Saint Louis, December 1, 2011 — The Grandmasters showed their strength in day two, as Giorgi Kacheishvili and Andre Diamant won both games Wednesday. Diamant stands alone at 3-0 and Kacheishvili has 2.5-0.5.
Round two was a great fighting round with only one game finishing with a draw. IM Irina Krush has three draws thus far, but not for lack of trying. She drew in round two against IM Marc Arnold in a complex Dutch, in which Arnold’s extra pawn was not enough for victory in the double-rook ending.
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan outplayed IM Angelo Young in the late middlegame in an unusual Pirc. Young seems out of form thus far, but certainly Abrahamyan was happy to win after losing in round one.
IM Greg Shahade got into trouble in a sharp Sicilian against Diamant, and as so often happens, his king could not find safety. GM Mesgen Amanov won easily against IM Danny Rensch. Rensch had difficulties right out of the opening and could not solve the myriad of the problems set by Amanov.
Kacheishvili and IM Darwin Yang played a sharp theoretical Semi-Slav Botvinnik Variation. White’s kingside pawns turned out to be too strong for young Darwin.
In round three, Arnold could not make use of his extra pawn against Abrahamyan in a sharp King’s Indian which looked suspiciously like a Benko Gambit (another opening Abrahamyan plays!). Young and Diamant were paired in round 3, and Young continued his losing streak as both players maintained their “perfect” scores. Young seemed to be getting slowly outplayed in a hedgehog and decided to sacrifice a piece, but that didn’t slow down Diamant, as he won quite easily with black.
Black did well again in the Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kann in the Rensch-Kacheishvili match-up. Kacheishvili castled queenside, and both players started attacking madly, but in the end black broke through whilst Rensch never got anywhere on the queenside.
The Yang-Krush game saw black easily equalize and a draw agreed after wholesale exchanges. Amanov won a pawn against Shahade in the middlegame, but the presence of opposite-colored bishops ensured an easy draw for the .
The games have been exciting thus far, and many players are still in the norm hunt. For pairings, standing, games in pgn, and to watch the games live, go to www.saintlouischessclub.org.