U.S. Wins in Open, Draws in Women's Section

GM Gata Kamsky secured a round 3 win for the U.S. with a victory over IM Rafael Prasca Sosa.

By Alex Marler

Round 3 of the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, was another success for the U.S.! In the open section, the United States competed with their toughest opposition yet, Venezuela, and still won by a large margin, 3.5 -0.5. The single draw was between U.S. Champion GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Eduardo Iturrizaga (rated 2627).

Iturrizaga vs Nakamura

GM Nakamura came out swinging today with the Dutch Defense. He is the only elite level player employ this defense on regular basis against the World's best. Rather than deal with Nakamura's favorite Leningrad variation, GM Iturrizaga took the game into quieter channels with an early Nc3 and Bxf6. Nakamura played aggressively, storming his kingside pawns up the board, but Iturrizaga succeeded in locking up all the pawns and forcing a draw.

Kamsky vs Prasca Sosa

GM Gata Kamsky makes his wins appear effortless. In this game against IM Rafael Prasca Sosa, he plays a Panov-Botvinnik attack and allows black to equalize rather easily. However, the momentary equality is a facade that Kamsky tears down with hyper, aggressive play.

Ynojosa vs Onischuk

GM Alexander Onischuk has played 1...e5 as his main defense to 1.e4 for nearly 20 years. How does a FIDE Master, who is 300 points lower rated, prepare the opening for an opponent such as GM Onishcuk? Well, FM Felix Jose Ynojosa could not answer that question either.

Robson vs Ostos

GM Ray Robson is really developing into a tactical giant. In his game with IM Julio Ostos he punishes Black's backwards development with 16.Bxf6, 17 Qh5 and 18.Nxf7! 

The U.S. Women's team survived a tough match with Uzbekistan with a score of 2-2. Both WGM Sabina Foisor and IM Rusudan Goletiani conceded the full point to weaker opposition, while WGM Tatev Abrahamyan and IM Anna Zatonskih were able to save the match by winning their games.  However, this draw with Uzbekistan is not a total setback, as the team is still ranked 12th out of 127 teams!

Zatonskih vs Muminova

The advantage in this game swung back and forth. At first it seemed that Nafisa Muminova had the makings of a strong kingside assault, but then Zatonskih defused it with 22. Bxf4 and 23. h3. Next, Zatonskih began her own kingside pawn storm by throwing her 'a' and 'b' pawns up the board. Then, Muminova saw the coming danger and reorganized her pieces for defense. She played 31...c5 stopping white's attack from gaining any momentum. After that, Black played the cheap shot 32...Qf6 and white missed it! 33. bxa6? Ng4! wins an exchange. Zatonshik recovered and demonstrated her superior play by coming back and winning the game!

Gevorgyan vs Foisor

Foisor was the victim of a tactical melee at the hands of WIM Irina Gevorgyan. White played the bone crunching 28.Nxg6+!!, and it was all over.

Goletiani vs Tohirjonova

Goletiani suffered a tough upset against WFM Hulkar Tohirjonova.

Kurbonboyeva vs WGM Abrahamyan

Abrahamyan played a solid game against Sarvinoz Kurbonboyeva and found a nice tactical shot to end the game with 47...Rxf3!!