Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chris Williams Wins Big

USCF Home Chess Life Online 2008 March

Chris Williams Wins Big

By Jennifer Shahade
March 20, 2008

In the first round of the Foxwoods Open (March 19-23), teenager Chris Williams of Boston Blitz and "Chris is Awesome" fame, defeated top-seed and U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov in a thrilling game. This makes for a 440 point upset, and raises hopes for a very exciting Foxwoods. Can you guess what Williams played in the following positions?I.

Position after 24.Ng3
Show Solution
SolutionChris played 24...Nxd5! If 25.Qxd5 Qxd5 Rxd5 Bxg3 Rxe8 Rxe8 hxg3 Re1+ and Black has a winning advantage.(Hide Solution)
In light of the above variation, Alex avoided the queen trade, and they reached the following position after 33 moves. II.

Position after 33.Nh5
Show Solution
SolutionWilliams found 33...Bf3!! Now the knight on h5 is trapped because Ng3 takes away the king's only escape square, g3. (Hide Solution)
Here is the full game: Participating GMs include Yury Shulman, Julio Becerra, Alexander Stripunsky, Alexander Ivanov, Darmen Sadvakasov, Eugene Perlshteyn, Keith Arkell, Pascal Charbonneau, Ildar Ibragimov (who drew in round 1 to Alisa Melkehina), and Mark Paragua.

Check out the round two pairings here. Beginning with round three, live games will be available on

Read Jonathan Hilton's blog after the first round, and watch for more by Hilton from Foxwoods and from Michael Aigner from the Far West Open in Reno.

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