06 May 2013

Commentary - 2013 U.S. Championships, Round 3

The round 3 commentary on the official championships site has my two favorite games from the round, Kamsky-Christiansen and Zatonskih-Krush.  In the first one, Kamsky plays in Carlsen-esque style, using a quiet opening to get to a fascinating and ultimately explosive middlegame.  In the second, Krush plays an outstanding King's Indian and attacks on the kingside in exemplary style.  They are well worth a look.

Here I present another Caro-Kann, this time from the women's championship (Belaskovaia-Chiang).  While the previous day's example, Kachyan-Onischuk, was an illustration of how well the Classical variation can shut down White's play, the round 3 game shows some of the interesting, major choices both sides can face that will change the course of the game.  What happens to Black after she takes a "free" pawn is particularly instructive, as is White's conduct of the assault on Black's king position (on the queenside).  The clash between generations of U.S. women players is also interesting in itself, with IM Anjelina Belakovskaia as a three-time U.S. champion in the 1990s returning after a long layoff and Sarah Chiang as an up-and-coming junior gaining some valuable experience at the national level.

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