Thursday, October 1, 2009

2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

Who will win it? In 2007, Elizabeth Vicary won the $300 Goddesschess Brilliancy Prize for this game against much higher rated Camilla Baginskaite, as reported by Chris Bird, Round 7, at the official website of the 2007 U.S. Women's Championship: Quite simply the best game of the round by far, and possibly the best game of the tournament given that a beautiful attack was actually finished off, was played by Liz Vicary in her demolition of Camilla Baginskaite. Of course it takes two to tango, and thanks to a blunder from Baginskaite in a complicated position, Vicary was able to come up with a whirlwind attack that ended up in mate. Baginskaite,C (2361) - Vicary,E (2155)2007 US Women's Ch., (7), 19.07.2007 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Bxd2+ 7.Nbxd2 0-0 8.0-0 d6 9.e4 e5 10.d5 Nb8 11.Ne1 a5 12.Nd3 Na6 13.a3 Bg4 14.f3 Bd7 15.b4 c6 16.dxc6 [ 16.Qb3 cxd5 17.cxd5 axb4 18.axb4 Nc7 19.Qb2 Bb5 20.Ra3 Rxa3 21.Qxa3 Ba6 22.Rc1 Nb5 23.Qa5 Nd4 24.Bf1 Nh5 25.Nf2 Be2 26.Rc3 Qg5 27.Qa2 f5 28.exf5 Qxf5 29.Bg2 Nf6 30.Rc7 Bxf3 Skembris,S-Beliavsky,A/Igalo 1994/0-1 (35)] 16...bxc6 17.f4 [ 17.Qb3 Nc7 18.Qb2 Rfb8 19.f4 Ng4 20.f5 Ne3 21.Rf3 Nxg2 22.Kxg2 f6 23.Qc3 Be8 24.Rff1 d5 25.Rfc1 Na6 26.exd5 cxd5 27.b5 dxc4 28.Nxe5 Qxe5 29.Qxe5 fxe5 30.a4 Nc5 31.Rxc4 Nd7 Pedersen,N-Shkapenko,P/Marianske Lazne CZE 2007/0-1 (47)] 17...Rab8 18.Rb1 axb4 19.axb4 Rb6 20.fxe5 dxe5 21.c5 21...Rxb4!? 22.Nxb4 Qxc5+ 23.Kh1 Nxb4 24.Qb3 Rb8 25.Qc4 Qd6 26.Qe2 [ 26.Nf3! c5 ( 26...Be6 27.Qc3 Nxe4 28.Qxe5) 27.Rfc1 Rb5 28.Rd1 Nd3! with complicated play for both sides.] 26...c5! Giving the bishop some life. 27.Nc4 Qe6 28.Rfc1 Bb5 29.Bf1? [ 29.Qe3! holds the position thanks to a few tactics 29...Rc8 ( 29...Ng4 30.Qxc5 Nd3 31.Rxb5 Rf8 32.Qa3 Qh6 33.h3 Nxc1 34.Rb2 is good for White.) 30.Nb6! Ng4 ( 30...Qxb6 31.Rxb4) 31.Qd2] 29...Nxe4! Not only does Baginskaite blunder a pawn but now her king is wide open on the diagonal. 30.Qe3 [ 30.Qxe4? Bc6] 30...Bc6 31.Bg2 f5! Vicary finds by far the best and most energetic continuation. The position is already winning for Black, it is just a question of finishing it off! 32.Nd2 32...f4!! 33.gxf4 [ If 33.Qe2 Nxd2 34.Qxd2 f3! is simply crushing.] 33...exf4 34.Qe1 [ 34.Qxf4 Rf8! 35.Qe3 ( 35.Qh4 Nxd2) 35...Nf2+] 34...Ng3+! 35.hxg3 [ 35.Kg1 Ne2+ 36.Kh1 Bxg2+ 37.Kxg2 Qg6+ is also devastating.] 35...Qh3+ and mate next move. 0-1   In 2008, GM Susan Polgar selected Tatev Abrahamyan as the winner of the $500 Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award ($350 from Goddesschess and $150 from the Susan Polgar Foundation) for her record of six wins, no draws, and three losses. She finished in 4th place overall. Abrahamyan has since earned an IM title that will be confirmed at the upcoming FIDE Congress. Who will win the 2009 Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award of $500? GM Susan Polgar will once again select the Fighting Chess Award winner in 2009. The guidelines are simple – the winner exhibits the same qualities in her games as the fighting chess played by the Polgar sisters. Stay tuned!

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