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], 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], 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], 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.

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