Nce5 Bd5 10.e3 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 c5 12.b3 cxd4 13.exd4 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Qd5+ 15.Kg1 Ne4 16.Bb2 Rac8 17.Rc1 Rxc1 18.Qxc1 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Nd2 20.Rd1 Rd8 0-1

Meier (Webs-A),G (2700) - Robinson (Chicago),D (2083) [B52]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 g6 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Nde2 Nf6 10.f3 0-0 11.0-0 a6 12.a4 Qc7 13.Kh1 Rac8 14.b3 Qb6 15.Rb1 Rfd8 16.Bg5 Nb4 17.Qd2 Rd7 18.Rfd1 Qc5 19.Rbc1 Nc6 20.Nd5 Qa5 21.Qxa5 Nxa5 22.Nb6 Rcd8 23.Nxd7 Rxd7 24.Rd3 b6 25.Rcd1 Nb7 26.e5 Ne8 27.Re3 e6 28.exd6 Nexd6 29.Red3 Bf8 30.Bf4 Kg7 31.Nc3 f6 32.Ne4 e5 33.Be3 1-0

Rand (Chicago),S (2065) - So (Webs-A),W (2743) [A29]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.Rb1 f6 11.d3 a5 12.b5 Nd4 13.Nd2 Qc8 14.e3 Nf5 15.Qc2 a4 16.Nce4 Rd8 17.Nc4 Qd7 18.Ned2 Qxd3 19.Qxd3 Rxd3 20.Bxb7 Rad8 21.Nxb6 cxb6 22.Ne4 Bxa3 23.Ra1 Bxc1 24.Rfxc1 a3 25.Kg2 a2 26.Rc2 Rxe3 27.Nc3 Nd4 28.Rcc1 Rd3 29.Nxa2 Nb3 0-1

Robson (Webs-A),R (2693) - Miller (Chicago),N (1823) [B90]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 28.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 h6 8.Bc4 Qc7 9.Bb3 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Nh4 Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.Ng6 Rd8 14.Na4 Nbd7 15.Nxe7+ Kf7 16.c4 Kxe7 17.Rc1 Qc6 18.f3 b6 19.b3 Rac8 20.Qd2 Nc5 21.Nb2 a5 22.Rfd1 g5 23.h3 d5 24.cxd5 exd5 25.exd5 Rxd5 26.Qe2 e4 27.fxe4 Rxd1+ 28.Rxd1 Qxe4 29.Nc4 Ne6 30.Qf2 b5 31.Nd6 Qc2 32.Nxc8+ Qxc8 33.Qf5 Qc3 34.Bd4 Nxd4 35.Qe5+ Kf7 36.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 37.Rxd4 Ke6 38.Rd8 g4 39.Ra8 a4 40.bxa4 bxa4 41.h4 1-0

Zherebukh (TTU-A),Y (2692) - Vasquez (UTB-B),S (2069) [B20]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e6 4.axb4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Nf6 7.Bd3 d6 8.f4 0-0 9.Nf3 Qc7 10.Qc2 h6 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.e5 Nd5 13.Qe2 Re8 14.Bd2 N5b6 15.c4 d5 16.c5 Nxc5 17.dxc5 Bxc5+ 18.Kh1 Qe7 19.Be1 Bd7 20.Nbd2 Na4 21.Nb3 Bb6 22.Nbd4 Rec8 23.f5 Nc3 24.Qb2 Na4 25.Qd2 Bxd4 26.Nxd4 exf5 27.Nxf5 Qxe5 28.Bg3 Qc3 29.Ne7+ Kh8 30.Qxc3 Rxc3 31.Be5 Be6 32.Bxc3 Nxc3 33.Ra3 d4 34.Rf4 Re8 35.Rxd4 Nb5 36.Bxb5 Rxe7 37.Rd8+ Kh7 38.Bd3+ g6 39.Rxa7 Bc4 40.Ra1 1-0

Serna (UTB-B),J (2010) - Steingrimsson (TTU-A),H (2618) [B90]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.a4 Be7 9.Bg5 Nbd7 10.Nd2 h6 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.Bc4 Be6 13.Bb3 0-0 14.Nf1 Qa5 15.Qd2 Qb4 16.Ne3 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Qxe4 18.Bd5 Qd4 19.Rd1 Qxb2 20.0-0 Rac8 21.Rb1 Qd4 22.Rfd1 Qxa4 23.Rxb7 Rfe8 24.Qd3 Bg5 25.Nf5 Qxc2 26.Qxc2 Rxc2 27.Bxe6 Rxe6 28.f4 Bxf4 29.Rxd6 Rxd6 30.Nxd6 Rd2 31.Nxf7 Be3+ 0-1

Moradiabadi (TTU-A),E (2647) - De La Parra (UTB-B),D (1994) [D38]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nc3 0-0 5.Bg5 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 c6 8.Bd3 Bg4 9.Qc2 Nbd7 10.Bxh7+ Kh8 11.Ne5 Be6 12.Bf5 Qe7 13.0-0 Bxf5 14.Qxf5 Kg8 15.Ne2 Qe6 16.Qxe6 fxe6 17.Nd3 Bd6 18.Bf4 Be7 19.h3 Ne4 20.f3 Nd6 21.b3 Rae8 22.g4 Nf7 23.Bg3 Ng5 24.Kg2 Bf6 25.Nef4 Nh7 26.h4 g5 27.Ng6 Rf7 28.h5 Nhf8 29.Nxf8 Nxf8 30.Be5 Nd7 31.Bxf6 Nxf6 32.Ne5 Rg7 33.Kh3 Rf8 34.f4 Ne4 35.fxg5 Nxg5+ 36.Kh4 Nf7 37.Rf6 Re8 38.h6 Rh7 39.Kh5 Nd6 40.Raf1 1-0

Cortez (UTB-B),A (2627) - Gorovets (TTU-A),A (1981) [B40]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.b3 a6 4.Bb2 Nc6 5.Qe2 Nf6 6.g3 Be7 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 d5 9.exd5 exd5 10.d4 Bg4 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.a4 Re8 13.Qd2 Ne4 14.Qf4 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Qb6 16.Nd2 Nd4 17.a5 Qb4 18.Bxd4 Qxd4 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Ra4 Qe5 21.Qxe5 Rxe5 22.Rxe4 Rxe4 23.Bxe4 Bb4 24.Ra1 Rb8 25.Ra4 Bd2 26.Kf1 g6 27.Ke2 Bc3 28.Kd3 Be1 29.Ke2 Bc3 30.Kd3 Be1 31.f3 Kf8 32.c3 Bf2 33.Ke2 Bg1 34.Rb4 b5 35.axb6 Rxb6 36.Rxb6 Bxb6 37.Kd3 Bg1 38.h3 Bf2 39.g4 Ke7 40.b4 Bb6 41.Kc4 Kd6 42.Bd5 f6 43.Bb7 a5 44.bxa5 Bxa5 45.Kd4 h5 46.gxh5 gxh5 47.Bc8 h4 48.c4 Bb6+ 49.Ke4 Bf2 50.Kf5 Bd4 51.Be6 Kc5 52.Bd5

Miller (Harvard),J (2222) - Sadorra (UTD-A),J (2667) [D38]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qa4+ Nc6 8.e3 0-0 9.Bd3 Bd7 10.Qc2 dxc4 11.Bxc4 e5 12.0-0 exd4 13.Nd5 Qd6 14.exd4 Ba5 15.Rfd1 Bg4 16.Qe4 Bh5 17.Nf4 Rae8 18.Qd5 Qxf4 19.Qxh5 Bb6 20.Qh4 Qxh4 21.Nxh4 Re4 22.Nf3 Nxd4 23.Nxd4 Bxd4 24.Bd5 Rf4 25.Rd2 c6 26.Bf3 Re8 27.Kf1 Bb6 28.a3 g5 29.h3 Re6 30.Re1 Ref6 31.Re4 Rxe4 32.Bxe4 Be3 33.Re2 Bd4 34.Rd2 c5 35.b3 b5 36.f3 Ra6 37.Ra2 Kg7 38.Bd3 Ra5 39.a4 c4 40.bxc4 b4 41.Bc2 Re5 42.Bb1 b3 43.Rd2 Bc3 44.Re2 Rc5 45.Re4 Rc7 46.Ke2 Rd7 47.Re3 Rd2+ 48.Ke1 Ba5 49.Re2 Rb2+ 0-1

Yotov (UTD-A),V (2617) - Landesman (Harvard),A (2114) [D91]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.cxd5 Qxd5 8.e3 c5 9.Nf3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 11.Be2 e5 12.dxe5 Qa5+ 13.Qd2 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2 Nxe5 15.Rab1 0-0 16.Nd4 Nc6 17.Nxc6 bxc6 18.Bc4 Re8 19.Rhc1 Be6 20.Rb7 Reb8 21.Rxb8+ Rxb8 22.Bxe6 Rb2+ 23.Kd3 fxe6 24.Rxc6 Rxa2 25.Rxe6 a5 26.Ra6 Ra3+ 27.Ke2 a4 28.Bf6 Bxf6 29.Rxf6 Ra1 30.Ra6 a3 31.Kf3 Kf7 32.g4 Ke7 33.Kf4 a2 34.Kg5 Kf7 35.h4 h5 36.Ra7+ Ke6 37.Kxg6 hxg4 38.Kg5 Ke5 39.h5 g3 40.fxg3 Rg1 41.Ra5+ Ke4 42.Rxa2 Rxg3+ 43.Kf6 Rf3+ 44.Ke6 Rxe3 45.Ra4+ Kf3+ 46.Kf5 1-0

Nguyen (Harvard),V (2613) - Holt (UTD-A),C (1955) [C00]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.g3 Bd6 5.Bg2 Ne7 6.Ngf3 Nbc6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1 Qc7 9.Nf1 d4 10.N1d2 Qb8 11.Nc4 Bc7 12.a4 e5 13.Qe2 f6 14.Rf1 Bg4 15.h3 Be6 16.b3 a6 17.Nh2 b5 18.Nb2 Qc8 19.h4 Qd7 20.f4 exf4 21.gxf4 f5 22.h5 Rae8 23.e5 Nb4 24.Rf3 Kh8 25.Rg3 Bf7 26.axb5 axb5 27.Bd2 Nxc2 28.Ra6 Bxb3 29.h6 g6 30.e6 Qc8 31.Ra7 Ng8 32.Ba5 Rxe6 33.Qf3 Bxa5 34.Rb7 Re3 35.Qf2 Be1 0-1

Chirila (UTD-A),I (2621) - Puri (Harvard),I (1671) [D52]
2013 Pan Am Intercollegiate (1), 27.12.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 c6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Bd6 7.Qc2 h6 8.Bh4 Qa5 9.Be2 Ne4 10.0-0 g5 11.Bg3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 dxc4 13.Nd2 Qc7 14.Nxc4 Be7 15.f4 h5 16.Ne4 g4 17.b4 f5 18.Nc5 Nxc5 19.bxc5 h4 20.Ne5 hxg3 21.Bxg4 fxg4 22.Qg6+ Kd8 23.Nf7+ Kd7 24.Nxh8 b6 25.Nf7 Ba6 26.Ne5+ Kc8 27.Rfc1 Rb8 28.Qxe6+ Kb7 29.cxb6 Kxb6 30.Rxc6+ Kb7 31.Rxc7+ Ka8 32.Qc6+ Bb7 33.Rxb7 Rxb7 34.Rb1

I will add the links to games from rounds 2 and 3 in tomorrow's blog.

Friday, December 27, 2013

E-town Christmas Open is tomorrow; PanAm starts at TTU in Lubbock

When I was living in Oregon, one of the local organizers (H.G. Pitre) suggested a series of chess tournaments starting around noon rather than 9 AM or 10 AM so that, among other reasons, it would be more convenient and less expensive (one less night in a hotel) for players traveling a long distance to the event. I found his suggestion intriguing and told him that I would give it a try in the Pacific Northwest at some point in the future. In the meantime, I moved away before I could fulfill my promise. But it remains on my "to do" list.

Interestingly, tomorrow will be my second tournament in Kentucky this month and both have had mid-day start times for round 1. I like it!

Elizabethtown, the site of tomorrow's tourney is an hour and a half 85-mile trek down the Bluegrass Parkway. It's a beautiful drive, but not one I that would enjoy as much if I had to get up at six o'clock on a Saturday morning.

Here's the link to the tournament flyer.

Of course, where I would really like to be heading this weekend is the Pan American Intercollegiate Championship in Lubbock, TX, with the Cornell University Chess Team. Cornell recently won the Eastern Team Championship for the second year in a row and, last February, finished in second place in the U.S. Amateur Team East (aka the World Team Championship). The players have been working with GM Alex Yermolinsky via Skype, so I think they would be competitive at Texas Tech.

<-- TTU Chess Program Director, Al Lawrence, and "friend" promoting the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship in Lubbock, Texas, December 27-30. The top four teams will advance to the Final 4 of College Chess next Spring.

Sadly, the team members could not get any funding from the university and were told that they could not use their student activity money during the school break. It's an absurd rule but, apparently, it is the result of past abuses by other students not related to the chess team. I feel badly for the students and wish I had the resources to write them a check myself. As a result, there will be no Cornell team in Lubbock this year. I am very disappointed, as I know that the coach and the players (and tournament organizer Al Lawrence) are as well.

The program for the 2013 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship can be downloaded here.

42 teams are entered this year. Defending Final Four Champion Webster University (Webster Groves, MO) is seeded #1 with a 2770 average rating, followed by Texas Tech at 2646 and University of Texas at Dallas at 2633.
PanAm Pairings and Results

The games from the PanAm can be watched here.

With respect to my last tournament, I finished 2-1 and gained a few rating points. The tournament was played at Expansive Art in Lexington on December 7, a one-day 3-rounder that is part of a first-Saturday-of-the-month series. This particular tournament became known as "Weekend Ice Storm" for reasons that would have been obvious to anyone in attendance. My favorite game was against Eric Martin because it ended with an unusual bishop + knight mate against my opponent's exposed king.

Frank Niro vs Eric Martin [B13]
Lexington, KY (2), December 7, 2013
Caro Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Qb6 7.Qc2 Bd7 8.Nf3 0-0-0 9.Nbd2± h6 10.h3 Nh5 11.Bh2 g5 12.g4 Ng7


13.Qb3 Qxb3 14.axb3! f6 15.b4+- e5 16.b5

16.dxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 fxe5 18.0-0 Bd6 19.Rxa7±

16...e4 17.Bxe4

17.bxc6 Bxc6 18.Bc2 exf3 19.Rxa7 Bd6 20.Bxd6 Rhe8+ 21.Kd1 Rxd6 22.Nxf3±

17...dxe4 18.Nxe4 Re8

18...Nb8 19.Rxa7 Ne6 20.c4

19.Nfd2 f5 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.f3 Nd8 22.Rxa7 Nh5 23.Be5


23...Rh7 24.Nc4 Bxe4?

24...Kd7 25.0-0 Bxe4 26.fxe4 Nf4 27.Nb6+ Ke6 28.Bxf4 gxf4 29.Rxf4 Rg7+ 30.Rg4 Rxg4+ 31.hxg4± Be7 32.Kg2

25.Nb6# 1-0

FINAL POSITION: Niro-Martin, Lexington, KY, December 7, 2013

SUPPLEMENTAL GAMES: For those interested in this particular opening variation beginning after 6...Qb6, following are a few previously unpublished games from my personal database...

Note: ratings are correspondence ratings

Niro,F (2027) - DiLucente,T (1847) [B13]
ASPCC, 10.03.2000

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Qb6

Position after 6...Qb6

7.Qc2 g6 8.Nd2 Bf5 9.Bxf5 gxf5 10.0-0-0 e6 11.Re1 Rc8 12.Qxf5 Be7 13.Qh3 Nxd4 14.Be3 Qb4 15.Kd1 Rxc3 16.bxc3 Qa4+ 17.Nb3 Nxb3 18.axb3 Qxb3+ 19.Ke2 Qc4+ 20.Kf3 Qe4+ 21.Ke2 Qc4+ 22.Kf3 Qe4+ 23.Ke2 Qc4+ 24.Kd1 Qb3+ 25.Ke2 Qc4+ 26.Kf3 ½-½

Niro,F (2050) - Easley,D (2216) [B13]
ASPCC 2001, 25.01.2001

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Qb6 7.Qc2 Bg4 8.Nd2 Rc8 9.Ngf3 e6 10.0-0 Bh5 11.Qb3 Qxb3 12.axb3 Bg6 13.Be2 Nh5 14.Be3 Bd6 15.b4 a6 16.Nb3 Rb8 17.b5 axb5 18.Bxb5 0-0 19.Nc5 Bxc5 20.dxc5 Nf6 21.b4 Ne4 22.Ra3 Ra8 23.Rfa1 Rxa3 24.Rxa3 0-1

Niro,F (2117) - London,A (1690) [B13]
Gameknot.com, 20.12.2009

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Qb6 7.Qb3 Qxb3 8.axb3 e6 9.Ne2 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.b4 Bd7 12.b5 Nd8 13.Nd2 b6 14.Ra2 Ne4 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Bxe4 Rc8 17.Bd3 1-0

Niro,F (2103) - Briggs,J (2040) [B13]
Gameknot.com, 02.12.2009

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Qb6 7.Qc2 g6 8.Nd2 Nh5 9.Be3 Qc7 10.Ne2 Bg7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rae1 Bd7 13.f4 Rfc8 14.a3 e6 15.Nf3 Qb6 16.Nc1 Ne7 17.Qb3 Nf6 18.Ne5 Be8 19.Qxb6 axb6 20.g4 Ne4 21.Kg2 f6 22.Nf3 Ra5 23.Re2 Ba4 24.Rfe1 Raa8 25.Bf2 f5 26.h3 Rc7 27.Bg1 Nc8 28.Ng5 Re7 29.Na2 Ncd6 30.Nb4 Rf8 31.Bh2 Bb3 32.Bb1 Nc4 33.Nd3 Rc8 34.Bg3 Ree8 35.Bh4 Rc7 36.Nc1 Ba4 37.Nd3 Bb5 38.gxf5 gxf5 39.Nf3 Kh8 40.Kh2 Rg8 41.Rg2 Bh6 42.Rxg8+ Kxg8 43.Re2 Rg7 44.Bg5 Bxg5 45.fxg5 Nxg5 46.Nxg5 Rxg5 47.Nf4 Bd7 48.Bd3 Kf7 49.Bxc4 dxc4 50.d5 exd5 51.Nxd5 Be6 52.Nf4 Bd7 53.Nd5 Be6 54.Nxb6 f4 55.Rf2 Rf5 56.a4 Kf6 57.Rf1 h6 58.h4 Ke5 59.Kg2 Rh5 60.Rh1 Kf5 61.a5 Kf6 62.Rd1 Rxh4 63.Nd7+ Ke7 64.Nc5 Rh5 65.Nxe6 Kxe6 66.Rd4 Rxa5 67.Rxc4 Rb5 68.b4 Rf5 69.Kf3 h5 70.Re4+ Kf6 71.Re8 b5 72.Rg8 Kf7 73.Rg1 Ke6 74.Rg6+ Kd7 75.Rg7+ Kc6 76.Rg6+ Kd5 77.Rb6 Kc4 78.Rc6+ Kd5 79.Rb6 Kc4 80.Rc6+ ½-½

Niro,F (1914) - Simi,J (1901) [B13]
Gameknot.com, 05.10.2009

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.c3 Nc6 6.Bf4 Qb6 7.Qc2 Bg4 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Be7 10.0-0 Rc8 11.Qb3 Qxb3 12.axb3 a6 13.h3 Bh5 14.Rfe1 Bg6 15.Be2 h6 16.b4 0-0 17.b5 axb5 18.Bxb5 Ne4 19.Bxc6 bxc6 20.Ne5 Nxd2 21.Nxg6 fxg6 22.Bxd2 Kf7 23.Ra6 Bd6 24.b3 Ke7 25.c4 dxc4 26.bxc4 Kd7 27.Rb1 Rb8 28.Ra7+ Bc7 29.Rxb8 Rxb8 30.Bf4 Rc8 31.Be5 Kd8 32.Bxg7 Rb8 33.Bf6+ Kc8 34.Rxc7+ Kxc7 35.Be5+ Kb7 36.Bxb8 Kxb8 37.c5 Kc7 38.Kh2 Kd7 39.Kg3 Ke7 40.Kf4 Kf6 41.h4 h5 42.Ke4 Ke7 43.Ke5 1-0

Wish me luck tomorrow! And good luck to all the teams at the 2013 Pan American Intercollegiate tournament in Lubbock, TX.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tash and I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, a joyous holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year in 2014! Below is our annual open letter to our family and friends. We especially miss our children and grandchildren who, this year, are all far away from our temporary home in Kentucky.

Dear family and friends,

Greetings from Kentucky! This Christmas marks the 4th different state in which we have celebrated the holidays in four years. In 2010 we were in our beautiful historic home in Oregon City. 2011 brought us to Ithaca, NY, and the campus of Cornell University. Last year we made it back to Meridian, Idaho, to celebrate with Tash's parents: Gene & Celeste Fox.

The end of 2013 finds us in Lexington, far away from where we began our “adventure of a lifetime” in Oregon. We packed up the Conestoga wagon (aka Penske truck) in late June and made our way across the country (by late July) so Tash could begin doctoral studies at the University of Kentucky in the Graduate Center for Gerontology. (You may have heard of UK…they have a little basketball team here.) The first school term is successfully finished, with Tash’s sanity (mostly) still intact. Her winter break will be filled with reading, catching up on Downtown Abbey, and trying to bring order to her messy office.

Adjusting from life in the Northwest has gone fairly smoothly, though Tash still freaks out when there is a tornado warning. Of course, we were able to follow the Red Sox through the World Series, so we felt on solid ground. There’s no beach or Dungeness crab, but the barbecue is really good here so it’s hard to fuss too much! The countryside is absolutely beautiful, with its great expanses of green pastures bounded by mile after mile of freshly painted horse fences.

We can hardly wait until Spring to see what all the fuss over "bluegrass" is about. There are plenty of walking trails so we have no excuse NOT to exercise. Weather permitting, Frank walks/runs 2 miles per day.

But MOST OF ALL, we miss those with whom we share love. Visitors welcome!!"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gethsemani Abbey - Happy 165th Anniversary!

Tash and I visited Gethsemani Abbey near Bardstown, Kentucky, on October 22 with Fr. Bruce and Marcia Makowski. We held a silent prayer service at the final resting place of Brother Alfred, a Cistercian Monk who passed away on January 15, 2013. Brother Alf was an integral part of the Easton Mountain community when I volunteered there in 2005, and a good friend to all who knew him.

Gethsemani was founded on December 21, 1848 and today the members celebrated 165 years of contemplative prayer in the same manner as they have since the day after they arrived all those years ago.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Supporting the Arts in Portland, ME & Portland, OR

Quote of the day: "The creative process doesn't have to stop with age. It really can deepen with age. And (for) one's imagination...age isn't a barrier." - Jean Badran, Elder Arts Program Director, SPIRAL Arts, Portland, Maine.

A former colleague of mine, Rev. Priscilla Dreyman, is Executive Director of a non-profit community arts organization in Portland, Maine called SPIRAL Arts. At this annual time of giving I invite you to visit the organization's web site and consider a gift to support their mission: http://www.spiralarts.org/

SPIRAL Arts offers opportunities to people of all ages and life experiences who are seeking hope, purpose, and meaning,
to create art in a supportive, spiritually centered, caring community.

Non-profit community arts organization
SPIRAL Arts was founded in 1992, it is a small non-profit community arts organization in Portland, Maine, which seeks to make the arts available and accessible to people of all ages and from all walks of life. In inter-generational classes and workshops, a deep and lasting community grows among people of great diversity as they make and share art together.

Reaching out to isolated people
SPIRAL Arts reaches out to city people isolated by poverty, racism, classicism, loneliness, mental illness, special needs, AIDS, aging, terminal or serious illness, abuse and neglect, sexual orientation, or religion -- whatever isolates an individual, family, or group of people.

Innovative programming
SPIRAL Arts is a unique and innovative program. It brings opportunities for art making to the people, helping them to discover resources for growth within themselves. It seeks to work with those who are disenfranchised, isolated, marginalized, and help them become integrated into a caring and supportive community.

Building community
SPIRAL Arts seeks to build a community grounded in hope that is inter-generational, cross class, interfaith, multi-cultural and and multi-racial -- inclusive in every sense of the word. It breaks down barriers of stereotyping and fear through creating in community.

SPIRAL Arts is founded on collaboration. The organization brings opportunities for artistic creativity into the business world, demonstrating how the creative process is the basis for creative collaborations, team building, and staff rejuvenation. It provides opportunities for new and experienced artists to share their gifts of artistic expression with people of great diversity, serving as companions on the journey of creativity. Most of the artists who teach at SPIRAL Arts also take other courses with the organization to nurture their own creative skills.

As a program, SPIRAL Arts is relatively inexpensive due to its use of volunteers, interns, recycled materials, donated space from community institutions. Due to nationwide publicity SPIRAL Arts has received calls from around the country asking about the organizations model of transformation and community building through the arts. In reality, SPIRAL Arts can be duplicated anywhere and adapted to any situation, be it rural, suburban, or urban, secular or religious. The raw materials of creativity and the limitless possibilities for collaboration are available anywhere in our entire world. The people of the Third World, whose lives are grounded in creative expression, whose liberation movements are often fired by art and music, are models of this reality.


Meanwhile, Amy Henderson (who some of our friends will recognize as the maid of honor to Tash and me at our 2007 wedding), continues to sucessfully operate the non-profit art gallery in Portland, Oregon, known as The Geezer Gallery.


The Geezer Gallery is doing great work carrying out its mission. But, as with most non-profit organizations, it depends on the generosity of supporters like you and me for survival.

Here are the links to the Geezer Gallery web site and Facebook page. Learn more. Spread the word. Help out in any way you can.

Thank you!