Position No. 6133: Black to play and win. From the game Ryan Porter-Takashi Kurosaki, LA Open, Los Angeles 2010.

Solution to Position No. 6132: White wins plenty of material by 1 Bg5! hxg5 (or 1…Qxg5 2 Nxf7+) 2 Qh5+ Bh7 3 Nxf7+. If 1…Be4, either 2 Nxf7+ Kg8 3 Nxd8+ or 2 Qxf6 gxf6 3 Bxf6+ suffices.

Magnus Carlsen, the 19-year-old Norwegian grandmaster ranked first in the world for most of 2010, has withdrawn from the candidates matches leading to the 2012 world championship. In an open letter published at chessbase.com Carlsen called the championship cycle too long and not “sufficiently fair and modern.” He also complained that the system favored the champion.

In a separate interview, Carlsen referred to “constant rule changes” and said, “It takes too much effort to deal with the political part of the process.” You may recall that he dropped out of the Grand Prix in 2008 when World Chess Federation (FIDE) president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov unexpectedly changed the rules of that competition. Carlsen supported unsuccessful challenger Anatoly Karpov when Ilyumzhinov was reelected in September.

Reasonable people might disagree on the best format for the world championship. When the world’s most exciting young player drops out, though, the verdict is indisputable – the officials have failed. Their primary job is to provide fair conditions so that all of the best players will compete. Instead, Ilyumzhinov has irritated both champions and contenders by treating the game capriciously.

Tal Memorial

Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and nine other top grandmasters are competing in the Tal Memorial, which concludes Sunday in Moscow. U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura started well with 21/2-11/2, including a draw against Kramnik.

After the round robin, the 20-player World Blitz Championship will be held at the same site. Carlsen and Nakamura, generally considered the best blitz specialists, will participate.

Local news

The 46th annual American Open takes place Nov. 25-28 at the Radisson Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd. in Los Angeles. For details of the eight-round main event, the American Open Scholastic, two other side events or the free lectures and chess videos, go to americanopen.org.

The last four rounds of the international tournament at Metropolitan Chess (110 E. 9th St. in Los Angeles) are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday. Spectators are invited to attend free for all rounds and especially for Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan’s commentary during the final round. See metrochessla.com for more information.

The 35th Staser Fall Scholastic will be held Saturday in Hangar 244 at the Great Park in Irvine. This free tournament is open to all students in grades K-12. Call Dewain Barber at (714) 998-5508 for information.

Games of the week

GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA)-GM Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Tal Memorial, Moscow 2010: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 Bb4+ Avoiding the Catalan, 3…d5. 4 Nd2 c5 5 dxc5 Bxc5 6 Bg2 0-0 7 Ngf3 This position may arise from the Bogo-Indian Defense. Nc6 8 0-0 d5 9 e3 Last year, Eljanov won with Black after 9 a3 a5 10 Qc2 d4. Qe7 10 cxd5 exd5 A favorable case of the isolated d-pawn. Black has equalized. 11 Nb3 Bb6 12 a4 a6 Possibly 12…Bg4 improves. 13 Nbd4 Bg4 14 Qb3 Ba7 15 Bd2 Ne4 16 Bc3 Ridding himself of the awkward Bishop at the cost of a damaged Queenside. Nxc3 17 bxc3 Rfd8 18 Nd2?! Later Nakamura suggested 18 Ne2. Na5! 19 Qa2 Qd7 20 N2f3 Qe7?! Black has maneuvered well, but he begins to drift. With 20…Nc4 21 Nd2 Ne5, he would have at least equality. 21 Ne2! Bf5?! The drastic 21…g5 seems necessary. 22 Nf4 Be4 23 Rfd1 Qc5?! Suddenly Black is in trouble. He should yield a pawn by 23…Nc4 24 Nd2 Bxg2 25 Kxg2 g5 26 Nxd5 Rxd5 27 Nxc4 Qe6, with fair chances to draw. 24 Ng5! As 24…Qxc3?? loses to 25 Bxe4 dxe4 26 Qxf7+ Kh8 27 Qh5. Nor is 24…Nc4?! 25 Nxe4 dxe4 26 Rd4! Nd6 27 Rad1 defensible for Black. Bxg2 25 Kxg2 h6 Best, as 25…Qxc3 allows 26 Qb1! g6 27 Nxd5 Qe5 28 Nf3 Qg7 29 Ne7+ Kh8 30 Qb4. 26 Rxd5 Rxd5 27 Ne4 Qc4 28 Qxc4 Nxc4 29 Nxd5 Re8 Accepting a lost endgame. However, Black has no compensation after 29…Rd8 30 Ne7+ Kf8 31 Nf5 g6 32 Nd4. 30 Nef6+ gxf6 31 Nxf6+ Kf8 32 Nxe8 Kxe8 33 Rb1 Nd6 Trickier than 33…Na5 34 Kf3 Ke7 35 Kg4 Kf6 36 e4! Bc5 37 f4, when the pawns roll unstoppably. 34 e4! b6 Nakamura had to foresee 34…f6 35 f4! Nxe4 36 Rxb7 Bc5 37 Rb8+ Kd7 38 Ra8 Nxc3 39 Rxa6. To stop the a-pawn, Black will have to drop a Kingside pawn. Or, if 34…f6 35 f4 b5!? 36 e5 fxe5 37 fxe5 Nc4 38 axb5 a5 39 Ra1 Bb6, White can crack Black’s blockade by 40 Ra4 Nxe5 41 Re4 Bc7 42 c4 Kd7 43 c5. 35 e5 Nb7 White refutes 35…Ne4 36 Rb4! Nxc3 by 37 Rc4 Nd5 38 Rc8+ Kd7 39 Ra8 Nc7 40 Rxa7, not fearing 40…Kc8 41 f4 Kb8 42 Rxc7 Kxc7 43 Kf3 as he will create two Kingside passers. 36 Rb4 Nc5 37 Rh4 Kf8 The h-pawn proves decisive after 37…Ke7 38 Rxh6 Nxa4 39 Rc6 Kd7 40 Rf6 Ke7 41 h4 Nxc3 42 h5 Ne4 43 Rf5. 38 Rxh6 Threatening 39 Rh8+ Kg7 40 Ra8. Kg7 39 Rc6 Nxa4 Else 40 Rc8 wins. 40 e6!, Black Resigns.

GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway)- GM Wang Yue (China), Nanjing 2010: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 The Petroff Defense. 3 d4 Steinitz’s alternative to 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 Bd3. Nxe4 4 Bd3 d5 5 Nxe5 Nd7 Or 5…Bd6. 6 Nxd7 Bxd7 7 0-0 Bd6 Many games have tested 7…Qh4 8 c4 0-0-0 9 c5 g5. 8 Qh5 Nf6 9 Re1+ Kf8 Sharpest. White gets an edge from 9…Be7 10 Qf3 0-0 11 Bf4. 10 Qe2 Ng4 A counterattack instead of the solid 10…c6 11 Nd2 Qc7 12 Nf3 Bg4. Carlsen wrote, “I was a bit surprised as this is considered to be better for White.” 11 h3 Qh4 12 Qf3 Bh2+ If Black opts out of the coming adventures by 12…Nf6, White replies 13 Nc3!, inviting 13…Qxd4 14 Bg5 or 13…c6 14 Ne2 Ne4 15 Bf4. Both favor White. 13 Kf1 Nxf2 14 Qxf2 Bg3 15 Qd2 Qf6+ 16 Kg1 Bxe1 17 Qxe1 Qxd4+ 18 Kh2 Re8 19 Qg3 White’s two pieces will develop soon, while Black’s Rook will remain buried at h8. For example, 19…Qb6 20 Nc3 Bc6 21 b3 is very uncomfortable for Black. Qe5 20 Qxe5 Rxe5 21 Bf4 Re1 22 Bxc7 Now White has small advantages in material and pawn structure, adding up to a winning position. a6 23 Ba5 Rd1 Black’s Rook will be trapped on the first rank. But 23…Re8 wouldn’t save him, as 24 Nc3 Bc6 25 Rd1 g6 26 Be2 Kg7 27 Bf3 will gain another pawn. 24 a4! Far from clear is 24 Bd2? Bb5. Ke7 Against 24…Bxa4, a good method is 25 Bb4+ Ke8 26 Be2, anticipating 26…Rc1 27 Bd2 Rxc2 28 Rxa4 Rxb2 29 Bd3 f6 30 Rd4 or 26…Bxc2 27 Bxd1 Bxd1 28 Nd2 Bh5 29 Ra5, winning. 25 Bd2 Rc8 Black can try for tricks, but there is no escape. 26 c3 d4 Even 26…Rc4!? will fail if White finds 27 Be2 Rxa4 28 Rxa4 Bxa4 29 Bxd1 Bxd1 30 Be3, leaving Black only two pawns for the Knight. 27 c4 g6 28 Be2 Bxa4 29 Bb4+ Ke6 30 Bxd1 Bxd1 31 Nd2 Be2 Trying to plug the e-file, as 31…Bc2 32 Re1+ Kf6 33 Bd6 offers Black no hope. 32 b3 f5 33 Kg3 Rd8 34 Kf2 d3 35 Bc3 Kf7 36 Nf3 f4 37 Ng5+ Kg8 38 Ne6, Black Resigns.