U.S. Chess Championship 2017 / Round 1

by National Life Master Loal Davis

 

SONY DSCWesley So 

 

The first round of the U.S. Championship for 2017 contained two decisive games and were well played.  Wesley So had a very nice crushing game against Shabalov, but I think it would fair to state that Shabalov did it to himself.  There is no doubt that Wesley is a superb player, but so is Alexander.  Shabalov has had tremendous experience and success playing the Black side of the Slav defense to the Queen’s Gambit.  Although his opening moves did raise some eyebrows, I’m not convinced that they were all that bad.  He poked around the Kingside, losing time, but creating some weak squares in the process.  He was behind in development because of the previous maneuvering.  Even that was not detrimental, but opening the game when behind in development is a recipe for disaster.  That is exactly what happened at move 15.  This may work with other players, but against So, not so well.  Wesley really knew how to hammer at the pieces and Alexander lost time with his Bishop and especially so with his Queen (multiple/multiple moves).  Black never had time to mobilize his remaining forces while engaged in hand to hand combat; the result of opening lines prematurely.  The final position tells it all; a beautiful finish – depending on what side of the game you are on.

 

[Event “U.S. Championship 2017”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2017.03.29”]
[Round “1”]
[White “So, Wesley”]
[Black “Shabalov, Alexander”]
[Result “1-0”]
[PlyCount “57”]
[EventDate “2017.03.29”]

1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 Nf6 4. d4 Bg4 5. h3 Bf5 6. Nc3 e6 7. g4 Bg6 8. Ne5 Nbd7 9. Nxg6 hxg6 10. g5 Ng8 11. h4 Ne7 12. Bd2 Nf5 13. Qg4 a6 14. O-O-O dxc4 15. Bxc4 c5 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Be2 Be7 18. Kb1 Qb6 19. Na4 Qc7 20. Rc1 Qd6 21. Ba5 Ne5 22. Qe4 Nc6 23. Rhd1 Rxh4 24. f4 Qb8 25. Nb6 Nd6 26. Qa4 Ra7 27. Bf3 Nb5 28. Qc2 Qc7 29. Rd7 1-0 

 

 

 

nakamuraHikaru Nakamura

 

Nakamua was on the Black side of a Ruy Lopez where White (Ray Robson) “enjoyed” a Kingside majority of Pawns; Black the two Bishops.  This is a common occurrence with the Exchange variation.  Hikaru hammered away at the White position and Ray tried to enter an opposite colored Bishop ending.  Black executed an exchange sacrifice on move 44 and the ending was really never in doubt. 

 

[Event “U.S. Championship 2017”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2017.03.29”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Robson, Ray”]
[Black “Nakamura, Hikaru”]
[Result “0-1”]
[PlyCount “130”]
[EventDate “2017.03.29”]
[SourceDate “2017.03.29”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. O-O Bd6 8. d4 Nd7 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nxe5 Bxe5 11. f4 Bd4+ 12. Kh1 f5 13. Qe2 O-O 14. Rd1 Qe7 15. Nf3 Bc5 16. Re1 Rae8 17. exf5 Bd5 18. Ne5 Rxf5 19. c4 Be6 20. Bd2 Bd6 21. Rf1 Ref8 22. b3 Bxe5 23. fxe5 Qc5 24. Bc3 b5 25. Rxf5 Rxf5 26. Rd1 Qf2 27. Qd3 bxc4 28. bxc4 h6 29. Bd4 Qxa2 30. Ra1 Qxc4 31. Qxc4 Bxc4 32. Bxa7 Rxe5 33. Kg1 Bd5 34. Rc1 Re2 35. Bf2 Kf7 36. h3 Ra2 37. Rc3 g5 38. Rc1 h5 39. Rc3 Kg6 40. Rc1 Kf5 41. Rc3 g4 42. hxg4+ hxg4 43. Bg3 Rxg2+ 44. Kf1 Rxg3 45. Rxg3 c5 46. Kf2 Kf4 47. Rd3 c6 48. Ra3 c4 49. Rc3 Be6 50. Ra3 Bf5 51. Rg3 Bd3 52. Re3 Be4 53. Ra3 Bd3 54. Ra5 g3+ 55. Kg1 Be4 56. Ra3 Bd5 57. Kf1 g2+ 58. Kf2 Ke5 59. Rg3 Kd4 60. Ke2 c3 61. Kd1 Be4 62. Ke2 c2 63. Kd2 Ke5 64. Rg4 Kf5 65. Rg8 Kf4 0-1

 

 

Date

Time*

Event

Monday, March 27

 

Player Arrival

Tuesday, March 28

6:30 PM

Opening Ceremony

Wednesday, March 29

1:00 PM

Round 1

Thursday, March 30

1:00 PM

Round 2

Friday, March 31

1:00 PM

Round 3

Saturday, April 1

1:00 PM

Round 4

Sunday, April 2

1:00 PM

Round 5

Monday, April 3

 

Rest Day

Tuesday, April 4

1:00 PM

Round 6

Wednesday, April 5

1:00 PM

Round 7

Thursday, April 6

1:00 PM

Round 8

Friday, April 7

1:00 PM

Round 9

Saturday, April 8

1:00 PM

Round 10

Sunday, April 9

1:00 PM

Round 11

Monday, April 10

1:00 PM

Playoff (if necessary)

 

6:30 PM

Closing Ceremony

 

 

 

  

PLACE

PRIZE

PLACE

PRIZE

1st

$50,000

7th

$9,000

2nd

$35,000

8th

$8,000

3rd

$25,000

9th

$7,000

4th

$20,000

10th

$6,000

5th

$15,000

11th

$5,000

6th

$10,000

12th

$4,000

Total Prize Fund

$194,000

 

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