Malcolm Pein Sings…’Meet Me In St. Louis’


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Malcolm Pein reports on the strengthening of the US chess team in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column and kindly reminds us of the song ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’, which will now be in our heads  for the rest of the day.

Malcolm Pein Sings…’Meet Me In St. Louis’

One of the funniest sketches I have ever seen on chess was Jon Stewart poking fun on the Daily Show at the efforts of the St. Louis Chess Club to recruit Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So for the US team. Colbert exclaimed: “America is buying up nerds, nerd mercenaries, nerdcenaries!”

Six days ago, the St. Louis Chess Club announced that Levon Aronian, 38, will also relocate to St. Louis, and represent the US in future competition. This will make the US the strongest team in the world with five players; Caruana, So, Leinier Dominguez, Hikaru Nakamura and now Aronian, currently ranked world number five, in the top 20.

Aronian commented: “I am sincerely proud to have had the honour of making a significant contribution to the greatest achievements of Armenian chess. Clearly, it is impossible to reach world heights in chess without the huge amount of work done at home and through the support of my fellow countrymen. I truly appreciate the personal attention and support that I received from the third president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan for many years.”

It is a bitter blow for the Armenian team who have won multiple medals in international competition with Aronian at the helm. This includes victory at three Olympiads in 2006, 2008 and 2012.

The Battle of the New Teammates

L. Aronian – F. Caruana
Olympiad, Dresden 2008
Slav Botvinnik

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Nxg4 Nxg4 12.Qxg4 Qxd4 13.Rd1 Qg7 14.Qf4 (White would be a pawn down for no compensation in an endgame, but with queens on, Black’s king is vulnerable) 14…Na6 15.Be2 Be7 16.0–0 Nc5 17.e5 Qg6 18.Rd4 Rd8 19.Rfd1 Rd5!? 20.Qe3! (20.Nxd5 cxd5 gives Black a very strong pawn centre that could smother White’s rooks) 20…h5 21.Bf3 a6

'Meet Me In St. Louis'

22.b4! cxb3? (Not 22…Nd3 23.Be4, 22…Nd7! was best) 23.axb3 a5 (23…Nxb3 24.Nxd5 Nxd4 25.Nc7+ Kd8 27.Qxd4+ wins) 24.Ne4 Nxe4 25.Bxe4 Qh6 26.Bf4 Qg7 27.Bxd5 exd5 28.Bg5 Rg8 29.f4 Qg6 (29…Bc5 30.Kh2 Qf8) 30.R4d2 c5 31.Bxe7 d4

Test Your Strength

L. Aronian – F. Caruana White to Play and Win

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

32.Bg5! 1–0 If 32…dxe3 33.Rd8#.

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