The former US Champion GM Yuri Shulman bravely attacked the superstar Ding Liren in the 6th round of the Reykjavik Chess Open.
The Chinese conceded bishops’ pair to ruin white’s pawn structure but Shulman sacrificed an exchange and pushed the black pieces to the back rank.
Ding Liren understood the danger and quickly returned the material to transpose into the opposite-colored bishop ending which was soon drawn.
Shulman plays another powerhouse in the 7th round as he is paired with the 2709-rated Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov.
The weekend rounds are starting earlier than usual, at 13:00 CET instead of the “regular” 16:30. FM Adarsh Jayakumar was obviously unaware of the schedule as he missed today’s game and lost by forfeit to GM Stelios Halkias.
Jayakumar has been performing splendidly, having beaten Grandmasters Sokolov and Thorhallsson in earlier days. Luckily for him, this year the Reykjavik Open is extended to ten rounds so he can still claim the 9-round IM norm. He is set to play the legendary GM Fridrik Olafsson next.
The famous Internet blitzer Yaacov Norowitz unleashed his trademarked Nf3, Bf4, e3 setup against the Polish GM Marcin Dziuba (2602). White conceded bishops’ pair and generated some pressure on the queenside.
Norowitz lined the heavy pieces on the c-file and waited for black to challenge this dominance. As soon as black did it, white gave up the queen for rook and bishop.
White obtained two connected passed pawns and a strong grip so black was desperately seeking counterplay. Norowitz gave up both passers and went to strip the enemy king off the pawn shield.
Dziuba used the first opportunity to give back the queen for the rooks and an endgame with white N+5P vs black R+2P was reached. It appeared that white pawns will simply steamroll the opponent but the Polish defended persistently and eventually managed to salvage a draw by activating both the rook and the king.
In the next round Norowitz is black against the Chessdom commentator Aman Hambleton (Canada).
GM Ivan Sokolov is a “professor” on the pawn structures as proven by the huge success of the books he wrote on the subject. He knew exactly what he was doing in the game against IM Irina Krush and “naively” allowed black to destroy his center with f5-f4 push.
However, it turned out that black pawns were much weaker and Sokolov easily netted one extra to convert the game into a winning ending.
Irina remained on 3,5 points and is matched against Norwegian FM Carl Fredrik Ekeberg for the next round.
International Masters Erik Andrew Kislik and Vladimir Prosviriakov drew their games and are now on 4 and 3,5 points respectively. John Bartholomew defeated Norwegian player Aryan Tari and is now also on 4 points.
Amateur players Stephen Jablon and Gregory Hisnay lost their games against the higher rated WIM and WFM respectively.
Replay the top games with computer analysis
Round 7 USA pairings:
GM Cheparinov Ivan 2709 4,5 – GM Shulman Yury 2563 4,5
GM Olafsson Fridrik 2416 4 – FM Jayakumar Adarsh 2271 4
FM Hambleton Aman 2472 4 – NM Norowitz Yaacov 2432 4,5
IM Schreiner Peter 2439 4 – IM Kislik Erik Andrew 2359 4
FM Kvisvik Brede 2314 4 – IM Bartholomew John 2435 4
GM Kristjansson Stefan 2486 3,5 – IM Prosviriakov Vladimir 2297 3,5
IM Krush Irina 2460 3,5 – FM Ekeberg Carl Fredrik 2274 3,5
Evenson Kent 1709 2,5 – Kuehnast Volker 1936 2,5
Jensen Soren 1909 2 – Kruglyak Mikhail 1638 2
Jablon Stephen 1896 2 – Magnusdottir Veronika Steinun 1557 2
Ragnarsson Heimir Pall 1354 2 – Hisnay Gregory 1778 2