Friday, August 7, 2009
2009 Arctic Chess Challenge
GM Susan Polgar's blog is providing lots of coverage on this event in Tromso, August 1 - 9, 2009. GM Polgar is a special guest at this year's Tournament. Official website. The news I'm interested in at the moment is that after Round 8, GM Monika Socko (go, Monika, go!) is tied for first place with IM Marijan Petrov and IM Ray Robson (go Ray, go!) of the USA with 6.0. Oy! Who do I root for? Both of them, of course! In Round 6 they faced each other, eek! Here is commentary from the Chess Phantom (ahem) who is blogging about the 2009 Arctic Chess Challenge and providing lots of photographs: The game that was on every ones lips was, of course, US Wonderboy Ray Robson versus GM Monika Socko on first board. Both with 2750+ performances, and they are the true stars of this tourment so far! With a victory one of them even could get a 1 point gap to the rest of the field with a few draws going their way - but quite the opposite happened. IM Ray Robson got what looked like a clear edge to me - with an advantage in both space and piece activity where he possessed the half open b-file. And no doubt white had the advantage but it wasn't so easy to make progress, as analyses shows, because of the quite closed pawn formation. Robson played for an attack but he had to accept the draw when he reached the time control at move 40. Then he had used all his time, and he even was in some time trouble, even though it looked quite controlled. Our two Stars of the tournament are still unbeaten with 6/7! They share a 3-way tie with IM Petrov with Socko first, Petrov second and Robson third on tiebreaks. It's funny how Monika keeps it in the family when her husband under performs [ouch!]. She really deserves all the credit in the world being the only player in the field with a 2700+ performance!!!