12 May 2013

Commentary - 2013 U.S. Championships, Round 8

The most interesting games of round 8 for me were on the two top boards, where Kamsky-Gareev saw some wild swings and an eventual forced repetition by Black, while Abrahamyan-Krush was a full-on clash in a Taimanov Sicilian.  The games and comments can be found at the above link.

The most relevant game again for my studies was a Caro-Kann, the third (!) time the Bronstein-Larsen variation has appeared at the championships.  This time it was Alexander Stripunsky who essayed it as Black against Robert Hess, however, not Yaacov Norowitz.  Alas, Black again went down to defeat after failing to generate any kingside attack or meaningful counterplay.  In none of the games has Black seemed to want to be as aggressive as the opening demands; in this game, for example, he could have played the early 6...h5!? which in fact scores quite well.

Live coverage of round 9 is ongoing and it looks like Gata Kamsky may be trying to bait Ray Robson into a premature attack against his unusual, somewhat passive-looking Sicilian Kan variation.  A Kamsky win would give him clear first place. Meanwhile, Irina Krush as White only needs to draw against Camilla Baginskaite in order to ensure her title victory in the women's championship.

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