Bill Lombardy's perfect storm in 1957 in Toronto -- 11 wins in 11 games -- is a record that has never been matched in the history of the world junior championships. Since his success, five other Americans have won this title. Surprisingly, no American player was sent to this month's world junior championship in Istanbul. Azerbaijani grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov dominated that event, scoring 101/2 points in 13 games, and winning it for the second time. Elizabeth Paehtz of Germany topped the girls' section with 10 points in 13 games.
Wang Hao, the 16-year-old Chinese "typhoon," played under his real strength but produced a remarkable combination in the Najdorf Sicilian against the Philippine master Roderick Nava.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 b4 9.Na4 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Bc4 Bb7 13.Rhe1 Qa5? (It is hard to believe that this aggressive queen move actually loses by force.)
14.Nxe6! (The first of two astonishing strokes, clearing a passage to the black king.) 14...fxe6 15.Bb6!! (The second piece sacrifice introduces the rook on e1 into the attack. Black's position collapses.) 15...Qxa4 (After either 15...N7xb6 or 15...N5xb6, white plays 16.Rxe6+ Be7 17.Nxb6 and wins.) 16.Bxd5! Be7 (After 16...Nxb6 17.Rxe6+ Be7 18.Rxe7+! decides quickly.)
17.Bxb7?! (White is trying to recover material, but aiming for the black king is better. For example, 17.Rxe6! [White also wins after 17.Bb3!? Qb5 18.Rxe6.] 17...Bxd5 18.Qxd5 Nxb6, and here white wins either after 19.Rxb6 Rc8 20.b3 Qa3+ 21.Kb1 Rd8 22.Qc6+ Kf8 23.Rxd8+ Bxd8 24.Rb7!; or after 19.Rxe7+! Kxe7 20.Re1+ Kf8 21.Qd6+ Kg8 22.Qe6+ Kf8 23.Re4! Nd7 24.Qd6+ Kg8 25.Qd5+ Kf8 26.Qxa8+ Kf7 27.Qd5+!, mating soon.) 17...Nxb6 (After 17...Rb8 18.Rxe6 Rxb7 19.Rxe7+! Kxe7 20.Re1+ leads to a mate.) 18.Rxe6! 0-0 (After 18...Rb8 19.Rxe7+! Kxe7 20.Re1+ Kf7 21.Qf4+ Kg8 22.Qxb8+ Kf7 23.Qf4+ Kg8 24.Re7, mate can't be avoided.) 19.Rxe7 Qxa2 20.Qd4! Rf6 (Even after 20...Qa1+ 21.Kd2 Rfd8 22.Rxg7+ Kf8 23.Rxa1 Rxd4+ 24.Ke3, white has the winning advantage.) 21.Bxa8 Black resigned.
Smashing the Champions
Three former FIDE world champions, Alexander Khalifman, Ruslan Ponomariov and Rustam Kasimdzhanov, could not avert another loss in the People vs. Computers team match in Bilbao, Spain, last week. The computer programs, Hydra, Junior and Fritz, beat the humans soundly 8-4.
Hydra played an amazing game against Ponomariov. In the Tarrasch French, the Ukrainian grandmaster tried to prevent white's invasion by blocking the position. But the machine found an invisible crossing, landed its horses inside black's camp and sacrificed two pieces for a victorious mating attack.
1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 a5 8.0-0 c4?! (Black is following the anti-computer strategy: blocking the position. More usual is 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Nb6.) 9.Bc2 b5 10.b3! (Opening the b-file allows white to play on both wings.) 10...Nb6 11.bxc4 bxc4 (After 11...dxc4 white can control the square d5 with 12.Be4 and 13.Nf4.) 12.Rb1 Kd7?! 13.Nf4 Kc7 14.Qf3 Rb8 15.Nh5 Qe7 16.Re1 Ba6 17.Qg3 g6 18.Nf6 Kb7 (The black king is trying to hide on the a-file but walks into a perilous pin.)
19.Nde4!! (This fabulous leap might have escaped Ponomariov's attention. White gets a second horse into black's position, jumping through the minefield.) 19...Ka7 (Accepting the knight sacrifice is dangerous. After 19...dxe4?! 20.d5! black's position quickly deteriorates, for example 20...exd5 21.Rxb6+ Kxb6 22.Nxd5+ wins; or 20...Nd8 21.d6 traps the black queen. Black can't hang on to the piece with 20...Na7 because of 21.Rxb6+! Kxb6 22.d6 Qd8 23.Be3+ Kb7 24.Bxe4+ Kc8 25.Bxa7 and white crashes through. Finally, after 20...Nxe5, white has a pleasant choice between the simple 21.Qxe5 Qd6 22.Bf4 and 21.Be3 Qxf6 22.Rxb6+ Kc7 23.Rc6+ Kd7 24.Bd4, winning.) 20.Nd6 (Black is in trouble, because this pesky knight controls many squares and can be supported by the dark bishop.) 20...Nc8 21.Ba3 Rxb1 22.Rxb1 Nxd6 23.Bc5+ Ka8 24.Ba4! (White's last piece joins the battle.) 24...Bb7 (After 24...Na7 25.Nd7! decides.)
25.exd6! (A splendid piece sacrifice that the machine can easily calculate to the end.) 25...Qxf6 (After 25...Qd8 26.d7! Bxc5 27.dxc5 e5 [On 27...Ne7 comes 28.Ne8!] 28.Bxc6 Bxc6 29.Qxe5 white wins.) 26.Bxc6 Bxc6 27.d7! Bxc5 (After 27...Qd8 28.Rb8+ Qxb8 29.Qxb8+ Kxb8 30.d8Q+ wins. And 27...e5 is met by 28.Qxe5 Qxe5 29.d8Q+ and white mates.) 28.Qc7! (White's mating attack outweighs black's extra bishop pair.) 28...e5 29.dxc5 (Black does not have a good defense against the threat 30.Qxa5 mate. For example, 29...Bb5 30.Rxb5 Qa6 31.Rb6 wins.) Black resigned.
Baltimore Kingfishers, led by two-time Canadian champion IM Pascal Charbonneau, won the U.S. Chess League, an Internet team competition, last Wednesday. They defeated Miami Sharks 31/2-1/2 in the championship final. Charbonneau was the league's MVP. Solution to today's two-mover by J. Cumpe (White: Kd2,Qh7,Nc2,Bf2,P:f3; Black: Kf4,Bf8,Bh1,Nc8,P:c6,d6,g7,h2): 1.Qg6 Kxf3 2.Qf5+ Kg2 3.Ne3 mate; or 1...Ke5 2.Bd4+ Kd5 3.Qf7 mate; 1...Ne7 2.Bg3+ Kxf3 3.Ne1 mate.