2009 Canadian Open: five players lead with 4.0/4 points

7/15/2009 – They are GMs Victor Mikhalevski, Hua Ni, Mark Bluvshtein, Surya Ganguly and FM Raja Panjwani – the latter is the top player on his team at the University of Western Ontario. Top seed Alexei Shirov conceded a draw against Chinese GM Zhao Xue and dropped to second berth, which he shares with 12 other players. Big illustrated report with annotations by GM Alexander Shabalov.

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2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship, Edmonton

The Canadian Open is underway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This open Swiss tournament with a Classical time control has attracted a few very strong GMs such as Alexei Shirov, Ni Hua and Michael Adams. Top Canadian players like GM Mark Bluvshtein are playing, as well as many other professional and amateur players. 203 players are competing, all in one section. The playing venue is a ballroom within a large shopping mall in downtown Edmonton, with restaurants, a movie theatre and shopping all just minutes away. And with just one game every day, unlike most Opens in North America, there is plenty of time for entertainment and tourism.

Standings after four rounds

# Name Rtng Pts.
1 GM Victor Mikhalevski 2631  4.0
2 GM Hua Ni 2701  4.0
3 GM Mark Bluvshtein 2598  4.0
4 GM Surya Ganguly 2637  4.0
5 FM Raja Panjwani 2418  4.0
6 GM Xue Zhao 2544  3.5
7 GM Alexei Shirov 2748  3.5
8 IM Artiom Samsonkin 2612  3.5
9 IM Dmitry Zilberstein 2437  3.5
10 GM Eugene Perelshteyn 2588  3.5
11 GM Michael Adams 2699  3.5
12 FM Vladimir Pechenkin 2366  3.5
13 FM Michael Langer 2313  3.5
14 IM Edward Porper 2510  3.5
15 IM Joseph Bradford 2459  3.5
16 IM Zhe Quan 2465  3.5
17 FM Theo Hommeles 2412  3.5
18 Robert J Gardner 2272  3.5
19 GM Anton Kovalyov 2586  3.0
20 IM Irina Krush 2481  3.0
21 IM Leonid Gerzhoy 2530  3.0

 
# Name Rtng Pts.
22 FM Eric Hansen 2472  3.0
23 IM Michael Mulyar 2440  3.0
24 FM Jonathan Tayar 2392  3.0
25 FM Michael Barron 2357  3.0
26 FM Ian Mackay 2328  3.0
27 IM Leon Piasetski 2406  3.0
28 Victor Plotkin 2310  3.0
29 Richard Huang 1952  3.0
30 Avinaash Sundar 2210  3.0
31 Sasa Grumic 2174  3.0
32 Kevin Me 2124  3.0
33 Benedict Daswani 2115  3.0
34 Rick Pedersen 2089  3.0
35 Liam Henry 2280  3.0
36 Aaron Sequillion 2108  3.0
37 FM Dale Haessel 2276  3.0
38 Keith MacKinnon 2241  3.0
39 FM Kevin Gentes 2270  3.0
40 Nicolas Haynes 2290  3.0
41 Jim Monaghan 2090  3.0
42 Lev Gorelik 2079  3.0


In the lead (by tiebreak points): GM Victor Mikhalevski, rated 2631


GM Mark Bluvshtein, 4.0/4, rated 2598, conducts a lecture on endgames between rounds

Mark moved to Canada before he was a teenager, and grew to become one of the country's strongest players ever, reaching the GM title at the age of sixteen. Unfortunately, he hit a plateau of sorts, and headed off to York University to study chemistry, and so never achieved the heights some were predicting. Experts suggested that Bluvshtein would become a 2700 player. He has shown occasional signs of this kind of potential, spectacularly defeating Shirov in the 2005 Canadian Open, for instance. Surprisingly, however, he has never managed to win the Canadian Closed Chess Championship – his best result was third, which earned him the IM title at 13, making him the youngest IM in North America at the time, including Nakamura, who is slightly older than him.


Indian GM (and Anand second) Surya Ganguly, rated 2637


FM Raja Panjwani, rated 2418, is also sporting a 4.0/4 score

Raja, an FM, is the top player on his university chess team – current champions at the Canadian University Chess Championships – the University of Western Ontario. At the championship, Raja scored 4/5 on top board, yielding just two draws.


Anton Kovalyov vs Raja Panjwani

Anton lives in Quebec, and is a GM, but has not affiliated with the CFC, nor does he plan to, as far as we understand – hence, the flag from Argentina.


Another 4.0/4 player, Chinese GM Ni Hua, giving a simultaneous exhibition


Irina Krush, top female US player, also givesa simul. Irina, who is originally from Ukraine, is married to two-time Canadian champion Pascal Charbonneau.


Okay, the simul was fun, now comes the serious stuff (read the signs)

Ganguly,Surya (2637) - Krush,Irina (2481)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (4), 14.07.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Qb6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Nb3 Bd7 10.0-0-0 0-0-0 11.f4 Na5 12.Be2 Nxb3+ 13.axb3 h5 14.Rhf1 Be7 15.Rf3 Rdg8 16.Bf1 Kb8 17.Kb1 Bc6 18.Rh3 Qa5 19.Qe3 Bf8 20.Qd4 Qd8 21.b4 Rg4 22.Qf2 h4 23.Be2 Rg7 24.b5 Bd7 25.e5 d5 26.Nxd5 exd5 27.Rxd5 fxe5 28.fxe5 Qe7 29.Rhd3 Bc8 30.Rd8

So far so good, Irina is holding her own against the Anand second from India. 30...Rh6?? Throwing away half a point. 31.Rxc8+ Kxc8 32.Qxa7 Rxg2 33.Rc3+ Kd7 34.Qxb7+ 1-0.


Alexei Shirov cannot believe she played 30...Rh6?? [Fake caption, the picture is from the start of the round]


The scoresheet, Alexei, you are supposed to sign the scoresheet, not the board! After a fulminating start Alexei Shirov conceded a draw against Zhao Xue to drop to second berth


Artiom Samsonkin, formerly from Europe, he came to Canada a few years ago, and is the reigning Canadian Junior Champion. More recently, he defeated Nakamura at the Toronto Open Championship.


FM Jonathan Tayar, second best player at the University of Western Ontario, is a large reason they won the Canadian Championship this year – he scored 5/5 on board two.

All photos provided by Zeljka Malobabic of MonRoi


Games annotated by GM Alexander Shabalov

Kagramanov,Dina (2140) - Shirov,Alexei (2748)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (2), 12.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0. This move is not a mistake yet,but it is known that only transferring the knight on c2 allows White to fight for an advantage in this line. [7.Na3 Nf5 8.Nc2] 7...Nf5 8.Be3?! But this must be a real "fingerfehler". Dina clearly meant 8.Bd3 8...Qb6 9.Qd2?! The white rook a1 and knight b1 ain't gonna see the light of the day in this game mainly due to this move. [9.Qb3 Be7 10.Nbd2=/+] 9...Nxe3 10.fxe3 Be7 11.Bd3 0-0 12.Kh1 f6 13.e4. Dina shows no fear for mighty Alexey. I wouldn't dare to open a position versus his two bishops even with all my pieces developed to their ideal positions. 13...cxd4 14.exd5 Nxe5








15.Nxe5? This accelerates the finish,but 15.Nxd4 exd5 is of course also lost for White. 15...fxe5 16.Re1 exd5 17.Rxe5 Qf6 18.Re1 Bd6 19.cxd4 Qh4 20.g3 Bxg3 0-1. [Click to replay]

Ni,Hua (2701) - Kaptsan,Aron (2159)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (2), 12.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

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 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bd2 exd4. Another way for black to proceed is to play c5 without exchanging on d4 first. It leads to a typical closed Breyer position [16...Bg7 17.a4 c5 18.d5 c4 19.b4 cxb3 20.Bxb3 Nc5 21.c4 Qd7 22.Ba5 Rec8 23.Bc2 Rab8 24.Nd2 Ba8 25.axb5 axb5 26.Qe2 Bf8 27.Reb1 bxc4 28.Nxc4 Rxb1+ 29.Rxb1 Qe8 30.Bb4 Nfd7 31.Na5 Rb8 32.Nf1 Bb7 33.Ne3 Ba6 34.Qd2 Qc8 35.Nc6 Ra8 36.Qc3 Bb7 37.Na5 Ba6 38.Kh2 Nd3 39.Nc6 N7c5 40.Bxd3 Bxd3 41.Rd1 Nxe4 42.Qxd3 Nxf2 43.Qf1 Nxd1 44.Qxd1 Qa6 45.Ng4 Kh8 46.Nf6 Qc4 47.Qf3 Ra1 48.Nxe5 Qxb4 49.Nxf7+ Kg7 50.Ne8+ Kg8 51.Nd8 Ra7 52.Nf6+ Kh8 53.Nc6 Qa4 54.Nd7 Bg7 55.Nf8 Rb7 56.Nxg6+ Kh7 57.Qf5 Qa8 58.Nce7 Rxe7 59.Nxe7+ Kh8 60.Ng6+ Kg8 61.Ne7+ Kh8 62.Ng6+ Kg8 63.Qe6+ Kh7 64.h4 Qa4 65.Qf5 Qe8 66.Nf4+ Kh8 67.Ng6+ Kg8 68.h5 Qf7 69.Nh4 Be5+ 70.Kh3 Qxd5 71.Qg6+ Bg7 72.Nf5 Qb3+ 73.g3 Qb7 74.Nxh6+ Kf8 75.Qf5+ Ke8 76.Qe6+ Qe7 77.Qxe7+ Kxe7 78.Nf5+ 1-0 Cheparinov,I (2678)-Koneru,H (2612)/Zafra ESP] 17.cxd4 c5 18.d5 Ne5!? Great novelty from the Canadian veteran. The famous dramatic encounter from the "forbidden match" continued [18...Nb6 19.Ba5 Nfd7 20.b3 Bg7 21.Rc1 Qf6 22.Rb1?! b4 23.Ne2?! Qe7 24.a3? bxa3 25.Bc3 f5!? 26.Bxg7 Qxg7 27.Nf4?! fxe4 28.Nh4 g5 29.Ne6 Qf6 30.Qg4 Nxd5! 31.Nxg5 hxg5 32.Qxd7 Nb4! 33.Qxb7 Nxc2 34.Rxe4 a2 35.Rf1 Nb4 36.Rg4 a1Q 37.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 38.Kh2 Qg7 39.Qf3 Qe5+ 40.g3 Rf8 41.Qg2 Qf6 42.f4 Ra7 43.Rxg5+ Rg7 44.Rh5 Qe6 45.g4 Rxf4 0-1 Fischer,R (2785)-Spassky,B (2560)/Belgrade] 19.Nh2?! This overambitious move immediately hands the advantage to Black. [19.Nxe5 Rxe5 20.a4 was very dynamic and complicated.] 19...Nc4 20.Bc1 Bg7 21.Rb1








21...Qd7? Black fails to create more pressure on White's queenside with the natural 21...Qa5!-/+. 22.b3 Nb6. That concludes "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" with some extra tempis for White. However position is still very balanced. 23.Bb2 Kh7?! 24.h4 Re7 25.h5 Rae8 26.Re3 c4? This is just a blunder. 27.Rf3! Suddenly if the black knight leaves f6, then after exchange on g7 and Qd4+ black loses his b6 knight. The game is over. 27...Nbxd5 28.exd5 Nxd5 29.hxg6+ 1-0. [Click to replay]

Grumic,Sasa (2174) - Adams,Michael (2699)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (2), 12.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Be3 Bg4 10.Re1?! 0-0 11.a4?! White's last three moves are just a bunch of inconsistencies. If he wanted to play a4 he had to do it on move 9 when Bg4 would be impossible. If he played 9.Be3 and wants to save time on h3 it had to be followed by 10.Nbd2.No wonder he soon finds himself in a difficult situation. 11...Bxf3 12.gxf3 Na5?! logical, but probably not the best. After 12...Qd7 It is hard for White to bring their Nb1 into the play without making concessions in the center. 13.Ba2 b4 14.Nd2 bxc3 15.bxc3 Nh5 16.Kh1 Qf6 17.Nc4 Nxc4 18.Bxc4 a5 19.Rg1 Nf4 20.Ra2 Kh8 Slight innacuracy which might have allowed White to size the initiative. Better was 20...Ne6. 21.Bxf4 Qxf4 22.Rg4 Qf6








23.f4?! White's idea is absolutely correct, but the execution is wrong. Some little preparation was necessary 23.Rd2 and only after 23...Rab8 24.f4! forcing Black to take on f4 24...exf4 25.Qf3 g5 26.h4 with some great attacking chances due to light squares domination. 23...exd4! The refutation. 24.Qf3 dxc3 25.Bd3 Bd4 26.Qh3 h6 27.f3 Rab8 28.Rag2 Rg8 29.Qh5 Rb2 30.Bc2 Rgb8 31.h4 Rxc2! The fastest win. 32.Rxc2 Rb1+ 33.Kh2 Rb2 0-1. [Click to replay]

Ganguly,Surya (2637) - Nguyen,Kim (2140)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (2), 12.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Qd2 Nc6?! With this move Black's setup loses its flexibility. It was perfect timing to enter a Classic Dragadorf with either 8...b5; or 8...Nbd7 followed by 9...b5 and 10...Nbd7. 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.g4 Bd7 11.Be2! This time Surya knows better than to lose a crucial tempo with 11.Kb1 which allowed Black to keep his knight active in 11...b5 12.g5 Nh5 13.Be2 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Nf4 16.Bg4 Rc8 17.Qe3 b4 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Rc5 20.Rd4 a5 21.f3 Re8 22.h4 Qc8 23.h5 Bf5 24.hxg6 fxg6 25.Rh2 e5 26.dxe6 Rxc2 27.Bxf5 Rxh2 28.Qg1 Qc5 29.Bd3 Rd2 30.Qc1 Qxd4 31.Qxd2 Rxe6 32.f4 d5 33.a3 b3 34.Ka1 a4 35.f5 Qxd3 36.Qc1 Qe3 0-1 Ganguly,S (2625)-Dao Thien Hai (2546)/Subic PHI. 11...Rc8 12.g5 Ne8 13.h4








13...Nc7? This knight maneuvre was probably inspired by recent game Ehlvest-Najer from the 2009 World Open. More prudent alternative was 13...Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Ng7 with some surviving chances. 14.Nb3! This fine move prevents any exchanges and the game comes to its conclusion in no time. 14...b5 15.Bb6 Qe8 16.f4 Na8 17.Be3 Nb4 18.Bd4 Bxd4 19.Qxd4 Nc6 20.Qg1 Be6 21.h5 f5 22.hxg6 Qxg6 23.Rh6 1-0. [Click to replay]

Perelshteyn,Eugene (2588) - Me,Kevin (2124)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (2), 12.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh6 11.d5. The main line. At this point White has to make a decision about his d4 pawn.The other moves are 11.dxe5; and 11.c5. 11...f5. This is not how top players interpret this position: since f6-f5 doesn't go anywhere, first Black make a decision about Nb8 route. For example, 11...Nd7 12.0-0 f5 13.exf5 Nc5 14.b4 e4 15.Nd4 Nd3 16.Nxe4 Bxd4 17.Rb1 Nxf2 18.Bxf2 Bxf2+ 19.Nxf2 Bxf5 20.Rb3 Qe7 21.Qd2 Rae8 22.Bh5 Bg6 23.Rh3 Qg7 24.Bxg6 Qxg6 25.Re3 Rxe3 26.Qxe3 b6 27.Re1 Nf5 28.Qe4 Qg7 29.Nd3 a6 30.Rf1 Qd4+ 31.Qxd4 Nxd4 32.Rxf8+ Kxf8 33.Kf2 Ke7 34.Ke3 Nc2+ 35.Ke4 b5 36.c5 h6 37.c6 Kf6 38.g3 Na3 39.g4 Nc2 40.h3 Na3 41.Kd4 Nc2+ 42.Ke4 Na3 43.Kd4 1/2 Wang Yue (2739)-Radjabov,T (2761)/Linares ESP; or 11...a5 12.Nd2 Na6 13.f3 f5 14.Bf2 g4 15.exf5 gxf3 16.Bxf3 Nxf5 17.0-0 Bh6 18.Nde4 Be3 19.a3 Bd7 20.Qd3 Bxf2+ 21.Rxf2 Nd4 22.Raf1 Qe7 23.Bh5 Rxf2 24.Rxf2 Bf5 25.Qe3 Rf8 26.h3 Qg7 27.Bg4 Bxg4 28.hxg4 Nc5 29.Nxc5 dxc5 30.Rxf8+ Kxf8 31.g5 b6 32.Qg3 Ke7 33.Kh2 Nf5 34.Qg4 Nd6 35.Ne4 Qg6 36.Nxd6 cxd6 37.Qc8 Qh5+ 38.Kg1 Qd1+ 39.Kh2 Qh5+ 40.Kg1 Qd1+ 1/2 Shulman,Y (2632) -Ehlvest,J (2606)/Ledyard USA.

12.exf5 Nxf5 13.Nd2 Nd7. Black is being very passive in this game. John Fedorowicz did not have much luck while trying to reabilitate move 13...Nd4 14.Bh5 (14.Nde4 Bf5 15.h4 Nxe2 16.Qxe2 g4 17.h5 h6 18.c5 Na6 19.c6 Qc8 20.0-0 b6 21.f3 Rf7 22.Qc4 Nc5 23.b4 Qa6 24.Qxa6 Nxa6 25.a3 Raf8 26.Rae1 gxf3 27.Rxf3 Bg4 28.Rxf7 Rxf7 29.Nb5 Bxh5 30.Nxa7 Rf8 31.Nb5 Bg6 32.Nbc3 h5 33.Rf1 Bh6 34.Rxf8+ Kxf8 35.Kf2 Bc1 36.b5 Nc5 37.Nxc5 bxc5 38.b6 1-0 Onischuk,A (2664)-Fedorowicz,J (2459)/Tulsa) 14...Bf5 15.Nde4 Nd7 16.0-0 Nf6 17.Nxf6+ Qxf6 18.Rc1 Bh6 19.Bg4 a6 20.Re1 Bxg4 21.Qxg4 b6 22.h3 Qg6 23.Ne4 Rf5 24.b4 Bf8 25.Qd1 a5 26.a3 axb4 27.axb4 Be7 28.f3 Rff8 29.Bf2 Nf5 30.c5 bxc5 31.bxc5 Rfb8 32.cxd6 cxd6 33.Rc7 Bd8 34.Rc6 Be7 35.Qc2 Ng7 36.Rc7 Bf8 37.Ba7 Rd8 38.Be3 h6 39.Rb1 Rdb8 40.Rc1 Ra3 41.Bf2 Rba8 42.Rb7 Ra1 43.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 44.Kh2 Ra8 45.Qc6 Nf5 46.Ba7 Kh8 47.Rd7 Re8 48.Bc5 1-0 Shulman,Y (2623)-Fedorowicz,J (2479)/ Philadelphia. 14.Nde4 h6 15.0-0 Nf6 16.Bd3 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Qe7 18.Re1 Qf7 19.f3 Ne7 20.Rc1 Rd8 21.h4!








After Black set up his defences to stop c4-c5 Eugene opens the kingside. 21...Bf5?! Last chance was 21...Nf5 22.hxg5 Nxg3 23.Nxg3 hxg5 24.Ne4 Qe7 trying to liquidate into some opposite color bishops position. 22.hxg5 Bxe4 23.Bxe4 hxg5 24.Qd3 Bf6 25.Kf2 Kg7 26.Rh1 Rh8 27.c5! The final invasion. 27...Rxh1. 27...dxc5 28.Rxh8 Rxh8 29.Rxc5. 28.Rxh1 Rh8 29.Rxh8 Kxh8 30.Qb5 c6 31.Qxb7 cxd5 32.cxd6 dxe4 33.dxe7 Bxe7 34.Bxe5+ Kg8 35.Qa8+ Bf8 36.Bd6 e3+ 37.Ke1. Very clean game by Eugene. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Ganguly,Surya (2637) - Nguyen,Kim (2140) [B90]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (2), 12.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Qd2 Nc6?! With this move Black's setup loses its flexibility. It was perfect timing to enter a Classic Dragadorf with either 8...b5; or 8...Nbd7 followed by 9...b5 and 10...Bb7. 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.g4 Bd7 11.Be2! This time Surya knows better than to lose a crucial tempo with 11.Kb1 which allowed black to keep his knight active in 11...b5 12.g5 Nh5 13.Be2 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Nf4 16.Bg4 Rc8 17.Qe3 b4 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Rc5 20.Rd4 a5 21.f3 Re8 22.h4 Qc8 23.h5 Bf5 24.hxg6 fxg6 25.Rh2 e5 26.dxe6 Rxc2 27.Bxf5 Rxh2 28.Qg1 Qc5 29.Bd3 Rd2 30.Qc1 Qxd4 31.Qxd2 Rxe6 32.f4 d5 33.a3 b3 34.Ka1 a4 35.f5 Qxd3 36.Qc1 Qe3 0-1 Ganguly,S (2625)-Dao Thien Hai (2546)/Subic PHI. 11...Rc8 12.g5 Ne8 13.h4








13...Nc7? This knight maneuvre was probably inspired by recent game Ehlvest-Najer from the 2009 World Open. The more prudent alternative was 13...Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Ng7 with some surviving chances. 14.Nb3! This fine move prevents any exchanges and the game comes to its conclusion in no time. 14...b5 15.Bb6 Qe8 16.f4 Na8 17.Be3 Nb4 18.Bd4 Bxd4 19.Qxd4 Nc6 20.Qg1 Be6 21.h5 f5 22.hxg6 Qxg6 23.Rh6 1-0. [Click to replay]

Shirov,Alexei (2748) - Piasetski,Leon (2406)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (3), 13.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.c4 Nf6. One of those countless opening variations which discusses a question of how big of the advantage white is going to get. And Alexey already demonstrated us that he is not going to go crazy in order to punish his opponents for their opening choices. 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Qe2 g6 9.g3 Bg7 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Ng4 13.Bf4 Qa5 14.Rfe1 g5. An Interesting alternative to this action move 14...Bh6 might have seemed too exotic for Leon. 15.Bxg5 Nxe5 16.Ne4. It is hard not to play this move, but objectively 16.Bxe7 Re8 17.Bh4 Bg4 18.Qc2 was stronger because of the weak f6 square. 16...Re8 17.Bd2 Qb6 18.Bc3 Bf5 19.Bxe5 Bxe5 20.Qh5 e6 21.g4 Bxe4 22.Qxe5?! Either Alexey changed his mind during this tactical exchange or just continues with his += strategy, but 22.Bxe4 Bd4 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Re2 Rad8 (24...Ke7 25.Bg6 Rf8 26.Rae1) 25.Kg2 reminds a lot of his game against Jakovenko from Foros tournament last year. I mean he knows how to win such a position. 22...Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Rad8 24.Rad1 c5 25.b3 Kf8 26.Kg3 Rd4 27.Rxd4 cxd4 28.Rd1?! This complicates matters a little. The rook lift would decide immediately: 28.Re4 Rd8 29.Rf4+-. 28...Rd8 29.Rd3 Qd6 30.f4 Qa3 31.f5








31...Qd6? Returning the favor. 31...exf5 32.gxf5 Qd6 33.Qxd6+ Rxd6 34.Kf4 Ke7 35.Ke5 Rh6 36.h3 Ra6 37.a4 Ra5+ 38.Ke4 Kf6 might be problematic to win. 32.Kf4. Now White is back in control. 32...exf5 33.Qxd6+ Rxd6 34.Kxf5 Re6 35.Rxd4 Re2 36.Rd7 Rxh2 37.a4 Rf2+ 38.Ke4 Re2+ 39.Kf5 Rf2+ 40.Ke4 Re2+ 41.Kf3 Re7 42.Rxe7 Kxe7 43.b4 a5 44.bxa5 Kd6 45.Ke4 Kc5 46.Kd3 Kb4 47.a6 bxa6 48.Kd4 Kxa4 49.c5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Tayar,Jonathan (2392) - Ni,Hua (2701)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (3), 13.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3. It is obvious why this move gets so much attention lately: once you feed it to the computer it shows that black compensation for the material is very doubtful. 8...Be7 9.Bd3 h6. The biggest names ever have entered this territory. 9...0-0 10.0-0 h6 11.Ne4 Nd5 12.Ng3 Nb4 13.Nf5 Bg5 14.Re1 Nxd3 15.cxd3 Qf6 16.Ng3 Qxf3 17.gxf3 c5 18.Rxe5 Nc6 19.Rxc5 Nd4 20.Nc3 Nxf3+ 21.Kh1 Ne1 22.Nce4 f5 23.Nd6 Be7 24.Rxc8 Raxc8 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.b4 Nxd3 27.Ba3 g6 28.Rb1 Rc2 29.Nf1 Rxa2 30.Rb3 Nxf2+ 31.Kg1 Ne4 32.Bb2 Kf7 33.d3 Ng5 34.Nd2 Bf6 35.Nc4 Nf3+ 36.Kg2 Bxb2 37.Kxf3 Bd4 38.Kg3 g5 39.Ra3 Rxa3 40.Nxa3 Ke6 41.Nc2 Ke5 42.h3 Bb6 0-1 Kaidanov,G (2596)-Onischuk,A (2664)/Tulsa. 10.Ne4 Nd5 11.Ng3 0-0 12.Bf5 Bg5. This looks like an attempt to secure f4 square for the knight and leads to a fascinating position. 12...Bb7 13.d3 Nf4 14.0-0 g6 15.Bxf4 exf4 16.Qxf4 Bg5 17.Qg4 gxf5 18.Nxf5 Bc8 19.Nc3 Qf6 20.f4 Bxf5 21.fxg5 Bxg4 22.gxf6 Rab8 23.b3 Nb7 24.Rf4 Be6 25.Re1 Nd6 26.Re5 Kh7 27.Rc5 Rbc8 28.Ne2 Rg8 29.Ra5 Rc7 30.Nd4 Rg5 31.Ra6 Bc8 32.Ra4 c5 33.Nf3 Rf5 34.Rxf5 Nxf5 35.Ne5 Nd4 36.c4 a6 37.Ra5 Bb7 38.Kf2 h5 39.h4 Nf5 40.g3 Nd6 41.a3 Ne8 42.b4 cxb4 43.axb4 Nxf6 44.Ke3 Bc8 45.d4 Ng4+ 46.Nxg4 hxg4 47.Kd3 f5 48.d5 f4 49.gxf4 g3 50.Ra1 g2 51.c5 Rg7 52.Rg1 0-1 Brkic,A (2558)-Sachdev,T (2425)/Rijeka CRO. 13.0-0 Bb7 14.Ne4 g6 15.Nxg5 hxg5 16.Be4 f5 17.Bxd5+ cxd5 18.d3 Nc6 19.c3 g4 20.Qg3 g5!? Setting up a nice trap. Objectively the pawn belongs on g6. [20...Ba6 =/+]








21.f3? Allows brilliant breakthrough by the Chinese GM. [21.Na3+/=] 21...f4! 22.Qf2. 22.Qxg4 Bc8 23.Qh5 Kg7 will cost White at least a piece. 22...gxf3 23.Qxf3 e4!! 24.Qh5. "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" 24...Kg7 25.h4 e3 26.hxg5 Qd6 27.Na3. Jonathan is a good sport.This is why he refrains from 27.Qh6+. 27...Rh8 28.Qf3? It was the last chance to bring the knight into the play: 28.Nb5 Qc5 29.Qe2-/+. 28...Ne5 29.Qxf4 Raf8! "So sad it ends as it began" 30.Qd4 Rh1+ 31.Kxh1 Rxf1+ 32.Kh2 Kg6 0-1. [Click to replay]

Barron,Michael (2357) - Ganguly,Surya (2637)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (3), 13.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.f4 Nc6 9.Be3 a6 10.a4 Qc7 11.Kh1 Bd7 12.Qe1. This move clearly yields in popularity to mainline 12.Nb3 and Ganguly's reply might be the reason for it. 12...Nb4! 13.Qg3 Kh8. The necessary refinement 13...d5 14.e5 Ne4 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.f5 leads to trouble. 14.e5 Otherwise black is very comfortable after d6-d5. 14...Nfd5 15.Bd2 dxe5 [but not 15...Nxc3 16.Bxc3 dxe5 17.Nxe6 Bxe6 18.Bxe5 Qxe5 19.fxe5 Nxc2 20.Rad1 b6 21.Bd3 Nb4 22.Bf5 Bd5 23.Qh3 g6 24.Bd7 1-0 Frolyanov,D (2505)-Marzolo,C (2388)/Warsaw] 16.fxe5 f6! Nice.Black seizes the initiative with this move. 17.Nxd5 Nxd5 18.c4 Qxe5








19.Qxe5. There were some other alternatives to the text. Fritz suggested the phenomenal 19.Rfd1!, after which the only way for Black to hold the balance is to retreat with his knight to c8! 19...Qxg3 20.hxg3 Nb6 21.Ba5 Nc8. But it is still White who has to equalize. 19...fxe5. The ensuing tactical sequence (everything is correct according to the first line of Fritz) leads to the endgame which is hard to hold for White. 20.Nf3 Nf4 21.Nxe5 Nxe2 22.Nxd7 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1 Rd8 24.Re1 Rxd7 25.Rxe2 Kg8 26.Kg1 Bf6 27.Bb4?! Surprisingly 27.b4 was the best chance to hold. 27...Rd1+ 28.Kf2 Rc1 29.c5 Bd4+ 30.Kf3 Kf7 31.Rd2 Rc4 32.Bc3 Bxc3 33.bxc3 Rxc3+ 34.Ke2 Rxc5 35.Rd7+ Kf6 36.Rxb7 Rc4 0-1. [Click to replay]

Bluvshtein,Mark (2598) - Reeve,Jeff (2314)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (3), 13.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.g3 d6 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.Nf3 Nbd7 10.Rb1! This precise move order was popularized by Kramnik. 10...Nb6 11.b3 Bc8 12.Nh4 h6 13.Qc2 Qd7 14.f4?! Very provoking "improvement" in a position where recent games suggest White doesn't have to look for one. 14.Bb2. Isn't it more logical after all: White's Nh4 idea was to stop Bf5 and the mission was accomplished? 14...g5 15.Nf3+/- Qf5 16.e4 Qg6 17.0-0 0-0 (17...Ng4 18.a4 f5 19.e5 0-0 20.exd6 exd6 21.Rfe1 Bd7 22.Nb5 Bxb2 23.Rxb2 Rae8 24.Rbb1 Bxb5 25.axb5 Qf6 26.h3 Ne5 27.Nxe5 Rxe5 28.f4 gxf4 29.gxf4 Re7 30.Rxe7 Qxe7 31.Kh1 Qe3 32.Rf1 Kg7 33.Rf3 Qd4 34.Qe2 Qf6 35.Re3 Ra8 36.Kh2 Rg8 37.Qh5 Qf7 38.Rg3+ Kf8 39.Qxh6+ Ke7 40.Rxg8 Qxg8 41.Qg5+ 1-0 Malakhatko,V (2610)-Gohil,H (2334)/Palau ITA) 18.Rfe1?! there was no need to return the pawn (18.Rfd1!+/-) 18...Nbxd5 19.Na4 Nb4 20.Qd1 Ba6 21.e5 Ng4 22.exd6 exd6 23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.h3 Nxf2 25.Kxf2 Nd3+ 26.Kg1 Nxe1 27.Qxe1 Rae8 28.Qc3+ Kg8 29.Rd1 Re2 30.Nb6 Rfe8 31.Nd5 R8e6 32.Rd2 Rxd2 33.Nxd2 Qf5 34.Ne4 Qe5 35.Qxe5 Rxe5 36.Nxd6 Re1+ 37.Kh2 Re2 38.a3 Ra2 39.Nc3 Rxa3 40.Bd5 c4 41.Bxf7+ Kf8 42.Bxc4 Bxc4 43.Nxc4 Rxb3 44.Ne4 Rb4 1/2 Babula,V (2584)-Polak,T (2508)/Hustopece CZE. 14...Bb7 15.Qd2








15...g5?! I can relate to the moves like that: Jeff Reeve's intuition of a seasoned Benko player tells him that with white knight on h4 on pawn on f4 there must be some "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" for Black. However he picks the wrong one. And indeed there was 15...Ng4! 16.h3 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 Nf6 =/+. 16.fxg5 hxg5 17.Qxg5 Bh6 18.Qf5 Qxf5?! This exchange simply gives White two extra tempis and as a result an unclear position quickly becomes + over –. 18...Bxc1 19.Rxc1 Nbxd5 +/=. 19.Nxf5 Bxc1 20.Rxc1 Nfxd5 21.a4 Kd7 22.Ne4 Bc6 23.0-0 e6? Jeff decides to commit seppuku. The black position is not much fun due to lack of counterplay, but still after 23...Nb4 24.h4 Bd5 25.Rc3 f6 it was White who had to win it. 24.Nfxd6 f5 25.Nxf5 exf5 26.Nxc5+ Kd6 27.Rxf5 Rhf8 28.Ne4+ Kc7 29.Rg5 Ra5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Adams,Michael - Pechenkin,Vladimir [B01]
2009 Canadian Open (3), 13.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nxd5 4.d4 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 Bg4 8.c3 e6 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 c6. Black choses solid, but extremely passive setup. 11.a4 a5 12.Na3 Nd7 13.Bd2 N5b6 14.Bb3 e5 15.Nc2. At first i was not impressed by this knight on c2 setup for white, but as long as black remains passive the assesment of this position as favorable for white never changes. 15...exd4 16.cxd4 Nf6 17.Bg5 Nbd5 18.Re5 Qb6 19.Rae1 h6 20.Bh4. 20.Bd2 followed by a build-up on the kingside seems much stronger. 20...Nh7 21.R5e2 Ng5 22.Qg3? This lazy move from Mike which costs him half a point in this game. It would be extremely unpleasant to defend the position after 22.Bxg5 hxg5 23.Bxd5 cxd5 24.Ne3 Qxd4 25.Nxd5 against him. 22...Nf4 23.Re7 Nd5 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.R7e4 Rad8 26.Kh1 Nf6. 26...Nf4 followed by c5 looks pretty nasty. 27.R4e3 Nd5 28.Rf3?! Sign of frustration. [28.Re4=] 28...Bxd4 29.Qxg5 Bxb2 30.h4 Rd6! "Karpovian" regroup. 31.h5 Qd8 32.Qg3 Kg7? Allows white to escape. Black was close to winning after [32...Bg7-/+] 33.Kg1 Rf6 34.Bxd5 Qxd5 35.Rb3 Bd4 36.Nxd4 Qxd4 37.Rxb7 Qxa4 38.hxg6 Rxg6 39.Qe5+ Kg8 40.g3 Re6 41.Qg5+ Rg6 42.Qd2








This endgame is exactly what it looks like: White is down the pawn. For almost 50 following moves Mike continues to demonstrate "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg". Unfortunately for him it is only possible to win this position for White if Black wants to win too. Pretty soon it becomes evident that this is not the case. 42...Qa3 43.Re4 Qc5 44.Qf4 Qg5 45.Ra7 Qxf4 46.Rxf4 Kg7 47.Rxa5 Rd8 48.Raf5 Rd7 49.Kg2 Rgd6 50.Rc5 Re6 51.g4 Kg6 52.Rfc4 Rdd6 53.Kg3 f6 54.Rc3 Re1 55.f3 Ree6 56.f4 Kh6 57.Kf3 Kg7 58.f5 Re1 59.Rxc6 Rxc6 60.Rxc6. Michael was able to go from down the pawn to up a pawn rook ending,but Vladimir very convincingly holds "the rook on a long side" 60...Rf1+ 61.Kg2 Ra1 62.Re6 Rb1 63.Kf2 Ra1 64.Rd6 Rb1 65.Kf3 Rf1+ 66.Ke4 Rg1 67.Rd7+ Kh6 68.Kf3 Rf1+ 69.Kg2 Ra1 70.Kg3 Rg1+ 71.Kf4 Rf1+ 72.Ke3 Re1+ 73.Kf3 Rf1+ 74.Ke4 Rg1 75.Kd5 Rxg4 76.Ke6 Ra4 77.Kxf6 Ra6+ 78.Ke5 Ra5+ 79.Rd5 Ra7 80.Ke6 Kg7 81.Rd6 Rf7 82.Rd1 Rf6+ 83.Ke5 Ra6 84.Rd7+ Kf8 85.Rd6 Rxd6 86.Kxd6 Kf7 87.Ke5 Ke7 88.f6+ Kf7 89.Kf5 Kf8 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Here is the remaining schedule:

Round 3 - 7 Monday to Friday July 13th - July 17th 6:00   PM
Round 8 Saturday July 18th 4:00   PM
Round 9 Sunday July 19th 12:00 PM
Awards Presentation  Sunday  July 19th 6:00   PM


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