Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

Fabiano Caruana was born in 1992 in Miami, the son of an Italian mother and an Italian–American father. He moved to Brooklyn, to the neighborhood where Bobby Fischer grew up. There at Congregation Beth Elohim School, Caruana learned the game of chess. At the age of 14, he became the youngest American and Italian grandmaster ever. He had grown up in America but at the age of 12 he moved to Europe. He made the change because the distances to travel to major tournaments were easier to manage and it was easier for him to study with European grandmasters.

In short, though chess is popular throughout the world, Europe is the center of championship chess. FIDE, the world chess organization is managed from Kalmykia in Russia. It establishes the rules of play and ratings of qualifying players. But there is another organization of strength in Europe that has remarkable influence on world chess. It is the European Chess Union, a federation of over 50 European countries, with a home base in Belgrade. Though not receiving nearly as much publicity as FIDE, the ECU tournaments are major events and well financed. They include European championships for individuals, clubs, seniors, women, youth, rapid, and blitz.

The ECU’s club championship held this past October in Israel was a massive affair. Its entrants were club teams of mixed nationality. For example, American Gata Kamsky played on SOCAR, an Azerbaijan team studded with grandmasters including Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan. The current US champion, Hikaru Nakamura, played 1st board on Obiettive Risarcimento, a team sponsored by an Italian company.


In the last round, US champion Nakamura, who has been in terrible form of late, and Israeli high school player Danny Raznikov (rated 330 points below Nakamura) fought to a 127-move draw. Nakamura tried to win a K+R vs. K+B+P endgame, but with no luck.

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There were a total of 34 eight-player teams in the open section and 8 five-player teams in the women’s section.

The sixth round in the open found the St. Petersburg team, headed by Peter Svidler of Russia, in the lead. However, SOCAR defeated them: 3.5 -2.5. Thus going into the last round, St. Petersburg was holding onto a very narrow lead based on tie-break points. However, SOCAR convincingly defeated Tomsk-400 by a score of 5-1, and, thus, barely nosing out St. Petersburg for the championship on tie-break.

In the women’s section, the star-studded Monte Carlo team — including world women’s champion Yifan Hou, Humpy Koneru, and Pia Cramling — ran away with the title with an undefeated match score of 7-0

Brevity: H Wegner v. G. Hertneck (1986) 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0–0 7.e4 a6 8.Qb3 c5 9.dxc5 Nbd7 10.Qb4 Qc7 11.Na4 a5 12.Qc4 Ne5 13.Qc2 Bd7 14.Nb6 Rad8 15.Be2 Bc6 16.Nd2 Nfd7 17.f4 f5 18.fxe5 fxe4 19.Nxd7 Rxd7 20.Nc4 e3 21.Bxe3: 1-0.


Winners: Boylston Tornado, 1st-2d Eric Godin and Henry Terrie 3.5-.5; 3d-7th, Chris Chase, Jesse Nicolas, J. Sage, Oliver Traldi, and Noah Kulick; Greater Boston Open, tie for 1st James Rizzitano and Lawyer Times 3.5-.5, 3d Grant Xu, 3-1

Coming Events: Nov. 7 Quads (held every Wed. night) G/15, Quincy Chess Club. Center 101, Falls Blvd. Quincy, quincychessclub@
; Nov. 9, Waltham C.C., “Dark and Darker G/40,” 404 Wyman St., Waltham,