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After One Round, May Knights Proves to be an Exciting Affair

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Daniel Coryea [left] and Sean Malone [right] analyze their way to a draw position // photo Jonathan Schrantz

Round 1- Results

White Black Result
Dennis Hourcade Joseph Garnier 0-1
Harper Evan Smith Neil Schechter 1-0
Scott Anderson Jason Clark 0-1
Andrew Cai Paul Goddard 0-1
Peter Krasucki Robert Beekman 1-0
Greg Vanvalkenburg Manny Presicci 0-1
Daniel Coryea Sean Malone 1/2-1/2

The Monthly Knights tournament is a Swiss event that plays one round every Wednesday evening, and the May 2015 edition kicked off with a bang last week, featuring 17 players and fantastic excitement on every board. Three of the field’s higher-rated players went quickly to work with miniature games, while three more suffered through games that stayed ripe with upset potential. Six out of seven games were decisive, and the only draw was exciting enough to make it the Game of the Week.

Game of the Week

The last game to finish this week featured a long battle between Dan Coryea (1834), chess, club, scholastic, knight, tournament, swiss, maywho led with his Colle-Zukertort pet opening, though struggled to draw Sean Malone (1358). Malone had comfortably equalized through a well-played middlegame, and Coryea’s 26. f5, an all-in attack on Malone’s king, left white seriously underestimating his opponent’s resources. With the g-file open and both monarch’s exposed, each side missed knockout chances, though it was Malone who emerged with a winning endgame position -- and very little time on his clock. Under pressure, he accepted the draw offer from Coryea, who outrated Malone by nearly 500 points, and collected a well-earned half-point.

Daniel Coryea v. Sean Malone // Annotation by GM Alejandro Ramirez

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Class-F player Andrew Cai (821) left a strong impression in his Knights debut, taking class-A player Paul Goddard (1828) to a completely drawn endgame. The game reached a blocked position with only the h-file open, and both players were left with a dark-squared bishop and a queen. Goddard offered his young opponent a queen trade that would have virtually secured the draw, but Cai bravely went after the full point and opted out of the trade. The decision led to heartbreak, however, after Cai blundered his bishop to a queen check and ultimately lost the game.

Andrew Cai v. Paul Goddard // Annotation by GM Alejandro Ramirez

Scott Anderson (1397) had an incredibly winning position against Jason Clark (1839) immediately out of the opening. Anderson attacked a knight with a pawn on move 7 and, rather than moving the knight, Clark made a counterattack on a bishop for a decision that simply led to two lost pawns. Clark continued with a bishop sacrifice on f2, dropping even more material though exposing his opponent’s king as nebulous compensation. Anderson proceeded to win an exchange and was up a full rook with an excellent position, with  Clark’s only real advantage left on the clock. Anderson’s time was ticking under three minutes when Clark swindled him into blundering mate-in-one --  a lucky escape from one of the tournament’s highest rated players.

Scott Anderson v. Jason Clark // Annotation by GM Alejandro Ramirez

There’s still time to enter May’s Knights Tournament, beginning this Wednesday’s second round with a first-round bye. Cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers, as well as the top U1700 and U1400 player, and all players receive grandmaster analysis of each of their games.

Round 2 - Probable Pairings

White Black
Joseph Garnier Peter Krasucki
Paul Goddard Harper Evan Smith
Jason Clark Manny Presicci
Matthew Manley Daniel Coryea
Sean Malone Chaim Zaromb
David Dong Dennis Hourcade
Neil Schechter Andrew Cai
Robert Beekman Scott Anderson
Greg Vanvalkenburg BYE