The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is the site of yet another major chess event — the Match of the Millennials — the United States vs. the world. It’s a double Scheveningen system in two age groups: under 17 (five players) and under 14 (four players, two boys, two girls). Each team member plays each player on the other team twice, alternating colors. There’s a prize fund of $30,000, with $20,000 going to the winning team. Members of the under-17 team for the United States are Jeffrey Xiong, Ruifeng Li, Sam Sevian (of Massachusetts), Nicholas Checa, and John Michael Burke. The under-14 team is current US junior champ Awonder Liang, Andrew Hong, Carissa Yip of Andover, and Martha Samadashvili. Chess legend and force of nature Garry Kasparov is on hand to lend his star appeal to the proceedings.
The world’s team is a bit of an unknown. Other than Praggnanandhaa Babu of India and Uzbekistan wunderkind Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the rest are relatively obscure. The team consists of players from Russia (3), Armenia (1), Australia (1), Bulgaria (1), India (2), and Uzbekistan (1).
The United States should be favored in the under-17 group based on ratings, but the under-14 group is a question. The world is a clear favorite in both groups, less so in the boys, as the United States has Awonder Liang. You can follow the action at www.USChessChamps.com.
The Dortmund International ended with a fine victory by Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek with a modest +2 score. The big story was that Vladimir Kramnik, seeking his 11th win, struggled mightily just to win a game, which he managed to do in the last round. He ended up in fourth place with just an even score.
The 50th Biel Chess Festival has started with the grandmaster group featuring Indian Pentala Harikrishna and Czech David Navarra. Also appearing is the legendary Rafael Vaganian. Brandeis grad Sam Shankland leads the Masters Open group.
Recent results: Bradley Open (209 players), Open: 1st-4th: A. Ivanov, S. Kudrin, H. Neiman, K. Aravind, 4-1.
Answer to today’s problem: 1.Nf4+ Kxe5 2.Rd5+ Kxe4 3.Nc3+ Ke3 4.Nh3 (or Nd3) mate