REGGIO EMILIA 2009/2010: ONE ROUND TO GO!

CROSS TABLE as of ROUND 8

If you want to keep up to date on the Chess World then there is one website you HAVE to pay attention to – Mark Crowther’s THE WEEK IN CHESS or TWIC for short.  You can access this outstanding website by visiting them here:

http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/twic.html

Mark does an excellent job of keeping every one informed about the present state of the chess world.  There is no doubt that with Mark on the job plus all of his friends and fellow chess fans from all around the world that you can find out about any major event as it is happening.  His reporting is extremely good and the website he has built is the best one out there – in my opinion.

SUMMARY OF ROUNDS 7 and 8

The last two rounds were heavily draw ridden affairs – with only Zoltan Almasi showing us the chess fans – just how badly he really wants to win this event.  His outstanding score of +5 and =3 for the first 8 rounds is quite the amazing achievement but there is one last hurdle for him in this event – his game against Gata Kamsky in the final round being held tomorrow.   If Zoltan can steer the game towards a stable position – one from which a draw is guaranteed – then he has every right to expect victory in this event.  Should he fail to master his nerves and should he be outplayed – then it will be Kamsky that steals the show from him in the final round.

Kamsky is in second place alone on 5.5 points which puts him a full point ahead of his nearest pursuers Fabiano Caruana and Michele Godena.  A win in tomorrow’s game would allow him to catch Zoltan and thus take first place on tie-breaks.  Zoltan only has to draw this game to win the event outright.  A win would be quite the exclamation mark for the final round of the 2009/2010 edition of Reggio Emilia for Mr. Zoltan Almasi and would certainly gain him a lot more recognition.  He is already a famous player but such a tournament win would help catch the interest of tournament organizers all over the world.

Kamsky is in a win-win situation.  If he wins the big game tomorrow then he wins the tournament and picks up another nice first place finish.  If he draws he takes second place alone.  If he losses tomorrow’s game then he is either alone or in a tie for second place – depending upon the outcome of the other games for Caruana and Godena.  If he is tied with one or two other players then his fate may depend upon the great barrier reef of competitive chess – the tie-breakers.  No matter what happens though he should approach tomorrow’s game with a determined yet risk free spirit plus an ultra competitive attitude.  In short he should be able to play his best without worry.  He is already guaranteed second place – but to rise up to the challenge and to snatch first place from the other player who held onto it for the last several rounds would be his own very powerful exclamation mark.  His score as of round 8 is +3 and =5.

My prediction for tomorrows game?  Kamsky will play for a win and will have to settle for a draw.  So the outcome looks to be most certainly a draw but I have been wrong about these things before and hope to be again!  Zoltan deserves to win this event after having played very hard throughout the entirety of this tournament.  But Kamsky is no less deserving and has a chance to impress all tomorrow with some gutsy play or to stick to the “script” and to help in crowning Zoltan as the 2009 Reggio Emilia Champion.  What has yet to be determined is whether or not Gata Kamsky will be a passive spectator or an aggressive opponent for Zoltan tomorrow.

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CHESS PUZZLES

brought to you

by ZOLTAN ALMASI!

~ROUND 7~

Eltaj SAFARLI

Zoltan ALMASI

WHITE to PLAY and WIN

One move – just that simple.

~ROUND 8~

Daniel VOCATURO

Zoltan ALMASI

WHITE to PLAY and WIN

Again a “quiet” move, but one that has violent intentions behind it!

25 EXPERT POINTS if you find one of the Checkmates!

Enjoy – Coach Sean Tobin.

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