Magnus Carlsen wins blitz championship

Position No. 6083: White to play and win. From the game Leonardo Tristan-Rinat Jumabayev, World Junior Championship, Puerto Madryn 2009.

Solution to Position No. 6082: White gains a piece by 1 h7! Rg7 2 Rxg2 Rxg2 3 Be4.

The World Blitz Championship in Moscow assembled 22 leading grandmasters for a three-day extravaganza of speed chess. Each player had three minutes, plus a bonus of two seconds per move, to complete a game. This time limit has supplanted five minute games as the standard for blitz.

Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen, who turns 19 Monday, won with a fantastic score of 31-11. That's 28 wins, eight losses and only six draws.

World champion Viswanathan Anand of India, two weeks shy of age 40, continues to excel at a young man's game. He finished second with 28-14.

Sergey Karjakin, who recently moved from Ukraine to Russia, was third at 25-17. Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, the winner of the preceding Tal Memorial, settled for fourth place at 24 1/2 -17 1/2 .

Carlsen cemented his victory with impressive 2-0 sweeps against Anand, Karjakin and Kramnik.

Former world champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia, by far the oldest player at age 58, was among the first-day leaders with a score of 9-5, including a win over Carlsen. He ended in 16th place at 19-23, still a fine performance for the second-lowest-rated competitor.

World Cup

The 128-player World Cup began Nov. 21 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The winner of the $1.28-million tournament will earn $96,000 and a spot in the eight-player event that will determine the challenger in the 2011 world championship.

The U.S. was over-represented by 10 players, more than any country except Russia. Former U.S. champions Gata Kamsky of New York and Alexander Onischuk of Virginia duly dispatched lower-rated opponents, 1 1/2 -0 1/2 , in the first round of matches. However, the other eight Americans were underdogs, and only two registered upsets. Varuzhan Akobian of North Hollywood won the longest match, 9-7, after a series of rapid and blitz games, while Alexander Shabalov of Pittsburgh needed "only" eight games.

The tournament continues through Dec. 15.

Local news

The American Open concludes today at the Renaissance Hotel, 9620 Airport Blvd. in Los Angeles. Spectators may watch the games, see chess videos and listen to chess lectures, all for free.

Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan took first prize in the Harold Cardinal Valery G/60 tournament at the Los Angeles Chess Club, winning five games against his closest rivals after drawing Willis Kim in the first round. Ryan Porter was second at 4 1/2 -1 1/2 , followed by former state champion Alexandre Kretchetov at 4-2. Michael Goliszek, Mitch Jayson and top Class B Joshua Sheng shared first place in the under-1800 section of the 28-player event.

The AAA Chess Club plans its Winter Scholastic on Saturday at First Lutheran Church, 1300 E. Colorado Blvd. in Glendale. There will be separate sections for students in grades K-3, K-7, and K-12. For all the details, call Nshan Keshishian at (323) 578-8424.

Chess for Success International will conduct its fifth annual scholastic tournament next Sunday morning at John Thomas Dye School, 11414 Chalon Road in Los Angeles. Call Ivona Jezierska at (310) 740-0063 for more information.

Neil Hultgren and Larry Stevens scored 4-1 to share first place in the 50-player Crown City Open at the Pasadena Chess Club. The club will begin a three-round tournament at 6:45 p.m. Friday in the Boys and Girls Club, 3230 E. Delmar Ave. in Pasadena. Call Hultgren at (818) 243-3089 for information.

The Exposition Park Chess Club's free monthly tournament takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday in the public library, 3900 S. Western Ave. in Los Angeles.

The best game prize at the recent La Palma Chess Club Championship was awarded to Richard Yang for his victory over Eren Karadayi.

Today's games

GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway)-GM Evgeny Bareev (Russia), World Blitz Championship, Moscow 2009: 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 The Advance variation against the Caro-Kann Defense. Bf5 4 Be3 e6 5 Nd2 Nd7 6 Ngf3 f6!? Often Black prefers to strike at d4 by 6 . . . Ne7 and eventually . . . c6-c5. 7 Be2 Ne7 8 0-0 Qc7 Welcoming 9 exf6 gxf6 10 c4 0-0-0. 9 c4!? fxe5 10 dxe5 Nxe5 11 Nxe5 Qxe5 12 Nf3 Qd6 13 Qb3 White has ample compensation because of Black's lagging development. b6 14 Rac1 Bg4?! 15 cxd5 exd5 16 Rfe1 Also strong is 16 Qa4 Bd7 17 Bxb6, recovering the pawn. Bxf3 Ineffective, but 16 . . . c5 17 Bg5 Kf7 lets White attack with 18 Bxe7 Bxe7 19 Ne5+! Qxe5 20 Bxg4 Qg5 21 Be6+. 17 Bxf3 0-0-0 18 Bxb6! axb6 19 Qxb6 h6? Useless. However, the tougher 19 . . . Qc7 won't save Black after 20 Bg4+ Rd7 21 Qa6+ Kd8 22 Bxd7 Qxd7 23 Rc3!, intending Rc3-e3 or Rc3-b3-b7. 20 Rxe7! Bxe7 21 Rxc6+? Good enough, but 21 Bg4+ Rd7 22 Rxc6+ is deadly. Kd7 22 Rxd6+ Bxd6 23 Bxd5 Rc8 24 g3 h5 25 Qb5+ Kd8 26 Bc6, Black Resigns.

GM Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) -GM Levon Aronian, World Blitz Championship, Moscow 2009: 1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 d4 A sharp response to the Reti Opening. 3 b4 f6 4 e3 e5 5 c5 a5 Reasonable, although 5 . . . d3 appears most promising. 6 Bc4 dxe3 Interesting is 6 . . . axb4 7 Nxe5! fxe5 8 Qh5+ Kd7 9 Bxg8 Qf6! 10 Bb3 Na6, with at least equality for Black. 7 fxe3 axb4 8 d4 Nc6 9 0-0 White has the edge, despite Black's extra pawn. Na5 Maybe 9 . . . Nh6 improves. 10 Nxe5! Nxc4! 11 Nxc4 Be6 12 Nbd2 Ne7 13 Bb2 Nd5?! Black has little to fear after 13 . . . Nc6. 14 Qf3 b5 Loosening, but 14 . . . Be7 drops a pawn to 15 e4 Nc3 16 Bxc3 bxc3 17 Qxc3. 15 cxb6 Nxb6 16 Nxb6 cxb6 17 Qc6+ Bd7 Sturdiest is 17 . . . Kf7. 18 Qd5 Be7 19 Nc4 b5? Fatal. 20 Ne5! Rf8 21 Nxd7 Ra7 22 Qh5+ g6 23 Qxh7 Qxd7 24 Qxg6+ Kd8 25 d5 Kc8 26 Rac1+ Kb8 27 d6!? Simply 27 e4 is sufficient, but Kramnik wants to hound Black's King. Qxd6 After 27 . . . Bxd6 28 Rxf6 Rxf6 29 Qxf6 Rxa2 30 Be5, Black has no shelter. 28 Rfd1 Qa6 No better is 28 . . . Qe6 29 Qg3+ Ka8 30 Qf3+ Kb8 31 Rc6. 29 Qg3+ Ka8 30 Qf3+ Qb7 31 Rc6! Setting up 32 Rd7. Rxa2 If 32 . . . Kb8, White finishes forcefully by 33 Be5+! fxe5 34 Qxf8+! Bxf8 35 Rd8+. 32 Rd7! Qxd7 33 Rc7+, Black Resigns.

Surprisingly high quality for a three-minute game.

GM Michal Olszewski (Poland)-IM Ray Robson (U.S.A.), World Junior Championship, Puerto Madryn 2009: 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 c6 The very fashionable Semi-Slav Defense. 5 g3!? Instead of 5 e3 or 5 Bg5. dxc4 6 Bg2 Nbd7 7 0-0 b5 8 e4 This gambit may arise from the Catalan Opening. Qb6 9 b3 cxb3 10 axb3 White has adequate compensation, thanks to his faster development and better control of the center. Bb7 11 Be3 c5! Fearless. 12 d5! b4 Sharpest. Black snatches a second pawn but postpones castling. Safer is 12 . . . Be7 or 12 . . . exd5 13 Nxd5 (Black can survive 13 e5!? d4! 14 exf6 dxc3) Bxd5 14 exd5 Bd6. 13 Na4 Qc7 14 Rc1 Nxe4 Correct. Black cannot stand 14 . . . exd5? 15 Bf4 Qc6 16 exd5 Qxd5 17 Re1+. 15 dxe6 fxe6 16 Qe2 Be7 17 Bf4 Qc8 Avoiding 17 . . . Bd6? 18 Bxd6 Qxd6 19 Rfd1, as White wins after 19 . . . Qc6 20 Ng5 and 19 . . . Qe7 20 Ne5! Nxe5 21 Bxe4. 18 Ne5 Ndf6?! Slightly inaccurate. White's advantage would be negligible after 18 . . . Nef6 19 Nxd7 Qxd7 20 Bxb7 Qxb7 21 Qxe6 Qd7. 19 Bxe4! Nxe4 Very uncomfortable is 19 . . . Bxe4? 20 Nxc5 Bxc5 21 Qb5+ Kf8 22 Rxc5 Qb7 23 Qe2, when White threatens 24 Rc7. 20 Qh5+ g6 21 Nxg6 Nf6 22 Nxe7+ Black gets ample counterplay from 22 Qh6?! Qc6 23 f3 hxg6! 24 Qxh8+ Kf7 25 Qh6 Ba6 26 Rf2 c4. Nxh5 23 Nxc8 Rxc8 Not 23 . . . Nxf4? 24 Nd6+ Ke7 25 Nxb7. 24 Be5 0-0 25 Nxc5 Bd5 26 f4 Black has killed White's attack, but the endgame favors White. Black's pawns are more vulnerable and his Knight is offside. Rc6 The immediate 26 . . . a5 lets White tie up Black's pieces by 27 g4 Ng7 28 Nd7! Rfd8 29 Rxc8 Rxc8 30 Nf6+ Kf7 31 Nxd5 exd5 32 Ra1 Rc5 33 f5. 27 Nd3 a5 Black will have several opportunities to eliminate the Queenside pawns. The direct 27 . . . Rxc1 28 Rxc1 Bxb3 29 Nxb4 Nf6 30 Ra1 Ng4 offers fair drawing chances. 28 Rxc6 Bxc6 29 Ra1 Rd8! Too passive is 29 . . . Ra8?! 30 Nc5 Bd5 31 g4 Ng7 32 Kf2 Ne8 33 Ke3. 30 Nf2 Black would like 30 Nc5? Rd2. Rd2? After superbly defending a difficult position, the prodigy mistimes his counterattack and loses to the eventual bronze medalist. The right way is 30 . . . Ra8 31 g4 Ng7 32 Nd3 Rd8! 33 Ne1 h5 34 h3 hxg4 35 hxg4 Bd5 36 Rxa5 Bxb3, with a likely draw because White has so few pawns. 31 Rxa5 Bd5 32 Rb5 Black's problem is his misplaced Knight. The first point is that 32 . . . Bxb3? 33 g4 Ng7 34 Rb8+ picks off the Knight. Rc2 33 Ng4! Bf3 Now 33 . . . Bxb3 loses to 34 Nh6+ Kf8 35 Bd6+ Kg7 36 Rg5+! Kf6 37 Ng4+! Kf7 38 Ne5+ Kf6 39 Rxh5, safely winning the Knight. 34 Nh6+ Kf8 35 g4 Rg2+ As 35 . . . Ng7 36 Ra5! leaves Black no answer to 37 Ra7. 36 Kf1 Rxh2 37 gxh5 Rxh5 38 Rb8+ Ke7 39 Ng8+ Kf7 40 Nf6 Rh2 41 Rxb4 h5 42 Rd4 Rc2 43 Rd7+ Kg6 44 Nh7 h4 Also hopeless is 44 . . . Kf5 45 Rg7. 45 Rg7+ Forcing checkmate. Kh6 Or 45 . . . Kf5 46 Nf6, setting up 47 Rg5 mate. 46 Nf8 Be4 47 Rg5 Bd3+ 48 Kg1, Black Resigns.

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