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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 144

Opening: C41, B06, E17, B31:

Player(s): Yoo, Moradiabadi, Hilby, Neimann, Yudasin, Nevednichy, Shishkin, Garcia Palermo, Sveshnikov, Giri, Carlsen

This week, we spotlight the very young, and the very old, with tournaments in St. Louis, New York, and Bucharest. Jeffery Xiong did manage to win the St. Louis Winter Classic A group. As it turned out, a last round draw was good enough, because Rinat Jumbayev lost to Daniel Naroditsky, leaving those two tied with Sarana and Sevian at 5-4, half a point back of Xiong. In the B Group, Emilio Cordoba took first with 6.5 thanks to a last round win over Sergey Erenburg. Sergey Azarov finished half a point back in second place. Cordoba had to overcome a humbling first-round loss to 13-year-old Christopher Yoo with a blunder in the first few moves. Yoo was not able to build on that good start, but he did win an interesting game at the end over Elshan Moradiabadi. Well aware that talented kids can be dangerous in attack, Elshan worked hard to prevent that situation. Unfortunately, it seems that some of his safe decisions may have created that which he hoped to avoid! Meanwhile, in New York City a wily veteran of sixteen took aim at the grandmaster norm and hit the mark in the Marshall Chess Club Championship. Instead of their traditional Swiss system event, the Marshall held a round-robin invitational with title norms available. Djurabek Khamrakulov won a playoff over Mark Paragua and Hans Niemann to take the title, but the 16-year-old Niemann was happy to take home his second GM norm. Niemann's 6-3 score featured a second-round win over veteran grandmaster Leonid Yudasin. From juniors to seniors... the World Individual Senior Championships from Bucharest Romania have just wrapped up. There was a surprise winner in the 50+ division - unheralded, barely legal Ukrainian GM Vadim Shishkin triumphed with an excellent 9/11. Shishkin scored key wins in the 8th round over Vladislav Nevednichy, who had been the tournament leader, and Kiril Georgiev in the 9th round. Nevednichy recovered to tie for second with Ivan Morovic at 8.5. The U.S. was well-represented, but Alex squared, Yermolinsky and Shabalov, did not put their best chess forward. Both were plagued by lower-rated players; Yermo gave up a lot of draws, while Shaba suffered two upsets. They both landed on 7.5. The best American result, in a manner of speaking, was turned in by a player representing the Philippines. Angelo Young, who has lived in Chicago for many years, turned in the best performance of his life. He faced grandmasters in the last eight rounds, winning three, losing one, and drawing four, ultimately totaling 7.5. In the 65+ group, Rafael Vaganian took the gold on tiebreaks over Yuri Balashov and Anatoly Vaisser, each scoring 8.5/11. Carlos Garcia Palermo came within an eyelash of winning himself. Having beaten Vaganian and leading most of the way, CGP had a golden opportunity to defeat Evgeny Sveshnikov in the last round, but the wily veteran hung around and swindled a draw. The last report is on players currently in their prime, from the Tata Steel Rapid and Blitz (which is not in the Netherlands, but rather Kolkata, India). Magnus Carlsen looks to finish the year off with a bang, and six wins + three draws is a real attention-getter, finishing two full points ahead of second-place finisher Hikaru Nakamura, and with a rating performance of 3072!

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

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