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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 17, 2011

American star, Nakamura, wins big tournament

By Peter Henner

Hikaru Nakamura continued his run of strong tournament performances in top level Grand Master tournaments by winning the prestigious Tata Steel International Tournament with a score of 9-4, ahead of World Champion V. Anand (8½ - 4½); the world highest-rated player, M. Carlson (8-5); L. Aronian (8-5); and 10 other players, including former world champion V. Kramnik (7½ - 5½).

Although Nakamura missed the qualifying tournaments for the current world championship, he will obviously be a strong contender for the world championship cycle beginning in 2012.

When Nakamura was a National Master, Saratoga player Gary Farrell held him to a last- round draw, depriving Nakamura of a tie for second place in the 1998 New York State Championship.

Protest response

The Turkish Chess Federation, which hosted the 2010 Women’s World Championship, responded to the serious allegations made by the majority of women who competed, regarding poor playing conditions and overcharging competitors for food and lodging.  Although the response claims to refute the allegations, the Turkish Chess Federation effectively confirmed the allegations, and admitted that tournament games were played in noisy conditions, and attempted to rationalize the overcharging of players. 

An organization that hosts a top level competitive event should make sure that the competitors are properly housed and fed, and ensure that the conditions are optimum for top level competition, and, apparently, this was not done. The response by the Turkish Chess Federation is available on Grand Master Susan Polgar’s blog at http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2011/02/factual-response-from-turkish-chess.html. 

Local player versus computer

Grand Master Lev Alburt published a game between Richard Moody, a Berne resident who is one of the more creative chess players in the Capital District, against a top computer program, with commentary, in his column "Back to Basics" in Chess Life, the magazine of the United States Chess Federation.

Moody commented, “Many players would agree that I should have won.” G.M. Alburt noted that the game was typical of games against computers: “human gets positional plus, computer complicates, human blunders, then loses.”

Albany championship

Play has now been completed in both preliminary sections of the Albany Club Championship, with ties for first place in both sections.

Gordon Magat won his playoff game after tying with Tim Wright for first place in Section 1. In section 2, I defeated Jonathan Lack in his last game, to tie for first with Dean Howard with a score of 4-1.

Howard and I will have a one-game playoff to determine who will play Magat in a two-game match for the club championship

Schenectady championship

Six players have commenced play in the Schenectady Club Championship final.

High-school student Dilap Aaron, the younger brother of high-school phenom Deepak Aaron, got his place in the finals when Richard Moody was unable to play, and then won his first-round game against Bill Little, rated 350 points higher.

In other games, Phil Sells defeated Patrick Chu, and John Phillips defeated Alan LeCours.

Capital District Chess League begins play

The 2011 Capital District Chess League began play this week, with the Albany B team (last year’s Guilderland team) playing against Troy’s Uncle Sam Club.

Phil Thomas, former New York State Quick Chess Champion, won on first board against Albany’s John Morse, but Albany prevailed on boards two and three, with me defeating Elihu Hill and Art Alowitz winning against Sylvester Canty, which, together with a forfeit win on board four, resulted in a 3-1 victory for Albany.

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