11 May 2013

Commentary - 2013 U.S. Championships, Round 7

In round 7, I found two games to be of particular interest for study purposes.  In the first, Irina Krush resumes her winning ways, this time in a war of maneuver with Viktorija Ni in a Nimzo-English.  Irina does not have an easy way to the win, however, missing an interesting tactic on move 29 and allowing Black for a while to have a small advantage.  In the second, I give props to Yaacov Norowitz for bringing out the aggressive, unbalanced Bronstein-Larsen variation of the Caro-Kann again after losing to Larry Christiansen in round 1.  Facing Sam Shankland, Norowitz varies from his previous effort on move 8 with an improvement, but after exchanging bishop for knight on f3, Black's initiative peters out on the kingside.  In this variation of the Caro-Kann, if Black has no counterplay on the kingside, White normally enjoys the advantage of a free attacking hand on the queenside, which is exactly what happens here.

At the time of posting, live coverage of round 8 (the penultimate one) is underway.  The leader on the women's side, Krush playing Black in a Taimanov Sicilian, looks like she has a significant advantage over Tatev Abrahamyan.  Meanwhile, open championship leader Gata Kamsky is having some difficulty as White against Timur Gareev.

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