$64,000, difficult prize to win 2023/10/10

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Bobby Fischer was 20 years old when in 1963, at the United States National Closed Championship, held in New York, he won the crown with the impressive result of 11 victories out of a possible 11. In single file Fischer, the eleventh world chess champion, considered one of the best in history, defeated Mednis, Evans, R. Byrne, Baguier, Reshevsky, one of his staunchest adversaries, Steinmeyer, Addison, R. Weinstein, Donald Byrne, Paul Benko who gave up his place so that Fischer had the opportunity to compete for the crown, and Saidy.

The organizers of the National Championship held in Saint Louis established a prize of $64,000 for the chess player who emulates Fischer's feat, something so difficult for the best players in the world, even the Chinese Liren, Ding, world champion, or the former monarch, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.

In the second round of the current championship this possibility vanished when Hans Moke Niemann defeated Samuel Sevian, the only grandmaster who could triumph in the opening round. The award is a way to perpetuate the memory of Fischer, who revolutionized professionalism by demanding better payments, and extends to women's competition.

The US National Championship restarts today with the fifth round in which they will face 1) Andrew Tang vs. Fabiano Caruana; 2) Ray Robson vs. Jeffery Xiong; 3) Hans Moke Niemann vs. Levon Aronian 4) Wesley So vs Abhimayu Mishra; 5) Leinier Domínguez vs. Samuel Shankland and 6) Dariusz Swiercz vs. Samuel Sevian.

The women's competition is dominated by Carissa Yip with 3 points (+2,=2,-0), winner of the silver medal in the FIDE-Fenamac Junior World Championship, for those under 20 years of age that took place in CDMX.

The winner of the men's competition will receive a prize of $60,000 out of a total of $250,000. And the champion 40,000 dollars from a purse of 152,000 dollars. Both groups play a round robin of eleven games at the rhythm of classical chess.

Round 8 results: 1) Vladislav Artemiev ½ Maxim Matlakov; 2) Pável Ponkrátov ½ Evgeny Nájer; 3) Aleksandra Goryachkina ½ Andrey Esipenko, in 32 moves of a Catalan; 4) Evgeny Tomashevsky ½ Artem Timofev; 5) Ivan Rozum 1-0 Kateryna Lagno; and 6) Klementy Sychev 0-1 Volodar Murzin. Qualification to Round 8: 1) Vladislav Artemiev 7 real points (+6,=2,-0); 2) Pavel Ponkratov 5; 3) Maxim Matlakov, 4 ½; 4) Evgeny Náher 4 ½; 5) Aleksandra Goryachkina 4 ½; 6) Andrey Esipenko 4; 7) Evgeny Tomashevsky 4; 8) Volodar Murzin 3 ½; 9) Artem Timofeev 3; 10) Ivan Rozum 3; 11) Kateryna Lagno 2 ½; 12) Klementy Sychev 2 ½ points.

White: Andrey Esipenko, Russia, 2,683. Black: Evgeny Nájer, Russia, 2,648. Sicilian Defense, Classic, Four Horses, B45. R-8, LXXVI Russian National Championship, in Saint Petersburg, 08–10,2023.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.a3 d6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 e5 9.Nb3 0–0 10.0–0–0 a5 11.Nc5 Rb8 12. f3 Ne8 13.N5a4 Bg5 14.Bxg5 Qxg5+ 15.Qd2 Qe7 16.Nb5 Be6 17.Nac3 Kh8 18.Nd5 The pawn structure presents a huge difference. Black shows two backward pawns b7 and d6, both weak, plus the second, and his pieces are constrained. White has two centralized pieces and Nd5 has achieved a good tactical position. 18...Qd7 19.Kb1 f5 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Bd3 Rd8 22.Bxf5 Qxf5 23.Qd3 White, with his sights on the weak pawns, proposes the exchange of queens in order to accelerate his offensive and intensify his control on the semi-open d file. 23...Qh5 24.Rd2 h6 Notice that Black has not made the rook connection and the queen is isolated with no clear kingside objective. 25.h3 Qg5 26.Rhd1 White makes his moves in accordance with the general strategy. 26...Ne7?+- An inaccuracy. Esipenko discovers a tactical procedure, based on the best coordination of his pieces, to punish the knight, a piece that receives the support of the queen. There is imagination 27.h4! The queen is forced to stay on the h4-d8 diagonal. 27...Qxh4 28.g3! Qg5 29.f4 exf4 30.Nxf4 It threatens the entire family if the C is placed on the e6 square. 30...Qg4 31.Re1 Nf5 32.Ne6 Nf6 33.Nxd8 Rxd8 34.Rf2 Nxg3 35.Nxd6! White threatens Nf7+ and simultaneously Rg1. Black leaves. 1–0.

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