Monday, May 4, 2009


Four-Way Tie at Bradley Open
By GM Michael Rohde
( August 12, 2008 Chesslife Online )

It was another weekend at the office for GM Sergei Kudrin and GM Alexander Ivanov, as they tied for first along with IM Marlo Micayabas, and myself at the Bradley Open, August 8-10. Each of us scored 4-1 and received $500 for our efforts. The Bradley Open was held at the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley Airport, just north of Hartford, CT. Current Grand Prix standings show Kudrin in second place and Ivanov in third, so both gained ground on the leader GM Mark Paragua, who has been cleaning up lately in New York City.

Continental Chess Association offered both a 3-day and a 2-day schedule for this event, and all the GMs opted for the 2-day, which had a faster time control for rounds 1 and 2. In round 2 I lost to Kudrin, but in round 3, Kudrin gave up a draw to talented New Jersey teenager Andrew Ng, and then in round 4, Kudrin and Ivanov drew. The pairings for Round 5 were Ivanov - Micayabas (both had 3.5), Max Enkin - Kudrin (both with 3) and Rohde - John Riddell (we both had 3). Kudrin prevailed as Black with a queenside attack in a Qxd4 Sicilian; Ivanov got into his famous time pressure as White in a Scheveningen Sicilian against Micayabas but bailed into a draw, and I had a wild game against John Riddell, a very experienced master from Westchester County in New York:

Below is the detailed account of the tournament by IM Micayabas as e-mailed to Engr. Jun Atmosfera.

It's already August and I haven't played a single tournament yet in 2008. Since my part-time comeback starting 2005, I had been able to play at least twice a year. Both my USCF and FIDE ratings had been spiraling downwards.Without any preparations, I decided to take the 140 miles trip to Connecticut not caring about further decline in my ratings. I needed to play to maintain active status. I took the three-day schedule while all the GM's took the two-day option with faster time controls in the first two games with their games starting the following morning.

I arrived at the venue-- Sheraton Hotel at Bradley International Airport--at around three-thirty in the afternoon giving me ample time to get settled and calm down my nerves. The first game was to start at seven in the evening.It's Friday, August 8, 2008, at around 7:05PM. I showed up a little late for the game, shook my opponents hand, and simply said "Thank you" in reply to his "Good luck". I wondered later on if this was unsportsmanlike on my part since in the game, only I had the luck and he didn't.

13th Bradley Open, Round 1,
Board 1White: IM Marlo Micayabas (2339)
Black: Andres Castaneda (2067)
Closed Sicilian

(Annotations by IM Marlo Micayabas. The same was made without the aid of a chess engine}.

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6

Deviating early from Micayabas-Goldin, Foxwoods Open 2007 which
went 4...bxc65.f4 Bg7 6.Nf3 Nh6 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 f5 9.e5 1-0 in
27 moves.

5.f4 Bg7 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 Bg4

The point to Black's fourth move, exchanging off White's most active piece with Black's passive piece.

9.Qe1 ...

Initiating White's standard attack with Qh4, f5, Bh6, and Ng5.

9... Bxf3 10.Rxf3 c4

And now Black is also able to get rid of his doubled pawns. His strategy is falling into place.

11.Kh1 cxd3 12.cxd3!? ...

Risking a backward pawn with hopes of continuing the attack on the king-side.The more principled 12.Rxd3 could lead to more exchanges along the open d-file.

12... Nd7 13.Be3 f5 14.Rd1 Qa5 15.Bd2 e5 16.exf5 Rxf5?

An inaccuracy. Correct was 16... gxf5 holding off White's f-pawn. Now, White is able to get his king-side attack going.

17.g4! Rf7 18.f5 h5?

Another bad luck? Anyway, 18... gxf5 is strongly met by 19.Qh4! with a strong attack threatening Rh3. If 19... fxg4, then 20.Rxf7 Kxf7 21.Qxh7 followed by Rf1.

19.gxh5! Rxf5 20.Rxf5 gxf5 21.Qg3 Kh8 22.Rg1 Bf6 23.Qg6

With mate to follow, Black resigned. I was off to a good start.

( To be continued.... )

Replay the game below:

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