Kavalek in Huffington: Texas Tech Wins Final Four of Chess

4/6/2011 – You don't see spectacular hoops and dunks and scoring is not done in twos or threes. No chest-pounding, no cheerleaders. The four-corner offense or zone defenses are not parts of the game either. There are brilliant moves, but they are done quietly. And yet, the Final Four in college chess was a dramatic experience, as GM Lubomir Kavalek shows. He also has a beautiful study by Leonid Kubbel.

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Texas Tech Wins Final Four of Chess

By GM Lubomir Kavalek

Played at the Booz Allen Hamilton building in Herndon, Virginia, over the last weekend, the event - also known as the President's Cup - featured three teams from Texas and the defending champion University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). With students from 20 different countries, this year's Final Four was the strongest: each team had three grandmasters in the line-up. It was also the toughest competition, the final result hinging on a single game.

In the end, the lowest-rated team, Texas Tech (TTU), beat the odds and finished first, scoring 7-5. University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) took second place with 6.5-5.5. The combined team, University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) came third with 6-6. The UMBC lost all three matches and ended with a 4.5- 7.5 score.

Pictured above is the winning TTU team (GM Davorin Kuljasevic, IM Istvan Sipos, Faik Aleskerov, GM Andre Diamant and GM Anatoly Bykhovsky) with the coach GM Susan Polgar, a former women's world champion. It was a great week for the Polgar sisters. Across the Atlantic, Judit Polgar shared first place at the 12th European Individual Championship in Aix-les-Bains, France. With some 165 grandmasters participating, the competition was arguably the strongest open tournament in the world.

April Fools game

The downfall of the defending champion UMBC began in the first round, played on April 1, the day of pranks and cruel jokes. One of them was played on the German grandmaster Leonid Kritz (UMBC) who turned his winning position with two pawns up into a loss in a mere two moves. Instead of winning the match 2.5-1.5, UMBC lost it.

Note that in the replay windows below you can click on the notation to follow the game.

The game reminds of a study by Leonid Kubbel with similar material and fabulous knight moves.

Leonid Kubbel, Ceské Slovo, 1925

Can you find how White wins?

The solution will appear next week.

Original column hereCopyright Huffington Post


The Huffington Post is an American news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington and others, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and liberal/progressive alternative to conservative news websites. It offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy. It is a top destination for news, blogs, and original content. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. According to Nielsen NetRatings, the site has around 13 million unique visitors per month (number for March 2010); according to Google Analytics the number is 22 million uniques per month.


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