Wednesday, August 20

Update for the Benson IM Tournament

This summer's IM norm tournament at the Mechanics' Institute (see photo of chess room above) now stands at the halfway point, with 22 out of 45 games played. Everyone has played at least twice while two have six results and I finished eight (out of nine). The other half of this invitational event, aptly named after Berkeley area chess master Alan Benson, will be completed over the next week, finishing just before the Labor Day tournament begins. Click here for a complete list of participants, all ranging in rating from 2233 to 2400.

Since players have completed a different number of games, the following standings are presented in plus/minus format, e.g. number of wins minus number of losses.

Current Standings (updated through Thursday afternoon)
  • +3 IM Ricardo DeGuzman
  • +2 IM Vladimir Mezentsev (photo at right)
  • +1 FM Sam Shankland, FM Daniel Naroditsky, NM Gregory Young
  • -1 IM John Grefe, FM Bela Evans, NM Michael Aigner
  • -2 IM Odondoo Ganbold
  • -3 FM Richard Lobo
All three of the young norm seekers still have a majority of their games left to play. Sam drew his first three games and now has his work cut out for him: he nearly must run the table with 5.0 out of 6 to claim a norm. If anyone can do it, Sam can! Daniel (needs 5.0 out of 7) and Gregory (needs 3.0 out of 5) are both in considerably better shape. One interesting pairing that could change this outlook takes place on Thursday: Gregory white versus Sam (update: Sam won).

Readers of this blog may recall that I had a game against my longtime nemesis on Tuesday afternoon. This was the 31st time that IM Ricardo DeGuzman (see photo below) and I have crossed swords (prior record +1 =8 -21). While I am very pleased to have drawn this 110 move game as black, neither of us should be proud with the quality of play. Two monkeys would surely have found stronger moves than we both did at critical moments. Here is a sample of this blunderfest:

Ricardo DeGuzman (2389) vs Michael Aigner (2234)
1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. c4 Bg7 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Qe8 8. b3 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. e4 Nc6 11. Nd5 Rf7?! {Nxd5 12.cxd5 fxe4 13.Ng5 Nd4 with approximate equality} 12. Ng5 Rd7 13. exf5 gxf5 14. Bb2 Nb4 15. Qb1 Nbxd5 16. cxd5 Rxd5? {anything that maintains material equality is better} 17. Bxd5+ Nxd5 18. Re1 Qh5? {Qg6} 19. Qd1 Qxd1 20. Raxd1 c6 21. Bxe5 Bh6 22. h4 Bd7 23. Nh3 Be8 24. Nf4 Bf7 25. f3 Bf8 26. Nxd5 Bxd5 27. Kg2 a5 28. Rb1 Bb4 29. Re2 a4 30. bxa4 Rxa4 31. a3 Bf8 32. Rxb7 Rxa3 33. Rf2 Re3 34. Bf4 Rc3 35. Rc7 h5 36. Be5 Re3 37. Bf4 Rc3 38. Bg5 Bg7 39. Rb2?! {simply Re7 followed by Re3 breaks the pressure against f3} Rxf3 40. Rb8+ Kh7 41. Rd8 Be4 42. Rf8? {Kg1 is +4.0 according to Fritz 11} f4 43. Bf6 Rxg3+ 44. Kf1 Bd5 45. Bd4 Kh6 46. Bxg7+ Rxg7 47. Rh8+ Kg6 48. Rxg7+ Kxg7 49. Rxh5 Kg6 50. Rg5+ Kf6?! {Kh6} 51. Kf2 Be4 52. Rg4 Kf5 53. Rg1? {Rg7} Kf6 54. h5? {Rg8} c5 55. Rc1 Kg5 56. Rxc5+ Kh6 57. Re5 Bc2 58. Rd5 Bb3 59. Rf5 Bd1 60. Rxf4 Bxh5 {We played on for another 50 moves until the game was officially drawn.} 1/2-1/2

Update on Thursday afternoon: I got word from the Chess Room staff that DeGuzman beat Mezentsev and Shankland beat Young. The standings above reflect these two results.

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